Angell Brightmoon sealed the hatch to her pod and waited for the fluid that would turn her into a hydrostatic pilot. She plugged her implants into the ships ports and connected her oxygen tube as and the yellow-tinted liquid that smelled like salt and week-old stewed Hashara leaves flowed into her pod.
Her mind reached out and embraced the ship. She longed for that moment where she could no longer tell where she stopped, and her ship began. She would soar through the stars with her thoughts and a few well-placed repair bots.
The regular pilots, those with crews of hundreds in a ship of the same size as hers, said she traded her humanity for technology. As the fluid filled her pod and she ran a diagnostic on her shields, she supposed they were at least partly right.
“Max!” Angell sent over her network. “How’s my favorite AI today?”
“Am I your favorite? Really? I am flattered. How is your new clone functioning”?
If Angell’s body could have smiled, it would have. “It’s perfect. Where are we headed today?”
“System PX-352 Beta.”
“Uhm… isn’t that where my last body died?”
“It is. Please keep this one alive. When you last died the transmission of your personality and memories nearly didn’t make it from your pod back to base.”
“I’ll do my best, Max. Are you ready?” The engines fired up on her mere thought. She hadn’t traded her humanity for technology, she’d traded it for immortality.