Nimai navigated his way to the selection hall. It was such an exciting time and he could feel the anticipation bubbling inside.
A new life, a new beginning, a new mission.
Planning a fresh start was always a satisfying hobby and this was no different. There were so many things he’d been saving up to do this time round, things he hadn’t checked off the list before.
He hadn’t been down these corridors for a while and almost missed the turning as he caught himself daydreaming – painting pictures of where he’d go and what he’d like to achieve.
Bringing himself back to reality, he followed the last few signs to the selection hall. As he approached the entrance, he could see it was busier than usual.
“Is there something going on that I don’t know about?” He wondered.
In the distance he could see others congregating near the entrance, they must have finished up their selection as they were leaving with excited looks on their faces. There was a definite buzz about today, you could hear it from outside.
“Greetings Nimai, it’s good to see you again” said the secretary at the front entrance, finishing with a smile. “You’ve come to challenge yourself with a new mission?”
“Definitely, I’ve been working on this one for a while now.”
“I’m very pleased to hear it, go ahead and proceed to a station.”
The selection hall was more like a selection sanctuary, with smooth marble walls and a high ceiling. He took a moment to gaze at it’s beauty, it reminded him of home.
The stations were like cubicles, laid out in groups of 5 in a star shape facing inwards. They were also made of marble and had 4 ft high walls on 3 sides to allow for privacy. The groups of stations were spaced evenly throughout the hall, allowing plenty of walking space between.
It was a clean, crisp, sight to behold.
At first glance he found it difficult to see a free station. “Weird” He thought. “It’s not usually this busy”.
There were many groups that had finished up their choices and were now chatting in the open space near the entrance.
Choosing your mission was such a social thing to do. When you’re done, you have the urge to talk about it and share what you’re about to embark on.
This anticipation and excitement made an excellent atmosphere, he could feel the energy emanating from those around him.
He spotted a free station in the distance to his left and made his way there. Along the way he over-heard snippets of others’ conversations:
“Can you believe there’s this much of a turn out? They must really need our help.” One of them said.
“I know, it’s amazing. Are you going?” The other replied.
“I couldn’t do it, it looks way too hard. I’m working myself up to going there“. They said with assurance.
“I get what you mean, there was a huge waiting list before but now they’re accepting a mass load, most of them IEs“.
He stopped and thought whether to stay and engage in the conversation to find out more, but chose to keep walking, he was too excited and wanted to grab the station he saw.
Nimai’s mind wandered again and reflected on the reasons he had for a fresh start. He’d got to a point where he wasn’t learning enough, he’d had a long rest and was ready for a new challenge.
He reached the cubicle and smiled at the other 4 that were occupying stations in that group. Inside the cubicle was a marble desk with a glass pad on that measured roughly 5 inches square. The chair, also marble, had a back that was angled at about 75 degrees – it never looked comfortable, but surprised him every time.
As soon as he sat down and leaned back in the seat, the glass pad blinked and a holographic screen appeared directly above it, level with his eye line:
“Welcome Nimai, are you ready to begin?” It stated in white bold letters on the grey semi-transparent floating screen.
He nodded his head to confirm.
“Wonderful, let’s begin the selection process.” It acknowledged.
He shut his eyes to focus and began the interfacing process. The screen picked up on his request and loaded the next page. The title “Goals” appeared at the top.
He opened his eyes and smiled. Time to plan his journey.
He had memorised his goals in his head, after all he’d had plenty of time to think them over. As he began to remember them one by one in his mind, they appeared instantly on screen.
Firstly, he wanted to embrace new and challenging cultures. Where he wanted to go he wanted to experience conflict, not war, but opposing beliefs to what he felt. But most of all he wanted to help people, he wanted to be of service to others and go somewhere that he would make the most impact.
This was the strongest desire and the main push for him to make the decision. He knew he was a good influence on others, helping them to realise their potential, but he had lost his way recently and wanted validation of this ability. In the past he’d been punished for doing the right thing and it was tough going. He wanted confirmation that he could in fact help without the consequences.
It was a thorough and lengthy process but the more detail he could go into, the better choices he’d be presented with at the end.
When he was done, he nodded to indicate to the screen that he was finished. That page disappeared and the next screen instantly popped up with the heading “Starting Location”.
A while a go he visited glorious beaches and knew this would be somewhere he’d like to see again. Shutting his eyes, he pictured the scene.
The image was replicated on screen from his mind. When he opened them, he nodded to confirm and it was entered into the algorithm. It would now match start up locations as close as possible to what he described.
Nodding his head brought up the next screen “People”. He took a deep breath and spent longer than usual on this one.
He really wanted be of service to others, as this was his primary goal. The people he’d meet had to require help. But he also wanted to know what they would teach him about himself. He shut his eyes, thought about the kind of people that he’d like to help (and be helped by) and when he opened them, the screen had understood his request and proposed lessons that he’d learn from his interactions.
Even though this was a thorough job, it brought him satisfaction in knowing that it would be worth while.
When he was finished, everything that he’d entered into the screen would now be compiled and a destination calculated.
He felt anxious. Did he want to dive back in with a new mission or stay resting a little while longer? He remembered that he could back out at any time, but once he had chosen, he knew it would be a soul-changing process.
He took a long breath. “What will be, will be.“ he thought.
After a few moments the process was complete and there were a three choices that appeared on screen.
The first option was a place he had already visited on missions before but this was a long time ago and a lot had changed since then. His curiosity was piqued, but he decided to look across to see the other choices.
This second one was a very advanced civilisation. It held potential for some wonderful lessons, “Too peaceful. Not conflicted enough.” He thought. He looked right to the final option.
His eyes widened. It took him by surprise but then explained why it was so busy today. This was the place he heard about earlier, the one where the waiting list had been removed.
“They must really need our help”. He thought to himself.
“This is the one. This is where I can make the most difference.”
He nodded his head to confirm his selection.
The page disappeared and the screen changed:
“Congratulations Nimai, your next mission will be…