Ben McLemore was taking a pleasant stroll through an especially blighted section of Sacramento. It was late at night, and he knew this particular neighborhood wasn’t exactly safe, but he liked the atmosphere. The golden-yellow street lights, the abandoned buildings, the run-down infrastructure, it was a soothing remembrance of his past.
It was also totally deserted. Anything could happen to him here, and no one would know. He closed his eyes and continued.
Such was his reverie that he didn’t notice the triangular-shaped craft that appeared above him, seemingly from out of nowhere. It wasn’t until the he was teleported into the craft that he noticed something was amiss. He tried to open his eyes, but whether it worked he couldn’t discern; he could see nothing but black.
He began to scream, or at least attempted to, as he couldn’t hear a single noise either. In fact, from what he could tell, he was deprived of all his senses, alone in his mind. He tried to run, but couldn’t feel himself going anywhere.
“Cease your attempts to escape at once!” A voice both inside and separate from his mind commanded. “We are trying to help you, and if you don’t shut up we’re just going to call this whole thing off.”
“I don’t need your help! Let me go!” Ben shouted.
“By call it off, we mean terminating your life processes. So shut up.”
Ben stopped his movements, becoming still and silent, though no less frantic.
“We are here to help. We have been assigned by the council to assist in certain areas of your development. Because, let’s face it, you’re kind of a bust.”
A new voice popped up. “Yeah, bust city for you until we came along.”
“Did I give you permission to use the communicator?” The first voice sounded annoyed. “I am the captain, and I get to decide who talks to the patients! Return to your post!” The voice returned its attention to Ben, its tone light and friendly despite the circumstances of the situation. “Anyway, the procedure is already complete, so we’re going to let you go now. Don’t say that aliens never did anything for you.”
“I don’t feel any different.”
“Well, that’s because you’re not feeling anything right now. We’ll put you back where we found you and be on our way. Thanks for your cooperation.”
Ben opened his eyes, finding himself laying supine on one of the deserted Sacramento streets he had been traveling. Next to him was a note, which he unfolded.
“The council hopes that it has not inconvenienced you. Remember, our one goal is to serve the community. Here is 20 local currency units for your troubles.” Ben took out the 20 dollar bill, and looked at it skeptically before putting it in his pocket. He got up, dusted himself off, and started back home, careful this time to keep an eye on the skies.