A continuation of last week’s story that was inspired by a prompt.
You can find the first part here!
Here was the prompt that started this story: “It’s 3am. An official phone alert wakes you up. It says “Do not look at the moon.” You have hundreds of notifications. Hundreds of random numbers are sending “It’s a beautiful night tonight. Look outside.”
Well, let us continue!
(I am taking creative freedom with science/astronomy, by the way.)
When I woke up, I was laying on a comfortable bed, soft light spilling from the lamp overhead. I moaned softly, rubbing my eyes and slowly sitting up, looking around. The room was plain, with no windows. There were a few pictures of sunsets, however. An interesting one was a picture of a burnt orange background, and the silhouette of a pair of hands cupping the setting (or rising?) sun.
“Ah, you’re awake,” a gruff voice said to my right. I jumped and turned to find a man sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. He was probably in his late thirties, and wearing a dark suit that looked almost military. It was vaguely familiar…
Then I saw the dark mask sitting on the table next to him.
“You!” I gasped, scrambling back. He held up his hands.
“Please. I’m not gonna hurt you,” he said. I hesitated. “Last night, we were looking for people who were still sane. When we saw your Jeep, we realized you were. Of course… we thought you were older…” he mused. I scowled at him.
“Then why did you attack me?” I demanded. He sighed softly.
“I’m sorry it seemed like that. We were just trying to get one of these masks on you,” he motioned to the mask sitting next to him, “before you accidentally looked at the moon. We were going to explain once you were safe. We didn’t expect you to pass out,” he explained. I looked between the mask and him, and he picked it up. “The visor blocks out the moon light. So even if you happened to glance at the damned thing, you wouldn’t be effected.”
“Uh-huh,” I muttered, unsure if I should believe him or not. Then again, he didn’t have red eyes, and he wasn’t screaming and trying to attack me, so there might be some truth to his words. “Who are you?”
“My name is David. I lead the men and women of Solar Flare. And you are?”
“Heather,” I said. “Um… junior in high school.”
“Nice to meet you, Heather,” he said with a genuine smile.
“So, what’s this Solar Flare thing you mentioned?” I asked. His face dropped slightly.
“We’re an organization that is working to protect those not effected by the harmful rays of the moon. We were started by a group of researchers who studied Lunar Lunacy.”
“Lunar Lunacy?” I asked, and he nodded.
“The belief that the full moon causes insanity. Of course, most people didn’t believe that. But there was an astronomer among their numbers, who began tracking the birth of a new star. One closer to Earth then even the Sun. Haven’t you noticed the sun seems closer, and more red?” he asked. I thought about it.
“Actually… yeah,” I said. He nodded.
“This “new Sun” is giving off gamma rays. Rays that are slowly seeping into the Earth’s atmosphere. Unfortunately, the moon is magnifying them.”
“So, you’re saying… the moon is making people turn into the Hulk? Without the green skin, of course,” I asked, causing David to laugh.
“If you want to think of it like that, yes.”
I nodded, thinking all of that over for a few minutes, before realizing something else. “Wait. Wouldn’t I have gone nuts just by being in the moonlight then? And you, for that matter?” I asked.
“Given enough time and exposure, yes. But your pupils act like lenses that magnify light as it enters them, and is a direct source to your brain. So, by looking at the moon, you are letting the rays enter your brain directly. And the radiation would scramble your brain quickly.” He stood, picking up the mask and bringing it over to show it to me. “This, and our suits, are made of metals to block the harmful rays,” he explained.
“Oh,” I muttered, looking at the mask again. I then shivered, remembering how claustrophobic it had made me feel last night. David studied me for a moment, before putting it down and sitting next to me. “Once the scientists realized all of this, they contacted the government. They didn’t believe the scientists, but gave them a few Black Ops men — my team — to keep them from causing a panic.”
“And once you realized what was happening… you guys hijacked the government’s warning system?” I asked, pulling out my phone and holding it up. He grinned.
“What I don’t understand though… is why I got hundreds of texts telling me to look outside,” I said, looking at my phone. A frown crossed David’s features.
“I don’t know. But we’re looking into that,” he said. I looked up at him, and nodded.
Short part, but mostly informational.