Joy Class Androids


Joy sealed the last latch on the last Jeffries access, then killed her boot magnets. The small leakage of artificial gravity from within Hawking instantly swept her into deep space. A few quick bursts from her wrist thrusters twisted Joy's position to allow her to inspect her work. The smooth white bottom of the Hawking's saucer was now broken by three black rectangles, crosshatched by yellow lines.

She selected suit to ship comm mode with a quick network command, then spoke. "Ann? Connection to holo projector 3 is complete. You may begin testing."

"Thank you Joy. Understood."

The nearest and latest of the three projectors entered test. Joy's view of that section of hull became blocked as a series of test objects first appeared then vanished beneath the projector. Looked good. Joy sighed.

Peace. Lack of gravity for Joy was associated with peace, hard work, pleasure, dance, and the touch of a hologram called Fred Astaire. It was so seldom she had a chance to come out here, especially in reality. She paused a moment, admiring the stars, letting her mind and body drift. Reluctantly, she remembered she had more yet to do.

Spread eagled, a quick command to wrist and boot thrusters started her towards the shuttle, briskly, and with a strong spin. Slowly, Joy pulled her arms in, and as she did so the speed of the spin increased. It was an old move. On Earth, ice skaters had perfected the spin long before the Stardancers adapted it to zero G and three dimensions. However, space was truly frictionless, unlike ice, and Joy's laser ring gyro stabilizers did not overload as did human inner ears. Joy held the spin until she approached the shuttle. At last moment, she suddenly spread her arms, fired thrusters, and gently touched magnetic boots down next to the shuttle's side door.

Peace. Such a rare thing, aboard the Hawking. But that was what they were there for, wasn't it? To create peace? Not in the void, but on the planets as well?

With a last glance at the Hawk drifting against the background of the nearby nebula, Joy moved to the pilot's chair, and rolled Sierra out to begin the last run of tests.