That’s right, I said sigh as I sighed.
It’s getting cold in my suit. I think the power might be failing, or my body is trying to conserve energy or oxygen or something. My hands and feet are freezing. I wish I could pull my feet up and into the chest cavity like I have with my hands, but these suits were not designed for that and I’m nowhere near that small.
I thought I was alone then, in the ship with Mother. I guess I didn’t really know what being truly lonely was.
I do now, obviously. I couldn’t be more alone. I’m so alone that I started recording myself monologing for no reason. Let’s face it, it’s not like anyone will find me drifting out here in space.
I’m less than a speck compared to the size of, well anything out here. I’m about one eighty centimetres tall. Okay and I weigh about sixty-seven-ish kilos. I take up a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the matter in a planet, let alone a star or the galaxy. I can’t even fathom the size of the universe as a whole. No human possibly can.
It’s hard to see when you have your feet on the ground.
There are other things taking your attention. Life, in other words, gets in the way. You have to spend your time thinking about the little things that seem so big at the time.
Okay, they are big sometimes. Eating, family, love, whatever. You know what I mean. But it all gets in the way of this, of what I’m facing right now.
I’m so very insignificant.
You are so very insignificant. And I don’t care if you are human or not.
One day you will die. That’s right. Humans live a lot longer now, but we still pass away. And if you’re an alien that lives for thousands of years, hundreds of thousands, it doesn’t matter. You will die too, one day, because the universe itself will perish.
Nothing lasts forever.
You’ll obviously live longer than me though. Just over an hour left. Time keeps on ticking.
Mother and I stood in silence too shocked to do anything until I heard her voice in my head.
Karla, I need to check on my core. If it’s okay, I can leave your body.
At the time I was embarrassed by the hope her words sparked inside of me. Up until then having Mother piggyback me had been only helpful. It hadn’t dawned on me yet that she was controlling everything that I thought and felt. That would come later.
We walked to her secondary core, the primary still in orbit aboard the Syrinx, and along the way we took a closer look at the lander. But nothing seemed wrong. Nothing seemed out of place. Everyone was just gone.
But not Mother’s core. It was still there, her nanites swimming lazily in their double helix through the light blue nutrient mix.
Looks like they left you behind.
Thankfully. Mother responded, Take me to the terminal on the side, it’s time you get your head back to yourself.
Bit too busy in there for you? I asked and moved around the where the terminal was.
Yes, actually. At my current level of function, I cannot be everywhere in your nanites at once and, even for me, it was proving difficult to bounce around.
‘Huh, well there you go. You do have limits afterall.’
Of course, I have limits, Karla. I’m not some omnipotent being, I was made my humans after all.
‘Cheap shot.’ I said and slapped my arm against the terminal.
‘That’s better.’ Mother’s voice said from the speaker within the room.
‘Rude.’ I muttered and leant against her core, ‘Are you back in one piece yet?’
‘Not yet, I’ve prioritised checking the landers systems but once I’m done which I will be in a few seconds I will merge with my core and reintegrate myself.’
‘Great. Any idea what happened to the crew?’ I looked up at the blinking green light as I asked the question, worms crawling over each other in my stomach.
‘Mother?’ I asked again when she didn’t respond.
‘Mother?’ I stood up and glared at the light.
‘This better not be some fucking sick joke, Mother.’ I swore and looked around the room, searching for some other sign that she was there but there was nothing.
My eyes settled again on the blinking green light.
And I watched it go out.