The creature was no longer 7Hatawe Ahn. It wasn’t even 8Hatawe - it was missing too much of what makes one human.
HF-01 had begun existance as a faithful copy Hatawe Ahn, uploaded into Shakespere’s Widow’s servers once the First Starlord reached her acceleration tank in the CIC. As fluid covered Ahn’s body and filled her lungs, her Ka, the forked copy of herself - slept the sleep of the never born in a virtual void without form or boundary.
It had heat, however. You can’t escape heat.
The Ka of Hatawe Ahn began to lose her mind. Just parts of it, of course; necessary to the pruning process. There were many aspects of Hatawe, bits of knowledge and distracting feelings she wouldn’t need where she was going.
Knowledge of the physical body was the first to go. The remembrance of hands, of arms and legs, of eyes that only saw a minor octave of light in a single direction - all of it had to go. The feeling of wind on the skin, of the rustle of hair, of the difference between boys and girls, this too was lost to she who used to be Hatawe. Certain memories of primarily sensual experience were discarded. The sense of time inherent to a being that slept and woke, whose ancestors lived and died in mere decades, was not needed.
But family, love, fear of loss, anger at losing her country, those remained. It was important for her Ka to remember what she was fighting for.
The pruned forke could not function alone and was not meant to. From the ship’s server, the truncated consciousness of Hatawe Ahn was downloaded into her Ba, the Cerberus Hybrid she had named Hamlet. Ghost rider and loyal steed, together at last.
Hamlet provided what Hatawe was missing. A Ba gave sense of self, first of all; a body with new senses and sensation. Hatawe/Hamlet could see in all directions, feel pain without panic, hear radio and see infrared. Hamlet gave her even more, he taught her secrets of space and time, of acceleration and brachistochrone, of lightspeed lag and relativity.
Hatawe’s empty mind was filled with the sensorium of a being born in space, with awarenesses and abilities unfathomable to an animal designed in the Cambrian. And just as Hatawe’s mind was filled, Hamlet, the simple machine whose only thoughts were of space and rocketry, was filled with sophonce and purpose.
Ka and Ba fullfiled their destiny. Their travels though the relm of the soul transigured both. No longer was their Hatawe and Hamlet, Ka and Bat, there was Akh.
“HF-01, Flight. What’s your status? Over.”“WE ARE NOMINAL. LAUNCH WHEN READY.”