The characters of Tom Daniels and Prey belong to ABC and the writers. I'm borrowing them. This takes sometime after the series ended. I would say at least ten years.
The noonday whistle blew again. It always blew a little earlier, usually about eleven fifty two, but that is because no one was brave enough to tell the boss that the machines were not as well as they would have been.
As it were, the employees saw their paychecks docked by those few minutes when they took the noon bell early, all except me who had the sense to wait until his watch corresponded with the correct time.
It did not help that the boss, whoever he was, removed the main clock from the area. The bell would tell the time, he said.
He came upon me working and asked me why I was not having lunch with the rest.
"I knew I forget something," I said
"You never do. That is the trouble, Rogers."
"I guess you are right, but with all the scares about system failures, I want to make sure that everything is working to schedule." I continued typing on the computer keyboard, between playing games (I hid it behind a desktop but everyone knew my passion was Dangerous Treads, a favorite game among the middle and working class.
The boss could see my calculations and approved. Therefore, he paid his workers, but I was too smart. Maybe Rogers was one of us, he thought.
He would have to check the blood samples. He knew there were spies inside, Tom made sure of that.
Tom the leader who sided with the humans. Tom and that son of his, that son who he refused to turn over to the trainers to indoctrinate him into the ways of the Dominants. They were not aliens. They were descended in a manner of speaking from human seed. And they came, and took over.
I knew what happened when his foreman had his neck broken, and when the Dominants introduced strange equipment, better computers and better ways of detecting things that the humans ever saw before, things like the farthest reach of the heavens.
We humans were protected, unlike the others who feared leaving their houses because some Dominant might kill them.
Our new foreman was called Theo, Mr. Theo to us, an emotionless man who knew I played games but did not report me. According to him, "I was very good for a human," and I knew he complained to the boss about the lack of new workers coming up. "Eliminating the children is not the best method. We know that we will dominate them. If we mate with their women, the children will be Dominants, and we will win."
I decided to get from under the yoke of the superior ones, but could not. I needed to feed my children. My wife having left and not only that, my son had the sickness.
The executioner was killing our children. In time, it got so bad, that I decided to break with my friends, but how? I had to find a face among the dominants who would turn from killing us and our future to killing the monster poisoning the children. I knew he was not a Dominant, but an ordinary man like me. He had made a pact with the devil and I made a vow to stop him even if my friends deserted me. I had the qualifications for I had worked in the Intelligence field, years ago when all we had to contend with were swarthy men who shouted, "Down with the infidels and aimed airplanes at buildings."
" I hear that there is a certain man," I said to Theo, "human like me who is the worse scum of the earth. Why waste time in eliminating us, and eliminate this monster. I would not call him a man."
He listened and I continued, listing the executioner's crimes, how he would not hesitate to kill them and their children. How he did not discriminate and how I could help.
I finally joined the men at twelve o five, making sure that my watch corresponded to the correct quitting time, and not knowing that at the moment, the boss was at the lab.
"He's human, a smart one," said Theo. He turned to Shawn. "Could you call Mr. Rogers in?"
"He's having lunch."
I, being too intelligent for the usual heavy-handed manner the Dominants used on their staff, had to be approached with a subtle manner. They told me about Tom and him marrying a human woman, after trying out a serum that would alter his DNA.
"It did not work," said Theo who had the ability to put victims at ease, "and he had a son who is one of us."
"So Tom is like you?" I feigned surprise. The papers and the news were very clear.
"There was another drug, used in some facility in Delaware that robbed Dominants of their ability to sense others. It left a trace, but a trace that would be regarded for you humans as a hunch. Have you heard of it?"
"Oh you mean those kids showing up and all that trouble?"
The boss smiled. It worked. "You see, that drug caused the persons to have a prolonged childhood, dependence on an adult figure to the worse degree. They are beset by feelings of homesickness and will deny themselves future progeny until they unite with their parents. Everything they do is colored by their past and they cannot break free."
"I fail to understand," I said, " is that not a good thing?"
"Even your children lose their dependence as do ours, but at a later stage. Empathy can be carried at a degree that is intolerable, don't you think and consider this that the one drugged cannot sense danger. Think if you lost your hearing or your vision. With us, it's our sense of your emotions. In time, you will see the advantage of someone watching your back."
I hated the idea of someone anticipating my every move, but I said nothing.
"The drug that Dr. Ed Tate developed eventually wore off and if taken long enough would be fatal. He already lost some volunteers to it. Unfortunately, we have spies of our species who might disrupt your employment." His look reminded me of one of those inquisitors in the Cold War movies. "If you could do us a little favor and find out if there is any in your acquaintances."
I was not a spy, nor a collaborator. I wanted to survive, but not at spying into the resistance or what they called it. I believed in cooperation, except when it came to religion and sexual preference, theft and all that stuff. If they wanted to increase the war between them and the human race, or rather, the super humans wanted to increase the war; I would not want it.
"How many have you lost since this little war started?" I asked.
The dominants were taken aback. What presumptuousness.
I countered with my next rebuff. "That reason that there is not enough land for us is a lie."
"Oh about your God being a provider, your ancestors failed and the earth is not like it was once."
At least Theo knew the Bible.
"Distribution," said I, "and forgiving debts or making them manageable. You remember the World Trade Organization of years ago. It failed and put more into debt. What we need is a better system."
Both sides had lost many prominent people, strong and intelligent men and women, their future leaders. If they could cooperate and yet retain dominance, it would be better. But what better way for the humans to be their willing allies, instead of their unwilling slaves.
And this is when the horror stopped.