I float here at the center of a synthesized cosm. My intellect is neuroplexed to the ship's sensory array as well as the third-of-a-million probes that migrate in vast patterns around our trajectory. A web of supraliminal communication pathways feed the data to my little sphere, where it is integrated and processed into an orderly panorama of the firmament. I exchange data with my brethren on similar explorer ships and widen the scope of my awareness even farther.
I can see everything.
The whole of the spectrum is laid out for my perception; I need only focus. The convoluted workings of the universe appear as a simple, comprehensive schematic of glyphs and numbers. Orbital mechanics push and pull. Stellar particle fronts ripple through the dark before fading into the relic background. I know the number of photons passing through each square meter of visible space. I measure the tidal forces of trinary systems struggling in futility against the hungry feedings of distant black holes. I see the undulating edges of nebulae as their primal vapors are sacrificed in starbirth. All of it falls into this orb at the ship's core for me to watch. My kind are the only known sentients with the mental facilities to stare into this vivid, kinetic abyss with such clarity.
When in transit I navigate the ship through spatial eddies and slipstreams, surf the rapids of wormholes, plot shortcuts through star clusters, and tack into even the faintest of gravity wells. The safety of the crew is my responsibility. I detect cosmic storms by the telltale skewings of cometary wakes, read the valence oscillations near pockets of dark matter, and spot the magnetic signatures of a thousand celestial anomalies. I have delivered this ship to countless destinations unscathed.
The crew value my talent and thank me often, but they are mystified by the magnitude of my sight, perhaps even a little afraid of it. They are scientists and specialists driven to explore and encounter the new and unknown, but they are aware that even a fraction of my cognition would overwhelm them.
As their abilities often overwhelm me.
Though I can deftly maneuver the ship through a system and drop it into perfect orbit around a new world, it is the crew who go down there. It is they who stand on exotic soil and meet the inhabitants, who do the meticulous work of crossing language and cultural barriers, who gently wield diplomacy and understanding in such a volatile situation. I divert my gaze from the universe around me and watch the away-teams chart new geographies, breathe in the alien atmosphere, study the rituals, taste strange foods, exchange knowledge, forge bonds, and wrap themselves in the visceral experience of exploration.
For them each contact makes the universe a slightly smaller place.