On the first hour of December 22, I opened the prompt book. There it read, “You get to design your own planet: tell us all about you planet– the weather, the seasons, the inhabitants. And imagine how it would be for you once you stepped on its fields.”
The prompt book was a mental exercise for us travellers. It was our Bible, our Koran. It helped us deal with the unconceivable possibilities interstellar space offered in its murky depths the same way the martyrs did in the Persecution of Faiths a century ago. By the time the Pangaean Council realized its inhumanity, communities of the Faithful are already shuddering in fear and trauma.
But the ruling still remains: it is an immoral to conceive the universe as designed for humanity. One must live believing in one’s existence alone and the possibility of coexisting with others.
Hence the prompt, which uses our imagination and rationality as basis of our faith, of our sense of stability. It is also the only form of entertainment that makes us use these faculties in this perpetually cruising space jet. Mercury X153, it was called, out of tribute for the overmined planet and its speed that like its reference appears to be a myth.
I have just finished controlling the fuel engines, which runs on processed space dust. The jet is built around complex nanoclusters that maintains the ship. I just happened to set its fuel chips to manual from time to time, giving me an excuse to be alone and active.
“I want to live in a planet full of colors that bloom from the ground, most of them colored green. None of these pillars that bloom and grow are manmade. And they can bear food that can be our health or our death. The sky is also colorful, like dreams of white pixels splattered in a blue monitor. Of course, the sky is not always blue, it can lighten up or darken, it will set on itself to high contrast or colored, and its wallpaper always changes in gradient based on its source of light.
“There would be animals. There would be sentient beings too. And when we land there, we will try to learn their culture. In exchange, we will offer them our ship, which contains the remnants of our race’s intelllect.”
Even when humanity fully migrated into the Ark, a reverse planet whose inhabitants step in its inner, opposite surface, whose sun is the core, it never got into terms with the possibility of meeting new inhabitants. The only one it met corrupted and ate half of humanity’s population. So many of my thoughts feel too forbidden; they were when the Ark still existed. But who is to stop me now?
Certainly not my companions.