They reached down into the dust and pulled out the stone. It looked like nothing, a dirt covered mess that, even when cleaned off, betrayed nothing of a more spectacular belly than any of the other rocks in the vicinity. They knew better, partially because of their studies and partially because of the visual implants which magnified the surface of the stone and gave them information most people would have missed.
The insides would be amazing.
They placed their treasure within their fanny pack and began to climb back up the cliff. The rope held taut still, no one had noticed they were here yet. Any moment their lifeline could be cut. Or, even worse, another rope might fall down beside them and the most annoying person in the universe could ask them what they were doing. They would rather have their lifeline sabotaged. It might seem harsh, but there were some things no one should have to deal with.
Slowly but surely, they made their way to the top. Safe and with their find still theirs and theirs alone, they lay down for a moment and took a breath.
“Hey! There you are! I was wondering where you went! What were you doing?”
They shut their eyes, her voice a low yet consistent drone no matter how much enthusiasm she attempted to put into it. “Went looking around. Because that’s what I do.”
“That’s great! Did you find anything? Or were you just looking? I bet you were looking. Did you have fun!”
The need to tell the truth bubbled up, but there were so many questions that they could easily evade specificity. “Yes. Yes, I did have fun.”
Without asking, she helped them back to their feet. “Great! Did you want to do breakfast? Or maybe a bath first. Or you could bathe and I make breakfast!”
They wanted to sleep, but there would be no chance of that now. “Let’s do that,” they said.
After all, they still had their prize. And nothing could ruin it now.