Author: Steve Smith, Staff Writer

It breached the atmosphere in the late evening, the sun beginning to warm the far side of the little blue planet as it tucked into the shadows and dropped down to the clouds.

It swam in the moist air, swirling and cavorting with the storm formations as they coalesced and broke over the seemingly endless expanse of nothingness.

Below, a network of dark lines traced the curves of the earth, some streaming with lights, with activity, and it avoided these, settling on one instead that traced through a series of low mountain ranges, a rare pathway seemingly devoid of life.

It alternately swooped low, kissing the earth at breakneck speed before gaining altitude with the earth to burst from the peaks back towards the heavens, slicing through the clouds, again and again, tearing holes into the rain heavy night sky.

In time it tired, having traveled far, from another time and another place, and its gyrations and antics became less energetic. It allowed the pull of the little blue planet to strip it of its altitude, and it hugged the gray stripe on the ground as it weaved through the little mountains, rising and falling gently, and easing through the corners.

In the middle of a long straight stretch rose a monument that reached from the ground high into the night. Beyond it, a low structure clung to the earth, stretching off into the darkness, riddled with holes and reeking of neglect.

The towering construct captivated it, and it curled around the risers, rubbing against them and feeling the iron react to its touch. It wrapped itself around one of the columns and followed it to its peak where it found an intricate maze of glass. It traced the outside, hugging its curves and stretching out along its lengths. The shape fascinated it, and it busied itself for a while exploring its surface before discovering a small crack where it could squeeze inside. Once contained within, it was protected from the rain and the cool night air. It pressed outward against the restraint the almost clear labyrinth provided, and found the confinement calming; it was safe here, secure.

As it explored, it tasted neon, and hydrogen, helium and mercury. The flavours evoked feelings, and the feelings manifested themselves in a coloured glow. It spread itself thin, filling every inch of the glass resting space it had found, and waited out the night, and the arrival of the sun’s energy in the morning with which it would recharge.

As it idled it marveled at its own reflected beauty, painted in brilliant multicoloured light on the rain covered ground below.