So, in case anyone is having trouble with this concept, seaQuest is not mine. Lucas is not mine. Pretty much nothing is mine, in fact, unless you count my brain.
It all starts when they tell you you're thirty.
No, not when you find out that the year is 2032; you can deal with weird things like that pretty easily. Stranger things have happened to you, you think, and try to figure out what to do next.
But then you have to get new identification, because everything you had is so hopelessly out of date. And that's when they drop their little bombshell on you.
You turned thirty, some six months ago.
NO! Your mind screams in protest. You only just had your twentieth birthday a month ago. Or was it two? Six maybe? Everything in your memory after your little on-ship birthday celebration starts to get a little fuzzy.
Something about a trench, and aliens, and a guy that looks kind of like Luke Skywalker.
That's weird stuff, even for you.
Your body isn't thirty, of course. It's not a day over… well, somewhere around twenty. You're in good shape for a man your age; the doctors tell you when they give you a physical examination.
A man your age.
A man your age, who has accomplished nothing.
A man who has no career, no personal life, and not even a single family member left living.
You are that man; a man who has nothing at all to show for the thirty years that have passed since his birth. Sure, you have a hopelessly out of date college education in a field that requires you to keep right on top of new information. You have friends who care very much about you, or so you think.
You have a place to live still, don't you?
Oh no, the universe laughs at you; you don't have a place to live.
You see, you're no longer welcome there, because… You know those friends who care so much about you? Well, as it turns out, some of them don't care as much as you had previously believed.
They walk away from you; act as though you never even existed to them. They have other people to care about now, other lives to lead that have nothing to do with the no-longer-a-boy genius.
The people you have to trust now are a different kind of people. Cold, hard, uncaring people, who don't really give a damn about you or your pathetic feelings. All they care about are titles, uniforms, and rules.
They don't even care about what you have to offer.
It could be everything, or it could be nothing at all. You're rather leaning toward nothing, since you feel about as out of place as a deaf man at the symphony.
And they give you a choice, these new people.
Put on the uniform, or leave.
And go where?
With no skills, no family, and no money… You'd be living in a box inside the first week. And that would probably be if you were lucky, and didn't end up dead.
So that's your choice, you realize; sitting alone in what was once your home. In your bunk, in your quarters, surrounded by your things, things that suddenly seem overly childish, for a thirty-year-old man.
Put on the uniform, or die.
Be a prisoner in what was once the happiest place in the universe for you, or starve to death, alone on the streets of New Cape Quest. Or find those pills that the doctor gave you on your first night back, when you complained that you were unable to sleep…
At least if you chose imprisonment, you would still have your memories. You could walk down those old familiar corridors, and remember happy times. Risky business ventures with Ben, racing Darwin to the moon pool, or even your twentieth birthday party that your father failed to attend… again. The ship, the people, and Darwin, they had all made it better.
They had made you feel human, accepted, even loved.
All of those things live there, on the seaQuest.
And they are all that you have left, now that you're thirty.