Time for the Stars by Robert Anson Heinlein

Time for the Stars by Robert Anson Heinlein

Author:Robert Anson Heinlein [Heinlein, Robert A.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Science Fiction
Publisher: http://c3jemx2ube5v5zpg.onion
Published: 1956-07-20T16:00:00+00:00


X Relations

There have been a lot of changes around the Elsie. For one thing we are over the hump now and backing down the other side, decelerating as fast as we boosted; we'll be at Tau Ceti in about six months, ship's time.

But I am getting ahead of myself. It has been about a year, S-time, since I started this, and about twelve years, Earth time, since we left Earth. But forget E-time; it doesn't mean anything. We've been thirteen months in the ship by S-time and a lot has happened. Pat getting married-no, that didn't happen in the ship and it's the wrong place to start.

Maybe the place to start is with another marriage, when Chet Travers married Mei-Ling Jones. It met with wide approval, except on the part of one of the engineers who was sweet on her himself. It caused us freaks and the electron pushers to bury the hatchet to have one of us marry one of them, especially when Commander Frick came down the aisle in the mess room with the bride on his arm, looking as proud and solemn as if she had been his daughter. They were a good match; Chet was not yet thirty and I figure that Mei-Ling is at least twenty-two.

But it resulted in a change in the watch list and Rupe put me on with Prudence Mathews.

I had always liked Pru without paying much attention to her. You had to look twice to know that she was pretty. But she had a way of looking up at you that made you feel important. Up to the time I started standing watches with her I had more or less left the girls alone; I guess I was “being true to Maudie.” But by then I was writing this confession story for Doe Devereaux; somehow writing things down gives them finality. I said to myself, “Why not? Tom, old boy, Maudie is as definitely out of your life as if one of you were dead. But life goes on, right here in this bucket of wind.”

I didn't do anything drastic; I just enjoyed Pru's company as much as possible... which turned out to be a lot.

I've heard that when the animals came aboard the Ark two by two, Noah separated them port and starboard. The Elsie isn't run that way. Chet and Mei-Ling had found it possible to get well enough acquainted to want to make it permanent. A little less than half of the crew had come aboard as married couples; the rest of us didn't have any obstacles put in our way if we had such things on our minds.

But somehow without its ever showing we were better chaperoned than is usual back dirtside. It didn't seem organized ... and yet it must have been. If somebody was saying good night a little too long in a passageway after the lights were dimmed, it would just happen that Uncle Alfred had to get up about then and shuffle down the passageway.



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