What thrill is there in going out among the stars if coming back means bitter loneliness?
No one glanced up. Then Gregory threw his magazine on the floor. Ross got up and walked, limping slightly, to a wall locker. He pulled out the heavy, ungainly spacesuit and the big metal bulb of a headpiece. He carried them to his bunk and laid them carefully down.
"Will somebody please help me on with my suit?" he asked.
For one more long moment, no one moved. Then James got up and began to help Ross fit his legs into the suit. Ross had arthritis, not badly, but enough so that he needed a little help climbing into a spacesuit.
James pulled the heavy folds of the suit up around Ross's body and held it while Ross extended his arms into the sleeve sections. His hands, in the heavy gauntlets, were too unwieldy to do the front fastenings, and he stood silently while James did it for him.
Ross lifted the helmet, staring at it as a cripple might regard a wheelcha
After 30 years in space, an aging crew returns to Earth to find all their plans for home dashed. Nope, it's got nothing to do with H-bombs.
The characters are well-drawn for so short a story. Good job by the author. Four and three-quarters stars.
What a truly sad story