Changelessness is a Change for the Worse
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We're forever teetering on the brink of the unknowable, and trying to understand what can't be understood.

The pressure of air was the only sound heard, initially — it was followed shortly by a click, and then silence.

Adam Fristlink groggily shuffled towards his work station aboard Satellite Station Filite-SL. He lifted his arm routinely to block the sudden influx of light from pummeling his eyes, which was quickly blotted out thereafter by the automatic solar filters. As every day, he approached his console, sat down in the worn-and-torn swivel chair, and ran a diagnostic check that consisted of meticulously scanning every pixel on a screen. Green meant operational; red meant the opposite.

He often wondered why the process could not be automated — it wasn't as if SolarCorp lacked the resources or K-credits to do it. An artificial intelligence could just as easily scan for any nonoperational satellites, report them, then use a mechanical humanoid chassis to assemble and launch a replacement. Adam chalked it up to corporate bureaucracy, but his copious free time let him conclude that, most likely, they simply didn't care.

Every morning (if you could call it that), he glared back towards the far wall of the work station to stare at the sole motivational poster. It was a dead-gray color, with some cartoon characters littering the torn sides — one was a sun with googly eyes, and the rest were undiscernable. In the center ran a caption: "You are the forefront of human achievement!" Rolling his eyes, he reminded himself that the poster was over two hundred years old.

Without a sound, blue lights began to circle the console. Realizing that it was time for a break, he pushed his chair back and stood. Outside the window, now, he could see Morta orbiting below, its green and blue spirals of land and sea intertwining into what could only be called art. This is the planet he grew up on, along with the human race, being the birthplace of mankind as a whole. In an odd way, that made him feel proud — he shared the home planet of every ancestry, ever.

Of course, being the origin of the species, Morta was the most densely populated planet in the galaxy, with over forty billion people. While it wasn't much compared to the rest of the galaxy's population — estimated to be about fifty-two trillion — it still boasted an impressive statistic. Billions of lives, densely packed together around the coasts of the world, each one having its own passions, hopes, dreams, and desires. Each of those lives, searching for purpose, happiness… and for love.

And here he was, 38,000 kiloyards above it, on a space station built for one, and one alone.

He shook his head; there was no point to thinking these negative thoughts. Adam tapped the coffee button with his thumb and inserted the mug into its slot, watching as the machine slowly filled the cup with a substance darker than the shadowy expanses of space itself. Once repleted, he lifted the ceramic jug to his lips, and savored the taste of the only thing in existence more bitter than himself. It wasn't depression or anything (as far as he was aware) — just a deeply ingrained pessimism.

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