I’m in an industrial compound. To one side, a hothouse, its windows covered with steamy vapor. On the other, an icehouse whose outer walls are rimed with frost. One of the workers is opening a blast furnace with a long flexible contraption of dark blue rubber fit with gears and faucet handles that extends his grip and guards him from the heat. But I’m getting nervous. Someone has just cleared a patch of ground, exposing a long-buried rectangular doorway with steps leading down into the earth, from which a cold blue glow emits. On the threshold are etched the words: THORIUM STORAGE. I start backing away slowly, thinking that this is a good time to leave.
The word “thorium” got into my thoughts for no good reason the other day. This is what comes of it. (I don’t even have mining skills. I’m a simple gatherer of herbs.)
UPDATE: I admit, I’ve also been thinking of Dejah Thoris and her hometown of Helium. Maybe that figures into it.