No consentient can be simply defined as their most obvious characteristics. There was more to Blueneck, apparently, than his blue neck, or his colorful thoughts and language. There had been a head on that stump once. Although if you listened to him for more than a few days, as I was compelled to, you’d wonder at the number of reasons why his head wasn’t there anymore. Were any of them true, I wondered. Unfortunately, even the telempathic broadcast translator wasn’t much good here, as it seemed the azure Colophian appeared to believe every word/thought he expressed, whether they we contradictory or not.
Thankfully, he wasn’t the station’s engineer.
One day, it was a blaster shot from a trigger happy space patrol cadet getting plastered in a spaceport bar, a victim of one or two too many Antarean Supernovas and the attention of a two headed, four breasted Skinx, another day it was a hungry sextruped on an safari expedition on a weird phosphorescent jungle moon, with floating mountains and people with some crazy addiction to their brain sucking trees. He even suggested, at least once, it hadn’t even been blown off, but that it had in fact wandered off some day and forgot to leave a forwarding address. I didn’t know anything about Colophians, so that has as good a chance to be true as anything else. Luck for him, though his species didn’t have a great apparent need for it’s heads, as they were devoted solely to sensory input and eating, both of which was easily replaced by galactic technology. Even if one chose to not replace the head with, well, another head.
Because wasn’t any help in determining fact from fiction.
“Even if I told you what I thought was the truth,” he told me as he shifted from amoeba to stick figure. “It would probably what you want to hear anyways, what you’ve already decided.”
“We aren’t exactly psychologically compatible,” he’d transformed into a collection of intricate tube like structures. “You’re mind is having a tough enough handling me simply being non-communicative.”
I couldn’t argue with that, turned away from his latest nausea inducing psycho-shifting.
Oh, back to Blueneck.
He wouldn’t tell me exactly where his species brains were, but hinted they were somewhere the suns didn’t shine. Seemed appropriate, considering the overriding topics of conversation he was committed to.
Still, as I’ve noted, he was a jittery consentient, rarely sitting still for more than a few moments, needing to walk around on his limbs/tentacles. There was a nervous edge to him, he seemed to crave stimulation, and constantly his telempathic link was pressuring mine.
Why, I have no idea, and based on his general metabolism, it seemed odd for him to behave that way. Had he spent too much time out here as well? Or had something, or somethings in the past caused him to behave and project so compulsively.
Luckily for me, I could tune him out when I had to, although not always when I wanted to, and not enough to not learn the gist of what he needed to parlay. It wasn’t a game I liked to play. It wasn’t as though I had a treasure of psychological imagery to offer him. I cleaned filters.
Nothing exciting or stimulating there.
Which is exactly why I made a career of it.
Being alive, as they say, is excitement enough.
As for my connection, I was going to have to get it upgraded, as even though I could concentrate on my task at hand, there was always something of his, or Because’s or even the Siliconoids which managed to slip through, thoughts, feelings, impressions, compulsions.
I know, I should have had it fine-tuned before I came, and that would turn out to be my one regret. I suppose its possible what came next could have been avoided if I could have tuned out the universe.
On the other hand, the universe has a way of getting into you, if it wants to, and if you’re willing to let it. This is normally what made my prime directive so valuable a commandment. Too many unhealthy things can fall into an open mind.
<<Galactic News Flash: Three members of the Numerian Space Patrol were killed to day when a Vgebaoshi interstellar transport hit their stationary vessel level four hyperspace. Science police are investigating as according to the basic rules of higher dimensional physics, it is impossible to remain motionless in fourth level hyperspace. Seriously, higher dimension physicists across the galaxy are quite angry about this development, and are demanding charges be laid for this clear violation of established physical laws.>>