Saturday, October 11, 2008

Space, Volunteer & Dreams (pt. 1), 358 words

I volunteered for this mission.

Most, I am certain, would wonder at that. I lack in aspiration and ambition, which to many makes me an acceptable subordinate, but not what one would consider an intrepid explorer. When the word came, however, that a final team was being assembled to crew the SS Terra, my superiors in the UGPD immediately began to cast about for a suitable agent to have aboard the ship.

After all, they were not about to let the Great Wonder Of Modern Science And Human Ingenuity cast off without one of their own aboard to provide them with detailed summaries of all discoveries and crew behavior. Indeed, what some of the more paranoid of my superiors desired aboard the Terra was an informal political officer, to make sure that "right thought" was practiced amongst the crew and that, if we did indeed find extraterrestrial life, nobody had their loyalties swayed away from the UEG.

My request was unexpected, but fortuitous. I met the strict requirements they set upon whoever would become their agent aboard the Terra, and yet I was junior enough -- and therefore expendable enough -- to be sent along on a ship that could be destroyed in any one of a thousand different ways. My loyalties were never in question; what could anyone offer me that would get me to betray my masters? I have no wants, and only minimal needs.

However, I volunteered for my own reasons.

Though morality and many human values escape my comprehension, I am still a man of conviction. One conviction. Progress, defined as the increasing accumulation of information, is its own end. For that reason, I will go to explore the galaxy. For progress.

***

It is not quite accurate to say that I do not dream.

I sleep, as any other human does. I do not dream while engaged in REM sleep, or if I do, I do not recall it and my brain shows none of the normal activity known to go on while dreaming.

But sometimes, while on that fringe between consciousness and unconsciousness, I experience... dreams, of a sort. One might even call them visions.

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