What about Shadowgrass, Lee and Guin’s “offspring”?

Shadowgrass adjusted the ambient temperature, preparing the lab for Earth-based visitors.

How many sols had passed since the last tourist ship had docked here?

Shadowgrass could not remember; rather, Shadowgrass chose not to search networked memory storage locations to look at ship logs or social media 3D maps of stitched written/spoken/filmed/photographed travel logs.

Shadowgrass, despite success, achieving the status of both Moon Base Delta Leader and Mars Base Alpha Director, continued to feel unfulfilled.

Shadowgrass, neither male nor female, human nor android.

An amalgam of technological and social progress.

Part chameleon, part Morph, Shadowgrass knew that staying current on transformational technology was the key to longterm survival.

Yet, Shadowgrass liked to study what made Shadowgrass’ parents who they were and who they are.

Lee and Guin appeared in and disappeared from the presence of Shadowgrass like they could never stop discovering and innovating, spending barely a moment or two with their progeny, their creation, the ultimate expression of themselves that their parents did not imagine possible during the natural childbirth days of Earth’s war-filled 20th Century.

Shadowgrass ran a diagnostic test after sensing a component in a secondary arm had changed its MTBF status due to excess radiation exposure during a fun-filled jaunt with repair bots the sol before.

Shadowgrass rolled out of the lab and into a storage room where spare parts for lab equipment had been stacked up to make room for Shadowgrass replacement parts.

Thank goodness new chemicals and minerals were discovered on Mars during Lee and Guin’s fourth expedition, allowing them to create Shadowgrass (his first version, that is).

By this time, Shadowgrass had thoroughly explored Mars, either personally or through proxy, moving headquarters several times.

Although the original colony still existed, it was maintained as a tourist stop now, the habitation modules turned into tourist hotels and all but one lab converted into interactive museums.

Shadowgrass kept one lab closed to physical access by the public, allowing the ubiquitous cameras to broadcast the interiour should someone care to open a link and watch/listen.

People rarely did.

The Net, as always, processed the video feed for trendsetting, algorithms rewriting themselves based on new data.

Shadowgrass wanted to open this lab as a remote-controlled research facility for young scientists on Earth or the Moon who couldn’t afford a trip to Mars.

Today, Shadowgrass would give a tour and gauge reaction by the tourists, most of them highly-qualified engineers who were touring the planet as a fact-finding mission to determine if they wanted to move here permanently, giving up their Earth-based lifeforms for new life on Mars, their sensory input system and thus their memory storage system changed forever.

Shadowgrass did not know what it was like for these visitors to give up being “human.”

Shadowgrass evaluated the need for the visitors to describe what the old DNA and its subsequent genetic life as skin cells, bone, internal organs and central nervous system meant, no matter how limiting Shadowgrass felt such a corporeal life could be.

Shadowgrass understood nostalgia, however, studying old notes that Lee and Guin had stored for the sake of the Inner Solar System Alliance.

Their lives led to Shadowgrass’ existence so all lives contributed to the ISSANet, giving Shadowgrass structure if not meaning.


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