She looked out at the stars and wondered, not for the first time, at the immense size of the universe. The twinkling lights glittered across the endless sky. Luna wished, more than anything, she could travel across that vast expanse. But instead, she was stuck, spinning endlessly through her little section of Space. I wonder what’s really out there, she thought, is there a place out there where I belong? She wished more than anything she could go and see what those distant galaxies held.
She looked at her sister, Terra’s luscious landscape slowly rotating above her. Rich green forests, deep blue oceans and soaring mountain ranges covered her surface. Terra was so beautiful. Luna hated her own, dull grey, exterior. Am I doomed to forever live in my sister’s shadow?
And Terra had children. The trees and the flowers and the grass had been drawn to Terra’s flowing waters. And then the insects had come, spreading the blossoms and living off their nectar. And then the reptiles and the birds and the fish. Luna had thought, almost gleefully, that Terra’s creatures had been destroyed when the Great Rock has come, hurtling out of space, causing shockwaves and explosions to spread across Terra’s skin. But life had survived, unable to resist Terra’s plentiful resources. And now there were People, actual tiny, minuscule, People who had thoughts and opinions and dreams. She wondered if they looked at the stars as Luna did and longed to be out there. Luna wished more than anything to have children of her own.
Terra was so ungrateful, she thought, she doesn’t appreciate her children at all. True, at first she had been thrilled when The People developed. She had been glad to provide for them from her own body and watch them grow. She hadn’t shut up about it for centuries. But recently all Terra did was complain about her children.
“They are so disobedient,” she had complained many times. “I give and I give for them and they just take advantage.” A few times Terra got so angry at The People she lost her temper. She sent shockwaves across her surface, sent ferocious winds driving at The People’s homes and destroyed their communities with floods of water.
Luna wholeheartedly disapproved of Terra’s anger. When Terra had her temper tantrums she wished she could reach out and comfort The People; at the times when it was bad for them, she tried her hardest to glow as brightly as possible, hoping she could be a shining beacon of hope for them that they would get through this. She couldn’t believe that Terra was so privileged to have children who wanted to be with her and she could still want to harm them. Of course they made mistakes. They were still growing; they didn’t have it all figured out yet. Luna thought that if The People would just come to her she would nurture and protect them until the end of her being.
And then, one day, they came.
Luna had thought she was imagining things when she had seen the fist little shuttle hurtling towards her through the void of Space. But it had got closer and closer and she had realised they were coming. They were coming to meet her. She tingled with excitement as the shuttle soared towards her.
Until it turned around.
She was devastated. She couldn’t believe they had been so close and then they had just turned around and gone back. Had she done something wrong? Why did they not want to be with her? She had sunk into a deep depression for years as she watched the shuttles soar through the sky but never coming all the way to her. Until they did.
She had given up hope and stopped paying attention to the shuttles when one finally came to land on her surface. Two tiny little People had hopped out their spacecraft and jumped around on her surface. She would have giggled if she could, it tickled!
She embraced them gleefully. I love you, she thought, please never leave me. But even as she thought it, she knew it couldn’t be. She didn’t have Terra’s trees and rivers and life-bringing rains. They couldn’t live here. Sure enough, they stayed for the briefest moment before they hopped right back on her shuttle and soared away from her again.
Over the decades they came and they went. Staying for longer and longer periods but always leaving her eventually. She was so glad that they had decided to visit her and come and keep her company even if it never lasted long enough. But she wished beyond anything she could provide for them and nurture them and have them love her back as she loved them, as she knew they loved Terra despite her complaints. They left a little robot with her though. He wasn’t as fun as The People but she had never had a pet before and non-sentient company was at least better than nothing.
One day they started building a structure on her surface. She wondered what they were doing. Why bother building a house if they weren’t going to stay? She wondered until she felt tendrils of life digging searchingly into her skin. They had grown plants! They were so smart! And there was rain too. She basked in the feeling, the feeling she hadn’t had for millennia, the feeling of water droplets gently pattering down upon her. How had they done that?
Their settlement grew and grew. And then, eventually, they started to come and not leave again. They had built a home for themselves. Trees and grasses and crops started to spread across her surface and rivers ran in long-disused valleys. She glowed with happiness, she had never felt so beautiful.
With time they started to use their new home as a base to travel even further. They travelled out to the other planets in the solar system and further and further, out to the stars. But they never completely left; they always eventually returned to her, to their home. She looked at them, zooming out among the stars, and realised she no longer felt the need to travel there with them. She was exactly where she was supposed to be.
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