The Laughter of Flutes.

“Don’t worry Miles, you’ll find me attractive. After the change you’ll be programmed to find me attractive.” Auroras voice sounded like two voices, a harp and a flute playing together. She stretched her lean blue body against the circular view port, the lights from the outside of the ship shining on her alien body.

“I know. It’s just scary.” Miles leaned his head back into the pillows of what used to be their bed; she did not sleep with him anymore. She hadn’t slept next to him since she had decided to undergo the change a week ago in the ship. Everyone was to undergo the change before planet fall, but Miles was holding back.

“It’s just a big change for me.” Miles looked at Auroras blue skin, the twelve slender five- jointed fingers on each hand. He drew his knees up to his chest. “I’m happy with the way I look, the way you used to look.” He waved his hands in the air, as if trying to dispel his last words. “Sorry Aurora. I didn’t mean to. . .you were beautiful then, you are beautiful now, it’s just different.”

Aurora emitted a high flutelike sound that Miles knew was laughter. “Darling, I don’t feel upset by your personal feelings about my appearance. I’m free from those kinds of concerns now. I was free from the moment my genetic reconstruction started.” She walked over to him, her movements graceful, the muscles in her long legs constricting and relaxing like coils under her skin. “Miles, you were the one that talked me into this, you were the one that didn’t want to be on the crash and burn course of humanity.” She towered over him.

Miles got to his feet. “I still don’t! I just feel, I don’t know, like we’ve failed, like we are running away.”

Aurora made a hand gesture over her abdomen, a sign of understanding. “Abandoning humanity?”

“I guess.” He moved to the other side of their small, shared quarters.

She watched him with her multifaceted green eyes. “Miles, you are one man. This group is just under ten thousand. We couldn’t change the whole of humanity even if we wanted. We just need to let the humans go, make life elsewhere.”

“Carry the code.” Said Miles, repeating the group mantra.

“Carry the code of life.” She moved towards him, her strange hands outstretched. Miles found himself inadvertently wanting to move away, but he forced himself to go to her, to reach out his arms and fold into her. When they had designed their new forms, they kept touch as a sense of comfort. Miles was suddenly glad of that. Aurora stroked one hand through his hair. “Maybe someday humans will get over all their problems, and maybe someday we will find them again. We’re doing the right thing Miles; we are making life that has a chance of survival. You were the one that first told me that Miles.” She brought his chin up so that they were looking into each other’s eyes, his hazel, hers a thousand shades of green. Her fluted voice seemed to play a sour chord. “Miles. I miss you.”

“I’m right here.”

“You are here, but I can’t be with you. Miles, I want to make love to you again; I want us to share the understanding we once did. I don’t want you to flinch from me anymore.”

His cheeks turned bright red. “I’m sorry, I never meant to do that.”

“I’m not mad Miles, I don’t get angry like that anymore. I’m not physically capable of it.” She knelt before him, her head at his shoulder. He touched her face, and her chest purred.

Miles nodded. “I’m ready Aurora.”

She sang with joy.

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