Beyond the Darkside 32-13 to 17


Evan looked around the garage. “Is there a bathroom or something?”

“In the house, but you’ll have to strip out here,” Hanse said. “The little woman wouldn’t like it if we brought them inside.”

“But…I…” Evan climbed out of the shuttle and looked about. “What about privacy?”

“Stuff your privacy little man. I’ve been watching you in your little room since you arrived,” Hanse said as he exited the shuttle. He poked Evan in the chest with a finger and said, “Everything.” Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside 32-13 to 17”

Beyond the DarkSide: 32-6 to 8


“Well I’ll be damned,” Hanse said.

“What? What is it?” Evan asked while frantically looking about.

“It looks like we’re saved.” Hanse picked up his pace, bounding forward with long strides that ate up the distance.

Evan chased after him, but he watched the distance between them grow. He worried that the revolutionary intended to ditch Evan and save himself. Then he saw the shuttle.

The dull mustard yellow shuttle sat between two craters and blended in with the surroundings. A white light blinked twice and went dark. It did so a few seconds later, but stopped once Evan turned in its direction. Hanse got to the shuttle and waved Evan forward. “Come on,” he shouted.

Evan’s breath came in panting gasps by the time he got to the shuttle door. He climbed inside the red lit interior and Hanse closed the hatch. A cheerful, masculine voice announced, “Please keep all safety gear in place.” Air rushed into the bay through a series of vents in the ceiling. After a minute the hissing stopped and the light changed from red to white.

Hanse unlatched his helmet and pulled it off. He sucked in a noisy breath and declared, “Still recycled, but the freshest air I’ve had in thirty minutes.” Evan followed his lead, but kept the helmet in his lap rather than tossing it to the ground.

The metal clank and hiss of an airlock opening turned both of their heads toward the front of the shuttle. A tall, thin woman in grey flights it stepped through the door and glared at the two of them. She opened her mouth to speak, but Hanse cut her off. “Debbie, baby, I’m so glad to see you.” His exuberant greeting and accompanying smile did not elicit the response he hoped for. Debra’s glare grew more pronounced and the silence more palpable.

Beyond the DarkSide: 32-4 to 5


They trudged on in silence, heading in the direction of the relay. After ten minutes, Evan stopped looking over his shoulder for the DarkSide security shuttle. After twenty, he wished it found them instead. The never ending sea of grey dust and rocks made estimating time and distance almost impossible. Despite what the oxygen gauge on Evan’s suit suggested, he was certain they would run out of air at any moment.

“We should turn back,” Evan said. “I’m sure security has left by now. We can break back in and call for a ride.”

“Shut up, idiot. There is no going back there, not if we want to live anyway,” Hanse said as he lumbered forward.

Evan bit back a response. He did not think Hanse was the type to leave him out in the wasteland to die, but he did not want to take that chance just yet. He followed in silence, keeping his eyes trained on the heavy backpack carried by the other man. He grumbled in his head that it could have held more oxygen, and he told Hanse as much while the big man emptied the original contents, but Hanse had his new gun and the other items they originally came for, and he was not about to leave such treasures behind.

Beyond the Darkside: 32-1 to 3


CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

Moon-craters

Evan peeked from behind the bus-sized boulder, wishing his emergency space suit provided better visibility, he did not see anyone walking around. Hanse assured him that it would take a little while for the security team to put on their own suits, but Evan was not so sure. The guards seemed very interested in catching them and Eva did not relish the idea of getting dragged before Aldric.

He bounded across the distance to the next large boulder and waited for Hanse to catch up. The big man stopped short of bumping into Evan and looked back. “Still no sign of them,” he said.

“Let’s keep going,” Evan said as he peered around the corner and bolted for the next big rock. He did not feel all that fast in the low gravity lunar environment, but he knew that distance was key. “Hey, Hanse?”

“Yeah?”

“How did the security guards get here? There’s too many of them to be from the guard shack alone,” Evan said as he took a moment to catch his breath and look for the next stop along the way.

“I’m not sure,” Hanse said. “Probably a shuttle.”

“A shuttle?” Evan made for a crater that looked like it would offer some cover. “Shit.”

“What’s wrong…” Hanse was silent for a moment. “Shit. They can look for us in the shuttle.” He bounded ahead of Evan, taking the lead and no longer worrying about cover. “We have to move, smart guy, or they’re going to find us in a big hurry.”

“Wait,” Evan said as he tried to catch up. “They’ll see us.”

“We’ll have to risk it,” said Hanse. “There’s an old communications relay that way.” He pointed away from the warehouse toward a vast expanse of grey nothing. “If we don’t get caught, we might be able to get some help before we run out of air.”

“That is not very encouraging,” Evan said as he followed along. He dared a look behind them at the warehouse. “Won’t they see us out in the open once they get the shuttle up?”

“They won’t be looking for us over here,” Hanse said.

“Why’s that?”

“You’d have to be crazy to walk through this wasteland in and emergency suit,” Hanse said with a laugh.

Beyond the DarkSide: 31-14 to 15


DarkSide“I’ll need the location,” Debra said, “and a budget.”

“Fine,” Margaret huffed. She tapped the screen of her terminal, sending Debra the location of the warehouse and access to an account for expenses. “Done. Now get me what I want.”

Debra turned and walked from the room without saying a word. Margaret watched the woman leave and briefly considered having her shot before she left, but the woman’s record suggested she was someone that got the job done, and Margaret was woefully lacking for people who she could say that about. The door closed and thoughts of killing the security chief faded away.

Margaret pinched the bridge of her nose and stared at the screen once more. Nothing moved, but that was to be expected from a camera located on the lunar surface. Why did this feel important? Maybe her fixation with Aldric was getting the better of her, but she did not think so. She could feel it. The balance shifted and she could not figure out whether or not it was in her favor.

The buzzer chimed again and Cathy’s cute little face with her perfect sweetheart lips popped up on the screen. “What?” she asked, clipping the word off short.

“Kraven is here to see you,” Cathy said.

“Good. Send him and see that we are not disturbed.” Margaret poked the image with a finger, once more banishing Cathy from her sight.

Beyond the Darkside: 31-11


Pollution
The global warming icon for the ubx. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She turned away from the monitor and looked out the window onto the lunar landscape. The earth hovered on the horizon. The blue of its oceans did not match the photos from humanity’s first trips beyond earth’s atmosphere. Pollution and failed attempts to correct global warming left the planet with a dingy grey-brown tint that persisted after decades. The earth was a dying planet, but it was still better than anything else humanity had stepped foot upon.

A chime rung on Margaret’s screen. She turned and tapped the blinking icon. “Yes?”

“Debra Carter from Lunar Paveway is here,” Cathy said.

“Good. Send her in,” Margaret said. She remained seated at the desk with her hands upon the surface.

Beyond the Darkside: 30-10 to 14


Beyond the Darkside

“You did what?” Evan’s eye grew wide to the point of looking as though they spring from their sockets.

“Tripped an alarm.” Hanse looked around them. “It’s silent now, but I think it will get noisy soon.”

“Shit.”

“Yeah. You’d better get working that mojo or we’re going to be in a lot of trouble.” Hanse pulled a small radio from one of the pouches attached to his belt and spoke into it. “Time to go kids. The alarm is ringing and the countdown has started. Remember the rules and lock it up if you need to.” Continue reading “Beyond the Darkside: 30-10 to 14”