A Common Man’s Desperate Act Sparks a Revolution
Moe Sullivan worked in the ore mines of Copernicus Base, eking out a meager life for his family. His thickset body shuddered as he joined the stream of humanity bustling through the concourse. His mind was still back in his little residence. The fight with his wife Miriam had torn at his heart. The images of their daughter’s emaciated body haunted him. Moe could still see the debilitating sadness embossed on his wife’s face. He understood her anger, her pain. Desperation was one of the few things they still shared.
Two wake-periods before, the corporate bigwigs, in their thirst for wealth, had decided to impose an air-tax on the residents of the Cuss. Moe and Miriam were devastated by the news. It was wrong to charge an air tax, but what could they do? They were powerless, and they had run out of lifelines. Every bit of their income was consumed by the barest of necessities. There was no way to scrimp any further.
Moe churned everything over and over in his mind as he walked toward the mines. He came to the largest dome in the Cuss complex. It was the Base Commons, which hosted a breathtaking garden. It was a taste of earth, an oasis in the otherwise forbidding bleakness of the lunar landscape.
A woman was strolling along one of the garden paths which intersected Moe’s route. She walked with an air of self-importance. She had a small girl on a leash, who strained at the cord like an excited pet. All Moe could see was the strap and harness on the toddler. Moe reached up unconsciously, rubbing his neck. Meridian Corporation had leashed him, like a powerless infant, and there was no escape. Moe wondered if she knew how much she depended on people like him. The Cuss survived on the shoulders of the common worker. Moe and his comrades poured out their lives for them, never seeing any benefit from their struggles. Those who hold the leashes garner all the advantages.
Moe pushed forward, marching toward an opening in the southeastern quadrant of the dome. He slowed his pace as he entered the companionway that led to the Blue Collar Commons. The BCC was the hub of the industrial half of the Cuss. He paused in the maw of the corridor, with one foot in the beauty of the Base Commons, and the other in the darkened industrial companionway with its decking embossed by decades of footprints that had ground the powdery lunar regolith into the oily residue dripped by countless machines.
He turned his back to the lovely garden and pressed his way into the darker, grittier space ahead. The corridor decking was embossed by decades of footprints that ground the ultra-fine lunar regolith into the oily residue dripped by countless machines. The space was filled with the muttering of men and women who were headed to work. In stark contrast, those returning home from their shifts were silent, their shoulders sagging from fatigue, and their coveralls laden with sweat and grease. He felt a kinship with these people, but it was a feeling of shame and failure. Moe knew what he had to do to save his family, and that one act of desperation would change everything.
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