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"I'd like to be a desert plant."

April 9, 2008, Literature

The Intercessor said, "I am here to take you away. Where would you like to go, Seth Morley? What would you like to be?"

"An illusion, you mean?" he said. "Like our polyencephalic worlds?"

"No," the Intercessor said. "You will be free; you will die and be reborn. I will guide you to what you want, and to what is fitting and proper for you. Tell me what it is."

"You don't want me to kill the others," Seth Morley said, with abrupt comprehension. "By opening the vents."

The Intercessor inclined his head in a nod. "It is for each of them to decide. You may decide only for yourself."

"I'd like to be a desert plant," Seth Morley said. "That could see the sun all day. I want to be growing. Perhaps a cactus on some warm world. Where no one will bother me."

"Agreed."

"And sleep," Seth Morley said. "I want to be asleep but still aware of the sun and of myself."

"That is the way with plants," the Intercessor said. "They sleep. And yet they know themselves to exist. Very well." He held out his hand to Seth Morley. "Come along."

Reaching, Seth Morley touched the Intercessor's extended hand. Strong fingers closed around his own hand. He felt happy. He had never before been so glad.

"You will live and sleep for a thousand years," the Intercessor said, and guided him away from where he stood, into the stars."

Philip K. Dick, A Maze of Death, 1970, p. 187.

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