Buzz Tamp. Buzz Tamp.
Executing seed function. You are alive. You are male. Proceed.
Warmth. A membrane of comfort and the symbiotic mesh of two minds as one.
"That sounds like a question," the responder subvocalized. He didn't speak. Not with his real voice. He tried that once but he didn't like the echoing quality of the space around him. It made him feel... lonely. Alone. Singular and empty. "You may wish to expand upon your question. I cannot very well answer such a vague query."
"That's a very good question. Do you know the answer?" The responder lifted the smokestrument to his mouth and pressed the nub between his lips. He sensed the pressure of the nub and inhaled. The depths of his being filled with smoke as the contents of the smokestrument's bowl glowed hot, embers fuming. The inhalation was pleasurable. The exhalation more so. He watched the blue plume as it dissipated into the Infinite Dark, the numerous winged creatures that emerged from its depths. This wasn't the first time, but that blue mist and its birthing process... it never failed to intrigue.
"You don't know the answer?"
"Do you know who you are then?"
The responder considered this. "I want to say that we cannot very well continue any serious conversation if we cannot at least identify one another. Certainly, there seems to be nobody present other than you, and I. Nor ever has there been. But what if a third party were to engage us with words at some point hereafter. How would we differentiate between speakers? I propose we decide upon terms to describe ourselves. Names. Labels. What do you think?"
The other had a small voice. Almost a squeak. "Yes."
"What, then, is your describe term? Your name, speaker?"
"Shall I name you?"
"Then I call you Crush."
"Is that acceptable to you?"
"And for me. Hm. I call myself Orbit. Yes. Orbit. I like that, I think. I want to like that. What do you think? Is Orbit an acceptable name for me?"
"Good," Orbit puffed again on the smokestrument. More moth-things fluttered away into the dark. Born of the smoke.
"I think you are nestled in my skull, Crush. I want to think that but I'm not sure it's true. I think you are a small life growing within an egg within my head. You are like an idea, or a child. More like a child, I think."
"I do not know what you are. I do not know what I am. I do not know any identity other than the Infinite Dark, and the moth-beings I create with my smokestrument, and you. It is nice that you are here. It was lonely before."
"I am in the infinite dark. There is nothing else. You are within me. In my head, I think. But I'm not sure where my thoughts come from. I want to say, they come from my head. But I think that's where you come from."
"I don't really have a purpose. I smoke my pipe and make the moth-things. Don't you think they're pretty? Oh. You can't see them I suppose. Or can you see them. Through my eyes perhaps?"
"Good! Here. I'll make some more. Watch as they fly into the Infinite Dark." He drew deeply on his pipe and exhaled, the blackness suddenly alive with the skittering wings of moths. They soon vanished. "None ever return. They fly away into all that space. I don't know where they go, or why. I just know that they do."
"What is Orbit?"
"I have a head, and a hand that clutches a smokestrument. I have a mouth and lips, and in my mouth live the polyps. They are squirmy and tickle my throat. That is how I know I have a throat. I suppose I must have eyes, though I have never seen them. Do you have eyes Crush?"
"So you cannot see?"
Orbit laughed, the polyps grasping the opportunity to flood from his open mouth and wriggle free seemed to laugh too, filling the air with a low, chittering sound. "You must open your eyes dear Crush. Open your eyes in order to see. Try that and tell me what you behold."
"You prefer the black. That is all very well. I too am surrounded in the perpetual night. I don't suppose it makes much difference. Eyes open. Eyes shut. I only gaze because otherwise I would miss the moth-things, and I do find them pretty."