CYCLE 1: Waxing Crescent — “Real” Tour

We finally reach the last stop on snooze express…my brother, JAX, and his gang took us around to show us the ropes, but so far it hasn’t been much different than what we’ve seen upon landing. I mean, he’s one of the first Moon Trainers in TOTHEMOON UNIVERSE…I thought things would be more…epic. Like, we know you contributed to the dawn of a new civilization, okay, cool, what’s next? I should stop. I’m being too impassionate about it all. I guess I’m just eager to see what we’ll make of our time here. What they accomplished during the new moon phase actually is pretty awesome. If you want to read about it, check out Cycle 1: New Moon — The Arrival. But back to this tour, yeah so far, it’s been pretty much creatures, a moon scroll, and some plot system I can’t seem to grasp…

Oh, sorry, you’re probably wondering who am I? I’m RAX, I came along with the new Cryptonauts of waxing crescent. My group consists of LIN, AXL, and DEV. And just like our siblings, we earned our Moon Trainer stripes (quicker than them I might add). My friends are the absolute best. AXL always reminds me to stay humble and that everything has its own timing. This is great because sometimes I can be a bit too bold and clever for my own good. LIN teaches us to hold onto the belief that everything will turn out okay, as long as we don’t take what’s been given to us for granted. Smart girl! DEV, another fire-y character like myself is fearless beyond compare. This guy does not have an ounce of apprehensiveness in his body. Thank goodness he has the smarts to back it up. His agility takes us far. And me? I mean its kind of hard to describe yourself, but I guess I would say I’m a practical girl, pretty positive…I also tend to take charge but always watch that I’m not being too bossy. My big brother always said I can be, but siblings tend to say this sort of thing. My team has no problem with my approach and it seems to work for us.

Anyways, I swear I’m not ungrateful for this tour, or difficult to impress, but it’s just that I’m always ready for more- to reach the next step. I’m excited to see what the waxing crescent will bring. This is our time! We say goodbye to our siblings and without barely being five feet away…

DEV whispers, “Okay, time for the real tour!”

LIN responds, “What real tour?”

“You can’t expect that to be it…there has to be more they aren’t showing us.”

I chime in to remind the gang, “Yeah, PXL said there were some things we aren’t ready for and would discover in our own time…so let’s get to it.”

AXL protests, “Yeah in our own time…when we are meant to. Not now!”

DEV responds, “Now’s as good a time as any!”

“I don’t know guys…” LIN mumbles.

Things tend to happen this way. DEV and I are always down for a wild adventure and LIN and AXL are a bit behind. I usually give my classic speech…

“Guys…this is our time! It’s our chance. Why would we hold ourselves back when there is an entire universe to discover! We are the new trainers for a reason. Out of all the new Cryptonauts, we made it this far! Let’s build on what the generation before us created!” They ponder. This is good…And in 3, 2,1-

“Alright, I guess a look around can’t hurt. Who knows what we’ll find.” AXL admits.

A win for team fearless!

“Now, there’s that sense of wonder we all love!” says DEV.

“LIN?” I ask.

“I just don’t want the previous-gen to think we’re taking them for granted, you know?”

“For granted? We are taking the blessings they gave us in hopes to multiply them! If that’s not true appreciation, I don’t know what is!”

“I’m in. But what about our creatures? We have to care for them.”

“Of course, they are coming with. There is no way I’m leaving Gideon.” Gideon is my gorilla who knows the way. Together, we are the trailblazers who let our gut-feelings lead.

I should explain… we are the only four (former) Cryptonauts who have both first and second-gen Moon Creatures. Our first-gens were of the highest morality. This came from being properly cared for at that time. Because of this, they sent out a signal to their elders of the next gen, communicating that its caregiver can be trusted…These creatures clearly know how to look out for their future selves…Well, unfortunately, the other 46 second-gen creatures have not received the signal (hopefully, yet), and therefore have not made it to this phase. We try to wait patiently and care for the ones we have but have no idea when they will make their arrival.

In search for something greater, we pick up our furry friends and begin the “real” tour, as DEV so gently puts it.

We walk off the beaten path, up and down massive green hills. About an hour in, we notice something on the horizon…a tiny house? A watchtower? What could it be? We approach the structure to realize it’s some sort of well! I draw up the pale and we find freshwater. From what we can see, it’s deeper than measure! Our moon creatures slurp up buckets at a time. It must be the cold, refreshing temperature that draws them in. By the well, LIN discovers a Water Jug someone had left. At first, we thought, oh wow so cute- a mini bottle, but actually this compact sippy cup can hold a lot more than we thought! We use it to take the water with us.

Leaving the lush hills, it starts to rain. Not just rain, pour! We run forward hoping to spot a place to take cover only to find ourselves in the Moon Forest! I have never actually been here, only heard stories about it. It’s beautiful! The trees majestically tower over us like tall shields offering shelter.

As we walk along the path we notice a group of bare trees. Of course, they stick out since everything else is pretty overgrown. AXL examines the trees and drops to the ground at once because he notices something. He picks up what appears to be … a strawberry? But, this one looks different…more vibrant! DEV of course is the first to try it and we all carefully follow and… WOW like candy! This makes the earthly strawberry taste like plastic. I can’t go back to my mom’s homemade jam after this!

With a basket of strawberries, we walk on to find the spreading tree forms. It’s here that we discover the Moon Pears. AXL tells us he read they are super nutrient-dense! Along with giving us the needed vitamins, they also taste great.

As we chomp away, we find ourselves in front of the pyramidal tree forms. This is where I discover the Moon Apples. JAX told me they offer the quickest and greatest form of energy out of all the foods on the moon. We decide to save those for when we need it on this journey.

After the forest, the landscape returns to a more moon-like area. Here, we come across the craters! These massive dips would make awesome pools! Near these bowls are bushes that grow aquamarine berries! They taste as delicious as they look. It’s incredible to see such lush bushes near these hollowed areas where you’d expect it to be desolate. Not too far off from that area, are the caves. These domes are covered with Special Moon Plants flowering up its walls. The Special Moon Plants offer the Moon Creatures the highest source of special energy. But apparently, it’s not safe for us to eat! Of course, daredevil DEV is about to give them a taste but thanks to Sirius’ lightning-speed reaction, stops him in his tracks. DEV literally owes his life to his snake!

Wila, LIN’s bright and determined wolf, is not doing well. She has a strikingly fierce look to her and is able to handle anything but now is exhausted and seems to be limping. It’s hard to see them so weak because usually, they give us the strength we need to go on. Even through her pain, she keeps trying to pull us down another path that we did not originally intend to go down. LIN tries to settle her but it’s not working. We rush out the Special Moon Plants. Luckily, the nutrients are just what she needs. As soon as she is herself again, she rushes down the path she has been so determined to explore to reveal a running river, which leads down to the lakes.

We spot the Special Moon Fish hopping in and out of the water. It’s here we find Fishing Rods to catch them! They have a sweet and salty taste which our creatures like the most. We follow the stream down the river to where the lake begins. Ludvik, AXL’s lizard finds the Special Moon Berries near the lake’s outer edges. With the seeds all over his face, we can tell he likes the pungent bitterness of this fruit. He is a kind reptile who, despite his obsession with this fruit, shares with the other creatures. In the lake, we spot a Purple and Pink Moon Fish school near the water’s surface. AXL grills them to perfection. Us Trainers like these ones. The pink has a sweeter taste, while the purple is saltier. YUM!

At a stump near the lake, we discover two boxes…confused, we open them up to realize that they store food. One is for Special Food. The regular one is out of the same material as the Water Jug, while the Special Food Box is the most intense piece of Tupperware I have ever seen! Just as we pack our fish and fruit in these boxes and prepare to leave, our creatures begin moving in circles and are in complete distress! All we hear is a high pitch sound in the distance but it’s clear they hear something much more alarming. The strange sound ends, our creatures calm down and we head back. I suggest another route so that we cover more undiscovered ground…

We approach a meadow that seems to have some moving figures in the distance….completely caught off guard, we arrive only to realize it’s the remaining 46 second-gen moon creatures! We found them! We found them! They made it to the waxing crescent! We recognize them as they look like their younger selves, just a bit more mature. But of course, just as cute! Our creatures are thrilled to reunite with their group again. And now it all makes sense! The high pitch sound was the signal from the previous gen to all creatures!

We were worried we had done something wrong in caring for our creatures, but thank goodness that wasn’t the case! Just as we all cuddle and play, a teal orb floats down towards us…

Then…it pops! It’s a boy! A floating baby boy!

“Greetings, I’m ORBT.”

“That must be a Moon Baby!” LIN whisper-shouts.

“Let me bring forth my pals.” ORBT snaps his fingers and just like that three other Moon Babies land their feet on the ground.

“HOLD, NEOM, and OPEL. Gangs all here,” he says.

The 2nd Gen Moon Babies look incredible. Our jaws are dropped.

“You should have seen the look on your faces when you found the creatures. Relief of the century. I bet you guys thought you failed at taking care of them. What a solid prank on our part,” HOLD says, laughing.

“It was not a prank, HOLD. It was a lesson. It was to teach you guys the future is never set and stoned, no matter what you do, or who gives you what, to begin with. You all took the lesson very well and cared for the creatures you had. We are proud,” explains OPEL.

“Cheers to the trainers!” NEOM holds her bottle in the air, then drinks.

After spending some time with the Moon Babies, we get to know each of them pretty well. They are all so different, yet somehow, unstoppable as a group. They function in perfect harmony with one another.

ORBT is a charmer who rules from his throne. The only way to describe his work is magic, but I don’t even think it’s that. He is a master problem-solver who can make anything or anyone appear out of thin air. NEOM is a bit all over the place but she has her calm moments where logic and reason win. Her energy is unmatchable and not to be ignored (as if that was even a possibility). HOLD is a jokester who can sometimes be a bit flashy. But it’s all good because it’s well deserved. He is the master of waiting for perfect timing. OPEL and her stone know exactly what the future holds and she even knows how it’ll happen. She helps us mortals understand that we cannot control what’s to come and that’s okay, it is how we react that matters. I guess that’s a bit of a theme for this phase…

Us Trainers and Cryptonauts have a lot to learn from the Moon Creatures and Babies. But it is through this that we will become the people we are meant to be.

We head back to our plot with our discoveries and news of the 2nd gen creatures. The Cryptonauts are thrilled by the surprise. All in all, our chapter is off to a great start.

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