The Blackest Sea

Deva Ichnida, State Department Special Envoy, Mission Day 73, March 14 2776

I’ve gone for a swim.

Since I discovered that I could leave my pod, that’s what I’ve done.

Ichnida Negative

I thought my death had come. Even though my pod contained dozens of poly-marbles with enough supplies to last a hundred years, gifts brought to me symbolically from every nook of Atcifia and Nautilus, I abandoned all of it. What good was surviving in nothingness?

And so I stepped off the pod into the nothingness. And only then did I feel the truth. It isn’t nothingness. I can swim in it. And there is an ever-so-slight current to this blackness.

I swam, and drifted, and wafted along for days. I feel no hunger. I feel no weakness. And no need for the half-sleep.

Is this place the Mind we all share? The half-sleep is our brain’s split between the hard world and the dream world. It’s our way of connecting. But now my woke body is immersed in Mind.

As I swim I feel a cross-current, the kind familiar to a creature of the sea, the telltale sign of something approaching. I can’t see or hear a thing. But I know it’s there.

Ichnida and the Creature

It’s pushing me from behind, to my left. That’s where it’s coming from. I turn to face it. The pressure gets stronger, faster, pushing me back. Still can’t see it but it’s as big as a building!

Then it’s next to me – an eye the size of a house!

It turns away, but then a mammoth snout nudges me gently.

Do I have a new friend?

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