Literary Challenges : The Library Computer
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Test of Time
07-06-2011, 04:53 PM
Test of Time
Some memories can never really die,
no matter how deep you try to bury them or why,
you cannot just let sleeping dogs lie.
The earliest memories I have slip through the cracks of the walls put up by the hive mind… up until last night the earliest memory I had was of chasing the collective after they murdered members of my family & assimilated my sister, only to be held in custody by my own people, attacked by a presumed ally, & caught with our proverbial pants down by a desperate borg hail Mary. Now, I am feeling signs of complacency from the memories of the life I no longer deserve to claim as my past; now that I have betrayed everything I believe I try to forget it all.
I can never make up for the atrocities I was forced to commit, therefore I have abandoned whatever I was in life before to become a reborn individual. The bloody wounds of the past haunt me as the echoes stir in the gaping hole from whence my conscience was surgically extracted... separated only by a line of scar tissue that covers my sentiment with a thick, dull shield that protects me from any feelings I may have had in the life before. But there are unavoidable inherent traits that connect us, my former self & I; some bonds are just built stand the test of time.
A far back memory returned to me in a dream this last night. I am walking down the halls of Starfleet Academy with my chin held high, though I was already taller than most humans at the academy, some even called me beanstalk. That was 5 outta 6, one more test to go; ironically my favorite class too so it will be fun & easy. I don’t remember the test, I figured if I ever remembered anything about my academy days it would be how nervous I was, but all that stands out in this instance was a conversation with my uncle, my most inspirational mentor. His words will resonate with me for the rest of my years. He was not one to underestimate fate, nor understate the obvious unavoidable truth.
Several hidden heads snapped up from their drool session as their tables folded away beneath them, & they heard the loud trilling of the instructors daily concluding statements over the ringing of dismissal bells. Speaking of Trill…
The professor clears his throat, & speaks in a harsh tone with a John Cleese/Mark Twain type of mixed accent.
Geomrati: “Goodness gracious how time flies! Class dismissed, don’t forget your PADDs, you’ve all been transmitted a copy of your homework, you’ll see... this month’s project will be of a more interpersonal nature, you will be focusing on social disorders; so I'll be expecting you to warm up to someone whom you think has or might have had a social aversion & get their permission to do an interview. I know the year is almost out but no matter how much I demand of you, the workload Starfleet will ask of you will be ever-greater! Now go on get busy cadets look alive. Oh, & do take care not to let their depressing positions on life affect you psychosomatically; those who pay attention in class know what I mean, the rest of you can find out in 5 seconds anyway just like everyone else in the galaxy… *sigh*”
“So now, what sounds forward to men & backward to every other gender?“
I riddled him.
Geomrati: “I thought I said class dismissed, that means get outta my hair McKormack!”
“My aren't we cranky in our old age... Oh but you know this one, it is so simple a child could figure it out. Honestly I could pick one of several answers that are on display out there for the world to see. In fact, you were the one who originally told it to me!”
Geomrati: “Always so stubborn. Since when have we covered role-reversal in class?”
“Oh I’d say about… last week, & two weeks before that… You often forget that you teach us things more than once, but we always cover enough for each course & make up the rest on our own time so we have enough time in class to just do nothing.”
Geomrati: “What’s there for teachers to do anymore…? Aha, but of course now that I know I’ll have to pay more attention & crack down on y’all! Hey why aren’t you worried they’ll tear you apart for telling me?”
“Because I’ve told you once per trimester & you always forget within a day, it washes away with your other lifetimes.”
Geomrati: “Oh, aye… can’t blame anyone for having lived too long. It does all sort of start to blend together whenever my hosts get older. But I’ll be back in a few months with a new host, & a new outlook on the past & future. Walk with me, it's getting stuffy in here, I need some fresh air to ponder your riddle.”
“Oh fine I’ll just tell you so you can think of me & laugh instead of stress over some dumb joke – you really shouldn’t be out of the hospital to begin with, I could call them up, I’m sure they feel the same way…“
Geomrati: “Ok ok you win you win; I’m not going to spend my final moments encased in 4 walls. I’ll be out here, in the gardens, in the fresh air. Hard to believe this used to be one of the most disgustingly polluted regions on the planet, & now it is among the cleanest on the globe. Besides… um… you would further insult my intelligence to just give me the answer. Oh, & one more thing, I don’t need to see you’re final to know you’re gonna pass. You stumped me with a simple mind game, in all my 9 lives I don’t believe anyone has ever come close to doing that.”
“Oh no you don’t get off that easy… I won’t be bribed out of my victory… *whispers the answer*”
Geomrati: “Offpt *scoffs*, how dare you! Yes yes yes yes & I would have remembered that, yes I would have if you would have just waited… a nano-secend!”
His breathing becomes short, but at his age that is a pretty common & natural occurrence that not even the most modern of medical sciences can avoid, treat or prevent forever.
“Like you said: as the l-cars network spreads throughout the quadrants, now almost anyone can access nearly any bit of non-classified information at any time. You don’t just ask a person a question anymore, that’s what computers are for. On the spot is the only way to get a real human response nowadays! I’ll see you at this trimester’s Kobayashi Maru after-party!”
Geomrati: “I’m not human, but I take your meaning. I’ve been waiting my entire career in this life to hear someone say that. Just you wait, this time I’m gonna show you a drink you’ve never even heard of, then you will be, as they say: under the table! *hahaha-oh!”
Geomrati collapses to the floor grasping his throat.
Geomrati: “Ohhhh… *coughs* the host… *wheeze* is failing…”
“Mr. Geomrati? Hang in there… everything will be ok. *chirp* Aindreas to live support, contact the nearest EM & send them to our position, this is an emergency! Mr. Geomrati has…”
Geomrati: “*long exhale*”
Aindreas performs CPR & manages to resuscitate him as the med team chimes that they have arrived on site.
Geomrati: “Ohhh my head! *chokingly* Damnit boy do you have any idea how many times I’ve died? Being brought back is always more painful! Next time, let me rest until my next change will ya?”
“He yelps! He’s alive! Don’t bother thanking me, just remember me now that you’re actually going to live to see another host!”
The medics rush in & check to see if he can be transported safely, which he cannot.
Geomrati: “Looks like I’m goin under the knife early… goodbye kid. Tell the rest of the kids I’m sorry I won’t be able to make it to the Maru bash this year…”
“I’m sure your absence will be deeply… felt…”
Geomrati: “Oh shut up already, you know they all hate me for experimenting on them, plucking & plunging into & from their meek little minds. You don't have to be a telepath to be able to read your students! *haha*”
“*haha* No, I don’t think it’s that. There is a difference, sir; between hate & respect. They know that you're gonna diagnose anyone that doesn't do this assignment with a social disorder! So we've come to this: at this point they are letting you test them, because they know they won't return empty handed.”
Geomrati: “Thank ye, lad. All I can ask of people, I s’pose I have earned it. You've always been my control group, now you're just as faceless & washed up as the rest o' them.”
“Ah yes, thank you that reminds me of one more thing I wanted to mention before they cart you off... it might be prudent to note that at times that respect may have been gained through fear & intimidation...”
Geomrati: “Oh, shut the %$# up, somebody get me the $%@# out of here! Have a nice life beanstalk.”
“See you in the next life, Mr. Mind.”
At the ceremony, they talked about
like they knew him, but no one knew him like I did.
Consoling Voices: “We’re so sorry for your loss…You’re uncle was a good man & a great professor.”
Then when I returned it went something like…
Droning Voices: “Goodbyes always are the hardest… we think you handled that extraordinarily well, you have demonstrated sheer discipline in following the line of duty as an officer & a diplomat; welcome to the ranks, Starfleet!”
They pinned a new solid pip on my collar, I signed up with a freshly forming fleet of cadets that formed on the shore of the academy on graduation day; & next thing I knew five years had gone by.
I’ve flown both solo & side-by side,
I wore that wretched uniform with pride,
it may have been short but wow... what a ride!
Then it was time to say so long,
as the days of youth were now surely gone,
you need but only remain strong.