As we walk back to the ship, I can’t help but wonder what Dana’s reaction will be to our new guest. I have with me evidence that this stop did have a purpose, and therefore proof positive that I am indeed in communication with the Exos.
You’ll need to call them something other than exos. We’ll know what you mean, as we can understand your thoughts, but your companion will get confused if you call all of our varieties ‘exos’.
OK. I’ll continue to call you Exos, but I’m not sure what to call this new species. Alchemists seems a bit of a mouthful.
As soon as I say “mouthful”, I expect them to question the meaning, but once again, I’ve underestimated how in tune they are with all of my thoughts…even to the point of understanding colloquialisms and metaphors.
They change one substance to create another. Why not call them makers?
As we cycle through the air-lock, I consider the name and conclude that makers is as good a name as any.
“Dana,” I say as I enter the ship, “we have a new guest! Meet the makers!”
“You found a rabbit in outer space?”
Before our eyes, the makers slip from their rabbit form into a goo-like puddle, and then into a perfect model of the ship. For the first time since we met, Dana’s hard expression softens. Her eyes light up and she breathes out one word: “amazing!”
But then she hardens again and asks, “but what purpose does it have? A shape-shifter is cool and all, but parlour tricks are hardly going to help us survive in space!
“Watch!” I put a small lump of asteroid rock into the mass of makers. They surround the rock, but at first nothing seems to happen. I few minutes later, however, they part and reveal a rock of identical size and shape, but now made of a completely different substance.
“Another parlour trick? I thought that we had come here to get some sort of tool or machine to generate oxygen for us!”
I tried to reassure her: “they’re just demonstrating what they are able to do. They just changed a rock of one substance into a rock of another. They can manipulate matter at the atomic level! They could have just as easily turned that rock into air, or water, or food.”
She fixed me with a blank stare, and I could tell that she was not convinced. That couldn’t be helped right now, though. Hopefully with time she’ll see the value in the makers
OK, now we have what we need to make air…now what?
Now we continue on. We need to show you something, but we still have a long ways to go. Perhaps you should gather some materials for them to convert into the substances that you will need.
It has been a long time since I have turned on the electro-magnetic rake. I’ve wanted to get back to my occupation of mining for ferrous metals, but somehow this feels different. I’m collecting iron, sure, but now instead of using it to generate profit, I’ll be using it as food for the makers in order for them to keep us alive.