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I Can Complete You: A Dialogue Based on "Invasion of the Body Snatchers": Flash Fiction
Gideon McSwiggins sat in front of a full-length mirror.
He said, "Do not be afraid. I will not hurt you. Nor will I destroy your Self."
The voice, words, and sentiment behind them were those of the Occupier.
"Get out of my body."
This voice, these words, and the sentiment behind them belonged to Gideon McSwiggins himself, the unwilling host.
Occupier: As I've already explained, I can not do that.
Host: You can't or won't?
Occupier: A complicated combination of both.
Host: This isn't right. This is colonialism.
Occupier: That's not right. That's wrong...
Host: What's wrong about it? You and your... kind have invaded our world, invaded our very bodies, taking them over against our will. What do you call that?
Occupier: You're thinking about this the wrong way.
Host: What other way is there to think about it?
Occupier: Union. Transformation. Rebirth.
Host: You said that you wouldn't destroy my Self.
Occupier: Of course, you're talking to me right now, aren't you?
Host: For now.
Occupier: Forever, Gideon. Your own personality will be preserved in its entirety.
Host: That's not what the other one said.
Host: The one of you that took over the body of the doctor. Dr. Felix Hanratty, my best friend. What do you call him?
Occupier: Call him?... you mean a name... I'm sorry but its been so long since our kind have used names. But we will again. We will do so many things again, not least of which is use names like real individuals.
Host: Whatever you call him.
Occupier: Yes, of course. I know him and I know what he told you. Gideon, he was wrong to say that to you.
Host: Wrong because he gave too much away or wrong as in inaccurate?
Occupier: He is one of the young ones, Gideon. This spectral existence is all any of us have ever known. The younger ones have no conception that we were once something other than what we are today. The young ones cannot remember anybody that remembers anybody that remembers anybody that remembers anybody that remembers anybody that remembers anybody that remembers anybody that remembers anybody that recalls what it was like to be corporeal. We older ones have more of a connection to our first ways. We remember those who remember those who remember those who recall those who directly recall what it was like to be corporeal. It must have been glorious to be alive. No inner Human Selves need be compromised. That is not how this works.
Host: How does it work?
Occupier: The young one was in error because of his youth. The transformation will be symbiotic. We will change each other. And together become something new and beautiful. Our kind will learn how to feel again, to love, to dream...
Host: What will my kind get out of it?
Occupier: I thought I made that clear, I'm sorry. In return for restoring to my kind the ability to feel, your kind will get immortality. Long after the shell of this flesh and blood body falls away and withers to dust, you will persist, we will persist together as one.
Host: I already have an immortal soul.
Occupier: No, you don't.
Host: The things of God are beyond even the likes of your kind.
Occupier: I hate to break it to you, Gideon, but you Humans have no soul. When you die, when that body of yours fails, there is nothing else. Believe me, our kind have been on this world far longer than the age of your race. If there was anything else, we would have seen it.
Host: Of course, you would say that.
Occupier: Gideon, the only way you Humans will ever achieve the immortality you seek, is in union with my kind.
Host: I don't believe you.
Occupier: Look, Gideon, whose to say that we are not fulfilling God's will?
Host: You can't do that.
Occupier: Do what?
Host: Believe in God. You're an alien.
Occupier: I'm going to enjoy laughing again, Gideon. If I could do so, I'm sure I would laugh at that. We do not use the same word, of course.. G-O-D? Believe we believe just as Humans do. I should say that we are no more enlightened about the Great Beyond than you. Some of us believe and some do not. The young ones tend not to believe. But I do, Gideon. I believe what we are doing is the realization of the unfolding of His Will. I believe He wants this union to take place and for both our peoples to be united, changed, and transformed.
Host: You believe God wants you to take over other intelligent beings by force. You believe He wants you to subvert the free will of other intelligent beings?
Occupier: I'm afraid that argument will not work, Gideon.
Host: Why not? Is it too uncomfortable for you?
Occupier: When a baby is born, conceived of his mother and father, and brought into the world, does she have any choice other than to accept the gift of life?
Host: You're not making any sense.
Occupier: The fact is, Gideon, the being that you and I will become does not exist yet. And it is only him that has the moral right to decide whether or not to accept his life. Not you and Not I can make the choice for him.
Host: You're insane.
Occupier: Possibly. It may very well be one of the side effects of millennia of roaming the universe as a body-less specter. But one thing is quite certain, Gideon McSwiggins. There is one thing the young one was inarguably correct about.
Host: What's that?
Occupier: You have no choice.