Building a Lunar Colony One Step at a Time
Desai awoke to the sound of cutlery and plates being laid out. The colonists kept their days and nights at 12 hours each so as to be aligned with people on Earth. With the Moon having days that shined for 350hours and nights that endured for the same, shifting to a local time frame was impossible. Instead, their complete control of the environment within the Habitat allowed them to set times and amounts of ambient lighting. They've even played with the humidity and air pressure to simulate different atmospheric effects like dry cool winters or fresh, clear summers. Desai laughed to himself as he thought how they'd finally achieved weather forecasting as an exact science simply because they controlled all the variables.
He completed his normal morning ritual; a wet cloth shower to clean himself, a few minutes; stretching his bones and straining his muscles, donning the simplest of garments. He pushed back the cloth divider and stepped into their communal dining area. He saw Xu preparing her breakfast at the food station. The station, commonly called the kitchen, was an odd conglomeration of pipes and reservoirs that could print out some very tasty confectionaries; if it worked correctly. When it didn't, they resorted to tubes of ever-lasting food simulant that resembled food in only the barest of ways. He softly approached Xu and put an arm about her shoulder, kissing her on the neck and whispering the most endearing 'Good Morning' he could muster. He gently pressed on the knotted muscles along her neck, softly and warmly, over and over again. She was still tense from Valentina's close call and she'd need some time to mellow. He tried another tact and murmured, 'I see our ventures in the Congo showing promise'. Using their new status as Moon residents, they had initiated some questionable dealings that could make many people happy and them wealthy; if all went well. Xu turned and stared at him, also warmly but unhappily. 'Are we really doing the right thing by trying to live here?' she asked. 'It's so un-natural, so dangerous. Why did we think we could survive? We weren't meant to be here'. Desai had heard all these concerns and more. They both knew that there were no guarantees. Like the colonists of old, they had to survive using their own ingenuity, their own resourcefulness, and perhaps most of all, a fair amount of luck. He slide his hand lower down her back, brought the other one up and gently brought her into his embrace. She wasn't much smaller than he but he could still use his larger frame to give her a comforting shelter. He replied, 'we know that our future is what we make of it. For good or bad. There is no right or wrong here, only survival'. Which, he thought, was their existence in a nutshell.
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