• Published 21st Oct 2018
  • 967 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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Nebulae. They always had a certain fascinating charm to them, at least from a distance. Up close they were usually just clouds, often with strange effects on Her magical senses that limited or warped Her ability to understand the world around Her. They were typically more disturbing and frustrating to pass through, but pass through them She did. After all, She was exploring, and what explorer turns away from an uncharted location?

This nebula wasn’t like the others. Which wasn’t saying much; most nebulae She’d encountered was unique from the others in some fashion. But viewing this one from a distance, She couldn’t help but think it… ‘moved’ more than the others, for lack of a better phrase. The clouds roiled and rolled and curled in endless waves of activity, such that from a distance She had to wonder at the phenomenal speeds of its gases. What might it be like inside? What cosmic winds propelled its unusual motions?

She approached beyond the speed of light, for once all trepidation lost in favor of curiosity.

What She never expected was for the clouds to burst forth like a great claw, engulfing Her significantly smaller form before She had time to process the act.





They poured over Her, a hundred different voices in a chaotic choir of welcome and joy and eagerness. Where had She been? Why hadn’t She come sooner? They’d been waiting so long! Was She here to have fun? Play, play, play!

She reeled, attention shooting in a million different directions.

Look at this! An asteroid zipped past, parting the pink clouds to create a sparkling wake that flashed in the light of a distant, not-quite muffled sun.

Try this! She was sent careening through the gravitational whiplash of a trio of planets twirling around one another in sheer defiance of reality and the laws of physics.

Isn’t this neat? Clouds of actual gold and silver dust danced and twirled like tornadoes, corkscrewing about one another in mesmerizing ribbons through the endless pink.

You’re late! There’s so much to show you! So much fun to be had! Isn’t the universe great? Try this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and—!

She sent a burst of power in every direction, freeing Her stretched and twisted aether from the Magics’ clutches. The hundreds of voices grew silent. The pink clouds in Her immediate vicinity came to a standstill. There were no eyes, no faces, but She could sense the confusion and hurt of an untold number of beings. She pulled Her own gaseous form in close, smoothing out Her clouds and easing Her internal winds.

Cautiously, a lone pink tendril moved closer, but hesitated to touch. Warily, She accepted its timorous offer and connected once more. The voices all came as one, and even quiet they filled Her mind like water fills a cavern through sheer presence. Didn’t She want to play? Was She not having fun? What did they do wrong? Did they hurt Her? They were very sorry if they hurt Her. They were just so excited to know She’d finally arrived!

But wait, they knew She was coming? She had to wonder how.

An answer came before She could properly send the query through the connection: they just knew. They always knew. Just like each of them individually knew they would someday meet and join together in an infinite dance of joy and fun and merriment!

Did She not want to have fun?

Oh! New space thingy!

A significant portion of the voices faded away, eager to meet yet another new – non-sapient, this time – visitor to play with. The empty space was filled up almost as soon as it had emptied with a plethora of new voices with just as many new experiences to describe. Even Her prodigious multitasking ability was strained to its limit trying to keep up with it all, and that despite only having the one connection along a thin line of intermingling violet and pink gases.

She knew how to handle a single individual that always seemed to move at a hundred miles a second, but to face thousands of such individuals at once? She begged the Magics to thin out, to let Her only address one or two. For a few seconds the manifold voices engaged in an indecipherable buzz of cross-communication. Then the majority flew off, eager to try other things and let the newcomer have Her space.

And a lone voice, in startlingly clear Equish, said, “Is that better?”

A voice. In the vacuum of space. That She, without ears or a brain or a system of nerves, could understand. Her mind reeled, and all She could do was send a weak inquiry regarding how this was done. She got in response the mental equivalent of a shrug. The Magics never thought about what they did and how. They just did things. And it then sent the most curious of queries: does the how really matter?

Wrapping Her mind around that question, She thought. And thought.

And remembered.

Then She created for herself a body and a pocket of air, just for the pleasure of laughing. She laughed so hard She cried, and the Magics laughed too, even if they clearly had no idea why. It didn’t need a why, the humor roiling and rippling across the nebula like a titanic wave of mirth. That made it all the more magical to Her, and She dove into it, letting the Magics engulf Her once more. With but a thought, She offered it Her indulgence, only asking that it limit the voices to a few. She would later have to clarify that “a few” did not mean “a hundred”.

They didn’t mind in the least. They sent Her on a fresh journey. Every sight, a wonder. Every trick, a joke against reality. Every break in the clouds a wave of adventure and uniqueness! Planets in the act of inverting on themselves just to see the naughty insides, comets ping-ponging across slabs of solid ice a mile thick while a dozen voices kept score, drifting asteroids with no heat sources spraying molten magma in brilliant arcs across the ever-fluctuating pink starscape! She allowed herself to be dragged through all the marvel and noise and absurdity, and happily ignored the voice in the back of Her mind begging to know what, why, how?

In a burst of inspiration, She sent the Magics an image. They took it, examined it with a million curious minds.

Then a pink balloon appeared in the vacuum of space, floating innocuously as if its presence was assumed and natural. A plethora of voices ooh’ed and aah’ed at the new thing (some audibly). A lone tendril reached out, grasped it, squeezed it…

It exploded, sending a shower of hydrogen particles flying in every direction. This brought forth a wave of jiggles like laughter cascading across the nebula! Before long balloons were forming and popping across the seemingly infinite world of pink with wild abandon. They toyed with the balloons, trying different sizes and gases and shapes and materials. A thousand choruses thanked Her for the idea, and a thousand more begged to know if She had any others.

Not even bothering to question what She was seeing, She joined them in their fun.

Sometimes one just had to revel.