The Lunar Wasteland covers an area that measures almost half the size of Siberia. Whichever station you’re approaching it from, all that you’ll be seeing while leaving the shuttles behind are hills of waste: a horizon of majestic, abandoned and slowly disintegrating trash. Mankind has failed in containing its overproduction on the Earth and at the end of the XXI century started to use the Moon as a lump for their shit.
Thank goodness someone thought of doing it.
The number of libraries, museums and schools had increased in number and size throughout the century, as their collections were enlarging at a fast pace and needed more and more space. Governments all around the world noticed that those public spaces were representing a serious threat to the construction of new habitable units, and they collectively decided to initiate their dismantling after an epic campaign of digitalisation of the global knowledge. So, each and every piece of information forming the human and inhuman scholarships were registered and archived, to be found online. Users could access entire texts, galleries of images, codes, music, movies, audio files… Up to 2125, everything was digital, the physical objects were destroyed, and the year became a milestone in human and technological history, as the archival power of our computers had made human memory obsolete.
Not much time ago, in 2148, and all of a sudden, the Great Blackout happened.
Nobody knew anything about it. Head of states, the intelligence services, technological developers, artists, philosophers and engineers from all over the world declared to be as shocked as everybody else. Millennia of history, culture and archives patiently scrutinised over the centuries were deleted forever and nobody knew who to blame. In order to try saving the vestige of our global past, those whose memory could recall past happenings and knowledges were asked to work to their recollection: dozens of task forces composed by historians, technicians of all fields, writers, politicians, even cooks started to write, draw, tell stories and commonplaces about the past, to prevent all those information getting lost. A pivotal part was played by us, the archaeologists, who were sent in troops on the Lunar Wasteland to dig into the trash and find out what we could collect from it.
We were mainly looking for books, but the recycling mania that had spread throughout the XXI and XXII centuries has left only a few. Luckily enough, a dictionary was found some months ago, even though it is dated 1978. Of course, it was immediately digitalised and uploaded to our scanning devices, and currently represents our best tool of reference to navigate what we discover here.
Planet Earth. From here, it seems like it’s drifting in the universe.
When I get my eyes down, back to the wasteland, I see an image, the portrait of a woman. Colours are very compromised, but I can recognise some blue on her eyelids and red on her lips. There’s an inscription that states “Madonna - Celebration”.
Archaic: an Italian lady.
a: Catholics and other Christians use to refer to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, as Madonna.
b: an artistic depiction (such as a painting or a sculpture) of the Virgin Mary.
c: a morally pure and chaste woman.
I keep jumping from a definition to the other - Christians, Mary, morally, chaste. The dictionary states that the colours blue and red are connotations used for Madonnas in most of the holy representations from the XIV century onwards.
A depiction of the mother of Christ… Our past slowly coming back to light, piece by piece.