By Steven Bevell
Copyright 2017 Steven Bevell
Smash Words Edition
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Cover Art by Steven Bevell
They never considered death. Their home was eternal to them. But their paradise could never last, for their ambitions were too great. It didn’t take long, not long at all. Ten generations of Moonlings, and they would destroy themselves and the Moon’s atmosphere would be absorbed by the Earth.
This is what seperates humanity from Moonlings. Humanity has yet to commit suicide. That is the whole story, but there is so much more. Those thousand years were not lame, no, they were not peaceful and they were not humble.
These Moonlings are the ancestors of the few that remain. They are those who told me all I know of these peoples. They who tended my wounds, their nature was astonishing, even during their darkest time.
They are magnificent in every way. Their intellect found the English language simple. They grasped it quick and conversed with my sister and dear friend within no time of meeting for the first time.
After I awoke, those who cared for me told shared all they knew with me and told me about, The Fire. I learned their destruction began with a feud.
“How dare you.” Kayn said.
“How dare I?” Lumo was insulted.
“You are by no means superior to me…” Kayn continued, “A Flatfoot has never been superior to any of my people!”
Lumo was insulted, again and raised his hands, “Two hundred years ago my great grandfather smoked a Cratercrawler fair and square!” and Lumo puffled.
The chords in their necks tensed.
Kayn knew about this duel.
And he was told a different tale of events, “Lumo, your great grandfather cheated! That’s all there is to it… He didn’t win fair and square…” Kayn crossed his arms.
“A cheat! How dare you disrespect me you fool!” Lumo slammed his fists, “You will pay for those words. Your home will burn! Heed my words!” and Lumo stomped out.
Lumo left the fortress of Ibenez, a fortress were the powerful watched the warring of Lunopolis and Moonopolis. Ibenez kept it’s own business and the superb soldiers offer blood sport. Many swore that spending cash on the pleasures of Ibenez did wonders for the spleen.
Lumo and Kayn were of course, not the first Moonlings to dispute, but they did were the most powerful.
Many considered this the start. The fly in the ointment. The fabric of society would not hem itself but fray to it’s demise.
And if chaos ruled, beauty rebelled.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Amia’s said.
Her sister Nini considered Amia’s engagement ring. The stone sparkled.
Nini smiled, “Very beautiful!” and she glowed with excitement.
Amia was soon to be married to…
“Who is it?” Nini asked.
Amia became uncomfortable.
“Amia…” Nini continued, “Who did mother and father choose for you?”
“That’s the thing… Mother and Father don’t know…” Amia said.
Nini paled, “What are you talking about?”
“Oh, don’t be upset… Calm down. Otherwise I can’t tell…” Amia said.
Nini was on the edge of her seat, “I’ll tell Father and Mother if you don’t spit it out…”
“Like they’ll believe you!” Amia teased, “You can’t say a word… Promise?”
“I promise…” Nini said.
“Rumu!” Amia cried.
“You promised!” Amia reminded her sister.
“How…?” Nini asked.
“We have been seeing one another in secret…” Amia confessed.
“They’ll burn you alive if you go through with this… You can’t marry a Flatfoot… None will allow it…” Nini said.
“Amia saddened, “We are in love… I love him…”
Nini chagrinned, “But Amia…”
“I love him…” Amia insisted.
“You fall in love with anything!” Nini said.
And Amia blushed.
“How many times have I told you…” Nini said.
“I’m going to marry Rumu… No matter who approves or not…” Amia insisted.
Amia and Rumu secretly met for years before this. they would met in meadows at midnight and gaze at the Earth in the night sky. They shared their dreams with one another and never considered which of them was superior, but instead walked along creeks and rolled in the tall grass together and left gifts in secret.
Marriage between Moonopolis and Lunopolis was forbidden and none endorsed these childish ideas of romance. All actions for Moonlings and meant to increase superiority for themselves and their home.
Rumu and Amia, their marriage did none of this.
But they married regardless.
This marriage began a movement. For the first time, immigration on a large scale occured. Those in moonopolis traveled to Lunopolis and vice versa. But tolerance of immigration thinned and collapsed. Immigrants became the problem to many in the public eye and banning them was the answer. Fear was in the air.
Leaders would say things like, “Flatfoots invade our home and destroy your superiority!”
And the policing began. No more were the days of open city limits. Trade suffocated. Now were the days of rhetoric and opression. Decievers flourished within both cities. These decievers praised those who exiled the undesirables.
It was a glorious time, they thought.
Everyone everywhere worked directly or indirectly with this business of exile. The Moonlings only desired superiority and they never understood loss. they had no idea of the ramifications of their choices.
It was a glorious time, they thought.
The small turned the cogs of war while the large paid for it.
There was war everyday, on the battlefield soldiers died every day. These were spectacular battles. Battles every day, so well balanced that they ceased in a stalemate every night. Every night yielded magnificent death. Every morning fresh soldiers, marched the battlefield to test their talents.
There were always Inventors that invented, Armors that armed, Smiths that smithed, Bakers that baked and Farmers who farmed.
There was always the rich. The rich who looked down upon it all and dreamt of conquering the moon during the day and marveled at the Earth with wonder at night. All Moonlings prospered regardless, if they knew it or not, and always believed in those more powerful without question.
The social balances of the Moon were not stable.
“I must fight…” Runaldo told Emmari.
“But why?” she cried.
Runaldo did all he could to comfort her.
“It is my destiny…” he told her, “My civic duty!”
Emmari shook her head, “No… No… That’s not your duty… Its not your duty to die!”
“Emma… Please… Do not raise your voice… What’s wrong with you?” Runaldo argued.
“What… are you afraid? Ashamed of me? Do you wish to die?” she cried.
“I will die for you! I will show to Moon a battle it’s never seen before!”
Emmari kissed her warrior with passionate tears.
This was not uncommon. The soldiers always had lovers, but they loved the battlefield more. Those widows had to find another lover. They would live their lives in peace, have children, some of which would be power soldiers themselves. Moonlings always strived to be the greatest. Moonlings lacked humility and war for them was a sport. It was a way of life and the Moonlings had to always win. Without a doubt the Moonlings nature was competitive, so competitive some would say toxic.
Ogi paced the room, “Can’t you see the pattern?” he asked.
Tubatut, Zu, and Zudu waited for Ogi to continue.
“It’s perfect… Too perfect…” Ogi pointed at the chalkboard.
“Is that bad…?” Zu asked.
Zu and Zudu were confused, while Tubatut day dreamt.
“The future… It is bleak…” Ogi warned.
Zu spoke, “But how? What’s there to worry about?”
“Perfection can’t exist…” Ogi flipped the chalkboard and presented his theory, “Go ahead… Please… Prove it false… Because I’ve tried and tried…”
Ogi’s three amigos all stared at the theory with disbelief.
They whispered things like, how could it be, I never and unbelievable.
“But it’s true!” Ogi anguished, “It’s only a matter of time…” Zudu said.
“We must publish this! Absolutely!” all agreed except Ogi.
Ogi understood, “We can’t…” he said.
His amigos listened eagerly.
“Any change in the equation and…Annihilation…”
And Ogi’s amigos saw this.
“What do we do?” they asked.
Of course, they knew what to do. The Moonlings made the theory a secret. They recorded it and destroyed any other evidence that might spark curiosity. They sealed the only copy of the theory within a crystal ball.
After time, rumors spread. Rumors of a secret weapon, something powerful. A weapon powerful enough for total victory.
And there were those who hunted for the secret weapon. One Moonling changed everything.
Her name was Kaba.
Kaba was fasinated with the idea of this secret weapon.
“Is it real?” she asked her grandfather.
Her grandfather, was a businessman, the best of the best.
And being in business, the man had an open mind, but nothing more.
The old man finally spoke, “It is… It’s hidden in Moonopolis… Deep underground!”
Kaba was astonished. Her heart burned with curiosity, but she never careered for the secret. Instead she lived a respectable life in Lunopolis. No matter her successes, she secretly wished for one thing. To find this crystal ball. She wished to find total power.
She would be a savoir for all Lunopolis. She wanted to rid the Moon of those Cratercrawlers. But a business woman destroying Moonopolis was considered taboo and frowned upon. Death and destruction was not her trade.
The temptation proved too much though. Kaba couldn’t resist. she endeavored to find the crystal ball and started her way to Moonopolis.
But city limits were dangerous and difficult to cross. There is nothing more loyal than a Moonling guarding their city limits.
So Kaba disguised herself, as a Cratercrawler, in a very clever manner, to enter the city gates.
“What is your business here?” troopers would ask her.
“Returning… home… from an potential investment opportunity…”
The toopers would consider her with curious eyes and demand paper work.
Of course, Kaba created some exceptional documentation.
“Move along…” they would say.
She was never caught.
Moonopolis was grand. Kaba admired the architecture, it was a shining city within a crater. The towers were crafted with moonstone and pearled pathways. Moonlings crowded the city with business.
“Moondiamonds! Moondiamonds! You there! Young lady! You look the type, a lady who’d have a taste for moondiamonds, no?” a merchant yelled over the crowded marketplace and at Kaba.
Kaba couldn’t resist, “How much?”
“Ah, but come and see…” the merchant said.
And the merchant let her think as he put the diamond in her hand and took the money from her pockets.
Kaba was pleased with her new treasure.
Before she could walk away, another merchant cried, “Moonrubies!”
Kaba shook her head, “No thank you…”
This stunned the merchant, “Exucse me, ma’m, I am a highly respected vendor here, maybe you don’t recognize me, but my name has value even in Lunopolis! None have refused my offers…” the merchant said.
“I’m sorry, I just don’t have the money…” she said.
The merchant smiled, “I’m sure we can work something out… My children must eat…” she said, “How about that diamond?”
And Kaba journeyed on with a moonruby in her pocket, while the merchant smiled at her new moondiamond.
Soon Kaba learned to ignore the other merchants the best she could.
“Do you know how I can get to the Temple?” Kaba began to ask Moonling after Moonling.
They all ignored her, until one turned suspicious, “You need directions?” he mused.
“Yes, yes my memory has failed me… I’m afraid…”
“Who are you stranger?” the Moonling asked.
“My name is Kaba…”
“Cosome…” the Moonling said and they shook hands.
\Cosome continued, “Say… were you born with feet like that?” he asked and pointed.
“Yes… My bane…” Kaba changed color from her lies.
But Cosome believed her, “Central, down the street two to the left… the Temples right there…”
“Thank you,” Kaba said.
“Hey…” Cosome said, before she left, “Between you and me… I’m a little flatfooted too…” and Cosome wiggled his toes and winked.
Kaba considered Cosome with odd looks.
“I can take you there…” he said
“Really?” she asked.
“Yes of course…”
“That’d be great,” she said.
Cosome grinned and led the way. He helped Kaba, but never revealed his true identity, not until they stood before the crystal ball, deep underground in the Temple.
The two combined their wit and broke into the Temple, and moved undetected deep beneath the Temple.
“I can’t do it…” Kaba said, “I always hated Lunopolis and it’s people… but your people have given me hope, they’ve shown me we are not that different. We are all the same on the inside…” and she sighed.
Cosome soothed Kaba, “It’s okay… There, there… I always knew a you were too weak to do it… I saw it in your eye’s, the day we met, but it was only a flicker… So I will destroy Lunopolis for us both…”
“Why do you wish to see my people destroyed?” Kaba asked.
Cosome struck her and she stumbled.
“Our people!” Cosome declared, “I left Lunopolis long ago! They never accepted me. I was destined to be a great warrior. I was born to die on the battlefield. But no, they mocked me, said I’d never be a soldier. Well who is laughing now! I’ll be the best soldier there ever was…”
He shattered the crystal ball and retrieved the scroll within.
“Finally! the weapon that will right all the wrongs I ever suffered. Those terrible creatures will pay!” he unravelled the paper, “Do not try to stop me!”
Cosome left Kaba in disbelief.
These sorts of things never happen.
Kaba left the Temple but she did not leave Moonopolis.
She tried to warn her home, Lunopolis. But every warning call she made was recieved with laughter.
Kaba searched every led she had, she hunted for Cosome.
But she could not find him.
Until one day things changed. Reports of an important event surfaced and it wasn’t long before every network on the Moon tuned in.
Kaba was alone, in a pub in downtown Moonopolus, when the television caught her attention.
“Can you turn that up…” Kaba asked the server.
The mayor of Moonopolis stood before the Temple, “Lunopolis will no longer threaten our superiority! Never again will a Flatfoot challenge us! We have developed a new weapon. A weapon that can not be questioned! Our superiority shall be superior!”
The server clapped, “How exciting!”
Kaba felt a twist in her gut.
The server continued, “It’s about time we annihilate those inferiors!”
“Inferior?” Kaba asked.
The server washed a glass. “Yeah… Those Flatfoots caused all our problems! Just ask anyone, they’ll tell you… Yes they will tell you how it is…”
“I see.. Right…” said Kaba.
“I wonder when they’ll unleash this new weapon… It must be majestic!” and the server stacked glasses.
Kaba sat silent. She found refuge within her memories. Her home didn’t seem so far away now. But she couldn’t return, really. Not now. She waited too late, chasing ghosts.
She sat in the pub and day dreamt she could stop the use of this weapon. But she couldn’t, so she drank.
Then the television pulled her back to reality, for the first time and it made her sick. No longer did the television provide escape.
The mayor stood in the screen, “Fire!” he cried.
Every television and radio in Moonopolis echoed his cry.
A fireball soared through the sky and they all admired it.
Runaldo stood on the battlefield that early morning. He watched the fireball strike. No longer was there a battlefield, instead a plume of smoke.
It happened so quick, Runaldo didn’t have the chance to warm his heart with thoughts of Emmari, his lover back home.
Ogi, Zu, Tubatut and Zuda, were smoking outside, when Ogi spoke up.
“Do you smell that…?” he asked.
They all sniffed about.
“Why… Yes… How perculiar a smell it is…” Tubatut said
But before another word could be said, their throats tightened.
They struggled for air, dropped everything and crawled on the ground.
This was the common scene of the Moon’s two glorious cities. Flatfoots and Cratercrawlers all succumbed to death and suffocated.
Much of the Moon’s life withered away.
The Moon soon turned into the a cold tomb. The city towers stood as grave stones.
Yet there were some who survived, because were there is death, this is life.