tagNon-EroticIt's a Rock

It's a Rock

bySean Renaud©

"It's a rock." James spat. "I bet none of my friends have a rock this big."

Damian rolled his eyes and took a step forward into the crater. Thanks to the heat radiating off the rock the crater was more like a small pond with the steaming black rock dead center. "I bet none of your friends have a rock that traveled here from the edge of the galaxy. Some one might have a bigger rock."

"Nope. None of my friends have a rock quite that big." James replied slipping into the thigh deep water and wading towards the rock. The meteor was a little bigger than car. "You're sure this thing is harmless?" James didn't wait for a response before reaching out and touching it. Even through his thick gloves he could feel the warmth radiating off it.

"I'm sure it's not radioactive. None of our instruments are detecting that. I'm also sure it's hot enough that it turned a snowy field into a pond. It's entirely plausible that it's poisonous, sharp, hot. . .alive." Damian replied pulling the hood of his parka down and moving alongside James. "Regardless we should hurry things along here. The sooner we have this back in the lab the safer we'll all be."

James turned toward Damian for a moment then stepped back. "Didn't you just say this thing was safe, well at least not radioactive? I mean what's the rush, you drag me out here to the end of fucking no where and now you wanna get back? Fuck that." James pulled his black leather gloves off letting them dangle from his sleeves where they were fastened.

Damian sighed. There really wasn't any point in talking to James when he got like this. Just the fact that his partner had gotten up three hours before sunrise to be loaded into a helicopter without screaming the entire time was more than Damian could have asked. It was only now that they'd finished a ten mile trek through snow and rough terrain that he was beginning to get testy. "Fine we can take our time." Damian said slowly wading around the black rock.

James reached out lightly brushing his fingers over the rock's smooth surface. It wasn't just warm, it was hot, barely cool enough to comfortably touch. Curiously it turned from black to indigo, to green, to red and finally yellow beneath his touch. The colors rippled outward from his fingers in a few inches and vanished when he pulled away. "Wow." He mouthed uncertain if he spoke the words aloud or not. He quickly looked around to see if Damian had seen, once he was certain his friend hadn't seen he touched it again this time placing both his hands against it and pushing gently. Much to his surprise it yielded slightly bending inward then snapping back when he released it.

Set us free.

"Hey, you ready to head back yet?" James leapt when he felt Damian's touch on his shoulder. Judging by the way he had one hand on hip it wasn't the first time he'd asked the question. "You okay?"

"Yeah, how are we getting this thing out of here?" James asked reaching out to touch it again. He stopped short when he noticed that Damian was still there. He'd see it change colors. He'd know there was something inside, something that needed help. He'd want to take it away, put it in quarantine somewhere.

Wait.

Wasn't that the right thing to do? Put whatever it was in quarantine where nobody could hurt it. Whatever they were might even be dangerous. They would never hurt anybody on purpose but they might have space polio or something.

Except that was silly. There was absolutely no such thing as space polio.

"James, James!" Damian was standing in front of his friend waiving his hand back and forth. "You in there?"

"Yeah, I'm with you. Sorry, you just got me out of bed way to fucking early. I think I'm about to fall asleep on my feet here." James replied. Looking away was painful, like if strings had been attached to his retinas but he managed it. "Why don't I stay here with the rock and you go back and bring a truck."

"What? Don't be silly, you'd freeze if I left you out here. We've confirmed that it's here, we'll head back to the chopper and come back with some heavy equipment. All we need now is a sample for the labs to start figuring out exactly what this thing is." Damian pulled hammer and chisel from a sack hanging around his waist.

Don't let him hurt us!

James felt the voice in his head a second time. It didn't need to shout, he wouldn't let anybody hurt them. For as long as he lived he'd make sure he kept them safe.

Damian and James had been best friends since they were children. They'd grown up together, been each other's best men, godfathers to each other's children. Hell, they'd shared their first beer and their first woman. James couldn't think of anything over the last twenty years that he hadn't shared with Damian. Not a single memory good or bad didn't involve him.

That was what made it so surprising. He thought he'd hesitate. He didn't. There was no separation between thought and action. When Damian raised the hammer James sprang into action. A knee to the back drove Damian to his knees and after that it was easy. James wrenched one of Damian's arms back and pushed his head beneath the water. James held his best friend while he thrashed, but the thrashing didn't last long. The bubbles stop coming up and Damian's body went limp. There was no point in not being thorough. James took the hammer, turned it around and slammed the claw into best friend's skull.

"You're safe now."

Yes, we are. Now set us free.

"How?" James asked.

We need bodies.

"Of course."

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