Part 1: In Russia, Moon Loves You

Orbiting Earth, safe from weathering, lie last artefacts of Human race. When bombs drop, viruses boil blood, or climate turns, these things remain.

Americans got to Moon first, but were not content with achievement. Real goal: beating “Ruskies” and winning race. Mere competition.

Means to end, not end itself.

The reason I come to Moon? Legacy of Man corrupted.

Easy to fix, once here. Junk, mementos, even golf balls: fine. Only two things have to go. Recorded voice and signature on plaque.

Silicon disc: snapped. Name: chipped off plaque.

Screw you, Richard M. Nixon. No immortality for you.

Mission accomplished.

Part 2: Re-Rising Son

Taikonauts claimed the Moon for China, saying they’d actually use it. A long time ago, they did. Mansions, theme parks, botanic gardens, the works.

When there were humans, before they left the place to go pale in the sun, they genuinely thought the Moon was interesting, but the feeling faded into a raw need for the many excesses they would build only to leave in their wake. All looked over by giant marble Mao, the stone from mother-China, and a colossal Xi, built from materials mined from Mars.

They aren’t alone. Standing forever beneath them are others, people who aided China’s eventual rise to the stars. There’s a statue of a man who opened international relations with China next to a hotel bearing his name, the Hotel Nixon.

He’s grinning. He’ll grin forever.