Water on the Moon

From today’s news.


So at the end of Moon there’s a labyrinth. At the end of that labyrinth’s a chamber. That chamber wasn’t built by man. It’s been there since this rock cooled. It contains the most valuable thing in this world.

“Water,” says Sarmax.

He steps into the light. His armor looks pretty beat-up. It’s been burned almost black. He walks toward the ramp’s edge.

“Come again?” says the Operative.

“Water,” repeats Sarmax.  “Or should I say:  ice.”

“My latest fortune,” replies Sarmax.

He stops just short of the edge—gestures at the sloped walls. He looks back at the Operative. He smiles. He’s so close the Operative can see teeth through visor.

“You’re a resourceful man,” he says quietly.

“It’s just too bad that such resourcefulness has to compensate for such lack of planning,” continues Sarmax. “Such a goddamn shame it’s forced to rely so heavily on pure luck. You almost brought the roof down on your stupid head, Carson. It’s a wonder you didn’t get buried in those tunnels.”

“Would that have been such a terrible outcome?” says the Operative.

“Now that,” says Sarmax, “depends on your point of view.” He gestures at the ramps and ladders stacked about him. “You see before you the industry of a new era, Carson. We live in the dawn times, old friend. Humanity is poised to boil out beyond the Earth-Moon system. The red planet will be colonized en masse within the next two decades. The prospectors are even now testing the tug of the gas giants. The Oort is surrendering her secrets to the probes. It’s all there for the taking. And it all makes me say I don’t give a fuck if you take me down. I don’t give a damn about the Rain or anybody else. Let them squabble. Let them plot. What does it matter when history itself is coming into focus?”

Congratulations, NASA.  May we make it back to that rock yet.

5 Responses to “Water on the Moon”

  1. Brian Says:

    Does this mean inflight drink service (should there be any at all by the time we have commercial carriers flying to the moon) won’t mean drinking our recycled piss?

  2. Erik Says:

    Just saw this on CNN today and immediately thought of your books. In a nutshell, China is on an aggressive pace to bolster their space presence including offensive and defensive capabilities. It’s tragic to see how mired our space efforts have become in recent times.


  3. David Williams Says:

    Erik — that’s a good article, thanks . . .I’ll probably post on it later this week.

    Though I wonder whether China’s progress may be the kick in the ass we need. We only went to the Moon because of Sputnik, and a serious plan by China to put a taikonaut on the Moon might make us get serious again too. . . .

  4. Erik Says:

    I don’t know what it will take to get our space agenda back on the fast track. It is certainly disheartening to see a successful launch of the Ares 1-X just a few weeks ago followed almost immediately by rumors of the potential scrapping of the entire Ares project. While I understand many Americans were probably underwhelmed by the decision to replace the Shuttle fleet with a capsule mounted on a rocket.. it does make sense when you spend some time reading the reasonings. The Constellation Project is very well thought out in my mind. Multiple forms of the Ares rocket for either human transport with the Orion capsule to heavy lift capacity on par with the old Saturn V rockets. Talk of being able to send astronauts to the Lagrangian points, sending up the components to build a ship to visit the asteroid belt, mars, etc. All while being much safer than the Space Shuttle. And yet that still isn’t enough to get the attention of the average American.

  5. David Williams Says:

    I remember reading somewhere (can’t find the source) that there is no part of the budget that Americans prioritize less/are more willing to cut then the space program.