Hey Everyone!! :-)
I'm back today with another peek at what Petri is up to. Take a look. :-)
Excerpt from Book Two of the Petri Dish Chronicles:
"This is an individual mind meld?"
"It is one form that such a meld might take. Melds can occur at multiple levels with differing amounts of intimacy. This is the most superficial form of a meld and can be used if you do not wish to engage with another a deeper level."
"Why, what, child?"
"Why meld like this? The melding in the ocean seemed faster and easier."
"In the collective, all individuals maintain a certain amount of shielding. You did not do so, because you did not know how. But the others did, and their shields protected you. It is only with individual melds or melds between a few selected individuals that all shielding might be dropped. As I said, it is a form of intimacy, and so only done with those one trusts and wishes to be intimate with."
"You mean, like sex?"
"The copulation activities of inferior creatures do not approach the intimacy of a deep meld."
Petri could hear the disgust that tinged the Arcanum's mind at the thought and she was struck by a startling idea. "Do you not have sex?"
"Arcanum reproduction does not require copulation."
"Having kids isn't the only reason to have sex."
"Since we reproduce asexually, we do not possess the anatomy to allow sexual contact."
Distain dripped from the Arcanum's tone, and Petri found herself getting annoyed. "Then if you've never done it, how do you know how intimate it is?"
"I have spent thousands of years observing the behavior of lesser creatures, including their incomprehensible preoccupation with copulation. I have also sampled your mind and have noted several occasions when such activities were entirely impersonal for you."
When the meaning of the alien's words hit her, Petri gasped. It was all she could do to keep from slamming closed the opening she had made in her barrier. "You rifled through my memories?" she screeched.
"I have examined some of them, not all of them. Why does this surprise you?"
"How dare you rummage through my past without my permission?"
"You were created, in part, so that the Collective could benefit from the unique perspective of individuals who have lived among the inferior creatures. Why would I not take advantage of the opportunity to do so?"
Breathing hard, Petri fought with the rage that threatened to overwhelm her. "Stay. Out. Of My. Memories!" she bit out. She felt the amusement that answered her demand, which only made her angrier. But before she could think of something scathing enough to say, the Arcanum spoke again.
"If you don't consider melding to be an intimate experience, why do my actions trouble you so much?"
"I didn't say it wasn't intimate," Petri growled. "I just said that sex is intimate too."
The Arcanum withdrew from her mind a bit, and Petri tried to get her feelings under control. She could feel the alien turning her words over in its mind; she thought it might be considering what she had said.
"Perhaps, child, though your own experiences indicate this is not always the case. But perhaps copulation has more than biological implications, at times. It would explain why some of the lesser creatures form deeper attachments to those they copulate with frequently, even when their efforts fail to produce offspring. It is an interesting hypothesis and warrants testing."
The way the Arcanum said that gave Petri pause. "What do you mean that it warrants testing? What are you going to do?"
"All hypotheses must be tested, child. It is only through study that one can understand the universe and all its workings."
"Are you going to hurt someone?"
Hmmm... It seems like Petri is finding out how much a person's experiences color their world view, and that when people have very different experiences in life, they may have very different ideas about how the world works. And that those who think differently than us often arrive at conclusions we don't agree with, even when operating with the same set of information. Which sometimes results in dangerous actions being taken. And that's something it wouldn't hurt us all to remember. ;-)
Thank you all for stopping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for another edition of Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)