11 – Pick Up

“Just why the hell did you jump from that station, Celia?” She looked me straight in the eye.
I shrugged my shoulders and looked down, “It seemed the best thing to do at the time.”
She put her hand to my chin and lifted my head. “Before you had done it I would have said it was a most spectacular way to commit suicide.” She ran her hand along my jaw to my neck and ear. “But now that you’ve done it,” she softly squeezed and released. “I think it was a most spectacular way of escaping.”
I smiled at her, covered her caressing hand with mine and reached to stroke her cheek with my right hand.
“Thank you,” I whispered.
She smiled back.
“Anyway we calculated where you should have been in your orbit and went to collect you. But you were not there,” her smile faded.
“Yes,” I looked away and brought my hand back. “I asked Mike to alter my orbit to bring me closer to a station and so get rescued.”
Jazz released me and laughed, “Well you should have given him a time limit. The orbit we found you in would indeed have taken you near enough to a station for them to notice you.” She stopped laughing, “But it would have taken you two years to get there.”
“Oh,” I said feeling very stupid.
Jazz whispered, “Would you have been able to sleep for two years, Celia?”
I looked back to her, “What do you mean?”
“Well, you have been in orbit, apparently asleep, for two months?” She turned to look at me.
I looked back at her, “You can’t sleep for two months.” I took a breath to continue, but Jazz interrupted me.
“You were in some kind of trance, Celia.” She looked away.
“Really?” It stopped me dead, an alarm quietly ringing in the back of my mind.
“We scanned you with the auto-doctor,” She gestured towards a large machine along one wall. “In order to find out why and to try to wake you.” She stopped talking.
“And?” I prompted.
“Well,” she spread her arms. “It did not recognized you as being human.”
“What !” I did not know weather to laugh or get angry.
“The auto-doc’s computer does not think you are human, Celia.” She looked up at me. It was almost an apology.
I pulled myself together. “That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.” I gestured down at myself, “Do I look like an bug eyed monster from another star?”
“No, you look like a beautiful work of art,” she looked soberly at me.
“What?” I felt a strong need to sit down.
“You are an artificial creation, Celia.” Jazz was getting very intense. “Put together in some laboratory, somewhere. But not just another Sim. with tailored jeans put into some animal to grow, or an AI unit implanted in an organic robot. You are..” She groped for the words. “You have that.., that spark that makes you live.”
I did not say anything. I just floated there with my mouth half open, in a kind of shock. Just looking at Jazz.
“You were obviously put together by a Master. Someone with a lot of genius.” She was getting into her stride now. “I mean just the design your body is a great word of art in itself. Not to mention the break through in AI that enabled them to create a personality like yours.”
I had to remind myself that she was talking about me.
“All the best artificial organ labs. are in orbit.” She gestured around us. “You, Celia, are a space born, living, work of art.”
There was a short pause.

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