Bern's Prose.


I quickly cast my eyes around the old cinema. Every seat was occupied, even alongside the walls people were standing. Then the lights dimmed and a tall well built man walked across the stage to a microphone. Good evening Gentlemen were his first words. I am so pleased to see so many volunteers. I have here a list with all of the names that have signed to settle down on the moon. Under a military escort you will be marched to Bakersfield spaceport. All that you will need is on the moon. I know that most of you have no work. Also you are looking for adventures. Work and I mean hard work you will find in plenty. Adventure well the moon is more or less Virgin territory just waiting to be explored. If you are as good as I think you are, you will find your adventure. The man nodded and left the stage grinning to himself as if he had just told a good joke. At each entrance there appeared groups of well armed soldiers. An Army Sergeant came to the microphone and in a harsh military voice he called out first row of men walk to the exits. You are now under military command and will do that which the soldiers tell you to do.

The old cinema emptied quickly as man after man walked to the exits where they were told to form columns of three’s. Bakersfield space port had been transformed with rolls of Barbed wire. Every ten paces an armed soldier solder with rifle at the ready stood guard making sure that none of the men from the cinema could run off.

From a huge Hanger a large space ship was rolled onto the field Man after man from the cinema went aboard the space ships. Five of these huge flying objects now loaded with crew, soldiers and men from the cinema. No one spoke and I suspect that most of the men were asking themselves, what the hell am I doing on this tin can that is going to take me to the moon.

No one realised that the space ships had taken off. No noisy starts from the rockets no feeling of flying just this unbelievable silence an earlier team had made a space port on the moon others had built some remarkable buildings. Every few yards there hung breathing apparatus with two oxygen flasks. A small ventilation unit moved the stale used air out of the building another inlet pipe pumped oxygen into the building. Rows of beds each with an emergency breathing apparatus stood by each bed.

Two long tables stood in the middle of the rooms with chairs and at each end of the room were a toilet and a built in shower. The men when in the room were alone. Solders were posted at each end of the buildings.


Now that the men were alone, the first remarks were heard. How long are we to stay here on the moon? What work will we be doing? No one knew the answers and one called out, Good Night. The following morning two instructors  came into the room s and showed each man how to put on the breathing apparatus and how to change the oxygen flasks. Then came the orders all men outside, Escorts take the men to their place of work. The place became a hive of activity. The group that I was in were marched to a mine. Six men with one soldier entered the cage which was lowered quite quickly to the floor of the mine. My first thought was that Coal would be dug out of the mine. I ought to have known better no one on the moon would want coal there is no oxygen on the moon. Coal could not burn without oxygen.

The soldier stopped us and told us to take off our breathing apparatus. To my surprise the air was fresh and the walls and ceiling of the mine or if you will Tunnel were covered in some kind of metal. Each man was shown a section of this covering metal and we were told to look for any ever so small gaps or joins in the covering. The Scientists had tried every trick known to science to get a piece of this wonderful metal as it would be ideal for making all kinds  of machines and transport vehicles that would if their surmise was right never wear out. Every two hours a soldier with one of the men would take around a bucket of water, each man was allowed a glass of water that had to be brought from the earth. No water on the moon. On one occasion I took a first sip of this water. It tasted terrible and I spat it out. To my surprise where it had hit the floor the metal started to bubble it was as if I had spilt some acid onto the floor. I told my Soldier guard what had happened. He called another soldier. I was marched off to another building five scientists were eagerly awaiting my entrance. I had to recount all that had happened. One came to me and taking my water he tested it. Ordinary water he told the others. Another scientist took a small syringe and dropped three small drops of my water on to the floor. The same thing happened as it had when I spat the water out of my mouth. Another glass of water was brought into the room. Again three drops on to the floor. This time nothing happened. I was asked to drink from the glass. I obliged and again three drops were dropped onto the floor. This time three holes appeared it was after all something in my mouth or in my saliva that had caused this metal to melt its way through the covering.

It did not take the scientists long before they knew all the secrets of how to make the metal. Fortunately for me I was given some tablets that cured me of whatever it was that caused my spit to melt this substance that was so promising for the industry. Now all vehicles and nearly all machines were made from the new metal. The base on the moon is now only visited when a scientist went to see if anything else was of interest. No Civilian is needed to work on the moon and the old cinema has long since been pulled down. Each man that had worked on the moon was compensated by the Government. The new metal was making a huge Fortune for the Goverment and factories using the new metal. The original covering was placed there on the moon by some Alien people that had been stranded on the moon. They left nothing behind them but the covering, This story came to be told by one of my mates that once worked down a coal mine digging out coal your scribbler Bern.

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