There was a long period of deadly silence in the wake of the being’s departure. But soon after, chaos ensued. Looking back, I imagine it was made all the worse because I was there.
“We’re all gonna die!”
“This is the end!”
“Why?! The agony!!!”
I flew above the crowd and floated high enough for me to see everyone and for them to see me.
“Listen, everyone!” I shouted. “Don’t panic! Listen to me!” It took a few more shouts to get them to quiet down, but they eventually did. “We are going to get through this.”
“What are we gonna do?” a man asked from the crowd. “Is it true? Is the moon dying?”
I looked down at him and took a deep breath. I hadn’t anticipated the news coming out this way, but they deserved to know the truth. “Yes.”
Murmurs spread through the crowd.
“The Gravity Sphere is already dead,” I explained.
“That can’t be!” another man cried out. “It’s indestructible!”
“It’s true,” another voice shouted. It was the engineer from yesterday. “It’s been dying slowly for years now. There was nothing we could do to stop it.”
“How long did you know about this?” someone shouted at me. “You kept this from us!”
“No,” I answered. “I just found this out yesterday. But, please, believe me. We will work to find the most plausible solution to this.”
“What solution is there? Just fix the Sphere!”
“Yeah” others agreed. “Fix the Sphere! Fix the Sphere! Fix the Sphere!”
I shook my head. This was not going well. I raised my hands for their attention and it took a few more shouts for them to finally die down again. “Fixing the Sphere is not a viable option.” Then I waved at the engineer to step in.
“The problem isn’t in the machine itself,” he explained. “It’s in the moon. The strain the Sphere has been putting on the moon is what’s caused the Sphere to die. We’ve overpopulated the moon. We’ve thrown it’s gravity out of whack. And it seems that now it’s fighting back.”
The people didn’t seem to understand this. And quite frankly, neither did I. But I believed it. Living here had been something good. But we had long overstayed our welcome. Which meant that there was only one way to avoid the coming destruction.
“We need to go back to Earth,” I announced.
Murmurs turned to shouts and some people even tossed bottles in the air at me.
“Why would we go back to Earth? Nobody likes Earth!”
“We have powers because of the moon. If we go back to Earth, we’ll just go back to being regular humans.”
“You don’t know that,” I replied. “The Man in the Blue Light has been doing things. Earth isn’t the same planet it was a hundred years ago.”
“Nobody cares!” one man shouted as he pushed his way through the crowd.
This was Mr. Al-um. Al-um Nye. He was the most vociferous of all Basileans and I was surprised he hadn’t arrived here earlier. But now that he was here, the accusations began.
“This is your fault!” Al-um shouted. “If you had taken care of the Gravity Sphere instead of wasting time on your stupid farm, we wouldn’t be in this mess!”
I took a deep breath, thinking over my words wisely. But there was nothing I could say right now that would be computed rationally.
“Wait!” a voice spoke up. And my heart leapt when I saw Leah walking boldly up to Mr. Nye. “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”
Mr. Nye looked her up and down.
“Were you the president of the U.S. on Earth?”
“Then who the FREAK do you think you are blaming my Dad for this?! You literally have no idea what you’re talking about. This isn’t my Dad’s fault. You heard the engineer. The moon is dying. Plain and simple.”
“Plain and simple, my foot, princess!” Mr. Nye shouted back. “Your Daddy should’ve managed our resources better.”
“Like you said, you never ran a planet, a state or a city,” Leah spat back. “So tell me again why you’re qualified to tell my Dad how to run this moon?”
There was a short beat of silence.
“But we don’t know if we can survive on Earth,” someone said.
“And we can’t live with them,” added another. “Their blood is red. Our blood is blue. We won’t even be able to breed. We’ll go extinct.”
“That’s not even remotely accurate,” I said as calmly as I could.
“But there’s air on Earth,” said someone else. “I’m allergic to air.”
I didn’t even know how to respond to that.
“We’re not going back!” someone finally shouted. “Nobody likes Earth.”
“Yeah!” shouts went up in agreement.
Mr. Nye stepped around Leah and looked up at me. “The Earth looks up to us. We look down on them. It’s how nature set it up.”
I lowered myself back down to the street and stood face to face with him.
“The Earth may be beneath us,” I replied. “But our world revolves around it.”
The people around me scoffed.
”Then you go back to Earth!” someone yelled. “We’re staying here!”
That sparked something in them.
“We’re fighting back! The is our home! If Nefarious wants to take it, then he’ll have to take it over our dead bodies!”
The crowd roared and threw their fists in the air.
This was not going well. This was not going well at all.