Fahrenheit 52

Plastic Man on the Moon

APOLLO 11 LOG : 20220509-1045

Neil Armstrong's a liar.

52 years, 9 months, 19 days. That's how long I've been stranded here on the Moon.

Oh, it's not all bad. Sure, it's as cold as a skinny dip in a snowstorm, but I don't feel a thing. Sunlight's a bit of a hoot. My thumb melted and fused to my hand my second day here - I had to hack a new one out of my wrist using a sliver of moon shale. Gristly business. But I've mostly got the place to myself. And I've been busy. We'll get to that bit later.

Neil and I... we were best of pals. Tom and Huck had nothing on us. I'd served with him since the Christmas of `36 and we been to there and back again, the two of us. Neil saved me from plenty of scraps with the family dog and even that one time with a disgruntled crow. And, sure, I saved Neil's hide plenty of times. You heard about the X-15, right? Boy woulda drifted right into outer space - pop! clean outta the atmosphere - if not for me taking the reigns of that hypersonic needle.

I may be small, but I can mash some buttons and fly a plane with the best of them. You know the astronauts aren't exactly pilots, right? The Russians sent a dog into space, for chrissake. Then we sent our brightest and boldest. And what did they do? Those Mercury hotshots sat in a tin can and stuck their tail between their legs when things got iffy up there. Believe me, computers ran the whole pageant and it won't be long before those metal calculators are running everything else, too.

I wasn't always such a curmudgeon. But 52 years on a barren satellite will do that to a figurine.

You know, at first, I thought it had to be a mistake. Neil - he was the best of us. Do you know what he said once he got off the lander?

That's one small step for Nan, one giant leap for mankind.

Nan's me. I'm Nathanael Greene. Nan, for short. Which I am. 4 inches and a bit, on a good day. Neil named me after George Washington's favorite general. So that's what I became for Neil. I'm technically a Daniel Boone action figure, but I tossed that the raccoon cap deep under Neil's bed the first chance I got. Cause me and Neil, we weren't frontiersmen, we were born to fly.

So, like I said, before Neil took his first step on the Moon, he pulled me out of his chest pocket and let me go first. Buzz didn't see it, thank the Lord - that Jersey boy already wasn't happy playing second fiddle. It meant the world to me. Then Neil whispered to me that he had a bunch of important duties to take care and he'd be right back. Well, Neil, did those important duties included jumping around like a child on a trampoline?

He forgot me. In case that wasn't obvious. My best friend left me on the Moon.

Once I saw them climbing back inside the module, I tried running back in time, but couldn't reach the ladder. Then I heard the engines roar so I had to duck and cover or else I'd be crisped up quicker than a firework on the Fourth of July (which is exactly what happened to that stupid flag).

I've been through every stage of grief and rage you can imagine and I've settled on Monte Cristo-style revenge. Like the good Count, I've got a growth mindset. Years ago, I set out to map the place and found plenty of interesting things out there in the lunar wilds. Maybe I'm starting to resemble Boone after all.

I fixed up a broken Russian rover ages ago. I've circumnavigated this globe four times in that thing - it's better than a Jeep. The dark side of the moon? It's great. Wish you could have been there, but you really have to go see it yourself.

Now, I've gone through a few flavors of my master plan over the years, but then, three years back, Earth sent me a little present called the Beresheet. Sure, I may have caused the crash landing by setting up interference with their gyroscope. Minor details. But you can imagine my surprise when I found its teeny little stowaways.


These little piggies don't need air or water or pretty much anything. Truly, creatures after my own heart. Now I've been helping these little critters thrive. I'm not going to say army quite yet. We're more of a frontier militia.

Look, I know Neil's not coming back for me.

Every day I watch the Earthrise.

And I remember the smell of sour milk and grass clippings.

I listen to the dull drone of the cicadas.

I swim in the rainwater of the thunderstorm.

I don't care who shows up here next... Chinese, Russians, Cubans, Israelis, the Martians. Me and the tardis are commandeering their spacecraft and going the hell home.