By Leigh Brackett
Alpha Centauri, the closest big name to the sun method - in simple terms 4.3 mild years away. To Kirby and his fans it intended freedom - freedom from the tyranny and repression of Earth's dictatorship.
But that freedom must be earned - the flight to Alpha Centauri might suggest 5 years jammed within the stomach of an out of date spaceship, 5 years of praying that the nutrition offer may final, 5 years of combating off the govt ships despatched out to intercept them....
And in the event that they did be capable to achieve the unknown planets that have been their aim, what might they locate? Freedom? Or a destiny extra negative than any they can have confronted on Earth?
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They at least knew that time was passing. To everyone else it appeared that time had stopped. So that finally when the day came Kirby could not quite bring himself to believe it. FTER THE He went down the ladder to the cargo deck. Halfway on the iron rungs he stopped and looked out over the deck, and all the people that were in it looked up at him but did not speak, and even most of the children were still. ” Now again he was conscious of time. Five years. Nearly six, as Earthmen count. Five years, nearly six, in the huge cold night that lies between the suns, and the night was over and there were only two short hours left between these people and the realization of a dream.
But Pop Barstow understood, and was shaken. “It don’t seem right or human,” he muttered, “but it might work. ” Kirby said to Shaw, “Keep tracking it. We need an absolutely accurate check on course and velocity. ” And Oh God, he thought, I’ve got to tell them all, and when they hear it— He got the surprise of his life, when he went below and told them. He spoke as casually as he could to Wilson, and to Krejewski who had spent his adult life building and repairing R-ships, and to Weiss, who had been a junior assistant in Cybernetic Division.
Last-minute, end-of-the-run funk. Trouble with these young fellows now, no stamina. ” He shook his head slowly. ” He punched the keys. ” Kirby did not answer because he knew that what Pop said was true. He looked out the forward port. The glare-shields were in place, but even so the two suns, Alpha Centauri and the more distant companion, flooded space with a brillance that was gloriously painful to the eye after the years of darkness. In that sea of light a planet swam, green and lovely and very like Earth, as Alpha Centauri is very like Sol.
Alpha Centauri or Die! by Leigh Brackett