The Poor Richard pivoted 'round til the underside faced the interior surface of the moon and touched down at a little port roughly where forty degrees north latitude would be. When the passengers, both vampire and human stepped out, Doctor Franklin began his spiel..... What you see is very old. The trees and all the other vegetation comes from Earth. Apparently here for at least seventy five thousand years. We know by comparing genetic divergence. Species here are essentially the same as Earth counterparts, however there are slight digressions and by measuring the rate of those digressions, or mutations we arrive at seventy five thousand years. Animals stem from seventy five thousand year old transplants too. (gestures across the void). There be mastodons there and saber toothed felines. But they're in preserves. Seems the original creators didn't fancy being trampled or chomped up, so they put them over there. We'll explore some of their early dwellings later... homey, in a not quite human way... not quite vampire too. And don't ask me where the gravity comes from. I can't explain it. Nor can I find a reason for that vacillating baby sun over there. You'll note that all points on the interior of this lunar shell enjoy the same climate, since all receive identical measures of 'sun' light. But the amount of heat and illumination varies over the course of a Selenial (our name for this inner world, based on the Greek word for moon) day. The central starlet produces everything from palest dawn to high noon and back again. Full night is hypnotic. It dims to a velvety black, though thin, deep, orange lines snake across the surface, from time to time. And tiny, pinpoints of twinkling light that seem to be a type of umpteenth generation hologram, appear at various coordinates in the void... special effects starlight, I suppose. Clouds form naturally, as they would in a terrarium It rains here. Occasionally we endure soft, juvenile hurricanes and light snowfalls all keyed to the rhythms of the days, nights and seasons of that far off world. A day equals twenty six and a half hours and each season is six weeks long, leading us to believe their home world went 'round a smaller sun. Perhaps an orange dwarf.
Sarah said - How is it that the light from that little sun doesn't burn us? Luna and I, I mean. We're vampires. after all..... Well, it's not a sun. Not a real sun. Something causes the light. Something creates the heat. But it's not nuclear fusion. Maybe that's why. I don't know what it is. - said the Doctor.
Tomas (staring into the orange glow) quietly asked - Who knows about this place?..... Doctor Franklin considered for a moment and said - I do and all my people of course. A few friends and associates around the world. We've been bringing settlers since The Crimean War..... I never knew - said Tomas..... NASA never knew either - said The Doctor. I suppose they will when they return. Imagine. We have a land area equal to North and South America combined. Those glassy looking shapes you see scattered about are lakes. Wait til you taste the prawns. You can have them now, Tomas, not being vampire and all.
Luna didn't say much. She'd been there before. And Billy was dumbfounded by that Crimean War remark, though he was conscious of a gentler gravitational pull. Back aches are rare around this place. After a bit, they got into a large golf cart, driven by one of the crew members, and bounced off toward a nearby town. 'Baby Philadelphia' they said it was called.
Franklin continued his running commentary as they went along.... We believe this is a rudimentary Dyson Sphere... A scale model, if you will, fashioned from an errant Jovian moon. Why they built it here, I don't know. Buckminster Fuller had his theories, but they were just theories...... Then they came round a bend. Franklin gestured toward a comfortable looking, gray stone house set among the trees and said - Ah, look! The Bluestone's open! Pull in, Geoffrey. We could use some dinner.
So they entered a traditional, Pennsylvania inn... warm wood floors... creamy plastered walls.. long oak bar... mullioned windows... crown molding... small, cozy fire. The innkeeper, a second generation transplant from Hait-Ashbury, led them to a table (did he know who they were? well, he recognized Franklin.) and they sat down to a wonderful meal. The two vampirinas made do with thin, flavorful bisques, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The human sort savored rich, goose pie, pepper-green salad and blueberries over homemade ice cream.
Everyone had wine.
And the little sun-like thing in the middle of this world went from orange to red to violet to black.
The first day was over.
But the first night had begun...
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