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“Let me get this straight,” Alessa began. “You expect me to believe that you were…traveling, as you put it...observing the Earth. And then you – whatever you are – were somehow forced into the body I see in front of me?”
Kerrith’s relief was palpable. “Exactly. I was feeling an intense curiosity about the creatures of this planet, and the next thing I knew, I was inside of one.”
Alessa squirmed. Obviously, the man was unfamiliar with irony. Even heavy irony. But there was no way she’d believe he was an actual alien.
“Again, let me thank you for your understanding,” he said. “I have...observed, as you put it...your home world, and I know that its people are just as quick to respond to the unknown with cruelty as with kindness.”
Damn, he seemed so… sincere. Logic battled with her gut instincts, but she decided to see where this would lead. As a doctor, she’d often found that instinct served her better than logic.
“So where did you, er, find this body?”
Kerrith seemed to hesitate at the question. “I was observing it, and discovered that I admired it,” he admitted finally.
Alessa didn’t know quite how to respond to that, since she had admired it herself just a few minutes ago by the side of the road.
“But it belongs to someone,” she pointed out. “Someone human. And I’ll bet he’s not too crazy about what you’ve done to him.”
“He’s not,” Kerrith agreed. “I can sense him here with me, but he knows this was an accident. He knows I mean him no harm.”
“But you are harming him, whether you intend to or not. You’ve taken his body against his will, and now you’re forcing him to do things.”
Kerrith shook his head. “It’s true that I’ve usurped this body, but I would never force it to do anything it didn’t want to do. I was curious about the human experience, but I never intended to be part of it. We are both victims, in our different ways. You must believe me.”
Alyssa frowned. He was certainly sticking to his alien story.
Kerrith reached out and took her hand. “Please. Help me. A healer helps people, doesn’t she? You said yourself that’s what doctors do. Help me, Alessa Brown. You may be the only person who can.”
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