The yellow-orange tholin haze above Titan's surface whirled around the chassis of a lighter-than-air research drone. A tiny carbon-fiber humanoid robot sat perched on its support structure, dangling his feet next to the drone's camera as it took pictures of the rocky surface below. The dirigible, designed to carry sampling probes and communication equipment, barely registered the stowaway's mass. Folded aramid-fiber wings fluttered on aluminum ribs on the bot's back as the breeze swept over the drone's chassis.
"Man, this place really does have atmosphere," Gavin whispered.
He snorted at his own bad joke.
It keeps out the cosmic radiation though. They have to live underground on Mars, like moles.
Gavin watched the haze roil beneath his tiny carbon-fiber feet. It wasn't really him of course. Gavin and his wife Lori were hurtling through the space between Earth and Saturn in a Goshawk Heavy Transport. The winged avatars through which they interacted with Titan's small colony would've only come up to his knee if they stood side-by-side. Nonetheless, six hour virtual reality workdays in the bubble box made the homunculus's carbon-fiber shell feel very much like skin.
Steady development in smartphone battery capacity and size had paved the way for the tiny twelve to fourteen hour lithium-ion battery nested in his back. The same was true of the dual micro-cameras that gave the homunculus crisp depth perception and picture, even in Titan's shrouded twilight.