As he looks at stars, he imagines photons in a mad race to pound his eyes. Each photon coming from not only vast distances, but vastly different amounts of time. He shifts his vision from one star to another, knowing that all the while they seem a lightbright of the sky; they are wildly—millions of light years apart—and so wildly different in ages. Light takes time. In this night sky, the night before he returns to a metropolis where he will no longer see them so brightly, he desperately tries to accept their age—the only sound near him, the pounding waves of Montauk. The waves are of great assistance. Though he cannot hear it, the light must be just like that he thinks. He must see the light from one star in waves only to turn his foveal view to another desperate pinpoint in the dark in order to receive some different amplitude from a different part of the universe—well, the galaxy he thinks. But he stares up at the night over Montauk, the ocean encouraging, knowing that up in that black, there is no decimation, war, famine, poverty, disease, and murder. The human eye is made to be perpendicular to gravity at best. But of so many creatures on this rock—Jason looks to the sand, briefly—so many animals; humans look up. There are no tigers in the sky; no reason to fear it, no reason. Once upon a time, the night sky was a picture show. Jason stares with generations of knowledge that drags him through the recognition that those pinpoints are not that at all, but orbs of fire drifting in the almost nothing.

And he is witness.

He is witness because of a skull and some tissue inside it. A tissue with a billion trillion signaling entities—like undersea bioluminescent fungi, brighter toward the center and then spreading out tendrils across the dark landscape. The lights in his head move from place to place, communicating. There is more than just life beneath what he has seen for his brief existence. For all of this light—in the stars—all of these beautiful and gigantic electronic bacteria in his head came about because of the evolution of another electric bacteria…the tiny neuron. He is star stuff. He is able of which stars would dream could they. What if he could look down on all this and from the stars and when there (because time is both slower and more dense for them) as the sun drifts down behind the curvature of the Earth and the last green glint of it vanishes across the stratosphere? He thinks from that stratosphere he could spy and look down and see lights in the dark, billions of them. Human life pulsating with luminesence all its own like undersea fungi and jellyfish, brighter toward the center and then spreading out tendrils across the dark landscape—in cities.

The lights move from place to place, communicating. For all of this light, all of these beautiful and gigantic electronic bacteria come about because of the evolution of ever smaller components replicated from ever smaller components. Pulses. They brace with electricity such that if the sun were to set across the arc of your head, setting off a final halo before disappearing, you could look down on your brain in the dark and see lights, billions of them—flashes and arcs of electricity. And some thoughts, like the sight of your mother or your home, like the sound of your child, would light up portions of your brain like a metropolis.

Jason now in orbit:

For the first time in human history, brains can look down on the planet and see what they have wrought in their 50,000 years of dominance. To those trillion tiny forms in all our heads only just now beginning to see for the first time: their larger fractal clones. To them, it must look like there is a long way to go. But they are yet discussing the next destination.