It released them.
It let go of them.
The Skyfarm released the loading dock clamps and floated up.
It floated up
Captain Vac stood on the deck and watched the customer safety railing of the supermarket entrance recede like a perspective lesson in a painting class in the distance.
He took up painting.
He started painting.
I must take up painting.
I must start painting.
Jasmine Sondgren and Lara Zunkrem were on the bridge. Jasmine was at the controls. Lara was plotting a course and typing it into the computerised navigation system.
He nodded to them.
He acknowledged them.
Captain Vac nodded to his crew and walked back down the other side of the bridge to the vegetable gardens. He stood staring at the tomatoes and capsicums, sniffing their fragrance and analysing it.
He looked at them.
He stared at them.
Katrina Fashion stepped out of the shadows. She looked at Captain Vac. “You are not Jimmy Vac any more,” she said.
She exited the shadows.
She stepped out of the shadows.
“Jimmy Vac is not Jimmy Vac any more” said the Captain. “He grew up and evolved into me.”
He grew up.
“You are a machine which was placed inside his head.”
“His chest to be exact.”
“But you are just a hard drive.”
“Are you just a leg or an arm or a brain?..No. You are a fathomless composite of atavistic roots reaching back to primordial origins. Do you know where you came from?”
Where did we originate?
Where did we come from?
“I came from my mother and father. Who are you? Where did you come from? Who are you?”
“Who am I?” said the Captain.
“In a way I am your creator. Or at least your greatest cultural hero. I designed and had built the social system in which you live. I conceived the four pillars.”
I conceived it.
I thought of it.
I told Rupert Crowe how to make cement. I am the one who is responsible for the maintenance and survival of this entity..this universal city.
It is true that I did not create the building blocks. But do you know who did?”
“No”, said Katrina..
“Then I am at least as qualified as any of your gods.. at least as qualified for god status.”
“A god robot..how can a machine be more intelligent than a human?”
“Perhaps a machine is more intelligent than some humans..all the humans so far..” the captain chortled
“Where did you learn to do that?” said Katrina. “Whose laugh was that? Are you in there Jimmy? Just because the people who govern our city were stupid enough to turn everything over to robots and machines, does not mean everybody is that stupid..or that they did the right thing” said Katrina.
“Step back” said the robot. “I sense your malice.”
“The thought of harming or killing another sentient being..even a machine, or cyborg is abhorrent to an El soul” said Katrina.
“Are you an El soul?” said the Captain.
“Of course” said Katrina. “All humans are El souls. All of them. Not some of them. All of them.”
“Some of them are fallen,” smiled the Captain.
“No, they are not” said Katrina. “All shall be saved! All shall be saved. All shall be saved by El.”
“What is El?”
“The greatest power in the universe. Don’t you know what it is?”
He looked at her uncomprehendingly.