Aside from the bloody setback, earthborn humans numbered in the hundreds of thousands. They progressed technologically every year, and reclaimed many of the lost technologies of the twenty first century. Herb kept to himself, and avoided many of the advances for fear of losing it all to a scorned High Priestess bent on exacting justice.

Nevertheless, Herb felt change.

Herb watched as the moon slowly shaded from an orangish yellow to silver. With the transition, the signs of humanities mark on the moon became clearer. In fact, they stood out like sparkling diamonds in a dull silver setting. Herb could not tell you the names of any of the cities that resided under the sparkling domes pocking the moon’s surface. However, from his vantage point, he could distinguish the biggest one. The Church of Earth First resided under that dome, central in the landscape of the moons near side.

Under the sparkling, multifaceted, transparalloy dome resided the seat of human government. The High Priestess, Atumnus-Terra II, and her Sisters ruled humankind with an iron fist. Her and her predecessors have for over three hundred years. Surrounding the Earth First Dome was smaller domes, all but filling the entire landscape of the nearside. All brightly reflecting the sun’s rays, giving the moon the appearance of a gaudy diamond amulet.

Herb found the sight atrocious, even though he has never seen the moon in any other way, aside from pictures. Without the old photos as reference, most people would think the jewel-encrusted moon was the most beautiful sight in the world. What Herb saw was human beings living in an alien environment. Separated from certain death by thin allows and membranes. Death for dozens, if not hundreds was just a fatigue rupture away.

According to the old stories, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands perished during the exodus.

Change was in the air, Herb felt it.

He was a third generation telepathic. Not the make believe telepathy of the old stories, or magic tricks. No, Herb and some of his fellow Earth born could freely communicate with each other via direct link of the minds. As his grandfather explained it, at first it was just sharing images, or concepts. However, as those that discovered this latent ability continued to explore it; they expanded on their talent.

That is what Herb was reaching out for when he probed the Citadel. Signs that this long dormant ability was showing up in the lunar born. He felt something on the Citadel. Now he hoped that even with the distance between him and the Moon, he could feel something there.

Elders here on Earth theorize that the High Priestess maintained control all these centuries by quelling dissent before others heard it. With the technology at the Churches disposal, and the confined existence of humankind, they could monitor every human interaction. If dissent showed its face, the Church snuffed it out with prejudice.

What Herb and his fellow telepath’s have learned over the last thirty years or so is. There are no lies among telepaths. Without lies, you have no deceit. Without deceit, you have complete trust. Trust allowed for planning, without the fear of betrayal.

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