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Moon Ninja

Moon Ninja

 

AmyBeth Inverness

 

To Dan, who sends me spreadsheets full of mathematical goodness, and taught me that the Earth and Moon are roughly equivalent, size wise, to the tip of a pencil and the eraser of said pencil.

Moon Ninja

Written and published by AmyBeth Inverness

Copyright 2014 AmyBeth Inverness

 

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.

 

The Cities of Luna is a trademark of AmyBeth Inverness.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following is a work of fiction. All people, places, and events are purely products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, places, or events is entirely coincidental.

 

License Notes Shakespir Edition

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. The ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Cover design by Robert Fredricksen

 

 

Moon Ninja

 

Dan tried to ignore the acrobatics his partner was performing, but when one flip landed him so close that Dan nearly tripped over him, he’d had enough.

“Cut it out LeRoy, you’re not a fracking moon ninja!” Dan was sick of his partner’s weird sense of humor. The guy may be a genius, but he was also a pain in the tuckus.

LeRoy pointed directly at him, the other hand pointing at his own nose through his suit’s helmet, exactly the same way he did when they were playing Pictionary with their wives and his partner guessed right. “I am a fracking moon ninja!” LeRoy laughed hysterically, and Dan was sorely tempted to turn off his comm.

“We’re not doing any fracking today,” Dan stated. “We’re testing.” He turned his back to LeRoy.

Testing my patience.

“Testing today, fracking later, depending on what the results tell us,” Dan explained, even though LeRoy already knew.

“I want that on my tombstone, Dan. ‘He was a fracking moon ninja.’ Remember that.”

“Jebus, LeRoy, don’t talk like that when we’re both suited up and fifty kilometers from the nearest aide station! It’s bad luck.”

LeRoy ignored the warning. “Watch this,” he said. Dan detested those words. Someday, they would be LeRoy’s last. He just hoped he wasn’t the one who’d have to clean up the mess.

LeRoy crouched down again, just like he’d been doing while Dan calibrated the equipment. His new suit was Lunar Camouflage, and even as close as Dan was, LeRoy looked just like a rock. Most folks who had to work outside the cities on the lunar surface chose brightly colored suits, like Dan’s blue one. They were easy to spot from a distance, and in the locker room it was simple to tell which one was whose.

Without warning, LeRoy leaped out of his crouch, vaulting himself across the dusty plain in an acrobatic maneuver to rival the very best movie ninja. When he landed, he executed a series of quick movements as if he was fighting some invisible enemy, then he dropped flat to the ground, taking much longer than a movie ninja to do so since the Moon’s gravity was a sixth that of Earth, and blended in again.

Dan was impressed in spite of himself. “Very impressive,” he said in as flat and unencouraging a tone as he could muster. “Now can we please get back to work?”

They packed up the equipment and drove to the next test location, near the edge of a crater. It wasn’t a particularly large one, but the sun was at a low angle and everything below the rim was in darkness.

Dan set his rand-meter down on top of one of the truck’s storage bins. He opened the adjacent bin and rummaged until he found the tool he wanted, then slammed the lid a bit harder than he meant to. The other lid flew open, launching his rand-meter off toward the crater.

“I got it!” shouted LeRoy, diving after it.

Frack! Dan cursed under his breath as he saw his partner disappear over the rim.

“Scooooooooooore!” LeRoy called, his disembodied voice coming through the com, followed immediately by “oops…” and silence.

It was the bad kind of silence. It wasn’t crackly, it wasn’t a bad connection. It was just empty silence.

“LeRoy! LeRoy, are you all right? Can you hear me?” Dan shone a light over the crater rim, but it was much deeper than he’d first thought. There was a crater within the crater. Scuff marks led to the edge, but beyond that he couldn’t see.

Dear God, I do not want to tell his wife his last words were “oops!”

It took eight minutes for a rescue jumper to reach them. “I don’t see him anywhere. What color’s his suit?” the pilot asked.

Dan smacked the palm of his hand against his helmet, watching helplessly as the jumper launched itself over the crater, search lights streaming down.

“Camouflage.” Dan answered as clearly as possible. “Lunar camouflage.”

“Did you say lunar camouflage?” the pilot’s voice asked, pitching high at the end.

Dan sighed heavily before turning his comm on again. “Yes. That’s what I said. His suit is lunar camouflage. He blends in with the rocks and dust.”

Dan imagined the pilot turning to his med techs and saying something like “Can you believe what he just said?”

As Dan’s eyes were focused on the search beams, a movement closer to him caught his eye. He shined his light on the place where the scuff in the dirt met the edge of the inner crater. One gloved hand appeared, then another, and LeRoy pulled himself up over the edge, Dan’s rand-meter in his hand.

Dan scrambled down to his friend, scared to death that he’d accidentally send them both tumbling right back down again. “I’ve got him!” he yelled into the comm, and the jumper immediately thrusted in their direction.

LeRoy’s face plate was cracked like a spider web, but otherwise intact. He pulled Dan close, their helmets touching so sound would transfer directly.

“Dan, I take it all back.” LeRoy’s breathing was labored. “I am a fracking super moon ninja!”

Dan let out an involuntary snort as the jumper settled gracefully down next to their truck and the med techs came spilling out.

LeRoy pulled him close again, making sure their eyes met. He took a few deep breaths, then said, “I need a cape.”


Moon Ninja

  • ISBN: 9781311526274
  • Author: AmyBeth Inverness
  • Published: 2016-07-02 08:20:29
  • Words: 1109
Moon Ninja Moon Ninja