by T. F. Davenport
In the moments before impact, the Maya burned everything she had. Fuel, air, excess hull, even the pilotâ€™s body--all cooked off in a spasm that saved both their lives. Split down the middle and hemorrhaging mass, she contracted into a knife, a needle, a sliver. When she plunged into the frozen surface, she massed only forty kilograms. She boiled down through the frozen ammonia until, cooling, she lodged in place. High above, she felt the rest of herself tumble away, squawking distress calls. The mines converged, drowning the signal in a star of light.
At first she held perfectly still, listening. The killers bantered with one another. Their voices dimmed as they sped out of system, and once theyâ€™d merged into the ambient static, she turned her attention to her pilot. Although there was little left of him--a brain, some spine, a lacing of nerves--the Maya still loved him as a mother ship should, with every fiber of her being.
Her main concern was how few of those fibers remained.
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"Maya's World" is roughly 1015 words.
After two years of teaching and travel in Central Europe and the Middle East, T. F. Davenport has returned to the womb of the university. He is pursuing a doctorate in cognitive science at the University of California in San Diego. His fiction has appeared in ChiZine and Postcards from Hell, and his genre-related nonfiction in Strange Horizons.