The Lunarian

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Digital drawing. Center, a woman seen from back, stands with hands clasped behind her back. Her face is turned so her right profile is visible. She has long hair, curled at the ends, and she wears a hooded dress coat. Her entire form appears silvery. Before her is a neon pink cloud. A glittering streak of light shoots directly up from the cloud, appearing from the top of the woman’s head. Dark hazy clouds rise from the background, and above, the hints of a starry sky.

Pike tilted his head up slightly, so he could see more clearly through his helmet.  He raised his arm and glanced at the detector in his gloved hand.  With his other hand, he pointed straight ahead. 

“That way,” he said.

Captain Tai drifted past him, holding her own arm up, so that the light beam panel on the forearm of her suit could illuminate their way.

The dark side of the moon was not just regular dark.  It was pitch dark.  If not for the trackers, and the back-up trackers, and the emergency back-up trackers, in their suits and their equipment, Pike would have at least hesitated wandering any farther into the unmapped region from which the anomalous signal seemed to be originating.  More likely, he would have talked his captain out of venturing ahead altogether.  Even more likely, she wouldn’t have needed to be convinced.

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A Carnival of Cakes

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Digital drawing. Background, a two-layer round chocolate cake with a slice cut out, with orange frosting, chocolate glaze on top and dripping down the sides, and overlapping round orange slices wrapped around the bottom. Tall glowing triangles of sugar candy crown the top. Foreground left, a square piece of two-layer cake with sprinkles, frosted with whipped cream, topped with three berries in a diagonal, and sprigs of tiny leaves. Foreground right, a square cake seen from top and along on corner, with frosting piped at the bottom and top borders. The word “Farewell” is written on the top. The word “Level” is written on the visible sides. A shadowy hand emerges from right and reaches for the cakes. Another hand grasps the first at the wrist.

On the eve of the winter solstice, ever since I can remember, my brothers and I have played a game that only we can play.

It’s because we made it up.  We made it up together.  I would have let my brothers decide everything.  I was the littlest.  I didn’t know as much as they knew.  I didn’t know anything.  But they told me that was the point.  No one knew anything in the beginning of their journeys.  They only started knowing things by going on the journey.  By making decisions before they even knew what the right decision was.

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A Moth In The Nebula

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Digital drawing. A spaceship shaped like a moth, seen from its starboard flank, flies along the border of a nebula. The colorful streaming gases of the nebula and the spaceship are both oriented at forty-five degrees from horizontal from left to right. Scattered stars twinkle in the distance.

“Status!”

“Countermeasures depleted,” the ship said.  “Shields holding…for now.” 

The ship hurtled toward the hourglass-shaped nebula.  The ship and the two crew members aboard all knew what that meant.  Already, it was getting icy in the cabin.

A missile sliced past their port side.  The ship veered just as the missile burst apart. 

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