Bridge to the Moon

Three decades of planning. Four years of preparation. Ten months of civilian mobilization. Two and a half hours of watching out the window, and the whole thing explodes. Literally. Two-hundred-forty-thousand miles of lightweight material shatter as the moon strikes.

The plan to construct the bridge to the moon had begun in response to the rapid population expansion. Science had advanced rapidly over the last three and a half centuries and the refinement of iron led, through much work, to the newest, lightest, strongest material possible. The hydrogen-based aerogel was rumored to have the strength to break a planet’s orbit while being light enough that a child could lift a house-sized portion.

The hope was to connect the planet to its moon and allow for the easy colonization of the giant rock mass. I knew it would never work. We were moved to an orbiting spacecraft for protection from the jolt as the two masses became one. The living conditions are cramped, the food isn’t palatable, and, worst of all, my soccer-routine was interrupted. I couldn’t even bring a ball, light as it was.

“We have success,” drones the intercom that had stayed quiet for the half hour preceding the crash.

That can’t be right! I just watched the whole thing get vaporized!

A new voice spreads through the ship. A familiar voice. It’s my way-out-of-my-league-all-brains-and-beauty fiancĂ©. “I apologize for the lack of preparation for the clutter you’re now observing. The public relations department decided the show would be more spectacular with a bit of suspense and surprise. The bridge is intact if you’ll notice the faint outline emerging from the clutter. The blast shell you observed shattering responded just as was planned. We will be returning to the planet shortly. Ships 593 and 714 will report immediately to the moon for construction.”

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