One of my colleagues wrote about was the idea of “requickening,” which, to vastly oversimplify, was the thought that by taking on a saint’s name, a convert also took on a part of that saint’s identity.
I’m interested in the notion of sentient A.I., and got more and more into the character as the story developed. I tried to make him real and unreal, to give him attitude, particularly in his view of humans.
At the back of my mind I’d had an idea about how contact with the alien would lead to us becoming progressively more alien ourselves. All I did was bolt that notion onto a simple war story and “Scales” was born.
He “saw” what he said he saw: Zeus in a toaster pastry. Rather, that’s what he perceived, since sight is a combination of what photons strike our retinas and how we interpret the resulting signals to the brain.