Star Child

Yensuensu’suneasun—Yensu, for simplicity—awoke in a bath of bright silver light. The long night was not over; it was too early to wake. He stretched his proto-limbs against the strong thin filaments of webbing and the syrupy fluid within the interior of the pod. He did not know the word mother, but that was what his spindly arms grasped for.

He was only a child. He was 42,000 years old.

The supernova detonated at a premature, unnatural age. The timing was unfavorable, but the alternative would have put the entire nursery at risk, so the best was being made of an unalterable situation. The light that now so disturbed Yensu’s slumber would soon subside, replaced by waves of heavy particles that would rock his pod like a bassinet in the breeze. Until then, the Custodian hummed soft sounds and warmed the pod fluids and fed pure oxygen to its wards until they were again calm.

Yensu was young, and though he had no words with which to speak or scaffold around the structure of his thoughts, he had an innate and advanced ability to conceptualize, to think nonlinearly, and to imagine, and through these abilities, during his brief and occasional waking periods, he learned. You might say he was self-taught. He knew what he reached for, and he knew it was not the Custodian.

The Custodian, for its part, was not offended. In fact, it was pleased. Yensu was growing up so fast. He would do great things someday. Unimaginable, extraordinary, glorious things. But for now he needed to rest. He may be growing, but he was only yet a child. The Custodian hummed and swayed and Yensu drifted back to his dreams.

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