We have been aboard this starship for a month now and the crew seems to never sleep– scurrying about like cleaner wrasse– as passengers queue up along various stations, thoroughly engrossed by the luxuries aboard, some hardly noticing the planets zipping by or the ones we have stopped to explore.
It has been a day of deep space travel since leaving the Society Nebula, and walking about the observation deck and looking into the emptiness beyond, space itself seems to have changed color; it has taken on an iridescent blue, almost purple, as we zigzag our way through the narrow belts of asteroids, dropping off and picking up new life forms so nomadic they have no port of origin or destination in mind. And why should they? Serenity has everything and what it doesn’t have must not exist and what does not exist seems to be waiting for you.
There are 250 of us onboard Serenity who were born here and will be with Serenity until its destination is complete. We’ve been to memory school and enrichment programs, we have leaned to pace ourselves– unlike the new life forms arriving from time to time, wide-eyed and taking in everything they can get their hands on before being dropped back onto some other rock never to experience this again, wondering if they were ever here to begin with. Serenity does that– keeps some of your memories onboard.
It becomes difficult at times to remember where you came from or what you did in a previous lifetime, or who you knew before evolving into your current life form. Fortunately the crew onboard have been expecting you even before you were born. They too come and go–getting off at alien ports of call to make their way back to some far off corner of the universe and having to reacclimate into a language and culture that begins to feel alien to them the longer they stay aboard the Serenity.
Then you see crew return and just like some passengers who were born here and leave for awhile, they reenter deck-4, empty handed, and suck in the crisp air like they have been holding their breath for a lifetime, just to say in a hushed tone, “I’m home.”
Apparently this happens to everyone who has been aboard Serenity, a deja vu I am sure we will experience ourselves.