First Men in the Moon
(First Men in the Moon)
A lunar capsule directed by an international crew lands on the moon. Firsts steps on the moon are now a reality. During their exploration, the astronauts discover on a lunar rock an outstanding object... A little English flag and a message written in 1899! declaring that the moon was discovered for the Queen Victoria, proving the astronauts that they are not the first men on the moon but that it was discovered many many years ago.
The discovery makes fury, English walked on the Moon in 1899! An inquiry is led to find the pioneers. An inquiry that leads them to an old man, Mr. Bedford, who is going to tell his dazzling story to the reporters who came to interview him.
In 1899, Bedford and his young fiancee Kate settled in a small cottage. Their direct neighbor is Mr. Cavor, a science searcher who uses his own cottage to realize scientific experiences. He works on a new paint capable to compensate the earth's gravity - the Cavorite. First incredulous, Bedford understands that Cavor's discovery is fantastic and joins him to throw into the inconceivable adventure... to go to the moon!.
Despite Kate's reticence who does not wish his husband to commit in this adventure, the means of transportation, a sphere made of steel they painted with the revolutionary matter, is on the point to leave. The stearing of the capsule is made possible thanks to coated shutters, allowing to vary the painted surface.
While the departure is imminent, Kate comes a last time to discourage her husband, but the former is embarked despite her will in extremis before the capsule takes off. The capsule rises and directs to the moon.
After a rather rough landing on the moon, Bedford and Cavor dress their scubas to exit, leaving Kate inside because no supplementary spacesuit had been anticipated. After having deposited a little English flag and a message witnessing of their run, they discover an entry, a mechanical passage that opens in front of them. While walking in, they meet moon's creatures. Taken by fear, Bedford gets rid of some of them and, despite Cavor's indignation for his lack of courtesy and the fail for communicate with this new people, they return to the capsule.
When they are back, they discover that the capsule disapeared. Following its steps, they arrive ahead a door they pass thru. There, behind, they no longer need their scubas because the cave contains oxygen. On their way in search of Kate and the capsule, they meet a giant caterpillar. Explorers will be saved by the lunar creatures. With the help of crystals, the Selenites use solar energy to create oxygen to live.
While Bedford delivers Kate who is studied by the creatures, Cavor meets their chief in a mysterious room. He explains it how live the humans, tells it about the countries, policy and wars. Fear to be annihilated by other humans, the chief of the creatures prohibits them to leave back on Earth.
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
However, Bedford and Kate will escape and return on Earth, leaving Cavor on the Moon, avid of communication and knowledge, who will have preferred to remain with his new friends.
Thus finished Bedford's story. The lunar expedition searches for the lunar creatures, but the astronautes only discover vestiges of the civilization in which had implied Cavor. It seemed that the aliens immigrated to another planet... So did Cavor.