by D.J. Sylvis
Broadcasting. This is Roger Bragado-Fischer, Communications, Moonbase Theta. The date is October 20, 2098, the time …
Umm, we are at nine weeks. Nine weeks until … shutdown. Base operations are on an even keel, Helium-3 is increasing steadily, water and power … we control most of the water, and all of the power. Food … we’re doing okay. Shutdown sequences are on schedule. Mostly on schedule. The reports you’ve requested previously are complete, and will be appended to this broadcast.
Two days ago, we received a broadcast from an unauthorized source, a rogue satellite apparently launched with the purpose of coming within short-range communications distance of our network. Ashwini was tracking it as an unidentified object; we didn’t even know for some time that it was sending. The frequency it used isn’t typically monitored.
The message was not encrypted, and is fairly brief. I’ll patch it in here.
Good morning, occupants of the Moon. This is Moddy Sarah, leader of the Three Rivers Cooperative Community. We’re a humanitarian enclave, originally founded under UN leadership – when there was a UN. We’ve managed to avoid corporate ownership from then to now, which is both a blessing and a curse. We’re not the only freehold left to welcome the stranger, but as far as we know, we’re the largest left standing.
While we stand. It’s getting harder and harder down here, what with all the … intramural squabbles between the major players. I’m sure you’ve seen the pattern; you must see halfway to God from where you’re sitting. The coastal enclaves are constantly moving inward as the waters rise, annexing land wherever they can grab, making backroom coalitions. Zhengzhou / Shanghai, Philadelpha / DC, Rio / São Paolo, it’s all the same dance. They conglomerate, strip the land down to the bedrock, then look for the next green pasture. It’s getting to where they’re all gonna meet in the middle, and anyone left who’s … unincorporated will get squeezed out.
There are still pockets here and there, where we don’t have enough of what they need, resources or money to spend. But few places will take our coin, and it’s not easy to raise your own crops – all the seed has that fertilizer lock built in and won’t grow without it. And the water … we all know what’s upstream.
Messaging is pretty well locked down – we can’t reach the other independents, we can’t reach the supporters we might have inside the system. What we can still do is reach the moon. There’s an old launch site – you don’t need to know where, but we’ve got access and a bit of old tech and – well, if it all works out, you’re hearing this message. This SOS. The Moonbases took their crew from every part of the world, every corporate enclave. All we ask is that you reach out, back to where you’re from, and … send them word. We’re still here, though we don’t know for how long. Send help. We need critical actions, rebellious thoughts, grassroots efforts. As long as someone lives outside the walls, they’ll need the support.
I don’t know what life looks like on the moon, but here … it’s not good, children. We’re counting down.
The sender does not seem aware that the bulk of the Moonbase program is already decommissioned and the personnel returned to Earth. The events they report haven’t shown up on the recognized newsfeeds, and as all corporate enclaves dedicate a 10% tithe to humanitarian efforts, it seems unlikely that they would … not find the help they need.
There has been discussion among the crew as to the most proper response. We assume this broadcast must be some sort of test, a crude fiction, or a joke gone awry. As such … we leave it in your hands.
Personal message to follow. Alexandre, I … hope this finds you well in body, heart, and mind. It’s hard to imagine what life is like down there right now, what it’ll be by the time I come back to you. I’ve been away for far too long. But however I find you, wherever you are … that is always my world. I love you. Best to Cas and Pol.
Moonbase Theta, out.