Story written to @SkySailor’s prompt on Mastodon, because it is that sort of day.
Content warning: Non-consensual sex (not in detail but definitely there), incarceration, impregnation, transportation, and almost anything else you can think of that ends in – ation
“It will all be quite nice.”
The alien – alien? Alan wasn’t certain; it was mostly human but it had horns and a longer face, feet that looked wrong somehow and a sort of mohawk sided by short fur instead of normal hair – spoke in a calm and melodious voice. Alan wasn’t all that reassured.
“That’s all well and good, but you have me in a pod. I’d like to go home now.”
“‘Home’ may be revisited in approximately 2000 cycles. ‘Pod’ is a temporary accomodation and will be only until the transformation is complete.”
“Look, I-” Alan huffed. The pod was not uncomfortable, somehow, even though he was strapped to some sort of mostly-vertical padded table. He could hear the antel-alien fine, although he could see but not hear the people in adjacent pods, or those across the corridor from him. “How many of us did you grab, anyway?”
“We took less than ten percent of one percent of one percent of your population.” The voice was so mechanical, it had to be running through some sort of –
“Are your pupils square?”
“And yours are disturbingly round. All will be corrected. All will be settled. Relax. This will be quite pleasant.”
“I don’t want quite pleasant! Aren’t you listening? How did you take -” Alan stopped to do the math. “So that’s 75 million, and that would be… seven hundred and fifty thousand, and that would be… seventy thousand people?”
“We picked randomly from across your globe. It is our estimation that this number will go unnoticed. If you return ‘home’ when your cycles are done, then you will again not be noticed. It will be quite pleasant.”
“What is this place? What are you doing with all of us?”
“Try to relax.” The goat-antelope-alien-person pushed a button on side of Alan’s pod. “This will all be quite pleasant.”
Something in the air took over Alan’s mind and he drifted away in a calm haze.
“This will be quite pleasant.” This was a different alien. Definitely male, in a rather human manner, naked, the horns different – one was broken off about 6″ from the man’s skull. He had fur on his chest and stomach as well, and, if it weren’t for the strange eyes, he might be handsome.
Alan did not know what to think about this. He had not previously been interested in men, particularly not horned alien men who had him in a small room, but the problem was that many of the things he knew about himself were no longer accurate.
The first alien had mentioned transformation. Alan had noticed that the humans – the Earth humans? – they had taken were of all different types, sizes, genders; they were all human and they were all adult but not elderly.
They all now had three more things in common.
They had horns, albeit very small ones.
They had, if Alan’s self-examination was correct, a functioning vagina and, presumably, uterus. He still had a penis, but he appeared to have small breasts as well. He had not been given a mirror, but he could guess from looking across the glass at the others in their cells.
They were inexplicably and unavoidably very, very attracted to the horned alien men, especially when they were on the same side of the glass as them.
Alan also had a tail, but in the vast array of things that had changed, he found that a very small thing indeed. And, unlike the antelope-alien men, he now had no body hair no body fur, none on his face, and his head-hair was coming in soft and furry.
He had also lost twenty-five pounds. Again, when looking through the glass, if he was successfully identifying people from pre-transformation, the same was true of many people.
The antelope-buck alien was approaching him.
The glass frosted over, and Alan could no longer see outside.
“This will be quite pleasant,” the alien purred. Something in Alan’s new parts agreed with the man; something in the air seemed to take over his mind.
“You – I don’t really want – why are you-” Alan backed up until he was against the rear wall of his cell, but the alien kept walking towards him. “What-” His body was reacting in very insistent ways that it had not asked his mind about.
“This is necessary to the continuation of the species,” the alien told him. “I will do my best to make it enjoyable as well.”
Alan’s knees were weak and he had nowhere to run. He sank down to the ground and the alien followed him.
“This will be quite pleasant.” The antelope-alien – Torpheian, that was their name for themselves – attending Alan was probably the one who had first spoken to him in the pod. “You are enjoying your leisure and educational activities?”
Their cells were still quite small, but in that limited space, the Torpheian… nursing staff, for lack of a better phrase… had set up an impressive array of, as this one said, “leisure and educational activities.”
There was an e-reader that had a wide collection of books and magazines from Earth in several different languages. There was a craft corner which could replicate any craft material he could think to ask for and provide videos on how to do anything he didn’t already know how to do. He’d been doing woodworking on very small pieces – a jewelry box, that sort of thing -lately. And there were both Earth films and TV programs and Torpheian, along with educational programs on both Earth languages and Torpheian, although the language the nursemaids used was hard to quite get over the tongue. There was an exercise machine on which one could do just about anything one could think of.
“It’s pretty good,” Alan admitted. “For a prison, it’s pretty – uh. Pleasant. When did you say I got to go home again?”
“Approximately 2000 cycles from your arrival date. Please lie down on your bed-structure for your examination now.”
“Why do I need an exam?” Alan had a pretty good idea about this. The Torpheian with one broken horn – Call me Steve; it is far easier for your mouth, even now, than what my people call me – had visited him eight times over four weeks, although “visit” was glossing over the details of what had happened. Alan found that life was far… more pleasant… if he went with the urges to gloss over those parts.
Other human… originally-human-captives had been visited far fewer times, and had had their exam. Some – the guy across from Alan’s room – had sat quietly in a drugged haze until the nursing staff had made their glass opaque. When the glass went clear, that guy was gone.
“You are the last in this area to have an exam. Once this is over, we will remove the external dampeners and you can talk to your neighbors. We’ll also allow short trips into the corridors.”
“Which, I’m sure, will be quite nice.” Alan laid down on the bed. It was a little disturbing that his bed had stirrups, but after all, they seemed to cram a lot into a small space. “Why am I the last?”
“Well, you know what they say about broken horns…”
Alan didn’t, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to know either. “So… What, exactly… why all of these humans?”
“We only visit each compatible population once in each two hundred thousand cycles. Thus, we attempt to take as many as we can without notice in that time. We make the experience as pleasant as possible. However, we have needs that cannot be met by our own population.”
“…You can’t fuck your own people?” Alan touched the horns on top of his head. “That’s fucked up.”
The nurse did things Alan didn’t really want to think about; conveniently, the haze of drugs made it much easier not to. “We cannot breed our own people. Thus… Here. This will be very pleasant.”
“What about Steve?” What a ridiculous question to be asking.
“I am sure he will visit you again. You don’t seem to mind that he has a broken horn, after all.”
“I uh. No.” Alan shrugged. “Thank you.”
“Everything is going quite well. I’m sure this will be quite nice for you.”
2000 cycles, as it turned out, was just under five and a half years or, in Alan’s case, six pregnancies, three of them by the broken-horned Torpheian that he still called Steve. It had been less for some people and more for others, six languages and eight hobbies learned, three new sets of stretch marks gained and a comparative thesis on Torpheian – Pol’chur-feten, specifically, the country that Steve and “Carl,” Alan’s favorite nurse, came from- literature written, a whole slew of friends made among the other captives and a number of experiences they neither talked about nor thought about too deeply.
2000 cycles was the day that Carl came to Alan and opened his door. “You have three choices. Not everyone is given choices, but most are.”
Alan looked around. Some people were simply being herded away. Others were either waiting or being talked to by a different nurse.
“What are my choices?”
Choices seemed like a weird word, like something he hadn’t heard in a long time. Choices had not been part of the Pol’chur-feten vocabulary lessons; it definitely hadn’t been part of any of the children; it hadn’t even been part of meals or much of the entertainment or educational options.
“You can stay here. Some will. One small block can remain for your people. It will remain quite pleasant. But after this, there will be no returning home, not for another two hundred thousand cycles.”
The Torpheian had very, very good medical care. Alan did not think they could keep him alive for five hundred and fifty years. “So… pretty much until I die.”
“That is so. You may return with your people. The most visible of your transformations will be moderated so that the people on your planet will not notice. Your memories will remain mostly your own. The transferral will be made quite nice.”
“I’ve been gone for five years!”
“This, we have been told, sometimes happens.”
Alien abductions. Alan snorted. He could definitely say he’d been probed.
“The one with the broken horn has offered that you may stay as one of the few not-us who live with us. You could help in raising the sons that you have borne. You might give this one more sons.”
“How long… how long do I have to decide?”
For the first time, Alan noted, Carl didn’t tell him it would be pleasant.
“One-one hundredth of one cycle.”