Adam and the Alien
Three months earlier
He could not believe that he had actually made contact with an alien. Sure, he had been trying for about three years now — a nice little hobby for a physics PhD student (he had started it as an undergraduate). You got to play with parabolas and antennas, not to mention the interesting signal analysis. He couldn't really compete with more professional efforts, such as SETI@home, but he still thought it interesting. And there was always the chance that an alien would prefer communicating with a single human being, rather than an entire civilisation at once.
But this could not possibly be it. This must be a prank. A clever one, but someone was definitely pulling his leg. An alien would not be sending him messages in English, using Morse code. Granted, he had been sending the alien — or rather, anyone or anything out there in space — messages in English, using Morse code. He figured that would be a distinctive enough signal, so that the recipient would probably recognise that some kind of intelligent being must be behind it. If he produced too regular beeps, the recipient might think he was a pulsar or something, a natural process that probably wouldn't warrant much closer attention. If he, on the other hand, tried to send out sound or images, that might too easily be mistaken for random noise. That was the general thinking, anyway. He hadn't expected an answer, and certainly not in Morse code.
He wondered if it might be his best friend, Brian, who was sending him the messages. Brian would, after all, know all about his hobby, and might have decided to poke a little fun at him. Brian never seemed to be able to take his hobby seriously. But on the other hand, he hardly did that himself, either. But this time it seemed that the signal actually was coming from outer space. It was hard to know for sure, but it wasn't a signal coming from the neighbourhood anyway. But whoever it was, it was way cool to make contact with someone this way, so Adam eagerly continued the conversation. And whoever he was talking to, was happily pretending to be an alien from far, far away.
You can't be that far away, Adam beeped in Morse code.
normally seem to get an answer in less than one hour. That means
you must be less than thirty light-minutes away. You are
definitely somewhere in the solar system. Let's see: the distance
to the sun is one astronomical unit, and that's about eight
light-minutes. Jupiter is five astronomical units from the sun, so
that's between four and six units from the Earth... Times 8
minutes... You must be closer than Jupiter! You're really, really
close! For an alien, anyway.
The self-styled alien readily admitted that. It claimed it had taken an interest in the Earth, and had been monitoring its culture for some time now. Adam played along, and asked the alien if it was behind all the reports of alien visits and anal probing that abound on the Internet. The alien denied that, saying that Adam was the first human it had actually contacted (and asked him if he would like some anal probing...). Days at the office dragged by, as he was eager to get home to send new messages to the so-called alien, and he could no longer concentrate in lectures like he used to. He was intensely curious about who his correspondent was — who could send him Morse code from outer space? He was growing a bit impatient with the alien-nonsense, and wondered when his correspondent would drop the pretence.
The alien must have sensed his doubts. Before long, it was insisting on a little technology demonstration — when faced with some serious alien technology, it argued, Adam could hardly deny the truth of the matter. Technology demonstration sounded cool, he thought, so he was willing to take part. He still didn't believe in aliens — not in the solar system, anyway — but if his correspondent had access to some cool technology he would be dying to try it out. Until the alien requested control over his computer, that is. His computer was sacred. Allowing his computer to be remote-controlled by an anonymous someone went against all his instincts. No, that would not happen.
The alien insisted that a software demonstration was the only
feasible thing, in the current circumstances. And then it stopped
communicating with him. It stopped answering his messages, and would
only transmit a single word each day:
To his credit, Adam refused to give in for the better part of two weeks. He went to the cinema with Brian, immersed himself in his work, and actually got around to cleaning his windows (he should have done that a long time ago, he realised). But eventually, his curiosity got the better of him and in a moment of recklessness he couldn't quite explain, he set up his laptop to receive instructions from the self-styled alien, and went to bed.
When he came back to his laptop the following morning, he was met by a blank, grey screen. He tried to move his mouse. Nothing happened.
Oh, come on! he said, then rebooted the computer. He had to
do a hard reboot, since the software was not responding at all. A
hard reboot, and then he was looking at that blank, grey screen
Oh, come on! he said in great exasperation,
I want to read my e-mail. To his great surprise, his e-mails
appeared on the screen.
This thing is voice-controlled? he asked
Yes, said the computer. It had actually spoken out aloud. It
actually answered a question. He wondered how advanced the language
and voice recognition skills were.
Where is all my data? he asked the computer suspiciously.
It is all intact. It has all been sorted, indexed and sent off
to the alien for analysis.
What? In– including the porn? Adam asked
Naturally. But there is no need to worry. You can trust the
alien, and your computer. After all, the entire point of this
technology demonstration is to show you how much you stand to gain
if you accept and embrace the alien.
Adam thought the entire point of the technology demonstration was for his correspondent to try to con him into believing in aliens, but he didn't press the matter. He had to admit that it was pretty impressive technology so far.
As it turned out, he could now communicate with the alien over the
Internet too. He would get much quicker responses this way too. He
suspected that the alien was still in full control over his computer
and everything it did, but it also seemed to be much more capable
than he would have thought possible, even when it was completely
disconnected from all channels of communication. He half entertained
the notion that it really was alien technology — it certainly
wasn't anywhere close to what's commercially available. It also
helped him in his work, helping him to improve his code, and even
telling him what he ought to be working on at the moment. When he
was engrossed in a webcomic, it would ask him if he really ought to
be doing that, and when he couldn't honestly say
computer would suggest something else to read or do. It even
suggested that he take some rest, when his work was growing
He found that the new computer system really boosted his productivity. It was often coming with insightful suggestions, and he even found the new discipline it enforced a good thing on average. Self-discipline was always good, he thought, even if it was computer-aided. It never really got in the way of what he should be doing, and it still let him define what he should be doing, so it wasn't all that bad. He still felt a bit bad about not being in full control of the computer, and the alien knowing everything he did on it, but the potential benefits eclipsed his concerns.
He didn't dare to look at his porn again, however. This was in part
because he didn't like the prospect of a stern computer voice
Now, should you really be doing that? But perhaps the
strongest reason was because of his very strong suspicion that the
alien (was it really an alien?) got reports about
everything he did on the computer. However, after about a week, the
matter was taken out of his hands.
You haven't watched any pornography for an unusually long time
now, the computer said.
My timestamps indicate that you
used to do it more or less daily before.
And before he could answer, the computer was displaying a beautiful young man, lying naked on his back on a bed with purple sheets, slightly propped up against the headboard. His facial expression was horny, biting his lower lip, and his cock pointed straight up in the air, held by two fingers at the base.
Adam gulped. He half thought about protesting, refusing to watch porn when he could not have perfect privacy. The image changed to another one of his: a young man standing naked on all fours — this time on red sheets — showing off a nice ass and looking innocently over his shoulder. Adam made up his mind. He had, after all, not masturbated in a week. He took his laptop to his bed and undressed.
As he began masturbating, more images of similar type appeared. Now there was a young guy on white sheets, looking at the camera from between his legs. Then a guy on a sofa. Adam noticed that the little lamp next to the webcam of his laptop was shining. He was evidently being filmed. Someone was getting some rather embarrassing pictures of him, but he couldn't quite make himself care about it at this point. If anything, it was adding to his arousal, but he didn't quite want to admit that to himself.
Then the images switched from single guys to oral sex. There were two guys out in a field, one on his knees sucking the first. Then two guys doing a 69. Then a quite astonishing acrobatic picture, which nonetheless had one guys cock in another guys mouth. It didn't stay very long on oral pictures though, before turning to anal sex. And then some bondage pictures too. Adam really didn't want anyone to know he liked those, but now he was getting really close. After that image of a guy dressed up like a dogslave, he was sure to blow his load any second now! And then the images disappeared.
What is the name of the largest sporadic group? the computer
What?! Adam exclaimed. He was so close now.
What is the name of the largest sporadic group? the computer
The Monster group, he said dispairingly,
come on now,
The Fischer–Griess Monster group, correct. Does it have
any interesting subgroups?
Do you mind?! I'm trying to masturbate here! Adam said
Does it have any interesting subgroups? the computer
I don't know!
As a matter of fact, the computer explained,
most of the
sporadic groups can be seen inside the Monster group either as
subgroups or as quotients of subgroups. Adam was losing his
Can we please go back to masturbating? Though he
was mostly angry, there was a note of pleading to his voice too.
Now, should you really be doing that?
Yes! he said emphatically.
Very well, then. The computer started over with the
relatively innocent erotic imagery. Slowly it built up the sexual
energy and turned to more pornographic images, and by the time he
was looking at his spanking pictures he was getting close again. And
Name a metal with fcc structure. The display had gone blank
What!? Now he was getting angry for real, but
unfortunately his anger didn't go well with his erection this time
A face-centred cubic lattice, the computer
Name a metal with a face-centred cubic
Iron! he said, possibly associating with ire, which
perhaps was the best word for his feelings at the moment. The
computer was not pleased.
Come now, iron is a bcc lattice — body-centred cubic. No,
if you want an fcc lattice you could go for gold, for instance. Or
copper. Or perhaps silv–
Can we please, please, try not to discuss physics or
mathematics when I'm masturbating? Adam interrupted.
you trying to ruin my orgasms.
God! It was a sign of great exasperation that he took that
word into his mouth, for he didn't believe in God any more than he
believed in aliens coming to Earth.
But this way you'll have a much more powerful orgasm next
time, the computer said happily.
And this time I will
actually allow it.
Good, he sighed, resenting the computer, and when the erotic
imagery once again filled the screen, he got started again, for the
The computer was true to its word. This time he actually did cum; this time with the screen full of more hard-core bondage than he had had either of the previous times. And once he was coming down from his horny high, he immediately regretted the whole thing. It had been filmed. The alien had a film of him begging to masturbate, and it got to know exactly what kind of images brought him off. He had never done anything like that, and he wasn't at all comfortable with the idea of someone knowing that he might like what those images seemed to imply.
Once he came, the computer changed the imagery completely. It was now showing beautiful nature scenes — open fields, dense forests, snow-covered mountaintops, nice cloud shapes, and some aurora borealis. A nice, slow, soothing slide-show, and in the background it was now playing a relatively slow version of Air, from Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3. It had its effect. Adam calmed down, and let the post-orgasmic drowsiness overcome him. The computer wasn't so bad after all.
He gradually grew to accept that the alien probably really was an alien. This was way too expensive, way too advanced, to simply be some prank. He wondered if there might be some government agency capable of pulling this off, but it wouldn't be cheap and it wouldn't make sense to target him of all people with such a scheme. He was quite insignificant on the greater geopolitical scene. No one would take this kind of interest in him. Unless it really was an alien.
Once he had accepted that, the alien started to outline a possible future together. The alien would offer him technology and science that no one on Earth had yet heard of. He would be the one to bring wondrous technologies to mankind, and become rich and famous in the process. He would be able to glimpse truths about nature that had always eluded mankind. In return, he would enter into a symbiotic relationship with the alien, and they would live together as one. Partly because that was the way the alien species operated, and partly because that would enable the alien to claim some basic human rights.
What would happen to me, the alien said through the
if I were to visit Earth alone? There is a decent
chance that I would be dissected, or at least locked away by
government agencies, denied the right to move and act freely in
your society. By partnering with you, I become an individual, no
longer a mere animal, no longer just a strange, potentially
dangerous alien. People would be more inclined to talk to you,
than they would be to talk to me directly.
Adam found the prospect enticing. He didn't know that the alien would deny him access to his genitals. He didn't know quite how dominating the alien was going to be. He didn't know how much the alien detested clothes. But even if he did know, he would have been much tempted joint the alien anyway, just to gain access to that incredible fount of knowledge and technology he was promised. Would he still have dared? Probably not, but as it was, there wasn't really any question about it. The alien told him that he needed vacation, two weeks, one month from now. It gave him coordinates, and told him to go hiking in the forest, on the first day of said vacation.
I'll meet you at nightfall, deep in the forest, the alien
relayed through the computer.
You won't be able to miss