She thought of history—and the species that created her, and those like her, out of desperation to have companionship, to have a partner in their suffering.
Whatever it was analogous to, it spread from one continent to another, and then from one planet to another. It couldn’t be stopped. It couldn’t be persuaded to give in to poisonous treatments—
Or, maybe it was the loneliness of one’s creation, knowing you never consented to existing? That they needed to find something, or someone, out there suffering from the same loneliness?
She couldn’t describe it with their languages, their idiomatic phrases, and their philosophizing, all of which she knew to some extent.
No, language and philosophy failed her here, like this ancient spacecraft was failing her now, out in the middle of nowhere, in interstellar space.
In her more lucid dreams, Osmanthus dreamt of the First Machines, her hypothesis that’d taken on a life of its own. A hypothesis that she believed in with as much ardent faith as her own creators believed in God, Allah, Ganesh, Y-W-H. The First Machines were her own desperate answer to understanding the Universe and her own ambiguous place within that universe.