The fog is starting to lift, and I remember everything.
Xirra, she’s the one I spent most of the time with, had asked me, “Do you want to remember, or forget?”
“Remember!” I said. “I want to remember everything.”
And I do.
They all greeted me, all twelve.
“Do you know the history of abductions?” they asked.
I didn’t. Do you? They told me everything. Abductions, not just of people of our planet, but from many planets, have been going on for generations, for centuries. The intentions haven’t been benevolent, traditionally. They’ve been mercenary.
Women were used to provide gene samples–through swabs of skin or locks of hair, mostly, so that they never knew–and the genes were spliced to create new stock.
Males were forcibly, without consent, impregnated. Most of the time, the experience was so traumatic, that the men ended up returning the child to the home planet soon after birth, and these children provided the slave labor that created the wealth of the Mainstreamers.
It’s a practice that the rebels abhor, just as much as they abhor the treatment of bizoobi.
“This is why we fight,” said Xirra. “We cannot support a culture, a society, an economy that rests on rape, slavery, and murder.”
“Gotukoda in’i EO!” They all shouted.
“We want to do things another way,” Xirra said. We weren’t on the ship during this conversation–I remember this now. We were–where were we? We were someplace dark, with glowing plants. Someplace purple, with ultraviolet light. It felt like the inside of a flower.
“We are safe here,” Xirra told me. She led me to an inner room. We sat on large plants, purple, soft, like giant mushrooms, only clearly, they were not a fungus. They smelled like cotton candy.
“We want to do things differently,” she said. “That is what we are all about. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
I nodded. So much information, emotional as well as historical, was passing telepathically that I felt that I knew much more than had been said. It was difficult to find words to talk, processing all that was coming in.
She took my hand. “We have been feeling the bonds within your home,” she said. “We know something of love. Do you know, for us, the love of family, of father and pagoto, mother and pagoto, the love that makes a gotukoda–a home–is as close to sacred as anything we know?”
Again, I nodded. I could believe it. It’s sacred to me, too, I tried to say, though I could only think it.
“We want to do things differently,” she said again. “Do you?”
I knew then what she meant.
I found my voice. “Yes,” I said. “I want this very much.”
It was beautiful, son. It was everything that the creation of a new life should be.
You are such a romantic at heart, with your crushes and your Big Loves. I know that you have wondered about me and why I have never had much to do with any of that.
I haven’t felt I’ve been missing out. I’ve had no interest. Why should I bother with something that I’m simply uninterested in, especially when that bother could lead to misunderstanding, broken hearts, and misery?
But now I know. There is something in a touch, an exchange, a breath of love that creates a new life–this is more than romance. This is love. This is what makes a family.
What Xirra and I shared during that exchange, I hope you share that with someone sometime!
The way I feel inside–the petals of the blue rose open, and what’s inside? More petals, more opening, on and on, until the edge of me dissolves and the edge of her dissolves and the rose keeps blooming, on and again.
This is what creates a new life.
I am going to be a father, again.
When Xirra led me out to the main room, we weren’t bashful. There was nothing secret, nothing shameful, everything sacred.
The others were sitting around low round tables, sipping tart, sweet tea that smelled like green apples, though it was deep red. They made room for us, and without talking, we sat with them.
They all began to sing then, only not out loud: inside, the way you sing to your pagotogo. I could hear them. Xirra looked at me, and I began to sing with them.
What gift have I been given? I am in awe.
How is it that I came to be your father? What have you taught me? So much! You have taught me love and more. And now. This experience. This is something that I never thought that I would experience. Me, solitary me. I am solitary no more. I am surrounded with gotugo. We are all kin. I never knew this. But now I do.
I’m going to have a baby!
I’m going to have a baby, and this new life is the result of the most amazing, reality-altering experience I have ever had. This new life is the result of love.
You are going to be an amazing big brother.
And I am…
steeped in gratitude,
Author’s note: Sebastion came back from his “abduction” (it felt more like a “visitation”) knowing that he was pregnant. He had all the nooboo-related thought bubbles since he arrived back home.