PART ONE: MOOR OR NOT
Prologue: Astrid, Spring 2520
The first time I saw a spaceship, I was 9 years old. It got so close to our planet, I freaked. I froze, my muscles seizing up. Panic spread through me from my head to my feet. My purple eyes dilated rapidly, then returned to normal. Luckily, I had someone else with me. Star had been my best friend and older sister since, well …ever.
“Astrid, listen to me.” Her voice made me relax a little. “The spaceship contains people. Not our people. They have unnatural eyes. Some people from a planet called Earth. They have books, movies, and stories about us.” My sister took a breath. “ They will kill us or put us on display in a cage.”
My horrified look told her that I understood quite plainly the danger we were in. “Where’s Jess?” I howled, wishing for our mentor. He had told us that he would be awaiting our call for help, but he never actually paid attention to his COM unit. We would’ve had to SOS thousands of times before he got the message and jumped on his Crater Jumper to come save us. The only reason he paid attention was when we went into the core to find trinkets for mother. Strange, as going up was more dangerous than down into the hot center of Moor.
“He wouldn’t have gotten here in time even if we called him 10 minutes ago,” Star replied confirming what I already knew. “We’re on our own.”
The full realization of what that meant sent another few waves of panic shuddering through me. But Star took action.
Shoving me back into the rusty earth, she called “Run!” Then she began to search for the other hiding hole our parents always told us to stay close to. I clicked on the button on the blue jumpsuit that allowed me to appear part of the rusty red surface of Moor, my planet. Star was almost to the hiding hole when the spaceship penetrated our air. It took on a yellow hue, shuddered, and then turned off. It began falling through the air at an alarming rate.
I could see the words written on the side now. Addington 1, it read. Addington! I knew that last name. People said that he, his wife, his children, and their friend’s families were the first ones on this planet. They forged this underground civilization. About two years ago we uncovered a communications device called an iPhone 40 that had been discovered in a spaceship wreck. I had found it with my Scavenging Squad. The old man had taken it into his bedroom and said he’d destroyed it, but who knew?
The spaceship had almost hit the ground when the engine restarted with a jolt. “PEOPLE OF PLANET MARS!” I nearly jumped at the voice. It seemed to be coming from the spaceship. It’s a loudspeaker! I’d only ever heard one announcement in my life, and that was during an epidemic of spot-flu. I began to climb through the small passage that leads from the hiding hole that Star was probably in. I saw her outline against the surface. and crawled up beside her.
“What is going on?” I asked. “What’s MY-ar-s?” I sound out the new word.
“Shhh.” she held a shaking finger up to her lips Even Star the invincible was scared today. “I think they mean Moor.”
“WE ARE GOING TO BE COMING TO YOUR PLANET SOON BECAUSE THE SUN IS GOING TO MAKE OURS EXPLODE. THEREFORE YOU NEED TO GET OFF. THIS IS OUR HOME NOW.”
“What?!” I gasped. “They can’t just make us leave, can they? And the sun is going to explode? Wouldn’t it get our planet as well? What use would that be?”
“Apparently,” Star said not breaking her stare at the ship. Then her eyes turned to me. “They don’t know as much as we do about…” She paused, her face contorted as she tried to pronounce the funny word. “Mars.”
“YOU HAVE 5 YEARS. GOOD LUCK.”
Wonderful. I thought.