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June-13-2017. A male Caucasian was discovered naked and in distress at the edge of Highway 1 near Laidlaw. Attending personnel noted second- and third-degree burns to most of his upper body with complete depilation in the affected areas. He was conscious but agitated and not fully coherent. On questioning, he identified himself as Robin Chandler, born June-06-1992. When asked to confirm his age, he evinced confusion about the current date, believing it to be 2007 and that he had only recently celebrated his 15th birthday. Mental Health was contacted.



“I just have a few more questions.” 

Robin shrugged.

“How did you end up at the side of the highway this morning?”

Robin answered slowly. “I was dropped there.”


Robin nodded gravely.

“Dropped by whom?”

Robin glanced at the ceiling but said nothing.

“Was there was an accident? You won’t be needing a barber for a while.” He forced a laugh. 

Robin whispered: “—It was aliens.”


Robin shook his head. “They took me."

“You were taken somewhere against your will?”

Robin closed his eyes.

“And brought where?”



The light struck him with a force he could feel, saturating him. He began to shiver. His vision narrowed to a point, then snapped, and he was left strangely visible in the full blackness of space. Only by stepping forward did he discover a wall, and then, in every other direction, another, confining him to a place that seemed to shift in size and shape as he paced the perimeter. He could feel the panic coming on as the walls closed in. His breath came in short, quick bursts as, first, he was immobilized and, then, fully encased. When his senses returned, the walls receded, and he could move. But he was drained, and it occurred to him that something vital had been taken, which would never be regained. 



“Where is Robin Chandler?”

The one, or the other?



Robin had made secret plans to thumb her way out east with a boy she knew who worked the till at the Flying J. But he never turned up. Robin’s shoes and backpack were recovered some days later by a road crew north of Ruby Creek, and she was declared a missing person on June-20-2007.



“They made me this way.”



For a moment, there was light again. And then darkness.



“Where is Robin Chandler!”

Robin stretched out his hands. “Whichever way the past begins.”




continue to episode 2

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