Imagine a relatively isolated pond has been discovered. You are part of a science team dispatched to catch a dozen fish from various areas of the pond, examine them, “tag” them with an implanted microchip and then release them back into their fluid environment. The implant allows you to monitor the fish remotely, enabling you to not only determine the location of the fish at all times but their internal chemistry. Periodically throughout the course of its life-cycle the fish is recaptured for a more direct examination — a check-up of sorts — then released, just as before.
This isn’t all that unusual. We do not only subject fish to this sort of program, either, but bears, monkeys, birds — you name it. The precise manner in which the individual animals are apprehended and released differ for reasons that should seem obvious.
A fish might be captured by means of a fishing line with hooked bait on the end, perhaps a net. The bear and monkey pose more of a threat to the scientists, obviously, so they may have first been separated from their herd or troop and then shot with a tranquilizer dart from a helicopter or perhaps from the ground behind some trees.
Despite these surface distinctions if a monkey, a fish and a bird subjected to these procedures were able to communicate with one another in a support group they would find more than enough common ground between them to empathize with one another and realize they all shared a common experience — and, it seems, a common enemy.
Human scientists often execute such catch-and-release operations to study the natural development of an organism or their migration patterns.
Maybe they even altered the DNA of the animal, making it a transgenic or genetically modified organism (GMO), and are studying how the transgenes express themselves throughout the lifecycle. Some catch-and-release programs may extend to the animal’s offspring. Bloodlines could be followed for generations.
It is easy for us to imagine ourselves in the position of the scientists but imagine, for a moment, what it must be like for the animal. What stories might they tell the fellow members of their school in the wake of their recurring, traumatic, otherworldly experiences?
Just as it was in Plato’s parable of the cave, it would surely be nothing that would make them sound anything short of batshit fucking mad.
An alien abduction? Perhaps human beings are the fish, birds, or monkeys to some “higher intelligence.” Generations of tagged fish subject to catch-and-release by alien scientists out of their little, isolated pond…