This is part five of Blue Ice. Anton deGama is in the rings of Saturn, planting bio-engineered plants on a chunk of ring ice, when his colleague Kellerman sees something blue moving on the ice. Despite all common sense, Anton moves towards it...
Anton could feel centrifugal force increasing as he got closer to the equator. This ring-chunk was nearly a kilometre long, and he was almost tiptoeing across the surface. Ahead of him, there was a crystal shimmer from the surface. A blue shimmer. Anton froze (an all-too-literal word) as he studied what he could see.
"DeGama! Get away from there, Anton! Get off the fragment! Anton! Talk to me!"
Anton could hear Kellerman punching keys, and guessed that she was disengaging from the Deep Space Observatory. He suspected that Jodrell University would not be amused at the delay in the repair works to their prime research tool. But his attention was on the two dozen cobalt blue shapes, each a metre across, moving slowly through his crop towards him.
They were not anything he had ever seen before, but Anton had no doubt that they were alive.
Next time, we find out what these things are.
As always, comments appreciated!