Oh how far we’ve come. Just looking at this highway, stretching to the horizon is enough to convince me of the sheer ingenuity of the human race. But it’s the earth, off in the distance that really sells it. Even with today's technology, nothing can compare to seeing it in person. It looks almost alive, with it’s cloud formations lazily drifting and swirling about. Reminds me of a gigantic snow globe. Funny how much we wanted to get here, to the moon. Some would’ve given their right arm for a chance to step foot on it’s barren surface, though I can’t imagine why. There’s nothing here but rocks, dust, and what humanity brought with it when they came.
Once this highway on which I stand was bustling with vehicles. Not the type you’d see on earth, those would never work here, but bigger, heavier ones powered by the sun. They were all over the place in my time and this highway was no exception. I remember racing down it in my first car… got pulled over by a couple of cops on patrol. They took me right back to the city where my mom was waiting to scold me.
You’d think a city on the moon would look futuristic, with sleek buildings, holograms everywhere, and a big dome covering it to create an atmosphere, but they don’t really look much different than the cities back on Earth. There was no need for oxygen tanks or pressurized suits, no, they said they’d found a way around it. All you had to do was take this injection called the stardust serum. This “miracle of science,” as they liked to call it, allowed us human beings to survive in the harsh conditions of space without any sort of equipment. It modified our genetic makeup to act more like that of the Tardigrades or “water bears,” as they’re sometimes called. They were the first known creatures ever to survive unprotected in the vast vacuum of space, so the scientists said they’d be a “perfect model,” whatever that means.
For a while, things were looking up. The injection had come at just the right time, when overpopulation was just beginning to rear its ugly head and our home planet’s resources were finally dwindling. The only catch was everyone who took it found they could no longer survive on earth. Some weird anomaly in the serum I couldn’t even begin to understand, much less explain here. ‘Course, it didn’t really matter to most. If they really wanted to come back to visit family all they had to do was put on a sort of anti-atmospheric pressure suit. A reverse spacesuit, if you will.
Now that might sound like a pretty hefty to pay, never being able to fully experience the comforts of Earth again, but most people going had no intention of coming back. As a matter of fact, the first moon colony was started by a bunch of impoverished high school dropouts in their thirties. Needless to say, they were pretty keen on having a second chance, even if it happened to take place in another world.
Soon enough, the moon was like its own country, and a big one at that. All of a sudden it seemed everyone was volunteering to participate in their little experiment. There was even talk of colonizing Mars once the moon was full, expanding the reach of the human race even further. Many called it a golden age of space travel; a time of seemingly endless possibilities. You’d think mankind could predict the future, the way we were planning.
Years passed. The moon eventually became self sufficient as the Stardust Serum was modified to affect livestock, plants, and even a few bugs.
But as time went on, scientists began to notice a rather disturbing trend. First sign that something was wrong came from the livestock. They began to have trouble bearing children, and when they did manage to reproduce, there was always some deformity: an extra foot, lack of fur, mental dysfunction, that sort of thing. Before long, the moon dwellers started to realize they were in for a good slap in the face a few decades.
The space travel industry wasn’t making so much money anymore. The people’s fears were not unfounded, for it was only a decade later that the moon dwellers birth rates dropped dramatically. There were so many stillborn children most people just stopped trying altogether to save themselves the pain. My own mother got pregnant once after she had me, then never again. I was too young at the time to understand what was going on, but I do remember the tears.
There came a point when pregnancy was almost unheard of. The population slowly grew older and what few children remained were cursed to die alone.
I was one of those kids. All my life my only friends were adults, twenty or thirty years older than me. No one understood me. The people in my life tried their best to provide companionship, but it just didn’t satisfy me. I wanted someone my own age; a friendship like the ones I’d seen on T.V. But life never does turn out quite like it does in shows. For a long time, I held out hope that one day, I might make friends, get married, maybe even start a family. But it just wasn’t to be.
I remember the day I realized how hopeless it was. My mom had sent me to the store to buy groceries. In the checkout line, I looked around and noticed I was the only young person in sight. The thought nagged at me all day until it consumed my entire being, tormenting me. I cried myself to sleep that night, knowing full well there was nothing I could do.
One by one, everyone I knew passed away until I was the only one left. I remember the day my mother died. She was the only one I had left. Looking at her, lying there… that’s what did me in. I knew she was in a better place, but why’d she have to leave me all alone to get there? I stormed out of the house, nearly tore the door off its hinges, and never looked back. There was nothing left for me there.
To this day I wander the craters in the hopes that somewhere, somehow, I’ll meet another soul like me. To this day, I’ve found no one. And to this day, I hold onto the hope that someday, I’ll find I am not the last to walk the surface of the moon.