Only you can

We had been taught about the collapse of the Eve Gate. It was a central part of curriculum even though it was more than 15 000 years ago.

I wondered how the settlers in New Eden had fared and how the society was there now. 15 000 years is an eternity for civilizations to go in different directions. If the gate reopened, how would the meeting go through; like we had known eachother forever or like we never had?

‘Bethany Marie, you have a visitor’, spoke the neutral but friendly female voice which I had chosen for the Interface of my personal artificial intelligence; the artificial extension of my mind.

‘Yes, AIA. Tell him I’ll be there shortly.’

From its socket in the wall, I took the AIA computer itself, which was like a card in size, and slotted it into the one at the back of my neck.

‘AIA, activate it in me’, I said.

I preferred to not have it in when at home in my apartment, as then I knew that my thoughts were natural, even if they very limited in scope and complexity by comparison.

I sat down by the dressing table and looked into the mirror. My face was roundish in shape, having fairly prominent cheeks and jawline.

‘Casual with red blush and cyan eye shadow’, I spoke.

I sat still and closed my eyes as the small mechanical arms having brushes and nozzles, extended out from the table top, applying the enhancements.

A minute later I opened my eyes, finding my face ready. I chose this style often, because I thought that it looked nice against my dark blonde hair, light skin and nut brown eyes.

I stood up and pushed my hair behind my shoulders, leaving the living area and continuing out to the entrance hall.

‘How is the weather?’ I thought.

‘Overcast and 21 degrees’, I heard the voice speak inside of my mind.

Standing next to the shoe cabinet, I lifted one foot and said:

‘Summer shoes.’

The shoe was selected and slipped onto my foot, then the same with the other foot as I lifted it.

I put on my short, light beige jacket, casting a glance into the mirror next to the door. As usual, I thought that my legs were too big compared to the rest of my body.

We had met just after I had turned 27 and had been seeing eachother regularly for almost half a year, so I had begun to know him well. This was the last time in a long while we would have the chance to meet before I would return to my position as a technician at one of the galaxy jump gates; gates which were used to enable travel from the Milky Way to other galaxies.

I opened the front door and stepped outside.

‘Hi, Feargus’, I said with a smile.


We embraced in a hug.

He was slightly taller than me, who was of average height. He had short hair and bright hazel eyes.

‘Let’s walk to the lake’ he suggested.

The city was situated under a large dome, though that was mostly for ease of life, as one could walk outside of it without aid but it became exhausting after a short while as the oxygen levels in the biosphere were slightly too low. Besides, the weather could be severe, with storms rolling in regularly. Still, it was the only planet naturally supporting human life in this sector and this lake was the only one situated within the dome.

We sat down on a patch of grass, facing the lake. It was a couple of hundred metres across and roughly circular. At the far end was the outer wall of the dome, through which one could see the valleys covered in green forests.

‘You look nice’ he smiled.

He didn’t speak it, it was a thought he sent me. Effectively, the AIA worked as telepathy to those you opened a connection to.

‘Ok, well… Thank you.’ I returned as a thought, still looking out over the lake in front of me.

As he was just next to me, I smiled a bit not only because I thought it was nice of him to say that but also for being a funny way to deliver the message and he followed it up by turning towards me and saying it in person.

‘Hey, you do look nice.’

This time I looked back at him, returning the smile but having the look showing that you knew you were being told a lie.

I removed the AIA from my neck which led to him doing the same. Immediately I felt my mind shrink back to what was just its core, with knowledge and understanding diminishingly basic to what it had been before.

I did it to feel the truest between us; unassisted, unguarded. Just us, me and him, as we were, humans.

‘Ok, Bethany’ I thought to myself. ‘No more run and hide from your feelings. He is that someone who you dreamt would show up and take your breath away, taking you with him into the great unknown.’

Back at the command centre of the gate the first day after returning, I sat down at my designated place among the rows of the other members of the crew. Through the AIA I linked my mind up to the computer system where I retreived and controlled all information being communicated within the gate as well as with the ships entering and leaving.

The galaxy jump gates were vast structures, rings many kilometres in diameter. The ring‘s thickness itself was roughly a hundred metres in width. Still, it was operated by a crew of only 20 people, through utilizing the AIA interface.

We communicated only by mind during operations. It was quite serene, looking out over all my colleagues, all wearing the same white uniforms with blue border seams, sitting concentrated, staring out into the air in front of them. It was only during breaks and when eating that we talked normally.

It was the fundamental skills and abilities that made the selection among who would work here. Our personality affected the AIA even though everyone had access to the same, vast calculation abilitiy, information and knowledge through it.

Languages between us weren’t a hindrance, the AI component of our minds knew every language and made us be able to talk with the correct pronounciation without needing any translation in-between. All of us could talk and understand every language the AIA had access to.


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