Three astronauts sat at the conference table at the head of the interview room, looking over the sea of media folk who had come to interview them upon their return.
They’d barely been back on earth for hours, had just stuffed their faces with their first experience of proper food in weeks, and now they wanted to go home and sleep in a proper bed. Instead, there were questions to answer from media of all wings and beliefs, seeking the glory the three had found.
‘And is it worth scattering the universe with the corpses of our creations just to seek adventure and possible safe living beyond this earth?’
‘From the earth-life faction,’ the attendant to the three astronauts muttered behind them.
The three were silent, and the cameras clicked, and the media waited.
The astronauts thought back to their journey—the feeling of apprehension as they walked aboard the shuttle, the feeling of the immense rumbling and the sound at takeoff, the G-force that smashed into their bodies for hours as they cleared the earth’s gravity, and then finally, their first glimpse out of the space station windows. The stars beyond into nothingness; their earth home, so small, really, and so beautiful; and the flare of the sun as it came around the back of the earth, lighting the world up in a way few humans had seen.
How breathless they’d been, and how much energy had surged through their blood at that moment.
The media folk waited, watching with bated breath as the three astronauts’ faces filled with awe once more at the memory. For once, they stopped jostling to ask and answer questions, and they waited for the news that they hoped would be ‘yes’. Hoping it was in the future of all to witness the sights of the universe beyond.
Then, finally, the astronauts glanced to one another and nodded, and the one on the far right spoke.
‘No,’ she said to the despair of the crowd, but to the relief of the one who had asked the question. ‘For it was all too beautiful to taint with our broken hopes and dreams just for the faint hope we’d get somewhere else far away. What we have is awe-worthy enough, and I can’t wait to re-start my life here knowing that.’