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I woke up with a pounding headache this morning which confirmed how drunk I was last night and that I did indeed have some sort of hallucination because of it. I did not really see Mother’s ghost last night. I most likely passed out in my bed right after my strong tea and dreamt the whole thing instead of it being a hallucination. Yes, that was it. Ghosts don’t exist anyway.

Maybe my subconscious mind was trying to tell me that I should forfeit my plans and that’s why I had that dream. I seriously considered taking dream-Mother’s advice this morning after I woke up. What if I really end up losing everything like she said? I probably should try to accept the little creature and use it to try to get closer to Zachary. I could pretend I had a change of heart so Zachary wouldn’t move out and then I could pretend to like the thing to prove how much I had changed so Zachary and I could reconcile. That plan seemed like it could work.

But then I realised that I didn’t have the patience for certain annoyances…like the echoic squalls of a purple alien baby!

1508

His cries were so loud it could be heard from anywhere in the house, even the basement! He was always hungry and demanded so much attention from everyone in the house that Zachary and the girls spent all their free time playing with him or consoling him. It was as if he was the centre of their universe!

What about me? No one had time for me anymore because of him.

If I wanted to win back Zachary I couldn’t use this demanding child to do it because he’d only hinder my plans instead of helping. Then I realised that I could get Zachary back in another way, the way I had intended in my original plans and to do that I needed to take another little trip to space.

1509

Zachary told me that morning that he was taking Gabriel to his scientist friend for a check-up which he said would run until five in the afternoon. It was also a school day so none of the girls would be home either. Today presented the perfect opportunity for me to discreetly take the rocket ship to Sixam and back without anyone noticing.

I wished I could have had one of the rocket technicians I worked with during my last exploration trip to Sixam come over to check the rocket before I launched it but there was no time to wait for one of them to show up at the last minute. If I didn’t leave at that time in the morning I wouldn’t return home before school was out. Good thing I knew how to check and prepare the rocket for the trip myself.

1510

1511

The journey to Sixam didn’t take long since I was using a top-notch rocket ship. My grandmother was a skilled rocket scientist and a practical thinker. She knew what she was doing when she built it from scratch and added boosters that helped speed up the trip.

When I got there I was lucky enough to find Nupita without any hassle.

“Gemma Sloane! I am surprised by your visit. We were not expecting you since you have already completed your mission.”

“I’m here because I have a bone to pick with you Nupita.”

1512

“A bone? I do not know what that is. Oh wait… bone as in the rigid organ in the body that makes up the vertebral skeleton? Yes, yes. Sixamians possess them just as humans. Our physiology is not much different from yours only we do not call it ‘bones’, here it is known as ‘osto’…”

“I don’t care for a biology lesson! I’m here to argue with you!”

“Why do you wish to argue with me?”

“You were supposed to abduct my husband and place him in your programme instead you impregnated him and then sent him back. Now I have an alien baby in my house that he wants to keep and that’s a major problem for me!”

1513

“Ah yes. I remember now. That incident nearly put our programme at risk for termination by our governing forces as it would have violated our peace treaty with your planet. It was good that my scientists discovered the error at the earliest and returned your husband before it was discovered by the officials.”

“I don’t understand. What are you talking about?”

“You said that he was a volunteer and he clearly was not. When we took him on to the ship we immediately sedated him, it is what we do to help the trip seem shorter. He awoke belligerent so we gave him another sedative to calm him. When your husband awakened he informed us that he did not volunteer for this programme and because he did not give consent we could not keep him so we had to return him to you. We erased his memory of the incident to protect ourselves but we could not undo what had already been done to him.”

1514

“The baby?”

“Yes, the baby. The embryo had been implanted while he was unconscious by one of the programme’s scientists anxious to begin the experiment. His position in the program has been terminated. You see, the child is very precious. Purple-skinned Sixamians are a dying race. Our scientists were able to retrieve and preserve embryos from donors of some of the last of their fertile people with the hope of repopulating their kind. I was happy to learn of the child’s birth. Our monitoring of him has determined he will be healthy and strong and unlike most of his kind, he will be able to conceive children naturally.”

“You told me it was going to be a social experiment! I never knew this was a part of the plan. You sick people never said anything like this would happen to him!”

“Our volunteers are informed of our intention upon arrival and they are given the option to consent to the procedure. If they do not wish to be surrogates then they can refuse and then they will move on to be subjects of another experiment. Zachary Chin did not volunteer to come to Sixam at all so we had to return him. It was your error that resulted in this predicament.”

1515

“My error! I never told you guys to impregnate him!”

“It is unfortunate that the procedures were not followed with Zachary Chin which is why we were forced to return him with child. It is good that our human ally, Dr Livingston, convinced him not to report his pregnancy to your governing officials otherwise the treaty against unlawful abductions would have been violated. This would have resulted in war between the planets. The peace our ancestors would have worked hard to maintain would have been destroyed all because of your desire to seek revenge against him. Yes, he explained your motives to us before we erased his memory. I do not understand why any wife would deceive her husband in such a manner.”

“Don’t you criticise me! This is all your fault, you and your trigger happy scientists!”

1516

“You lied to me by saying he wanted to volunteer. Had you not lied, he would have never been brought to this planet and used as a surrogate. Nonetheless, Zachary Chin is content with the result of the unfortunate circumstance as I have learned he is content to nurture the child.”

“Yeah, a little too happy, and now I’m miserable.” I muttered under my breath.

“It is good Gemma Sloane.” She continued. “You see, this is a very special child. He will be healthy, robust and have good traits as he ages to adulthood.”

“If this child is so precious and rare then why not come back for him?”

“We cannot do such a thing as it is against the laws of the treaty with your planet. An alien child, any alien child, can only be returned to our planet if the person who carried it gives consent.”

“But you didn’t ask for Zachary’s consent, he didn’t volunteer to carry this child, it was a mistake by your scientist which is illegal from what I understand.” I said.

1517

“This is accurate…”

“So regardless of whether I lied or not, your people illegally made him a surrogate parent which violates the treaty.”

“This is true…”

I smiled, realising I had her backed into a corner. “So I see the only way to rectify this situation is for you to take back the child.”

1518

“We cannot do that. We will be breaking another law…”

“Not really. Zachary’s pregnancy was never registered with our government so you can legally take the child if you want since there is no record of his existence. But if you don’t and I tell my governing officials that a man was abducted and forced into surrogacy then that will lead to an investigation and I will use that baby as proof of your mistakes. Then the treaty will be broken and what will happen next? War? That isn’t what we want, now is it?”

“You are threatening me with war if I do not abduct the child?”

1519

“Yes, I am. Take back the child or be prepared for war between our planets!”

She smiled confidently. “Your kind will surely lose against us. We are more technologically advanced. This is not a fight your planet can win. This treaty is more for your planet’s protection than it is for ours.”

She was right. They could easily send some kind of bomb to wipe out our planet and we wouldn’t even see it coming due to how advanced their technology was. “You are right about that. Well, then I won’t go to the government. If I testify then it will become public and my family will find out what I did and hate me for it which goes against my objective. Plus I don’t want to cause a war that will destroy the planet my children live on so…I guess I’ll just have to get rid of the child myself!”

1520

You cannot!”

“Oh yes, I can! Either you take the precious rare child your people has worked so hard to create or I will rid the universe of him and don’t think I won’t do it. I’ve taken a life before. It won’t be an issue for me to do it again.”

1521

She studied me for a moment, most likely reading my mind to see if I was bluffing. I saw a look of fear and disgust flash across her face. She realised I wasn’t. “You are not like your ancestor Bree Sloane. Bree Sloane was a woman of honour! You bring shame on your family name with your evil ways.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Do you agree or not?”

“The child is special. I will not let any harm come to him or others like him so long as I am alive. You will be separated from him. You have my word.”

1522

“Great.” I went back to the portal so I could teleport back to the rocket ship. As I trekked back a rush of relief swept over me and for the first time in a long while I was happy and hopeful that my problems will be solved soon.

1523

Nupita and her pals will come for baby Gabriel and Zachary will never know that I plotted to have them abduct the child. There would be nothing he could do to stop them or to bring him back since the child was never registered with the government and there would be no proof of his existence as an alien. Poor thing would be devastated. He would be crushed! And that’s when I’ll step in and be the shoulder to cry on and the pillar of support during his dark time. I would surprise him by how attentive and unselfish I could be and soon he’d be putty in my hands, just like the old days. He would love and adore me again. We would then renew our vows and grow old and spend the rest of our lives together just as we planned.

My life would be perfect again!

I couldn’t wait!

1524

1525

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