Today we start a new venture called Tease Me Thursday! When it's not quite Friday yet, and you're feeling like some fun from your favorite authors and authors you haven't met yet. Come on in, have a seat, and most of all... have fun! For this hop you post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words. It can be from a WIP or something published.
For this week, I thought I’d do something from my Storm Moon release, The Harvest: Taken.
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It was in the year 2050 when humanity found out that it was, indeed, not alone in the universe. They appeared without warning above the capitals of all major nations. The huge, menacing, and completely unresponsive space ships dominated the skies, sending the media into a complete tailspin. The governments of our world argued back and forth on what to do. But, in the end, they did nothing.
First contact came within hours of the sightings. The question of what these aliens wanted prompted emergency closed-door meetings in Norway, held by NATO. Meetings were held by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Union of South American Nations, the African Union and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, among others. The media speculated endlessly. The talks lasted for two days, while the world waited and watched. Early on the morning of the third day, a news conference was held and details were finally released to the public.
The name of their planet was Tah’Nar—and it was dying. Originally, the Tah’Narians were an intersexed warrior race. Chemical warfare had essentially rendered them sterile. Many scientists, from all over the world, eagerly volunteered their assistance to aid the alien race. The benefits to our own world hovered foremost in the mind of every government official present at the meeting. The Tah’Narians required DNA for their harvesting program. Since we couldn’t duplicate their technology, those males who were to participate had to be transported to their world, which, of course, triggered all sorts of questions from people. If these aliens were so advanced, why couldn’t they extract the needed DNA? Why did humans have to be taken off-world? The story had more holes in it than Swiss cheese.
After about a week of this, a press release from our government stated that the two strands of DNA were too fragile to be frozen and transported through space. The release claimed that the nucleobases—the four molecules that form the genetic building blocks of DNA—would be damaged and might even disintegrate once the alien starships jumped to star drive, the method used to travel through time and space so quickly. People, however, could be protected in ways that extracted DNA couldn’t.
Agreements were reached with each government—and boy, didn’t that take a while—that these men would be returned to Earth once the program was completed. Here in the United States a lottery system was set up, and each young man between the ages of twenty-three and twenty-eight was assigned a number. Once a year, for the next five years, numbers would be drawn and a new set of one thousand men would be collected and escorted to holding centers. Medical and psychological tests would be run on the subjects, and, if they passed the tests, they’d be transported to waiting spaceships. Other industrialized nations followed our example and set up their own lottery systems. Word soon leaked that only gay men were being targeted, but our government vehemently denied this accusation.
The media coined the expression ‘The Harvest’ for the times when the Tah’Narians would return to collect these young men. I was seventeen when the aliens first appeared, so my parents assumed I was safe. The final collection would be done before I turned twenty-three. I didn’t fall within the guidelines the aliens had established, so I thought I had nothing to fear.
I was wrong.