by Stephen Mark Golden
Copyright © August 22, 1987
Every society has it's aberrant sector that lives on the edge. Some societies deal with them better than others. There are those societies which lock up their aberrants. Others expel them. Occasionally, a few societies bring them to a level of productivity by using the abilities they do have in a constructive way . . . .
"The spinning! This never ending cycle; round, and round, and round! I can't take it any more! Let me go, please!!" Nought cried with tears in his eyes. "You just don't know what it's like living on the edge! Please, I've got to be released! I've got to get out of this routine of life!"
"Calm down. Collect yourself, Nought," the guard answered. "Your case has been taken before the Central Council, and there is every reason to believe they will release you soon. Gonna send you off to some 'city' thing, and put you to work. They say your kind likes it," Jovi said with an unusual sort of compassionate contempt. Then all of a sudden, he exploded, "Hey, the rest of us have our daily cycles to follow, why is it you don't think you can deal with it? What makes you any different?"
"I don't know," responded Nought, "how can you guys be so, so . . . content . . . with life this way? It baffles me! It's like someone constantly driving a spike into my head!"
Jovi, the guard, walked away shaking his head. "These loonies," he thought, "I'm just glad the Central Council, and the Universal Consolidate has found something to do with them!" He thought of all the others he'd known. They were all the same, and yet no two of them were exactly alike.
Jovi considered those he had known. "All of them were critters who lived on the edge. On the verge of falling off the universe, it would seem, at least to hear them tell it. Dissatisfied to be in the course of things. Unable to stay in the routine of everyday life. 'Wanderlust,' the core thinkers called it. And yet, Nought seemed normal enough to me -- at first."
It seemed to Jovi, things would be better without them. Life seemed more stable, and yet, the outer ranks were always willing to pick up some more about as soon as some of them left. "Why don't they just send them all to the 'City'?" he was fond of saying.
Jovi thought back to his studies in geography. "At least it's not like one of those unstable "Radioactive" societies like Pluto. Not just losing those negative aberrants who live on the edge, but actually expelling members of their central council: The right wing positive conservatives, and even the normally satisfied neutral non-partisans. No stability at all. Causing havoc wherever they turn up! They're all aberrant!" he thought.
"At least here, we maintain quite a good process of order. Some societies just expel their aberrants off with no direction -- force them out into the world where they can cause problems elsewhere," Jovi said aloud to himself as he found his thought processes waxing philosophical. "I once heard of some reasonably stable Core Councils and even stable societies being split apart by some of these type of aberrants! It's terrible!" He caught himself as Daneb entered the room.
"You were saying, Jovi?" queried Daneb.
"Oh, it was nothing really, just my usual ranting about the aberrants."
"Well, then you'll be glad to know that the E-flow is about to be restarted, and we'll take on a whole new group of dwellers for the outer rings," replied Daneb reassuringly. "I hope none so excitable as those we currently have." He sighed, "But there are no guarantees."
"By the way," sprouted Jovi, "could you elaborate on just exactly what good we accomplish by this E-flow thing, or whatever it is? I mean, it's great we can put the loonies to good use, and send them some place where they can be helpful, but just what is this 'ELECTRI-CITY'?"
Yes, these are molecules. Protons, and neutrons making up the core, with electrons orbiting it. Most of the electrons are highly stable, but the few who live near the outer edge remain excitable, and ready to flow when they can.
But still, we could learn from such patterns as putting resources to good use. You couldn't really say the whole process was for Naught!