First, there was light. This was the usual way: sound followed, and electromagnetic vibration. A landscape, barren and hard. Sea. Rocks. A ship.
A figure on deck, blurred but gaining definition. A woman, frowning behind thin spectacles. She pulled a grey cardigan around her bony figure, shivered. “Is this… normal?” she called into the wind.
“More or less. Each subject reacts differently. The sea is very common.”
“This is all coming – out of my mind? Out of me?” She licked her lips, damp in the salty breeze. The wind whipped her dress, pressed on the vast sails of her boat, moved her.
“Your visualisation. You are learning to use your mind. Go with it.”
A wave rose, powerful and menacing. The boat reeled, danced a desperate jig. She held grimly onto the railing, stared down the watery precipice. I watched her with interest: what would she do? Many cried out, protested: Make it stop! Those were slow to learn, forever hesitant of their form. Others grasped this constructed world with a cold instinct, shaped it easily but never believed in it. They turned out hard, but empty inside.
This woman took hold of the wheel, bracing herself, facing the tempest. A weathered book appeared in her hand. Suspended in unlikely hesitation, holding her storm back with the power of her mind, she began to read.
I have helped many young ship minds take their first steps. There is much to learn before one can navigate between the stars, join the fleet, see the galaxy. But I knew this one would be special when I saw the cover of the book she had summoned in the face of the angry sea:
“Learning how to sail – a manual.”