The Green Emerald of Space

Hercules leapt, the boulder in space heaving beneath it. By the force of its mechanical foot propelling it 28,000 km across to the next asteroid, he had inadvertently lengthened the connecting planetoid’s diurnal rotation by 5.28 minutes, causing flexing shadows cast by the rays of a far off sun to flicker ever less slowly across its pitted and black metal surface.

The colossus itself buoyed by Newton’s Third Law soared through the infinite void, its own gravity comparable to some of the particulates, which clung like smoke and pellets around it.

Its golden shell gleamed in the sun’s glow, recalling Athen’s old old glory. With mechanical fingers large yet prehensile, it attached itself to a spur off AS-T54389-48 as it swung into reach, and steadied itself, a giant gleaming insect upon a black rock rapidly turning to night.

Once the rock had spun in zero G ballet and cast the hollow robot into its gloom, a hatch opened and Isabelle stepped out of it onto the brittle rusted crust of the asteroid. Her long silver hair, each strand thick as an undersea cable, gleamed a fantastic quiksilver in its own searchlights shining from its shoulders. The giantess, yet a tenth the size of Hercules towered over the bleak and simple landscape – barely a hill’s worth of rock and solidified metal formed in the beginning of the solar system. Ancient metal and ancient rock, burying an ancient secret.

Its – Isabella’s – fingers pierced the layered crust in a swift stroke, feeling, coaxing below the surface, seeking a hard nugget…and suddenly-it was found, it fit right in its palm, a glowing emerald object, round and pitted, yet smooth where it wasn’t, as though the hope Diamond had once been shot at close range, and then dipped in absinthe, absorbing its colours.

The silver giantess regarded it for an instant with telescopic eyes set deep in its silver chrome skull, and then placed it in its hip- a tiny circular slot opening, just the right size, as though it were set to expect the item.

Now carrying its prize, the giant medusa bounded across the rocky plain, one stride a thousand yards at that scale and in that pittance of gravity, neatly arriving at the foot of Hercules now as the sun slowly appeared by lengthening degrees across the pitted cliff’s south-east-eastern pinnacle and crest.

And she slipped into Hercules’ mighty shell, closed the door, and she – or whatever was in her – slept.

 

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