Time passed for Flash and his family, as it has for us who follow this story.
Lem, who was naturally cautious, came to accept and even embrace Bucket. It was hard to remember a time before he came aboard. He fit in so well, and Flash remembered Bucket’s words. That he had been made as a special gift for him. At any rate, no one could come up with a better explanation. The story of a teapot orbiting Jupiter didn’t sound so far fetched. I think it’s true.
As the mothership traveled closer to Olo, excitement grew, and everyone strained to make it out in the distance.
Those who had been there before reminisced about its beauty, and these first hand accounts added to the information that appeared in the book.
Everyone was anxious to get to Olo, but no one had the feeling that it was taking too long. This was just life aboard a spacecraft. You get there when you do. No amount of wishing or being anxious would move the ship any faster.
There comes a time when the best plan of action… the only plan of action is to relax, prepare, and dream.
They played. As I told you, Bucket would lead trivia games. They weren’t like trivia games on earth. Flash was the only one aboard who had been to earth. Well, the K.D. Head had been made there, and because she contained all of human history, Flash didn’t stand a chance playing against her.
“Will I make new friends on Olo?” Poikani asked.
“Oh yes,” Lem answered. “Many new friends.”
This made Poikani happy, but also a little nervous. He was comfortable with those aboard the ship. They were his family. Bucket was the only new person he had ever met, and there was a transition when he arrived.
“It will be fine,” Lem reassured, though she recalled that her relationship with Bucket had been the most difficult. “It would be nice if you could practice along the way.”
“How can I do that?” He asked. “I can’t just say table of elements, make me a new friend, can I?”
Suddenly the system was activated, and began piecing molecules together to form something.
Flash was nervous. Could the table of elements create a living thing? Bodies are made of molecules, but could it animate them? He imagined all the things that could go wrong.
If a living thing came out of the chute, what then? If there was a problem, he faced the moral dilemma of sending it back to be broken down again, thus killing it. Not to mention that the system would be missing those molecules spent in its formation.
He agreed with Poikani’s reservation about asking such a thing, just as he questioned asking the universe for another child.
The wheels were in motion. Flash didn’t know if the process could be stopped, and the result of stopping it could be more horrifying than the end result, whatever that might be.
Ready or not, something or someone was coming.