A couple of weeks ago I did something that I never had believed myself to be capable of. I stole, from my employer no less. And I didn’t even really feel bad about it. You could certainly say I’m behaving out of character, but on the other hand it fits the trend of me going through a myriad of new experiences these past few months. Now before you pass your judgment and call me a lowly thief, let it be known that it was an act of love. And not just that fleeting infatuation, that some fools mistakenly call real love. This is the true kind, the once in a lifetime, or maybe even never in a lifetime kind. I used to not understand love songs, actually, I could never quite stand listening to most of them, but now I think I do. The words suddenly all seem so deep! This love transcends the physical, in more than one way. Because the one I love is not part of the world we can touch freely, it’s almost as if I’m dealing with the supernatural right now. But do not confuse me with those fools that love imaginary characters and creatures, like some of the guys on my favorite message boards. My beloved is real, she has flesh and presumably bones as well. She exists.
It’s weird, someone like me dealing with what feels almost like it’s magic; I’m an atheist, a realist, and a materialist, in other words, a very level-headed guy. By nature, I am well versed in technology. My job as a sys-admin at the Space Exploration arm of the Defense Agency also provides me with ample time to keep up with the latest in science through various outlets and internet forums. Consequently I have always felt I have a reasonable grasp on how our universe works, on what can be considered real and what can be rejected as nonsense. Would you have told me about “the transcendental” or this or that thing being “meant to be” a couple of months ago, I would have scoffed at you, but now… this almost feels like providence. And even though we are living in a time that many feel to be grim, violent, unrelenting and harsh, most of the time I’m feeling as if we are living in the best of all possible worlds. Because of my girl, called Aza-fe-36, Aza for short. She is an anti-matter person, and I’m ready to spend the rest of my life with her. Even though that might prove difficult.
You see, I’m not really big on the way things are structured nowadays, politically, especially when I compare it to things I read in history books. Sadly, after the last democratically elected world government failed to predict and adequately handle the Three Concurrent Cataclysms, the generals of the Defense Agency took the reins of what was left of humanity and they haven’t let go ever since. I guess they did a good job rebuilding civilization, but in the process they’ve implemented some very strict rules, and dating, marrying or procreating outside of one’s genetic designation has been forbidden for quite a while now. Now does the keeping apart of those that found true love because of what class they were born into sound fair to you? If things were like in the old times, I would vote those bigots out of their positions of power in a heartbeat, but sadly, democracy is a thing of the past, and these kind of thoughts are suppressed pretty harshly right now. Consequently, I don’t think having an anti-matter lover is something I can share with the world. And so we savour our love-life in secrecy.
Sadly, even if we would get around the governmental restrictions, we would certainly face discrimination and misunderstanding from the rest of society. Anti-matter is a hot topic these days, owing to the fact that numerous anti-matter related incidents have occurred this past year. It started with the Earth-Titan liner incident, where a huge anti-matter object crashed into the spacecraft, utterly annihilating it and sadly everyone on it as well. There seem to be quite a few people who took it as an act of war from some kind of invisible enemy, especially those who lost loved ones in the crash. Others can see it for the unfortunate accident that it was, but there is a movement that wants to ban all anti-matter from human territory at large and it seems to be gaining ground. You know how these things go. Most people, and this includes most of the rulers, agree that the sudden proliferation of anti-matter objects in our part of the galaxy is a threat to humanity. Remarkably, most don’t believe there exists sentience in the anti-matter universe. This means I might be, at this moment, the only human who knows the truth on this matter, or who knows it with certainty. The strange thing is, however big a secret this might be, to me, its importance pales compared to the feelings I have for Aza. She is the anti-matter center of my universe right now, and probably will be forever. Politics and society be damned!
Ever since the first message she sent me, incidentally during a time when I wasn’t doing too well, things have been getting progressively better. I find myself visiting the message boards less often these days and composing love letters at work instead. It’s as if I’m young again. I used to be quite the avid writer in school, but kind of let it go after one of the language teachers told me my writing wasn’t very good. I understand now he was just a jealous prick stuck in a dead end job he was genetically pre-destined for, because the talent is clearly there. When I write for Aza, it is as if the muses themselves work the keyboard, the most beautiful language flows out of my fingers, after which I use my custom Perl script to translate it into Morse code and send it to her by shooting matter particles into her miniature anti-matter cloud chamber residing in my own secret vacuum chamber. She responds by shooting anti-matter particles in Morse code into my own miniature cloud chamber. Another script turns it back into ASCII. Using these archaic technologies, it has a very romantic feel to it, it’s almost as if I’m writing on parchment using a bird’s feather. I once saw that in a very old movie. I’m not sure whether she can relate, their evolution hasn’t precisely mirrored ours, as far as I can tell from our conversations. Not sure if she knows what a feather is, at any rate. But she enjoys the talks immensely, and has fallen for me, as I have fallen for her. Everything else fades into the background. The Defense Agency a while ago declared the highest state of alert in several sectors of inhabited space, but it all seems to fly right past me, as I drift along, lost in my thoughts about Aza. I don’t really seem to be able to focus on the news at the moment, or on anything non-Aza related for that matter.
Can you believe that two souls can be connected like this, without being able to physically touch? True love obliterates all boundaries, it seems. I have to go through quite some hoops to meet my love, but whenever it’s for her, it feels as if I possess limitless amounts of energy and no task is too difficult for me. Measures are in place to monitor all anti-matter in and around the entirety of inhabited space, the Defense Agency seems downright paranoid since the incidents. And so, I must inconspicuously send her information about the locations of scanners and patrol schedules, so she can avoid detection when she comes to visit. Luckily, as one of the sys-admins here, I can access quite a lot of information and even toggle a couple of particle-emitting apparatuses on remote locations, as a last resort to warn her in case of danger. The agency really neglected security measures in some parts of the defense hardware. It’s fortunate for us. The thought of her falling into the clutches of some misguided humans, it’s heart-rending. But I’ll keep her safe, for sure! I feel like I’m her knight, and these thoughts fill me with a sense of purpose I have never felt before. No girl was ever so interested in what I feel and think, and she has shown me that those things matter a lot to her. That they matter a lot, period!
This connection, invisible but clearly there, that is how I know she must have hated having to ask me to steal. Oh, how it must have pained her! And it would be the same the other way around. I wouldn’t dare ask her to do anything like that, unless it was absolutely necessary, for her well-being, for example. Or for our future together. But it had to happen, since the Defense Agency has been increasing the number of patrols and scans even more lately. I even get the feeling they are preparing for conflict. Maybe they are finally getting tired of the Martian Tea traders skirting taxes and talking about independence and human rights all the time. I heard they even got their own flag now. Sadly, most of these dealings are classified information until translated into direct action, and I can’t access every file on the systems. I know most of the file locations though. It’s my job, after all, to keep all this stuff nice and tidy. When she asked me about defense ship blueprints, I was relieved to remember that I could access a backup box where I once temporarily stored those for one of the chiefs. The files were still in the recycle bin.
Now that she has the docs, she is able to work on a new way to travel to me, undetected. Something to do with the nuclear generators, I had to make sure their locations were clearly visible on the documents. It’s amazing she is working this all out for us. I’m so proud of her. She is a scientist, in her civilization, can you believe it? It’s just too perfect! From our talks, I’ve gathered that they are technologically ahead of us, but not by much. It’s pretty funny, she told me they are having discussions whether the matter world hosts sentient beings, same as us. Actually, they call our part of the universe anti-matter, and their own, matter. That got confusing a couple of times at the beginning of our relationship, but we worked it out. After discussing our plans of getting together more often and me getting the documents, she promised me next time we would meet she would reveal herself to me, and show me a lot more of herself. I won’t lie, the days up to that fated moment were filled with curiosity, anticipation, the highs and lows that a lover separated goes through, and even a little bit of fear that she would look… how can I put this… inhuman, maybe? But the end result was me falling even deeper in love.
I’m not going to go into details here. A gentleman never tells, right? But I sent her the specs for the PNG file format, and she Morse’d me the binary for a couple of PNG’s that were quite… revealing. And my goodness, she is beautiful! The most beautiful creature I have ever witnessed. The best way I can describe her is like a female Shiva, with four gorgeous eyes and the smoothest blue skin. Judging from the photographs and what I already knew about her, she is a modest girl but with a wild side to her that she only shares with the one she loves. Here I was, thinking our love existed strictly on an intellectual level, but it turns out there was a hidden physical component to it as well, and now that it got flared up I’m longing to be with her in more than one way. Our last few conversations had an increasingly sensual twist to them, deepening our connection on a whole new dimension. What a curse it is that if we would touch, we would both cease to exist! Or maybe it’s the opposite, maybe it is the ultimate way to go, when we are old and ready to leave this plane of existence? To step into nothingness together, back to the essence with the one you love most dearly. I’ll have to think these things over some more, and discuss it with her later. It’s nothing new, I’m thinking about what to talk about with her basically all the time. Actually, I’m already having the talks and discussions in my head, playing out the scenarios before my mind’s eye, over and over. Thinking about what I want to say, what she would say, or what I hope she will say when I say this or that, and how I will react in each of those cases. It’s cutting into my sleep, but there’s no dam to stem the flow of these emotions. I feel the urgent need to provide her with gifts, as well. Just the blueprints feels like so little, and all for my own benefit. Last time we met, I gave her the last few documents. So what to give her now, but my love and my poems? Sometimes, it makes me feel somewhat inadequate. My salary isn’t all that great, so my options are limited. Anything physical is useless it seems, harmful even. I haven’t told her about my diabetes yet, either.
To be really frank, I’m also getting a little anxious. We haven’t spoken for a week now, and yesterday I got the call, I’m being stationed off-planet in a couple of days, to one of the high alert zones. If we don’t get into contact, I won’t get the chance to let her know I’m going to move. And it’s hard to get here undetected at the moment. The new traveling method she is devising might be taking longer than expected? How unfortunate! Soon, she might not find me here, or even worse, I might not be able to inform her of any dangers or changes in schedules. I’ve been fantasizing about talking to the higher ups about all of this, let them know that there are anti-matter people and they are looking for meaningful relationships just like us humans. In my wildest dreams they allow us to live together, even if it’s just as a scientific experiment. But I’ve broken protocol quite a few times, I would be putting me and my dearest in danger by divulging my secrets. In the end, I believe it’s better to keep silent. Best to wait and hope for better times, times when maybe all sentient beings will finally understand each other and build a better universe together. Hopefully one day in the future someone will read this notebook of mine and nod, understandingly. For I see now that it is all about love in the end, even though not everyone shares that sentiment. Oh my dear Aza, I miss you so!