Valentina’s hand securely held the seed container as she and Max descended into the colonists’ refuge. Happily, no one had needed to escape into it yet. But they had practised emergency drills to evacuate the Hab and get into the refuge as quickly as possible. Now, she and Max had excused themselves from the party and were bringing the seed container to its resting place well into the lunar crust. As much as the work needed doing, Valentina used it as an excuse to be alone with Max. As everyone knew of her special relationship with him, they were quick to send the two of them on their way.
The lights automatically brightened deep into the refuge as they walked across the threshold. The colonists were nowhere near making the facility into a livable complex but their spacesuits included private two-communications when close enough to each other. This was the best and really only opportunity for them to talk privately. Of course they couldn’t remove the suits and indeed each would return to their own accommodation afterward. Still Valentina took her gloved hand and reached out to grasp Max’s hand. On contact, she felt that same tingle go up her spine that she had felt when they first met some years before. She steered him to the seed chamber, really little more than a hollowed out recess on the side of the main cave. There she placed the container, stood back and took some pictures for logistics sake and walked over to the safety rendezvous point which had a table and some chairs. She sat, waved at Max to join her and put her communications into private mode. Max quickly came up, sat beside and also set his communications to private.
“It’s been far too long a time”, she began.
He replied, “Let’s not talk about regrets. I still live with our memory together as the most meaningful moment of my life. It was brief and all too rushed but I can and do always look back upon it whenever I need a smile and a ray of sunshine to brighten my life. Let’s look to our future instead; about fulfilling our plans”.
“OK” she agreed then smiled and continued, “You’re standing in the nucleus of our future processing hub. On the lunar surface, I’ve found that much like with Earth’s mantle, there are veins and patches of ores with different chemical signatures. I’m developing materials sheet on each main ore type and I’m beginning to combine certain types together. I can only use heat and pressure as a combiner. Water is far too precious. Some are showing good adhesion. Some may have the necessary tensile strength for construction material. However, I need much more sampling data. As we are on a crater rim, I could be sampling the lunar mantle, ejecta from an asteroid impact or even some of the asteroid itself. Still, this baseline gives us the starting point for future industrial applications”.
He warmly smiled back at her and slightly nodded his head in recognition of her accomplishments. He had seen these investigative traits in her long ago and knowingly had seduced her as well as promoted her as a lunar colonist. He hadn’t expected to have become so emotionally involved with her; still he was a business man at heart.
“OK” he answered “I’ve entered the necessary subroutines into the telerobot so that it can help you at the lab bench. I’ll keep the test equipment flowing in with every supply mission. Just keep trying to remember that we need construction material that functions in space as well as on the Moon’s surface. So, let’s keep exploring the options. Just imagine our space traveling torus that’s over a kilometre in diameter. Inside its structure rests all the lunar-fabricated material. That’s the sort of vision that we must work toward.”
They continued chatting about their plans and upon some lighter subjects such as friends and acquaintances far, far away. All too soon both their timers chirped awake. They stood up and silently walked hand in hand for as long as they could until each had to turn toward their own habitation module.