The Andornian raised her primary arms, interlocking her claws over her head. She inhaled deeply through her abdomen gills. Her thorax pulsed as fluids and air mixed within. The pupils of her bulging eyes dilated until they were consumed by blackness. After several minutes she tipped forward, opened her mandibles, and released a thick mist into her secondary hands. The mist floated between her hands in a turning sphere. It was a dark purple; silver and gold sparkles breaking through the surface as it swirled. Once more she opened her mandible and a viscous milky fluid began to leak out. Her hands darted up and down pulling strands of the fluid. Strand after strand a globe was woven around the mist sphere. As the globe dried it turned from translucent to perfectly clear.
“Behold Eternity,” she said. The Andornians called the globes Eternities because once hardened they were indestructible; guaranteed to last for an “eternity”. Highly valued as status symbols on Andorn and as art off the planet. The history of every Eternity included battles and wars for its possession. A common method to acquire an Eternity was to bombard the area it was being kept until nothing remains. Except for the Eternity. One Eternity was buried under a mountain for five hundred years. It was never considered lost or destroyed; merely out of reach.
The Andornian extended the globe to me. Carefully, I took it with shaking hands. I had spent so much money and time and even more money for this moment. The journey from landing on Andorn to finding an Andornian preparing to create an Eternity they were willing to sell to me alone had taken two years. For the Andornian, it had been a ten-year process; ingesting chemicals and metals in non-fatal amounts for their body to store and transform.
The globe shifted in my hands; in a panic, I gripped it harder. I felt something give. Spider-web thin cracks radiated from my fingertips covering the entire surface of the globe. I glanced up at the Andornian; she met my gaze for a second. The globe popped like a soap bubble. Purple fluid, gold and silver flecks splashed on my hands and dripped onto the floor.
“I didn’t mean … It just …” I sputtered.
The Andorian looked from my hands to the floor and back. Her eyes constricted to pinpricks. “You bought it, you broke it. No refunds.”