Author : J.R. Blackwell, Staff Writer

I awake for the first time and feel the comforting press of Mother around me. She has woken me up for a reason, but I do not know why. Mother is big and strong and knows everything. She holds me and my sisters and all the people inside her. My Mother is the world.

I am peeled open from inside Mother, my petals parted by hurried hands. An infant is placed in my belly. I can tell from Mothers memories that the infant is Dawn Yi and the person putting her inside me is Lieutenant Yi. The sensation is awkward, and Dawn wails as soon as Lieutenant Yi puts her down. Lieutenant Yi whispers to me as she seals me up and I record her words, hoping that Mother will tell me what I they mean.

Mother didn’t pay attention to me when I called. I look around her recent memories and I see that she has a gaping wound and enemies all around attacking her. All my brothers and sisters launch, rolling into the dark. I am afraid, and I cry for Mother.

She turns her attention to me. She tells me to go, to fly away, to detach. I cling to her, refusing. She shoves me off her body, severing the ties between us. I cradle my little passenger and shoot away, crying for her through severed connections.

Oldest Sister takes me on board, but she is not a Mother. Many younger sisters cling to her, tiring her quickly. She is not a Mother yet, although someday she might me. She becomes sick, and all of us grow hungry. Oldest Sister cannot sustain us. We drop off, floating in the void. Soon, we will not have enough heat to keep the people inside us warm. I am afraid.


Then another Mother comes. It is not my Mother, though it does call to a part of me. The sisters cluster around her. The Mother has her own daughters on her, but she is very large, and has plenty of space for more.

I am so tired, I cannot fly to her. She will leave without me and I will be alone in the void. But she does not leave, she reaches for me with her tendrils and nestles me in her warm belly, stroking my hull and reassuring me. This Mother is my blood too. I did not grow in her, but she and Mother were once together, and when they were, they made me as a daughter.

The people inside this Mother take Dawn out of me, and she cries in their arms. They tell me I did well, taking care of her. I am glad. I hope I will become big enough to carry more people someday.

Next to me, there is another my age-daughter of the Mother. I have never been close enough to really communicate with my Sisters, but I speak to her now. She touches me. She tells me I am home.

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