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“To Miss Something” by jon Lyndon
SUMMARY: Two dead AI Spaceships speculate the confusions of war and being human.
"Do you miss it?"
Twin stars swung around two AI military ships, humming deep and heavy. They then spun-spiraled away through the sub-spectrum in a wild movement. They were in the nebulous green and purple luminosity and white motion of interstellar space. Two stars on a collision course with the universe.
BANG! A violently bright astral blue explosion folded time, just seconds after an implosion in collapsed space... this was followed in the bright cluster-cloud system like sparkling metals just before the Mechanists' PALE ZERO command for AIM [Artificial Intelligence Metamorphoses] to begin. The two remaining AI ships would have their cybernetic memories in a holonebulous-like status zapped into the dimensional substrate and into a pair of the planet Dwellers below.
"Initiate Host-Interface for a maximum twenty-minutes in the host-matrix..." 'Slam'!
Time expanded and curved and danced like slow liquid; melting...
Then white static noise followed by a beat of black nothingness.
Someone on board the Ninth Nimbostratus, while waiting for the inevitable, was listening to a rhapsodic Rachmaninoff composition... a baroque prelude in C sharp minor as grim as the situation. There was a quick rhythmic drive and the Russian piece was washed out with everything... the sonata's moving 'fortissimo' fragmenting like bells and glass in a metal storm. The listener's last thoughts were of lilacs, wine and...
The Seventh Minor Stratocaster had no music at all; just the horrid twisting sound of metal ripping apart...
"Do you miss it?" The AI Thousand Dash Two asked of the AI Ten Point One. The sky above the uneven ground was the color of burnt umber, foul and rusted under boiling cumulonimbus clouds. There were heavy rains, hail, strong winds and treacherous tornadoes. The mild smell of sulfuric acids, ammonium and methane gas threatened the frail oxygen atmosphere of the barely M Class planet, Nephol. It's single moon Incus was already a wreckage of torn rock, and that was the cause of many of the natural catastrophes on the planet. Several fires littered the lands with a stale yellow smoke. Most of the flora were a kind of crystal illuminum which refracted light in seemingly hypnotic ways. Multicolored anemones grew like wild mushrooms. All the animals had vanished.
Nephol was a strange place.
"What would I be missing?" Ten Point One looked around, confused. Long shadows from a peculiar sun that never set. There were black trees, the sounds of birds, a distant ocean and something that might have been machines performing mechanical engineering. Possibly a Factotum Factory, as humans were know for having.
"Being a ship. It's a strange thing, in this substrate continuum, us in the guise of human beings." Thousand Dash Two kept running his long fingers through the silver hair on his borrowed human head; it was a bizarre feeling. Nothing like the calm, calculated and complex wires of circuitry he (or it) was used to. All the wires and tubes and computers and patterns of recorded information running through him like fluids when he was so connected via the CPU mainframe to the ship Ninth Nimbostratus that he was the spaceship.