You will never reach point B from point A,
As you must always get half-way there, and half of the half, and half of that half,
And half of that half, and half of that half…
I corrected them when they said I would experience dreams. Vulcans do not dream, merely process the information we learned during the interval of time we were conscious.
No, this too in incorrect.
Vulcans are always conscious; a trait that humans cannot wrap their insufficient minds around.
They believe all things ‘sleep.’
It is nearly impossible for me to comprehend the human race because of this. They are emotional beings. They act on spur of the moment thoughts and irrational ideas. They are impressionable.
Every fleeting word, every minor, unimportant syllable that passes through their frontal lobe seems to be spoken even when it is unnecessary.
I have noticed through my years of work that these are traits that cannot be changed.
They told me that the stasis would last 12 years.
My mind works through numbers. It is a constant though of mine. I relate my surroundings to the numbers in my head. That is why they hired me.
They told me the mission to Elea XIII would be the furthest distance a starship would have ever traveled and that nearly 700 others would join me in stasis.
I found this fascinating.
It took my body 23.3707 seconds to shut down after they placed me in stasis.
An intravenous was put into my left arm. I was given a 1/8th of tetrodotoxin as my heart rate and body temperature were already low.
They told me that “it might get chilly.” If they were attempting to warn me of the liquids 10.5556°C temperature, their warnings were inadequate.
They told me I would be in an isolated section of the ship. I appreciated this as I was shown where the stasis tubes were to be placed beforehand. The ship had 5 wings where 140 tubes would be placed in each wing side by side.
This would not work as Vulcan’s pride themselves in personal space.
The first day of the mission, I recited the Standard Model Lagrangian equation. Frontwards. Backwards. I could see the numbers written out inside my head.
This took me no longer than an hour.
As Vulcan are always conscious, I could hear the sounds the ship made. I listened for approximately 4.59 hours. For the remainder of the day, I recited the equation 19 more times.
32.66 hours after I was placed in stasis, another tube was placed next to mine. I could hear the crewmen who brought it talking. They said the occupant of the tube was a “late arrival.”
I would be lying if I said I was not irritated by this turn of events. However, Vulcans do not lie, nor feel irritation.
Not even two consecutive days passed before I determined that my neighbor was human.
He or she was too restless to be of any other race. Even in sleep, my neighbor twitched and jerked, movements caused by pulsing nerves that should have been silenced by the tetrodotoxin.
It did not help that the crewmen placed my neighbor’s tube so close to mine.
The sides of our tubes touched and through glass, so did the backs of our hands.
I tried to recite equations, yet could not.
The pulsing nerves kept me from concentrating.
My neighbor is male.
I learned this through the crewmen. After every 178 hours, they are required to check on all passengers. I heard them walk towards my tube. They said my name.
They walked over to my neighbor. They said his name—
Unlike myself, James tended to dream. I knew this due to the proximity of our hands. They touch through the glass.
Being Vulcan, this is unsettling. I am a touch telepath.
If I were capable of movement, this would not be a situation. I would simply move away from him.
James dreams of the stars.
I find this illogical, as if one could experience dreams, would they not dream of their home? That seems like the reasonable answer.
James also dreams of the sun. The image of it rising in the morning and setting in the evening is fresh in his mind. After sharing this particular dream more than once, it is fresh in my mind as well.
Somehow, the dream carries warmth.
I no longer have time to recite equations or listen to the ship.
James takes up my time.
His dreams are constant.
Some are memories of his adolescent years, when he wore padding and a helmet and ran a ball down a field; when he carved his initials into the wooden tops of his desk; when he ran from job to job; when he and a fellow female classmate would not attend class to engage in sexual intercourse in an empty room.
Many of his dreams were focused on the latter.
There was a time where James participated in physical violence.
He would speak and ultimately offend. He would fight and ultimately win. Sometimes he would lose, though James rarely dreams of those memories.
I learned here that he goes by Jim.
Jim is intelligent.
I learn this through a memory of him in the Academy.
There are many assumptions about him. Some think he is a “play-boy.” Some think he possesses a limited attention span. Many believe he is idiotic.
However, these assumptions do not faze him. In the end, Jim graduates top of his class.
Illogically, knowing this elects a positive emotion in me.
To my surprise, I learn that, like myself, Jim enjoys chess.
On the 273 day of the mission, the recurring dreams stop. Jim has a new dream.
It is one where he is crying.
His father has just died.
No one comforts him in this dream. He sits alone in a Terran vehicle under the stars.
He cries until he vomits.
I am not fond of this dream.
558 days into the mission, I feel that Jim in anxious.
Somehow past he stasis he is thinking complex thoughts. He thinks that we are not moving.
No, he knows we are moving yet he feels like we are going half of the distance we need to go, and half of that half and so on.
In Jim’s mind, we will be in darkness for eternity.
This makes me think of Zeno’s paradox.
There is one dream that I find comforting.
It is one where he is smiling. I never learn what caused this emotional response, but I find myself not caring.
Truly, when I see this dream, I seem to lose interest in all other things.
My numbers—my logic—my head.
Jim exposes me and for some unexplainable reason, I revel in it.
On the 1890th day of the mission, Jim doesn’t dream.
I would never know why the right side of his brain did not generate images that day.
It was illogical, yet these are the facts.
I miss him. His absence weighed down on my mind until my nerves pulsed just as his did. I searched for his mind through our touch only to find the darkness of my own mind.
I realized then that I had grown accustom to the warmth that followed Jim. The colors that flashed when one of his dreams would end or begin. The quick moments where his voice would breaks through his mind and resounds in mine.
His voice is brighter than the sun he dreams about so often.
I miss him.
Because of this, I understood why Jim thought space could be lonely.
On the 2021st day of the mission, Jim dreams again. He slips back into my head without effort, oblivious to my starvation for his company and the unfathomable, illogical joy I feel when he returns.
Vulcans do not love. Yes, we obtain mates and forge bonds, but we do not love.
Love is fictitious.
Humans say that love grows from the heart. This notion is entirely illogical. The human heart, or any heart for that matter, cannot support the type of growth they are suggesting.
The words definition is a feeling of strong or constant affection one feels towards a person or thing; an attraction that includes sexual desire; greed; passion.
My mother once said she “loved” me. She seemed disappointed when I did not respond. I will never understand why.
Jim loves his ship.
He is its captain.
It is a modest ship yet to Jim, it is his home. He sleeps on his ship, much like he does besides me. He jerks and twitches and moves in his bed. He is always listening. He had learned to expect the worst and is prepared to deal with whatever troubles may befall his ship.
He will protect it.
I find it odd that the definition of the word does not stand up to the emotions attached to it.
Jim loves many things, yet none as feverishly as his ship.
It is odd.
I feel the same way regarding him.
Love is a human emotion. Vulcans do not love.
I am of mixed race.
My cells are that of Vulcan and of human. Is it appropriate for me to say I am human?
Humans love and as I love Jim, then yes—
I find this appropriate.
He dreams of his father again. It is the day he sits alone in the Terran vehicle and cries until he vomits.
To stop his cries has become my deepest desire. I watch him from afar, though our touch. I wish to go to him. Humans are known to ‘hug’ one another when experiencing stress. It is said to be calming.
I have never been ‘hugged.’
No, this is incorrect.
My mother occasionally reverted to her Terran upbringing. She ‘hugged’ me.
I returned from my classes, beaten yet again by my classmates—
—She pulled me close. I leaned into her, not knowing what to do. We stayed in this…embrace for far too long, but I did not mind. By doing this, she made me feel safe.
As if I was not alone.
My nerves must have pulsed then. In my stasis, the hand that was connected to out touch moved—slightly.
I could feel the sensation of the glass on my flat palm. My fingers were splayed out. The nerves there were no longer turned away. They were connected to Jim.
Through our touch, I sent him my dream. I wrapped him in it and held on.
He received it.
Almost instantly, his crying ceased. I could feel him relax into the touch. His dream morphed into an image of the stars.
I received it.
That day, Jim and I shared dreams. We would do this every day after.
After 4380 days—
They released me from stasis.
Two crewmen were there to steady me as my tube opens and the liquids spill out onto the floor and I fall forward. My muscles are limp from their hibernation. I feel nauseous. My blood has risen to the surface of my skin, so close that its green pigment can be seen. I am weak. I allow myself to lean into their arms.
I am seated and a heating pad is placed across my shoulders. I stop shivering as my body temperature returns to normal.
They release Jim 273.3 seconds after me.
I watch his tube open and the pink liquids spill out. He gasps when he opens his eyes. I learn here that the colors of his irises are shades of blue. The crewmen hold him upright as he coughs and spits and pants. They try to move him yet his knees buckle and Jim falls to the floor.
I wish to go to him, but I am still weak.
They place multiple heating pads around him. They began generating warmth through friction as they rub their hands along his arms and sides. Jim coughs and blinks.
He looks up at me. He takes two intakes of breath then smiles. “I know you…”
His voice is gold. His smile is my sun.
I look back at him. I can still feel our touch.
I tell him, words sluggish with emotion:
“As do I.”