For no apparent reason I wake up while I should be resting. In the stillness of our quarters I am reminded of the isolation and lack of life that I felt when I was with the Bormeas. Our quarters, this room where all of us scouts swap stories, it’s just a holding place. As though sensing the pulse of the room, I can almost see the generations of scouts coming and going in here on an endless charade.
How did I get here — here, in this particular time and place? As scouts we have no identity. We have no idea if one of us is missing. We don’t even have a name for our kind. What are we besides scouts? There is no identifying marker and no ability to bring life into this world. Our lives are controlled –- beginning to end. How was it that I stepped out of the vat of grey ooze, experienced the missions that I did, immersed myself in the cultures that I did to arrive at this stage in my life cycle?
Who was I before? I was nobody and yet somebody to those around me. I was just nothing to myself — an information processor, an observer and a participant and yet, moved by nothing. I was just skimming the surface of life, never reaching down into it to see what I could touch or what could touch me. It wasn’t that I was afraid, I just didn’t know any better. An entire portion of who I could be was never fully developed. I was stunted like Nemel.
If I scratch a message on the underpart of the padding or framework of this bunk, would I recognize it as mine after being reformed into another? How many times have I been through this process? How long has this been going on? What would message say? “I lived” when I don’t even know who “I” am. Even if I scratched in the names of the life forms that I took on, would I recognize the names later? Has it been done before? How do we know our quarters aren’t cleansed while we’re on missions?
The answer of course is when my body is reformed it is another, it is not me. I have only this one life to live. And I’ve lived it in servitude to a race that cares nothing about me personally only giving me credit for what intel I bring toward the great mission at the time. When my usefulness is used up, then I am done. Imagine if we understood the concept that there is a purpose in the life of each one of us. How would we live differently?
How was it that I was selected for this mission when any one of us scouts could have been chosen at random? The longer we’re on the ship together between missions the more we follow the same cycle – wake, eat, sleep. The Nosram even seem to follow this cycle as no one calls when all of us scouts are resting.Was it random or deliberate when they selected me? Did the Nosram know when selecting me that I would react in this manner? Is it all a plan on the Nosram’s part to incite a riot by the tribes to destroy the Bormeas and then show up as Mayta and her children in an alien form, beguiling the people into pledging allegiance to them?
By now, Dar-el must despise me enough to never want to see me again. I am imprisoned here, poised to watch and be the cause of her destruction. It is so easy to realize my life is over — it’s part of the process. But to leave nothing behind, to have done nothing of significance, to have done nothing to even slow down the elimination of the Caysas … of Dar-el … perhaps this is what it’s all been about.
In the vast scheme of things I will not be remembered, no matter the outcome. Who I was, the character that I portrayed in this real life scenario, he may be remembered, though in what way was he tampered with — that remains unknown. Though I will go out in the form of Blin, the form I most identity with, it won’t be he who will be known for the last act. It won’t be witnessed by any who would recognize him. It won’t be seen by those I care about the most and recorded for future generations. So, why do it? To fulfill an ancient prophesy? To somehow make up for all of my past misdeeds? To redeem whatever sense of life that I have? I do it because in this place and time, in all that I’ve been through, this is the most logical decision even wrapped in its illogical framework.
I am at an end and so is this way of life for my kind, the Nosram, the Bormeas and all of the tribes. Something needs to change. Something dramatic needs to signal this change and I know how to go about doing it. I can think of nothing else that makes any sense even though I know my sense of judgment is clouded with thoughts of the people I care about. For all I know, what tiny bit of faith … what little belief I have in Mayta may have enough far-reaching capacity to put her in touch with me and direct me to do this, to bring about her return. I hold on to that though — it’s all that I have.