Abraham looks up at the sky. The second moon is setting and the nose of the dwarf star peeks above the horizon. Already, a magenta tide of new light is creeping his way, across the Great Plain.
Didn’t know what time it was and the lights were low I leaned back on my radio Some cat was laying down some rock ‘n’ roll, ‘lotta soul, he said
He loved that song he found in the hard disk of the old fashion digital archive, dug out of the old ruins, stored away, carefully, in a graphene container, as though it had been left as a memory, a reminder of a primitive past.
Of course, cracking its prehistoric code, was left to him and his, superannuated nanobots. He remembered finding them, too, from the Crater of Density, where he first found artifacts of a primordial civilization. People laughed at him, joked about him and wrote him off as a wayward fool, drunk on stellar dust and fantasy.
But he was proving them wrong. They did begin in the stars and life, here on TrappistOne, began out there, far, far, away. It suited him when they ignored him. Their jeers helped his quest since, if they didn’t believe him, they wouldn’t bother him. But he knew, just as if, well, his memory told him.
He was good at that, disinterring memories, solving problems, tinkering. He liked to ask questions, which was not approved. No-one ever told him why, but he learned, shortly after evolving from WombHome, not to ask. Questions Cause Contention and Dissension, that’s what he and everyone else learned in BehaviourForum.
Which was why, he realized, everyone went back to BehaviourForum on the fourth full moons of each trimester, for ReAssembly, to stop the questions, because the answers, at least, all we needed, were already there.
And that, too, was why he never asked questions and never disclosed what he found in the Crater of Density, beyond the curious box. Of course, they took the box away but he didn’t tell them what he found inside. He didn’t tell them because his own mind was confused with a sense of impending, that set his heartbeat racing, his body secreting, hot and cold and his breathing, short and staccato gulps. Fear, it was, the alien archives told him.
After the first moon length, he withdrew to his CraterProximity dwelling, once it was permitted. They saw no harm in his obsessions. It was, what he did, they understood and never asked him, why, because that wasn’t done and because, well, they understood. By the time he reached the fourth of the full moons, he lined his TopCover with Graphene from the alien vessel so he would not be ReAssembled, he could remember. Because now, he understood,
There’s a Starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us,
But he thinks he’d blow our minds,
There’s a Starman waiting in the Sky