• Archkeeper

Stanl33’s Silver Spaceship

by Theric Jepson

Stanl33’s Silver Spaceship

from The Friend, August 3029

based on a true story

Stanl33 was excited to be turning eight. Besides finally being old enough to take a personal pod offworld to his school, he was going to be baptized by his father, Stanl32, this Saturday!

The pod his father had purchased for him was shiny and silver. Unlike most of his friends’ pods, it had a space for holding small lifeforms (even though his father had always said no pets! was there another birthday present yet to come? maybe a starsquid with pink and yellow tentacles?) and an actual view-hole. He would be able to watch the asteroid they lived on get smaller and smaller with his eyes instead of through his implant! His father often told him that because our bodies are a gift from Heavenly Parents that we should appreciate the amazing things they can do, even without implants. Stanl33 tried, at least once a day, to look around him with his eyes. It was hard to explain to his friends, but the stars look even bigger than normal when you use your eyes.


When Stanl33 arrived at school in his new pod, his friends crowded around to wish him a happy birthday and to ooh and aah over his shiny new silver spaceship.


“Wow!” gurgled Emphzz, who was a sentient slimemold. “That’s neat-o!”


Everyone else agreed. Stanl33 felt proud but reminded himself that the pod was just a thing and not even close to being the best thing about turning eight. He smiled and said thank you, then looked upward and tried to see his home asteroid. Theirs was the second largest in the system, but still impossible to see from even half a gigametre away. Still, he liked to pretend he could see his father waving.


At lunch, after Emphzz finished absorbing his lunch, he came to sit with Stanl33 and the other humans in the eating half of the cafeteria. Stanl33 was telling his friends about his baptism and inviting them to come.


Emphzz asked what baptism was.


“Well,” said Stanl33, “baptism is making a promise to God. You make a promise, and then they put you inside water to make it official.”


Emphzz was impressed. “That’s a lot of water! Where will you do that?”


“It’s easier in zero gravity, so my church rents a L-size spaceship and then lets water form a sphere in the grandroom. My father will say the prayer and then push me into the water. When I come out the other side, I’ll be baptized!”


“Wow….” Emphzz sat and cycled from green to yellow to orange. “I wish I could make a promise with God.”


One of Stanl33’s human friends, a photosynthetic named Kabr06, laughed. “Sentient slime molds don’t believe in God!”


Emphzz cycled quickly to a dark brown. “Some of us might,” he garbled….


“Anyone can make a promise with God,” said Stanl33. My father told me how, a long long time ago---even before Stan2, I think, some people said clones couldn’t make promises with God. But no one would say that to me now.”


Kabr06 threw up his hands. “But Emphzz’s not in the image of God, either!”


Stanl33 smiled. “It’s true that God has appeared to prophets like Moses and Joseph Smith and Mary of Andromeda in human form, but we don’t really know what the image of God means. They’re probably way more dimensional than we are, for one thing!”


Kabr06 nodded. “That’s a very interesting point. I never thought about that. And if that’s true, I guess a sentient slime mold could be as valuable to God as any of us.”


Emphzz cycled up to a yellowish pink. “Really? That’s neat-o!”


Stanl33 reached out and put a hand on one of Emphzz’s blorbs. “Would you like to come to my baptism, Emphzz? You could see for yourself what it’s like. And if you want to know more, there are people there who could answer your questions.”


“That would be really plasmordic, Stanl33. Thank you! After school, maybe I’ll just cut off one of a pseudopod? And go home with you in your new pod’s petspace?”


Stanl33 smiled. He felt very warm and happy inside, and he knew it was the Holy Ghost telling him that some things were even more important than starsquid.


“That would be great, Emphzz. I think that’s exactly what it’s for.”