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Title Page Rock
A Trillion-Dollar Rock
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A Trillion-Dollar Rock
Okay, Petra wasn’t the brightest of the bunch. Everybody knew that, except for her, as it usually was with idiots. The problem, and this is where clever people really slam their heads on the wall, is that if you throw a thousand idiots at a problem, one might succeed at it.
Petra heard half of what the briefing said. No, not half, less than that. What was half of half? There should be a name for it, something so you could say it and keep it short. Those clever-pants scientists with their big words should get onto that, naming the half of halves.
Anyway, she digressed. She heard half of half of what they said on the briefing, and understood half of half of the words they used. Something about asteroid mining something-something, yadda yadda, corporations, mining rights, blah blah blah.
And then they said the magic words that made her eyes roll in dollar signs like an old-timey cartoon: A trillion dollars.
She raised her hand.
“Yes, Petra?” the scientist said, hesitant.
“Did I hear you right? That rock, whatchacallit?”
“THX-1138,” he added helpfully.
“That’s a silly name. Let’s call it Shiny, from now on, alright? Now, if I understand you correctly, you said that that rock, Shiny, is worth a trillion dollars?” she asked, practically whistling the amount.
“Yes. That’s an estimate of the precious minerals’ worth when extracted and brought back to Earth, or at least in Earth orbit for use in space construction.”
“I see.” Petra shut her mouth and sat back down. He had her full attention now, not that that really meant anything, and she kept listening as the scientist kept talking about velocities and positions and apexes, whatever that was. She could understand half of half of the things he was babbling on about, but one thing was clear: She was gonna get her hands on that shiny.
She sold her house. She sold her car. She sold her shoes. That last one hurt the most. “I’ll miss you,” she said, hugging her Jimmy Choos before pawning them off. She sniffled. “I’ll get you back. This is all or nothing, babe,” she said, resolute.
The new space race had its perks. For one, you could just rent a rocket! To space! How insane was that?