Welcome to Planet Moon (excerpt)

“Come on, follow me,” Max said, as he ran to the wall where the bins with the dark drains were.

“See! These drains go back down to the cavern,” Max said as he pointed at the produce being carried slowly down the tunnels. “We could probably jump down one and chat with Bill again.”

“Those things must have been automated harvester left by the people from before the apocalypse. Amazing to know that they are still functional after being abandoned by humans for several centuries.”

“You know what the discovery of the truth about this garden would do to the religion of the Pak tribe don’t you?” Max asked. “Those machines are their House Gods, providing them with food for all these years.”

“I wonder how Philbert would take the news if he were here.” Mark wondered aloud.

“We should find that main door,” Max reminded Mark. Once again, they began to follow the wall until it led them to the large door connected to the hallway where The others were waiting for them. Unfortunately, the panel required a password for it to open the door.

“I need the password to open the door,” Mark said. “Luckily, I know how to make one.”

Mark pried off the cover panel of the door’s keypad and began tinkering with the wiring. “I can make the door open without a password.”

“How long will that take?” Max asked.

“A few minutes,” he replied. Reaching into his tool belt, Mark removed certain items which helped him break into things and started working.

Max turned around and began scanning the surroundings. He could almost see a hint of a mist near the ceiling of the building, and the amount of green gave the area a healthy color, vivid with life. He noticed a rustling in the vegetation in the distance near a open vent in the wall near floor level. There was a suspicious pile of dirt creating a ramp to the open vent. As he watched the vegetation that rustled, he noticed a pair of antennae appear and poke around, followed by a large dull black body that quickly emerged and disappeared into the ventilation shaft.

Knowing that Mark could not have seen the roach, he asked a fairly pointless question, already knowing the answer.

“Did you see that?” Max asked.

“See what? I’ve been staring at these wires for the past five minutes,” Mark quickly replied.

“There was a roach roaming around in the vegetation, and it just went down a narrow ventilation shaft carrying food in its mandibles,” Max responded.

“Good for it. What is so special about that?”

“It just shows that they’ve been getting that produce from this place, and that the ventilation shafts in this building must be somehow connected to the rest of the circulation shafts in the complex below.”