While the mission to secure water for planets in our system failed, I gained a new insight into the workings of the Earth. Since returning, my mission has been to help Earth’s people to reach space in a meaningful way. I entered the space program and trained to become an astronaut. I was more than qualified. I was already a spaceship captain, but I enjoyed the experience and learned a thing or two.
I glanced at the array of solar panels that ringed the research site on the moon—each connected to several large energy cells that would power the entire operation. I had to laugh as I lumbered around in a bulky space suit. Earthlings were far more delicate than my species of humans, and special equipment was needed so they could survive in space. Millions of years of living in harsh conditions had made us hardy and capable of living on worlds with thin atmospheres, but even we needed some support on the airless moon.
The construction of the first dome was progressing nicely. I watched as the Earthlings put the finishing touches on clearing for the first building. A figure approached me from the far left. I recognized the suit as belonging to Jennifer, one of the top scientists on the project. No space helmet could hide the mop of red hair floating inside. I had been close to Jennifer back on Earth and nearly confided in her about who I was, but training kicked in, and I decided against it
My earphone buzzed with her voice. “Captain Jarvis, They’re ready for you now.” She pointed to the clearing.
It was time to oversee the setting of the first building and officially start the first station on the moon. I paused for a moment and glanced at the red button on my spacesuit’s control panel. I felt what I had felt at the end of my first assignment on Earth. Doubt.
I had final authority from the Space Council to terminate the project if I thought humans were not ready to leave Earth to explore space. On the surface, it looked like they were. They had the technology, but did they have the advanced maturity? They continued to wage war and had little concern for the environment. I knew in my heart and my mind they were not ready.
I reached to press the button, which would detonate the explosives I had hidden and destroy the base. I looked over at Jennifer, who I loved as much as I had Deidre back in 1638, and decided.
Instead of the red button, I engaged my com for all to hear. “Commence construction. Let’s get this base built.”
Whatever happens with the Earthlings, I decided I wanted to be a part of it. Besides, I always did love redheads.