Hiking around space rocks, now that’s the best, thought the machine man
as he drifted weightless through the asteroid belt, in this single-star
system. It was a change from the gas giants at the edge of the
single-star system, with their crushing atmospheres filled with
lightning storms. They were a little thrilling then, but he rapidly
forgot them. He liked the feel of ground suspended by the infinite
vacuum. Here, a small hop is graceful travel, effortless.
The machine man was once rustless, ready to explore the entire cosmos,
but he started to prefer the lazy ballet of spheres, the percussion of
bodies colliding, the smearing of galaxies splashing into each other.
Life is the only token of his journey, and he can’t seem to rid himself
of it. It seems to grow best around the exhaust vent just below his
eyes. He looked down, and the bloom of critters from that last moon was
still there. It wasn’t alive, of course, but instead of doing pointless
scraping, it was more fun and soothing to watch the primitive mechanisms
struggle, stop, and disintegrate in open space.
He made some critters from the skeletal bloom to survive in space, as a
test of how it could work, but it failed, and he had no idea why.
He sailed, noting the vibrations of impact in each asteroid that he
stepped upon, and the spray and swirl of particles, both stellar and
organic. The laws of nature conquring the unpredictability of life. True
He swung around, and a large asteroid blocked his view of the lone,
central star of the system. Where will it go? It seemed to him that the
asteroid was on a million year collision course with that central star,
but what if..?
He kicked it. Hard. The asteroid’s new momentum deflected the smaller
bodies, rocketed towards it’s calculated final end in the cosmic wind of
the central star. The shadow it cast upon him quickly faded, showing him
He studied the asteroid’s path. The rock would make a terrific arc in
it’s final ride. With a few quick jumps, scattering more asteroids in
ways that he was no longer interested in, he landed on the large
asteroid, crawled to the windward side, and basked in the glow.
Cruising on asteroids, now that is the best. He enjoyed the stellar
cycles as the rock made it’s arc. Hopping was a little thrilling, but he
rapidly forgot the belt. No need to remember all objects, no need to
remember all life.
Life. Maybe if he lived in the star, he would be able to forget about
that mystery too.
Just as he was relaxing, a sphere blocked his view. In fact, he was
heading straight for it. This wasn’t in his calculations, but he was
allowed one mistake. He couldn’t remember any other times.
The sphere itself was planet-sized, with an atmosphere. When the
asteroid started burning, the mixure of the terrestrial and the plasmic
was true cosmic poetry.
Crashing into rocky planets, now that’s the best. Moments before impact,
he noticed water in oceans, and…life, in abundance?
He got out of the crater, and studied all of the life. Space, with all
of it’s emptiness was a little thrilling, but he rapidly forgot about
it. He didn’t pay attention to the bloom of critters under his eyes
either; all around him, complex life was dying, and he was the cause. He
strolled the entirety of the surface of the land and the bottom of the
oceans, and witnessed their extinctions.
Perhaps he should replace some of it? He looked at the critters all
around him, and he got to work.