This was especially true of deepspacers like me. The State - more ageless than any of its nearly immortal members - had a nostalgic affection for us strange ones, officers of a near-extinct service. When a deepspacer awakened, he or she was encouraged to go about the altered Terra without interference, seeking strangeness. He might even dream he was exploring another goodworld, where no man had ever trod, instead of breathing the same air that had been in his own lungs so many times, during so many ages past.
I had expected to go on my rebirthtrek unbothered. So it was with amazement, that evening on the forestflank of Sicily, that I saw a creamy-colored Sol-Gov flivver drop out of a bank of lacy clouds and drift toward the campsite, where my group of timecast wanderers had settled to doze and aimlessly gossip about the events of the day.
We all stood and watched it come. The other campers looked at one another suspiciously as the flivver fell toward us. They wondered who was important enough to compel the ever-polite Worldcomps to break into our privacy, sending this teardrop down below the Palermo heights to parklands where it didn't belong.
I kept my secret feeling to myself. The thing had come for me. I knew it. Don't ask me how. A deepspacer knows things. That is all.
We who have been out beyond the shattered Shards of Sol's broken crystalsphere, and have peered from the outside to see living worlds within faraway shells ... We are the ones who have pressed our faces against the glass at the candy store, staring in at what we could not have. We are the ones who understand the depth of our deprivation, and the joke the Universe has played on us.
The billions of our fellow humans - those who have never left Sol's soft, yellow kindness - need psychists even to tell of the irreparable trauma they endure. Most people drift through their lives suffering only occasional bouts of greatdepression, easily treated, or ended with finalsleep.