Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be

-Sam Cooke

I do not remember much about my past, but I know there was a ‘me’ before the ‘me’ I know now. I do not feel as though this is me to my full capacity, like a part of me is missing. There was a girl, and she was beautiful. I had never seen anyone like her.

Those were the thoughts of a man who does not even remember his own name. But no one ever really uses names here, for does your name make you who you are?

In order to understand his story, I must take you back in time to the year 2054 AD, a very advanced time in human technology. They had recently been allowed to join the Intergalactic Union.

Adam was an IU official, a representative from Earth. He was heading to the IU headquarters for a month-long conference to discuss a rather trivial matter about inter-planetary trade. So on this particular trip, he invited his nineteen-year-old son to join him.

This was the boy’s first journey into space. He sat stiffly, not used to the spacesuit just yet. He watched nervously as the spacecraft left the place he called home. His heartbeat grew faint; his eyes were tightly shut as he waited to feel something resembling solid ground beneath him.

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A few terrifying hours later, they reached the IU headquarters. Adam left his son on the observatory balcony, where he would watch the proceedings from a safe distance, for sometimes the meetings could get a little violent.

The balcony had a transparent, virtually indestructible force-field around it. The room was painted white (like most of the building). This gave the illusion that the space went on forever. The emptiness became very apparent as a cold gash of wind blew past.

“Hello.” A peculiar, yet angelic voice rang in his ear as he looked up for the owner of this voice. There she stood, a blue crystal-like creature, her skin sparkled in the light. The boy felt as though he was in a trance, mesmerised by her goddess-like beauty.

“Hello.” She repeated.

“H-iii.” He finally managed to stutter back.

“You’re human, aren’t you?” Before he could reply, she carried on with her hundred and one questions. “What’s your name? How old are you? Why are you here? Are you a representative? If you are, then you are in the wrong place, because this room is merely for observers.”

It seemed like she did not need to stop and catch her breath. However, she paused nonetheless, waiting for a response, probably as quickly as she had asked her questions.

“Mhmm… Yes, I am human.” He realised it was not obvious, “My name is Ryan. I am nineteen years old – human years.” He added in case it was ambiguous. “My father brought me here to observe, so no, I am not in the wrong place.” He said with a hint of smugness in his tone.

“Well, I am Asterian. I do not have a name, but you can call me Hera. I am only five years old which is approximately seventeen point seven eight five two nine human years. So we are almost the same age.” She smiled.

She carefully omitted the reason for her presence in the room.

In the course of the next few weeks, they spent more time together, as Hera’s curiosity was unquenchable. Her charm easily kept Ryan around for hours. There was a magic in the air. How was nineteen-year-old Ryan to know it was an illusion? Maybe in her own way, she shared his feelings, but Asterians would not know how to show it. All she could do now was follow orders.

The day came.

“Ryan, I do not know what you, humans, call it, but I feel special things for you. This time with you has been…. interesting? No, it has been enchanting. I will be leaving soon but I do not want to be away from you.” The sting of the sadness in her voice broke his heart.

“It is called Love, and I feel the same way.” He said reassuringly as he looked into her pearl blue eyes. They gleamed with hope. He broke from her stare sharply. “I wish there was a way, we did not have to part, but –”

“But there is a way!” She interjected. “Have you ever heard of the immortals? On Aster, we have created Body Simulators (BoSi) that will never be hungry, fatigued or weary. You could live in a body simulator, on Aster with me!” she emphasised the last two words, as she pleaded with him. “I would have come to Earth, but the BoSi was designed to survive Asterian conditions only. So what do you say? Come with me, please.”

There was a long pause; Ryan had a thoughtful look on his face.

“Tell me you love me, and I will come with you.”

“That is it? I just have to say that, and you’ll come with me to Aster?”

He nodded slyly.

“I love you!” Hera exclaimed.

“What a wonderful world it will be.” He said in an aside to himself.

Hera probably did not understand the gravity of those three words, she had uttered. For with that Ryan had placed his heart, soul and trust, his entire being in her hands, a gift beyond the call of duty.

The next day, while Adam was in a conference meeting, Ryan and Hera snuck off to her space-rover, where she had a BoSi waiting. Almost as though, it was planned.

Then Ryan’s body lay empty. The BoSi stayed motionless because it took a while for the essence to get accustomed to the new body. Soon the Ryan Hera knew and loved was supposed to be back.

They arrived on Aster, after a rather lonely journey through space. Ryan still had not woken up. For some reason, it was taking longer than expected.

“How was the mission?” rang a deep, powerful voice from behind her.

“It was successful, commander. I got all the necessary information about Earth. It is all in my memory report, Sir.”

The commander lifted his hand above Hera’s shoulder, extended his dendrites into her skin to tap into her memory pool. A live feed of her memory, of all she had learnt from Ryan surged through her core, into the memory vessels and up into the commander’s mind. As the information was being extracted, visions of a laughing Ryan filled her thoughts. She chuckled, and then let out a low yet deep sigh when she remembered Ryan’s current state.

“I see,” the commander broke her chain of thought. “The mission was indeed a success. I also see you brought back a souvenir.”

“It is nothing important,” She said to save face. “Just something I admired on my trip. He should have woken up by now but it is taking longer than expected. I even recalculated resurrection time to suit his human interior.”

“Well, I am not an expert in inter species interaction, that is your field.” He walked away defiantly. A commander rarely admits to his own ignorance.

Two hours later, BoSi began to move. Ryan was back.

“Hello, Ryan.”

He looked around; there was no one else in the room. “Am I Ryan?” he asked vacantly.

 “Yes, you are and I am Hera.” Cautiously, she eyed him.

“Hera?” he whispered, trying to remember thoughts that had evaporated. Hera reached for his hand, but her touch meant nothing to this new body. It had no trace of her warmth or love from a past life.

He doesn’t remember anything, but I remember everything. I remember his name, his age, why he was there. I remember the beautiful girl from his dreams, because I was that girl. I took him because I wanted him; because I loved him, and he loved me. But I was naive. Now I know that humans are not meant to live forever. Everything they are, everything we love about them is attached to every part of them.

 

Acknowledgements

Quick shout out to Sam Cooke, and his lovely song “Wonderful World.” Listening to it helped me come up with this story in the first place.

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