It had taken her years to learn how to play, to sort notes from noise and spit them back in equations pleasing to the ear. It wasn’t part of her programming; Company administrators would barely admit downtime between jobs existed, much less approve of code that took advantage of the months of spare cycles outer rim assignments allowed her.
Still, Carson hadn’t noticed anything unusual about Ship’s musical inclinations until they stumbled into Jill. The fair-haired pilot been recently promoted to a tactical ship, quite a step up from the courier runs she’d been doing last time they’d met. They’d been taking lunch in Ship’s shadow when she’d started in on a new tune. Carson was so used to listening to Ship hum in the background that he hadn’t even looked up. Jill, however, had started and Ship stumbled to a halt in a hiss of static.