Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

It was a shock to learn how short their life spans were but not surprising considering how much naked energy they threw off. We do not know how long we live because none of us have ever died, only changed form.

They called themselves Humans. They are beings of fire. They burn so hot. They seemed to be made of pure radiant heat. They seemed impossible. They had special suits to survive in our environment. Those suits protected us, encasing their boiling energy. They called our environment a ‘vacuum’ and spoke of an ‘atmosphere’ where they lived.

An atmosphere that dimmed the stars on their planet (during a period called ‘night’) and made their transport vessels work tremendously hard when taking off and burn with friction when landing. They also had more gravity on their world. Such fragile, determined creatures. It was inspiring.

We have no ‘atmosphere’. Our planet has low gravity. We achieved space travel by jumping hard into the air and returned by waiting. After a time, we came back down.

The humans had names for our parts. They said we were crystalline. Our blood, when we decided to make it liquid, is thick and able to stay flowing in what the humans see as extreme cold. They called it ferrofluid. Our intelligence is encapsulated in each of our particles. They called that nanotechnology. Each tiny particle of us is a switch, able to align or crook tangent to the other, forming solids and liquids. They say that makes our entire race one living ‘computer’.

They said we were -420 degrees Celsius but that’s only because that was the lower limit of their temperature gauges. Down at our temperature, gases become stable liquids and deep inside us, even colder, some solids do, too. Like iron. “Sloshed around like silver paint in a test tube, like molten lead, all granular like a black and white picture of Jupiter with some sparkles thrown in.” one of the humans said.

We took their form at first so as not to alarm them. We were much taller than them and blue but it helped. Though we can take any shape, we haven’t tried many.

The humans have imagination. They showed us their engineering and architecture data. The math of load-bearing weights and geometry was something we knew instinctually, much like a human catching a ball wouldn’t consciously figure out the parabola and the necessary arc needed to intersect and catch it. We are angles, from our tiniest particle to our largest forms. They showed us flimsy carbon strings they called ‘diamond’.

We extrapolated. We improved.

We can make fusion reactors the size of what they call a fingernail. And then we make more. And then we attach many of them together. We do not have to use ‘tools’. We are the tools. We are the systems.

They have told us how to get farther. They didn’t know how to build those machines. They only had theories. They showed us.

We extrapolated. We improved.

We have the ability to create stable holes in space now that help us slide further when we ‘jump’. They have star maps that tell us where to go.

We let them travel inside us in special chambers to go far, to go where they wanted to go, to explore and record together, each experience filling up the cels of our cathedral spaceship bodies.

It’s only fair.


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