I was left alone for the rest of the day, and thought about my situation. I wasn't scared anymore, as it was obvious they weren't out to hurt me. They gave me good food, gourmet to be honest. Three course meals that came in through a hole in the wall I had thought was seamless. When it closed I still couldn't see the lines that had to be there. These beings were weird, to say the least.
The next day the questions began. And there were so many of them. It was as if they were trying to understand humanity itself. I answered as truthfully as I could, still motivated by a forlorn hope that I'd see Alizé again. I didn't believe I would, as she had died in my arms. Or had she? She definitely wasn't breathing when I held her. I stopped thinking about her and concentrated on the questions. After an indeterminate amount of time and what felt like a hundred meal breaks, I was on question 3951 (What part of their anatomy do you think humans are most attached to?), and I was tired. I fell asleep with my head on the desk, my fingers still on the touch screen.
A few hours later (or maybe more - time had warped itself into unimaginable shapes) and I awoke on the bed. I got up and after God knows how long I eventually finished off the questionnaire, but they weren't through yet. I'd answered 5004 questions (the last one being "Which is worse - dying or living in pain?"), and now they wanted to run tests.
That scared me. I've always been terrified of needles, and that was all I could think of as the chair I has been sitting on strapped me tight and straightened out into an operating table. I lifted my head up a bit to see if there was any way of escaping, but I couldn't even see the straps round my limbs. I seemed to be held in place by nothing at all, but try as I might I couldn't get loose.
A white trench coat walked up and assured me I wouldn't be killed, and that the testing procedure would be painless. Then he put a dark gloved finger on my forehead, and when he took it away I realised he was a she. I was staring at Alizé.
If I could've jumped I would have. As it was my heart started to beat very fast. Too fast, I thought.
"Hi," she said.
"You're... You're dead!" I said.
She walked closer and kissed me lightly. I have never had such a sensory overload.
"Does that feel dead to you?" she asked. I lay there silent, unable to take in what was happening. She gave me a moment to think about it, and I calmed down. I mean, I didn't actually know if she had been dead when she'd collapsed in my arms... It had just been so sudden and had felt so final. She finally tore me from my reverie.
"Does everyone that collapses die?" she asked.
"No," I said, beginning to feel tremendously stupid.
"So why should you think me dead? I was just sedated."
Now I felt stupid. Utterly and completely stupid. I'd been had by my own mind, and it didn't seem fair. Worse still I had practically been told she was still alive but I'd gone on believing she was dead. Dante wouldn't have been conned so easily. Way to go Einstein.
"Look at it this way." Alizé said. "At least now I know for sure you like me."
True that. I only just realized it myself. Before now I kept telling myself I only reacted out of my sense of right and wrong, nothing more. What a delusional loser.
"Now you have to take these last tests for us," Alizé's voice broke through my thoughts.
"I've already answered all the questions you people asked," more irritated at the confession that she was one of them than the thought of the tests themselves.
"These are medical tests, to find out more about your species."
"I'm far from a perfect specimen," I said. It was true. I'm razor blade thin and have a propensity to illnesses that are more annoying than debilitating.
Alright I was stalling. But who the hell were these aliens to demand that I subject myself to God knows what? It just didn't make any sense. Not to me anyway. At the back of my mind I knew I would take the tests anyway. I knew of no way to escape and frankly it hadn't even crossed my mind. I just hadn't thought of myself as a prisoner. I couldn't. That kind of thought pattern is just foreign to me when I'm getting good food and my mind is kept busy. And anyway I'm used to spending long periods indoors, so it didn't really bother me.
Alizé'd been watching me, trying to gauge my thoughts by the expression on my face. Noticing her I kept a worried mask on.
"Will you take the tests?" she asked finally.
"Yes. It's not like I really have a choice. Why did they send you down here? They would've conducted the tests anyway."
Alizé frowned slightly.
"They didn't," she said. "I thought you'd realise that."
That kept me quiet.