Welcome to Planet Moon (excerpt)

Again the voice asked, “Who are you, and where did you come from?”

Max was the first to answer the question. “I am Max, this is Mark. Over there is Carl and Cameron. We mean you no harm.”

“Where are you from?” the voice demanded.

“We are from the caverns near the surface,” Cameron boldly answered.

“What about the other two?”

“We came from space a long time ago,” Mark replied.

“We were frozen for a while, up until quite recently actually,” Max added.

“Frozen?” the figure asked.

“Yes, we traveled through deep space. We were cryogenically frozen during the length of most of the trips through deep space. Makes them pass by more quickly.”

“Spacemen? Why didn’t you say so. I thought you were just more scavengers leftover from the apocalypse,” the figure said. “And Carl and Cameron are with you?”

“Yes, they are our guides,” Max replied half truthfully.

“Sorry about detaining you, had to be make sure you weren’t scavengers. My name is Wallace, by the way.” He reached to a side and tossed the four a length of rope that was anchored on something out of side past the door. “Pull your way out.”

Having a piece of friction rope and pulling themselves across a nearly frictionless floor was rather easy, until they realized that it would be rather difficult to stop after pulling on the rope too hard. Fortunately, they all slid past the door and into the hallway where Wallace was standing. The rope was being held by two rather large bugs, much like the ones that had chased them.

“Ah!” Carl and Cameron exclaimed as they jumped away from the bugs.

“Don’t mind these two, they’re harmless. They only eat things that’ve been dead for several months,” Wallace said. “This one’s name is Hector, and the other one is Paris.”

“They bring disaster,” Cameron muttered.

“I’ve been training roaches my entire life, when I wasn’t in the deep freeze for 50 years every 5 years,” Wallace retorted. “They bring no more disaster than anything else in the world.”

“You’ve been cryogenically frozen as well?” Max asked curiously.

“Yup, it’s what we had to do to survive the apocalypse. There are always about 35 of us unfrozen so perform maintenance on the rest of the units, so if one breaks, we’ve time to either thaw out that person and repair it or make the repairs immediately, keeping the occupant frozen. We work in 5 year shifts at a time, and then it’s back to the deep freeze for another 50. Helps keep us from using up the supplies too quickly. At the current rate, we’ll last another 300 years or so.”

“Just how old are you?” Mark asked.