His memories usually spare him the worst, but not today. They have developed a life of their own.
For hours he has been rolling around in his bed. What he suddenly remembered has been haunting him for days. He has become reclusive and has even avoided the smile he had already grown to like.
Some rust-like substance growing like mushrooms, only at a speed at which you could watch it creep up on you, and were it not for the incredible fascination of the process, of all colours gradually fading into a light reddidh brown, you would probably run away. But the sheer beauty, the mesmerizing colour patterns that happened during the fading and almost made you want to be part of this giant, unifying change …
Screaming, he wakes up. The sun suddenly starts turning funny colours, and at the slightest hint of the all too familiar reddish brown tint he grows fascinated. He is here, on the moon, so this can’t be happening. He allows himself to be sucked in by the beautiful colour, to be fascinated by the strong sense of unity that suddenly overwhelms him, to the point where he shudders with joy about being part of an irresistible force, so strongly that
Head first, he has fallen out of the top bunk of his sleeping cabin he shares with a few other men. He has gone from sleeping to unconscious, but luckily the loud noise of him hitting the steel floor has woken up one of his roommates, who in return alerted all the others who properly secured his neck and carried him to sickbay. No lives lost unnecessarily, the mantra was going strong in the whole station, so everyone had training in emergency medical procedures that made the moon the safest place to ever be.
The irony of the situation was that there was no safer place than the moon. Even the moon could not be considered safe – there was no atmosphere that could catch space rocks getting sucked in by the moon’s gravity, and whenever efforts were made to dig down and excavate a subterranean moon base that would provide a safer place for all of the refugees from the great cataclysm, quakes from giant boulders hitting the moon would make some of the new tunnels collapse. After two occasions of this and some losses, somebody had set up a monitoring system, and research for quake-proof tunnel support structures was underway but with the expected flashbacks from the moon always being pummeled by rocks, some tests had to be written off as the tested material kept getting buried under miles of a very new kind of rock whose properties they had yet to get used to.
Another reason for going underground on the moon was that some cases of a very peculiar madness had been reported after people had looked back on earth. They had yet to put together some very strangely shaped puzzle pieces to determine the cause, but someone had discovered that if left alone to express their thoughts, most people had taken to drawing with some shades of dark red, some even experimenting with mixing what little colour remained to achieve a certain shade of dark red, bordering on brown. Interestingly, although there was not much of the colour available, not one of the patients turned test subject would turn on another, and while not yet displaying signs of a collective spirit they were isolated. Tests were ongoing to determine if seeing their earlier home had any influence on this peculiar behaviour …
While his health was slowly making efforts to stabilize, he was visited frequently. After noticing a lack of apparent progress, his visitor had started to take his hand, and she had also started to, before she left every day, take pictures of her looking at him with the now already familiar smile, leaving the now very expensive printouts of every one of them on the table next to his bed.