The Moon, a stillborn child of Mother Earth and Theia, the father it never knew. Scarred and disfigured by the trauma of fiery birth, entangled by an umbilical cord of gravitational pull.
A midwife of Earthly life in primordial tidal pools, an inspiration of human mystic awakening and a first stepping stone in space expansion.
A murderous, inhospitable world filled with sudden and silent killers. A treasure trove with a deadly trap set.
The human interaction came to that dusty, lethal place a few moments ago, a lifetime in our terms. Metal objects hurtled from the Earth stroke unmolested maria. The humans, an evolved biological matter from Earth, arrived in their little crafts, braving out, scratching the surface. They were coming in waves. Every next one is larger and better equipped. Each time with a seemingly different purpose. Searching for a reason to come back.
The low-lying polar sun casts long shadows of the boulders and rocks on the gray-brownish dusty lunar valley floor. A giant dark wall going up straight ahead. The ground slopes up towards a gigantic obstacle and crests up high in contrast with darker sky with brilliant, even in sunlight, stars. A shining dot sparkles ahead. It is out of place, in that primal, gradual moonscape.
A strange, white contraption resembling a mid-sized pack animal stands on a boulder, leaning forward towards the crater’s rim. For a moment, its visual sensors struggled to adapt to the sudden brightness, but the algorithm takes over and sends a clear image to their distant masters. New instructions came, and the probe moves forward again.
It has been trotting towards the bright yellowish light, avoiding bigger boulders and obstacles for another two hours. It is still 7 kilometers or 50 minutes away from the wall. The moonscape has changed. Fewer and far between, rocks become larger and brighter in color. After hesitating for a moment, the probe climbed a huge flat-top boulder and trained its sensors on several features ahead. It made sure it has a good view and alerted those who send it. It is ready if they are.
They were ready. The probe was “looking” at a shining inclusion in the crater wall. A thin yellow crack thickened, reached 5 meters in the apex, and thinned to a line again. The whole feature had a flat bottom and reminded a giant lens cut in the middle with rough edges. In the past, yellow and dark materials were molten and in fierce competition for space. The shining matter looked porous with the darker inclusions.
The sensor focus moved to the left. Part of the crater wall collapsed and exposed a semicircular opening.
"Near-infrared, LiDAR, visual fusion," said the voice in Russian.
They wanted the probe to turn on a night vision and 3-dimensional scanning capabilities and mix the image.
The dark void of the cave comes to light on the 3D screen in vivid computer-adjusted colors. Inside the cavity, a part of a big cylinder, taking up half of the space, becomes visible. The cylinder at the base is covered by a spider net pattern with a disc at the center. Inside the "net" is a mosaic of jig puzzled yellow plates locked together. The arrangement is repetitive and perfect. The disk at the center has a pattern, which humans called writing. It reads "NAVY"…
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