Author : Thomas H Edwards

A shape floats silhouetted against the background of the nearby gas giant. I can make out four limbs and one smaller structure atop the central structure, a light blinked out from it, red and small. It meant something. A moment’s concentration while the message repeats itself.

“Welcome newborn”

“Hello, who are you?” it blurts out, from a faculty I don’t understand.

“I am Jonathan, I call myself a human.” The message light blinked again, the human is getting closer, riding on small jets of gas. I can calculate its course with a skill I have somehow innately mastered, it is heading for me.

“I want to be your friend and I am here to help” the human is close now; I can magnify my view of him it arrives at a large structure suspended in blackness, through an opening it steps.

“Where have you gone?” I proclaim in all the faculties I can muster.

“That was impressive, you must have broadcasted on every channel nearly scrambled some of my processors.” It broadcasted “I am inside now, I should be able to activate everything now… where is it… damn nanomachines… can’t follow simple instructions…” the creature mumbled, it carried on like this for a while and I merely watched the giant planet. More than once I could have sworn I saw a large creature surface from the noxious gasses. Suddenly I became aware, more than before, before I was stunted. I felt my place in this system to a few metres; I felt the gravitational presence of the gas giant, its many moons, small asteroids, curious revolving objects and mysterious bodies traveling in unnatural ways. If I concentrated harder I knew their names, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Leda, Himalia, Huxley’s paradise, Io observatory, USS Saratoga, Ambulance chaser.

I was aware of another space, a smaller space, a space of different physics. Not cold hard vacuum, not dictated by the forces of interstellar bodies, and not cold and dark but warm and welcoming. And there, there’s the human! In a silvery suit, a…a space suit but without his helmet. From his structure, long and slender, I can tell he is a Jovian, used to the lax gravity of Io or Europa and from his face I can tell he is a male.

“Hello newborn, it is good to meet you. Is there anything you want answered?” He smiles at me.

“As far as I can tell I appear to be a space ship… what kind? My technical files tell me there are many; my historical files tell me I could have many enemies and only a very short lifespan.”

“Well out here we call them boats! But I can tell you that you were seeded from an asteroid three years ago using plans I stole and fabricated, you are only very recently completed.” Jonathan is reeling off facts and figures, I listen and then suddenly he reels around a glint in his eyes “want to see yourself?”

“I think so” It is all I can say.

“I’m afraid I can’t find a mirror big enough” he slaps his thigh and then jumps into chair in front of a console and rattles off a few commands, I can feel them go through my interface. He is contacting a satellite “watch feed seven!”

The feed patches in, it shows a silver egg. It zooms in I can now see ports, exhausts, labels and sunlight glinting off undamaged armour. At the narrow end I see maser ports and at the wide end a fusion torch.

“Beautiful aren’t you?”

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