Chapter 7

The Imperial scientists and their drones know that every thing, every creature, and person in the galaxy has its own energy, its own being.  They also know that the human mind and body needs to be fed, excited, and sedated.  Especially after floating in space for a long time, deprived of live-able refuge and rest, the human mind and body needs treatment. 

For this reason, the Imperial scientists have designed special means of sedation. Trifling entertainments can be quite fun when they are augmented by great light and sound.  One song, one rythm, one story, raised to a magnificent volume and brightness, properly piped to the eyes and ears of millions can be quite satisflying and sedating.

Augmenting and piping one central story to billions of human minds and bodies across the galaxy seems easy today.  In fact, it is incredibly common.  However, it comes at a cost.  Even considering that the infrastructure of central Imperial entertainment is already in place, augmentation itself requires a great deal of energy.

Light and sound is released when one being meets and is consumed by another being, taking a new form.  At each scale such a release is satisfying, but to someone of larger scale, it is hardly enough, to someone smaller it could be blinding or catastrophic.  The sun lights an entire star system, and while a man cannot read a book by the light of a glow worm, a child can enjoy a summer night in the presence of one.  To the glow worm the reading lamp is confusing and dangerous.

The power plants of the Galactic Empire crush the existences of billions of tiny and ancient beings so that men and women, deprived of interaction at their own scale of humanity, can be excited or sedated- cool air on a hot day, bright lights at night, an out of season tomato.

I was eating some mint ice cream under the neon lights out by the space port in Otoyk and S. Pillier warned me: "Although fantastic, such things are a waste," he said.  "If we meet the a summer day appropriately, say, in the shade of an ancient tree, the heat and the cool are gifts.  To burn the tree to artificially cool the heat would soon leave us with barren space.  I would rather make a place between me and the tree and dwell there for a moment."  By sharing these gifts, meeting each at his own scale, S. Pillier expands a live-able place; I, with my ice cream and air conditioning, expand barren space.