It was known as 'The Drop', almost two miles of sheer vertical cliff face dropping straight down onto open plain.
Most of the young men who had tested their courage against The Drop had died in the attempt, the number who had made it to the base, clutching the rare blue flower that grew from the cliff face were few.
The hard part wasn't in getting to the bottom safely, it was getting to the bottom at all.
The extreme low gravity of this planet caused a human body to drift down very slowly, resulting in a feather-light touchdown at the base...
If you could get to the base.
The danger was the rising thermals raising the body back up the cliff face. These currents had to be negotiated precisely in order to get past them, you had to feel your way through the intricate layers of warmth and cool, divers got trapped inside the warm air pockets, and drifted up and down until they starved to death, and continued drifting whilst the flesh rotted from their bones.
I slowly scanned my powerlens downwards from left to right, at various points along the wall, and at various heights, I could see specks, some slowly rising, others slowly falling, the bodies of failed attempts, sentenced to an eternity of highs and lows.
I pushed the lens into my pocket, raised my arms, and leant forward ....
I fell from the cliff edge, and began the descent....
©2010 Stephen. J. Green.