Lunar Slum Patrol

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The Earth’s moon had been colonized long before 3001. That happened scores of decades, perhaps even scores of centuries ago.

Today, no one remembers the exact date, nor does anyone really care. Moon inhabitants have not set foot on earth. They do not wish to. What they know of mother earth is a frosty view from their moon-based homes. As far as moon’s residents are concerned, mother earth’s ancient history is possessed of no real or sentimental value.

In fact, citizens of the moon share a sense of resentment as those from mother earth continue to interfere with — and often destroy — moon citizen lives.

Yes. It is true that moon citizens came from earth. There is a shared and ancient heritage between the dwellers of the moon and the earth. But, toward the earthlings, moon citizens feel no real love. Only for the earthlings who first colonized the moon, do the people of the moon feel reverence and connection.

Today, with relentless regularity, earthling sentries are deployed to the moon. Once there, the sentries jealously guard access to the moon’s natural resources. You can see those for yourself: the distant craters and mountains of the moon glisten with what we are told is a growing, unlimited and untapped treasure. It is in the earliest hours of sunrise that the mountains glitter like gold. It is then that rays of the sun light up the mountains and craters of the moon and thus the treasure can be seen from several galaxies away.

For as long as there have been men, those on earth have been obsessed with the potential wealth of the moon. In olden days it was said that the crust of the moon held vast natural resources and minerals. Knowing no other way to share the moon’s potential treasure, earthlings have engaged in vicious wars for control of those resources. They fought one another; and now they fight the descendants of earth’s first colonists of the moon.

Of the various earthlings eager to control the moon’s natural resources, Earth Empire of the West is the subject of this story. When first EEW laid siege to the moon, the leaders of the western empire believed that the war would be a short one. The moon colonists were a less sophisticated military might.

Anyhow, why would the moon colonists resist EEW armies? Surely, the colonists would be grateful for western empire’s industrial and technological superiority. After all, the Moon’s natural resources have yet to be exploited. Exploration, research and development is necessary; and then, machinery will have to be imported, and factories will have to be built, and roads and whole cities constructed; a vast infrastructure will need to be built in order to make the moon a profitable project for the Earth Empire West, Inc. In the days before the war, the Earth Emperor and his counsel reasoned, no one would fight for something that is not yet built to its full potential. Then as now, Earth Empire West believed that the true citizens of the moon must gladly welcome — and will always welcome — the presence of EEW troops and sentries upon their land to protect the moon’s vast, untapped natural wealth.

Much to the surprise of Earth Empire West, moon citizens are angered by the presence on their lands of those whom they call foreigners. Born and raised on the moon, as were their fathers and their father’s father before that, the people of the moon consider the moon to be theirs and theirs only. The past does not matter to these people, only the present and future; and they believe that their future begins right now.

On the moon itself, there are tensions about the best way to deal with the intruders from earth. The elders tolerate the earthlings. Handsomely rewarded with lucrative contracts and advantages, the moon’s elders do much to smooth the way for Earth Empire West. Tension comes from those moon dwellers who are displeased with such conciliatory methods. Failing to be heard in the councils of the moon elders, those in favor of resistance have become a cohesive group: they are the disaffected of the moon. They know that someday they will have the power, even though the elders try to hold them down. The disaffected of the moon have formed resistance units.

It is due to the disaffected that the escalating troubles between Earth Empire West and the People of the Moon began and continue.

When Earth Empire West troops enter a moon town to seize access to the untapped treasure, the EEW sentries stop at nothing to guard the distant, glistening mountain ranges of the moon. Any who might be so unfortunate as to accidentally disturb the uneasy quiet of an earth sentry guarding the mountain ranges will surely be shot dead on sight.

These are desperate times for all of the people on the moon; the elders, the disaffected, and the sentries sent from the Earth Empire West and the innocent caught in between are embroiled in a war.

Yet it is a war the EEW sentries and the moon resistance hate to fight and never wanted in the first place.

Like pieces on a huge chess board, earth sentries are placed on the moon to fight and to kill. The masters of the game are the rulers of the distant and powerful EEW government. Even though the earth sentries who must fight and die have no reason for personally wishing moon citizens dead, they must "kill or be killed."

From the future novel Lunar Slum Patrol

The words of God which came to man through Moses, "Thou shalt not kill" had long ago been bastardized, nullified, and forgotten when Man began to consider himself God. Man finally put his stamp of approval on his ascension to God’s throne with the first of two atomic bombings in an earth country called Japan. But that was long ago, and you are too young to know the ancient history of the Earth.

The war on the moon has gone on for years. There is no end in sight. The arrogant people of Earth Empire West can not countenance that the deaths of their sentries and the sacrifices of the people’s riches should all have been in vain. The more they risk, the more they will continue to risk. EEW has to protect what they have seized: Those gleaming spires — those shining mountains — that sparkle on the surface of the Moon.

Like diamonds bursting with light, the yet-to-be-mined mountains and craters of the moon send forth beams that can be seen — and coveted — from far, far away. Visible from galaxies much distant, the moon’s gaudy fields fire off a seductive shine. And, they are what the fighting is all about.

For the Moon today, before EEW Inc. can exploit it, looks like a million diamonds in the rough. All that is needed is for EEW to establish the infrastructure to extract the promise. Yet: EEW executives and the empire that serves them tell us that those distant, gleaming mountains will yield wealth beyond our wildest dreams. Those who want to gain control over these mountains claim that it is just a matter of time before man will make those mountains produce a profit from the shining masses of "treasure."

The war on the moon is being fought over the biggest real estate grab in the history of man. It is a fight between those who want to keep their land and those who would come to exploit it; it is a war that has killed, maimed, and orphaned untold lives; it is a war fought over these radiant mountains.

But listen closely. On the moon, like anywhere in space, there is no photosynthesis, no bacteria, no atmosphere; there is no such thing as "bio-degradable." Those gleaming mountains of treasure that have been growing since the beginning of the colonization; those mountains of untold, future wealth that glitter from afar like gold, are mountains of rubbish, human waste, refuse; they are mountains of trash.

  • Edited by Elizabeth Gyllensvard
  • Special thanks to Robert Klassen, Wynn Shirley

Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has the distinction of being fired from every FM radio station in Tokyo — one of them three times. His first book, Schizophrenic in Japan, is now on sale.

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