A man longs to find his home out in the stars.
|The astronaut peers up at the stars and says, "Let's go home."
"We're already home."
"We're made out of stars."
"Well, yes, we share the same elements, but we live on earth and we wouldn't be alive as we are if not for that fact. We're already as close as we can be to a star without dying, and all you're actually doing is going out to look at different stars with different surrounding houses."
"That's your perspective."
"We're going home."
"It says a lot about a man that home is hundreds of thousands of miles away from where he's lived all his life."
"... I take it you're not very poetic."
"I take it that being poetic is a bit of a hassle."
She was right.
"So, you're going out there, frozen, for decades. No one at home worth staying behind for, no one who's gonna die never seeing you again, none of that?"
He has a wife and two children.
"It's none of your business."
"Are you serious?"
"You're going out there into the great unknown when you have people on the surface wondering if you'll ever come home?"
"They don't have to wonder."
"What, because you're gonna bend the laws of spacetime to get back?"
"They know I'm not coming back."
"... You looked them in the eye and said 'I'm never coming home'?"
"Will they know why you thought they were worth leaving behind?"
"They'll know that some things are more important."
"More important than your family? ... You're a family man, I can see it in your eyes; you have a daughter?"
"... And a son-"
"Why are you doing this? This isn't your business, your life, or your responsibility! You don't have a family waiting for you? You go up there then!"
"You have a family waiting for you; DON'T!"
"Look, right now it's your job to assess whether I'm fit for the mission: Am I?"
"Anyone who would leave his family behind to sit inside of an explosive and launch himself into space with a camera tracing his path so that his family can watch if he burns alive, no, I don't think they're mentally sound."
"How long have you been working here?"
"Long enough to know better." She removed her glasses and leaned forward. "These people don't try as hard as they used to. They're strapping a bomb underneath your seat and then putting you in a slingshot and hoping it works out for the best. You have a family and they shouldn't have to live without you."
"They deserve better than a man who would leave them behind."
She couldn't say anything after that. It would require she disagree.
"Was it your mother or your father?"
"I ask the questions, Richards."
"Yes, and you seem to ask all of the appropriate ones."
She gulped, sighed, and placed her tablet onto the table. "Reconsider it."
"I can't do that."
"You're not gonna make it."
"And you know this how?"
"... They need a tragedy every twenty years in order to get more funding so they can get better equipment, it's just business to them-"
"REALLY? Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Let's have the million dollar project blow up in orbit so they'll trust us with more money."
"They need this program, it's not an option to shut it down."
"It is an option as to what they put into it."
"They're putting me into it."
"Go home, Mr. Richards."