The first time that Jenny heard music, she was twenty-seven days old. She'd spent the better half of the day ruminating on the number twenty-seven, which was something she imagined she could have a brilliant conversation with Donna about. Maybe her dad, too. Yeah, it definitely seemed like he'd appreciate twenty-seven. Twenty-seven was nine threes or three nines, and when you added the two and the seven you got a nine. There was something terribly satisfying about that, and Jenny decided that for her twenty-seventh day she'd do something very very special to celebrate.
There was only the minor problem of not being sure where to go to find that something special. Space was full of, well, a lot of space. Not for the first time, Jenny was grateful that she had a soldier's patience. She could wait, she could be solitary, so long as she knew there was an objective that was in her reach. She just needed to get there.
Still, it helped to have a destination.
Over the past few weeks, Jenny had discovered that listening in on the broadcasts from various planets and space stations was a good way to pick where to go. If it sounded interesting, it probably was. She'd re-wired her ship's communication system to pick up broadcasts on every frequency out there, but so far she'd only listened in on the low-bands, which she knew were usually used for military operations. Those she liked, because even if the planet was unreachable, she could live through the updates of the soldiers as though she was really there.
Today, on day twenty-seven of Jenny's life, she flipped her comm system on and was surprised to hear something entirely different. It wasn't the broadcast of field ops, it wasn't the messages to HQ or loved ones back home. It was...
Jenny wasn't sure what it was. There were words, she understood that, but they weren't spoken words. They were different. There was just one man and then another, mixing his voice with the first one. They sounded like they were one man with two different voices, blending and melting into each other.
And under the men, or behind them, holding up and carrying their voices she could hear a mingling of such strange and wonderful sounds that she almost stopped breathing out of the sheer wonder of it. There was the sound of a beat, like her hearts, and wrapped around that was a shimmering like a metal footfall in a steel ground. Threading through the beats was the most amazing soft sound, and Jenny wasn't sure if she'd ever heard anything like it in her life.
She thought that nothing could get better, until it all got faster and slower, and faster again. That was when Jenny realized: they were saying these things about a woman. This was about love and leaving and... she wondered what, exactly, a ticket was, or why you needed one to ride anywhere, but in the end it didn't matter. She knew the song was about her or about Donna or about Martha, and that the voices were the voices of her father or Cline or anyone. It was about anyone, it was by anyone, and...
And then it was over. It faded into nothing, and all that was left was a slight crackling noise. The first few notes of another song began, but Jenny shut off the radio. She wasn't ready yet. She felt as though something about her had changed, something so very deep that she didn't even know what it was. All she knew was that she was a different person than she'd been three minutes ago; a better person. "That... was marvelous!"
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