Welcome to Planet Moon (excerpt)

“What happened?” Max asked.

“Cameron and me got clubbed as we headed down the corridor. Looks like you got clubbed to,” Carl replied.

“I don’t remember getting clubbed,” Max quietly replied. “So what happens now?”

“Well, if we have been captured by the mad people, first they skin us, and then they eat us,” Carl replied. “although I don’t know why they wouldn’t have done that already.”

“Aren’t you a warrior? Can’t you just fight them off?” Max asked half jokingly.

“Yes, but I never wanted to be a warrior,” Carl replied.

“But we can try to fight for our safety?”

“We can try, but they’ve taken away our weapons, and tied us up, and thrown us into a room with a floor that has almost no friction,” Carl responded.

After a long awkward silence, Max asked another question.

“So if you didn’t want to be a warrior, why did you become one?”

“I simply did not have a choice,” Carl responded.

“How can you not have a choice in something like your occupation?” asked a dismayed Max.

“Because I picked warrior,” Carl replied.

“But if you picked warrior, then why don’t you want to be one?”

“I wanted to have picked astronomer,” Carl replied.

“Then why didn’t you pick astronomer in the first place?”

“Like all members of the tribe when they come of age, I randomly picked a token from a box that said what my occupation would be,” Carl answered.

“Oh,” Max said as a wave of comprehension flooded him. “So no one has a choice but to follow the lot they’ve drawn from the box?”

“Correct, and since I picked warrior, a warrior is what I had to become. Didn’t you have to pick a lot to be a spaceman?”

“No, where I come from, we get to choose what we want to become in life. Although I did choose to follow in the footsteps of my parents. How come your people don’t get to choose what they want to be in life?”

“Well, being as there are so few of us remaining on planet moon, not everyone wants to be what they get. So a very long time ago the priests developed this system. So far it has kept things quite stable, and there have been relatively few disputes over occupations by those who fully understand the system and why it is in place,” answered Carl.

“Why did you want to be an astronomer then?” asked Max.

“Simply because I like looking at the points of light in the sky, and observing the planets,” Carl spoke.

“How many planets are in this system?”

“A total of nine,” replied Carl.

“What are their names?”

“From what I’ve learned from stories passed down from the elders, the one closest to the nearest star, which they called Sol, is called Mercury. Next is Venus, followed by what is now known as Planet Moon, although they gave it a different name, then comes Mars, followed by Jupiter, then Saturn, and then a few planets which I’ve not been able to see, which they called Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto,” was the answer from Carl.