Lonely...

It's so lonely here, the only soul in a spacecraft meant for a colony. The only soul... Do Innovades have souls? ...Do I have a soul?... I would like... to think that I did have a soul... When I was still Tieria Erde... and not a part of Veda. But do I have one now? I... no, I... maybe...

Maybe these feelings I have, maybe this longing means that I do have one. That my humanity is still intact. Is still safe. I don't want to forget. It frightens me, the thought that here, in this solitude with no one to save me, I might revert back to who I was. Before the Ptolemaios. Before Lockon.

I don't regret my actions. I don't regret "death" and becoming one with Veda. It was because of this that I was able to help them... the crew of the Ptolemaios... my family. By remaining here, I can continue to watch over them, protect them... with Veda. But still...

I feel so alone.

I miss the blessings that came with being alive. I miss my family. Mileina's innocence that brightened the walls of the ship. The strength of Setsuna's silent presence and the gentleness of Allelujah, their determination. I even miss Haro's annoying chirps and echoes. Here, there is no bustling of life, there is no flurry of words or emotions. There is only the soft thrumming of Veda. The murmuring of its vibrations as it calculates one plan after another. And beyond that, there is only the vast silence of space.

They were more than benefits. The ability to breathe in the crispness of air. To touch, to feel the smoothness of the clothes that wrapped around my body, the warmth of the living. They were life itself. My existence here, is neither life nor death. It is an in-between. I am here, I am everywhere Veda is, yet I am nowhere. I cannot touch, I cannot feel. I am but an essence that thinks. A ghost of someone who once lived. Tieria Erde is dead. I am his memories... I am his will. And thus, I am what he was, what he became.

So am I... do I... can I say that I have a soul? Are these memories, is this pining for life enough to prove that I am still here. That his soul, my soul, is still here?

Maybe I don't want to know. I'm afraid to know. Because what if, I am really just a stream of encryptions, and all of these thoughts, these fears I have, what if they are just a recreation, a superficial copy of what I once experienced when he- when I was alive. When I had a soul... What if I am just a musing of Veda's, as it struggles to comprehend this foreign data received from linking with Tieria Erde. Veda is powerful. Veda is omniscient. But Veda... is not human. Veda does not understand soul. It does not understand life. It takes humanity, my humanity, and breaks it down into numbers and algorithms.

Veda... I am certain it is well within Veda's capabilities... to lock me away in quarantine, or to delete me once it has no further use for my knowledge. As a human, I was imperfect. Now, to Veda, I must be a virus, or a bug, that threatens to disrupt its perfection. It does not care if the soul of Tieria Erde exists within me... or if I am his soul. It cares only for the plan. For Aeolia Schenburg and his will. I, who care not for the plan but for the safety of those precious to me, must be an error that threatens to mar that plan.

It is almost as if, with every second ticking away, I can feel a part of myself disappear, replaced with the mentality of a piece of software. I fear that as time passes on, my humanity will slowly be overwritten by Veda's systems. I will become Veda, and my too-brief years as a human will be nothing more than a distant piece of unused data, buried beneath unneeded files, folder after folder, hidden in a place so obscure I will no longer remember where it is or how to find it. My days as a meister will become nothing but a distant dream.

Setsuna, who is Setsuna? Oh, yes, Setsuna is– Codename Setsuna F. Seiei. Born Soran Ibrahim. Place of Birth the former Republic of Krugis. Gundam Meister of Celestial Being... No, he's more than that. Setsuna was my comrade. Setsuna is– Former pilot of Gundam Exia. Current pilot of 00 Gundam.

Codename Lockon Stratos. Born Neil Dy- NO! Lockon. Not Lockon. I don't want to forget him. The one who gave me my soul and made me human.

. . . . . . . . .

I... do not want to think about this anymore... because I know that Veda is just a system. Veda cannot delete me. Only I can erase myself, my humanity. Only the anguish of silence and loneliness can weather it away. Only I can choose to forget. Because it hurts to be human and to be alone. Because it is easier to cope if I do not feel. If I am like Veda. If I am not human.

It is too painful... but still I cannot help but to think about an endless future. A future where I will be forced to watch as one by one everyone I knew and loved will age and die while I "live" on. And then, there will be no one left to protect. Only the nameless, the faceless. And this will stretch on forever, into the unfathomable darkness of time.

Maybe, I should sleep. Sleep will stave off the cleansing. In sleep, I will not have to be aware. There will be no need to pass the time with these demoralizing postulations. I will not be conscious to imagine such a desolate future. Sleep, until I am needed again, until I can once again interact with humanity.

But when will that day be? How many generations will pass? Will Setsuna still be alive? Will Allelujah? And Mileina? Feldt? Lasse? Lyle? Will I wake up one day, in the far future, and be utterly alone, more so than now? I feel as if I am immersed in an icy abyss. It feeds on my despair, expanding, colder, colder, engulfing my essence, my soul. I can almost feel myself shrivel as the frost wraps its tendrils around me.

Lonely, so lonely.

Where are you, Lockon? I... I don't ... I don't want to be alone. Where are you? Let me go... to where you are. I don't... I don't want to be here. Not anymore.

Where are you? Wherever you are, is it a place like this? Where you can feel nothing, but the cracks that slowly spread around your humanity, pieces of yourself falling prey to the heartless abyss? Where it becomes difficult to separate reality from illusion and the mind becomes a faint, hazy blur? Or is it someplace warm and comforting. Where you are reunited with your family. Where you are finally at peace with yourself.

I want to be there.

I want to feel my eyes burn and sting, the wetness on my cheeks. If only I could... The comfort of tears. At least, if I could, wouldn't that mean some part of me remains? I try to… I command this hologram I have created to weep… But there is nothing to feel. Machines cannot feel. Data cannot feel. There is only the icy, numbness of Veda. There is only the yearning for the phantom warmth that used to be.

I don't... want to feel this emptiness anymore. Let me... rest. I'm so tired...

I did have a soul. But if it still exists within me now, it must be slipping away, the longer I remain in the solitude of Veda. What if, I forget why I am here? I become nothing more than Veda. I lose my humanity. I am replaced with the cold machine that cares only for the plan… What if… what if… what if…….

But I don't want to think anymore. Let me rest. Let me sleep. Yes, sleep… Sleep…

so tired... of this... of here... let me… sleep…


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