Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Star Trek '12: 1612 AD - Flint

He had already lived for a very long time, and assumed many names.  At the moment, he was attempting to be anonymous, and so his identity didn’t matter, although as usual, during such times he took the generic name Flint, one he’d used countless times already and no doubt many times again, for however long immortality lasts.  (It seems funny to say such a thing, but even someone with such a life finds it difficult they’ll actually live forever.)

But since he’d already lived for a very long time, he was most interested in those individuals who might be able to challenge his intellectual achievements, and so when his time wasn’t spent trying to discover such individuals, it was spent in their company.  This time he happened to be sharing dinner with Galileo.

Galileo, he knew, was already deep in the work that would gain him the wrong kind of attention from the Church, something he himself had managed to avoid under similar circumstances as da Vinci.  What Galileo lacked was the imagination to humor both science and the human imagination at the same time, but Flint did not look down on him for this.  He recognized the man for what he was, a genius, and that was all that mattered.

During most of the dinner they ate in silence, having already come into friendly terms with one another, and so pleasantries were not needed to enjoy each other’s company.  Every now and again Galileo would smile awkwardly at him, perhaps not believing his luck at finding a true peer, never assuming for a moment that Flint understood too well the sentiment.

Sometimes Flint needed guide such friends to their greatest work, but he was gratified to learn that Galileo needed no such assistance, that not only was he in possession of great potential, but that he was also capable of exploiting that potential.  His only weakness was living in a time that did not appreciate him, but Flint had experienced enough of human affairs to know that renegades, no matter how they exhibit themselves, will always be rejected.  It was a pity, on so many levels.  Galileo deserved so much better.

They chatted, lightly, about some of Galileo’s latest observations, even what he himself considered wild theories, and Flint could see right then and there what might have been accomplished, had he been able to see that potential mature, what the world might be like, how many things would change, simply by accepting what Galileo had to offer.  Unfortunately, as much as everyone likes to benefit from innovation, very few people actually like to be the ones to let the ideas that give birth to it flourish in the first place.  Hence the slow march of progress.

How long would he humor humans?  He no longer thought of himself as human, by this point, couldn’t bring himself to do it anymore, not just because of his long life, but because he was disgusted, knowing what would happen to Galileo, and that there would be many more to suffer after him.  It didn’t take prolonged life to obtain wisdom, but that was the kind of observation Flint had formulated.

He only hoped he wouldn’t grow bitter.

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