Friday, May 15, 2020

Moon Quaker Episode 2

Rocky walked into room, and one seat was occupied. It was someone Rocky did not know. The one seated said, "You must be the instructor."

"No, I'm Rocky. I'm here for the film."

"I hear you're into into books. Look, I'm blunt. You'll have to get use to it. Where we're going isn't a cushy place. I'm not going to rescue you every time you get in trouble on the moon."

"I have a detailed job, even if it's not technical. I suppose books...." Rocky stopped, not knowing what to say.

The instructor walked into the door, said: "I see you too have introduced yourselves. I saw your dossiers. You are Franco, you, Rocky. We'll go through the film beginning with Apollo 11 of the astronauts collecting moon samples. Then you'll practice with replicas of the samples, Rocky setting them down."

"Why not just dump them?" Franco retorted.

"It would be our first choice. But precautions; and this is strictly private. No talking to anyone. Two missions ago a commander sighted two large beings, taller and broader than a man, only one a little smaller than the other. He told no one, but the top level of government. The next commander was told to look out for them, and did see them. It's been kept quiet. You will keep it that way. You heard a bogus story about why the rocks are being returned. From the start, bad things have happened. We don't know how the creatures will react to dumping. They will be scouted by two other astronauts, navigators with a very good sense of direction, should things go wrong. They will have two new robots, along with Knight. The astronauts found Knight too picky. The new ones will be more accommodating, but still vigilant and be taught weapons. If they don't locate the two beings when you finish your job, you search with them. You will have 48 hours unless you need to remove sooner. One more thing for you, Rocky."

"What's that?"

"You will get questions from the press. Answer them, but distract from the mission. Now, we'll watch the film." He dimmed the light and flipped on the projector.

                                *                               *                               *

After further training, Rocky, Franco, Orlando, and Celia suited up for the flight, and spoke briefly to the press. Rocky was obliging.

Afterwards Celia asked, "Rocky, why the book? Won't you have to much on your mind?"

"It's Shakespeare's Henry V. I'll be reading it when there's nothing to do but wait." He tried to hide his nervousness.

"But why Henry V?"

"I heard it's good reading." Rocky didn't want to tell her that he was following Tocqueville, who read the play in a log cabin in the wilderness. Tocqueville wrote that there were many Shakespeare works scattered along the frontier. Rocky thought, how did that come about. It kept other thoughts away. His wondering led him back to the early 19th century: "Yes, sir. This is the last Bible I got; but I got a deal for you. I'll throw in the Bible of the English language by Shakespeare for just one buck. Yes, sir. It came before the King James. I'll be rolling along, so you make a decision. All for three bucks."

"You're going to late for your date if you don't get going," Franco laughed. It was a subdued laugh. "Even have to rescue you on earth. We'll store you with Rook and Bishop for safe keeping."

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