Literary Challenges : The Library Computer
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Join Date: Dec 2007
06-17-2011, 11:47 AM
His life was a field of sunflowers turning toward a violet sunset. At least it was whenever it could be; infrequent was the downtime an alien part of Julian's psyche so desperately required. Maybe he wasn't ready for the joining that was essentially thrust upon him, because all too often there was no sunset.
The simulation before him continued to play out, a discourse on the state as conducted by Plato in his classically designed academy. Julian had looked around earlier, spotting Ptolemy, Machiavelli, Qin Shi Huang, and other great human philosophers and politicians. The program was downloaded from Earth Space Dock's educational library, though he suspected the academy was fashioned after the Parisian interpretation of Plato's desgin than Plato's own work.
"Computer, end program," Julian called into nothingness. He rubbed his head. The Julian-host was a scholar. He studied history and philosophy. The symbiote was not, carrying with it the memories of a tragically violent past. None of the others would have been interested in this garbage.
Except it's fascinating
, Julian told himself. He wasn't sure anymore. He sat on the chair the station computer was kind enough to leave for him and let his mind remain empty.
"What is that ambient noise, computer?"
The soothing female voice common to all Starfleet vessels cut through the air. "The EPS conduits and warp core aboard this station emit a sound frequency audible to Trill between eighteen-point-two and eighteen-point-seven hertz."
"Can you drown it out, please?"
And it went silent. All that remained was the yellow grid pattern of the holodeck wall.
"Compter, remove all light, please."
And it went dark.
Julian took a deep breath and felt his heart take an extra beat. Shocked by the rush of oxygen, it began pumping faster, invigorating his system. Vast rivers of life coursed through him, devoid of cognition but fulfilling function. He took another, but his body had adapted and his heart rate slowed. He had an impulse to find a jumja stick, but it wasn't his.
Julain closed his eyes and tried to imagine happiness. He saw a Breen cruiser burning in space. Eyes open, deep breath, eyes closed. This time an Orion pirate ship. He was still a Lieutenant then, struggling to make his god-awful third-rate ship work for him. Work for the crew.
Eyes open, then closed. Then open. It was all the same.
He heard the door open behind him. It remained dark, the computer doing an excellent job with its programming.
"Captain?" The voice was familiar. He backtracked through memory to find it. His second officer.
"Computer, end program." The familiar holodeck pattern re-emerged. Julian stood, his chair disappearing, and turned to face the Lieutenant Commander. The blue skin shocked him after being so long in the dark.
"Not too many people use the privacy setting in the holodecks anymore, sir."
"That's right." Julian paused. "Well?"
She stood up straight and reported. "Commander Velaran has prepared his combat readiness report, sir. Also, our crew was reinforced, though we are still awaiting the arrival of our replacement medical officer and ammunition replenishment."
It must have been halfway through the report that Julian noticed his anxiety was diminished. His anxiety? No, not his. It was now obvious that this symbiote was too powerful for him. Or maybe the reason for this symbiote was too powerful? Before the end of the speech he decided to turn his life over to it. Perhaps it was already gone, that this last choice was some illusion concocted by the parasite in his gut to take control. It didn't matter. Ergo cogito sum, where thinking brings you nothing but pain. He killed himself before her next sentence.
"We expect to be fully ready for combat operations by tomorrow morning."
"Thank you, Commander. Return to your duties, I'll be on the bridge shortly."
The Bolian turned to leave, and Julian resolved to find a jumja stick.