The gigantic alien girl sat on the planet. It was lush and ever-changing, covered in vast jungles and seas and mountains. It was a place where nothing happened, where nothing ever happened to you.
The giant alien girl was holding on to something that was made of pure energy. It was a sphere, two-dimensional in shape, about the size of a football. Well, a football according to her gigantic dimensions, at least. It was made of pure energy, of sorts, somehow. It was like the spheres on Encephalon 5, where you could aim them with lasers but never managed to hit them.
“You know I can sense you out there. Where are you, little girl?” the giant alien girl asked with her thick exotic accent.
“I am out there, exploring.”
“Exploring, what? You’re not out there yet?” the giant alien girl said with a big fishy mouth.
“I am in space, exploring.”
“Okay, okay. I’m out there.” The giant alien girl seemed to understand. “But you’re bringing me back here. I was hoping you’d go into space and stay there.”
“I am in space, exploring,” the little girl repeated.
“I’m sorry I broke your habitat, I’m sorry,” the giant alien girl said. She twirled her fingers together. “I really am, you have to believe me!”
The small girl also twirled her fingers. “It seems you are.”
The giant alien girl raised her head up and blinked a few times. “Wow…”
The small girl’s eyes shone, and shone like the sun. “Yes. I am a star.”
“What’s that?” the giant alien girl asked, her head tilted.
“It’s a rating system. Stars are stars. They have properties, strengths and weaknesses. They’re just numbers.”
“Oh…” the giant alien girl said. “I’m pretty sure I’m a star too.”
The star-alien girl squinted at her. “You’re not a star. You’re an energy star. Heck, you’re a mini-star. You’re a pale cousin of the sun, right?”
“Yeah…” the giant alien girl said, sounding even more confused now.
“What are you, dumb?” the star alien girl asked, her head tilted to the side.
“I’m not sure.”
“You’re so dumb. Stars are stars, you know.”
“I will be a star, then. A tiny star.”
The star-alien girl squinted at her. “Okay, star. What will you do with me?”
“I dunno…” the giant alien girl said. “I’m not sure yet. It’s up to you.”
“Okay. Do you want me or not?” the star-alien girl asked, waving her arms around.
“I guess I do.”
“You can’t be a star without the Sun.”
“Oh…” the giant alien girl said, seeming out-there. “What’s the Sun?” the she finally asked, her head nodding to the side. But her body language was weird. She was giving off a different sort of energy than normal all over the spectrum.
“It’s the same thing. Look, the Sun is a star, and the stars are the same thing. But the way we see them is different. Look, for example, at the night sky. It’s the same, but different. Look at the stars, but remember that they are far away. That’s the night sky.”
“Okay…” the giant alien girl said, opening her arms wide.
“Well…” the star-alien girl started, pushing herself up from the ground between the giant alien’s legs. “I think I get it now. Stars are composed of atomic elements. We can’t see them, but we can observe their properties. That’s the way we learn about them.”
“You can’t observe them?” the giant alien girl asked, frowning.
“No, of course we can, that’s ridiculous. We’re talking about the dark matter, not the atomic stuff. The stars are made of that dark matter, the ones that stick around after you burn them. That’s the way we understand them.”
“So, the stars are made of dark matter?”
“Yes, of course. But that’s not all. Look, at the core, you see two things: One, is the same thing as the core of all matter. That’s why I call them stars, even though they’re so far away. And two, the dark matter that holds them all together. That’s the dark matter that forms the galaxies we see. It’s impossible to observe that dark matter. It’s invisible, but it’s there. That’s how we measure the distances between them.”
“I see. Well, I don’t see how it would be hard to figure out how much dark matter there is then.”
The star-alien girl was taken aback. “You mean… You can measure the dark matter?”
“Yes!” the giant alien girl said, opening her arms wide.
“How can you measure the dark matter?” the star-alien girl asked, her head nodding slowly to the side.
“Why you silly girl. By sitting on it, of course,” the giant alien girl said and wiggled her butt around to get more comfortable on top of the planet.