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A Trip to the Moon-- Part 3 by MLR

A Trip to the Moon-- Part 3

Sometimes it's okay to be a little uncertain


The moon's passageways wound on and on, from the darkest depths to the foundations of towers to the unknowable heights above. Their journey was at times claustrophobic, at times vertiginous, and always dim. That was this world. A world of only minimal light and minimal gravity, and they could see, from the very existence of these passageways, this incredibly vast and monolithic technological landscape was the inevitable conclusion of that kind of freedom and solitude. And in that way, it was glorious.

As it so happened, it was fortunate they met the lunar fellow. For one, it allowed them to make first contact with an individual member of the society, rather than walking into a city and terrifying hoardes of people all at once with their alien presence. This, Pasuu realized now, was mostly what he had been fearing when first confronted with the idea of meeting the denizens. But now he needn't fear that at all; they had a guide. And this guide liked them. They had even shared food at some point, although Pasuu wasn't entirely sure what was to be enjoyed about the strange whitish paste he had given them from a sizable pouch on his toolbelt.

For two, that guide of theirs was quickly becoming something of a friend, despite that they couldn't communicate with each other. They had played the old game of pointing at one's chest and saying one's name, which appeared to be an instantly recognizable tradition to the lunar man (and he was most certainly a man, and not the alternative, given how similar he was in every other aspect to the planet's humans). The name he'd given had sounded, phonetically, like "Tomoral", with a pleasantly rolled 'r', and so now that was what they called him, and he didn't seem to mind. Not that they spoke; they mostly listened. Tomoral enjoyed chatting even though he knew they understood nothing he said. It was pleasant, though, to hear him speak; they quickly became familiar with the sound of his language, which, the more they listened, really did resemble more and more one of the musical deep jungle languages the dark-skinned people spoke on the planet. It may have been that Doctor Voloi had planted the idea in his head, and so now he was hearing it, but it made a certain kind of sense historically; legend had it that long, long ago, the Kualapai had used the near infinite resources of the jungle to build one of the most advanced and powerful civilizations in the world. If anyone could have made it to the stars, it was them.

Now, lastly, for three, was the most obvious thing: the man knew his way around and could take them where they wanted to go. He knew how to avoid the monstrous machines that had chased them, and he knew the quickest way to their destination. And that was best.

So, after perhaps several hours of clambering about in tunnels, climbing ladders, and skipping across walkways, they came to a very large door, twice again as tall as their long-limbed guide. There was a word painted across it in two bold red letters. Tomoral pointed to the word and said, "Paro." Doctor Voloi merely smiled and motioned for him to lead on, and so he did.

The chamber flooded with white light. Pasuu turned his face away until his eyes could adjust. His companion stepped forward, blinking rapidly. "Wow," was all he said.

When his vision was clear again, Pasuu turned to look back into the light, and there appeared before him a city, one of the distant sources of white light they had seen sitting halfway up the towers, now here, close and alive. The lunar people were everywhere, walking side by side and chatting, hurrying along on their own, carrying things, carrying nothing, sitting and waiting, sitting and talking, just sitting, just walking, all in the shadows of severe looking thin buildings reaching up to an astonishing height. Buildings packed so closely together it was a wonder that roads were able to fit amongst them.

They all three walked out into this place and stopped just outside the entrance. Pasuu braced himself for the inevitable, the hundreds of eyes upon him. And indeed, almost instantly as they emerged from the shadows, people stopped what they were doing and stared. The place--a public square, perhaps, for all of the benches and open space--grew eerily silent, but the silence soon broke to feverish whispers being passed around like drinks at a table in a pub. Subconsciously, he tried to meld into his coyote friend's shadow.

Tomoral stepped forward and put wide his hands, then spoke something to those that had gathered. He motioned several times back at the two intruders, growing more excited the more he spoke. Other people began to nod, slowly, and some even stole brief smiles at some of his words.

Eventually, two more lunar men stepped out from behind one of the thicker crowds. They wore uniforms, similar in style to what their friend Tomoral wore, but with different patterns of color. In their long-fingered hands were gripped black sticks, some kind of baton, perhaps. Police, he supposed, coming to see what the source of the hubbub was.

The two officers stopped for a minute, stared deeply at Voloi and Pasuu, and floated up to their friend, whereupon they began speaking and gesticulating furiously. Tomoral was shaking his head and smiling as they spoke, interjecting a few things of his own when they would allow him. Their faces grew perplexed the more he told them, but the grip on their batons never faltered. Tomoral said something else, and a look of skepticism sprouted on one of the officer's faces.

This one stepped over to them. Chest puffed out, another primate mannerism, he looked them up and down, then pointed a finger and said something that sounded like an order. Pasuu shrank back even deeper and looked to his partner, but his partner was locking gazes with the officer.

"I'm afraid I have no idea what you just said, sir, but I can reply all the same," Voloi responded to the man. The sound of his voice caused a number of gasps to break out amongst the still gathering public.

The officer's eyes widened as well, and he gave a slow nod, then returned to a grinning Tomoral and struck up another somehow more rapid conversation. They allowed him to speak more this time, to explain, perhaps, what he may have been trying to explain before. The two officers nodded as he spoke, as did a few of the bystanders, who struck up whispered conversations of their own. Minutes passed.

Voloi inclined his head a bit. "I suppose they're discussing what to do with us."

Pasuu swallowed. "I hope it's... to see their leaders, or perhaps to speak with a scientist."

This got a chuckle. "Unless their scientists want to examine us physically." Then a smirk. "Inside and out."

"Please don't say things like that."

He patted the mouse on the shoulder. "I suppose I shouldn't, but your reactions are always quite fun to watch."

It finally ended. The two officers and their friend approached them, and Tomoral said something and beckoned them to follow. They glanced to each other, Voloi's ears perked all the way forward and Pasuu's laid all the way back, and they obliged.

They were led through winding streets and amongst tight groupings of the tall buildings, up narrow stairs and across narrow walkways and down narrow tunnels. The city had an organic feel, the feel of an old place that started small and simply built upon itself as it could over the intervening years. It was just as dark an atmosphere as the tunnels had been, but it felt more alive, more warm and inviting. The lights they saw, Pasuu knew, were for people; the lights of homes and the lights of gathering places. Everyone they passed of course stared at the two of them as they made their way, but Pasuu found himself doing his own bit of staring, his eyes darting around, taking in all of the towering structures around them, the white rectangles cut into them, doorways and door frames fashioned from perfectly black metal, the glassy streets they followed and the innumerable cables and lines that spanned the spaces above their heads. It all had such a peculiar beauty to it, not anything like the vast sea of coffin-like boxes and dead red lights down at the base level.

They stopped at a building. This one looked more official, more imposing. Two rows of lights led up to it from the street, and the door was adorned with a stark rectangular archway. Above this archway was a sign, each letter of which glowed a monotonous white. One of the officers walked to the door, opened it, and stepped aside. Doctor Voloi glanced at Pasuu, and the two of them walked inside.

A small "Oh" escaped Pasuu's mouth. The room was full of equipment; long tables, thousands of wires, clean metal tubing, glass plates, power outlets, railing hanging from the ceiling, sections of machines hanging by cables, scales, meters, screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, and everything else he'd ever seen in one of the surface dwellers' machine shops or laboratories. The building was very open and well-lit, with large windows on a distant far wall showing a pleasant view of a back terrace with a small green park--the first growing things Pasuu had yet seen in this place. A staircase rose behind all of this, disappearing into a second level from which came the occasional bright spark of light. Only a handful of lunar men wandered about, most all of them very focused on their work.

One of them, however, a female by the look of her, was approaching. She wore the same manner of casual clothes the average pedestrian seemed to wear, and wore her long white hair in a tight bun on the back of her head. She wore a bulky cylindrical device around her neck, and her eyes, fixated on the two wizards, gleamed brightly.

Some of the other scientists in the building stopped what they were doing to watch. The woman stood before them, one hand on her hip, pool eyes shifting back and forth between the two of them for a second. Then, she spoke. "Hello."

This seemed to take even Voloi off guard, the man who was surprised and disturbed by nothing. His face took on an expression of bemused shock as he replied. "I cannot imagine you actually speak our language."

She smiled. "No, of course not."

Voloi pointed at the thing around her neck. "Some manner of miraculous device you've invented, I suppose?"

The woman fingered the cylinder, weaving it back and forth graciously through the air. She stepped to the side and bid them both walk beside her. The two police officers looked to each other, nodded, and gave one final word to Tomoral before stationing themselves at the entrance to keep watch. Tomoral decided to follow them. "It has come in handy a few times," she replied, "but I never imagined I would be using it to communicate with alien visitors. Your presence here has caused quite a stir."

Voloi glanced at Pasuu. "Word must float easily in this place's low gravity."

She raised an eyebrow at this statement. "I suppose it does at that." They were making their way toward a back door that led out to the park Pasuu had noted upon entering. Eyes followed them as they walked. "It may come as no surprise to you that we all have many questions."

"I assure you, we do as well. You might say that is the main purpose of our visit."

The woman glanced at Pasuu, then gave the Doctor a queried look. "Does that one speak?"

Voloi chuckled, but said nothing. Pasuu lowered his head and tried not to meet the woman's gaze. "I... yes, I speak."

The sound of his voice made her smile. "You say you come here to ask questions?"

"Consider it an exploratory mission," the coyote replied. "Until yesterday, we were quite unaware that there was a civilization on the primary moon, you see, and now that we know there is, we have taken a keen interest in getting to know it better."

"Primary moon?" She pushed open the door to the terrace. They were greeted by the sound of birds chirping, an alien sound if ever there was one in this environment. But it was soothing nonetheless; a little signature of home. "You come from... the planet?"

A circle of benches awaited them. When they sat, five rather colorful small birds flocked to the ground amidst them, hopping about and pecking at the ground. "From the look of things, so do you all. Although I presume it's been a while since you last visited."

Mild surprise appeared on her face. "Humans still live up there?"

"And going strong. Though perhaps not as strong as we used to, from the look of things." Pasuu was watching Tomoral, whose eyes followed the two interlocutors and whose face continued to smile. Probably this was one of the most interesting days he'd had lately. Possibly in his life.

"We?" the woman asked.

"We."

She frowned. "You are clearly not human. Humanoid, perhaps, but..."

The Doctor was nodding as she spoke. He appeared to be greatly enjoying himself. Pasuu could even see his tail wagging from out behind the open back of the bench. "You've stumbled across one of the more complicated aspects of our existence, my friend. My friend... hm." He rubbed his chin with padded thumb and forefinger. "I don't suppose you have a name?"

The woman appeared puzzled at this question. "A... what? I'm sorry, the translator didn't understand the word you just spoke."

He stopped rubbing. "A name. What are you called?"

"Oh, yes. Of course. I'm called Tomoral. I was under the impression you already knew this."

Doctor Voloi's face went blank. His eyes wandered over to Pasuu, who was feeling just as perplexed. His mouth opened briefly, as if he felt he might have something to say on the matter, but instead he resorted to a simple shrug. Voloi's eyes shifted back to the woman. "That's funny. This fellow here--"he indicated the man Tomoral--"seemed to say he had the same name."

Her mouth turned up at one corner, a smile that indicated disbelief mixed with forced patience. "Yes. Of course."

"You... all of you are called Tomoral."

A nod. The colorful sparrow-like birds had given up and flown back to the trees.

"So this is the name of your species."

But she shook her head. "We're still human, curious friend. I imagine we may look different than the planet's humans, but that's still what we call ourselves."

Voloi was on the verge of laughing, Pasuu could see. He could smell it, too, he noticed. "But you just said you were Tomoral." A chuckle escaped. "I'm sorry. This is turning into a bad joke. Clearly I'm misunderstanding something important."

Her eyes widened slightly. "Oh... wait. Yes. Of course. We used to be..." She nodded. "I think I understand now where your confusion arises. The humans on your world; they are still separate entities?"

Voloi's face almost completely smoothed over, everything but a furrowed brow. A silence ensued that quickly became uncomfortable. Pasuu looked from his partner to the woman. As the awkwardness wore on, he became increasingly more agitated, until he simply couldn't take it. "Yes, they are," he replied. He began wringing his hands. "This... this must mean you are not?"

"Ah..." She turned her head, but her eyes remained on Voloi, who was still staring intently at her. When she managed to break the gaze, she smiled at Pasuu. "Well, yes. We here are something of a collective... consciousness." Her eyes flitted back to Voloi.

The coyote seemed to break his own spell. He adjusted his glasses and smiled again. "I see, yes. Very intriguing. Technological?"

"Um... yes." An air of nervousness had taken the woman over now. Pasuu couldn't blame her. He wasn't quite certain what had gotten into his friend. "It's a technological link. A web of communication, I suppose you can call it."

"Fascinating. Very fascinating." He stood up and stretched his arms into the air. "Well, it's been quite a busy and exhausting day for my partner and I. Is there someplace we can go to get some rest?"

Their male friend, who Pasuu still wanted to refer to as Tomoral, had lost his smile. The woman stood up as well, slowly. "Certainly. I can find you a room at a hotel, if you'd like."

Voloi raised an eyebrow. "A hotel? Do travelers normally stay with the nobles?" A brief pause. "Or perhaps you mean an inn."

The word brought the smile back to her face. "That's certainly an archaic word to use for it, but if you insist." She motioned for the two of them to move on ahead.

Tomoral stood up as well. He turned to Pasuu and stuck out a hand. Pasuu regarded it for a moment, then took it in his own and shook. A fairly universal gesture, then, even for the lunar people. "Thank you," he said, "for guiding us here. I hope we can meet again someday."

He returned only a peculiar smile.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Pasuu sat on his bed, watching his mentor pace about their room, hands behind his back, eyes on the ground, glasses nearly falling off his nose. This 'hotel', as the woman had called it (a peculiar use of the word, to be certain), was mainly used for people traveling between the tower cities, visiting dignitaries, people coming to discuss business interests, and so on. On their way there, she explained that each city was its own nation, with its own language and its own network, its own collective. She had a contract with an international communications corporation, and so had been commissioned to develop a device that could translate any spoken language for the wearer. The one she used with them was a very functional prototype. All she needed to do was develop a means to mass produce them, and then communication would no longer be a problem for the residents of all of the lunar cities.

But she had told this only to Pasuu. Voloi had been lost in his own head the whole way here, and it seemed now he still hadn't found his way back out.

Pasuu watched him for a minute longer before clearing his throat. The coyote stopped and looked up at the sound. "Something on your mind?"

"Ah... well, it would appear more that something is on yours."

He walked over to his own bed and fell atop it in a slump, nose pointed at Pasuu. "It isn't technological. It can't be. There's nothing there."

Pasuu's ears fell back. "I'm sorry?"

The coyote turned onto his back and put his hands behind his shaggy head. His ears poked forward intently. "The collective consciousness thing. It's not a technological thing. It's biological. It's got to be." He waved a hand in the air in front of his face. "I just don't understand how, or where it must have come from." He craned his neck to look at the mouse. "Do you?"

"Um..."

He flipped back onto his stomach. "She said there was a different network for each city, right? And each city is on a different tower. Why so high up?"

"I... ah, I assumed it was aesthetic. Since the power generators were down below..."

"Nah, that can't be the only reason. She was hiding something. She didn't want us to know about something."

Pasuu imagined she only became suspicious when the coyote began acting horribly strange and unfriendly for no apparent reason. But he didn't say this out loud.

The coyote jumped back off of the bed and began pacing around again. "We need to go exploring again, on our own. I'd say we either need to get back inside the tower, or try heading to a different city where they haven't gotten word of us. We'll just need to figure out how to sneak past those the two guards outside the door."

"The... what? Guards?"

"You didn't hear them? The two police officers stationed outside our door. I imagine they're there as much to protect us as to keep us from wandering about on our own. How good are you at casting spells of invisibility?"

Pasuu was slowly shaking his head. He had heard two people softly talking outside of their room, but he hadn't made the connection that it was guards. "I... suppose I can cloak us both if need be."

"Fantastic. And I learned a little trick a while back that will let us phase through the wall. Just be careful not to bump into anything on our way out."

"Of course, but..."

Those golden eyes locked on to his. "But?"

"But..." He wrung his hands again and looked away. "I still don't see why you are so agitated about all of this. If it's a biological connection rather than... than technological, I don't quite..."

He jumped to Pasuu and leaned over him. "Don't you see?" He tapped a claw just below his right ear. "Mind control. If it's biological, there must be something, or someone, behind it all, adjusting the very physiology of these peoples' brains. A virus, an overlord organism, a parasite. It's the principle of the thing!"

He swallowed hard. "The... principle?"

Finally Voloi went back to pacing. "The enslavement of a whole race of people. The prospect that these humans, these people who used to be identical to those lovable primates we all grew up as and with, are now something vastly different than that. Something... less."

"Less...?"

"A collective consciousness, like ants, their only purpose the maintenance of the hive and the continuation of the species! You see?"

Pasuu didn't, not really. Unless it was something else that built this place, these people here seemed to be living quite well, doing quite remarkable things and making quite remarkable achievements despite the presence of some over-arching thought network. If that was to be considered an impediment at all. He thought, actually, that his friend was acting incredibly strangely and jumping to very strange conclusions.

But, again, he said none of these things. He nodded, slowly.

"Wonderful. I knew you'd see it my way. Come, then; let's start casting these spells of ours and be on our way."

It was all so strange. He hadn't known Doctor Voloi terribly well before all of this, and he still didn't think he did know him very well now, but this seemed a bit eccentric even for him. The coyote put his hands to the wall and began casting a phasing spell, and Pasuu closed his eyes to concentrate on the invisibility. But it took him much longer than such a thing normally would. When he reopened them, Voloi was standing before him, hands on his hips, head tilted to the side and tail lazily swishing back and forth behind. Pasuu let out a breath he hadn't been quite aware he'd been holding, and touched one hand to his chest and the other to the Doctor's, and they both vanished.

They slid through the wall. Pasuu could see the two guards--the very same police officers who met them on their way into the city--standing one on either side of their door, holding those black rods and looking determined at their posts. Both wizards very silently slid down the hall past them and toward the shiny metal doors they now knew closed off a stairwell. Both officers glanced their way when Voloi opened those doors, but they only gave each other queer looks before returning to their standard postures, and so the two made their way lightly down the stairs and out the building.

They hadn't seemed like they were under mind control. They only seemed to share a connection.

Neither risked speaking to the other. Voloi led the way through the city streets by keeping hold of Pasuu's arm, but it became apparent rather quickly that he was just as lost as Pasuu with regard to where they were relative to where anything else was. The more they walked, the more Pasuu began to wonder just what Voloi was exactly searching for; he knew if they were to arrive back at the large entryway into the city that Tomoral had taken them to, actually leaving by that way would be a somewhat confusing and risky business due to the density of the population in that square and the guaranteed surprise it would cause for the massive gate to open apparently of its own volition. If these people did have a collective consciousness, they needed to be far more discreet than that if they were to stay hidden.

The people seemed at peace with themselves. Pasuu just couldn't grasp what was on the coyote's mind.

And what exactly was he looking for, anyhow? If he thought the source of the collectivism was biological, did he want to meet the entity in control of it all? Did he have any particular idea about where that entity might reside? This was a world, after all; despite that most of it was under the surface, it clearly extended on for vast distances in every direction. Even if each city had its own entity, how could they possibly hope to find such a being on their own?

And perhaps more importantly, why was he so intent on finding it in the first place?

They stopped short in front of a sign. Of course, neither one could read it, but from its placement, Pasuu was able to hazard a guess regarding its general meaning anyhow. The letters formed an arch above one of the roads, and at the end of this road was a well-lit path extending straight forward out to infinity, bending only with the horizon. And far, far off in the distance, at the end of this bridge, was another splotch of white light fixed onto a tower, another city.

He was jerked forward. They both walked out onto the bridge.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


They were alone. No one used the bridge, it seemed, for no matter how far or how long they walked, they encountered not a single soul. In at least one way, Pasuu could completely understand this: walking across the thing was absolutely harrowing. It was thin, wide enough only for three people walking side by side, it was out over completely open air, miles above the forest of red lights below, and, perhaps most importantly, it had no handrails or guard rails. If one desired, there was no impediment to an act of suicide via leaping to one's death. So in all ways, it seemed a rather peculiar mode of transport for such an otherwise technologically advanced civilization. Perhaps more people used other modes, which might have explained the lack of other pedestrians they encountered.

Regardless of the reason, though, it did allow them to become visible again, at least until the next person showed up. So they walked thusly for the next hour, which barely seemed to close the distance between them and the next city.

The path was well-lit; along both sides were rows of glowing white orbs embedded in the walkway itself. Structural supports were mostly nonexistent; every now and then they would encounter a pair of wires rising up into the blackness above, each of these accompanied by some kind of ventilation shaft stationed just off the pathway, at eye level for the Doctor.

Voloi stopped to examine the third such shaft they encountered. He grabbed hold of it on both sides and peered in through the metal face, in which were cut a number of horizontal slits of sizeable thickness. "Now what," he asked, "do you suppose all of these silly things are for?"

Pasuu shook his head. They were fairly wide, certainly wide enough for someone to crawl through comfortably, but so far as what they carried or where they went, all Pasuu could tell was that they shot off into the darkness and out of sight without apparent adjustment of direction or angle.

"All of these mysterious things here," Voloi muttered. "Those boxes down below, the towers, and now these shafts along this road. I have to wonder how much more these people could accomplish if they were released from their collective mind problem. Their ancestors traveled the stars; how far do you suppose they got?"

"I can't say, Doctor."

"No, of course not." He stuck his claws into the slats on the vent's cover and began to pull.

"What... what are you doing?"

He turned to grin at Pasuu again. "Do you want to help?"

"You're pulling the cover off of the shaft?"

He went back at it. "How very perceptive of you." One of the bolts holding it in place popped out and flew off into space. The coyote pulled harder. "I want to see where these things go" Another bolt popped out, then another. They must not have been held in by much. He grabbed the loose corner and wrenched at it with all his strength. The cover came off, making him lose his balance. Pasuu stepped behind him and held him steady.

"So... we're going to go crawling through this shaft, then."

The Doctor threw the cover to the side and hauled himself up. "That's the idea." Once inside, he turned himself around and leaned his face on his hand. "I don't suppose you need a hand coming up here?"

"Ah... I don't... I don't think so." His mouth was getting dry again, so he reached into his backpack for his water. "You aren't worried about... about more of those machines, the maintenance devices?"

Voloi just smiled at him, then turned and began to crawl his way down the ventilation shaft.

Pasuu swallowed a bit more water and followed close behind.

It was dark to begin with, and only became more dark the farther they went. At some point, Voloi managed to get a small orb of light lit in front of him, revealing that the shaft continued on precisely as it was for quite some way. The passage of time was difficult to perceive in this world; when Pasuu was able to glance at his watch, he could see that they'd been crawling through this place for over thirty minutes. He had to admit, he was getting a bit tired.

Voloi stopped and sat up, at least as much as the tight space would allow. The light reflected brightly from his eyes, turning them into disks in the dark. He jerked a thumb to his right. "There's a dropoff just up ahead. The shaft also keeps going in the direction we're going now. Which way should we take it?"

Pasuu sat up as well; he had more room to do so. He was glad that, so far, he hadn't caught a glimpse of one of those flashing red lights. "Is it.. a straight dropoff?"

The coyote shook his head. "I'd say roughly a forty-five degree angle. We could managed without any magic, I think, and probably slide most of the way down." He shrugged. "Certainly would be a quicker trip that way. And loads more fun." The grin returned.

"Doctor?"

"Hm?"

"What are we searching for in here, exactly?"

Voloi looked away, down the shaft, and licked his gums. "If these people really are being controlled by some entity..." He paused for a long moment, apparently thinking through what he planned to say next. He began again. "We're wizards, Pasuu. I've told you this before. As wizards, we help people who are in need. Sometimes it's small things. Fixing machines, locating ore to mine for a dying village, finding water in the deserts of the world." He leaned over and looked Pasuu in the eyes. "Sometimes it's big things. Preventing wars, saving nations from natural disasters." He placed a hand on the base of the shaft. His claws clicked against the metal. "Saving a race of people from enslavement."

"Enslavement?"

"When a whole race of people is under the influence of one entity, or even of just a few entities, when they can't think or act of their own volition, they're not free. You understand."

Pasuu nodded, very slowly. "You... you want to... to destroy it. The... entity that's enslaving the lunar men."

The smile returned, full force, and he nodded. "You understand. I can't just sit by and do nothing. We can't, neither of us. If we do, what good are we as members of the Wizards' Guild? What will people back home say about us, if we decide to simply sit by and do nothing while an entire civilization wallows in despair?"

Pasuu swallowed. "Ah..."

"I'm glad we're on the same page. Now come on; let's go find this entity."

Voloi slid forward to the edge of the vertical offshoot, gave Pasuu a thumbs up, and let himself begin to slide down. Pasuu watched him go for a minute, incredibly uncertain. Unsure, uncertain, confused. And that load of doubt carried him all the way down the shaft in the coyote's wake.

A Trip to the Moon-- Part 3

MLR

The two wizards meet the locals, and learn things that makes Pasuu begin to realize that he may have an important decision to make.

The next part will be the conclusion to this little novella. Stay tuned.

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  • Link

    I'm gonna get on ya a bit. It took till part 3 for the ball to really get rolling. But now that I've grasped the concept, I find it fascinating.

    • Link

      I have been trying to keep the pace slow and steady. You know those old Star Trek episodes, where people sit around and discuss things for 40 minutes, and then the shit hits the fan in the last ten? Something like that.

  • Link

    The plot thickens! That is a very interesting development with the mind control theory. At this point I have to agree with Pasuu that this is unlikely to be the case, but I'm not sure... I guess I'll find out soon :)

    One nitpick: I don't think you can tell how long a person's hair is, if it's in a bun.

    I also wanted to say, I liked the artwork of the previous chapters, but I especially like this one!

    • Link

      Ah, but doesn't it have to be long if it's in a bun?

      • Link

        Hmm, I'm not sure. It wouldn't work with short hair, but I think it might work with medium-length. We need to get a hair expert in here :D