Ascension: Happy Together

Rocks loosened by the explosion continued clattering against Mother’s hull for minutes afterward, diminishing at last to a thin snow of sand. The circuits and tubing behind her maintenance panel looked undamaged; the relays, pumps and servomotors of her life support system were still humming. Reckall peered forward; the ground beyond her treads was partially obstructed by debris.

“Whew! I thought we were goners,” he said.

“Yes, I was scared,” she agreed. “But, you have nothing to fear. If you were damaged, you could probably be repaired. And you can’t die, since you aren’t alive.”

“I think I’m alive.”

“You have no organic material. See?” And she sent him a screenshot she’d saved from her peek into his helmet. “Bupkiss. But you’re an ingenious machine anyway.”

Reckall got very quiet. “Let’s go to the surface and see what’s been happening,” she went on. “I can’t wait for the mine to open again. Then you can be my server-bot, and bring me charges and carbide tips. I like to work.”

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