Welcome to Planet Moon (excerpt)

Chief Bill looked amused at Philbert. “Welcome to our village, guides from the House Gods. What might your names be?” he asked. Bill appeared very polite and hospitable towards his guests.

“I am Max.”

“My name is Mark,” the brothers spoke respectively.

“Well met Max, Mark. You are welcome to stay as long as you like in our village.” A gong sounded in the distance. “Come, let us feast upon the gifts of the Heavenly Gardens, sent by the House Gods at the same time every day since the beginning of time.” Bill led his exalted guests to the hatches on the far wall. Fruit and vegetables and other foods dropped through these hatches to large bowls on the ground. Bill offered the best of the food to Max and Mark, who politely accepted.

“Come, let us retreat to my hut. We have much to discuss my friends,” Chief Bill said, gesturing towards a noticeably larger and more elaborate shack.

This shack lacked a definitive ceiling of its own. It relied on the roof of the towering artificial cavern to protect it from the elements of the harsh outside world. The skylight in the chief’s hut provided ample illumination continuously.

Max, Mark and Bill sat around a highly polished metallic table while Philbert waited outside. After most of the food had been consumed, the chief spoke.

“If is truly magnificent to be in your presence. Not since before the Flight have our people been blessed so greatly all at once,” even Bill, highest ranking among his tribe, felt it proper to humble himself before the perceived House Gods’ Guides. “Was the food to your pleasing?”

“It was excellent, Bill,” Max said.

“Fine, the food was fine. Why do you and everyone we meet around here insist on treating us this way?” Apparently Mark was discovering constant praise and freely given high status as quite a peeve of his. “It’s not that we don’t appreciate it, it just that -” Max cut him off, so that a more diplomatic completion could be concatenated.

“-we’re not used to it. I think what Mark is trying to say is that we prefer to be treated as equals,” Max concluded.

“Very well. We are equals, as hard as that will be for me to actually believe,” Bill said, looking somewhat disappointed. “Since you have requested I treat you as equals, I would like to ask you something. What is your story?”

“Our what?”

“Your story. Where you come from, your past, who you are. That story which is yours to share or not as you see fit. You don’t have to tell if you do not want to,” Bill elaborated.

“Our story as of recently is rather depressing,” Max began. Mark sat back quietly and did not disagree. “It still weighs heavily on us, but I will share as long as you agree to tell us your story and help us contact our people if you can.”