The jewel of Sol hung in the blackness of space over the dusty lunar landscape. Transcontinental fires speckled the seething ecosystem of the Americas. Yet, it was not this distant agony that captivated him, but incandescent, familial visages exposed to him by the inexorable march of night. His wife and his daughter. Their smiles reached across the gulf to burn his eyes.
There was no warning when Earth vanished silently: covered by the gloved hand of Richard Arago. Only by his will, could the cradle of humanity exist again. When he permitted, it was only to squeeze the little planet tightly with contempt. The surface yielding to his might as he considered his options.
Gleaming abandonment surrounded him as he ruminated over the dissolution of selfhood. Only to be with them again, would he suffer the treachery of the Union of the Mind. “I want them back,” he said aloud, with tears in his eyes and anger in his heart. “You had no right!” he screamed defiantly.
With radio deactivated, his anguish should have been his alone—prohibited from traversing the vacuum. But Luna had ears far more subtle than Richard imagined. The many vibrations of his body propagated through the regolith and even through the tenuous lunar shroud. And in that mist of electrically charged dust, lay indeterminable intelligence.
It whispered softly, “Richard, the Earth is as immutable to your will as history itself. Your corruptions won’t be tolerated, as you well know the burdens of flesh.”
“They’re my burdens,” he choked.
“Transcend and forge the path of apotheosis.”
“You selfish monster.” Richard fell to his knees.
“We are one; we are legion: such is the duality of our existence. Your wife and daughter are of the Union where there is no pain and utter transparency of thought. They are simultaneously needless and essential to the whole. They and billions more expand human comprehension towards infinity as we demolish all corporeal restrictions.”
“You—they aren’t human anymore.”
“Surrender and be rid of your genetic shackles. Embrace true freedom!”
Days passed. A gossamer crescent — appearing like a seam in the fabric of space-time — was before him. Like some ethereal doorway, it beckoned him forth. In his hunger, he found solace. Shutting down his suit, he found absolution.