Toasted Cake 8: Maya's World, by T. F. Davenport
Episode #8! In which we see how a mother ship cares for her pilot.
In the moments before impact the Maya burned everything she had. Fuel, air, excess hull, even the pilot's body -- cooked off in a spasm that saved both their lives.
(First published in GUD Magazine.)
After a short foray into the great wide world--he has lived in Central Europe and in Turkey--T. F. Davenport has returned to the womb of university. He roams at large in the University of California system, studying linguistics and cognitive science. You can find his work at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Nature Futures, and other magazines.