You probably clicked on this page just because of title or whatever. This was a story released December 19th, 2016 as a cool present. It's a mini plot/story of an MBA (Moon Base Alpha) Christmas. Hope you enjoy!
Insert Crazy Amazing Title
Well, it was Christmas Eve and of course, like all the families on Earth, we too were having a celebration, even though we were thousands of miles away.
Alas, it was cold, but it was this cold every day. The moon didn't really have seasons so every day was just, well cold.
Anyways, we did our best to improvise decorations. NASA apparently would rather spend the millions of dollars to send up a two foot tree on something more...well valuable (although honestly, what is more valuable than a Christmas tree), so instead of a traditional tree we put up a picture of a tree on our smart boards and called it a day. Decorating our room was tough because we didn't have decorations and my sister Violet didn't want to do anything before Christmas anyways.
There was a knock on the door. "Dashiell, could you open the door please" I opened the door to my dad with an armload of ...paper.
Of course, if the government wouldn't spend money on a tree, they wouldn't spend money on ornaments and other knick knacks. However, they did care for us, so they sent up some piles of printer paper for us to create decorations.
My mom appeared with some scissors "Time to get busy" she said as she opened and closed the pair.
And so it went, while kids were making wish lists, I spent my Christmas Eve cutting thousands of snowflakes. Not only were they for our cabin, apparently my parents actually convinced Nina to give them the night off (something extremely rare at MBA where time was more valuable than gold) on the promise that we would decorate all of MBA.
Shreds of paper were strewn all over the metal floor as we went in hanging up the snowflakes with tape. Normally at schools and such, you seem to have string hanging from the flakes to make it look like they were floating. And there was string on base, but we decided it wasn't important to waste it, so instead we got a big roll of tape and started taping.
I decided to take a break and talk to Kira.
"Hey what's up Dash" she asked when I greeted her with a friendly hug, which of course Roddy took exception to.
"Aww, don't you guys make a cute couple" he said and attempted to take a picture of our hug, however, he was inevitable too late.
I sighed, glanced at Kira, and laughed. Everyone on Earth had been saying we were most likely to make a good couple, because we were the same age and well, I was a guy and she was a girl. And honestly, I'm sure half the base agreed with them. But the one who shipped us the most was Roddy.
Roddy was so blatantly jealous of how Kira had preferred me to him it was hilarious. Roddy never went outside on Earth so his idea of getting Kira off of me was to be as obnoxious as possible whenever we were talking, which Kira had figured out.
"Get lost Roddy, I'm telling you we're just friends" Kira retorted.
"But why did you guys hug? I swear I'm the only good detective on this base and I'm telling you, you guys are hiding something"
"Good detective? You thought Nina was murdered, when she obviously is still alive"
That made Roddy take a step back, but he still had to get the last word. "Then what about that hug. Friends don't hug"
Kira smiled, knowing she had defeat in a clearly lopsided argument. "Yeah, that's because all you know about girls is from a video game. Have you ever seen a normal school? It's not like we're supposed to shake hands and be all formal with a 'Pleased to see you again'"
Roddy shook his head, and turned towards me "Well, Dash, I bet you were going to ask her out huh?"
I responded with "No, I just wanted to say hi. Because I'm normal. And not a creep"
Kira ignored Roddy's struggle to get into the conversation and asked me "How's the decorating going?"
"Tiring, but I think we're almost done" I responded "All we need to do is make the 'Christmas Tree' and that should please Nina"
Kira was about to ask something when she was interrupted again by a loud scream, which I could tell was from my mom.
"Dash where are you at! I need your help!"
We rushed to the scene, where I presumed my mom had fallen from trying to hang up snowflakes. I could tell he was somewhere by the green house and found him and mom on the brink of crying.
Little did I know, but Kira was behind me, and for the first time I didn't want to be near Kira because I was about to shed some tears.
"Dad" I asked "Are the...?"
"Yes Dash, they're all gone. All the green house food has been stolen"
Kira was simply shocked by what had happened, and so had everyone in my family, except for Violet, who was probably watching The Polar Express or some movie in our room.
Normally it was a big deal that all the fruit was gone, but in fact it was a bigger problem. Dad had told me last night after everyone was asleep that for the first MBA Christmas, there really wasn't going to be material presents like iPads and such. NASA wouldn't send them up, and really we're on the moon for crying out loud. Why would you ever be like "oh instead of enjoying being one of the only people to ever be on the mood, let's play an iPad game"? But the parents had been planning a big surprise. They've been working non-stop to harvest a giant crop of fruits and vegetables, and tomorrow on Christmas Day, a shipment of some fresh food would come in, something NASA actually agreed was reasonable.
Now, after months of 20 hour days, all the adults work was gone. Not only was Christmas ruined for us kids, but for the adults as well.
After the shock was over, it took a quarter of a second to confront our first suspect.
Kira, Dad and I all marched to the Sjobergs room to confront them about the missing fruit.
Dad paused and pounded loudly on the Sjobergs's door "OPEN UP!" he yelled "WE KNOW YOU TOOK THE FRUIT. WE JUST WANT WHATEVER IS STILL INTACT"
"It wasn't us this time go away" the Sjobergs yelled from their room
It was in due time that Chang HI-Tech, the base's second-in-command, would find out about this missing green house. He took extreme exception to the missing food, as he was the base's single greatest laborer, and promptly kicked the door in and tackles Lars Sjoberg.
"Dash, go check the apartment" he ordered as he pinned Lars to the floor with his shocked family cowering in the corner.
We spent around a minute checking every single nook and cranny. In MBA, the apartments were tiny and far too cramped even for Japan's standards, and after Kira, my dad and I scoped the place out we all came to the conclusion: unless there was such a product to make food invisible, the food was not in hear.
"Let them go" my dad said "They actually don't have it"
Chang seemed surprised by this "Are you sure? I mean they took it the last..."
"Yes Chang, they're clear, we'll hold them down if you want to look yourself" my dad replied.
Chang accepted that offer and it took the three of us to pin a furious Lars Sjoberg as Chang searched for any possible secret compartments. After the search he agreed: Unless they managed to eat around half ton of food in the span of say twenty-four hours, they didn't have the food.
We came out of the room when Lars attempted to put his door back in the doorframe. Instead of in a graceful way angrily slamming the door in place, the door bounced off the door frame and smacked Lars in the head knocking him out.
All the commotion had gotten everybody away from their jobs into the communal area, also known as the cafeteria, which was also considered the mess hall.
Lots of chatter was going on, but the question everyone was talking about remained clear: What happened to the food, at what was going to happen tomorrow?
In all honesty, I expected all the kids to be aware that the fresh food was going to be a present for them and that it was ruined. But however, I was shocked. Only Kira, Dash, Roddy and his brother Cesar knew of the "surprise". All the little kids weren't informed and hadn't put two and two together. All they knew was that Santa was going to make a trip to the moon in his long journey tonight.
First things first, we needed to figure out how long the fruits and vegetables would last should they be kept in some sort of compartment that someone was hiding. All the adults agreed that it would be able to last the night, so in theory if we had until tomorrow morning in around 8 hours to find the missing items.
The sad thing is that everyone, even the Sjobergs somehow, was at the meeting, so even though everyone looked confused, shocked, surprised, or determined to find the thief, it didn't take a genius to figure out that someone in front of us was acting coy and was harboring the stolen property.
Nina spoke up "Alright, so I know that one of you people are holding the food. No time for interrogation, but however, once I assign your list of partners, if your partner is acting weird, or not letting you get to a place, you let me know and we deal with them" She then called out pairs of people who would search sections of the base. Then she looked at me.
"Kira, Dash. There isn't much to do search-wise for the kids. Finish decorating this place, at least we'll be without food in a decently pretty area" She turned to Roddy "Roddy, you're no use. Go play those games or whatever you do" Finally, she let the kids do whatever, which meant they attacked the dehydrated waffles like vultures after dead meat.
After everyone scattered, I asked Kira "So, what's the plan to find the missing food?"
She laughed, quite excessively "Dash, you do know Nina is probably going to check if we actually did decorate. Let's start with that, I'm all for being the heroes, but it's hard to be a hero when you're grounded"
I blushed. "Yeah, I kinda thought so, just wanted to get a plan going"
And so it was, while all the adults frantically searched every cubic inch of Moon Base Alpha, banging all the walls for empty spots, Kira and I were like kindergartners, attacking a taped piece of paper with green and red and all sorts of colors, turning wood pulp into a tree. Did it look good? Well, let's just say next year NASA better invest in that Christmas tree. Point it, it was 1 AM, and we were finished.
We had 5 hours before the already asleep little children would wake up to find that food.
Almost jokingly, I asked Kira “Where to first coach?”
“What, I’m the girl here. You’re gonna make me do all the work?” Kira responded.
I turned red. “Well, I just meant…”
She laughed. “Relax” she responded and playfully slugged my arm “You’re right, I come up with the good plans anyway”
“So, where do you think we should go”
“I’ll give you a hint, it’s not on this base”
“What?” I exclaimed “You do know that with all the moon dust, all the food would be contaminated on the moon surface”
“Hey, I’m the brains here. Trust me, I know what I’m doing”
“Then tell me genius, where do you suspect the missing crops would be?”
“Remember the operations pod all the other adults were stranded at during the meteor shower?”
I shook my head. “No, there are people staying there. How could someone stash the food there without anyone noticing”
“Think about it. The architects aren’t used to the new moon conditions. Maybe they thought it would be better. Then, someone gives them a proposition: let them store a bunch of crops in there and they can have a cut of it”
I pondered that. “But how did someone spend hours on the moon without being noticed”
“We’re going to find that someone…right now” Kira stated as she walked over to the vee-yar center where Roddy was firing away at aliens.
Kira put on her best flirtatious act and asked Roddy "Hey Roddy"
Roddy had his headphones in and couldn't gear a thing, so Kira kept tapping his shoulder harder and harder until she was literally slugging him until Roddy looked up.
Roddy pretended to be cool, which honestly is hard when you're just the opposite of suave. "Oh hey Kira, what's up"
Kira had this whole bit down where she batted her eyelashes and smiles which had helped us hack into MBA's numerous technological aspects, mostly because Roddy for some reason knew how to get in and he was an easy target.
"Nothing much Roddy. Do you think you could do a small favor for me?"
Roddy paused. I'm pretty sure he knew he was being used, but honestly I could tell he didn't care. Kira never talked to him like this, and he probably thought she had changed or something.
"Oh, do you think you could get the security camera footage for me in the past 24 hours?"
Roddy laughed it off like it was the easiest thing. "Hah, child's play. Next time get me to do something challenging"
Kira had the most forced smile I'd ever seen as she said "Well, we'll see what you can do hotshot"
We went up to Kira's room while Roddy did his thing. Kira's dad was thoroughly inspecting somewhere near the bathrooms, so we were good for a while.
"So what's the plan from here" I asked her.
"Simple" she replied "We just watch the footage from last night, the only chance they would've been able to make away with the goods. I'm telling you, if any space suits are missing, we're going to find the culprit"
A question that's been bouncing around in my mind suddenly was released from my mouth. "How do you think no one has noticed for twelve hours that something was up?"
Kira laughed. "Dash you're so oblivious. Have you not seen the "decorations" that have gone up on the window of the greenhouse"
I stood up, left her room and walked to where I could see the green house. Indeed, there was a lot of carefully designed snowflakes placed where no one could see inside.
I returned to my conversation with Kira. "Makes sense I guess, and none of ur parents would go in there because if a kid followed them..."
"It would ruin the surprise" Kira said, finishing my sentence.
Just then, Roddy knocked on the door. Kira answered it.
"Hey Roddy, do you have the stuff?"
"Yes I do Kira" he said, producing a flash drive.
"Great!" Kira said and reached for the drive.
"Whoa, not so fast" Roddy said "You have to do something for me"
"What?" Kira said, now annoyed by Roddy.
"You have to give me a hug for this"
"Fine" Kira said, and snatched the drive.
Roddy held out his arms.
"What?" Kira asked, starting to try to walk by him.
"The hug you just promised?" Roddy questioned.
"I didn't say when I would give you a hug" Kira said, motioning for me to follow her.
Roddy tripped my on my way out, but I ignored him. I gave him a glare but went and followed Kira, while he disappeared into wherever he went.
We didn't end up going anywhere. We did a full circle and then walked right back to Kira's room, where we plugged the flash drive into the smart board. It took a little bit, but we found the folder for the area by the space suits.
The timestamp of 1 AM GMT Earth Time appeared. We were watching a lifeless hallway for 15 minutes when a body appeared. Only for a half second though. It blurred out the camera right away with some sort of cover.
I glanced at Kira "That had to be..."
Kira responded "There's only one person it could be..."
"Patton Sjoberg" we said at the same time.
We sped through the clip hoping the cover would be removed after Patton presumably went on the moon. We only had to forward fifteen minutes. The cover was probably some more paper (who knows how much of this stuff NASA sent up) and eventually fell off. However, when we got a good view of the spacesuit locker, Kira and I saw the same weird thing at the same time.
Half of the Sjoberg's spacesuits were gone, but...so were my mom's and my dad's.
"Whoa, where are my parent's spacesuits" I rhetorically asked.
Kira looked shocked. "There's no way..."
I shook my head. "No this must be like last time. Lars and Sonja must have taken theirs, and Patton and Lily's probably broke so they just took my mom's and dad's"
Kira thought for a second, and began to shake her head "Yeah, that's seems plausible. I mean, they'd want to do this quickly, and wouldn't waste time repairing it. Patton and Lily are about your parent's size give or take"
It was about ten minutes later when they came back, a reasonable amount of time we agreed if they were to travel on rover, with the extra few minutes Patton had gotten, to the operations pod and back. A few minutes later, they had another armful of baskets of crops, and were outside the door again.
"That's all we need" Kira said "It's out there at the operations pod, c'mon let's go"
Kira moved with such urgency it shocked me. "Whoa, whoa, what about a plan, I mean, our parents wouldn't let us out there" I said.
"Yeah Britain also didn't let Washington lead a revolution but it happened and good things resulted from it now are you coming or am I going alone?" Kira responded.
I eventually conceded and went with Kira. Once she got going on a topic, there was no chance in stopping her or changing her mind.
It seemed like Kira knew what she was doing. She figured out where we could make our way to the space suit storage area with being stopped, and calculated we had around 30 minutes to an hour before all of the "inspectors" would eventually give up. Honestly, I figured they would've been done hours ago, I mean it's not like we were looking for a person, just some food, and it wasn't a small crop so it isn't like a tiny nook and cranny would hide all of it. Still, all the grown-ups were peering tiny flashlights and banging on each section of the wall as they had for a couple hours now.
We stuck the wall, slowly, because even floors on fancy hi-tech moon bases could still creek, and even though there was a lot of noise, considering we were supposed to be in our rooms, and a major sound would destroy our plan.
When we made it to the storage area for the suits, I didn’t think about the action of suiting up, I just went through the motions. It was funny that kids like me dream of suiting up and walking on the moon, but here I didn’t even think, I was all-business.
Opening the door without being noticed was slightly harder, but we made it into the little holding area between the inner door and the outer door.
I glanced at Kira, who looked back at me. As soon as we opened the door, an alarm would be sent to the computer, so theoretically anyone near that area of the base would notify everyone of our escape in a quick amount of time. But, it had to be done, so we nodded and opened the door into the endless ocean of rocks that was the surface of the moon.
We bounced our way to the moon rover garage and took the keys and put them in the ignition. Normally, on Earth, these vehicles were tested to travel around 25 to 30 mph, which considering the moon base was around a half to a full mile away, was good. But on the moon, with the decreased gravity, it took five revs of the engine before we even got it going. After that, well, let’s say my great granny could have walked fast than the speed we went.
Still, the vehicle was great because we ride the craters and flew into the air. It wasn’t too long before we the operations pod for workers on Moon Base Beta was in site.
That was then Kira and I glanced behind our shoulder and saw an extremely angry pare of space suits who appeared to be of the same size as Lily and Patton on a moon rover chasing us.
Kira froze. "What should we do Dash?" she yelled.
"We need to turn around" I commanded.
"What?" she screamed "You do know if we turn around they will catch us and literally kill us"
"Not a full complete turn" I stated "Just pretend like you're going straight to the Operations Pod, but when we get there instead of parking go all the way around it and start going back"
We neared the operations pod. "SLOW DOWN" I suddenly screamed.
"What?" Kira cried "Why?"
"They're at a pretty far distance. If we continue at our pace they could see what we're doing and cut us off. Let them get closer"
She seemed unsure so I grabbed her arm to calm her down. She looked at my arm then at me. I shrugged. It worked with violet when got rowdy, and by the looks of it, it looked like Kira had earned my trust. She slowed down just so they were about half a football field's length from us.
We arrived at the operations pod, and like planned, instead of parking, we just kept going around it.
My plan worked perfectly. By the time Lily and Patton saw we weren't stopping there and going inside to hide, it was more effective to continue going straight around the pod than to do a complete spin, start up again, and go the other way.
"Yes!" Kira screamed into the radio in my ear when we suddenly gained lots of ground when their rover got stuck in some moon rocks. "We're half way back to the pod!"
Of course, our problems didn't end there. That's when we saw Chang Hi-Tech commandeer a rover and began to head straight for us. We were essentially doomed.
“I know what you’re thinking Dash” Kira yelled “We’re not doomed!”
“What?” I responded “How the heck did you…”
“We’re basically sandwiched in adult-death. Put two and two together”
“But still…you found the right word and…”
“Who cares, I have another plan”
“Would you care to elaborate on said plan?” I asked, but it didn’t matter.
Kira had taken a turn, and instead of going toward MBA, she was beginning to veer slightly toward the solar array. Right toward a giant crater. Chang however, was planning on cutting us off, and being the genius he was, he decided to aim for a part right behind a crater.
We were around 100 feet away when I yelled “Are we going to…”
“YES! That’s the only way Dash, we have to jump him”
And so it was, like an action scene, we were nearing the place, action music was playing in my mind, when all of a sudden we hit the crater and we went flying into the air.
Of course, here’s the part where you’re expecting we went sailing of Chang’s head, landed, made it back to MBA, and no one but Chang had noticed we were gone. Sadly, the opposite was true.
As soon as we were about to take off, Kira hesitated.
“What are you doing” I shouted.
“What?” I yelled but then I looked at Chang.
Chang had changed directions and chose not to attempt to somehow grab us out of the air, but to go for the crater so that we couldn’t jump. He got there a bit too late. We were almost in the air when his rover hit ours and we went flying into the base. Chang went flying too, near the solar array. Our rover went haywire and slammed right into the side of MBA.
“There goes being discreet” I muttered, when Kira grabbed me.
“C’mon, I’ve got a backup plan” Kira said as she pulled me toward an all too familiar part of the moon surface.
“Are we seriously going into the place where Nina nearly died?”
“Well, if we don’t go down there, we will die from our parents rage. At least we can pity them or something”
We opened the hatch to the operations pod for Moon Base Alpha. It was designed to pretty much keep you alive on the moon at that was about it. No amenities or anything. Except, when we got down there, there wasn’t an empty room but…
“It’s all the food” I announced to no one.
It was true, all the fruits of our work, strawberries, blueberries, all the berries and other foods the geniuses at NASA figured out could cultivate on the surface of the moon was here. I only saw it for a second, because once Kira was in, she closed the hatch, which blocked out all light.
“Wait, what did you say?” she asked me.
“It’s all here” I said, smiling “Everything has just been here”
Kira went to open the hatch to get some light, but she stopped herself, knowing she didn’t want to be exposed. Instead she walked over to the back wall and started feeling around, and sure enough she laughed and said “Yep, here it all is. The mystery has been solved”
“C’mon, let’s go tell someone, we need to get them in trouble” I told Kira, when a figure in a space suit opened the door.
Very winded, he said “Dash, come with me, let’s go inside”
In the base, my parents were almost confused on how to act. Like they wanted to reprimand me, but they also wanted to praise me for finding the entire crop.
Nina decided to hold a quick debriefing who-did-what meeting in her room.
My dad, Kira, and I arrived with Chang Hi-tech, the Sjobergs and Nina all in inflatable cube chairs.
Nina didn’t waste any time.
“All right, Dash and Kira, you violated a billion NASA safety codes but for the moment, we’ll forget about that. Lars, I mean I get the whole you-hate-us thing, but seriously, crops on Christmas?”
Lars still believed there was a chance to convince Nina that he had no part in this “I’M TELLING YOU” he yelled “I DIDN’T PUT THAT FOOD IN THAT ROOM”
It was time for Nina to combat him “Really? We have footage of Patton covering the camera to the space suits”
Lars paused “Patton…” he threatened, a quite bit amount of anger in his voice.
Patton admitted “Alright, alright, Lily, Cesar and I wanted to play space football again, so this time, I didn’t want to get caught…so I covered the cameras while we played. I didn’t know it would fall off”
Lars seemed satisfied with Patton’s answer, but Nina wasn’t. “Lars sit down” Nina ordered. When he did, she continued “You still haven’t answered my question. Just admit it, you know it’s a losing battle, I just need this for official NASA record and all that. Did you put our cultivated crops in that room”
Lars was annoyed, but he calmed himself and responded with a short “No, I did not Nina”
Nina began to yell, but out of all people, my dad stood up and said “Nina, sit down. Lars is telling the truth”
I spoke up. “What? But dad…?”
My dad looked at my mom and sighed. “It was my wife and I who snuck all that food into the old operations pod”
I was too shocked to react with any sorrow. My dad looked around and saw the similar reactions so he elaborated a little more.
“Let me explain. Lars approached me and said that he would pay me off if I found a way to give all of our crops to him”
Lars began to yell out profanity but my dad calmed him. “Lars, shut up. You know this is true. I only tell the truth”
When Lars sat down, Dad continued. “I was in the middle of decorating when he approached me. He said ‘Hey, I’ve got a question. All that food in the greenhouse. How much is that worth to you? In USD?’ I responded honestly, not suspecting anything. I told him that honestly, for fresh food, which I still am dying for, I’d pay a couple billion for it. Lars responded ‘Tell you what, I’ll pay you triple that once you get back to Earth, if you help me get all of it for my family’”
Lars interjected “Was it not a good enough deal? I mean, I’ll sweeten the pot if It means there won’t be any repocuss…”
Nina glared at him which ended any chance of him bribing us to let him go.
Dad continued “Anyways, I declined his offer, obviously, and that was when he threatened not Dash, but Violet. He said he would send Patton and Lily to do horrible things to her, unless I helped him out. I didn’t believe him, but the chance of losing Violet, I mean she was an easy target and helpless. Dash here is strong and he knew what to do when being attacked, but Violet…I couldn’t trust her being vulnerable. So I talked to my wife and we agreed to do the job”
He looked at the ground, and began tearing up, my mom rubbing him.
Kira interjected “So that’s why you were chasing us? Because you didn’t want us to stumble upon it?”
“Oh no, not for that reason” my mom said, finding her words. “We chased you because we didn’t want Dash to get hurt.”
Chang had nodded along and finally spoke up “So that’s that. Everything’s settled right”
Nina thought for a second and nodded “I guess so. Lars paid Dash’s parents to steal the crop, Dash illegally went onto the moon, Patton played with expensive equipment, yeah I think we’re good”
Two hours later, it was officially Christmas morning. It was extremely awkward, because instead of waking up to a beautiful Hawaii sunrise and looking at a vivacious tree filled with gifts, I woke up groggily to a paper tree with nothing.
But Christmas lunch was still a thing.
Cooking delicious meals proved to be a challenge everyone unanimously agreed on avoiding. We agreed that with the fresh burgers NASA graciously sent up combined with raw vegetables, the lunch was set. At first, Violet turned her nose at the kale and spinach, but in the end gobbled it up. For the first time everyone in MBA seemed genuinely happy, except for the Sjobergs, who Nina kicked from the luncheon and gave them rehydrated slop to eat in their room.
In the end, it was just another holiday on MBA.
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