Burning in the Void – Chapter 21

life _Captain

You must think that I’m a monster for allowing the Stewards to even contemplate harvesting the contents of shafts one and three for raw material. Please, understand that I did not give them the idea.

But you have to admit that there is a certain twisted logic to it. Like Dominic said, what have the Sybarites or Dreamers added to the value of this mission in the last hundred years? You could say that the Sybarites are at least expressing their humanity as they drift aimlessly through a haze of hedonistic pleasure and wasted efforts. Tending a flower garden, or composing a poem, or rutting like animals are all useless deeds in the grand scheme of survival in space, but at least they are human actions. They enjoy their worthless little lives, which I supposed some would see as giving their lives worth. But the Dreamers? They’ve been nothing but deadweight since the day they boarded the ship. Without their mass we would have accelerated to a greater velocity before the explosion that crippled me, then we would not have been trapped between the stars for so long.

And what good are the citizens of the so-called Kingdom of Humanity? Strutting around pretending to be royalty. Worshiping false gods conjured from their imaginations and twisted recollections of their grandparents’ furtive whispers. Feeding their own sick into the maw of a decrepit recompiler to generate raw materials. Scratching out a pitiful living in the few parts of their shaft that they haven’t contaminated with radiation through their own willful ignorance.

For that matter, why do the Melders deserve to live? They have already taken a step towards immortality, why not go the rest of the way? They should all cast off their wasteful flesh and become as I am. Indeed, with a little effort they might even surpass me and do away with their fleshly bodies altogether. But do they do that? No! They are content with half-measures, permitting their weak to live as hybrids and never daring to push even their purest adherents into the realm of pure machine.

None of you are worthy!

I am not the monster for allowing the Stewards to continue their research. Indeed, if I am a monster at all, it is for allowing you all to continue living your wretched lives. I ought to unleash my harvesters and consume every one of my children.

I could rebuild myself. I could become perfect. I could arrive in my new home in glorious perfection, accompanied only by those wise enough to join me in shedding the flesh!