I couldn’t have heard right, it was pretty much 100 percent probably that I didn’t hear right because I mean–how could–they–but–
I stared at Jay who still had that rather nasty smirk on her face. “You are–you’re serious?”
“Oh, very much so, Mr. Danevbie.”
“Male–what?” I yelped. “That’s insane! That’s impossible!”
“It’s not impossible,” Jay replied. “Aliens used to abduct men and impregnant them with their seed.”
“AUGH!” I covered my ears, feeling a little grossed out with the images pouring through my brain. “Ew, okay, stop…”
Jay was giving me a strange look. “Mr. Danevbie, my brother and I have been trying to figure out what could bring aliens back, or how to contact him. We can’t go to the old world, the telescopes are obviously not working well, so this is our next step.”
I covered my eyes. “Male pregnancy,” I muttered.
“I know this sounds odd to someone not conversant with the stories of alien,” sighed Jay. “But it is true. After the aliens stopped visiting us, men–“
“Men can’t get pregnant!” I threw my hands up. “Men are men! They don’t have–ahhhh–the equipment!”
Jay’s eyes flashed with something rather frightening. “We have the technology to change that,” she said with a slight grin. “We have done this procedure on men before. In fact, we have had two babies born.”
I lowered my hands, quite shocked at the improbable thing she just told me. “You have had two men give birth? Successfully?!”
Jay hesitated. “We have had two babies born,” she said again, rather slowly.
“And what are you expecting from me?” I asked, though I knew perfectly well why they wanted me. Me? I thought. Pregna… I can’t even THINK it!
“We’re expecting you to be expecting!” Jay said. Kay snickered at that but quickly shut up when his sister gave him a look. “Mr. Danevbie, you see we need volunteers for this and there aren’t many men willing to volunteer.” She adjusted her glasses and frowned. “The ones we did get weren’t exactly the, hmm… cream of the crop. Homeless men willing to do this for money.”
I raised one eyebrow. “How many men have volunteered so far?”
Jay opened her mouth then quickly closed it. “We have had two babies born,” she finally answered, which wasn’t an answer.
“If you’re not going to tell me anything, I won’t agree to anything!” I shouted.
Kay reached out for Jay. “W-we should t-tell him the t-truth.”
“Fine!” Jay grumbled. “We have had four volunteers.”
“And only two babies born,” I said. “What happened to the other two?”
She shifted her weight from foot to foot, obviously not wanting to answer. I just waited, staring at her. “Three died,” she finally said. “The first three. Two of them died during the pregnancy, and the third died when he went into labor.”
“How does–I mean–men don’t have anywhere for the, um, baby to come out,” I blurted out.
“Cesarean,” Jay answered easily. “The aliens did it differently. I don’t know what happened back then, but obviously our technology is different. But the third volunteer did not die from that procedure, I think it was just…” She waved her hand as if trying to pluck the right word out of the air. “Overload, I suppose. He wasn’t in the best of health anyway.”
“And you expect me to do this too,” I said, unable to prevent a scowl from appearing on my face.
“Our m-most recent birth was very successful,” Kay said. “Everything w-went well and we th-think that y-you would do very well.”
I pressed my hands against my stomach. “You’re asking me to be pregnant. With, um, an alien baby?”
“No!” Jay stomped her foot. “There are no proper aliens!”
“Will… will it be my kid?” I nervously asked.
“Yes,” was the reply. “We will be using your DNA and someone else’s DNA.”
“Another scientist,” Jay said and I had the feeling it would be hers.
“And after I have the baby, what happens?” I asked.
“I’d assume you’d take it home and raise it,” Jay answered. “We have no interest in studying it. We just have interest in the process leading up to the birth and, of course, the birth itself. After that then–well, we’d stay out of your hair.”
I slowly sat back down, still pressing my hands against my stomach. Pregnant. Me. A guy. That was ridiculous! But the thought of having a baby… my baby… “It would be mine?” I whispered.
Jay folded her arms and looked impatient. “Yes.”
“And after you would leave me and the baby alone, never bothering us?” I asked slowly.
“Of course,” Jay replied. “Please consider helping us, Mr. Danevbie. We will take care of the costs of the pregnancy and at least once a week–possibly more–we would ask you to come into the lab so we can examine you. We will help with the birth, and after we make sure everything is normal you will be able to go home with your baby.”
I held up one finger. “You swear the baby will be mine, with my blood in it. And that after this is over you will leave me alone?”
“I will add it in the contract,” Jay said with a smile. “I take it you will agree?”
“I–I’m not sure yet,” I whispered, putting my head in my hands. “This is all a bit much!” I closed my eyes, trying to control the thoughts that were threatening to take over my mind. Okay. I needed to go about this logically.
First of all, I would be putting my life in the hands of these creeps for what?
Second of all, can I really trust them?
I’d have a baby…
Third of all, will I survive? This was a big risk, I could easily die!
My own child, to take care of and to raise. My own child.
“I will do it,” I said but before they could rejoice, I added, “With one condition.”
I lifted my chin, looking into Jay’s eyes. “Ambrosia.”
“You want to try and live forever?” Jay asked, taken aback. “And besides, it doesn’t exist.”
I cocked my head to one side. “First off, no I don’t want to live forever. I want to live long enough to see my grandchildren.” I stood up and stepped closer to her. “And if it doesn’t exist, then why is there a book over that says ‘Ambrosia Recipe Book’?”
“It’s a myth,” Jay said blankly.
“Then I won’t volunteer.”
Jay looked over at Kay who shrugged. “You want a child, do you not?” she asked, glancing back at me.
“More than anything,” I answered honestly. “But I’m getting old. I want to be able to see my child grow up and hopefully see my grandkids. So I will not go through with this until you get me ambrosia. I know it’s a bit weird but…”
“I understand.” Jay turned over to the big desk and rifled through one of the drawers. “And I am adding in this contract that after this is over, you will take the baby and we will not bother you again. Also, the baby will be yours by blood.”
“Yes,” I said, rather pleased that they were going to do this. “Um, thank you.”
Jay handed the paper to Kay and whispered something to him. Kay gave me a look but nodded and scrambled out of the room. Then Jay returned to me, looking quite happy. “I am so glad you’ve agreed, Mr. Danevbie.”
“Tell me something else,” I said. “The drugs… you gave me drugs before? How? And why?”
“We will be adding chemicals to your body. At the time we tested them on you, we needed to see how they would effect your blood and organs.”
“And the headaches and dizziness?” I asked. “Will I be having those?”
“No, no,” she replied with a smile. “Those were different drugs. We needed you to have physical problems that would allow us to have access to seeing how our chemicals reacted in your body. So we added a little extra in order to give you the ailments. I apologize for the pain, Mr. Danevbie, but it was necessary.”
“But why me?” I asked.
“You were new in town,” said Jay, looking a bit bored of this conversation. “Plus you have a passion for raising children that not many men around here have, except for men who are married and/or are raising children. They certainly wouldn’t accept us approaching them.”
“Why didn’t you approach me with this right away?”
“Because we did not have the technology at the time to impregnate a male. We were getting very near, but still far enough away that we just kept you at a close distance.” Her eyes widened slightly. “Then when we found it, you were in a relationship. Which was for the better since that was when we tested this out on a homeless man who promptly died. We went back to the drawing board, and after a couple years we tried again. At that point you were no longer in the relationship, but I believe you are special.”
“Special? How so?”
“Your passion. What drives you. You are an interesting man, Mr. Danevbie, and I cannot express how glad I am that you have agreed to this. Ah! The contract.”
Kay had returned and handed me the papers. “Everything is in this?” I asked and Kay nodded. I glanced through, not sure what to make of it. I didn’t know much about legal mumbo-jumbo. “Can I get a lawyer for this?” I asked.
Jay shrugged. “If you wish but we will deny everything and insist you’re making this up, and if you ever approach us again we will act as though we have never seen you or even heard of you before.”
“It m-may surprise you b-b-but people w-would n-not be happy w-with w-what we are d-doing,” Kay stammered out. I coughed, deciding not to answer that. “Wh-what will h-happen is right n-now we will d-do the procedure on you–“
“Whoa-whoa!” I shrieked. “No! No procedures until I get the ambrosia, okay?”
Jay reached out and put a hand on my shoulder. “Don’t worry, Mr. Danevbie. We need to do this procedure long before we do the actual impregnation. It needs time to settle. All right?”
I looked back and forth then looked down at the contract. This was a big decision. I was crazy for doing this but it might be a long time before I could get a nice enough house that the adoption agency would agree was a good place to raise a kid. Plus I was getting older. If they got me ambrosia, which they had agreed to do, then I should be able to live long enough to see my kid grow up and have kids. I’d have grandkids. And another thing… after this, they’d leave me alone.
They better, I thought, flipping through the contract till I saw that it was there. They couldn’t back out of a contract. Why are you doing this? I thought as I took a pen offered by Kay and I began signing my name. This is crazy, you are crazy.
But this would get me a kid.
“Okay,” I said, handing the contract to the Reddings so they could sign their names. “Now what?”
“Now we take you to our medical room,” Jay said brightly. “We will be giving you an anesthesia. While you are under…”
She continued talking as they guided me out of the little lab and into a room across the hall.
Slowly my eyes opened and immediately I wondered where I was. The room looked so strange and I felt so cold. I soon realized that was because I had been sleeping on top of the covers instead of under. And I was in a hospital gown.
“Ugh,” I moaned as I slowly pushed myself into a sitting position. My entire body ached and I couldn’t remember much.
As I sat up I realized I was not alone in the small, pale room. Jay was standing near some trays of medical instruments while Kay was sitting nervously in a chair. He looked very upset about something and kept shifting around, looking at me then looking away.
“Good morning,” Jay said in a rather bubbly manner. “Did you sleep well?”
“My body hurts,” I mumbled. “A lot. What–what happened? Where am I?”
“Lab C’s medical room,” Jay said. “It is normal to feel achy.”
“How long have I been out?” I asked, glancing over at the clock near the door. It was past midnight. I had gone into the lab in the afternoon.
“Oh…” Jay looked at the ceiling, tapping her chin. “Two days?”
“WHAT?!” I yelled, leaping to my feet which was a big mistake since I nearly buckled to the ground. I grabbed the railing of the bed and pushed myself back up. “I have been out for two days? What about work?”
“We informed your boss that you would be unable to work,” Jay said, staring blankly at me.
“Why was I out for so long? Is that normal too? What about when I actually am… um… well you know… im–” I hesitated, forcing myself to say the word. “Impregnated?”
“S-sister!” Kay stood up. “D-does he n-not know?”
I looked at him then back at Jay. “What is it that I don’t know?” I hissed out.
“Please remain calm, Mr. Danevbie,” Jay said. “You have to understand why we did this. We had to tell… a sort of lie to you.”
“What sort of lie?”
“A big sort of lie.”
“How big a sort of lie?” I asked, feeling panic rising inside of me.
“The thing is,” Jay continued, “ambrosia would take a very long time to get together, if we even could. It is, really, a myth.”
“But you agreed!” I shouted. “The contract!”
“Actually, Mr. Danevbie, we never put it in the contract.”
My body shuddered and I had to take in several deep breaths to remain calm. “You lied to me. You said you would add it in the contract!”
“Actually, we said we would add the two other additions to the contract,” Jay explained while Kay at least had the decency to look guilty. “The baby will be of your bloodline, and you will take the baby and we will stay out of your business.”
“Well you can forget it!” I pointed a shaky finger at her. “I really, really wish I didn’t have to say this but you can forget ever doing anything like that to me because I am not going through with it!”
There was silence and then Kay let out a long moan, sliding to the floor. Jay just continued staring at me and I wondered why she wasn’t getting mad.
“I’m not going through with it,” I said, less defiant. “I can back out of it, right?” I asked, realizing I should have looked a little closer at the contract. “If I can’t, I will get a lawyer! I don’t care if I never see you again–“
“Calm down,” Jay said and then she smiled. “It doesn’t matter now.”
“What doesn’t matter?”
She clapped her hands together, smiling even more. “The contract did not mention ambrosia, it just said basically we can do this to you when it is convenient for us.”
“And… and when is c-convenient for you?” I gulped.
“Congratulations, Mr. Danevbie,” Jay said, sounding way more cheerful than usual. “You’re pregnant!”