It always amazed me how little physical interaction we had with each other. Most of us preferred staying in the warm familiarity of our pods, preferring that to the arduous task of undocking and pod extraction, only to sit alone in our quarters watching the single broadcast channel available to us.
It was mystifying that in this day and age, that only GalNet was strong enough to broadcast a faster than light signal across the universe. Of course, it could be by design. I have no doubt that if there were thousands of channels to choose from, there would still be nothing on worth watching.
I digress. Physical interaction. Get your minds out of the gutter.
When was the last time I had met a fellow pilot face to face? It seemed another year had passed me by in the blink of an eye without me realizing it. Time became more and more meaningless as my eternal life progressed.
Were we so detached that there simply wasn’t a need anymore? Had our innate yearning for relationship deteriorated to the point where isolation was preferred? Some would say that was part of our evolution as immortals, that attachments would only bring pain in the long run.
I couldn’t disagree.
I could do without people. For the most part, I believed in microcosm, societies in small quantities. I found that the more people gathered about any given topic, macrocosm, the levels of stupidity became exponentially higher as a result. I include myself in that equation, naturally.
Yet I still craved human interaction every now and then.
Roc: Where do you find yourself docking nowadays?
Xhagen: Oh, you know, the usual spot.
Roc: I remember. They still have a good fitness facility there? I seem to recall there being one, but my memory isn’t what it used to be.
Xhagen: That they do.
Roc: You got any leave time next week? I’ll actually be in your system. Maybe I could drop by, enjoy a workout together. It’s been a while since I’ve felt truly challenged.
Xhagen: I’m sure that could be arranged, if you think you’re up for it, old man.
Roc: Watch it, kiddo. I’ve still got life enough in these old bones to kick your young, sorry ass.
Xhagen: Lol. We’ll see, Colonel. How’s next Wednesday? Say noon?
Roc: Ah, the life you lead, up bright and early at the crack of noon. Seems age is catching up to you already, son.
Xhagen: I’ll assume that’s a yes, gramps. Make sure you take your medication and diaper up. I wouldn’t want to have to clean up after any of your “accidents”.
Roc: Uh huh. You need me to pick you up a spare set of baby wipes? Wouldn’t want you to have to sweat and ruin that perfectly ugly face of yours.
Xhagen: We could do this all day you realize.
Roc: I do. Confirmed next Wednesday, 1200 hours. See you then, my friend.
Xhagen: Fly safe, Colonel.
It would be good to see Xhagen again. He was a monster of a man, even by my standards, as strong and muscular as they came. Of course, once you got to know him, he was a softie, but that was one of the galaxy’s most widely guarded secrets. We all had images to maintain after all.
I was excited about the chance to push my physical limits with him, to see if I still had what it took to make those younger men weep with despair.
I wondered if anyone else would come along for the show.