Thursday, 20 October 2011

48) Star and bolt

    Once upon a time a falling star and a lightning bolt fell in love. This was before human civilization, before the Earth and the Moon were different at all.
    In the small moment that they could see each other they knew they were fated for each other. Now, this was not just any falling star, all the other ones were too snotty or too distracted to pay much attention to a single bolt. And this was not just any bolt of lightning, most of the others were too fickle or too stupid to pay much attention to the sky, let alone a single shooting star. These individuals were special.
     These crossed lovers, after their first brief meeting, promised each to see the other again. But as the Earth cooled, as the continents rose and fell, as the dinosaurs came and went, the two lovers plans came to nothing.
    It wasn’t until the lightning bolt met a curious monkey that he was able to sick around for a while and get used to the new world. For a million years the lightning bolt, reborn as fire, toured around and took in the Earth and fell in love again.
    He held the memory of the star still in the highest regard. He still yearned to be with her. If it had not been for the star he would have come and gone without ever knowing what it was to need and be needed in return. He would have never met this interesting species and helped it along by cooking its food and warming it during the night. This new relationship of protector and helper changed the fire, mellowed its attachment from obsession to something more wistful and tempered. It was love, but the love of a parent for its child, patient.
    When a star has fallen the memories of that star float back to its home out beyond Sol’s bow shock. And that memory of the love struck falling star returned to her cloud and spread her attachment, her obsession and her heart to her sisters in the Oort cloud. As time passes for these things differently than back on Earth the heart and promise of the falling star stayed bright and true as the monkeys continued to change.
    Eventually the apes became human and did wonderful things. They did magic. They built large monuments to the fire and tiny things to hold their fire and even tinier copies of the fire were made to dance in metal and glass. Fire saw this obsession and it resonated something deep inside. It finally recalled the falling star and where she was.
    They needed to go up. So, fire conspired with the humans to reach up to the stars. The humans, being exceedingly clever, took the suggestion and flew with it. The humans, being exceedingly brash and sometimes forgetful, only made it to the moon for the longest time and only a few times. They did a lot of interesting things in their own orbit and in their own atmosphere. But they never did reach out to the home of shooting stars until they changed again.
    In the land where shooting stars are born and where their memories return after they have passed word had finally reached the biggest, maddest one of them all, a carbonaceous mostly iron asteroid named Elle. Elle got it in her mind that she would see this obsession through. She marshaled her energies and set off down to the Earth and find the bolt of lightning.
    By the time Elle could see Earth, just a tiny blue dot, she was afraid she was going a little too fast, afraid that she might hurt someone, but she knew in her heart of hearts that love would take care of them both.
    Eventually the fire and the humans could not tell themselves apart from each other. They spread to the moon, they spread inwards to Venus and out to Mars.
    One morning someone spotted Elle coming out from the darkness. Alerts went off and machines made of solid fire were mobilized.
    With grace and beauty and tenderness these machines greeted Elle and eased her into a stable orbit a fair way behind the Earth in a convenient Lagrangian point. The daughters of fire caressed Elle until she was hollow. And she was soon home to a million tiny pink delicate old style humans in a tasteful nature preserve.

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