2049

I’m the first man ever to land on this beautiful azure blue world that’s almost four times as large as Earth. The bright yellow oceans are hard as steel. I look up to see 13 brilliantly shining moons illuminating the thick atmospheric sky where floating clouds of ammonia, methane, water ice, and pressures millions of times greater than on Earth, theoretically will squeeze all into liquid and then diamonds that sometimes fall as hail, and when they hit ground they sink to the core and rise again, polished and faceted by planetary pressure.

Enclosed in my craft, I can’t see outside, so I dress in heavy anti-pressure, ant-gravity gear and ease through the hatch. The blinding light of 13 moons reflects off of faceted surfaces etched into what appears to be stones.

I climb from the hatch and step onto a loose gravel like surface that gives way under my weight. I start to sink. In panic I grab my lifeline attached to the ship, but I stop sinking before I have to save myself.

I scoop up a glove full of the gravel and see it’s not gravel at all, but tiny diamonds. I’m almost blinded by the twinkling brilliance of their faceted lights. I rejoice because it’s true. Ices of methane and water are squeezed to carbon that turns to crystal lattices creating diamonds in the atmosphere.

There are more diamonds underfoot than in any mine back on Earth. One bucketful is all I’ll ever need. I look up and see a storm is brewing, and I see warning lights flashing around my ship, telling me I had better leave. I know I should, but diamonds forming in the sky is something I want to see. Maybe I can blast off before the planetary hail arrives.

Some of it will be as small as salt grains, and others as large as boulders. I’ve been told the diamonds’ cutting edges will perforate me. If I stay, I’ll be the first ever to see diamonds falling from the sky. my curiosity won’t allow me to board my ship and leave.

Brilliant light replicates throughout the sky. It isn’t falling snow, but diamond flakes reflecting starlight in the sky and on the ground. It blows into piles. I’m safe I know. The diamond snow doesn’t break through my suit, and I wait to fill another bucket with glittering pieces falling from the sky when it starts to hail diamonds bigger than my fist.

I watch the hail beat down onto my ship, and soon nothing remains. I bury myself in loose stones. The storm passes away and I pull myself out from under the diamonds that are almost dust, but were strong enough to protect my suit from getting punctured.

I have enough diamonds to buy the entire world. If only I had a way to get there.