To spread Mankind to the stars carries a high cost in lives--and not all of them are human!
How long do you think it will take us to get there?"
"Between fifteen and twenty minutes, if I don't hit too much cross wind."
Mr. Ryan, one of the other two civilians, commented, "A long time between cigars, eh, Jim?"
The question was out of place and was ignored without hostility.
Mr. Ryan twisted uncomfortably. At length he said, apologetically, "Dirty, filthy business. I wish it were over with."
"So do I," Mr. Tucker said.
Captain Meford activated the ramp and eased the scout out. It was immediately buffeted by the winds.
"Sorry," he said. "It'll take a minute. Hold tight." The scout moved in three dimensions, erratically. "Wow! Let's set it at about twenty-six inches. Sorry. This will slow us down, but it will ease the bumps on down draft. There. That's better. We're okay now, I think. I guess we can settle back."
Thirty-five minutes later, they came to what was left of the alien city.
* * * * *
Back in the Richardson dome, General Sho
The science (warp drive, terraforming) seems tacked on to a mildly interesting plot. The problem is the ending, which bears no relation to how any military organization I know would act. This is especially puzzling given that we were beginning our Viet Nam adventure about then.