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46 - Do I? - **

As usual, I arrived in the kitchen of the Broth Base to find a tray of bowls, full of steaming noodles, and their destination written in wax pen on the tray. The cook was busy about his usual, choreographed, mad scramble over, under, around and through the many deadly obstacles that comprised this very dangerous workplace . . . but not too busy to make eye contact, smile, look at the tray and gesture with his head to get going out to the tables.
Time after time, I returned for more. I had never seen the place this packed. People were sitting out in the halls eating noodles because there are only so many tables. I had no idea what was going on, but it was a long night, and at the end, I sat down with my friend to enjoy a dinner I had been looking forward to for quite a while.
"Have you ever heard of a citizen named Void?"
He stopped, looked at me for a moment, poked around in his noodles and resumed eating without a word. I wanted to know why.
"Why does he attack everyone?"
"Ask him," he responded, as though that were not only safe but the logical thing to do . . .
"How do I get him to leave me alone long enough to train?" I pressed on, answered by his stern glare that means 'what are you asking me that stupid question for?'
"Win the fight, and train while he is in sick bay."
"Not likely," I said, . . . my turn to indicate a stupid comment.
"I won't go there with you. I like it here."
Of course he does. I never would have asked him to do that.
"I wish I could describe the places I've been and the things I've seen, but I didn't mean--" Interrupted again. This time he had his elbow on the table, his chopsticks pointed in my direction and his mouth still half full of noodles.
"This was what I meant. You are a traveller. It is your destiny. You are always welcome here, but you need to go out there and chase your dreams. You will never live until you do." He stopped, chewed, swallowed and interrupted me again as I was about to speak.
"THIS is my destiny, my dream, my home," he said, pointing at the kitchen. "I found it because I stopped chasing what wasn't mine. This isn't yours. Come visit any time, but it's still not yours. You belong out there among the stars."
"If you want me to leave--" he looked at me like I was a fool.
"I have a family and a home. I have responsibilities. You have courage, and it makes you reckless. That only works out there, not here. Don't you see? My swords are put away. You still carry yours. They are your life. This is not."
"I still need a good teacher." I paused, waiting for him to interrupt. He didn't. Finally, he looked up at me as he finished his noodles. He stared at me for a few moments, as though to give his next words more strength.
"Good luck with that. Don't ask me again."
I smiled and began clearing the table, but he took gentle hold of my arm, sat me back down in my chair, sat back, folded his arms as he gained solid eye contact, then pointed toward the roof.
"Your dreams are out there, even if your friend is here," he pointed to himself. "Go out and catch them before they escape. Don't let them get away. You will never forgive yourself. You know where to go and what to do. Just get back out there and live. You need more than just one friend. You won't find them hiding here."
We chatted for a while, and as I got ready to leave, I pulled the slip of paper out of my fortune cookie. "Treasure is where you find it, but only if you look there."
I'm not hiding.
I wasn't asking him to come with me.
I wasn't asking to stay.
Why don't even my closest friends understand me?
Do I?


  1. Coincidentally, I finished my deliveries of "fresh meat" to Tuangoo and felt like a bowl of noodles where I overheard your conversation with your friend. Unfortunately, your friend didn't make it home safely after your departure.

    Despite the pathetic loot, the harvested limbs paid well and therefore; I'd like to extend my gratitude by satisfying your curiosity.

    Eating is one of the greatest pleasure, especially when consuming food that is not genetically engineered.

    So, what comes closest to Old Earth's meat? And, have you ever wondered how the Governments keep up with production and demands of Rations?

    Finally, and most importantly, for our species to persist, practical measure to control the population has initiated.

    For the purge; let the reapings begin.

  2. How is it that such a person exists within the human species?

    What would make a person attack another person and advocate (or perhaps even practice) ingestion of the remains?

    What sub-human impulse could possibly enter the human soul to drive a person to ignore the needs of a family, the joy of a man harmlessly, innocently living his dream (and the brotherly love of that man's friends) and do something so ruthless to someone who has never done anything to him?

    And yet, it's worse?

    Such a one considers himself a hero? a preserver of humanity? Really?!?!

    Is he really that deluded?

    Does he truly know nothing at all of the ability of mankind to generate food and other resources? Does he actually believe that it is a service to deplete the population which was producing the resources and exploring the sciences to improve life for everyone?

    How does anyone actually get that depraved and psychotic?

    I don't believe it for a moment. I can't. Elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, bears, snakes, unicorns, walruses, mermaids, whales, . . . OCEANS?!?! Even those are easier to believe than that a human being could actually be so vile a beast and sink to such atrocities.

    What's the real reason? Perhaps one day we will truly find out.

  3. "especially when consuming food that is not genetically engineered."

    At the risk of incurring your wrath (or even just attracting your attention), one tiny point: By now, most of the people living on these stations--especially your victims--are no longer "originals" but clones. And clones are, in fact, genetically engineered.

    On the other hand, you have reminded me of an old vid I was screening just the other day...

  4. By now, most of the people living on these stations--especially your victims--are no longer "originals" but clones. And clones are, in fact, genetically engineered.

    This is true that most of my victims are clones and are genetically engineered which is probably regarded as lower quality meat.

    There is a cult on Moissan Station that still pays decent credit for the "goods" though; they love their "meat pies". Apparently, it tastes like pork, maybe the next time you visit Moissan, you can ask around for some. ;)

    Perhaps I just love slaughtering people. It gives me a euphoric feeling :)

  5. And there's the truth of it. Void enjoys murder because it makes him feel good. He has found a way to profit from trafficking in the grizzly remains and does so. He even eats some of his "product," and refers to people as "goods."
    Even the Catastrophe has not erased the galaxy's memory of a madman who marshaled the forces of four very powerful countries with his drive to make "merchandise" out of an entire nation's people.
    That man and his followers were brought to justice without the benefit of Anima's second chance.