Serialized Science Fiction.

Abduction, abduction, whaat's your function?
Tom Haynes

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we fly them out there on patrol. Son, you know you were abducted, right?" There it was out in the open, finally.

But what was I to do? Did I react and follow the script? Or by not reacting did I follow the role I was assigned?

The features hardened a little with a touch of resignation. "Bob, Bob, let me describe the typical abduction: time freezes, taken up a white light, some probing, memory loss, and a fixation on trying to recall what happened." His free hand, the right one, went up and rubbed a half thought back into his conscious, "Oh yeah, and they always have a feeling of inadequacy."

The eyes held me the whole time as the words cascaded over me. He sighed, just a little and held up his watch toward me, "What time is it Bob?"

10:31, I said it out loud then, "10:31."

"Son, if we wait 5 minutes, do you know what time it will be for you?" perhaps he still had young kids or even some grandchildren. He was using that voice, the patient one you employ when teaching.

I haphazard a guess, "10:31?"

He literally beamed at me, "Right, we don't know why, but when you people are returned to us, you fixate heavily on the time you were abducted. I could get a handful of you in the same room, and each of you would look at my watch and swear the hands never moved."

I puzzled out a question, "Would it be the same time for all of us?"

He laughed, a deep booming throbbing in my ears, "No. Now son, why did you ask that?" The chuckles died down.

I met his eyes and I gave him that look most brass gives me when I explain the details of my designs. "I don't know."

He started a syllable and stopped, I've never seen anyone do it before. I could see the sound coming out of his mouth, but I couldn't hear it. He then did something that is rare in most people, he listened to what I had to say. I could hear the wheels in his head spinning round and he finally digested the conversation. How many times had he given a variation of that same paternal rah-rah speech? Gloss over the details and get them back to being productive members of society.

He didn't even glance at me as he pulled out a folder, it was labeled "Transcripts of Captain Robert J. Buchanan." The glasses came out and as he donned them, the soft fluorescent light bounced off of the line splitting the bifocals and a little rainbow effect pierced my eyes. All I could think of was his vanity, and something else, something I could not name, even in my innermost sanctuary.

I watched him, with a detachment which complimented the mood induced by the glare. It had stopped, but the chromatic aftereffect reverberated through my conscious. He read the file, taking notes with that pen he had waved about earlier. Had it really scanned for bugs? Or was it just another reassuring ploy?

Imagine being submersed in a bath tub and having someone with steel-tipped boots kicking the living daylights out of the sides. Try it sometime as someone discusses your fate. "Bob, you aren't like all the others."

Information overload crashed my systems - I was back on that table, the one I swore I would never remember. I could see that the green

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