Your eyes open on another new day. Another day to endure. Another day to survive.
The light of a nearby star that you’re orbiting streams through your cabin’s window. It’s dying and the light it emits is a desperate attempt to be remembered in a far off time and a far away place. Its story, however, is not unique. A galaxy full of stars, that has been torn apart, stripped of their life and the resources they contain to aid a so-called better cause. Perhaps if their lives were cut short to beget new life, those dying stars would not scream in silent agony, but instead their drained life only fuels the intent of those who take life, harnessed, canistered, weaponised. They have become unwitting proponents of causing death to the very life of which they were once born to nourish.
In another life, you would use this quiet time you have to yourself in the morning to dream, think of all the things you aspire to, how to inspire others - how to keep yourself inspired.
But not in this life. Every day is a fight to lay your claim on your very next breath.
But really, could you have ever imagined that life could be so different from that which you’ve known your entire life? The only life you’ve ever known. The only kind of life that everyone and anyone around you has ever known.
No, you can’t.
Or perhaps you can, but you dare not to.
How could you when life in your universe is nothing but cruelty and pain? It doesn’t allow for dreamers. It doesn’t allow for such ideas to form, lest you want them to cut you down. Dreams such as these are frivolous and dangerous. Through your entire existence you are shown nothing but endless cruelty; a cruelty that stretches to the farthest reaches of your known universe, a cruelty that all life has come to know as their existence. What other counterpoint do you have to compare anything to?
It’s all you know.
So what you’ve come to know is strength. When strength begets dominance, and dominance begets strength - anything less is considered weak and is culled. If you want to live, you have to embody strength, dominance - life . You kill off any part of yourself that is less than that - weaker than that. That’s what it means to live.
So you have to have discipline, and if you have that, you have control. If you have control over your environment, you have strength. If you have strength, well, it’s the only way you will flourish. Flourish from a bed made of all of which and who you cast aside, screaming and bloodied. Anything that is weaker than you will fertilise the garden bed which feeds you strength. Feed you and let you become virulent and unrelenting.
What else is there? It’s the only life you have ever known and the only way that you know life to survive in. Living like this is the only way that you have survived.
So you breathe in.
You do so; deep and full. With your intake of air, you breathe in life itself. The whole universe and all that you know. You breath in the demure glow of the dying star, you take its strength for yourself. You hold onto that breath, holding life itself captive within the cage of your chest, and each moment the screaming in your head becomes clearer. Louder. More shrill. Desperate. Pleading.
Pleading for life . Life that you stole and claimed for yourself.
You steel yourself and don’t give in. You never do. You never can. Not for one moment. To give in is weakness, is death. To fight for control is strength, is life.
You let the screams tear through your mind - they’re familiar - like an old friend. But you know they’re no friends of yours, because friends do not haunt your existence like this. Some of the screams are your own, some belong to people who you had once considered friends. When you had been foolish enough to consider anyone friend. Friends do not call you a monster, do not make you into a monster, try to splinter you, tear you down, threaten you. Now their threats fall off your hardened facade; they are idle and useless towards your life and those you love. If you had anyone left you loved. Not that you were capable of such things anymore, anyway.
You’re stronger than that now.
You buried your heart a long time ago. You do not have any loved ones, nor friends, not anymore. Such things only serve as a weakness, they only sap your strength, threaten your life. You’ve seen what happens to lovers and friends.
You know what you’ve done to lovers and friends.
This world has no place for such things. So you’ve turned your heart to steel and made it impenetrable by the world. The screams no longer pierce you: it is impervious to all. So long as your will to live remains, they are rendered powerless.
So now you breathe out.
As you do; silence falls. Every voice, every breath that you have cut short, every life you have taken - it all dies with you as you exhale. Their weakness dies. As does yours.
Every shrill scream extinguished as your breath passes through your parted lips. Their pleas are silenced. Your world becomes silent. It’s as silent as it is dying; surely and loudly - but no one pays any heed. Not to the dying screams of others, not even to the dying scream of the cosmos itself.
This is your meditation, you do this every morning as you wake to another day in the screaming and silent world. You acknowledge the horrors of the world by breathing them in, they flood your being and course through your veins. The pain and horror of the world becomes you, and you become it in return. It is how you can face your reality.
As the screams return to your mind, upon your inhale, you adorn yourself with your armour. Strap, clip and lock in hard breast-plate, array of plates that cover your arm, belts and a manor of braces. You holster your phaser at your thigh. Finally, you sheathe your blade. It sings to you with it’s sharp, metallic, operatic hum as it settles into its place at your side. Each day it buzzes with anticipation of being wielded to fulfill its purpose under your sanctioning hand.
You look up, looking at who you have become in the mirror reflected back at you. Harsh lines on your face reflect the choices of your life, your hardened expression will not allow for anyone to read what those choices might have been, how they changed you. Your eyes become cold and piercing.
You look like someone who knows what it takes to survive.