This short piece has been written for the August 2018 Blog Battle. If you need to find out more please click: Blog Battle – August 2018
The word for this month is MOON.
“This is a standard mission they said. Three weeks out and then back, no excitement and no danger. They said.”
Pausing to gather her thoughts, she looked out at the barren Moonscape through the round window, wondering if his words would ever reach Earth. But he had to work out what to say.
“They also said there was no life on the Moon, sent to assess a lifeless lavatube for a possible human settlement the job seemed plain and simple, but there’s more here than anyone on Earth could have imagined and I don’t know what it means.”
Her thoughts wandered again and his gaze drifted to the landscape out of the window again. To where it began, where it all happened…
“Have you got the ground resonator Jules?” Harry asked her. “There’s something weird going on in the tunnel wall just over here.”
“What makes you think that?” Jules asked inquisitively. “This is a lava tube on the Moon remember, we don’t really understand everything about them.”
“Yes, but I think the tunnel wall should be thicker here.” Harry was being quite specific, pointing at a seemingly indifferent section of the tunnel wall. “Just get it over here will you?”
“Seb, help me with it could you please?” Jules and Seb wrestled the long heavy instrument to where Harry was standing. Moving in the suits was awkward, even in the low gravity, the ground resonator was unmanageable on Earth but two people could just about handle it on the Moon.
“There!” Jules puffed, her breath condensing on her helmet’s visor.
“Nice of you to help Harry. Just because you’re in command…” Seb showed his irritation but was cut off.
“Shut up will you.” Harry handled the resonator. A red laser swept across the walls of the tunnel. Harry stared at the tablet, analysing the results. “See!” he pointed. “But how is that even possible?”
Jules looked over his shoulder at the result, Harry pulled the tablet to himself to hide it “Stop peeking will you?”
“What is wrong with you today Harry?” Jules retorted. Offended at Harry’s obnoxious attitude.
“The wall has no depth here!” Harry carried on. He turned and focused the resonator at the area of interest. When he did the wall shimmered and seemed to dissolve into a translucent haze. Beyond the wall seemed to be images, things that couldn’t quite be made out.
“What is that?” Seb finally asked as the three of them stared.
“I don’t know…” Jules continued.
It took a few moments, then Harry moved forward. Ignoring the protests from the two colleagues Harry’s hand vanished through the wall. With a step he moved forward as was gone.
“Harry what the hell are you doing?” Jules called after him.
“We should call into command Jules.” Seb suggested.
“And leave him here?” Jules retorted sharply. “Lets just get on with it shall we?” The two of them stood together and walked through a wall of what seemed like shimmering water. On the other side Harry was there, but also a sight that stunned them both.
“Wow, oh my God Seb are they…”
“Pyramids.” Harry interrupted
What lay before them was a field of sand, blown in wispy sand devils around them, with what looked like ancient pyramids around them. Except there was something different, these weren’t ancient. These looked new. Jules looked around her and saw not only the giant structures towering over her but a stone arch around her, with hieroglyphs etched into the walls with the translucent shimmering behind her.
Then she froze, Harry was walking forward towards three figures walking slowly towards them, he removed his helmet – it seemed there was breathable air here too as well as bright daylight, but how was this possible?
“What do we do?” Seb asked.
“I have no idea, but I don’t like this at all.” Jules answered back. She started taking pictures with her helmet cam, of the figures, the hieroglyphs, the archway. She had a feeling she was going to need proof of what was going on. Then she jumped in startled surprise.
“What are you doing?” Harry barked from right behind her.
“Gathering data Harry, you know that’s our job here!” Jules barked back, trying not to show her fear.
“No you don’t!” Harry raised some metallic object and swung to towards her, stumbling forward Seb stopped it, his visor smashed.
“Stop this now Harry!” Seb yelled. “What the hell is going on?”
Jules pulled at Seb, another blow from Harry knocked them back through the archway and out the other side, knocking the resonator over.
“Seb are you ok? Seb?” Jules hadn’t seen Seb’s visor smash, as she looked down she saw him suffocating, his eyes bulging in front of her. Pulling him up she realised the only way he was going to survive was to send him back. Pushing him to the wall he hit the rockface and fell. Pulling up the resonator she directed the beam to the rockface, but it was no good, the resonator was broken. By the time she got back to Seb all trace of life had gone.
In dumb silence she sat there for what seemed an age.
Jules attached the pictures and data into the log message and then continued.
“Harry locked out the launch vehicles controls so I can’t work the damn thing and get home. If you guys got your finger out you could rescue me in six months, more likely eight. I have supplies to last me three weeks if I ration. The math is simple there, I’m not even sure you could re-supply me before I starve. But let me know.”
Jules stared out the window again, the Earth was just appearing over the horizon.
“Maybe the only possible way I have to survive is try and go back. Maybe.”
Jules clicked the save and sent the log message. All she could do now was wait. Wait for what? Rescue? Harry? Death?
©Simon Farnell 2018
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