New story!

Wrote a chal­lenge sto­ry (the chal­lenge top­ic is “First Con­tact”), titled “Out­side, Look­ing In”. Excerpt:

King Jupiter sat in the cen­ter of his vast grav­i­ty well like a mar­ble cupped in the palm of a hand, cloud-swirled and acrawl with fierce storms. Tiny moons, named and unnamed, gyred about him, slaves to his immense mass, unable to ever escape their orbits.

I could feel the storms’ ener­gy a hun­dred mil­lion kilo­me­ters out, light­ning strikes larg­er than plan­ets set­ting my ethe­re­al body to tin­gling. I knew with­out ask­ing that the oth­ers felt it too. As one body we turned toward the band­ed orange world, aimed our­selves at the puls­ing chan­nel of pure elec­tric­i­ty flow­ing between Jupiter and Io, and dove, flat­ten­ing our­selves out as though we were in an atmos­phere, as if here, in the cold vac­u­um, we need­ed to be streamlined.

We cut the pipe of ener­gy, scream­ing wild exhil­i­rat­ed cries to all the unwink­ing stars as we did so, burn­ing not with pain but with raw joy in the tor­rent of pow­er lash­ing through our misty bod­ies. Once, twice, thrice around, gain­ing speed with every cycle, and then it was time to bid adieu to the king of all worlds.

Full sto­ry removed since I’ve sub­mit­ted it.