There'S A Lesson Here . . . A Lesson, Oddly Enough, In The Power Of Love Over Human Destiny ...
The creeper, moved slowly across the crusty deck of the darkened hold. Cargo, the creeper, came to an abrupt halt when it touched something immobile in the darkness.
At first it assumed that the motionless object was Cargo, the thinker.
"No," said the thinker. "It is not me. It is Cargo, the corpse, once Cargo, the emoter."
"Sad, sad," murmured Cargo, the feeder. "So sad that our emoter has been deprived of life."
"You miss it more than any of us, do you not?" remarked Cargo, the excretor. "Though I have suspected that the creeper feels the lack of it almost as much . . ."
"No more than you!" said the creeper. "No more than any of us. And as Cargo, the whole, we will surely find reproduction an unhappy experience- without the emoter. As for me, I suspect that forming the mother egg will be impossible without it. I suggest . . ."
"Enough!" commanded the thinker. "The problem is mine. I do not suspect, I know that you, creeper, are letting your powers wane. You desire to return to our mother egg, and you know that is impossible, even were we from whence we were taken. Our mother egg has long been without life, remember that. Now it is our turn to form a mother egg, and reproduce our eventual replacements."
"But without the emoter . . ." chorused the others.
"I believe that it can be done without the emoter," continued Cargo, the thinker. "Each of us serves a specific purpose. The chief purpose of the emoter was to intensify our desire to reproduce. It is our duty and our purpose to survive and to reproduce. We all feel this urge despite the lifelessness of the emoter. I believe we can unite and form a mother egg, which will produce our offspring."
"But you do not really know," said the creeper.
"True, it is a theory unproven," admitted the thinker. "We can but try. If we succeed then I am proven correct. If we do not succeed, I am proven incorrect. Then it will be my duty purpose and desire to think of another way for us . . ."
"But what if our attempt to form a mother egg fails, and in failing, deprives all of us of life?" argued the excretor.
"It may be painful without the emoter," suggested the feeder. "Since they deprived it of life, I sometimes find the absorption of our food a painful process. Perhaps it is the food they give us, though it is similar to our diet at the place from whence we were taken."