It was fifty years ago today that the Rock appeared in the sky. That’s what I’m told, anyway – it was long before I was born. My friends and I don’t remember a time when it wasn’t hanging there, day and night.
I’m told it caused a good deal of panic back then. It literally appeared overnight, suspended in mid-air like a balloon over the middle of North America. Big enough and far enough up to be seen from coast to coast. It appeared and then just sat there. Like a rock. Well, a mysteriously antigravity rock, but a rock nonetheless.
It took some time for the panic to die. Then the scientists started in on it. The Rock turned out to be a rich source of all sorts of who-the-hell-knew kind of crap. I’m sure someone with a PhD could explain it.
Upshot of it is, we started mining it. The mineral it’s made out of maintained its bizarre relationship with gravity even when extracted. It changed everything about our interaction with our planet. Space travel became cheaper, and then commonplace. Hell, I’ve been to the moon a few times, and I’m not exactly rolling in it.
So we’re all used to this giant thing in the sky. We treat it like any other part of the landscape.
Then, this morning, it started falling.