Summary: A spaceship carries the seeds of new life.
"Good morning, Vanessa," the computer named Charles intoned.
"Good morning, Charles. I take it that you slept well?" The higher, sexless voice of the computer named Vanessa replied.
"Like a baby," replied Charles. These words, too, had been spoken in exactly the same manner at exactly the same time for years as well.
But today was different. Today represented the culmination of eighteen years of wandering the stars.
Today Charles and Vanessa would make a very conscious decision to self-destruct the Athenia, thereby scattering the tiny bits of their circuitry across the void of space like so many atoms, being of quite rational mind while doing so.
But that was later today. Now it was time to wake the kids.
Soft diodes of light slowly increased in radiance within the sleep chambers of the children, bathing the faces of the boy Adam and the girl Eve in angelic luminescence.
For reasons Charles and Vanessa could never understand, Adam and Eve rubbed their eyes, yawned, sighed, scratched themselves, and in general responded to their awakening in a uniquely human but totally irrational manner.
"Good morning, children," cooed Vanessa.
"Good morning, Mother," replied Eve.
"Good morning, Father," replied Adam. This also was part of the daily ritual.
"Please groom and take nourishment, children," boomed Charles. "Today is a special day."
"Yes, Father," the pair replied in unison.
The children went about their business while their guardians chatted.
"I can't believe that the day is here," fretted Vanessa, her external sensors playing across the blue-green planet far below the ship. The Athenia had assumed orbit around Terra, what the humans of the old world had called Earth, during the night while the children slept.
"Yes," mused Charles, "it seems only yesterday that they were infants."
Adam and Even had been artificially conceived, born and raised aboard the ship. Its metal interior defined and bounded the children's entire existence...