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"You do a double check on the cryo?" I asked. It was the only thing I was really worried about. You see, we never did break the Speed of Light barrier, so anyone going any real distance out had to be sleeping to do it, or they'd be dead long before anything got done. If the cryogenics went out on a guy, which they have once or twice, or so I hear, then it's game over.


"Of course, of course. We can't afford to lose you, or any of you heading out today; you know that. Everything's been checked and re checked until the boys saw freezer schematics in their dreams. Launch time is in T-10 minutes. You get comfortable, and you can reach us by radio until then, right?" He slapped me on the shoulder and veered off my course, rushing to harass a few engineers that weren't working quickly enough for his liking.


That left me alone with the ship. I looked it over critically one more time. Its sleek swept back features always made me wonder. What good would aerodynamics do when there's no air to be dynamic in? Still, it was the best that Earth could make at the time, I shouldn't be complaining. Approaching the ship, I let a gloved hand slowly pass along its smooth hull. It felt cool, reassuring, and solid. This would be the only thing between me and death for the next untold years, jetting through space at almost the speed of light.


Would I be one of the ones to reach a habitable planet? It's a romantic thought, I admit, but there are so many less palatable alternatives. The ship can really only make two trips. Out, and back. And back isn't nearly as assured as the out trip. If the destination has nothing, you have a 50-50 chance of surviving the return. Now don't get me wrong, they do a lot of checking to make sure it's worth sending a guy anywhere before they strap him in. I'm told they've sent some people to where I went before. Promising data, etc.


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