One Of 12,000

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Summary

You who have never been joined in mind with others, can have no idea what that means, how it feels to be so completely alone.

Genre:
Scifi
Author:
Hugh Fathers
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Short Story

One Of 12,000

My name is Yan, I am one of 12,000. For more than two millennia there have been 12,000 of us. Not the same 12,000 but always that same number. I myself have been here for nearly 38 years and depending on the health of my host, I could be here for a few more decades yet.

Who are we? We are of the Quendrii but not all of the Quendrii. We are volunteers, we are always volunteers. As the first of the eight member races of the Galactic Mind, it is the responsibility and indeed the desire of the Quendrii to undertake the close analysis of the rise of intelligent life within the Galaxy.

Our mission over the last two millennia, a most important mission, is to study the Planet known by its inhabitants as Earth and to learn what it means to be ‘Human’.

The Quendrii are an old race, having evolved on a Planet much closer to the centre of the Galaxy. By the time the Planet Earth and its siblings were being formed and the first fusion reactions took place within its star, we were already a star-faring race.

Having walked the path of technology for more than fifty millennia, three million years ago we Quendrii reached a turning point. It was then that we turned inwards, we turned towards the mind. Over the following twenty millennia our need and use of technology waned as the power of our minds increased. Our already long lives increased exponentially giving us both the time and perspective to undertake long range projects, projects that could be measured in millions of years.

We Quendrii, learnt that mind did not need to be contained within a body and that we could project our consciousness at will, anywhere instantaneously. We discovered that any number of Quendrii could work together in concert further increasing sensitivity and range.We also found as individuals that we could insert our minds into other life-forms and share their experiences.

One group of 12,000 Quendrii, are charged with finding the faintest sparks of intelligence wherever they appear in the Galaxy. By working in concert this giant mind is able to pinpoint the potential for intelligence anywhere within a 150,000 LY radius.

Some 150,000 years ago, that faint spark was discovered out on one of the smaller spiral arms of the Galaxy. On observing the location, it was discovered that an intelligent species of bipedal animal had evolved on a small rocky metallic planet circling a small G class star.

Remote observation continued for the next 148,000 years until it became obvious that this species of animal was showing signs of improved technology and cultural development. It was then that the decision was made for direct observation and the first volunteers were called.

It is not easy to be a volunteer, as it means being separated for a period of years from all other Quendrii. You who have never been joined in mind with others, can have no idea what that means, how it feels to be so completely alone. Only those with the strongest sense of self and the highest moral standing are selected.

Those lucky enough to be selected undergo additional mind training to further strengthen their sense of self and to instil the necessary constraints against tampering or influencing with the mind of their future host.

Hosts from the indigenous species are chosen at random the only factor considered being the relative health of the subject. All host subjects are selected for mind integration while they are going through puberty, this ensures that there is the least disruption to the subjects life. The hormonal changes of the host masking any temporary and minor personality disturbances that may occur during integration.

After integration with the host, we Quendrii become silent observers and remain so until the death of the host and our subsequent return to Quend.

My story on Earth starts some 38 years ago. My future host was fast approaching his 15th birthday and was currently travelling with the rest of his family by ocean going transport, to start a new life in a new country.

For we Quendrii, initial integration always takes place during the host’s sleep cycle. This gives us time to tap into the major sense pathways and thought processes without interfering with those processes. I slipped in easily, my host was dreaming and I experienced a jumble of images, sounds and smells. As integration usually takes some 48 hours to complete, I could make no sense of his dream, that would come later.

By the second morning, integration was complete. Every thought, feeling, sight and sound experienced by my host went through and was recorded in my mind. My task for now, to integrate the thoughts and memories of my host prior to my arrival. By the 3rd morning, my hosts 15th birthday, all was complete. Everything experienced and learnt by Hugh over the last 15 years was now part of me and I could now begin my long term task, that of observer.

Although gross tampering and influence of the host are not possible due our training and to the strong moral ethics of we Quendrii, a small amount of influence can be applied to enhance any of the host’s already apparent tendencies.

Over a period of more than 2,000 years we Quendrii have shared the adult lives of over 1,000,000 human beings, joining our hosts at puberty and staying with them until their lives end. At the end of that time we return to Quend and to reintegration with the combined mind of Quendrii. Here the mental recording of every moment of our Human hosts lives becomes part of the combined knowledge of the Quendrii. Eventually we Quendrii will know what it means to be ‘Human’ and whether or not that Humans have a place in the galaxy.

Full integration may only have taken some fifty hours but acclimatisation, that was a different matter. Physically we Quendrii and humans could not be any different. To once again feel the confines of a material body was bad enough but no amount of training could prepare for the greatest challenge for any of the Quendrii. That of being alone. Completely alone.

Initially the process of integration had occupied my attention so completely but when that was complete, I noticed the silence. Sure, so I could experience all my host was/is/will be and hear/see his thoughts dreams and fantasies but I could not hear the Quendrii. Never before in my 3,000 years had I not been bathed in the collective consciousness of Quendrii.

Although of no benefit in preparing for the shock of alone, our training did show us how we could cope with it and continue to fulfil our function of life experience recorder.

During the first few years my host’s main interests seemed to be on the opposite sex, mind altering drugs, reading and music.

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