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For millennia the starship voyaged from Sirius to Sol. It seemed as dead as any sterile asteroid drifting between the light years. Nothing moved within the frames of its unlit portals. Aside from the feeble reflection of starlight, the ship emitted no discernible electromagnetic radiation. The square kilometers of its solar sails were limp and the sail control threads were slack.
At one end of the fifty meter ovoid that was the ship’s body were the winches that manipulated the sail threads. Beneath the winch platform was the ship’s bridge. Like the rest of the ship, its interior was dark and still.
Prominently featured on the circular bulkhead of the bridge was a temperature gage, its needle pointing a sliver past absolute zero. The gage next to it indicated a cabin pressure of zero.
Floating in harnesses among the tables of levers and gages were the members of the crew. They were meter-tall figurines made of rock. Their lower bodies were like six-legged spiders. Their upper bodies were cone shaped and had four squid-like tentacles for arms. Each face was a pair of eye stalks above a toothless mouth and beneath an antenna mast.
The crewbeings were as unmoving as the rest of the ship. The last time they had moved, the Pyramids of Giza were still under construction. But after dreamlessly sleeping through almost all of human history, it was their time to awaken.