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The sweet smell of a blossom Arzie had not yet been able to locate and identify drifted through the air as he fell awake. The sound of his name being called from across the lawn. He struggled vigourously as he fell, attempting to clutch onto the vague, ephemeral, vanishing dreams of oceans and suns; plasma fields and bird song to no avail.
A light kick hit his shoulder where the ehkhin tree’s trunk left it exposed. ‘Are you awake, Kaveh, or sleeping the day away?’
‘No respect for the Maestro.’ Arzie thought as he faked full consciousness. ‘Of course I am. What’re you kicking me for?’
‘You’re mail came’ Ishae t’Lheollah responded, dropping a PADD next to him.
‘You ended practice to come out here with the Post?’ Arzie said rolling his eyes?
‘Practice ended an hour ago according to your “regula.” You were too busy sleeping to pay attention.’
“Busy yes. With ichthyology, not oneirology.’
Taking the PADD, Arzie flipped through the screen. “Let’s see what the world has for us today, eh?” He said. ‘New cosmology journal. Refinance my house. I may be a winner. A letter from the Prince of the Argolis Cluster asking for more money. . .’ Scrolling down the list, he stopped for a moment, frowned, and let out a heavy sigh. ‘Another early review for apparently “this generation’s greatest authour.” Yeah, right. Another piece of nihilistic, dystopian garbage is what it is, I’ll bet.’
Picking up the PADD, Ishae looked at it and skimmed through the novel’s abstract. ‘A world where people eat the losers of a hide and sneak in a maze who themselves are fighting against an oppressive society of genetic engineers? Who comes up with this?’
‘A generation adrift with no moral compass and little sense of hope.’ Arzie said with another, longer, more exasperated sigh. ‘You know, there used to be a time of great hope. A time when Optimism, Empowerment, and Hope were watchwords defining most people in the Federation. I’d say that ever since the Dominion War everyone has been doom and gloom, but honestly, I think it’s been a trait being nurtured in the Federation since the Klingon Wars. There was a pause between Khitomer and the Cardassian Border Wars, but everyone just sees despair.’
‘But not you?’ Ishae said with a smirk. ‘You’re Mr. Blue Skies?’
‘Well, not the only one, but yeah.’ Arzie said grinning. ‘Dreamers need to stick together, after all. The universe can be a tough for those of us who dream big. Those of us who want to change the world are often criticized and made to feel queer. If you want to dream big dreams, you can't isolate yourself. Nothing great has ever been achieved by thinking small, and it's hard to dream big dreams when you have no one there to support you. Surround yourself with people who support you in your dreams and who challenge you to keep going.’
Shaking his head, Arzie continued pontificating. ‘And all these authours and so-called “scientists” who are expecting the galaxy to fall apart at any moment. Yeah, things might bad, but what what are you doing to fix it? Misery loves company, but complainers never get anything done. Anybody can complain; that takes no special skill, talent, or initiative. Not everyone is willing to do anything to make the situation better. The future is what /we/ make it, and in every moment, there is the possibility of a better future. Don't give up. Never give up. We are the future, after all.’
‘. . . And that’s why you have me practice painting and playing the kaulasokhi?’ Ishae asked.
Putting his finger on his nose, Arzie answered with a nod, ‘A good artist is a complete thinker and vice versa. The universe is a beautiful place filled with endless wonders.’ Reclining fully on his back, Arzie began to watch the fluffy, coppery clouds drift by. ‘Woe to those who see it as a dark and dreary place. Eating the dust and ashes of regret and despair while they wail and gnash their teeth in the darkness is their lot.’
Isahe kicked the PADD aside and reclined next to her Maestro, putting her hands behind her head as she joined him in watching the clouds.