I was a Translator for NASA

That probably doesn’t sound too impressive since NASA is part of an international space initiative but I don’t speak any languages other than English. A translator was what they called me but I was more of a conduit. The said my brain structure, the actual folds of my cerebellum, is “conducive to extended range communication”. They never said who was communicating with us or how they got scans of my brain. I heard there were more “translators” but I never met them.

After I was hired they implanted a web of filaments under my scalp to “focus energetic transmissions”. At the start of every session, I was sat down in a reclining chair and given an injection. The NASA interrogators would then start to ask questions. “Where are you from?” “What is your name?” “What are you?” “What does the sky look like?” “How fast does a rock fall?” “What stars can you see?” I would answer their questions but not with information I knew. The answers were coming from somewhere else. Another planet or maybe another dimension. The NASA people were pretty tight-lipped about it. They didn’t want to “bias the experimental subject”. Sometimes the others would ask questions through me but the NASA interrogators never answered.

There were other effects of “translating”. The first time I translated for NASA, I relived my third birthday party and forgot the letter S for a day. The second time, I spoke in Seinfeld quotes for an hour. The third time, I remembered every place I had ever set down my keys. The fourth time, I heard my mother singing to me while I was in the womb. The fifth time, I don’t remember anything. There were a lot of sessions after that time but they started to blend together.

Around the sixty-seventh time, I started having “memory leaks beyond safe parameters”. So I was retired. It was good money and free healthcare while it lasted. They left the filament web in place because “nano-mesh half-life is expected to be less than two years”.

I still get the occasional blip of connection. I’m supposed to report to them if that happens but I stopped writing the reports. Sometimes as I’m falling asleep, I glimpse someplace else and remember swimming deep under an ocean. I’m working on extending that moment between being awake and asleep that opens me up to them. I don’t know what I want to say to them. Maybe I’ll tell them about Earth.

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