Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. — Henry David Thoreau
LIFELESS AND FRIGID, A SLATE GRAY ROCK, the size of a major Midwestern city, sped through the darkness somewhere between Jupiter and Mars as it had done for billions of years. Its speed averaged over 62,000 miles per hour, varying based on the gravitational pull exerted on it from the millions of objects it passed on its journey through the void.
Its area was nearly twenty square miles shaped like an imperfect rectangle. Made up of a mixture of elements including oxygen, silicon, iron, nickel, and magnesium, its precise weight was incalculable, but its precise potential for devastation was immeasurable.
It was one of millions in the asteroid belt, but unlike some, it didn’t rotate around its principle axis but rather tumbled chaotically through the void like a knuckleball thrown on a windless day in Yankee Stadium.
The rock was well-known to the two astronomers who had been following its progress, or more importantly, its revised path and ultimate destination.
“Why the change?”
“Has to be Jupiter.”
“Yeah, has to be Jupiter.”
“What do you think?”
“The numbers don’t lie.”
“I know the damn numbers don’t lie, but what do you think?”
“I think we’re f****ed.”
“Yeah, I think we’re pretty much f****ed too.”
Copyright © 2020 Mark Donahue. All Rights Reserved.