Then and Now
Ensign Crusher looked out at the world before him. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine When Crusher first met the Traveler, he knew that his life had been changed. Yet, he didn’t understand how much it had changed him. He had gone on with his life when the Traveler left, yet his teachings had colored Crusher’s philosophy. He learned that the mind is truly the only limitation to existence, to exploration, to a journey called life. As he grew up and experienced cultures, species, and civilizations on the Enterprise, he grew to understand that the universe was very different from what he’d imagined it to be. Crystalline life forms, beings of pure energy, there were many things beyond commonly accepted explanation.
He never imaged that he would be here right now. Sure, being on the Enterprise had opened a world of possibilities, “where no one has gone before” truly was an understatement when you got into the details of missions on the Enterprise. many of which even the wildest imagination could never have envisioned. Every day was an adventure for him, then he met the Traveler.
The Traveler opened Crusher’s mind to the extraordinary and otherworldly idea of traveling at the speed of thought. It was like opening a book and reading. When you begin reading a book, your mind goes to that place. It sees the words as bold depictions of the author’s thoughts.
His mind flashed back to the last day of his previous life, the one where he was Ensign on the Enterprise, the one where life seemed to have only one path. His new journey was limitless, though he had to admit his journey on Enterprise often had just as much excitement. He also missed his friends, the crew of the Enterprise. The Traveler was a fantastic companion, but he lacked something… He especially missed his mother. This was the longest he’d been away from her, yet he wondered if he had ever been away at all. Time often seemed to be a hazy dream or a blurred fantasy. He kept a log, so that he could go over and remember each one.
A sound snapped him back into reality. It was the sound of a bird trilling loudly. They had wandered far out into the wilderness to meditate. The Traveler told him that there were humanoids who existed in two dimensional planes here. The Traveler explained that this was a relatively unique situation. It was almost as though one planet was superimposed on the other. To the naked eye, nothing seemed different than all the others he’d visited. He wasn’t even sure how many he had been to at this point. He stood slowly and looked at the space around him.
Trees, birds, grass, a stream flowing. All perfectly normal, like any planet. The ground felt firm underneath his feet. The sky was a crystal clear blue and his head spun a bit because the oxygen content was very high on this planet. It would take some getting used to. He closed his eyes again, trying to picture the inhabitants of the other dimension. He’d been trying since yesterday with no luck. Crusher had been to whole planets that existed in other dimensions, but something about this was just beyond his reach.
He felt a ripple, and the Traveler appeared. He nodded, “Hello Wesley.” Crusher felt himself blush, embarrassed that he hadn’t yet succeeded in visiting the other dimension. Traveling had become so casual to him, he felt that it should just happen without effort. He felt as though he had left the Traveler down, but the Traveler was a patient being and that was unlikely. Shame had been one of the hardest things to put aside during this journey. All his life, things had come naturally to him until he started this voyage. He also learned that while he was gifted in ideas, he wasn’t always so capable in the people department. His social skills were perfect for a Federation Starship, but not for seamlessly blending into peoples and civilizations as varied as the stars themselves.
“Don’t worry Wesley. Things take time. Just close your eyes and empty your mind,” said the Traveler in his almost monotone voice.