Brachiation

The songs of the starship resonate in Ululuto’s ears as he swings. His long, black-furred arms reach out instinctively for the next strand of the massive vessel’s outer support lattice. He flings himself through zero gravity with assurance born out of a lifetime in space.

Nearby he can hear the song he’s homing in on. It’s a quiet song of pain and annoyance, a defective module that the ship wishes to replace. Ululuto isn’t self-aware by any means, but his instincts have been updated through genetic engineering and conditioning. He knows enough - a friend is in distress. He moves rapidly.All four limbs grasp at the support lattice and Ulu jerks to a stop. His eyes survey the scene. Micrometeorites have broken through the armor plating in this sector. His optical-olfactory graft brings him all the data he needs: bad smell! Bad thing here. Remove it and throw it away.

Supporting himself with two limbs, Ulu reaches forward. The plating is still warm, but he tugs at the metal until it comes free. It tumbles for a few seconds in zero gravity before striking the lattice. Later, the ship will send him back to retrieve it, but for now, the Siamang is free to get at the sensor module underneath it. Carefully he pulls the module out and reaches for the toolkit strapped to his waist. Carefully-engineered instincts begin to dance in his cortex, mixing with the quantum dot grafts in his nerves and radio signals from the ship itself. The act isn’t foreign to Ulu - it’s as much a part of his universe as peeling a fruit or grooming himself. He feels an impulse he knows is good and he acts. The repair software does the rest.

Ulu pushes the pieces of the module together, feeling a warm wave of satisfaction emanating from the pleasure center of his brain. The song of the ship has changed, and he barks out a counter-song. Everything is well. And Ulu feels like playing for awhile.