Location: A mining colony on the moon
Time: The not too distant future
The alarm ripped him out of his pleasant dreams. The blasted thing was far too loud and shrill, but it did its job to wake him up in time to get ready for his shift. Jordan climbed out of bed, yawned, and looked around to find his work clothes. Try as he might, he couldn’t come up with a matching pair of socks. Mankind had managed to build a mining facility on the moon, but it had never solved the mystery of socks vanishing in the laundry. Oh well, nobody would notice whether his socks matched inside his work boots anyway.
Jordan quickly finished dressing, grabbed his µPod, and made his way to the mess hall to get some breakfast. He picked his usual table in the corner, eating alone while watching the latest news from Earth.
‘More hostilities on the German-Chinese border’
‘An attempted filibuster by the 3 Republicans in the US senate had been broken by the super majority of the Green party’
‘Antarctica beach vacations were more popular than ever’
Same old, same old.
On his way to his workplace, Jordan switched his µPod to the new Dustin Beeper album. Supposedly that guy was the new big thing on Earth right now, so he had downloaded it the night before to give it a try. Working solo in the helium-3 extractor could get lonely, and some music always made time pass a little faster. Jordan put on his air-tight suit and left the station through the air lock. All the actual mining equipment was kept outside; there was no need to waste precious energy on big airlocks in order to bring those machines inside. Bad weather was not a problem up here.
Jordan drove a couple of miles to the spot where he was currently mining the moon dust for helium-3. It was fairly monotonous work, riding his extractor, driving up and down in parallel strips. Sometimes he did concentric circles, just to switch things up a bit. It didn’t really matter as long as he covered the whole area he had been assigned that day.
Suddenly there was a clunk and the extractor stopped. Jordan almost fell out of his seat because he had been focused on the music from his µPod and hadn’t really been paying attention to what he was doing. Occasionally there were rocks buried beneath the surface that were too big to be processed and caused the extractor to shut down. Removing those rocks wasn’t that hard because of the low gravity, but moving around in the tight and restricting pressure suit still took quite some effort.
Jordan grabbed his shovel and started to dig for the rock. It didn’t take long before he hit something solid in the dust. Only it wasn’t a rock, it was a piece of metal. Easing down on his knees, Jordan kept digging with his hands. It wasn’t just a piece of scrap metal either, it was a big metal wheel, about 2 feet in diameter. And it was attached to something that looked almost like a door. Jordan was digging faster now, throwing the dirt this way and that like a dog looking for a bone in the backyard.
Finally Jordan stopped, got back to his feet and took a few steps back to look at what he had found. It was a hatch. Right there in the dirt, on the surface of the moon, there was a metal hatch. It certainly wasn’t part of their mining station, and there were no other structures up here. At least none made by humans. The mining company had never bothered to do a thorough survey with ground penetrating radar though, so there was no telling what was buried there.
Jordan took a closer look and thought that there was some writing on the hatch, though it wasn’t any language he recognized. He’d never even seen letters like that before. A loud warning beep made Jordan jump. At first he thought that it had come from the hatch, but then he realized that it had been his own suit. His oxygen supply was getting low. Apparently he had spent much more time digging out the hatch than he had realized. He had to get back inside the station, but he surely would be back to investigate further. The only question was whether he should tell anybody about his discovery or keep it to himself for now.
Jordan quickly drove back to the station, but his thoughts stayed with the mysterious hatch out there on the barren surface of the moon.
To be continued?