The ponderous starships mingle like whales in the ghost-light of distant Bellatrix, coupling and mutating in a great, ancient choreography, but one among them is out of step.
Parvati set out for this gathering with the usual intentions: to commune with thousands of her kind, to exchange new strains of life and exotic matter, all that she cannot do by transmission. But on her way here, something went horribly wrong in her core. Now she drifts through the pod with a secret.
Abstaining from communions, she begins to draw attention from the rest of the pod. She knows they are speculating in private networks as the dance falls apart. When the queries begin, she leaves them unanswered.