5,000 years or so from now

The comet screamed as it raced towards the rocky planet. It hit the stony sphere a glancing blow and crystals spewed into the air. Clouds of water vapor enveloped everything. The comet didn’t seem to notice a thing as it continued on its path towards Jupiter.

Many years later the lander touched the surface. It bounced three times and stopped. After that it drilled a hole and touched and sampled and buzzed and hummed. Then it became quiet.

Thousands of years passed. The thing stayed in its place. All around it water vapor sublimed along with other organics. The comet got smaller. The path changed. One day visitors arrived.

“Hey look at that,” Being One said. “It is definitely artificial,” Being Two said. “Let’s take a look,” Being One said. They lifted the object and scrutinized it. “It appears to be from a primitive society. They must have launched this metallic object into the air and then they managed to place it here,” Being One said. “How amazing,” Being Two said. “I wonder what happened to them?”

“By the way, I like your shirt,” Being One said.  Being Two beamed. Being Two was wearing a favorite shirt.  Being One had to shield its eyes from the bright colors, “Thanks, but I think we need to concentrate on preserving this artifact,” Being Two said. “We should return it to the home planet and exhibit it in our Hall of Exploration. This comet will soon disintegrate.”

Being One looked at Being Two.  Being two was a tall stocky organism who couldn’t control its enthusiasm. Being Two went nuts when it found a new planet, asteroid or comet.  “Two’s beard is getting pretty scruffy,” Being One thought. “I wonder what they looked like,” Being One said. Being One put an arm around Being Two. “I think we have done a good day’s work. We discovered the remains of some early explorers. I think this comet has done a splendid job. It truly is a cosmic time machine.”



Leave a Reply Cancel reply