“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Monday, March 13, 2023

A Note From the 31st Century

The first hundred years are the worst. I still laugh when I tell myself that. In stories, immortals are always young and perfect. Go figure. Here I was, stuck through the lifetimes in the body of a middle-aged man. Oh, sure, the fitness level came and went with the efforts I put into it; but, even in the 31st century there’s the things that tell someone I’m not as young as I used to be. Immortal? Oh, yeah. That. Well, immortal isn’t the right word I suppose. Violence and extreme trauma could still kill us, of course. Or toxins or radiation or such - at least in a high enough dose. But disease? Aging? All those “everyday” things? Not so much. Sure, I still caught a cold once a year - but, over a millennia, I’d made it through a dozen major pandemics and a handful of minor epidemics without much more than a few weeks off to recover each time. But, short of something catastrophic, if you can get one of us to a decent hospital you can expect a “miraculous recovery.” Folks want stories, of course. Truth is, I’d forgotten more than I remembered. Not due to some failure or weakness. There’s just so much memory space, even in the brains we have, and mine was constantly overwriting old data. Usually it didn’t matter - I had little call these days to remember the best prices for a head of gen-gineered cows on Ross 128 back in the early days. Some, though, cut to the quick. Even though she’s 972 years gone, I’d tattooed my first wife’s name on my wrist during a lucid period a few centuries ago, because it pained me I would forget her some days. Even with that, it’s still more days than not I can’t even recall her face… Others? Of course there’s others. I’m no one special, even though I’m special. You take a one in a billion mutation, and spread it over an interstellar community, and there’s bound to be a handful of us even on the most mid-range world. It’s not like there’s some secret society, or handshake, but… you figure it out. Mostly we live our own lives. There’s nothing to be gained by setting up some vendetta that lasts over a century or two. Similarly, it’s a big enough universe that it’s easy enough to mind your own business. Still, it *is* nice when you meet now and again. For the shared weight of experiences. The perspective that comes from having seen all of this before. Even the laughs of “Wait, you were there in 2812? I was just across the river, how did we not run into each other?” Like I said, the first century is the hardest. After that, you figure out it’s just life.

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