Genre: Science Fiction
Type of Short Story: Novella
Summary: Solar winds and steel chains are a difficult way to rescue a creature the size of a planet from the grip of a black hole. When the creatures in difficulty are something neither Susan or Cet have seen before, staying uninvolved is not an option. Gravity and relativity are not the only problems they face: there's also getting the would-be rescuers to work together.
Her companion did not have eyes in the strictest sense, nor hands or legs. Instead it had opened its 'eyes', sensor lights glowing with increased intensity through the armour as they focused on the dark shapes outside. Then, to her delight, beneath the armour a second set of membranes retracted and the lights brightened.
"Is that the equivalent of a double-take or rubbing your eyes?" she asked, pushing a stray strand of hair back into the severe style that held her greying curls.
"You have encountered these?" The flat tones of the mechanical translator could not express emotion, but the sleek, almost featureless, metallic shell had all seven blue sensor lights shining fixedly forward through the metal of its dome in fascination.
"No," she admitted, "I read about them. Interstellar mega-fauna are more common in universes where space is not a vacuum, but they aren't unknown elsewhere." She looked out of the window again, at the two creatures floating a quarter of a million miles away within the nebula.