Chapter 320 Enjoy The Victory
Zhang Heng glanced at Armstrong and found him staring at the valley in front of him. It seemed he didn’t notice the voice coming from the communication channel. As for mission control in Houston, every line seemed secure, and there wasn’t any sign of interference there. Zhang Heng quickly came to realize that he was the only one that could hear the voice.
“You need to make a choice. You have only 19 seconds of fuel left,” the voice reminded him.
Zhang Heng looked down again and found that the location was too rough for landing. The valley on the opposite side seemed no less dangerous as well. He also was oblivious to what lay beyond the valley. The surface might be just as rough on the terrain he was flying above right now. If he knew the exact amount of remaining fuel, he was more inclined to bet on this spot, but now, with the hint from the mysterious voice, Zhang Heng finally made up his mind and pointed the spacecraft to the valley. “Very brave choice, you still have 13 seconds of fuel left, 640 feet above the ground.”
The voice in the communication channel continued, and it gave Zhang Heng the figures he needed the most. It allowed him to regain control of Eagle’s current status after losing the instruments. As the seconds passed, the lunar module got closer and closer to the valley. If the commander were to be someone else, he might question Zhang Heng’s decision at a time like this. Commander Armstrong, however, remained silent, deciding to trust Zhang Heng’s judgment.
The warning alarm beeped again, and a red light flashed. Since it was noisy and loud, Armstrong instantly disablem them to prevent Zhang Heng from being distracted. The Lunar Module gradually descended, and they were quickly soaring above the valley. Looking down from above, however, they only saw darkness – like a huge mouth, waiting to eat the spacecraft alive.
“…7 seconds of fuel remaining, 315 feet above ground.”
Because of the quickly depleting fuel, Zhang Heng decided to shut down the thrusters. He would only reignite them after gliding for some distance. The moon’s gravity was only a sixth of Earth’s, and even if fuel did run out, Eagle wouldn’t just fall to the surface immediately.
The valley beneath them was approaching fast. Fortunately, with the last 5 seconds of fuel left, Zhang Heng finally saw the other side of the valley. It was a very flat terrain, an excellent place to land the spacecraft. So the only question that remained was if they had enough fuel to get there.
After the initial observation, Zhang Heng estimated they still needed to travel for about 1.7 kilometers, and it would take a minute and a half to get there at their current speed. They were now less than 50 feet from the ground and almost touched the cliffs that lined the valley. Zhang Heng had to spend another two seconds of precious fuel to boost the altitude of the Lunar Module.
Now, he needed to adjust the Lunar Module’s position and decelerate it during his landing. In other words, he had to make good use of the remaining fuel on board.
Like a shadowy specter, the lunar module glided silently over the valley.
Zhang Heng’s hand got colder and colder as he grabbed the joysticks. The Lunar Module was headed in the right direction, but they were at a shallow angle of descent, which meant the vehicle could hit the rock wall before it could land. As he flew closer and closer to his landing point, the Lunar Module missed the rock wall by less than 15 feet. Zhang Heng remained extremely focussed, not bothering to celebrate after escaping the close-call. He coasted the spacecraft forward for a short distance before he entered the landing procedure.
Then, he triggered the thrusters, and running on vapors at this point, they lit up, bringing the spacecraft to a stop. The thrusters fizzed out their last breaths, and once all the fuel had been used up, the four landing legs of the Eagle were already on the surface of the moon.
“Houston, this is Jinghai Base. The Eagle has landed,” Armstrong reported. Despite crossing a massive hurdle, his tone remained stoic and hadn’t changed a bit.
In a jiffy, massive roars and cheers erupted through Mission Control Center in Houston, and everyone ran around in excitement with everything they could grab in their hands. They had good reason to get this elated because, for the very first time in history, a human had landed on the moon!
NASA threw in everything they had just for this day to happen. The doubts and immense pressure they faced from the public meant that they had to put in the double effort and prove themselves worthy. When their dream finally became a reality, the teams couldn’t help but tear up. Zhang Heng was pleased, and although he knew that this was just a game, he still felt as if he was part of history now.
“Congratulations, ten out of ten for the perfect landing,” the voice on the communicator said. “You will soon enter my favorite session. The Neil Armstrong beside you is about to utter my favorite sentence. This is my favorite scene in our entire human history.”
“It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? Five hundred years ago, most people believed that the Earth was flat. Now, you are standing here on the moon 300,000 kilometers away from Earth. There is no oxygen here, but your spacesuits allow you to breathe. Science and technology forever changed lifestyles and cognition. Despite that, some people still believe that the Earth is flat… they held a party in North Carolina not too long ago. But this is not important now. Our brain is a good thing, but you can’t expect everyone to have a good brain… well.. the point is, technology is great, isn’t it?”
“Who are you?” Zhang Heng frowned. “Our encounter in Area 51 wasn’t a coincidence, right? Why did you infiltrate our quest? Are you a player? What is your purpose of looking for me?”
The moment he spoke, Zhang Heng realized that the voice belonged to the man calling himself Einstein. It explained why the Bluetooth headset suddenly turned on by itself. Zhang Heng didn’t know the origins and identity of Einstein, but judging by the circumstances of their first meeting, he was sure Einstein harbored no malicious intent towards him. Also, Einstein had been an immense help with the landing.
Einstein smiled when he heard Zhang Heng’s voice.
“Times have changed. Four hundred years ago, it was alright burning Giordano Bruno to death to prevent him from spreading the heliocentric theory. Our time has come; the older generation is getting weaker. They, however, are not willing to be forgotten by time, wishing to use this game to redeem their past glory. Of course, we all know it’s just a lie that they fool themselves with.
“They’ve lost a long time ago and have been completely defeated. As far as I know, some of them live worse than dogs. This is truly saddening. They should have just killed themselves hundreds of years ago, and perhaps, they could at least die with a bit of decency. Natural selection and survival of the fittest. These are the wise words of Darwin. Victory will always belong to the newer generation. So my advice for you is to choose your side carefully. You don’t want to board a sinking ship like the Titanic. Beneath the gorgeous robe could lay a lice infestation . I like you. We will meet again. Finally, enjoy the victory. Not everyone can stand beside Neil Armstrong on the moon.”