Welcome to Planet Moon (excerpt)


Space is a cold dark place. A region where the stars move about, pinpricks in an endless night. An unforgiving realm; a frigid, dark vacuum. Man has striven for generations to go among the stars and explore, to discover what lies beyond the conceptions of imagination and discover the reality of the lonely universe around them. Leaving behind their warm homes on Earth, with the soft blue skies, green fields, and deep oceans filled with life, to spread beyond the sun to distant stars.

So man created star ships with which to embark on its voyage of discovery and the pursuit of knowledge. But not all knowledge comes cheaply. The path, while rewarding, was yet paved with hardship and death, the void between worlds was merciless, as were many of the worlds.

Distant stars became reachable within a waking lifetime. However, space is a rather barren lonely place. So man learned how to freeze himself to allow the passage of long voyages to go by swiftly, and to revive the frozen bodies of his comrades after the trip. Automated machines were trusted to watch over these ships and slumbering passengers as they glided silently through the cosmos. But the automations, much like man, were not immune to failure.

Chapter One.

Few winds blew on that world that day. None but the breeze of the solar radiation, undiminished by any atmosphere. The dull gray rocky surface was scarred by eons of bombardment by fragments from other worlds, either worlds destroyed or worlds never completed, raining down upon it. Yet life was with this world. Two humans, thawing from the very long, cold sleep.

The ship had landed rather roughly on this world, yet the sleepers did not wake. For several hundred long years they did not dream, nor feel the world tearing apart.

Now, deep within the ship their slumber is broken.

The machine begins thawing the bodies deep within the vessel. Lights in the corridors burn bright, spilling light throughout the ship and some to surrounding landscape. The temperature rises, and color returns to those alive in the capsules. Eyes open, and the doors slide open, releasing their hold on the occupants.

“I slept like the dead,” spoke the ruddy eyed man, stretching muscles and tendons.

The other man, same in stature, but paler of complexion, nodded. Looking around, he was the first to realize something was wrong. Being the chief engineer of the ship, he walked over to a panel and observed the flashing lights. Muttering an obscenity, he quickly grabbed his toolkit and rushed over to the other capsules, manually starting the thaw process. The capsule doors slid open, revealing a skull grimacing from pile of dust and bones. Several hundred years takes its toll on mortal man. The engineer was several hundred years too late to save the rest of the twenty eight man crew of the deep space vessel.