|Silo 23 where Kosi's body is being held in stasis might resemble|
a cylinder with solar panels, like the International Space Station (2000 AD)
Public Domain image sourced from NASA.
Jeb discovers a few facts about the entity ...
I start the countdown of facts I know. “Earth-born were born on Earth …”
“Check,” she says.
“…And were picked up in a Life Lottery Street Sweep.”
“Check. Me and my friend Jack Fetcher and a couple of the EMBers chasing us escaped the data-waving, once we’d been settled in Silo Ship Number 23, my lucky number.”
I can be very stubborn when I need to be. She was with friends. All right. But, data-waving? Silo Ship Number 23? “The Earth-born like yourself arrived on Lotor as genetic patterns. They were reconstructed by Lotor using materials lying on Lotor’s crust or whatever you want to call it. Skin, maybe. Making you one of the Lotor-made.”
The entity laughs. “I’m telling you I never made it down to Lotor to be Lotor-made. I’d have a body now.”
She sounds so wistful that I think she must be telling her truth. I rethink my idea. “I guess if you are Earth-born and were on Lotor, the planet would’ve taken you within by now. So maybe not that scenario.”
“Probably my original body still lies in Silo 23,” she offers. “If I’m still in that time warp. Speaking of time? It progresses. The wolves, as I said, found the most amazing thing down in Reception. In the airlock. You lot were the last. What is it?”
I try to follow the flow of information. In amongst a lot of things that I have no knowledge of she mentions wolves. I do recall her saying the wolves just before she left earlier.
“Every object and person on the platform where I woke up was destroyed and remade from their patterns?” I ask.
“The object was in the airlock,” the entity says. “I told you.”
So much for being near in age. “I’m a married woman, you are a child. Is it a twenty-questions game we are playing?”
Now she sulks. “Yes to the dais in the Reception Hall. Except for that one thing that was left on the shuttle you came on. Which the Ark Ship’s deconstruction machinery has done nothing with and both the data-waving boots apparently love.”
How will I not to alert her to my interest in the Ark Ship’s deconstruction machinery? It was either re-installed in the pyramid ship or everything is taken down to the Ark Ship? “Data-waving boots?” I say.
I don’t even need to see her embodied to know that she would’ve shuddered if she still had her body. “You want to keep away from those,” she says. “Don’t let their tentacles trail over you.”
“Or?” I say.
“Or you’ll be data-waved back to Lotor. Or on to a Silo. There are two boots. I figure they do one direction each. My body is probably still in Silo 23. Meaning that there must be twenty-two silos floating around, all with their cargoes of bodies in stasis? The bodies of the people you call Earth-born, that they used on Earth?”
“How come you weren’t data-waved to Lotor?” I use the word without knowing in the slightest what it means.
“One of my friends was a very clever computer operator.”
“Your friends are here too?” I say.
“I don’t think so. I’ve searched everywhere. I probably did something young and stupid. They were always telling me off for that. They all went back to the silo probably and are back home. If they got rescued. You must get married young on Lotor.”
I laugh. “Is that all you can come up with to distract me? There are no human people remaining on Lotor. There was no specific age for getting married apart from the fact that you had to have lived the equivalent of at least sixteen Earth-years. What is your name?”
“Now you’re trying to distract me,” she says. “When I was a flesh-and-blood human girl my name was Kosi Lionhair. I named myself that when I was six. I picked Lionhair because I could fluff my hair out big and feel proud and strong.”
I wonder what reasons Earth-born girls of her time might have in their lives to need to feel proud? And I wonder how long ago she lived? Though she did mention a time warp? How would that work? “I’m Jeb. Half shaman by trade."