Six hundred years and three kings later
I watched the sheep grazing on the hillside as I drank a cup of black tea. I leaned back against the sheep pen as I took in the view of the luscious blue field ahead of me. Who would have guessed that grass could grow on the moon? Who would have guessed that cities could be built? That cultures could exist? That animals could be bred and thrive here? That we would be able to see millions of years worth of microevolution occur within a few short generations so that we’d see land dolphins and domesticated lions? None of us. Not until we’d been given the Blue Blood.
I caught a whiff of baked potatoes, roast chicken, and corn on the cob and knew it was time for dinner. I whistled once and Artemis perked up from my side and rushed to the hill after the sheep. And within a few minutes, she’d herded them all back into the pen. Sheep were one of the few animals we hadn’t been able to force to evolve so they still required dogs to steer them right. I didn’t mind, though. Sometimes the old fashioned things worked best. It was why even with technology beyond anything else in the solar system at our fingertips I’d kept the farm anyway.
“Potatoes!” Jimmy screamed as he hopped into a seat at the table.
“I thought we were having raptors tonight,” said Leah as she sat next to him.
I sat at the head of the table next to my queen, Meredith, as the chimpanzee servants set our plates before us.
“Raptors are awesome!” Jimmy screamed, and he pointed his fingers like a gun and fired a flurry of electric sparks at the ceiling.
“No powers at the table, Jimmy,” Meredith scolded him. “You know the rules. And I decided to go with an old-fashioned meal tonight, Leah. Remind us of where our ancestors came from.”
“Right,” Leah said, reaching for her fork. “Like this farm isn’t a big enough reminder. Why do we still have it again? To give the kids at school another thing to tease the royal princess for?”
“They’re teasing you again?” I asked.
“No, Dad. It’s fine. Joking. Haha. Harty har har. See?”
“Let’s eat,” Meredith said.
We were about to dig in when one of the chimpanzees came back to the table and stood behind me.
“There’s a man here to see you,” it said. “He’s an engineer from the Gravity Sphere and he says it’s urgent.”
Meredith looked at me and gave me the look I was all too familiar with. She hated interruptions at dinner. But the chimpanzees knew that all too well. It would have never entertained the request if it hadn’t seemed absolutely necessary. And anything concerning the Gravity Sphere qualified as necessary. I excused myself and followed the chimpanzee outside where a tall man in a gray suit and white tie was waiting.
“Sorry for the interruption, my King,” the engineer said. “Trust me, I would have waited until the morning to tell you this, but I was worried that we might not even be granted that.”
“It’s the Gravity Sphere. As you know, it’s been weakening slowly the past few years.”
“And you assured me that was normal. Fluxuations come and go.”
“Yes. But this isn’t a fluxuation.”
“What is it?”
“The Sphere is…” The engineer took a deep breath before saying his next words. “The Sphere is dead.”
I blinked and waited for the man to repeat himself, but he never did. “Dead? How?”
“It seems that they weren’t fluctuations after all and this whole time we’ve been misreading the signs. The Sphere is dead. As of one hour ago.”
I turned away from the man and paced the front porch of the house. The Sphere was dead. The invention that had made all of this possible, the creation that was the crown achievement of the lunar population—was no more. The Blue Blood from the Man in the Blue Light had granted us various powers: pyrokinesis, electrokinesis, technopathy, exponential increases in intelligence, and a plethora of others. And with those powers we had forged a machine that had created an atmosphere that provided more than merely the right balance of oxygen and nitrogen, it manipulated gravity. And gravity, we had discovered, worked wonders for our powers. Decreasing it was what had extended our lifespans. Increasing it had intensified our strength. Leaving it in a state of flux had had unprecedented affects on plant physiology. Next to the Blue Blood itself, it was the sole reason the colony of Basilea had thrived on the moon. And now it was gone.
I stopped pacing and turned to the engineer. “I’m going to meet with him. Then I’ll send word to you and your men and we will discuss how to approach this. But not a word of this to anyone. Not yet.”