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Craters

by jster02


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.


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7 Reviews


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Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:51 pm
varada6467 wrote a review...



Hello,

I am a newbie, so don't consider my reviews as offensive


What I wanted to mention is that I found it a tad bit flat in that, the whole story is basically being told, so we can't really experience any of it with the character- which is usually quite a draw back for me because I find that kind of thing really makes a story. The reason I think that is because it's usually more exciting when you're experiencing the things with the character in real time. AND it also kinda bonds the reader to the character, in my opinion! But at the same time, I kinda like the "story time" vibe this has going on. But I just wanted to let you know, in case you weren't aware or something! But I also get that you probably just wanted to get the story down in a relatively fast sorta time- like you didn't want to write a super long thing on it or something, which then makes sense why you would have chosen the "this is what happened" way of telling the story.




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Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:26 pm
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PrincessInk wrote a review...



Ohh, this was sad, jster. This isn't a typical kind of story but it still made me feel, and I believe you did accomplish what you set out to do.

I'm a person who likes to have some explanation in science fiction for how things do work, so I appreciated the explanation of the serum and how it changed everyone's lives. The beginning drops a big load of information here. Typically it'd be an infodump and I might suggest to show it and weave it into the story, but here it works well! I think it's because I'm aware that the narrator is *telling* us the story, telling what their life was like and what they knew of the history. A small suggestion I have to is to somehow make that part sound bitter, because after all, the serum caused the speaker to be possibly the only living person the planet. *I* certainly would be.

At first, I thought, "Wow! This serum is amazing!" :o But then things did go downhill soon after. It reminds me a bit of the GMO debates. One side, people think it's amazing that we can genetically modify crops--perhaps that could help millions of hungry people. On the other side, we still don't see the genetic implications. Either way, we do need to be careful when we change the genetic code, as the story shows.

I've always been afraid of been alone in the world, so the story did make me feel lonesome. I can imagine how hopeless it is. How the streets are empty, how you're the only one left. How everything is so, so quiet that the silence itself fills your ears. How you go weeks and weeks without seeing somebody.

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.


This ending hurts because of the alone-ness but also because of the hope. I hope the speaker did find someone. Maybe they might be able to start a whole family with healthy children because their genes were somehow alright, and then repopulate the crater. I hope!

The first thing I thought when I read this was "What about food? Will the speaker be able to survive on the crater if there's not a sufficient amount of food?" Sorry, you could probably ignore this bit though. Adding the bit about survival would probably detract from the story itself...:p

I think I'm done! Let me know if I missed something. :)

-Ink




jster02 says...


Thanks for the suggestions! I probably should explain the food thing shouldn't I? Thought about it while writing it out, but sorta forgot to implement it.



PrincessInk says...


You're welcome! :)

I'm still not sure if mentioning the food bit in the last paragraph will improve it, haha. On one end, maybe it'll stop readers like me asking "What about the food?" On the other end...maybe it could be distracting? I don't know?



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Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:41 am
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Holysocks wrote a review...



Hey there! Happy Review Day!

This is a really cool story! I really like the concept. Like. Cool. And I really liked the twist you had, where it's like "Yayyy, finally found a way to populate other planets!!!" and then "Oh waitttttt we can't have kids. Shoot." And also, I really thought it was cool that this is like a futuristic story that's like, where the world isn't thriving wonderfully in space? Like, sooo many futuristic stories everything's going WONDERFUL in space and such. And I just thought it was incredibly interesting that instead of Earth looking longingly into space for a 'better life', the character in this was looking longingly at Earth. Very intriguing.

One thing about this that I wanted to mention is that I found it a tad bit flat in that, the whole story is basically being told, so we can't really experience any of it with the character- which is usually quite a draw back for me because I find that kind of thing really makes a story. The reason I think that is because it's usually more exciting when you're experiencing the things with the character in real time. AND it also kinda bonds the reader to the character, in my opinion! Buuuut at the same time, I kinda like the "story time" vibe this has going on. But I just wanted to let you know, in case you weren't aware or something! But I also get that you probably just wanted to get the story down in a relatively fast sorta time- like you didn't want to write a super long thing on it or something, which then makes sense why you would have chosen the "this is what happened" way of telling the story.

Its vibrant blues and greens light up the sky nearly as well as the sun itself. Seeing it here from the surface of the moon is nothing short of breathtaking.


I sorta felt like the description here was a little lacking? We're basically just being told that the earth is green and blue, which we already know that's what it looks like! So it's not super interesting or inspiring imagery. So I feel like it could perhaps use some doctoring up, especially since the character is in such awe of it- us readers wanna know why they're in such awe! We wanna see it too! So my advice isss maybe look up things that astronauts have said about earth from space. And don't just focus on what it looks like from face, focus on what it makes the character feel like, what you want the character to feel like, and what you want the readers to feel like when they read your descriptions! C:


I remember racing down it on my first buggy… got pulled over by the moon cops.


A buggy? What does a buggy mean here? When I hear buggy I think of one of two things. 1). a horse and buggy, or 2). a baby buggy. Maybe that's just because of where I live? I feel like in space they'd either call their 'cars' something different (after all, you said they were a lot heavier, so they'd probably call them something different than simply a 'car'), but if not something brand spanking new, I feel like they'd either stick with car or somethinggggg similar? That's just my thoughts though. And same sorta thing for 'moon cops'. I feel like they probably would have thought of a way more sophisticated name! But again, just my opinion.

mental retardation


ehh, I just feel like, considering that currently the word "retardation" is considered by a large potion of the population to be an offensive term... that by the time people are living on the moon is probably won't even be a word people are aware of anymore? Or just not used to describe mental illness/disability- even when referring to animals. :P But that's just my thoughts!

In any case, I quite enjoyed this read! Thanks for writing it! C: Keep it up!

-Holysocks




jster02 says...


Thanks so much for the review! I'll definitely try to make it feel less flat. I was sort of aware of that as I was writing it, but wasn't exactly sure what to do about it because of how it was sort of "Zoomed out," focusing on a bunch of different events instead of just one.

I kinda laughed when you were talking about how I turned things on their head because I wasn't thinking about that at all. Really cool you saw it that way though, I never knew I could see my own writing from a different perspective like that...



Holysocks says...


You're welcome! C: Yeah! Hehe, yeah, that's one thing I love about writing- everyone brings their own unique perspective to the table! ^_^



jster02 says...


True. Funny how the same words can mean so many different things at once...



Holysocks says...


EXACTLY. C:




"I think; therefore, I am."
— René Descartes