There are many myths about the sphere.

Over a thousand stories spread out across space and time, but not a single one ever said anything about the Shift. And that was because it had never happened before.

The girl — once Lena — was learning about the Shift first-hand, though, as her body cracked with waves of pain and anguish, her skin caked in sweat and blood. She could now say she was the only one in living history who had ever gone through The Shift.

And all she could now say was this: It was a bitch.

A guttural scream bubbled at her stomach and travelled to her mouth and she let it out in a screech. Some said the Sphere was from old gods, some said it was from aliens.

They were both right.

For years they had been passing the Sphere down from generation to generation, but the Sphere had also been keeping busy: it had been searching. And now, in the girl, after so many eons through time and space, it had found what it had been searching for,

The metal ball in her chest spread its cybernetics into her body, using metal to stab at her sternum, allowing the nanotechnology to spread through her veins. The girl let out another scream as her eyes were boiled down and silver metal covered to replace it.

The Sphere wanted to reach out to her, to tell her it was okay, that it would be fine. But it had no tongue, and as the cybernetics reached her mouth, neither did the girl.

It got to her brain, the motherload, and it sorted through her memories. She had been smart, the girl; she had flown to an abandoned landfill as soon as the pain began.

That had been smart, the Sphere like that.

It saw, in her mind, a man handing her a Sphere — he had no name and was a mountain of a man — and she took it in shaking hands, wearing it as a necklace.

Her Father

The Sphere took that memory and tore it to shreds.

The girl wouldn’t need it now. All she needed was the Sphere, but the Sphere needed a lot more than her.

She writhed and thrashed on the ground, cradling her head. It was no use, though, the Sphere was not done.

It ran a check through her body. 70% of it was still organic.

If the Sphere had a head, it’d have been shaking it.

The Sphere was not done at all.

It reached into her mind and wiped anything that it thought would be an obstacle: her emotions, her memories, her instincts — no, maybe it should keep that. It told her brain to stop supplying blood to her right arm and used the red blood cells to cut it off. It fell limply to the ground.

That was fine, the Sphere would grow a new one. A better one. And everything would be all right as soon as the girl stopped screaming and shouting the world down. What was the big deal anyway?

It looked at her left leg and decided it had to go too.

This, the Sphere thought, was going to take a while.

Anthony Azekwoh is a Nigerian-based author and artist. He has written five books so far, and is now working on the sequel to his fourth book Ṣàngó, Oya.