On most days, my biggest worries were like normal life stuff. Getting schoolwork done. Submitting college essays. Figuring out if I wanted to quit my job yet. Those were boring worries, but they seemed nice in comparison to the sudden change in all of my reality. It had only taken a few minutes of weirdness for everything to get turned on its head. Suddenly, an alien was telling me I was part of their space-race or whatever.
And I had some kinda weird super strength? Maybe? My fingers had ripped straight into the spaceship's wall. That was not scary at all. Right.
Wrapping an arm around Jess, I pulled her against my chest and glared at the alien again. "Alright, great. You made us part of your kind or whatever the fuck. Good deal. I don't give a shit. Just let us go!"
Jess was losing her grogginess, but she stayed close to me. It did feel nice. We were still both naked, but it hardly seemed to matter. It was a strange new sort of closeness, of intimacy. Sharing space. Skin-to-skin contact. Without an immediate urge to get busy. Of course, maybe the trauma had something to do with that.
"Please, do not be so hasty," murmured the otherworldly being. Their voice was still all buzzsaws and cicada-calls, but it felt more muted. They crouched down on all three legs in a way that was like watching origami being folded. It gave them a handy seat kind of resting place made out of their own body. "I must explain how this changes everything for you. For me, as well." They reached out one of their glove-like hands. "First, allow me to introduce myself. I am Feyr Coaltu Gin Treffarnaen Tuk. Human language demonstrates that Feyr may be easier for your pronunciation."
I leaned away from the outstretched hand. "Okay, there, Feyr. You're not gonna like, do something else to me if I touch you? Right? Last time you reached out with that weapon-thing, you covered me in blood and made me stupid-strong."
"I am empty-handed now. And I promise. I will only make additional modifications as you accept them. And, with your permission."
"Additional modifications?" asked Jess. She lifted her head off my shoulder. "Wait, let's focus on that for a hot fucking second. What exactly did you do to us? Are we still human?"
Feyr's smooth-domed head rocked from side to side with a soft click for each tilting motion. "Technically speaking? No. You are still somewhat human in the sense that your bodies are only partially converted. The majority of you is still biomass."
"The majority? Fucking biomass? What the hell, man!?" I glanced at Jess and felt a shared thought to stand. Standing, it felt good to clench my fists and square up toward the alien. To face this weird situation on my feet again.
Jess was looking at me with a confused expression, but she seemed to get over whatever was bothering her. Rolling her shoulders back, she dropped into her jujitsu stance again. "Come on, you need to be way more upfront with us, right now. Trae said he has some kind of super strength? How about I test what I can do to that stupid face of yours?"
"Such haste will bring us nothing but pain and extended repairs." Feyr's hands rose as if pleading. "Please. Listen to me. I am Kajarti, as are you now. So, take note that you two are no longer man or woman. We might be referred to as zie and zir, not him, her, not man. We are all more than the biological entities once born of stardust. That strength you now contain? You are both enhanced entities, and over time I am sure that the conversion will finalize so that you share more of my modularity. So that you understand better. The knowledge will filter in slowly, but it will answer all of your questions."
Jess and I couldn't help but stare. How do you answer some declaration like that? It was all too crazy. I would have to wake up soon. I didn't want to try and make sense of the creature's madness. I needed to wake up.
A low chime started sounding through the room. The walls began pulsing with purple light.
"Grant us all mercy," muttered Feyr. Zie stood up with that same robotic unfolding of zir legs. Zie gave us as much of a considering look as zie could from a mostly-blank face. "I apologize again, and I feel that I will owe you apologies for the rest of my life. However, the enemies that drove me here have just broached your atmosphere. If we are not quick, they will reveal themselves to your entire planet, and much more will be lost than your humanity."
My fists clenched hard enough that my fingernails bit into my skin. "Enemies!? You led dangerous people here!? To our home?"
Feyr turned away from us. "I arrived here on a death spiral. They would have followed whether or not I lived. Whether or not I found the two of you." That slow and measured gait from before was gone. Instead, zie was all agility and grace. Zie almost seemed to float across the room to the wall where zie had entered. The entranceway reappeared in a blue glow. Feyr glanced over zir shoulder. "I will give you these moments to attend to garb and sustenance." Zie waved a hand, and the wall to our right opened up and unfolded and revealed a closet. "What is within will allow you pigmentation changes as needed. Food is in the cabinets above the sink."
"Wait!" called Jess. She took a step after the alien, but it was the first she'd taken since whatever had changed. She really did fly across the room. She smacked into the wall next to the doorway. The wall visibly buckled and warped.
"Yes, that will take some adjustment," murmured Feyr.
Jess pushed away from the wall dazedly. "Uh. Sorry... But where are you going?" Even as she asked, she was staring at her hands. Staring at the wall.
"I am flying us to meet our enemies." Zie nodded zir weird elongated head. "We must dispatch of them before it is too late."
I felt my jaw hanging open. I didn't even know how to respond to that. "Wait. Dispatch of them? Like, kill them? Until they're... dead?"
Feyr's head tilted. "Yes."
Jess ran her fingers through her hair. "What the fuck! What the fuck, man!"
Turning back to the hall, Feyr crouched just a bit. Without another word, zie pretty much shot down the hall. Like, he was so fast that I almost couldn't see him moving. Within a second, he was just a blur zooming around the bend in the hallway ahead.
Zie didn't close the doorway behind zir. I wondered if we could escape. I wondered if we should. Were there really enemy aliens just arriving? Was Feyr really one of the good ones?
"Uh, Jess?" I looked back at her to see what we should do next, but then something else caught my attention. Her hair was coming out in great clumps. She wasn't pulling at it as far as I could tell, but it was just falling away in little wispy tufts. "Your hair?"
She looked up. "Oh shit. Trae. Yours!"
I reached up and brushed a hand through my hair. A handful of hair came away without even trying to stay on my head. I grimaced. "Shit. Gotta save the world, and I'm going bald too."