Our hosts in the Secharia system took us to the Bluesky Arrival day celebrations on Hiresia; they told us little about the citizens of this world, apart from the fact that they were an ancient race of cybertweaks from the early days of the Original Solar System, and that we might find them surprising when we got to know them.
Beneath the sparkling blue membrane of the overall worldhouse roof, we stood among the tall, multicoloured humanoid and serpentine cybertweaks as they sang the praises of the Lady Bluesky.
A huge image of her was projected in front of an ancient, shabby habitat; before her arrival all the inhabitants of the system huddled in this one airtight structure.
"That is an unusual image of the Lady, is it not?" I asked my host, a tall palefaced Sesharian humanoid called Harpaul.
"Indeed, she was a human then, long before she ascended; it was a very long time ago. Come with us, we would show you our parklands."
He strode off with his long legs, accompanied by Ajaana, his lifepartner, who slithered on her snakelike belly beside him. We skipped along in the low gravity behind them as best we could.
After a kilometer or two we came to a large area of concrete with several hundred Secharians standing motionless in rows, all facing a beautiful green recreational area with full grown trees, paths and ornamental hedges. I realised with a start that the motionless figures each had nothing but a hollow space where the face should be.
I turned to Harpaul, and he opened the hood of his cybersuit to reveal a tiny body and legs, his small hands gripping the edge of his hood as he leapt down onto the ground and ran off into the distance.
Ajaana shouted, "Come on, before the wading pool gets too full!" and did the same. I could now see that the greensward was full of tiny homunculi, running with their own legs beneath the artificial sky.
The huge powerful bodies they wore for formal occasions and vacuum excursions stood passively by in the parking lot.
By Steve Bowers (2008/2016)
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