One Day, The Author Granted A Boy The Power To Talk To Earth
One day, the author granted a boy the power to talk to Earth.
Author: Boy! Make the most out of your power! Come on! Bravely go forth and create miracles…acles… s!
And then they disappeared just like that.
The boy that was created looked on with confusion in the direction where the author had disappeared. He suddenly remembered he still had a lot of unfinished homework to do today and rushed back home without further ado.
The boy had the eighth-grade syndrome as he was a junior student, also around the time of the rebellious stage. However, because his father was a drunkard, once he was drunk, he would hit and scold him, shouting at him to drop out of school to support the family. Being the eighth grader he was, he swore to do well in his studies and piss off that damned geezer.
When he got back home today, his father had gone out for drinks. The eighth grader was glad he wasn’t there. He lit an incense for his mother and went to do his homework inside his room.
That night passed by quietly without a hitch. The next morning, when the boy woke up, his father still had not come back. He probably got drunk and fell asleep by some road. The boy was very satisfied with this situation.
It would be best if that geezer never returned.
However, when he got back from school that same day, his father had returned, still in his drunken state.
The boy saw that things were going to be bad, but it was too late for him to run – he could only be beaten up by the drunkard. The drunkard started to say how he was specifically born for him to beat up, and he even loudly cursed at how he had to escape a bill from the hospital this morning.
Perhaps it was because his eighth-grade syndrome was too strong. He still gritted his teeth and completed his homework once he returned to his room. He thought to himself that he must become a doctor when he grew up. If he saw this kind of drunkard, he would put him to death without hesitation. His train of thought strayed to China. China’s legal system and institutions were really too terrible. If he were abroad, he would be able to break free from that old drunk. He should reform the laws.
When he finally lay on the bed, he was still brimming with anger with no trace of sleepiness. He abruptly remembered that a certain author had given him the ability to communicate with the Earth. He decided to try this ability of unknown usefulness.
He timidly called out to Earth: Earth, hello.
It was no surprise he was timid. He was simply scared of accidentally provoking Earth’s fury, and Earth would shower its wrath on him.
The other side was silent for a very long period of time before finally returning a reply: Hello.
It was a very clear voice.
So it really works, exclaimed the boy in his mind. He had so many things he wanted to talk about all at once, since Earth had nurtured so many lives. Could he bring up his own worries with Earth? Perhaps like a deity, Earth might be able to grant his wishes.
But after coming up with a wide range of desires, the first thing to come out of his mouth was…
“Earth, are you a boy or a girl?”
Earth remained silent at this question. He didn’t know whether it was because Earth didn’t know how to answer it or if it was because its sexuality was unknown.
The boy realized he had asked a very stupid question, so he changed to another topic: Earth, what are you doing right now?
The boy thought Earth wouldn’t reply, but this time Earth quickly responded.
Earth: Gazing at the stars.
To think Earth wasn’t doing something grand like saving the world, taking care of humanity, or nurturing all life. He was gazing at stars instead!
The boy was dumbfounded, but he still said: But there are no stars tonight.
Earth: You cannot see them because it is too cloudy from your place. It doesn’t affect me.
The boy gave an non-committal reply, then asked: I’m talking to you right now, don’t you think it’s strange?
Earth: It is not strange.
Boy: But I can talk to you.
Boy: Really not strange at all?
Earth: Special, but not strange.
The boy didn’t know why but he felt delighted: How special?
Earth: As special as the bacteria on your body talking to you out of nowhere.
The boy felt gloomy, but for some reason his emotional state seemed to be much more relaxed than before.
Maybe it was because he felt as if he had gained a big patron like Earth. Although he couldn’t be considered to be a patron, who else could converse with the existence that humankind depended on — Earth?
The boy’s vanity was satisfied.
The boy said he needed to go to school tomorrow, and bid Earth goodnight.
Earth: Okay, goodnight.
On the second day, the boy felt refreshed. Although the teacher gave a pop quiz, since he usually studied hard, it wasn’t that difficult.
He kept studying, eating, and going back home as usual… Right, the old man wasn’t in today, so he didn’t have to take the punches. He went to do his homework. Life didn’t seem to have developed any changes from what seemed to be a very small but also big secret. However, before the boy went to sleep, he contacted Earth again.
Boy: Earth, Earth, are you there?
Earth: … Yes.
Boy: What are you doing?
Boy: Do you really enjoy stargazing? You were also stargazing yesterday.
Earth: Not really, but I will gaze at them for a bit every once in a while.
The boy suddenly recalled that Earth seemed to have already lived for a very long time. Maybe they shared different perceptions of time. So he asked: How long is a bit?
This question seemed to cause some trouble for Earth. In the end, Earth replied: Around five or six cycles?
The boy thought, Oh, five or six days, or is it revolutions?
Boy: Is it spinning five or six times around the sun or you spinning five or six times?
Earth: Spinning around the Boss.
The boy finally discovered how great the distance was between himself and Earth.
Earth could stargaze irrespective of day or night for five or six years at a time, but how many five or six years did a human’s life hold? Earth was already 4.6 billion years old.
The boy was disappointed. He felt the distance between him and the (one-sided, or so he felt) friend Earth was too vast.
He changed the topic again.
Boy: Earth, do you have a good relationship with the moon?
Earth: Yes, it is quite good.
Boy: Are you a couple?
Earth: What is a couple?
The boy explained the concept of lovers, couples and family. After pondering, Earth said: According to what you have said, Moon should be my child then.
Boy: HUH HUH?!
Boy: The moon’s your child? With whom?
Boy: …Who’s that.
Earth: A…brother that perished a long time ago? That’s how it would be explained in your terms.
Boy: What is he like? How come you and him gave birth to the moon?
Earth: We were just born. At that time we had around twenty or brothers or so that were rather big, and Theia was around the size of Mars right now. But at the time, our paths were not as stable as it is right now, and one day he collided into me…
Boy: And then you gave birth to the moon?
Earth: Yes, he smashed off a part of my body. In the end, the body part mixed itself with his remains, creating Moon. It took many years.
Earth: That’s right. He was smashed into pieces.
Boy: How come he was smashed to pieces, but you came out fine?
Earth spoke with self-assurance: Because I was bigger than him! Who told him to collide into me so forcefully! It’s not like I wanted to be that much bigger than him!
The boy felt his perception of the world crumbling into pieces.
He recalled that in the natural world, many creatures would have the habit of eating up their partner after doing xxoo.
Perhaps it is all just inheriting… Earth’s glorious tradition.
The boy felt it was better to brush his teeth and go to sleep, but as he lay in bed, he couldn’t help ask: Then are we your children?
Earth remained silent for a long time. The boy felt that Earth probably had an absurd look on his face right now, so he said: Goodnight.
Then he lay down to sleep.
He felt a bit disappointed inside.
Perhaps he was thinking that if he were the Earth’s child, then he would thoroughly break free from that old drunkard with confidence. However, the Earth did not reply.
The next day was the weekend. After the boy finished his chores, he left for the library since he didn’t like staying at home. Staying at home always felt suffocating.
When he was studying, Earth suddenly actively contacted him for the first time.
Earth: I think….
Earth: You do not count as my children.
He knew this would be the result from early on. Although the boy was at a loss, he could still accept it. He coolly said: I need to study.
But Earth didn’t take notice of him and continued to explain: Just like the bacteria living on your body, our relationship isn’t far from that, so we are not parent and child.
Even if the boy had long mentally prepared himself for this answer, the comparison still made him angry: I said, I need to study!
Do you need to be so insulting?!
The boy felt as if he had been betrayed by Earth, but Earth felt very puzzled: Why are you angry? Isn’t it all the same? You are all independent of me. Although I am providing you a living environment much like how you are providing a living environment for the bacteria, this is a symbiotic relationship. You wouldn’t treat the bacteria as your children.
The boy was furious: I need to study, goodbye.
Earth didn’t know what the boy was angry over, so he became even more perplexed and went to chat with his brothers and children.
Earth: Recently, there’s been this human that’s been chatting with me…
The other planets were shocked: You weren’t actually stargazing and were instead chatting with a human?!
Moon began to give advice: Be careful not to form a relationship with them, have you seen how annoying they can be? They kept throwing and smacking things at me in the past few decades. Over here, and here, and also here, you see. Once they dump their rubbish, they don’t take them back!
Earth: It’s not like you haven’t been smacked before. What’s this bit of rubbish compared to 3.5 billion years ago? Do you remember how in the past, Uranus and Neptune would run wild with a trail of asteroids and smack us with them?
Moon: You can’t use that comparison here!
Uranus and Neptune remained silent.
Jupiter had to speak up: Don’t hold grudges, everyone was young back then, they weren’t intentional.
Earth: I’m not holding grudges, I just feel that… compared to them, the things the humans are dumping are already very trivial, why are you all against it?
Saturn: It’s not the same. Those are brothers, they are a different kind. It is very normal for brothers to be careless when they get close to us. Have you seen how annoying they’ve been lately? Even Jupiter had rubbish dumped on them. They are also harassing my side, and not just me, but also my Titan.
Mars: Same, it’s damn annoying.
Earth: …Do you actually feel it when those things are planted on you? I don’t feel anything when they move on my body.
Other planets + a pile of satellites: No, but knowing they’ve come is annoying enough! It’s fine being oblivious to it, but you also like telling us that they are dumping their rubbish over here!
Earth felt a bit hurt.
Truth to be told, he felt that he was an abnormality among his brothers.
Because besides the usual things, his body was also crawling with weird and strange things.
Earth also didn’t know the reason why he had produced these little things. From the start, he had clearly been the same as the rest as a normal terrestrial planet, but at some point in time, his body started crawling with various strange things.
When it had just appeared, Earth was baffled and asked his closest brother Venus: What are those?
Venus said: Don’t know, I don’t have them on my body.
Earth was very perplexed: Do I count as an abnormality?
Venus was also very perplexed: Aren’t we all unique?
That was true. They did seem to be all unique. Look at Mercury, who was closer to Boss than him? And who was like him, even smaller than Ganymede and Titan? And Jupiter, who was as big as him? And Saturn, so shameless about his beauty? And Uranus, who rotated like him on the side? And Neptune, who had the highest wind speed in his atmosphere within the solar system? As for Venus, the less that’s said about that guy the better. Who else had such a thick coat of carbon dioxide keeping them warm! And he even had sulfuric acid rain!
The two of them glared at each other. In fact, a long time ago, they used to resemble each other a lot more and were more intimate. They were also closer and would occasionally exchange materials. But now that no longer happened.
Earth said: Okay then, I’ll do some investigating myself.
But Earth didn’t manage to get many results from the investigations. And more recently, a race that kept on dumping rubbish on everyone had made an appearance.
Earth thought it was quite interesting. Whenever they dumped rubbish into space, Earth would report it to its brothers and children, much to the annoyance of everyone. Earth was disheartened. Was he only like this by himself? Could it be that this planet was truly special?
Could it be there was no other planet in the universe like himself?
Earth really enjoyed looking at the distant stars. Due to a myriad of reasons, only rays of light from the far off cosmos could be easily seen, the rest were much more difficult.
In truth, Earth was only familiar with this solar system. He had never left home, and he didn’t know how he would be able to dispel the warping of spacetime instigated by the overweightness of the Boss, and fly off.
But it was not easy being a wandering planet either. And if he was to be a wandering planet, those things on his body would die off. Should there come a day where he did come across another planet with the same strange creatures crawling all over him, how would he be able to explain himself? There was a time where I also had many of these things growing on me! Haha?
But what if the other planet wanted evidence of it? They all died…
Earth was reluctant to leave, but he also couldn’t bear to be without this cosmos, so he enjoyed watching the stars.
Even though the Boss had mentioned before that those things were very similar to him, they were just different in size.
Even though the Boss had mentioned before that by the time their radiance reached here, many of the stars had already died.
But Earth still enjoyed watching them, the burial grounds of those giant, vibrant lifeforms.
Earth went back to stargazing and soon forgot about his feelings of depression.
The boy was currently engaging in a very son-damning situation. His drunkyard of a father had fallen drunk on the streets, and some warm-hearted passerby had called the local authorities. 110 (police) contacted the boy, and he unwillingly went to the police department. There, he found out 110 had also called over 120 (ER).
120 clearly did not want to deal with his drunkard of a father who was shouting, screaming, and smashing everything around him as they loudly asked: Are you going to the hospital or not (not was emphasized)?
His drunkard father replied: Not going!
120 very innocently spoke: See, he doesn’t want to come, and we can’t force him to come. How about this, we’ll check his vitals. If there is nothing else, you can let him go home and have his family deal with him?
Then, the police held his father down. 120 checked him over and left once they declared him fine.
The boy coldly watched from the side. He also wanted to do what 120 did—walk away to avoid the problem.
What’s the use of taking this kind of person home? It was better off to leave him in the police’s care for him to clear his head.
He didn’t tell them he was his son anyway.
So the boy left like that, leaving behind the police and a wildly drunk father wrestling.
When he got back home, he began to cry.
He didn’t know why he felt so wronged, and he also didn’t know who to speak with about it. Although he had friends, he didn’t want to tell them this kind of stuff.
He thought of Earth, but he had angered Earth away.
When he reached this point in his thoughts, he began to sob out loud.
As the boy sobbed, he felt this was all actually his own fault.
In fact, what was the difference between humans and bacteria on the Earth? Some bacteria caused humans to fall ill, like how humans were causing destruction all around. If the human died, the bacteria on them would also be done for, like how humans destroyed their environment. In the end, Earth would die, and humans… would also lose everything. Unless they were like bacteria that could find another host before its current host died. But it was still not possible in their present time.
He cried for a while, and then couldn’t help but contact Earth in the end.
Earth, who was enjoying himself watching the stars at the time, was confused.
What is he talking about?
The boy sobbed out an apology, and Earth listened.
Earth said: I wasn’t angry, but I think you are angry.
Boy: It’s my fault, I thought you looked down on me.
But what privilege did humans have to make Earth look up to them?
Earth became even more confused: But I didn’t look down on you. Are we not equal?
The boy laughed. He felt the Earth was comforting him. He smothered his face into the pillow as he asked Earth about Moon.
Earth: He… He doesn’t like humans.
Boy: But he must really like you.
Boy: Why else would he be gazing at you all the time? Doesn’t he always face you with the same side?
Earth: This really isn’t because of love, but because of principles.
Earth: This is actually common. Many moons all face a planet like this. It has nothing to do with love. The moon can give rise to my tide, while I can also cause his tide. The friction of the tide leads to rotation and changes in orbital revolution speeds. Smaller planets can only become steady with rotation and orbital revolutions occurring unanimously. After that, they could only continue to face a larger planet.
Boy: But there is nothing bad about facing you.
Earth: Do you want to revolve around your father all the time? The same sights can become very boring.
Boy: …I don’t. But…umm… Earth, it would be great if you were my father. If you were my father…
I would be okay with revolving around you.
But Earth said: We are equal.
The boy grunted a reply. Tiredness got the better of him, and he went to sleep just like that.
The boy was very glad that Earth didn’t hate him over this matter.
They chatted a lot more about the sun and gossip surrounding the planets. For example, the deep emotions between Uranus and Neptune, of the little brother recovery contest between Jupiter and Saturn. Yet the boy mentioned very little about his own life. Because he felt that his life was far too boring, too sad, and too laughable compared to the Earth’s.
He came to like Earth more and more.
He wished he could spend all of eternity with Earth.
But he didn’t dare to bring this up with Earth. He knew this was impossible.
Earth was already 4.6 billions years old and had billions of years more to his life, but him?
He will very soon disappear. Without a soul, because souls do not exist, his corpse would also gradually decompose, leaving nothing behind in the end.
To spend eternity with Earth. To him, eternity was something that had an end he could see, but to Earth it was just a joke.
Besides, the Earth may not like him like he liked the Earth back.
But it was fine, it was enough for him to like Earth. Since he couldn’t stay with Earth for eternity, then he could just do things that would make Earth happy.
Besides, aside from not being able to spend an eternity with Earth, nothing else was particularly unsatisfying.
In his lifetime, he was born on Earth and would die on Earth. He would always be with Earth his entire life.
He could even loudly tell others he liked Earth, expressing his love of Earth.
Even if humans thought only romance between humans was normal and all other fetishes or feelings for other things was abnormal. But if the one you love was Earth, then it would be different. You would be praised and be thought of as an environmentalist.
If one chose to remain single for the rest of their life due to loving Earth too much, others would only think you were single-mildly devoted to a cause.
Generally speaking, humans were just double standard like that.
But the boy was still a boy in the end. As such, he would think about trying to do some things that would make Earth happy,so he started paying attention to environmental protection projects. But Earth… always acted uninterested. As time went on like that, the boy finally couldn’t endure it anymore.
He asked Earth: Are you not happy? Humans finally thought of protecting you.
Boy: I said… humans are finally trying to protect you.
The Earth was silent for a moment then spoke: I just took a look. The UW-158 that recently came to kick at my doors will not run into me. Don’t worry too much.
UW-158 was an asteroid carrying a lot of silver. It was recently a very popular topic.
The boy was taciturn for a moment, and then spoke: I’m saying…sustainability… reducing greenhouse gases for example.
It took half a day’s worth of explanations from the boy before Earth understood what the humans were trying to protect. But Earth was even more confused: This is protecting me?
Boy: That’s right, this way you won’t become a hell like Venus. Greenhouse gas emissions will make you become very hot.
When Earth heard this, he couldn’t hold back his retort: Venus has always been very pretty, not a hell.
Boy: Um… But you’ll gradually become hotter and hotter…
Earth was put in a slightly awkward position: Do you know how hot I once was?
The boy was quite confused, so Earth explained: When I was born, my surface temperatures, using your concepts to speak, would be 5800 degrees Celsius.
Earth: And then the temperatures continued to drop after that. I was still at 400 degrees 4 billion years ago, then around 3.9 billion years ago, my body temperature was finally below 100 degrees.
Earth: I don’t think my current surface temperatures are high at all, and I don’t think Venus is very hot now either. Besides, he likes it as it is now.
Earth: Perhaps this sort of protection is more important towards humans.
Earth spoke with a lot of tact, but the boy understood clearly.
Humankind was once again being self-sentimental.
Humans walked upon two extremes very easily. One portion thought they owned the Earth and could do as they please, the other portion thought that humans brought so much destruction to Earth that Earth punished them. Although these two extremes looked contracting, they were all things showered upon an uninterested party.
One party thought they were omnipotent while another party thought they were amazing and could actually destroy Earth. The two extremities both came from humanity’s ideology of supremacy.
In fact, how had these actions of humans harmed Earth? The deepest humans could dig underground was twelve kilometers. But the radius of Earth was over six thousand kilometers. If humans were to be used as an example, had bacteria broken through your skin yet? Even if all the nuclear warheads were set off on the Earth and the entire surface was plowed over once, could it break through Earth’s core? Bacteria couldn’t break through skin on its own, and humans were like that. They couldn’t break through Earth to truly affect it.
The creatures on Earth were merely observation targets that were used to pass time, let alone humans which were just one of many. Plus… humans thought they could exterminate all living creatures, but the types of bacteria and viruses have not gone down at all. Putting aside those microorganisms, they couldn’t even end all rats and cockroaches let alone destroy Earth.
The boy silently deleted the career choice of being an environmentalist.
But what did Earth like?
The boy was at loss for a long time. He didn’t know how to ask about Earth’s interests.
He thought about asking for Earth’s birthday. But Earth was not a planet that paid attention to small details, so no matter how the boy made circles around the topic, Earth was clueless.
The boy buried his head to study, since he was already in grade twelve. But at this time, his father passed away.
The drunkard of a father had gotten tipsy one night, and randomly lay down and slept in the middle of the road. A passerby called out to him, and he instead fought the passerby off. After that, the passerby went to the side of the road to call the police, and a truck had driven over…
His father’s preposterous life ended just like that.
He only pitied that driver.
Of course, in other people’s eyes he was the one who was more pitiful, even if he didn’t feel it at all.
You see, the driver gave him compensation, and he could also leave behind those detestable days. What was bad about that?
He only felt a bit at a loss.
That old geezer actually died just like that.
With the help of his relatives, he finished the funeral arrangements for his father. From that point onward, the photo he had to light incense for had increased by another. Although he didn’t want to light an incense for that old geezer, he was worried his mother’s incense would be snatched away by the damn ghost.
Speaking of which, this was strange. He was not someone that believed in ghosts, but he would still do these superstitious activities as if things were real.
This was how the ghost culture developed, generally speaking.
But this excuse was really laughable, so he decided to ask Earth for help.
Boy: Earth, do people really have souls and reincarnation?
When Earth heard this, he fell silent before saying: I haven’t discovered any souls.
The boy stared blankly at the ceiling, and then suddenly asked again: So there are definitely no spirits or reincarnation?
The boy never did hope for some sort of answer, but Earth said: There is.
But Earth also said: Well, if it’s according to my definition.
Earth: According to your definition, spirits are the remnants of the past, yes?
The boy really wanted to say no it wasn’t, but he didn’t interrupt Earth and heard Earth say: Then this night sky is also filled with spirits.
Earth: Maybe the human naked eye cannot see that far, but I can. The radiance coming from the stars spent ten billion or so years to travel here, but before they arrived, those stars may have long been extinguished. What I see is but a signal sent by a band of spirits.
The boy was quiet for a long time before he said: So you gaze at those spirits every day? Don’t you feel lonely when you see the remnants of those spirits?
Earth: Not really. Although I am talking about spirits, after their deaths, there may be new life born nearby. Those stars… may even reincarnate into some kind of existence like you.
Boy: …Are you joking?
Earth: But you are the reincarnation of stardust…
Earth: I heard from the Boss…um…he heard from nearby planets, well, his circle of interaction is much bigger than mine. He heard that prior to our births, a supernova exploded nearby. His death led to a collapse in the solar system, and with the debris left behind blending, Boss came to being and then we were born.
Earth: My entire family is his reincarnation. And the atoms that created the biosphere were also ancient. All of you and I are the same, we are all his reincarnation.
The boy murmured to himself: But it’s still not the same…
Earth comforted him: It’s still the same. Our essence does not change. Isn’t it the same in your legends? The essence doesn’t change, only the appearance. Your parents are actually always here, maybe as a cool breeze, a stretch of spring water, or perhaps a blade of grass, a tree, or a soaring bird, a walking beast, or a human, but they have always been here.
But it’s still not the same.
The boy suddenly felt that even if spirits and reincarnation existed, those were still a very, very cruel thing. Truth to be told, his feelings toward his parents were not that deep. His mother had passed away when he was still very young and didn’t know how to be sorrowful. When his father passed away, he didn’t feel sorrow, but confronting death made him tremble instead.
Death on the news were only images and words. It couldn’t even compare to a stranger dying right in front of him. Perhaps this was the fear of death: the basic instinct for survival.
The boy really wanted to say, but this reincarnated person wouldn’t be me any longer. But in the traditional sense of spirits and reincarnation, would his reincarnated self still be him? Would he still be able to remember himself? The person that he knew, who would that be?
At the bottom of it all, the idea of reincarnation was just a hope for oneself so that they could continue in life.
The boy who had not shed a single tear for this string of unforeseen events suddenly got teary and finally, he cried out bitterly. Earth remained silent.
The boy thought that perhaps Earth didn’t understand the emotions of frail human beings like him.
The boy cried till he succumbed to tiredness and fell asleep.
The next day was another bright, clear day.
It was the weekend. The boy pulled open the curtains, and the sunshine was beautiful with its bright blue sky. It was completely different from his face that was usually filled with exhaustion.
The air was very fresh.
The boy felt Earth had done this to console him, and he inadvertently began to laugh.
Boy: Earth, thank you.
Earth: I didn’t do that. It’s because of those days of heavy rain on your side. Now that the weather’s sunny, the air will naturally be better.
But the boy felt that it was the Earth’s consolement. The Earth was the Earth. It’s like how he needed to be the one to control his own mouth when he became an adult.
Yet he had never thought that perhaps Earth and humans were completely different. Humans couldn’t control their organs, but they could control parts of their bodies. But who said Earth couldn’t do the reverse?
The boy never thought about it before, nor did he think about it.
He looked at the light blue sky and suddenly thought of a comparison Earth told him before. Humans on Earth were like bacteria on humans. He thought of it as an insult at the time. Later, he felt that although Earth liked him, he was still above him. But now that he thought back to their conversation yesterday, he suddenly understood a little why Earth was perplexed and why he would say they were equals.
Because from Earth’s point of view, they were all made from stardust, so there was nothing dividing them. Just like how Earth didn’t look down on asteroids because they were all essentially the same. They just had different sizes and showed different characteristics. They were the same. Bacteria and humans were of equal status. Everything in life was equal. High status, low status, something in their vocabulary that seemed so natural was also just a byproduct of humanity’s pride and prejudice.
Would bacteria look at inorganic compounds and other creatures with their own brand of arrogance as if they were of higher status?
At the end of the day, humans couldn’t kill Earth, but bacteria could kill humans.
The boy gazed for a long time and felt his eyes sting. But as if a flash of inspiration came across him, he asked: Earth, do you like stars? Do you want to know what the stars out there are like?
Earth: Mhmm, yes.
Boy: Then I know now.
The boy had already decided what field of study he would sign up for.
Exams were finally over.
The boy got very good scores on his exams, and he went on to study in the department of astronomy at some college.
In fact, the boy didn’t really know exactly what the astrology major taught, but he knew that he must learn.
Earth was rather interested in him trying to major in astrology, but his following words hurt the boy somewhat.
Earth: Are you going to become a person who throws rubbish at us?
Although he had known from early on the members of the solar system called the probes rubbish, the boy still felt depressed over this.
As a matter of fact, when scientists were disturbing Pluto, Pluto had complained very indignantly: Why are they only disturbing me and not Charon? We aren’t far from each other!
The outcome was that not soon after, Charon also suffered from disturbances.
Charon believed that his disaster was all caused by Pluto’s complaints, so they started to quarrel. They exchanged many verbal blows and sneers. As two moons that had their orbital rotations locked in position, it was their biggest entertainment for the most part.
The boy said: I don’t want to become a person who dumps rubbish at you, I…
Earth was perplexed: If you don’t want to, then why are you doing it?
That’s right, why was he continuing if he didn’t want to do it?
The boy finally noticed the problem. Even if he loved Earth and had the power to learn, if he didn’t know of the beauty of the starry skies, then how would they talk?
But he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it much. On top of that, once he enrolled in college, he found himself sinking in the frightening ocean of mathematics, computer science, and physics
Calculus! Linear Algebra! C Language! Quantum Mechanics! Engineering!
If it was not because of love, how would he be able to push through?
The boy started learning with gritted teeth, but he gradually adapted. He even started to like the course, just like how he was slowly falling for the starry skies.
Yes, he gradually became fond of the night sky, not just because Earth liked it as well.
Maybe it was because humans were formed from stardust. Every time he gazed at the night sky, he could feel the clusters of stars calling out to him.
Perhaps it was because the universe wasn’t really a long trek but another way home.
He still chatted with Earth, but gradually, the core of his life shifted, and it was no longer about Earth. Then one day, the author popped up again.
The boy who had already grown into a young man was living in the dorms. Though they were stricter on not allowing boys to visit the female dorms, girls had more lax rules on visiting the male dorms. But exchanges of personnel from the two dorms were still frequent.
Author: I’m going to take away your power. This story has become boring and meaningless. As expected, you can’t let a child that’s too young be the main character. Now it’s not even romance. Children can be such cruel creatures…tures…s!
Then they disappeared.
Young man: …!!!
He tried to contact Earth once more, but there was no reply.
The young man went crazy trying to contact Earth, but he simply couldn’t contact him at all.
The young man tried unceasingly and even tried calling to the moon. Of course… there wouldn’t be any reply.
The young man felt as if his entire being was collapsing. His roommate couldn’t just stand there and watch, so he tried to console him, but the way he consoled him was like this:
Roommate: Broken up? Unfulfilled desires? Want me to cheer you up?
They had lived together for a few years. The young man had already gotten used to his roommate’s sudden bouts of nonsense, so he replied to the first question.
Young man: There is no way they like me. I gave up a few years ago.
Roommate: …cough cough, then what’s the matter with you right now? Is she marrying someone?
Young man: No, I’m just… unable to contact them.
Roommate: She disappeared.
The young man shook his head: No, they’re always there, I see them everyday.
Isn’t that right? They were there if one just looked down.
Roommate: Then why can’t you contact them?
Young man: I call to them, but they ignore me.
The roommate felt he had already found the crux of the problem.
Roommate: Then she definitely doesn’t like you. Makes sense, there’s no money to be found in astronomy, how many ladies would look up to us? Don’t worry, don’t we still have the entirety of the starlit skies? These stars are all our wives.
Young man: …They’re not girls.
Roommate: If I were to say… what?
Young man: I said, they’re not ladies.
His roommate froze for a moment, then he very untactly spoke: I was joking about ‘cheering’ you up before.
The young man merely profoundly looked at him until goosebumps grew on the roommate and then the man left with a cold laugh.
He knew that was the only way to shut him up.
The young man still could not contact Earth.
No matter how close they were, they could not converse. He was now just like every other creature on Earth. No longer was he any special.
He wondered after losing contact with Earth, if Earth would still be able to recognise him.
Similar to how humans could only differentiate bacteria species, without that unique marker, would Earth still be able to recognize him from the masses?
No, he couldn’t.
He continued studying diligently, went to study abroad, returned from abroad, and worked. Day after day went by, and his appearance gradually shook off its youth. But a few years? It was nothing from Earth’s point of view. It’s just a period of time spent stargazing.
The young man still tried to communicate with Earth from time to time. But as always, there was still nothing.
When the author said they would take it back, they took it back completely without leaving a shred.
The young man gradually became a middle-aged man, enraptured in research and unmarried. And then because of various reasons, he finally had to go up into space.
The middle-aged man looked out from the space shuttle. Below them was an Earth in the night surrounded by dots of light. Some were as bright as fireflies. The day and night contrast brought out a beautiful water-blue. The sun gradually rose, turning the blue below into an orange-yellow. The Earth gradually became bright.
He finally left Earth and saw Earth from a much further distance.
He attempted to call out to Earth once more. He heard an indistinct voice, except not as clear as when he was a boy. Like those years, it was like a fantasy.
Earth: Is it you?
The middle-aged man clenched his teeth, unwilling to let his tears fall: Yes.
Earth: Have you been busy lately?
Middle-aged man: Yes.
Earth: It definitely isn’t easy to throw rubbish with precision.
The middle-aged man began to laugh.
Middle-aged man: What have you been up to recently?
Earth spoke matter-of-factly: Stargazing.
Should he say that was the expected answer?
The middle-aged man gazed at Earth and no longer spoke.
The guy who was his roommate before and now his colleague, floated over and brought him over to one side: The Earth is truly a beauty.
Middle-aged man: Of course.
That’s my first crush.
Partner: Speaking of it, we have already seen Earth, but you still haven’t found your match.
Middle-aged man: Because the one I like is Earth.
Partner: You can’t treat your career like a wife and date it.
Middle-aged man: …
And most of humanity was like this. They would never believe that a person could fall in love with Earth.
The middle-aged man retaliated: Then what about you? Aren’t you also unmarried?
The partner confidently retorted: Can’t help that I’m poor and never at home. Any girl would run after hearing these conditions.
Middle-aged man: Haha.
Partner: Do you really like Earth?
Middle-aged man: Hm?
Partner: When you look at it, it’s as if you are looking at your lover.
Middle-aged man: Of course.
Partner: But Earth would definitely not like you.
His partner looked at Earth in admiration: If it wants to find a wife, it has to be a big beauty like Saturn, right?
Middle-aged man: Venus.
Middle-aged man: It will definitely like Venus the most, and it will also think that it is the most beautiful.
Partner: It’s clearly Saturn that’s the prettiest!
Middle-aged man: Flamboyant.
Partner: What the hell are you on about?!
Middle-aged man: Earth must think of Saturn in that way: flamboyant. It’s clearly Venus that is the prettiest. It likes Venus.
Partner: Hey, don’t give me a shock. What about flamboyant? How do you know that’s what Earth is thinking?
Middle-aged man: He told me so.
That’s right. The middle-aged man had known long ago that Earth liked Venus.
Venus was always thought of as Earth’s brother because they were really too similar: similar size, mass, density, and both had atmospheres and an orbital revolution period of 224.7 days. He was also the closest planet to Earth and was just as bright and dazzling.
Once upon a time, humans had also placed their hopes on Venus. They even believed that they could see another Earth on it, and Jules Verne’s “Off on a Comet” also described humanity’s delusions. However, last century seventy years ago, the former Soviet Union’s exploration of Venus completely overthrew humanity’s delusions.
It was hell there. That’s what humans thought. After all, the scene there was similar to the one in human legends. In fact, when the middle-aged man was still a young man, he had carefully thought about it. Perhaps humanity’s delusion of hell was a memory left behind of when Venus and Earth would exchange materials.
But Earth still really liked Venus. He thought he was pretty and had never once thought of the word hell.
After all, what relationship did what a planet liked and what a human liked have? Humans either thought Earth was supreme or Sun was, but Earth didn’t think of himself that way and put himself above his brothers. But also, even if Earth called the Sun Boss, did he actually hold the same admiration that humans did for the word?
As such, he had known as a young man that his crush would not reciprocate. But as long as they could chat again, he was perfectly content.
When the middle-aged man finished his work and returned to Earth, he discovered that his ability to communicate with Earth did not disappear.
He didn’t know what he had done to flip on the switch, or perhaps the author was just such a willful creature. Especially authors that wrote novels and didn’t complete them.
The middle-aged man felt that he loved his work even more and became intoxicated in the universe and physics. He would still chat with Earth on downtime and talk about his life and work once in a while like he would a close friend. The crush of his youth had long turned into another feeling.
Because as long as he stood on Earth, he felt he had enough.
Earth: Are you still conducting research?
Middle-aged man: Yes.
Earth: But as a human, you will have no way to witness the things you want to see with your own eyes.
Middle-aged man: I know.
The middle-aged man suddenly began to snicker: But the people of the future will see it, my reincarnation will see it, and you will see it as well.
The middle-aged man spoke again: When the time comes, you can try to take a peep at our lives, and those images will probably be very pretty.
The middle-aged man finally became a famed and prestigious old man. By this time, astronomy and aerospace technology had become more and more advanced through human efforts.
But humans had yet to reach the nearest stars.
The old man, in his lifetime, had never witnessed with his own eyes what he said he would show Earth in his youth.
He remained unwed. When he was gravely ill, his old partner and students came to look after him.
His health slowly began to recover under special care. His old partner even happily told him he would soon be discharged from the hospital. But on the night of a certain day, he suddenly felt that he could no longer hold on. It was the sixth sense, unrelated to any tests or evidence. After this, his chest began to hurt.
His old partner was slumbering in his beach chair that he had brought. His saliva dribbled from a corner of his mouth, exactly like when he was younger.
If he called to his old partner, he would wake up. But he hesitated at this time.
He felt he was already nearing the end of his time. The previous events were just the final moments. Such a happy, long-time partner, and yet he was about to suddenly die. If he woke up his partner, and he had to watch him die, would this make him very sad?
But if he quietly passed away like this, then that blow might be even bigger.
In the end, he woke up his partner, but he also called to Earth.
Old man: Earth, goodnight.
Earth: Hm? Goodnight.
And then all was quiet.
And then all was quiet.
Earth had a human friend. This was no secret in the solar system, but sometimes he wasn’t sure whether his friend still existed. After all, humans had very short life spans, but he didn’t know whether that friend was just too busy and didn’t have the time to speak with him.
It’s not like this thing hadn’t happened before.
He ran another fifty or so laps around the Boss. Humans had already built bases on Mars, and Mars would complain every day that he felt as if he was being pestered by strange beings.
Mars: Why not go to Venus instead? It’s clearly him who’s most similar to you!
Venus: Probably because I’m rather warm. They can’t take it well.
Mars: But I’m also much colder compared to Earth!
Earth: Maybe they think it’s better for it to be a bit cooler.
Mars continued mouthing off while doing his revolutions. Earth suddenly had a thought about that human friend. It seemed like a long time since he had last contacted Earth.
Taking into account a human’s lifespan, perhaps he had already passed away.
Earth was saddened. Venus comforted Earth once during the meeting they had every five Venus days: Isn’t he still there?
Earth: The atoms are the same, but it is no longer him, just as how we are no longer that star. He never did see the things he wanted to see in the end.
Venus: But our essence is still the same. His reincarnations will also see all the things he has never seen before.
The Earth was still a bit sad, and it remained gloomy for a long time. But he still ran along the orbit and gradually forgot his sadness.
Several hundred years later, humanity had already set out for the Milky Way Galaxy. The spacecraft that departed many generations after brought back a precursor spacecraft Voyager No. 1 from who knows how many hundreds of years ago.
The sound from the discs he carried was still clear, but he was no longer himself.
Humanity celebrated the return of Voyager No. 1, which they had thought was long lost to the river of time. They brought back their new discoveries and new secrets.
Earth quietly watched the news and suddenly thought of the human friend he had made before.
Earth met with Venus again: Do you think he will see these things?
Earth: Just don’t know which of those is him.
Venus: We’re never good at this job, but he will see it for sure. Didn’t you say it was broadcasted across the entire globe?
In a town somewhere on Earth, the discoveries of this expedition were being broadcasted on a huge screen. A sparrow watched the screen with its pitch-black eyes. It cocked its head, spread its wings, and flew off into the sky.