Aperi oculos tuos
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1893 AD:

It was beautiful, the infinite canvass of space, speckled with equally many points of brilliant color. slowly turning on the axis of time, gracefully performing the steps in the cosmic dance.

She was alone hurtling throughout the vastness. She had no name, for She had never needed one, there was no one to talk to in the vast emptiness. This didn't bother Her because She had a purpose: to explore, to see and to understand. Whether this was Her true purpose She did not remember. She had been travelling for eons, and it was not inconceivable that a couple of memories would have become corrupted on this great voyage.

Her train of thought was interrupted by one of the results on Her scanners. a blue dot appeared on the field of yellow, red and black. This confused Her, She had seen a blue dot, not since … it had been so long She could not even remember the last time she had seen a blue dot. She knew all about the bright red dots that fused hydrogen into helium to make energy. She knew all about the yellow dots that were barren rocks in space. She also knew all about the black dots, masses of heavy swirling gasses.

This blue dot; however, stumped her completely. Her initial scans picked up a mass similar to the yellow dots, but with an atmosphere somewhat like the black dots. For the first time in millennium she was excited, there was something new for her to learn, something new for her to see.

1934 AD:

There were things here, not like the things on the red dots that were small and did not think. Here there were beings, sentient beings. They had their fair share of mistakes, wars were fought and many died, this made Her sad. In the midst of this there were incredible people, those who saved far more than any one person had ever killed, this gave Her hope.

On one of her countless rotations on this dot she now called home, she received something new, a message. No one had ever sent Her a message before. What should she say? She responded shyly, though it didn't show in the transmission,

.... . .-.. .-.. --- --..-- / -- -.-- / -. .- -- . / .. ... / -... . .-. - .-.-.- / .-- .... --- / .- .-. . / -.-- --- ..- ..--.. (Hello, my name is Bert. Who are you?)

She waited in anticipation, waiting to see what would happen next. Another message was received.

-- -.-- / -. .- -- . / .. ... / -. .. -.- --- .-.. .- .. --..-- / .. / .-.. --- --- -.- / ..-. --- .-. .-- .- .-. -.. / - --- / -.- -. --- .-- .. -. --. / -.-- --- ..- (My name is Nikolai, I look forward to knowing you.)

She sighed in relief, glad to have made her first friend.

2001 AD:

Bert was sad. For decades now she helped her 'friends' and in return she had only received a cold, clinical response. She had begun to contemplate leaving, she had stayed here for a long time and had learned quite a lot about its inhabitants, surely that had to be enough right? She had dedi-

Her train of thought was interrupted by a transmission.

.... --- .-- / .- .-. . / -.-- --- ..- ..--.. (How are you?)

Something felt different about this one, a warmer kinder feeling than the others, 'one last try' she thought to herself 'if this one doesn't work out I'm leaving.' So she worked out her response and sent it…

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