I awoke the next morning with my arm bandaged, resting inside a sling. I sat up, pulled the sheets back and placed my feet on the ground. Looking around the tent, I spied a make shift sink, made from a square pan, and a toilet of some sort, fashioned out of a chair with a bucket seated beneath a hole cut into it. Sitting on a board next to the sink was a roll of toilet paper. My shoulders dropped while I released an exhale, littered with a little bit of mental pollution.
Walking to the entrance of the tent, I stepped out into the bustle of the camp. There were people everywhere coming and going. All appearing to be busy about the job of doing. “Oh! You’re awake.” A woman smiled. “That’s good to see.” It was the woman from the night before. “This…” She waved her hand showcasing the camp. “…is our human farm. Turns out these football fields are good protection from natural predators. Let me show you around.” I was amazed to see so many people. I thought to myself, Hmmm, football fields could keep the Visitors out? It didn’t completely make sense, but I was so happy to be among people again that I didn’t care. “Over here… They are setting up farming patches while these guys are tending the goats and cows.” Everyone we passed stopped what they were doing as they caught notice of my haggard frame and feral visage.
“Over here is where we house the generators that allow us to power the field lights and other appliances.” I smiled to see children run around our legs as they played. “And over here are our fattening rooms.” She pulled back the canvas on the door. I saw hundreds of people lying on beds, end to end, with their faces covered by masks connected to ceiling by translucent tubes contained a grayish mixture and wires. “The grayish substance you see is a mixture of nutrients, sugars, and crushed bone and marrow. ” She said.
Looking at the state of confusion on my face, she said. “Don’t worry about them they are well taken care of. They are fed, cleaned, and groomed.” She smiled. “They are living out their lives in luxury inside the virtual reality worlds. The masks shut off their sensory organs to any stimulus in the outside and fully immerse them into the virtual world.”
Just beyond the tents, I could see the detritus of human remains lay piled in a heap in the far corner. Several people were busily shoveling the bones into the machinery, to be mixed into the paste inside the feeding tubes. Noticing the look of horror, she interrupted. “It’s everything needed to get these guys ready for the harvest.”
With wide eyes, I replied, “What do you mean harvest? You all are feeding human remains to those people.” I said in disgust.
“Correct!” She responded excitedly. “It’s no different than many agricultural methods used to raise food for human consumption during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.” Her eyes widened. “The liver from these guys will be used for a special dish that has become a delicacy for the Visitors.”
“We’ve come to terms with the Visitors. We live out our lives disease free, up until the age of forty thanks to the Visitors technology and science. And in return we farm our human populations to feed them. We’ve learned to survive! Hell thrive. Our numbers are growing in human farms, football fields like this, all over the world.”
I stood in shock, as I slowly understood. The Visitors had learned to grow the local flora and cultivate the local fauna for the foods they needed to survive in this new land. The Visitors were travelers, interstellar pilgrims, who left behind their old, highly regimented, technologically intricate world for a place where life could slow down and become much simpler. A life where they could get back to the basics. Where they could get back in tune with nature and the Universe.
The Visitors were domesticating and breeding us for food. It’s a sober man who realizes, the human species is no longer the top of the pecking order. But it’s what he does after that which is of interest.
“Come on, we’ll need to take a more detailed look at your shoulder and arm. The good thing is that we have, I’m guessing a good eight, maybe ten years to get you on the mend and fatten you up.” She held out her hand and smiled. I looked down at it and then took her hand in mine. “These are going to be the best years of your life, I promise you – filled with purpose and communal friendships!”
I should’ve remained horrified. I didn’t though. I was with people again. I didn’t have to carry the burden of loneliness anymore. I no longer needed to run. I was finally in the company of other people; others going through a shared experience. I would be cared for exceptionally well and this would become my new religion – my raison d’être; and I was happy about it.
Besides, it’s only common decency and good manners of the host to welcome a weary traveler into your home and offer them something to eat.
by malakhai jonezs
© copyright 2016