“Are you offering me the gift of telepathy?” Lisa’s heart, no longer beating fast in response to fear, was beginning to speed up in response to a new growing emotion.”
“You may call it that, yes.”
“What do you want in exchange?” Lisa asked, furrowing her brow slightly, and beginning to ask herself what in her power she would not be willing to do for that ability.
“You must incubate one of us and nurture it until it is strong enough to part from you.”
“I don’t understand. Do you want me to care for you or one of your kind? To be a baby sitter?”
“More,” the creature replied, sending Lisa a clear image of a human body, her body, in the last stages of pregnancy.
“No!” replied Lisa, as she tried instinctively to close her legs and gather her sheets about her, aware for the first time with revulsion of her nakedness and vulnerable position under the thin sheets. She also remembered the unpleasant reports of alien encounters with horrific medical exams and intrusive probes wielded by intergalactic perverts apparently intent on molesting humans for their own gratification. But her body would not obey her commands; whether she was paralyzed by some sort of stasis field of by the creature’s mental powers, she did not know.
“It is not copulation we seek,” the creature immediately offered, seemingly amused, and sending a clear visual image of its honorable intentions. “Our anatomy is unlike yours and would not permit it, but your womb is compatible for our purposes. We would plant an embryo in your uterus that would grow, protected and nourished through your normal biological means” With this, the creature sent an image of a sesame seed-sized embryo being implanted into a human host, and later emerging in the usual means less than a fifth the size of a human baby.
“No pain?” Lisa asked, relived but cautious.
“Both the implantation and the subsequent birth are completely free of discomfort.”
“How long for the procedure and how long is the period of gestation?”
“Two of your minutes for the implantation and six of your weeks for the gestation to be completed.”
“A two minute implant and painless delivery six weeks later buys me the gift of telepathy, huh. Is that your deal?”
“Wait a minute. My mother raised no fools. How long does my telepathy last?”
“Throughout the entire period of your life.”
“Not bad. A lifetime of telepathy for six weeks of work.” Lisa replied, more to herself than to the creature, who perhaps sensing that fact made no reply.
Then, her brow furrowing again, she continued, “If this is such an easy deal, why do you need me? Why can’t your own kind do it themselves?”
“All of those capable of breeding on our world are dead.” The creature’s thoughts and mental images conveyed great sadness. “We will cease to exist as a species unless we have outworlders such as yourself to help us.”
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