So thanks to China, we can see the true color of the Moon now. I looked at the photos, and it made me think of a small piece I wrote for my novel “Dark Matter Rises”. The writing is not perfectly edited, but I wanted to share something of this novel, so thanks to China’s photos, it’s a good opportunity.
Barren. Lonely. Ominous.
Cloaked in legends and mysteries of the past, today it carries only deep profound sadness. There are no mysteries left on the Moon, no tales to be told. There are no underground societies, no alien observation posts, no particularly useful minerals, no life and never was.
Long gone are the times of Neil Armstrong taking his famous swing; or Buzz Aldrin, who secretly, off the record, took a holy communion on this space boulder. What was Buzz thinking at that moment? Where did he travel in his thoughts, dreams, and even prayers? Back then, we all could dream and romanticize the Moon. Today there is no mystery left. We came, we saw, we conquered. And we killed the mystery.
Somehow it is a fundamental principle of the universe: once we observe something, once we study it and remove uncertainty, we forever pin the object of our study to it’s identity, like a butterfly on a plush mounting board. From quantum superposition to your girlfriend; from a new book to your own life story; once you’ve studied, dissected and x-rayed your subject, once you’ve catalogued all it’s properties, all of a sudden you feel empty. Something that used to be a source of thrill and anticipation, mystery and neverending possibilities, now is just as boring and, what may be even worse, just as predictable, as the Moon rock.
However, I should take some of my words back. Today the Moon has life and has purpose, only there is hardly anything romantic about it.
About an hour later, Tom and I were rushing through the Neil Armstrong skyport to the terminal where our next shuttle was docked. The Neil Armstrong was a pit, with crowds of free humans and clones alongside the unfortunate captives convoyed to the exit that led to the premises of the Lady of Mercy [a prison and a mental institution, 2 in 1, it was explained earlier, E.M.].
“When are they going to fix this? Aren’t they suppose to escort convicts separately from the passengers?” Tom was sweating and swearing, trying to make his way in a human traffic jam that stretched what seemed like forever in a rather narrow corridor with domed glass walls. As we slowly progressed through the tunnel, we saw gloomy moonscape and a few maintenance crewmen in body suits outside the terminal. Tom’s impatience rubbed people around us the wrong way.
“Oh, I am sorry that you are the only one uncomfortable here. Shut up and keep walking!” Retorted an old lady in a wheelchair who strolled between us in the line. I chuckled.
Finally the crowd split, and all the convicts disappeared somewhere to the right, and we entered a holding terminal for passengers who boarded our shuttle. I finally ended up close to Tom and in a lower voice tried to explain the whole mess with the Neil Armstrong.
“The Neil Armstrong was built long before the Lady of Mercy. And the initial design worked quite well. However when the Union delegated building of the Lady to the Euro-Israeli Federation, the budget was lean. The rumor has it, the builders had to choose between installing sewage and air circulating systems and a new docking port. Probably luckily for everyone, they chose the sewage and decided to use the old docking port.”
“I see. I think that’s why they say now ‘when the shit hits the Moon’…”
We both sat at the chairs waiting for our section to board, and looked outside the domed glass walls of the terminal. There she was, ominous and fatal, Lady of Mercy. The building towered about 50 stories high, with no windows, and completely covered in solar panel blocks that had a reflective surface. This surface made the whole thing glow in soft white light. Tom was busy counting something.
“4…7…9…12…” he concluded. “Twelve stars. Unbelievable.”
“The Euro-Israeli Federation flag. 12 stars.”
“Yeah, what about it? They kept the old European Union flag deciding that it also well reflects 12 Israeli tribes.” I said obviously befuddled what impressed him so much about it. The rooftop of the Lady had a halo of 12 stars–the symbol of the former EU, and now the Euro-Israeli Federation.
“Don’t you see! It’s a sign!”
“The woman with a garland of 12 stars. The Lady of Mercy and the halo of 12 stars!”
“What are you talking about?”
“It’s in Revelation. Aren’t you suppose to teach me these things?”
“Ah. I’m not into the prophesies. Nobody knows how to read those anyway.”
“But this is too much for a coincidence, don’t you think? A woman in the sky, with garland of 12 stars, with moon under her feet, and even clothed in the sun!”
My jaw dropped.
“I’ll be damned. The solar panels.”
By Ellie Maloney, from “Dark Matter Rises“, a science fiction novel.