“The Red Moons Of NeOrion” (1968)
a Norman L. Brisbane short story
Through the salivus, Krepp found The Observatorium’s core.
He’d been in laboratories before, but nothing like this. For one thing, this wasn’t a laboratory. It was in fact The Sky Council’s meeting room complete with reverse-dome-shaped table, chair balls and the high-powered telescope used to take note of new lunar developments. All that was missing was The Council itself.
Oddly nervous, Krepp slowly approached the telescope with the intention of looking through it and finally seeing the moons. That intention soon gave way to the action itself and just like that, Krepp was face to face with that which had ruled over him from the day of his birth. The moons were inside him and he loved them. He knew that now. He was home, he was happy, he was in love. This is what his entire life had been building up to and it had all been worth it. They were so beautiful: so peaceful, so round, so red. Just as he’d pictured them, more round even. He could hear wet sounds all around him but nothing could ever prove more worthy than this moment and he wasn’t going to let anything, not even a sound, get in the way of his eternal happiness.
“That smell again…”, he thought.
Perhaps he should allow his surroundings a second of his time, after all, he could always look back at his moons whenever he pleased now he was here. Reluctantly, Krepp looked away from the eye-piece and turned back to the table which, to his surprise, was not quite as bare as he recalled. Sitting all around was The Sky Council. At least, what looked like The Sky Council. It was strange, Krepp was surrounded by councilmen and yet the room still felt empty somehow.
The members of The Sky Council looked like wet statues: they were near-static, their skins had a silver shine to them and they were dripping with what could only be described as grey things.
“You’re not The Sky Council.”, Krepp said bluntly.
Suddenly, at the center of the table, a silver shape began to materialize. Like a large, bubbling grey tear at first, it soon started taking on a more familiar form.
“No Krepp, I am not The Chief Skyman. But then, you already know that.”, replied the entity.
“Who are you?”
“I am The Chief Skyman. I am The Sky Council. I am a vessel through which your world fuses with mine.”
“I don’t understand your talkings.”
“I believe you know me under another name: Expanseon?”
Krepp made no attempt to hide his confusion. As the entity noticed the drool trickling down Krepp’s chin, it spoke again.
“I have come to merge. But only with true believers. Then, and only then, will the process be complete and my work will be done. Only then will the moons take me back into their rocky bosom.”
“Why am I here?”
“You are the last. You are a true believer and your soul will serve us, and the moons, well.”
Without a word, Krepp climbed over the table and was now facing the entity.
“Take it back. You can’t speak for the moons. That’s not allowed.”
The entity smiled proudly, even as Krepp attempted to break its neck. It not being fully solid or fully liquid, it could not be brutalized in this way. Not knowing what to do, scared, Krepp started to run back to the hole but it was too late: it had already closed in on itself. Lost and confused, Krepp was now attempting to snap his own neck but in vain. The entity was now merging with the other entities around the table to form one large silver ball which started floating quietly towards a panicking Krepp.
“Leave me… leave me alone. This is wrong, this is all wrong!”
An otherworldly voice, like a dozen voices all speaking at once through a thin metallic shell, now emanated from the faceless shape, booming around the room.
“Be not afraid, believer, we mean you no harm. This is, and has always been, your purpose. Accept your fate and your people’s fate, Krepp, this is why the moons sent us.”
“The moons… sent you?”, Krepp asked sheepishly, looking up at the ball.
“That’s right. And now, the moons are ready for you. For us.”
His initial fears withering away with every passing second, Krepp finally understood. The moons were never getting closer: we were getting closer to them all along. Expanseon was a gateway, a force pulling us in.
“I am ready.”, Krepp said, “Take me to the moons.”
Little by little, the ball entered Krepp.
Short flashes of Ham and Shp naked peppered his mind as his body, his soul and everything else gradually merged into the Expanseon. It was an almost instantaneous ceremony.
In the blink of an eye: Krepp was no more.
An immense earthquake followed, shaking the entire planet and killing most of its population, the Expanseon had finally wrapped itself around the entirety of NeOrion’s core. Acting as some sort of gravitational plug, The Observatorium and its pole started pulling NeOrion closer to the moons. The Expanseon ball which contained what once was Krepp among others had launched itself accross the skies forming a direct link between the planet and its lunar relatives. The growing heat and the change in mass crushing the last of the NeOrionians, it was not long before fire took over the entire planet.
NeOrion was no more.
Meanwhile, on a nearby planet, a young-ling awoke from her slumber and approached a nearby window. This being an underwater planet, the window was made of water. Her male parent had just swam into the room after feeling an unexpected wave.
“Father?”, the young-ling asked, “What’s that up there?”
“Those are the moons, my child, the red moons. They protect us.”
“Why are there more now?”
“It is not for us to understand, young one. The red moons have their way.”
This concludes Norman L. Brisbane’s “The Red Moons Of NeOrion”.
More mindthinkings coming soon…
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