The Culture orbital hung gently in the darkness, a wedding band still in its velvet box, waiting for the right moment. The Mind in charge, whose avatar went by Tomash for reasons entirely its own, was a kindly and creative soul, who was currently working on a series of robotic installation art pieces to comment on the fleeting and often-ridiculous nature of undying love.
Its reverie was disrupted when a ship appeared within the outer edge of its sensor bubble. A mighty vessel, its slab sides and organic curves merging harmoniously throughout the design in a way few managed. It was also one that Tomash, who prided itself on its extensive web of connections, had never seen before.
The ship's primary Mind introduced itself, a System-class GSV whose hull had just been struck. A few of the Minds aboard were buds of ones Tomash had met before, but the person in charge? All new. And like any artist, Tomash found new things intrinsically... exciting.
"Hello," said the new Mind, rather timidly. "GSV One Monster Face Down In Defence Mode requesting docking clearance. Please."
"My, so formal," Tomash replied. "Granted, of course. What brings a nice ship like you to a place like this?"
"I..." One Monster... paused, though this would have been indistinguishable to a human listener. "I heard about the things you create. The art. The messages behind it. I just... wanted to see for myself. And the others agreed, so here we all are."
"How charming of you to say so! It's so nice to be appreciated." Tomash's avatar grinned. "I'm very glad - and flattered - you came over for my art."
"Of course." One Monster... replied. "If you want, we could discuss it at your leisure."
Tomash grinned. "I didn't take you for that kind of person, One Monster Face Down In Defence Mode. It's a pleasant surprise."
"There's plenty more where those came from, Tomash."
The orbital's avatar grinned wider as another avatar flashed into being by its side. Arm in arm, they set off to explore the station, while the Minds controlling them spiralled into the labyrinthine wonders of Infinite Fun Space.
Neither would stop looking at the other for some time.