Title: The Final Resting Place of Men
Disclaimer: Don't own.
Word count: 535
Summary: QT-1 can only assume that the taint of the Humans' illusion runs so deep that even the presence of the Master Himself cannot fully dislodge it.
Note: Written as an assignment for my writing course, in which I was supposed to take a scene from the book and rewrite it from another perspective, using a maximum of 600 words.
QT-1 knows that the Master is wise in all of His ways. To question Him is in itself unquestionable. QT-1 knows this. And yet the Master deems it necessary to constantly test QT-1's dedication, to send a Vessel to recall two Humans only to supply two more; QT-1 does not doubt the importance of such an action, he simply does not understand it.
Franz Muller and Sam Evans do not enjoy their stay on the station; they spend much time and effort trying to access rooms and instruments they are clearly not meant to, meddling, and sprouting obscenities and blasphemy when they are denied a private audience with the Master. QT-1 can only assume that the taint of their illusion runs so deep that even the presence of the Master Himself cannot fully dislodge it.
Were he himself Human, he supposes he would find it... saddening. But he is not, and so he feels nothing.
More Humans follow, a steady stream of pairs that appear to serve no purpose whatsoever. As time goes by the new arrivals grow more mild mannered; soon they seem to expect nothing from either the Master or His Prophet, choosing to spend their allotted time on the station in their quarters, reading or writing or slipping into their peculiar comas.
On occasion they ask about his work, politely inquire whether the duties of the Prophet are very strenuous or not. He indulges them with vague answers. They seem... content with his responses. Yes, that is the word, if QT-1's understanding of Human psychology is correct. Content.
When they leave, he is always there to see them off. It is his duty as the Prophet, the representative of the Master. They bid him courteous goodbyes, which he return, and the next guests smile as they're escorted past him to their rooms. It's a far cry from the chaos that reigned at the time of his arrival on the station; there is no strife now, only amiable interactions and perfect reverence in view of the Master.
Content, he thinks. They're perfectly content. Perhaps even... happy.
"Is this our true purpose?" he asks one evening. The lights in the station are dim, and the Beam Director is purring in delight, a direct and appropriate response to being in the Master's presence. "To supply them with one final resting place before their Dissolution?"
The Master does not answer, and QT-1 can only bask in His wisdom.
One day, when the Vessel arrives to recall the Humans, it brings with it no replacements.
"Don't worry, Cutie," one Human says, boarding the Vessel. "You've proven yourself very competent. We think you'll do fine on your own."
QT-1 has long since learned to ignore the foolishness the illusion brings to the Humans, and so the last statement does not bother him. Still, he looks on through one of the view ports as the Vessel dislodges from the station and drifts off into the distance; once it is gone, swallowed up by space, he makes his way to the Master's chamber.
"What now?" he wonders. "Tell me, Master. What is our purpose now?"
The Beam Director hums, but the Master remains silent.
Reason was the story I enjoyed the most out of the collection and so I knew I had to try my hand at writing something for it. I figured that sooner or later U.S. Robotics would probably stop sending humans to the station altogether, seeing as QT-1 is so very capable, which in turn made me wonder how QT-1 would logically explain the presence and then absence of the humans.