Chapter 16.2

While the enemy was en route to its final resting place, Tom and Brandon meandered toward the crater’s edge, passing by the machine during its slow trundling trek, and approached the piles of stones. They each picked up a few of the larger specimens. “These are some of the most unusual pieces I’ve ever seen,” Tom commented.

“Agreed,” Brandon replied. “They give the impression of raw diamonds, but the colors are amazing, more like fire opals. In each stone there are at least three or four different colors. Hold them up to the light and check out their unusual shimmer,” he exclaimed, in wonder.

Sally was on the control deck, monitoring their video and audio transmissions. “Hey, bring some of those in here! I need to see them, right away!” the geologist in her burst forth, in an excited and demanding yelp. “As they are on the edge of a crater, I’m thinking they might be carbonados and we will probably find microdiamonds in the surrounding soil, also.

“Aye-aye, skipper,” Tom shot right back, with a chuckle in his voice and saluting her with exaggerated motions readily picked up from inside the Hab.

Sheepishly, Sally replied, “Sorry Tom.” In a more formal tone she requested, “At your earliest convenience, gentlemen, I would appreciate the opportunity to examine some of the specimens that the rover collected.”

“Well, since you asked so nicely, we’ll be right in,” Tom said. Turning to Brandon, he added, “See how many of these rocks you can fit in your pockets. We’ll make her sorry that she ever asked for some work to do.”

“You got it, boss,” Brandon answered back laughing, then added, “Hey Tom, looks like our nemesis is at the edge.”

Sixteen minutes after stepping outside Bolo One, with satisfaction the two watched their foe topple over the edge, plummet ass over applecart some thirty meters to the floor of the crater and finally come to rest upside down in an ochre cloud. Once the dust cleared, it silently remained motionless in a mangled heap.

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