CYCLE 1: New Moon — The Arrival

Excitement, anticipation…silence in the vessel.

We land on the surface of the moon at 0300 hours. The time has come. A change has already begun. We can feel it even through the dense air of the ship.

There are 50 of us. We are the Cryptonauts- the carefully curated team chosen to embark on this mission to the moon. We emerge, ready for adventure, yet completely oblivious of what’s to come.

The moon is nothing like I’ve ever seen before. A vast darkness. An emptiness. A blank slate ready to evolve just as much as we are. The surface is surprisingly soft and it’s really not as cold as the movies make it seem. It may even be a place we can perhaps call home. Silly thought, right?

After exploring our immediate surroundings for a couple of hours, a few of us are ready for more. We decide to pick a direction and keep walking, until another Cryptonaut stops us-

“You can’t go there, that’s the dark side of the moon.”

We stare at him blankly…as if that was going to stop us.

“And?” REV responds. Goodness, even when she’s being sassy she’s still a charmer. No wonder REV gets away with everything.

The Cryptonaut offers a shrug and returns to the group. We forge forward.

There are four of us on our little team- REV, PXL, JAX and me-I’m GIN. We seem to have a lot in common, mostly our need to explore and our drive to evolve, hence the feeling that these are my type of people.

After walking for hours, we reach, “The Dark Side” that the others have warned us about. It’s dark alright. I can’t even tell you where my own hands are. And we thought it couldn’t get darker than the side we landed on, but as we must quickly learn, things are not always as they appear…

Once we emerge from the black, we enter into the brightest and most colorful space oasis. I’m talking shimmering pinks, vibrant purples, lushest greens and richest reds… and the stars- like confetti in the night sky! It’s another world in comparison to the other side and the others have no idea it exists! Just as we start to rush back to share the news, we are stopped by a baby with wicked style:

“What brings you to our side?”

What is a baby doing on the moon? Where is this child’s mother? How can she talk?

Her name is HODL and after questioning us, she brings us to the others of the gang- NEON, OPAL, and ORBA. These are the Moon Babies. They are all-knowing, and inhabit this not so “Dark Side” of the moon. With the coolest cap, darkest shades and brightest bling, HODL is a master prankster, ready for a good time. However, She is also one of the most patient beings I’ve ever come across. I have never met someone with such a magnetic personality, making us all drawn to her unique character made up of equal parts playfulness and maturity. This baby has mastered adulting. NEON is one complex moon baby. He’s both positive and realistic, making him an unstoppable force. He’s also as bold as can be. Some call him radioactive, but that’s just scratching the surface of his dynamic persona. This pragmatic idealist is capable of accomplishing anything, all with a baby bottle in hand. OPAL has an overpowering vibe to him that presents the gift of insight. Each baby is all-knowing, but OPAL is able to see every specific detail of what’s to come. This aura is undeniable as his eyes pierce into your soul and he watches your future in the stars; he never lets it slip to us simple-minded humans. It’s better that way, we wouldn’t know how to handle that sort of wisdom. ORBA. Orba= POWER. You can’t help but be engulfed by her charisma. I ask myself, how can someone demand such attention, without asking for it? This baby exudes extraordinary confidence and can solve any problem from her magnificent throne.

After getting acquainted with the group and thinking that was it for the surprises, the babies introduce us to the Moon Creatures- 50 majestic space animals (for lack of a better word). They are the most precious

things I’ve ever seen. Imagine- a fluffy, green little goat, a wolf with

pink highlights, a cartoon-like gorilla with all shades of blue, and a hippo who looks like he belongs in a children’s colouring book.

We cuddle and play with these majestic creatures and it doesn’t take us long to find and grow attached to our favourites- the ones we most identify with, I guess.

I take to a saber tooth tiger of deep blues and greens who’s alertness is what draws me in at first- I swear, you would think he has eyes at the back of his head, PXL to a neon green dragon with fearlessness none of us have ever come across, JAX to a fiery lion with a lush mane and a heart of gold that speaks to his and REV to a woolly mammoth of icy blues and grays with the amount of skill and fortitude that would outweigh her size tenfold. JAX expresses his interest in returning to visit this side of the moon and REV asks to bring her favourite creature with her to our end. NEON lays down the rules. He pops out a Moon Code on a Moon Scroll that’s displayed through hologram. These babies are incredible with their futuristic, cutting-edge toys.

Anyways, if we successfully abide by these rules, we can govern our side of the moon. The code is as follows:

1. Take Care of the Moon Creatures

2. Explore the Moon

3. Research the Moon

4. Help Build the Community

NEON goes on…

In order to return with these creatures, we have to win their respect and promise to care for them (offer shelter, food, train them etc.). NEON tells us once we are successful, we will then be awarded the title, Moon Trainer. I look to the gang to see what they think and of course, we are all up for the challenge because that’s just how we roll.

He continues…in order to gain the creature’s respect, a Cryptonaut must obtain enough points that are equal to, or greater than the amount the Moon Creature has in each category. The categories are Explore, Research, and Community.

Lucky for us, we learn the reason we were first drawn to these creatures is because we share a matching Trait, which is another requirement. Man, these Moon Babies are tough. Both my saber and I share the trait of Knowledge, PXL and her dragon- Courage, JAX and the lion both have the trait of Gratitude and REV and the mammoth have Patience.

Moon code promise- check.

Matching personality trait- check.

But now, how to gain their respect through this point system?…That can take years! Our favourite creatures hold higher points in most categories. This is seeming like an impossible task.

We return to our side of the moon to figure out a way to do this. Hmmm…

Nothing is coming to me. I’m starting to worry I don’t have what it takes to be a Moon Trainer…How will we accumulate all these points? Maybe my desired creature is too good for me? Am I even worthy? I mean, are any of us? We are talking creatures of the moon. They are literally out of our world!

Before things get too grim and the thought of giving up crosses my mind, JAX puts my mind at ease with his natural sense of serenity and PXL reminds me to keep the faith. They are right. This is nonsense. I am GIN. I empower others, lead the way. My intelligence can get me through anything. I am a brave champion Cryptonaut.

Once I remember this, I start to think outside the box…

We have to gain points by discovering the unknown, gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the universe, and helping the community grow and prosper. Explore, Research, and Community.

Then it hits me. We can follow their Moon Code, while getting points. We can build up our side of the moon to a fully realized civilization, thus contributing to all three categories and undeniably abiding by the code. So we do just that.

For weeks we work. We explore the moon, look beyond the horizon through special tools and work with other Cryptonauts to build new Infrastructures that help the community as a whole. As the weeks come to pass we now have more than enough points! Plus, our side of the moon is looking pretty awesome, too.

Us, core four, return to “The Dark Side” with our accumulated points and new perspective. The Moon Babies are thrilled by our success and growth. We become the first Moon Trainers of all the Cryptonauts. As soon as NEON declares us Trainers, I notice the other’s hair turn vivid colours and their skin illuminates. I look at my hands and they are the same- my hair, too! I feel like a new person. It’s a rebirth. Nothing is what it used to be. We celebrate the beginning of our relationship and new colour-infused life with the babies and creatures.

I must say, becoming a Moon Trainer is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but there is nothing better than the feeling of bringing my Moon Creature home. PXL names her dragon Daxton, JAX’s lion goes by Lennox, REV’s mammoth is Minerva and I named my saber, Speers. Yes, I am his Trainer, but he teaches me so much more than I could ever teach him.

Us Cryptonauts and Trainers have a massive task ahead of us to adapt to the ways of this new world we’ve immersed ourselves in, but with the help of the Moon Babies and Moon Creatures, I know we can build a universe that is dynamic, boundless and always evolving for the better. This is only the beginning of our journey.

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