It was Furlough who posed the next question.

“Why now, carto? Why us? There are plenty of other species in the galaxy, several more advanced than we are. Why choose our race and, more specifically, our crew?”

This was one question I didn’t have an answer for, and I was about to say as much when another voice piped up.

“Our carto’s broken the record,” one of the pilots said simply. I had to admit, that explanation made a certain kind of sense.

The jump drives that humanity used to leap across the galaxy were borrowed technology, engines that we had acquired from an alien race. The ship’s overseer was our interface to that engine, and the cartographer a human specifically hybridized to communicate with the overseer. The cartographer’s mind must, by necessity, work more quickly than the average human’s in order to plot vectors and courses before the jump horizon passes. I had broken a record, thereby distinguishing myself from the rest of my race and class.

It was for this reason we had been chosen.

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