Chapter 30:

Work Hours


Mr. Pop’s view was as immaculate as his workday was long. As he stood humbly on the surface of the moon, the blackness of space surrounding him, he felt the new trickery in his lungs producing air for him itch a little. He scratched at his throat, still getting used to these alterations, as he picked up his gravpole and got back to work.

“Hey, Hugo.” A younger co-worker of his communicated through the neurocoms latched onto their pointless ears. “Help me with the alloys, will ya?”

Walking over to the pile of boxes that was their task for the day, they picked out one off the top and pushed it off with their poles, watching it slowly fall to the ground like a discarded feather.

“You’d think they’d get the dome built here before they put us to work. Guess they don’t really know how big it’ll have to be.”

The two latched the hooks of their work boots into the powdery surface, wrapping their gloves tightly around the small briefcase that was held firmly to the ground by its immense weight, even in such low gravity conditions.

“Okay, on “pull.” 3, 2, 1… PULL!”

The sturdy father tugged together with his partner for minutes on end until the case of superheavy metals was brought into its rightful place near the base of their project.

“Thanks, Hugo.” The man panted. “God, if it ain’t the biggest Ferris wheel ever made, it’ll sure be the heaviest. What do you think?”

“Oh, It’ll be the biggest all right. That Kidney’s nothing if not proud.”

Hugo found himself staring up at the big blue circle in the sky.

“Whatcha looking for?”

“Sorry, it’s just-“

“Oh, that’s right. You’re a visitor. I almost forgot. We don’t see honest folks like you around here often. Convinced myself you were one of us.”

“Yeah… yeah, I get that.”

“You miss it? The big wet one?”

“I got two girls there… hope they’re doing okay is all.”

“Ah, they’ll be fine. You Earthlings worry too much. When you accept your planet’s just another sphere, that anxiety leaves ya, you know.”

“I know.”

Hugo imagined Katie getting Frankie to smile for once.

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