Of the over three thousand souls aboard the Triumvirate Colony Vessel Haphaestus, he was the only one not securely enshrouded in the computer-controlled sanctuary of a cold sleep alcove. He could not be so protected as his role as Ship’s Pilot required him to be awake…aware…accountable.
While his duties were intended to be, solely, vestigial with all discretionary and substantive decisions to be made by the sentient and omniscient artificial intelligence dubbed Haphaestus Heart such was not destined by the Gods to be. Decimated and destroyed by a rogue meteor shower some 17 shipboard years earlier, the AI had bequeathed to Pilot the welfare of all that remained of their species and then gone entirely and irrevocably off-line.
This story was written for the weekly Five Sentence Fiction flash fiction writing prompt: magnetic.