Selene rocked David in her arms. He cooed in delight as she sang to her baby, “Lullaby and goodnight.” From the surface of the moon, she looked at Earth while baby David smiled at her. “Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed.”
An orb of white and blue like a Christmas tree ornament, the Earth hung in the black void. It was morning in America, but night shrouded Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The other colonists in the Mount Zion dome on the Sea of Tranquility gazed in horror. Pinpricks of lights glowed over the cities on the seaboards of the United States. More lights winked like fireflies around the Great Lakes.
”Chicago is gone,” Selene said.
“And LA and Manhattan,” Julie, her mother said. “Look! London just went dark!”
They continued to watch Earth’s destruction unfold in front of them, like an unspooling silent horror film. They were watching the deaths of friends and family and the end of civilization.
“Isn’t that the Mediterranean?” Selene asked. “The holy cities of Abraham and Luna and Mohammed are no more. What else is there but a million corpses and armies of hybrids that have yet to slake their blood lust?”
“We’re safe here,” Julie said.
Jack ran into the lounge.
“I’m from the observatory. The hybrids have launched an attack at us!”
“How do you know?” Julie asked.
“Their heat signatures came from Houston and Cape Canaveral. The hybrids have held them for the last month. Incomings are hostile!”
“Contact centcom,” Julie said. “Deploy the tesseract!”
“The tesseract?” Cindy asked.
“A cube within a cube,” Julie said. “Now think of a cube so large that it envelopes the moon and an even larger cube that envelopes that cube. It’s a doubled-layer three dimensional force field. Our scientists tell us that nothing can penetrate these shields. This’ll be our first test.”
Julie sent her warning. Central command deployed the shield. They braced themselves.
At first, the shield held back the invaders. The saucers splattered against the shield like gnats on a window. But it wasn’t enough. Wave upon wave of ships blasted through it. The surface of the moon turned to fire and rivers of lava. Beams from the saucers struck the domes, making new craters amid the ancient craters. Depots and generators exploded in balls of flame. Sirens and the dying screamed. The colonists hurried to their bunkers and battle stations.
As Julie and Selene with her baby ran to their cabin, they thought back to the start of their story.
“What do they call us?” Julie asked Selene as they grabbed their luggage.
“A cult,” Selene said, bitterly. “The Luna cult.”
“We’re the Church of the Moon. The COM. And so they call us moonies. Commies.”
“I’ve heard it all. We’re zealots, traitors, and lunatics.”
“I’m not bugged by the name-calling. Most of our wounds are self-inflicted. But I am haunted by the suspicion that our worst critics are on to something. We might be aberrant, a symptom of the cancer that is humanity.”
“Religion and science are just two names to the same broom. Maybe the hybrids are using that broom to sweep our civilization into the dustbin of history.”
“Try as we might, we’re still outside what most folks accept. And most of the reasons they hate us are valid. The events of Phoenix still cast long shadows.”
“But we’ve come through and will come through,” Julie said. “And so when the wheel of fortune turns, it’s good to look back at our past for hope.”
“For, as you know, our faith began two thousand years ago with a young girl about to give birth to twins.”