A night-black shape, scarred and primal, cut past cold distant stars. Scales darker than the lonely void around it. The creature’s hard white eyes watched infinity slide by. Behind them, an animal mind churned in silent space. Forgotten furies. Raptures long remembered. What it was, and what it was not. The creature’s engines rumbled on; glowing pale ghostfire. Sailing on into the abyss. Beneath its thick skin, in the cockpit around its heart, its human female lay in deathly sleep. Stone-still tentacles gripped the ceiling above her, dormant in the dark. The unmoving air, cold and glass-fragile, hung in silent hymn to the frozen shrine. Her clawed black hands and feet. Her body tucked and shielded, foetal-funereal. Blood-red curls. Twitching eyelids.