Props to Jan Priddy of blog & shawl fame. Response to a comment from last week grew into this this narrative device. While it is still exposition, at least it’s fictional exposition. Imperfect Patience, [Wearable Art], [Lasso The Moon]
Caveat: Moon Rats fiction is an deductive thought experiment, extrapolating from the idea that Terran behavior patterns would be maladaptive for that environment. I explore details that seem reasonable, or amusing. At some point, I will need to do a whole passel of reading and research to bolster the science. Recommendations welcome. [Archive]
I’ve been up here for two weeks now. We are doing fascinating science. I am learning to move in one-sixth gravity. I AM LIVING ON THE FREAKING MOON!
Does anyone ask me about any of that? No. Everyone from Earth has the same questions. Have I met any Moon Rats? Do they really wear all black, all the time? How weird are they?
To which my response is, Yes, Yes, and You have no idea.
Initially, of course, you don’t register much of anything. Everything is overwhelming. Launch. Transit. Landing. Checking-in. Misjudging the heft of everything because your eyes are calibrated to operate where mass equals weight. I mean, they tell you this. You train for this. You think you are ready. Then you drop your dinner and watch it float gently to the ground.
The first place most of us meet a Moon Rat is on the potty. You don’t realize how much of a role gravity plays in pooping until you poop in 1/6G. An attendant helps you through the process, weighs the result, and enters the data into your record. I know why they do it, but ick, what a job.
Once you are done with the material, the attendant carefully stores it for compost. I’m always reminded of Douglas Adams and the planet Bethselamin, “Every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt.”
They really do wear black all the time. Thick sweaters. Long pants. Sunglasses. Hats. Some people have started to dress that way as a fashion statement. You can always tell the Moon Rats from the posers.
I’m told Moon Rat tunnels are really hot. And dim. And quiet. It all has to do with life support, which they are obsessed with. I mean, I’m as fond of breathing as the next person. Up here, we are all invested in water quality and ventilation and the 101 things that can suddenly go wrong when you live next to vacuum. But they take it to the next level.
They speak quietly, or not at all, so they can hear nearby machines and listen for alarms. They get impatient with people who speaking loudly or excessively.
Their music is so soft and atonal that it makes Brain Eno sound like a heavy metal rocker. See, I do listen when you yammer on about musical ancient history. Again, they do this to keep the noise down.
If they ask you what you’ve had to eat lately, you better have a long, detailed answer. They will say it’s to monitor your digestive process. I think it’s more that they want to know what’s going into their compost.
The smallest thing can set them off. I heard about a lab mission that almost ended because someone found a tiny screw on the floor.
I haven’t even gotten to their attitude toward things made out of wood. Easy up, Dude. It’s only wainscoting.
Lunar Base. Two populations with two vastly different sets of values.
Yours from above,
~~~ curtain ~~~