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IML_42 t1_j8uzui9 wrote

Ax found himself on Earth. The sun was shining. He marveled at the ferocity of its heat and the brightness of its shine—he had never seen Sol from that angle before. He heard birds chirping and felt a breeze against his shell—his body was speckled in shades of red and blue as it reacted to the varying temperatures around him. He had nearly forgotten what he was doing there until he saw Jim walking toward a house.

The large alien, released from his reverie, followed closely behind the human. Once inside the house, Ax noticed varying still images of Jim and a female human. He then turned his attention to a dog who had stirred from a nap and ran to excitedly greet Jim.

Ax knew that the dog couldn’t see him—he was inside of a memory—but the sight of the golden creature made his shell crawl. It reminded him too much of the treacherous Thrall of the Canin of Thrax.

Thankfully, the female human soon entered the room and let the dog outside. Ax could relax. He walked over to the dog’s bed—the only furniture he could see that appeared able to hold him—and settled upon the pillow top and, again, wrapped his appendages around his thorax as he watched the memory unfold.

“We need to talk,” said the female as she sat on the couch.

“Ok…” said Jim with a tone of confusion as he followed her lead. “What’s up, Holly?”

“Jim…you know what I’m about to say. I know you feel it too,” she said as her eyes filled with tears.

Jim’s eyes were wide and he puffed out his cheeks. “I mean, I really haven’t the faintest. Is this about my working so much again? Holly I told you I’m so close to making a break on this thing. I’ll take some time soon, but I can’t just drop this in the middle. You know me, Holl.”

“You’re really going to make me say it?”

“God damn it, Hol! Just fucking say it. Don’t make me guess!” Ax was shocked at the abrupt nature of Jim’s anger. It reminded him of the geysers at the Many-Face Pools of Thrax—still waters that, without notice, boiled and burst forth high into the sky with an abundant and violent release.

“I don’t love you anymore,” her tone was even, it lacked the sadness of the previous things she’d said. Ax realized she was more upset about having to have said the words than having felt the feelings.

“What? What do you mean?” He said as he stood from the couch. “What—what can I do? How do we make this better? Come on, Holly, I know I’ve been working a ton, but you know that what I’m doing is important work. I’m finally doing something that matters. Something that helps the world. We’ve been disconnected for a while now, but you know we’re both to blame here. We can work on it. Let’s go to couples therapy. Let’s fight for this. Let’s fight for us!”

“It isn’t about your work, Jim,” she said. “It’s…it’s you. You’re so angry. You flare up without notice. You fly off the handle at the smallest inconvenience. You know that my sister told me to leave you after what you did at Christmas?”

“Christmas? This is about Christmas?” He said loudly. “Oh, come on, Holl. How many times do I need to apologize for that. I was drunk!”

“It’s not just when you’re drinking and you know it,” she said sternly.

“Ok…ok,” said Jim calmly. He sat on the couch next to his wife and took a deep breath. “Ok. Look, I can work on it. I can fix this. Let me talk to someone. Let me show you I can do this. Please, Holl,” he said as he began to cry. “Please, don’t let me go. I don’t want to lose you. I can’t lose you.”

Holly just stared at him, her face cold as stone. Ax was not a human, but he recognized that look. It was a look that spanned space and time, the look of cold indifference, the look someone gives before they break your world in half, the look of someone who is about to rip one or two of your hearts out of your thorax.

“There’s no saving this, Jim.” She said matter of factly. “There’s no saving us.”

Ax was enthralled by this slice of life. He’d spent his time observing Jim and the humans at the Global Defense Initiative. In that time he’d witnessed humans planning for battle, developing new technologies, building new weapons, producing space craft, he’d even seen them joking at the water cooler, but none of their actions betrayed any—for lack of a better word—humanity.

But this. This experience. Ax could understand this. Ax had lived this.

“What do you mean? How can you say that?” Pleaded Jim.

“I’m in love with somebody else.”

More in the next comment. r/InMyLife42Archive


IML_42 t1_j8votli wrote

Ax was overcome by a feeling of empathy. Those six fateful words—irreversible once uttered, all encompassing, all destroying—bonded Ax to the human for reasons which transcended atmospheric borders and inter-species divides.

These two men had a shared trauma.

“You love someone else?” Said Jim, his tone even, too much so.

“That’s right. I’ve found someone else. I can’t stand to be around you any longer. He makes me happy, which is something you haven’t done for me for as long as I can remember.”

“You don’t know what love is, you fucking monster!” Jim said, his face flush with the coalescence of rage and embarrassment. “If you knew what love was you wouldn’t be doing this to me!”

Holly laughed in his face. “Don’t even go there, Jim. The ‘woe is me’ bit is overplayed.” Holly picked up steam. She spat each successive word with more force as her disdain for Jim finally overflowed in a tirade of anger and disgust. “You’re not enough of a man to even begin to give me what I need. You’re just a small, insignificant roach who scurries about the ground coveting crumbs and scraps. You hide from the light of day and flee from consequences. That’s why you spend all your time at the Institute, because you can’t face me. You can’t face yourself!”

Ax shifted on the dog bed. Something wasn’t right here. He was overwhelmed by a feeling of deja vú. This was more than just empathy, he had seen this before, heard these words, felt these feelings. His heart began to race and his fight or flight reaction began to kick in. His shell instinctively changed colors to blend into his surroundings.

“Oh fuck you, Holly! I’m not hiding from anything. I work so much because I have better odds of finding intelligent life in space than I do in my own home!” Jim screamed and then smiled to himself as if he were surprised the insult had landed so well.

Holly’s face regained an unsettling stoicism in light of the insult. “You’re a failure. You’ve always been a failure. There’s a reason you have no friends, no family who will speak to you. You want to know why no one wants to invest time and energy into you? It’s because you have no potential. You’re nothing and you will forever be nothing. And to top it all off, you got the one person in this world who could stand to be around you killed.”

“No, no, no no! I didn’t get Prox killed! It was an accident!” Screamed Ax, much to his surprise.

He stopped a moment and regained his composure, took a beat to remember where he was. This wasn’t his memory. He was in Jim the human’s mind. The memories wouldn’t respond to him, they weren’t talking to him.

And then Holly turned her icy gaze his direction and addressed him.

“What’s the matter. Ax? Don’t like a taste of your own medicine?”

More in the next comment. r/InMyLife42Archive


IML_42 t1_j8vuepl wrote

This was not supposed to happen, the Meld Interface afforded certain protections for the Thraxian mind travelers, chief among them was the incontrovertible fact that memories were unmalleable—the past was the past.

Ax quickly learned that this was a mistaken assumption. Indeed, the Thraxian had—in their arrogance—doubled their error of judgment: they’d underestimated a second species in their pursuit of understanding.

“This isn’t right,” said Ax. “I wasn’t here, this could not have happened in this manner.”

“And yet I speak to you,” said Holly. “You’re of an adaptive people, Ax. Do what you do best, adapt.” The words Holly spoke were incongruent with the motions of her mouth, it was as though her movements were out of phase with her speech.

Jim’s body was still, frozen in time. It was just Holly and Ax now.

“What are you?” Asked Ax.

“You’re the superior species, Thraxian,” she said, the potency of her voice’s venom not lessened for its current target, “you tell me what I am. That is what you do, isn’t it? Classify, codify. Condemn.”

Ax’s mind went into overdrive. This…thing was of a species he’d catalogued. Recently. The realization hit him hard and he readied himself for battle. “You’re a Kereon, aren’t you?” He said.

“Very good, Ax,” said Holly. “Although it took you longer than I expected. I was really laying it on thick there. Sure, I had to use the lexicon of this…human…but I figured that you’d more quickly recognize your deepest shame unfolding before your eyes. And what shame it is.”

The Kereon grew tired of the charade and exploded itself through the constrained confines of the human form, ‘Holly’s’ body burst in a cloud of blood and a hail of gristle and bone. The creature that emerged had thick, brown fur that covered it head to toe. It stood 8 feet tall with 4 boney protrusions emanating from it’s back like upside down buttresses. It’s eyes glowed a fierce amber and were fixed steadfastly upon Ax.

“What do they call you, beast?” Said Ax as he raised his pincers, his shell strobing red and white in a show of intimidation.

“You know me, Ax,” growled the Kereon. “You’ve seen me, been me. I’ve seen you, been you.”

Ax couldn’t believe his blunder. He’d allowed the Kereon he’d Meld Interfaced to return to its home after he’d concluded that the species was absolutely innocuous, too primitive to threaten the Thraxian empire.

“Thereon,” whispered Ax to himself as if he’d just remembered the solution to a problem over which he’d long labored.

“One and the same, Ax,” said the beast proudly. “It seems we’ve beaten you to the humans. Their minds are surprisingly conducive to our abilities. And to sneak in under the watchful eyes of the great and all-seeing Thraxian Empire. Isn’t it funny how that works?”

“What—what do you mean you’ve beaten us to the humans? Explain yourself!” Ax shouted, his anger flavored by fear.

“We discovered long ago that we could live deep in the minds of the humans—in the levels that escape rational thought, that exist well below their consciousness, in places far beyond detection. We’ve entrenched ourselves in these vicious creatures.

“Watching. Learning. Waiting.”

“Waiting for what?” Said Ax.

“Waiting for you to let us out of these deep recesses and into their core consciousness, of course.”

More on the way. r/InMyLife42Archive


relddir123 t1_j8vza0y wrote

Don’t leave us hanging!


IML_42 t1_j8xqrqc wrote

Don’t worry, I will put out the next installment sometime today (hopefully). Saturday at the latest. Thanks for your interest in the story!


N0V-A42 t1_j8wdqoh wrote

Oh man I'm a little confused. How does one species live in the mind of another? Great story.


MikeColorado t1_j8yr5qk wrote

Remember the gatekeeper's comment, I am not here to prevent you from going in, I am here to prevent things from coming out! Well done, engaging story.


arylea t1_j8wu0e0 wrote

Probably not much different than people with multiple personalities.


Esoj93 t1_j8wfmzr wrote

Gotta know how this ends


IML_42 t1_j8xqtln wrote

I’ll have another part coming today (hopefully) or Saturday at the latest. Thanks for reading!


sycolution t1_j8vunwh wrote

Yoooo...please keep going!


IML_42 t1_j8vvb2m wrote

Just recently posted the next part! Thanks for reading!


squish8294 t1_j8v2idw wrote

Yea, interested


CreationsOfReon t1_j8v6asr wrote

Damn. More please, make me cry.


IML_42 t1_j8v73u3 wrote

I’ll write up the next part this evening and post it as a comment here. Thanks for reading!


wrechch t1_j8vhvst wrote

Damn man, I could read this stuff all day. Fantastic work, friend. Please continue.


IML_42 t1_j8vma2x wrote

Thanks! Writing up the next part as we speak!


S1eepyZ t1_j8vonuu wrote

Notify me when part 3 is out


IML_42 t1_j8vp67r wrote

Just posted the next part!


S1eepyZ t1_j8vp7im wrote

Nice, barely any wait!


IML_42 t1_j8vuitf wrote

I aim to please! Just added another part of you’re interested!