The Purest Rain

by on December 2, 2017 :: 0 comments

photo "Space: The Oldest Frontier" (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter

I once was, we once were, ordinary people, like you. Being together we have become one mind.

I am sorry if our writing is clumsy. We don’t speak, write or use words any longer. Our thoughts are felt by each other before we have them. The ideas of I and we aren’t as clear as they may be for you, our ancestors. We are all we, we are all I. I am writing it to you as if we were I so that my message can be understood. We have been sending our message to you in the form of rain, wind and dreams. We understand that you can’t hear us. So we write this letter of love to you. We hope you will read it.

The Earth’s climate spiraled into instability. The polar ice caps melted to unrecoverable levels, making the oceans pour onto the coasts, crushing cities, engulfing countless lives. There were hurricanes and storms. The skies had become hell-fire.

When we left the Earth, our crew was young. We were sent in the wild hope of finding another hospitable world.

I volunteered. What was left for me? Our precious world was on the verge of collapse. I never felt that I belonged anyway. I vaguely recall the person who I was, a young scientist and a restless seeker. I was a loner, awkward, incapable of having relationships. I was more content in the computer lab, then in the company of people. I had hoped to escape the Earth, to go as far away from humanity as possible. I didn’t realize I’d be heading smack into the center of humanity itself.

We left our families, our friends, and life on the green blue planet. We were hurled out into space, tossed like a message in a bottle.

The moment we launched into space, I felt even my name slipping away. Seeing the Earth transform into a distant dot was like watching my own mind vanish. It saddened me to think that everything I’d ever known, every place I’d ever been would be gone forever. And though I had a pang in my stomach, I also felt exhilarated. Everything would be out there now, beyond this world.

Given the immense distances of intergalactic travel, we had to find ways to extend our lives. It was a matter of life or death. Being a crew of scientists, every moment was spent in our test labs, experimenting, discovering. First, we began implanting synthetic parts in our bodies. The artificial implants slowly took over our organs and other functions. By the time we left our solar system, the average age of our crew was one hundred and fifty. Those who had lived, lived because they endured genetic modifications, complete replacements of hearts, brains, eyes, and bodies. Those whose implants or genetic modifications weren’t successful, died.

When we reached the outer spiral of the Milky Way, our entire crew was remade in our manufactured image. Not a fleshy eyeball among us. Two hundred and fifty years had passed. Communications with the Earth became intermittent, our replies lapsing over decades. The further we travelled, the more distant the memories became, the less distinct we became to each other. There were now only one hundred or so of us. Being together in a capsule floating in space, far away from civilization, forced us to become intimately close. And as the centuries passed, our interactions transcended conversation. Being together became “together being.” I remember being at a music concert or a sports event when I was on the Earth. Everyone connected in a single emotion. The roar of many like one. This is like together being.

After travelling more than four hundred light years, the Earth then only a memory, like an ancient myth of our past, we began to shuck off our genetically modified bodies. Our minds, like vines in a peaty moss, wound and tangled into each other. Where did one mind end and another begin? Imagine never being alone, never feeling completely empty. All of our emotions touched. Where someone had previously felt alone or frightened, the others anticipated these feelings and rushed to them. The speed of thoughts and feelings reached a rapid pace. Conversations between people would be heard by everyone. Knowledge that one person may have held in their own head became shared. Learning become learning for everyone. Our bodies remained, but were vacated. Our minds like wind swarmed into each other. Things like shame disappeared. When everyone’s ideas were exposed and felt by each other, it no longer mattered how private they were.

At some point, even our spaceship slipped off of us like a nightgown. We didn’t need it any longer. We travelled in unison, beyond light speed in something we call forever now. We are everywhere at all times.

In fact, we are with you now, invisible lives swarming around you. We live your sadness and fears. And joys. We are whispering to you, hoping someday you’ll hear us. We want to take you into our bosom. We want to shower you in our tears until we are all joined in one gentle downpour of the purest rain.

editors note: Gravity pulls us closer but it causes time to tear us apart, so far apart, so distant that only a bridge of shared common and timeless humanity can fill. - tyler malone

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