Welcome to Planet Moon (excerpt)

They sat in momentary science, the only sound being the constant low humming of the House Gods.

“That truly is a sad tale of loss,” Bill started. “The tale of my life is of little consequence in comparison. I was born to the chief of the Pak tribe who came before me. I had a happy childhood, until marauders from the depths attacked and mortally wounded my father. We drove them off, but did not pursue. Since then, no successful raids have occurred against us.

“But let me now tell you of the tale of our tribe for it is more interesting. It begins many generations ago, when this world was young and teeming with life that has now departed it. Vast cities populated by incomprehensible millions of people, traveling vast distances in moments, and civilization reached a golden age and filled this world with learning and freedom. Then a great darkness came, the ground shook and everything simply stopped working. The lights we have here now were extinguished, and likely remain so, within many of the deep cities and passages of Planet Moon. Many blame the loss of favor from the House Gods for this period of darkness. However, I am not the one to tell the legends of the House Gods. That is a task better suited for Philbert. Ask him about it later, he’ll be delighted to tell you everything he knows. Be forewarned, however, he will go one for quite some time about nearly every little thing.

“Anyway, back to the story. Darkness has fallen on this world. Organizations became disordered, unions became disjointed, governments became anarchy, and chaos erupted as the people panicked. Many souls stayed deep within the world not knowing what to do. Some people managed to reach these caverns in the world between the void and the heavens and surrounded by the land of the dead. Those people were very few in number, and did not turn away others seeking to join an effort to prevent the loss of civilization. The food hatches were gifts discovered in this place that provide enough sustenance for all of us, and shelter and light and warm places to rest were found in these caverns.

“The tellers of tales speak of a period of quiet, when no one ventured up from the depths to make contact. Several generations passed, and our people began to acknowledge and thank the House Gods for providing a means to survival in these otherwise dark ages. Our numbers remained relatively stable, with no net gain or loss from year to year.

“Then the mad people came up from the depths between us and the void. We do not know why they came, but they ate the food provided by the House Gods and denied their existence. Fighting soon broke out among the keepers of the faith and these blasphemous heretics from the depths. We lost many lives, and inflicted many deaths upon them in retribution and defense. In the end, they were driven back down into their holes, allowing peace to once again grace our community, freed from the hateful lies the mad people spread.