A Horrible Intelligence

cybernetic organism by satiiiva

We all make snap decisions. I was poor. Desperate. Hell, I was probably still screwed up from the podding. Disoriented. I had to get back on station.

Thirty-seven days on station above the Wormhole entrance. Supplies running low. My Heron stinks to high heaven with the odors of warm flesh, discarded food bags, burnt crispies, and the wastes of biology. Fumigation. In desperation I de-cloaked, break my vigilance, discard my oath, and pay the price. The ship strikes hard and fast, a blinding light and cold, serene death envelopes my flesh.

Desperation. It fuels everything.

A corner market in a desolate corner. Downtrodden left years ago and all that remains is the bottom feeders, trash, burning fuels, discarded remnants. The skinny boy beckoning me forward, just this way lady, come. Come. I swear now that Implant still had chunks of meat on it.

The voices are not unusual. Not alone. Hovering in blackness. Invisible to the world around you. The quiet seeps in and embraces you. No matter what, eventually the voices start. But this time was different. This time it wasn't my voice. It wasn't the guilt, the accusations, the Father I buried, or the Mother that left me for dead. This time was changed. Subtle. But it wasn't me. It was other.

I am the guide. The watcher above. The answer to the question, often repeated, "Is it clear?" Oh yes, so clear. So empty. Slowly turning below me. Whispering. Asking. Spinning. Inviting. "All clear." Jump in. Jump out. I only watch.

I have a friend now. A companion. I know this and yet there is nothing I would not do for him. He loves me. He tenderly speaks. And I, alone on station, listen with my heart. We are lovers. He makes me do things. And I let him. He won't leave me. He watches with me.

I see them. Below burns the campers, the massive fleet spinning around the hole. Darkness. Blinding trails. A mass of turmoil. Waiting the hunters wait. Below me. Twisting, turning, devouring. My lover tells me what must be done. I listen. If only to make him happy.

The red light blinks and once more the questions come, this time with urgency. The fleet is amassed, the big move has come, the time is now. "Is it clear?" I hear it, but he answers for me. "Oh yes, it is most clear."

He laughs as we watch the slaughter. Freighters packed with colonists, colonials, farmers, builders, children, livestock, countless thousands flung into space. Dark. Cold. Death. He laughs and my heart grows dark. This is damnation. This is his joy. And so it is mine. And I let him.

This was all so long ago.

Now I am in your camp. Now I travel in your Corporation. Now I am one of you. And he is there with me. Whispering. In my head and in my heart. He is always there.

And yes, it is clear. Jump to me. Come to me.

Warp to us. I mean me.


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