Ocularis by Roland Sobrepena
Approx. 27,740 words.
Published on November 21, 2010.
In the 23rd century mankind lived in a decadent technological utopia. Upon receiving a mysterious alien transmission, they sent a ship to a planet 20 light years away to investigate and establish a colony. What the colonist and their machine caretakers encounter and the trials they endure will teach mankind to know, what it is to be intelligent, to be desperate and what's worth dying for.