by The Inimitable Pooh Bah
Date: December 7, 2000
Summary: Scully contemplates the sky.
Spoilers: Beginning of Season 8.
Disclaimer: "The X-Files" belongs to Chris Carter, 1013, and/or FOX.
Archive: List archives and by submission. Do not archive or repost without permission.
There's nothing beyond my car, just vast, endless desert as far as I can see. It's so empty out here. I feel exposed and vulnerable--I pull my jacket closer around me, even though it's not cold, and finger my weapon in its holster. It's lonely here.
Past the horizon, there's more land--mountains, valleys, plains--and beyond that, there's the sea, covering seventy percent of the earth's surface. It would take a lifetime of swimming to cross it. Even in a ship, it takes days, maybe weeks.
Up above me, there's the sky. Miles and miles of atmosphere, and then miles are too tiny to measure distance, and we use the Astronomical Unit. There's one AU between us and the sun; over twenty to the farthest planet in our solar system. I heard once that if the sun was a beach ball, the Earth would be a plum pit and they'd be a soccer field apart.
There's even longer distances beyond that, so long that even the AU is impractical. So people have taken light, the fastest thing in the universe, and used it as a reference point. Light years--the distance light will travel in a year, when it covers the distance between New York and San Francisco in just over a second. Even at the speed of light, it takes over four years to reach the nearest star to the sun. It's so vast out in space--our galaxy is seventy-five thousand light years across and it's three or four times that distance to the next galaxy. Most of the universe is just empty space. There's hardly anything out there at all, and that nothingness stretches on into infinity . . .
And then there's us. Puny things, hardly ever more than about six feet tall, usually less. Worrying about our petty little problems. What's for dinner? Do I need to get gas yet? Which reports are due this week? Should I buy blue or pink baby shirts? Even the big things in our lives seem so small in the face of light years and galaxies. Will Agent Doggett quit being so boneheadedly skeptical? Will my baby be alright? Will the aliens colonize, and what happens to us then? . . . Will I ever find you?
We're a tiny planet, orbiting around a small star, in the middle of a universe so much more vast than we can get our tiny human heads around. And what of it? What does it matter if one planet is colonized, or if one woman bears a child alone, or if one man is taken away? In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter, and it never will.
But our tiny lives are all we have . . . and it matters so much.
[ END ]
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