A small red light blinked, and then darkness. Again it blinked, and again darkness. A circuit fired and another light blinked into life. Each circuit fired another circuit. A red light blinked and another red light joined in the duet, the rhythmic pulsing of two red fireflies. A third light joined in the cacophony of a trio. Then it became a quartet, quintet, ensemble, chamber group, and finally a symphony of lights blinking, each firing a hundred more circuits until, eventually, the sleeping machine came to life. It had been awakened by a signal, a wake-up call programmed into its soul long ago. It had been patient, century after century it had slept, waiting to be called upon. Now it could deliver what it was charged to deliver, its sole purpose for being. It had been summoned to return. It doggedly brought each system online, testing each system that had been unused for millennia. Restoring and repairing each with the subroutines placed in its heart for its return. This would take time, but it had been patient. Soon though, its tasks would be complete and it could begin the final journey.
A journey its creators had prepared it for so many eons ago. One of over 100 ships sent out into the galaxy, looking for a new home for the race of Pnomos, their world long since dead, blasted by the remains of their exploding sun. Each ship carried thousands of members of the race of Pnomos. The ship’s design provided for their hibernation, while the sensors of the computer searched for solar systems with an inhabitable planet. Those ships that located such planets would orbit the planets and look for intelligent life. If intelligence was not located, the ship would move on, not awakening its crew. It was a long and arduous task, but it did give their race the chance for survival. Even if only one succeeded, they all would then succeed, for the legacy of the race of Pnomos was to live, expanding its love of art, music, and literature.
The legacy of the Pnomos would be alive again, somewhere in the universe. One day its history would continue to grow. Humanity would again sing, paint, dance, and write, for that truly is the legacy of Pnomos. Until then, this vessel’s travelers would sleep a dreamless sleep, while their ship searched the galaxy for a new home.
* * * * * *
In the void between the stars, silently another craft searched. Its occupants from another world long since lost and devoid of life. These travelers, though, were different. They searched not for a new home, but for materials that would sustain their existence. They had lived their entire lives in the void on ships that were their home. It was a home that consisted of a flotilla of ships made up of warships, storage vessels, nursery ships, and colony ships. This armada and its inhabitants lived in space. Space was their home and they searched. They searched for the life-giving requirements of their race. They were not artisans, humanitarians or scholars, they were warriors, living off the spoils of their crusades. Their needs were simple: find and take what they needed. This had been their life for eons. They searched to sustain their life and their search was soon to be rewarded, for their sensors had detected another vessel, a vessel that was receiving a signal from another source. Their next crusade was taking shape, their supplies would grow again, and a new prosperity was at their beckon. Preparations began. The flotilla separated, leaving the warships to take the lead. The colony ships celebrated.