• Published 21st Oct 2018
  • 845 Views, 57 Comments

Drops of Jupiter - PaulAsaran



Ever curious, the Explorer journeys across the great eddies of space. Her goal? To make new friends.

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The planet was dead. It had no life, no inner Magic. Nothing. This was of no concern. Almost every place She’d encountered in Her long journey was the same.

But... there was something. Up there, a small orb. A moon. Her magical sense was drawn to it, and when She gave herself real eyes She discovered a most unusual sight: the small thing was a brilliant yellow that all but shimmered in the light of the similarly colored sun. How could She not be intrigued? With but a thought, She approached.

She sensed… clouds. A thick layer of them, drifting softly along the surface of a rock much smaller than originally believed. She moved closer, reached for the mysterious substance. There was Magic here, but how would it greet Her? It remained silent, its coating of clouds almost passive in its ever-constant swirling. When Her essence touched the velvety substance, however, the reaction was instantaneous: a hole parted before Her.

She retreated instinctively. The clouds did not follow, but She’d felt the Magic for all of an instant. What She’d found was… peculiar. Unlike the ice world with its roiling Magic and carefully constructed eddies hidden deep within, this world kept its Magic outside the hard rock. Was that not dangerous? Did it not feel the threat of oncoming asteroids, the fire of comets, the burning intensity of the sun’s violent, wild energies?

The hole closed up. She decided to try a second time. Again, the clouds retreated, and this time She knew: the Magic was wary of Her. Yet She felt no aggression. Ever so carefully, She lowered down, down into the quietly shifting air. The magic continued to recede, rotating about Her in what may have been the most docile tornado She’d ever witnessed. She knew, with a queer certainty, that She had the Magic’s full attention.

She waited. And waited. And waited some more. Gradually, the clouds closed over Her ethereal form, trapping Her in a universe of breezy warmth. Yes, even as a cloud of particles, She could feel the warmth, for it was not any physical sensation. Nor did it indicate that the world had accepted Her. No, it simply radiated pleasantness. Not quite inviting, but not apathetic either. She lingered in place, the clouds not touching Her, She not attempting to get closer. She had time.

And time is what She gave. The world darkened. Brightened. Darkened again. With the second brightening, something finally changed; the clouds shifted closer. The winds drew them towards Her essence, trembling and timid, to touch Her further extremities, only to retreat back immediately as if stung. She tried to project Her intent, to offer a soothing sense of invitation. The cloud did not react, but She continued to send Her offer, ever hopeful.

The world darkened.

The world brightened.

The clouds approached. The effort required not to swirl with anticipation was almost painful, but She kept still and calmly continued to project Her welcome. When the cloud touched Her this time, it did not retreat. Gradually, the magic closed in from all around. For the first time, She felt its inquiry, it curiosity… and its anxiety. She forced Herself to remain still, to offer friendship.

The Magic did not accept. It did not refuse. It probed and prodded, it ran around and through Her in patient study.

Then, like a boat on the sea, She was carried in its current. The Magic didn’t drag or push Her roughly along. It was more akin to being rocked in the gentle arms of a mother, with utmost care and calm. That warmth She’d sensed before, once a mere aura, now engulfed Her, filling Her with a sense of contentment and peace. Seeing no reason to stop such a kind gesture, She allowed herself to drift along at its whims, all the while sending little probing queries back and forth with it.

Time passed. The universe brightened and darkened at fairly regular intervals. Sometimes She dipped low to the rocky, barren surface. Sometimes She skimmed the outer layers like a ghostly sailboat on a cushiony, fluffy sea. The Magic offered little save pleasantness, and asked nothing in return.

Then, during one of the dark periods, something exciting! She felt a ball of rock and ice approaching at such vast speeds. She warned the Magic of the approach, knowing it would want to avoid the confrontation. And yet the Magic moved Her up high so She could see the asteroid coming. The sun passed overhead several times, and all the while She watched, mystified by the Magic’s quiet eagerness.

Then it came. Rock and ice and velocity, small compared to its target but big all the same. She watched in anticipation. Would the Magic flee? Open a hole so that it could avoid the impact?

No; the Magic coalesced. It reached out.

When the rock hit, it did not do so in a fiery eruption. As quick as could be, a cocoon formed around the deadly stone, slowed it, redirected it. Within seconds, the astral weapon of destruction became yet another drifter in the clouds, bobbing and weaving as a cork in a sea. The Magic brought it down, and Her along with it. Down, down, down to the rocky surface.

She sensed their destination ahead, gave Herself eyes with which to see. This proved impossible; the world was an endless yellow. She made the most timid of requests, and the Magic acquiesced, spreading out so that She might know the physical aspects of this landscape.

Daintily, the magic placed the asteroid down atop a wide, shallow mountain of its brethren. Thousands, perhaps millions of rocks collected over untold millennia, all settled here. She did not need to probe the Magic to understand: they were all but children, not responsible for their actions, and the Magic gave them a place to be with their family.

Such a curious notion, and yet touching too. It reminded Her of soft, fuzzy animals. Of precious, colorful flowers. Of a glorious song given in private. She was tempted to recreate Her entire body just for the sake of humming to the familiar tune.

Instead, She asked the magic for a favor.

The magic agreed without hesitation, but warned of the care that must be taken. When She indicated how She didn’t mind the time, it got straight to work. It moved each meteorite with utmost care, cautious not to lose even a single speck, never letting them strike one another.

One.

Rock.

At.

A.

Time.

She drifted away. She basked in the Magic’s warmth. She let the world darken and brighten again and again and again. Sometimes She’d return to the mountain to check on the progress and reminisce. The Magic indulged Her, seeming pleased by Her interest.

She came back to find the work done. Every meteorite neatly arranged, not a pebble damaged. Grand wings stretched for miles, the lines of stone curling in luscious patterns. With the clouds parted for Her, the great stone butterfly spread its form for miles and miles. She gazed upon it and felt nothing but contentment, and this She indicated to the Magic’s eager prodding. For Her approval the clouds danced and played and swirled. Though it was out of little friends, it promised to create more butterflies, to speckle the entire world with them.

For the first time ever, they played.

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