Passengers 2.0: Diary Entry, Day 562

Note: Think Passengers – the 2016 movie, where, on a routine journey through space to a new home, two passengers, sleeping in suspended animation, are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. I use this as a base metaphor of awakening to a reality you think you know, but don’t.

Neomorphs, Xenomorphs, Protomorphs, Theomorphs: I am not sure which one just landed in the backyard of my soul. A precise theonomic orbit cannot be obtained. Tangents—why are there always tangents; I hope these will be kept to a minimum, though cognitive dissonance does make for an interesting study.

Current soul-pod temperature: intermittent windy philosophising about God, humanity, and the struggle for world peace. I know I am not asleep anymore; my pod is beginning to shake. A malfunction? An awakening? I don’t think this is a drill.

There are long, frozen cracks creeping across my eye-glass. Light splinters. A flood warning, what on earth is a flood warning doing in a soul-pod? A numbness strikes my right hand (the one in which I always carried my belief-pad and pencil). Something else is using my hand. Does first-contact with a Theomorph always upset like this; where is the reset button—why can’t they just sing carols like everyone else?

My regular anodyne heartbeat pumps like crazy. A warning beep is certainly up to no-good; maybe I should skip the metaphysics of reflection and just pop the lid on my DNA. New information: Theomorph Arrival, the words blink at me, all in repetitive white bursts—well that’s what the data is saying—Essential Upgrade Required keeps flashing at me in a 31st Century Font.

My giant optical eye has been scanning the night-sky for decades, in search of life, any life. Protective shields are down. Is that a good thing? And it’s a damned scary thing, whatever it is. I feel like a foreign planet with an exotic lack of air.

My SETI Framework (Soul Entanglement Truth Intervention) is rebooting due to a cosmic God-blast; Operation Planet Soul routine initiated. Code returns: ‘It’s complicated. Comet clusters and debris buildup are common in the deep down innerverse. Think big, really big—go off-script—remarkable things are bound to happen off-script. Prepare to be boarded.’

What sort of message is that? I don’t want to go off-script! More scrutiny, errant and robust, more abandoned theories trying to fend off all the giant questions. Do souls emit any detectable infrared radiation. Am I a young star or an old star that has simply lost its way?

Speculation: “Where are The Guardians of our god-faces? Even if it is a symbolic angelic vigil, I don’t care, that will do. Will I wait 20 more moments before a romantic panic dissects my very human behaviour? How do I walk into the future with a Theomorph inside.”

There is no self-deconstruct password, no gun-wielding peace alternative, no gravity release valve in my soul-pod, well none that I can locate. The gradual erosion of everything you once believed is far more than turning up to the wrong wedding dressed in synthetic black-coffin pyjamas. I wonder if Theomorphs are lethal? Parental? Loving? Glorious? Extraterrestrial? Well they are certainly not bound to this earth, and they also seem to have these enormous wings of light and a geography of whatever. Are they angelic? I require more data.

I’m either completely crazy, or stupid, or both. My bone-white eyes stare at the golden star fields. Here I am caught in a malfunctioning soul-pod. A passenger, like seven billion others, earth dazed and perplexed. I relax, looking for meaning and beauty all over again—I desperately need structure, or wine, or enlightenment. I am unable to speak.

“That is what we are here for,” came a fable-like, untouched voice.

“Yield and Heal and Merge.”

I don’t want to yield, heal, or merge, I want to go back to cryogenic sleep. And you can’t have my imagination either, it’s the only ecstatic thing I have left. Enough of this clamouring!

I push a swallow of stubborn zeros and ones down my throat. Something goes splash in the wildflower lake of sanity, delta waves ripple into alpha, then the fire surge of deep theta.

I jolt awake, climbing out of the ocean of unconsciousness.

“Well something’s gotta give,” came the voice again. “deep space can be awfully lonely, the doors of perception lonelier—and here you are just getting off the ground.”

I jiggle at the pod latch, my white nuclear bunker remains super thick with a gravity of pregnant silence. I’m parked in the driveway of a tomorrow I cannot explain, engine running; listening to a voice I don’t know; re-wiring neurotic tendencies; shouting like a beast.

I wonder if the constellation Libra that we are passing through will ever be quite as beautiful as it is at this very moment.

“Oh look,” comes the voice, “your ocean is blazing lilies, in one single ravishing and terrible moment the catastrophe of love has broken through.”


© Stephen Roberts

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