In Dr. Merkel’s reception room stands a four foot tall alien Grey with almond shaped black orbs the size of a man’s fist for eyes. They glisten under the florescent lights. The Grey is naked, but there’s nothing to see, no ears, no nipples, no genitals, and its mouth is not much more than a small slit and its nose consist of two small holes in the center of its face. But what Johnny, the receptionist, sees is a strapping Latino stud oozing testosterone and sexuality. The only incongruity between the You Tube exercise stud he sees and the actual alien Grey that stands before him is a faint scent of seaweed, the Grey having recently fed by rubbing a nutrient paste on itself which it absorbs through its skin.
But Johnny takes the scent to be the latest sexy cologne and smiles lasciviously. “I just love your scent. What is it?”
The Grey reads Johnny’s thoughts and wonders if he’ll still want to get on his knees for him if he saw its true form. He’d find nothing for his mouth, only a smooth mound. The Grey’s species doesn’t breed or have genders. They are grown in murky tanks of nutrients, but all that is irrelevant. In this case the emperor does have new clothes, even a new body, in fact it can be any form it chooses to put in inside Johnny’s mind. The illusion is better for what Johnny wants.
Dr. Merkel’s office door opens and Tanita steps out. She sees Johnny the receptionist and a frumpy middle-aged man waiting for his appointment, just the sort she’d never notice or remember seeing, but as she passes him a familiar scent fills her with dread and she rushes out the door with a scared glance over her shoulder.
As Dr. Merkel eyes her escort, she tells Johnny to go to lunch. As he leaves, she walks him to the door and winks, saying, “Take your time. There’s no rush getting back. Go for a latte after you eat.”
She locks the office door after him.
“This way, please,” she says to her escort, quite impressed that he looks as good as in the videos. She holds the inner office door open for him, admiring his form as he passes, but is oddly perturbed by his salty scent. “I love your workout videos,” she says as she closes the door behind them. She can’t wait to get Tanita out of her thoughts, but that seaweed scent is triggering memories that are getting in the way of her planned activities with Ricardo.
If the Grey could smile at her thoughts with its tiny mouth, it would. There is a real Ricardo, but he isn’t an escort, but an alien/human hybrid so human in appearance he can’t be told apart from the real thing, at least not physically. It’s in his habits and social behaviors that the flaws reveal themselves. They put in thousands of hours of societal training and still a simple act like ordering a burger and fries in a Burgerville drive-thru proves to be exceptionally challenging. That’s what people like Dr. Merkel are for, the Grey thinks, to teach the human hybrids how to fit in so that they won’t be discovered when they take over the world.
Their numbers are growing with each solar cycles, and more are placed in societies all over the planet, but they’ll never be able to wrest control from the humans if their hybrids can’t be placed in positions of power and control without being revealed by stupid mistakes of their own.
The Grey turns to Dr. Merkel and with its mind telepaths, “Sit down. We have questions.”
Dr. Merkel’s illusion of Ricardo is gone. She sees the Grey for what he is, a spindly limbed, frail creature with a bulbous head and long fingers that look quite frog-like with their suction cups tips. She recognizes this particular Grey by the cadence and feel of its thoughts. It’s her handler, as if she were a dog performing in an obedience ring. She’s been helping it for years and wishes it would allow her to remember these encounters afterward, but it never does.
Disappointed the escort she’d been anticipating all morning is not going to show up, she asks, “What questions?”
The Grey is amused at her disappointment. It’ll never understand humans’ craving for sex when all it is is a simple dopamine response to stimuli. “We have questions about the Burgerville drive-thru.”
She adjusts her glasses, looking over them at the creature, and wonders if it even knows what sex is. She’s always been impressed by the Greys’ mental abilities, but has very little respect for them. They take their mental superiority too much for granted. At times she wonders if they are even biological, and not some sort of bio-synthetic machine. “I thought I was going to enjoy some sex, instead I get to discuss the finer details of ordering fast food from inside a car.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll leave you with a nice screen memory of your encounter with Ricardo. I’ll even let you choose what position.” And that will be all she remembers, a lunchtime tryst with an exercise bunny, slash, escort named Ricardo.