Building a Lunar Colony One Step at a Time
"While a parent naturally nurtures and encourages their child the people on Earth seem to have no such predilection for the colony on the Moon" sighed Valentina. She let her fingers play through the fringes of Max's hair and watched his eyelashes wander back and forth as he slowly woke. She had woken long ago but had refrained from disturbing Max's slumber. Instead electing to lie in the crook of his arm and enjoy the moment in all its quiet.
"What's this about being a parent" Max half joked. "Are you keeping something secret from me?" His contrived concern brought a smile to Valentina's face and a quick, though artificially light hearted denial. "No. I'm not thinking about our family. You know we're not going there any time soon. I'm remembering the Board's comments and decisions from yesterday. Especially their in camera deliberations." She paused.
"Or more; I'm wondering why it seems that people living on the Moon generate such little interest. If people cared even a smite more then I'm sure we'd have no problem raising funds. But everything we're trying to do or to gain comes at such a cost. We're still fighting and scratching for our very survival. Our supply vessels get funded on a wing and a prayer. And one full vessel brings barely enough to maintain us for a month. So where lies the concern of everyone here on Earth? No one pays attention to our Lunar Colony. Instead people spend thousands for their pet to undergo cancer treatment while we continue to struggle and fight. Where are their priorities?" she groaned in a very exasperated way.
"I'm hoping that you're not looking at me for an answer." replied Max. "I have enough problems keeping my own VPs in line. Trying to chaperone the whole Earth's population is something I'm quite happy to leave to you and your expertise" he encouraged though still barely awake.
While miffed at the general unfairness of it all Valentina was not wholly upset. She did like the lunar progress to date. Five people living in near harmony on the Moon's surface. Two enclosed work environments that enabled the five to be productive throughout the days. And the vast potential for expansion. Something the Earth was lacking more and more. These successes demonstrated a vibrant life force. Nevertheless it would take only one incident; a severe personal accident, a solar flare, a meteor strike. Just one of these or any other of a countless number of smaller risks and the colonists would be zooming back to Earth. Back to the natural safety on Earth's surface. Assuming that the colonists heeded the call. Valentina did wonder if some or all of the colonists may choose to ignore the order to return and simply end out their lives on the Moon. "That scenario was best left for contemplating on another day" she half conjectured aloud.
She levered herself up out of the bed and headed to the adjoining office. While she did have presentations to make to the many volunteers who sought donations on a one-to-one effort today she was totally preoccupied with meetings with the European Union. The EU had booked their lunar facilities for living, exploring and light regolith assaying. The two EU astronauts were going to spend about 7 Earth-days on the Moon's surface. For that pleasure, the Lunar Colony Fund was charging the EU close to $200million euros. This sale of services and hotel accommodations was part of the original plan for the Lunar Colony. The groundwork had been laid at the start. Nations on Earth had contributed to fund the original structure and facilities. Once things were running somewhat smoothly they would undertake specialised research and exploration. All they asked for in return was the full support from the colonists. This was the first expedition to the colony and Valentina wanted to be sure that everyone's expectations were met. The colonists were to aid but weren't to be servants. The visitors could expect some help, especially with using the equipment and navigating the surface. But they needed to be fairly self-sufficient. No one was tucking them in at night. And she wanted to contact the colonists and the astronauts directly so they were fully aware.
She heard Max get up and make his way to the shower. That was one thing she relished upon her return to Earth; ready access to large quantities of water at any time. She briefly drifted back to her time on the Moon. The newness of the land. The closeness of her colleagues. She wondered if she would ever go back. Or if maybe her own family would arise and become more important.
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