Guin and Bai stood on a small rise, waiting for Eoj to join them.
Guin hefted a small boulder in her hand.
“How far do you think I can throw this?”
Bai picked up a small rock and threw it twenty or thirty meters with no effort.
Eoj walked up behind Guin. “Hey, guys. What’s up?”
Bai nodded at Guin’s arm. “She’s got a crazy idea.”
“Oh yeah? What’s that?”
Guin tossed the boulder in the air. “You know, I used to throw shotput, discus and javelin.”
Eoj laughed. “In this century?”
Guin smiled. “Who’s counting?”
Eoj looked at Bai. “What hasn’t this woman done?”
“I also competed at the pole vault and long relay. Very occasionally they would throw me in a short relay.”
Eoj snorted. “And here I am, sucking in my breath after running a few kilometers to catch up with you guys.”
Guin kicked small rocks out from a small circle. She made a few test turns, seeing if she still had her perfect throwing moves in her memory. “Throwing and polevaulting — there are serious ramifications if you move your body the wrong way.”
Eoj laughed again. “Bai, I think you and I ought to throw a few rocks ourselves. If we can dance as well as Guin, we can do whatever else she does just as well, right?”
Bai looked from Guin to Eoj and back. “He’s never seen you throw, has he?”
Guin shook her head. “No, but you’ve never seen him throw me in the air, either.”
Guin motioned Bai and and Eoj back a few paces.
She steadied her breathing, set her feet and took three steps, launching the boulder from her body’s core, through her shoulder and out of her hand like a hydraulic jack hammer punching the air.
The boulder’s arc was like a low altitude sounding rocket’s path, an ideal unimpeded trajectory in the thin atmosphere.
Several seconds later, a puff of Martian dust, then another and another indicated a few thousand meters away the boulder bouncing on the other side of the valley.
Guin smacked her hands together as if she was cleaning them of dust. “Not bad, if I say so myself!”
Bai looked at Eoj. “You think you can throw her that far?”
Guin snapped her head around. “Now, wait a minute!”
Eoj grabbed Guin around the waist. “Hey, it’s worth a try.” He tossed her ten meters in the air and caught her.
He set her down and they laughed together. “Ready?”
They started a slow jog, pacing themselves for a run down the valley and back around to the lab.
Eoj had the afternoon off before he had to return to the tourists and wanted to warm up with Guin and Bai before they put in some dance practice for the finale performance the last night of the tourists’ stay on the Red Planet.