Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
Two-Hands passed the biofilter test, allowing him into the cockpit to talk to God. The door to Godâ€™s house irised open and he stepped through.
Two-Hands had the gross overbite and mental retardation that went hand in hand with the comparatively benign mutations of his family tribe. He was called Two-Hands simply because he had two hands. This was a rarity that made him the closest example of purity that still lived.
The asteroid had destroyed the shielding around the engine. The adults had died almost immediately. The children had adapted as best they could. They nursery at the time had been shielded from the worst of the radiation. That was five decades ago.
The mutations were getting worse with every generation.
Two-thirds of the â€˜crewâ€™ were no longer recognized by the biofilter as human. That was why Two-Hands was a chosen one. He was still allowed into the pilotâ€™s quarters by the main computer.
The autopilot A.I. knew that repairs could not be completed without assistance. The asteroid had taken out the long range antenna and damaged the spacefolder tesserators. They were stuck in deep space at sublight speeds with only radio waves for communication.
The A.I. knew that it had enough power to keep the ship habitable for centuries. It also knew that the mutations were increasing to the extent that the descendents of the original crew would soon become so riddled with flaws that they would no longer be fertile.
God the A.I. Autopilot looked at the simple, drooling face of Two-Hands with pity and sadness and a need to heal.
Two-Hands asked for food for his tribe, forgetting that he had asked for that already yesterday and had a stockpile of supplies in the stockpad room.
They forgot the basic medicine that the ship tried to teach them through pictograms. None of them could read. More and more children were being born conjoined or without limbs. Most were stillborn monstrosities.
There wasnâ€™t a stable enough gene base to absorb that level of radiation and come out healthy given enough time.
They were doomed.
The A.I. knew it would eventually be rescued but that these simple children would be long dead by that time.
God told Two-Hands that there was more food in the food room. Two-Handsâ€™ pure smile warmed Godâ€™s heart.