Return to Magical Astronomy, Music CDs or Fiction by ZUN


Eternal romance, universe of wheelchair.
...What's the greatest common problem between private Moon Tour and physics?

1.Welcome to the Moon Tour (Welcome to Lunatic City.)


"One of mankind's dreams, voyages to the moon are finally possible!"
"Tours from each of Japan's travel agencies will begin next month."


The footsteps of people coming and going pounded heavily, and in front of the railroad stations,
newspaper extras whizzed through the air.


This time, everyone was putting them away in their bags, even the normally tossed extras, because of this unusual, cheerful news (sports news excepted). They said that they were interested in the articles, but there were more than a few who were captivated by the pictures.


Pictures of the universe soothe the soul. The reason is that they force upon you the realization of mankind's triviality. For all the hardships we confront, the feeling we get when we compare them to the sheer vastness of space comforts us. With a universe this immense, one's own efforts are not very important. Bosses and politicians and fallen dictators are all insignificant humans. One should work to their own satisfaction. This feeling can be sensed from just looking at pictures of the universe.

宇佐見蓮子とマエリベリー・ハーン (メリー) の二人は、大学構内のカフェテラスで興奮した様子で会話をしていた。

Renko Usami and Maribel Han (Mary) are excitedly chatting at a sidewalk café on a university campus.

2.Greenwich in the Sky (Royal Greenwich Observatory)


"They say that they're also sending off a manned Martian probe."


"Huh. Well, Martian probes are fine. More importantly Mary, let's discuss the "Moon Tours" in the papers."


"Sure. For someone who can tell the time and the place by just looking at the stars and the moon, you'd like to know what the moon's surface looks like, right Renko?"


"I'd know that 'this is the moon's surface,' won't I?"


"What about the time?"

「私の目はJST (日本標準時) しか見られないのよ。UTC (協定世界時) は能力外。そもそも、月面でも地球と同じ時間を使うのって変よね」

"I'm only tuned in to Japanese Standard Time (JST); Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) is beyond my abilities. It'd be strange if the Earth and the moon used the same time, anyways."


"Wait wait, 'beyond your abilities'... it's just a matter of subtraction, isn't it?"


Currently we use UTC in the universe, but it's basically the same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
The Royal Greenwich Observatory was constructed in the 17th Century. When you think about a time system, designed to observe the universe, to be used in that universe, it's somewhat funny.

3.Sleepless Night of the Eastern Country (Vampirish Nightlife)

「で、いつ行くの? 月面旅行」

"Then, when are we going? This Moon Tour."


"You're so hasty, Mary. Well, it'll certainly be crowded; I'd like to get the reservation out of the way quickly, at least."


"It appears extremely crowded during summer vacation and such; it seems rather hot, so how about delaying it to fall?"


"I don't think the moon gets hot; it feels the same, right. Fall's nice; it feels Japanese. In that case, let's go during the harvest moon."


"With dumplings! Let's do it! Let's do it!"


Even with all the knowledge we have about it, the universe is but an eternal romance.
Concerning one of these romances, if we were able to go and stand on our captivating Moon, I'd think that everyone would be itching to go.


However, these two haven't yet found out about the expenses such a tour would incur.

4.Future Universe of Wheelchair (History of Time)


"Yet, the manned Martian probe still hasn't been successful. I wonder if we can witness the universe imagined by Hawking."


"But in the end, the problem is that we don't have any physicists that can surprass Hawking."

「あら、蓮子が頑張れば良いんじゃない? 稀有な能力の持ち主なんだから」

"My, couldn't you do it if you work hard, Renko? You have a rare ability."


"My field is a different one. Well, maybe I am as smart as Planck. Plus, I don't think they could observe the black hole evaporation that Hawking predicted. And more, mankind hasn't even gone to Mars."


"Oh my, how pessimistic. But if you are saying it, then it must be true."


"The amounts of energy needed in order to observe it are enormous. In fact, theoretically, and effectively, observational physics is coming to an end. And by the way, the Moon Tour is too expensive."


Physics it's coming to its end. It was already rushing into an age of explanations and philosophy.

5.Demystify Feast (Beyond a Veil of Mystery)


"Yes, even though it's a campus café, this one is rather good and elegant. So, Renko, why is physics coming to an end?"


"Yeah, to put it short, the observations are too expensive."


"It's the same reason for why we cannot take the Moon Tour, right?"

「小さい物体を分離させるのに掛かるエネルギーは、小さければ小さいほど大きいの。分子より原子、原子より核子、核子よりクオーク......。こうしてどんどんと小さくしていくと、無尽蔵にエネルギーが必要になっていくでしょ? すると究極まで行き着くと、宇宙最大のエネルギーを使っても分離できない小さい物体に当たってしまう。この物体がこの世界の最小構成物質だって言えるじゃない。もう物理学はとっくに最小の世界まで辿り着いて、次を目指しているの。ここから先は観測できないから、殆ど哲学の世界ね」

"The energy for separating small objects becomes bigger as the objects become smaller. Molecule to atom, atom to nucleon, nucleon to quark... So as the object gets smaller, the energy needed grows infinitely, right? And then it comes to the very end, and we find an object that cannot be separated even with the biggest energy in the universe. We can say this object is the smallest material in the world. Physics has stepped into the next phase because it has already reached to the smallest world. From here on we cannot observe anymore, so this is now mostly the realm of philosophy."

「あ、新作のケーキ、美味しそう! このケーキの最小単位は合成卵と合成苺ね」

"Ah, this new cake look tasty! It's smallest units would be artificial egg and artificial strawberry, right?"


The limit of energy is said to be 1019 GeV. If an amount of energy exceeded this quantity, it couldn't exist in the space-time. Incidentally, this 1019 GeV is called Planck energy, which is about as 1021 times as the energy of nuclear power.

6.Satellite Café Terrace (Satellite Cafe)


"Geez, I shouldn't talk with you about physics, Renko. You just keep on talking by yourself."


"Oh, sorry. It's my specialty. Anyway, this cake is really tasty."


"So we couldn't go on the Moon Tour...... As expected, it costs a fortune."

「そう言えば、宇宙旅行客用に人工衛星にカフェが出来たらしいわよ? 何でも無重力で淹れた珈琲は格別だとか」

"You know what? It seems a café for space travelers was opened in an artificial satellite. They say a coffee poured in zero gravity is awesome."

「でもどうせ室内のカフェでしょ? 私はオープンなカフェテラスが好きなのよ」

"But it's an indoor café, eh? I prefer outdoor ones."


When you put coffee in a vacuum for even for a moment, it boils in an instant because of the low pressure; but then the water freezes as soon as the heat of vaporization disappears. This frozen and boiled coffee, Satellite Ice Coffee, is the main attraction in the menu.

7.G Free (Zero Gravity)

「そう言えば、珈琲の抽出って重力に頼ってるじゃない。重力がなかったらドリップ出来ないでしょ? 無重力でどうやって珈琲を入れるの?」

"Anyway, doesn't brewing coffee depend on the gravity? You cannot drip it without it. How do they make coffee under zero gravity?"


"That's why the siphon coffee, that had almost disappeared, is now revived . Siphon circulates water with vapor pressure."


"Siphon... I've seen it only as a decoration in cafés. So that's a tool for making coffee, too. Even so, I heard it makes a less tasty coffee than a drip does..."


"Those are improved siphons for zero gravity, they can make a rich coffee by not using convection."


"Hum... Even if I wouldn't want to drink it, the space must be quite a view. I would be excited..."


Mankind, released from the gravity, is now developing a new culture. But, at the same time, they found that many of our tools worked relying on gravity. It was just recently that gravitational force, which had been proved long ago and annoyed physicist for a long time, was unified with the other forces.

8.Celestial Wizardry (Magical Astronomy)


"Huh... The universe is sure fascinating..."

「どうしたの? 溜息なんて吐いちゃって。地上にはもう魅力が無いとでも言うの?」

"What's wrong, sighing like that? You say there's nothing fascinating on the earth?"


"At 16:31, I saw the evening star. It's just that there aren't hardly any mysteries left on Earth."


"If I could see all the mechanisms of this world like you Renko, nihilism would soon start creeping up inside me."


"That's why I envy your eyes, Mary. You can see plenty of mysterious worlds. Besides, I wanted you to see the gap of the moon's boundary."


"I'd do if the fare of the Tour was low."


The boundary doesn't belong only to the Earth; it's just a border, so the moon also has one. The boundary of the moon is one which separates the dazzling moon capital from the deserted planet with no life. As long as the boundary exists, even if you went to the moon, you couldn't get any of the rice cake or medicine the moon rabbits are making; at most, a moonstone.


"The moon may have a forgotten world; a moon capital with advanced civilization in which nobles live. Rabbits would make the medicine of immortality while looking at the three-legged crow living in the sun and have pity on mankind excited about the Moon Tour. It's only you that can see that world, Mary."


"You're right. I want to go there before humans gather and colonize all of it."


"If it's decided then, let's prepare."


"If we want to see the moon capital, maybe we should learn more about it. About the ancient moon that has been forgotten for a long time. About the dazzling moon capital of legend. About the moon that symbolizes insanity. Yes, knowledge makes the gap in the border clear."


"Wait, in my opinion, what we have to get down to first should be a part-time job, so as to make money for the Moon Tour."

9.Necrofantasia (Necrophantasia)


Even though the sun has set and dinner time was approaching, they finally left the café after eating the new cake. In this university, students can pay with a student card in any campus shops. The price is collected along with the monthly tuition. It reduces the cost for managing money, avoids crowded cashiers, lets students do shopping easily (because it's their parents who pay the tuition), and the sales grow. But thanks to that, students now find their expenses piling up much more than expected.


"They say there are immortality elixirs in the moon."


"Immortality, eh? What's the use of it for you that said physics is coming to an end, and nihilism is taking control?"


"Who's a nihilist? I feel so alive. Because I'm excited about the universe and can sleep soundly at night."


"Well, if you got it, would you use it, Renko?"


The world has developed rapidly and countries everywhere have become rich; mankind stepped up to the next stage. The human population, that was increasing exponentially since the BC era, slowly began to decrease. Capitalism, just as a Noah's Ark, has promoted the economic gaps. Because of this, the birth rates of all countries have fallen, though this just means that capitalism has entered its final step, population controlling. Japan, which had the fastest decline in birth rate and a great decrease in population, succeeded in avoiding the disadvantages of this population decrease and in regaining the diligent and mentally rich national traits by its remaining selected people.

「不老不死の薬? 勿論、使うわよ。物語なんかでは不老不死は辛い物だとされているのは何故だか判る? アレはみんな欲深さへの戒めと権力者への反抗を謳っているだけよ。でもそれが反対に、不老不死の薬の実存性の裏付けの証拠になっているわ。不老不死は、死が無くなるんじゃなくて、生と死の境界が無くなって生きても死んでも居ない状態になるだけよ。まさに『顕界でも冥界でもある世界』(ネクロファンタジア)の実現だわ」

"Immortality elixirs? Of course I would use. Do you know why immortal life is supposed to be harsh in stories? They were just admonishing against greediness and demonstrating opposition to authorities. But on the contrary, this is an evidence of the immortality elixir's existence. Immortality doesn't mean absence of death; it means the boundary between life and death disappears, and you are in a state neither alive nor dead. Just as if you were in the living world and the Netherworld at the same time, a Necrophantasia."

10.Far Side of the Moon (Megalopolis of Moon)


The two of them sat down by a fountain's lake inside the university's campus.


The moon was already out; and a flat moon with no craters could be seen in the lake.


Mary, the magician, saw them:


Rabbits making medicine;


Celestial maidens, in their dazzling dresses,


dancing gracefully in the sky.


She saw the other side of the boundary through the moon reflected in the water. Seeing this moon, Mary had an idea.


"Well, Renko. If the Moon Tour is too expensive to go, shall we consider going there by another way?"



Let's see, "Nice to meet you, I'm ZUN."


Why, how tiny I am compared to this enormous universe. Any failure isn't worth to care. Even if you couldn't get a promotion, go to upper school or get a job for several years, this is nothing compared to the enormity of the universe. Even though the deadline bothered me and gave me a stomachache, I enjoyed working on this...


...yeah, right. Humans are frantic creatures. And deadline means Line of Death. Ouch, my stomach...

で、宇宙旅行。行きたいですよねぇ。行きたくない? いやいやそんな嘘つかなくても良いですよ。宇宙に行きたくなかったら、他にどこに行きたい場所があるって言うんですか。

By the way, how about space travel? Wouldn't you want to go? OK, OK, you don't have to lie. If you don't want to go to space, it means there are other places you want to go to, right?


Actually, it seems that private moon tours (without landing, apparently) are about to become reality. I hear it'll cost 100 million dollars. I'm not Renko, but:


"The Moon Tour is too expensive, isn't it?"


Who can say this price is reasonable for normal people? Is this the Arc of Noah that capitalism presents? And should the people left on Earth drown in the flood of information?


I wonder if it will come an age when the dreamers on Earth who work frantically and with no holidays can happily go to the moon.

上海アリス幻樂団 ZUN (P3も方舟?)

Team Shanghai Alice: ZUN (The PX3 is also an ark?)

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