Robert stood in front of the docking shuttle. In a few minutes, he knew, it would lift off and take him to the orbiting asteroid dubbed New Life by the three hundred colonists. He had said his good-byes earlier. Now, he was alone.
He had taken his one chance and here he was. In a moment of panic, he decided that he had made the wrong decision, then laughed at himself. He had no choice, really. It was just too bad that Dani had refused to come. A year had passed since he had decided to join the colony ship and in that time, he had grown very fond of her.
Once he had accepted that he wasn’t going home, a quiet, undemanding romance had developed between Dani and Robert. He never asked her to come with him, and she never offered. It was probably for the best, Robert thought. Dr. Motich needed Dani. It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that Robert had learned that Dani was actually Dr. Motich’s niece. She was his only surviving family.
Robert spared one glance behind him, realizing that he was seeing his last sunset from the mother planet. A hard lump formed in his throat and he quickly turned back to the shuttle craft as his chest constricted, taking a deep breath. A maintenance robot was rolling in front of the shuttle, stopping to pick up a discarded plasticup. Out of nostalgia, Robert threw a half-hearted kick at it. And missed, of course.
Grinning, Robert took a deep breath and stepped inside the shuttle craft, the doors hissing shut behind him. As the g-forces were pulling against him during lift-off, he was entertained by one line of thought.
The asteroid was stocked with fertilized chicken embryos, along with a myriad of other livestock embryos, to be thawed and incubated on the new planet. At least he would have real fried chicken on New Earth.