The Colors of Space (Chapter 1, page 1 of 13)


 
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Chapter 1

The Lhari spaceport didn't belong on Earth.

Bart Steele had thought that, a long time ago, when he first saw it. He
had been just a kid then; twelve years old, and all excited about seeing
Earth for the first time--Earth, the legendary home of mankind before
the Age of Space, the planet of Bart's far-back ancestors. And the first
thing he'd seen on Earth, when he got off the starship, was the Lhari
spaceport.

And he'd thought, right then, It doesn't belong on Earth.

He'd said so to his father, and his father's face had gone strange,
bitter and remote.

"A lot of people would agree with you, Son," Captain Rupert Steele had
said softly. "The trouble is, if the Lhari spaceport wasn't on Earth, we
wouldn't be on Earth either. Remember that."

Bart remembered it, five years later, as he got off the strip of moving
sidewalk. He turned to wait for Tommy Kendron, who was getting his
baggage off the center strip of the moving roadway. Bart Steele and
Tommy Kendron had graduated together, the day before, from the Space
Academy of Earth. Now Tommy, who had been born on the ninth planet of
the star Capella, was taking the Lhari starship to his faraway home, and
Bart's father was coming back to Earth, on the same starship, to meet
his son.

Five years, Bart thought. That's a long time. I wonder if Dad will
know me?

 
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