For the final installment in this story, I challenged myself with purple, ambidextrous, and sugar. Enjoy!
A Sun in Its Womb #7
“Nice ship,” Aja said. He could think of nothing else. The Fer ship flowed around him, changing hues and shapes around transparent, air-filled corridors.
“It’s in the process of creating an optimal environment based on my physiology, accumulated data, and personal preferences. The preferences are giving it difficulty.”
Jordy walked beside him, familiar and yet not so. The ship was behaving like a human environment already, as far as he could tell. Its gravity, air mixture, and friction coefficients were optimal for a human. She had been telling him that. That she was human. He had only to look at her to see what she was, though part of him still struggled to believe it.
“Jordy,” he said, and stopped walking. The light filling the corridor was faintly purple, causing somber, restful shadows. “What are you doing?”
“Starting something.” She lifted large, trusting brown eyes to his and a nervous smile flitted across her lips as she titled them upward. He was still the taller one. “Starting something with you.”
Aja gathered the beautiful Fer into his arms and clasped as tightly as he could. Jordy felt not quite as soft as before, not as round and curvy and reminiscent of old Earth goddesses, but she was still the most stunning, amazing person he had ever seen. “I love you,” he murmured, and gave his mouth over to Jordy’s hungry kisses. Everything about her tasted sweet, like sugar and sex. “This is crazy. You and me.”
She laughed. “Humans want to learn the truth about the Fer. You may be the first who actually will.”
“I never wanted that.”
“That’s why I love you. You are the most truly human man I know.”
He cupped her head to his shoulder and kissed her wild hair. “I’m just a common worker, Jordy. A security manager who probably shouldn’t even have been that. I’m a guy who found a free and loving soul and grabbed onto her for all he was worth, just wanting to find love.”
“And I wanted love, too! I’d studied humans for so long and I knew everything about love, except what it felt like. Until you sent Fritz to me with a note that said, ‘Fix me,’ and so I did, even though I’m not a worker bee tech—”
“Except I meant I wanted to be fixed—”
“Well, you should have been clearer.” With a sigh, Jordy pulled away. “Besides, I couldn’t fix you because you didn’t need fixing. You were perfect already.”
He grinned. Only Jordy ever believed that. “Who are you, Jordy Gardaniel? And what the hell do you really look like?”
“I keep telling you. This.”
“But the Fer—”
“Look like me. Like us.”
Human. Like her, and him… and their child.
“Where are they?” he asked. “The other Fer?”
She simply looked back at him.
He blinked in surprise. “You’re it?”
Taking his hand again in hers, Jordy began leading him again along the corridor, through the coils of the ship. A stele, he reminded himself. A ship big enough to swallow an archology… or to be one.
“Fer reside in our stele. We become what we need to be. This organic form is the latest we’ve adopted. Humanity… could use our help.”
Aja barely controlled the shiver that raced down his spine. “Help? Jordy, you’re not going to…”
“Humans are terribly confusing. The first Fer to encounter humans had no understanding of humans other than an attempt by human ships to destroy our stele. The Fer sent a message that put a stop to such attempts.” She stopped and sat upon the floor. Aja followed suit. The floor lifted and formed a cradle for them both, soft and welcoming, in no way human but utterly comfortable. He relaxed into its embrace and nuzzled Jordy as she wrapped her arms around him. “The Fer will befriend humans now, my darling, because we’re going to… be human. Truly, completely, human. But with all the knowledge and lessons of the Fer.”
He gazed at the organic, life-giving structures around them. He wasn’t a scientist, but he understood. “A stele is a Fer mothership.”
“And this one is ours. We can go anywhere, Aja. Learn anything. Our children will be ambassadors, teachers and leaders.”
And human. He believed her now. The Fer… were the ultimate explorers. They found new civilizations and became them, learned them inside and out, and changed them.
“Why?” he asked. “Why bother? Are you trying to change humanity?” Was this how old Earth’s species would end? Colonized and assimilated?
“Are you saying we shouldn’t?” Jordy sighed. “Humanity has potentials it may never reach because of its evolutionary past. Our sexual dimorphism creates dissonance. Why shouldn’t humans be freed from that?”
“—allows men to reproduce with men, or women with women, by combining their gametes in incubators. It doesn’t allow the children to choose anything at all. Our children will be the first pure humans who have the ability to reproduce with any other human of their choosing.”
“And the other Fer larvae? Are they—”
“Human also. They will join us and we will change humanity… or start it over. Our children will be beautiful, intelligent, and… and ambidextrous.” She laughed at the look on his face. He wasn’t sure what he thought of this scheme. “They will need you, Aja. I am purely human, but you are fully human. You will pass along all the best lessons of humanity. How to be brave and funny and stubborn—and to love another person with all your heart. They will be Fer, and this stele will protect them, but—”
“We will need to control them.”
“Humans aren’t born with control… they learn it.”
Aja nodded and pulled Jordy close as the stele formed a portal through which they saw the expanding image of a clearly human construction. Another station. He tried to imagine the panic and smiled.
If they only knew…
Thanks for reading. Next week I’ll try something completely different. :D If you have a free minute, pop over to the other Wednesday Briefers to read more fun flashes.
Michael Mandrake m/m
MA Church m/m