The shimmering aura before her was indeed sublime.

Apparently, the creature was a human female. The Android found himself obsessively scanning her repeatedly. Her frequency was breathtaking. Most AI were oblivious to the human energy spectrum. It was his illegal biomech that allowed his hardware to perceive the pulsations of the woman’s nervous system.

He stared upward at the atmosphere. The sky was a pool of glittering stars.

Their hot-pink liquid silver fire twinkled against the deep purple haze of the darkening night.

Should he speak to her? Desperate to get off of Xel, still he hesitated. If the human were to discover the illusion, that he was not human and a forbidden hack job, she might turn him in for the credits. He continued walking toward her.

Behind the woman, above the Xelian horizon and the sea, a silver bullet paused in a violet cloud. Spacecraft. Mostly likely hack mercs. He was out of time.

The shimmering craft appeared to float in the middle of the immense billowing mass.

He raced forward, toward the human. Passing a crater, he looked down into the inky gulf below. Moisture in the large, bowl-shaped cavity, reflected the darkening night sky and appeared to be strewn with distant silver remote incandescent bodies.

As he reached the woman, a magenta light streamed through a rift in the clouds. He looked up.

“Need a lift?” the human female whispered. It was her descending vessel giving off the light purplish red light.

“Love one,” he said.

In seconds, her craft was hovering before them. The hovercraft landed. Whether the now floating vehicle was on auto-pilot or being piloted by a droid, the robot did not care.

Whoosh! With a glint of metal, the doors opened, and the human female entered. He followed.