The first thing that came to mind when I looked at the IV packs for my recent medical treatment was “Alien eggs!”, and it became a running joke for a while, how each of them was “impregnating” me.
As I wrote when I live-blogged the whole medication experience, I noted that the medication was spiking my blood sugar. It occurred to me, keeping with the alien egg and impregnation concept, that this would be considered a form of gestational diabetes.
Which leads on to the rest of this topic. If you’re going to write about such interspecies encounters, what other effects might be a factor?
Even if you never write about the effects of such things in specific in your story, those factors may still be an influence on the behaviors of your characters, and lead the story down paths that are logical and flesh out the entire story without you even realizing it.
Bear in mind that these ideas are all based around the idea of a human female and an alien … well, maybe not male, since there’s no guarantee the alien involved is male as we understand it, but for arguments’ sakes, let’s assume the alien has the male role in this little tryst.
We’re also going to assume that such an impregnation itself is possible to begin with, either through some quirk of fate, or technology, or just because it sounds workable 🙂
I’ve already got one effect, gestational diabetes. In any interspecies mating, given the differences between them there’s almost certainly going to be health issues – after all, even human mating isn’t always a perfect scenario. There’s going to be biochemical, hormonal, and other physical effects like gestational diabetes in all probability. A human embryo is, in effect, a parasitic organism, an alien embryo is quite likely to be the same (the aliens of Alien fame being the ultimate example of parasitic alien babies).
Other health issues might arise. Is there room in a human to carry an alien embryo? How is the offspring going to be delivered? There’s always an alien version of a C-Section, but there’s also the Alien chestburster. How will the characters discuss and face these sorts of physical challenges as they progress towards that fateful day? If the birth of the alien is really going to place the life of the host mother in jeopardy, that’s a drama point right there and a way to explore the depths of the relationship between alien and human.
Then you have the behavior – Do aliens have cravings when they’re pregnant? Will the human mommy? Maybe she’ll want the alien equivalent of pistaccio ice cream on peanut butter crackers – which might also be toxic to her!
Again, the technical details of these changes in the mother might never be explained in detail in the writing, but they’re still going to affect how she acts and thinks.
Mentally there’s other factors that might crop up – does the alien embryo get the ability to communicate with the mother, one way or two ways, empathically or telepathically. Will the mother start to develop traits more akin to the species she’s carrying, or vice versa?
There’s more to an alien romance than just the kissing and cuddling (assuming they actually do that and not something like tear each others livers out as part of foreplay – anything’s possible with aliens). If there’s any chance of offspring in there, there’s going to be effects on the participants during the whole period, and those things can tweak the story in all sorts of ways, both practical as I’ve thought of with the gestational diabetes, but also emotional with things like cravings.
For the writer, it’s a great way to inject drama or levity into a situation, and have fun at the same time by giving the reader a chance for analogues they can relate to from a human perspective to bring them closer to (or further from) the characters concerned.
I wonder what other travails or triumphs of impregnation all the way up to birth, physical or mental, practical or impractical, could apply to your next interspecies bedroom romp?
If you’re interested in more thoughts on the idea of alien entanglements, I strongly recommend also going and digesting the writings on Alien Romances too. There’s some really neat thought provoking stuff there (that probably makes more sense than what I wrote above – but in my own defense, I plead suffering from alien gestational diabetes right now :P)