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Life Is Not A Reality, But We Believe It Anyways

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The Toy Soldier lies there, crumpled on the floor of the aging starship.

It did not move, it did not shift.

It was dead.

See, life does not have one exclusive definition. No matter how many philosophers and scientists the crew of Aurora encountered in the millennials they existed, they never could find an concise, universal explanation for life; being that they were "immortal," putting a definition on the phrase wasn't exactly a priority.

In a way, each member of the crew had their own way of understanding their lives and immortality, some pessimistic and doubtful like Marius, others unquestioning headstrong like Jonny. They all processed life very, very differently.

Except for their understanding of The Toy Soldier.

See, The Toy Soldier had been different, it always has. Brought to them far different than the rest, the wooden soldier was always a questionable anomaly within the crew's dynamic, but regardless, since first activation they embraced it as one of their own.

Sure, each crew member did act differently around the soldier, and it's occasional exclusion was never something that went unnoticed by it, but like with life, it's vast experience with socialization and friendship only kept it more alive. Positive and negative experiences are a part of life just as much as anything else. Movie night, crew dinners, gunfire, a gentle push out the airlock, they were all a part of life, and all jolly good fun.

Each member of the Aurora can recount times spent with the soldier, through moons, planets and wars, as well as the passing day and night cycles on the ship. Their memories of the soldier are fond, personal, and inevitability, quite important.

Because life has no one definition, often it is up to the individual to decide what life is. We paint organisms, sensations and objects as alive and inanimate at our own leisure.

To the good doctor, to Jonny and Naysta, Ashes and Tim, Brian and Ivy, and Marius and Raphaella, The Toy Soldier was certainly alive.

Yet in the end, when life is made up in the mind, what is a simple wooden soldier supposed to do when there is no one to understand its life?

Well, it simply stops pretending.

It stops pretending for it's friends who are no longer able to believe.