AND LIGHTYEARS TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP

Aric Dante's Personal Log

Aric Dante

Aric Dante
Birthday
August 22
Title
Science & Medical / Mission Specialist, UEN Centaur
Bio
Born Anrico Dante Vega in New Fremont, West America, 2307. Only child of Frederico and Francesca Vega. -------------------------------------------------------- Crewmates with Mikhail ["Mike" or "Misha"] Trudov (Commander/Pilot) and Robert Benoit (Engineer/Navigator).

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JANUARY 14, 2011 8:00AM

October 16th, 2346

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October 16th, 2346 

Anne-Marie: 

     Boredom has officially set in again.  There’s not a lot for me to do lately except monitor Robert’s rehabilitation, which is somewhat akin to watching crystals grow.  OK, I take that back; crystals are at least pretty things to look at, and don’t require me to shave or wash them.  They also don’t make kissy-face with other crystals during visiting hours.  My point, I guess, is that his rehab progress is so slow there’s really not much for me to do at all. 

     To keep myself entertained, I’ve been spending a lot of time recently with Theresa.  Or, at least, the Theresa that’s in the Colt.  My brain tends to think of her as the other Theresa, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll just refer to her as Theresa 2 (when I’m trying to distinguish her from the original Theresa).  She’s really the same Theresa, but for some reason, my brain’s assigned a different persona to her.  She seems more… jovial… than my Theresa, and certainly she’s extremely grateful to have someone to talk to.  After all, she didn’t really expect to be activated (if that’s even the right word) until we reached Alpha Prime. 

     I’ve found the lander to be quite cozy, now that I’ve thoroughly made it my home.  I’ve sandwiched my sleeping pad between the two water reclamators on the lower level.  Normally, these would be too noisy for me to sleep between, but the lander is in dormant mode, and Theresa has only activated the electrical systems.  This gives me light, heat, and computer access, but there’s no air recycling to speak of and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I have to leave the Colt and go back into the main ship to go to the bathroom. 

     All of this is perfectly OK with me though.  Remember, I used to sleep in the Tunnel!  There wasn’t even any heat in there.  I do, however, have my own little kitchen nook that I can make my own food on, and that by itself is worth spending my time in the lander. 

     It turns out Theresa 2 is actually a pretty good chess player.  Robert has not seemed interested in it since he woke up, and when I mentioned this to her, she suggested I teach her.  Of course she was giving me a run for my money soon.  I would really love to watch her soundly trounce Robert, but she’s not quite at that skill level yet. 

     She’s been introducing me to a bunch of new music styles I’d never heard.  Stuff from India, stuff from Olympus; all very weird and eclectic, much like Theresa herself.  I enjoy just sitting back and listening to her selections.  I like to close my eyes and imagine what it would be like to be her, interacting with data in its most pure form, literally seeing music as wavelengths of energy and as waves of decibelic air pressure.  Of course, the reality of her existence is undoubtedly completely different than what I imagine, but I still like to try. 

     We’ve also had some very interesting conversations, if that’s what you could call them.  Theresa 2 has mastered the AI art of the non sequitor, or maybe that’s the way AIs normally communicate and they have to master the art of the linear conversation.  Either way, it’s always challenging to decipher what she’s talking about, or what she’s getting at. 

     My favorite example so far has to be our conversation from last week.  I was relaxing after my dinner, listening to some music and having a drink when she asked me out of the blue “Do you believe in linear time?”
    
I blinked at that, and thought a second before answering “Not as such, really.  I believe that time is a human construction we invented to explain the linear way we experience reality.  Do I believe that time is, by its very nature, linear?  No, I can’t say I do.”  I had actually thought about the subject quite a bit.
    
“Why not?” she asked.
    
“Well, from a professional standpoint, there’s never been any evidence that time flows in one and only one direction any more than space does.  In fact, all the evidence we have says that time is really an amorphous thing that really can’t be distinguished from space at all, except somehow by the human brain,” I replied.
    
“And from a personal standpoint?”
    
“From a personal standpoint, I have too much anecdotal evidence to support the non-existence of time, or, at least, the fact that time exists in a different form than the box our minds try to cram it in to.  When we dream, our minds completely eschew the concept of time and do their own things.  During moments of crisis, our minds speed up so that time seems to slow around us,” I said.
    
“That it?” she asked.
    
“Well, that and my cat never seemed to give a shit about what time it was beyond whether it was light or dark,” I said, smiling at the memory.  I miss that cat.
    
“What do you know about AI reproduction?” she asked.  Shift.
    
My eyebrows drew together, and I said “Uh, AIs don’t reproduce.”
    
“That’s what I thought,” she replied, and no matter how much I quizzed her, she would not expand on that.  Sometimes I get the distinct feeling that I’m a hamster in a maze and that Theresa’s trying to guide me to the cheese, which I find ironic seeing as I made her. 

     It’s after these types of conversations that I really miss you.  I’m sure you would be invaluable in helping me figure out what the heck your ‘sisters’ are talking about.  But then I remember our conversations and how you used to do the exact same thing to me and I think to myself Well, it’s probably best that she’s not here to confuse you further. 

     One thing is certain:  If I ever feel really bored, I can always try talking to Theresa.  There’s nothing like a good brain teaser to pass the time… 

Yours Forever, 

:Aric

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This is part 62 of an ongoing series.