At midnight, Earth time, the ship's main engine stopped. Landing on the surface of Mars seemed to Ridge to be something incredibly significant. To his great regret, he did not feel particularly enthusiastic. Yes, this flight will surely leave his name on the pages of the confusing, little-true history of the earth, and yet he was sad. The preparation of the crew for the first interplanetary flight took four long, exhausting years. And he, Ridge Powers, was offered a place on the team only a week before departure. For him, the choice was not great. Stay on earth and continue research in the field of robotics, or see a tiny part of the vast universe. Become a pioneer. Ridge himself believed that the lack of any communication with his family, where over the past few years he had become an absolute stranger, was a sufficient reason to escape into space.
"To forget a little," Ridge sometimes repeated to himself. The ex-wife regularly called the police, and at any attempt, Ridge would approach their house. The girl flatly refused to allow them to see their common daughter.
An old acquaintance of Ridge, Matthew Heavy, whom they had known since university, led a project to explore Mars. By the time they met at the graduation party, Matt had been divorced twice. Over the past ten years, he has managed to become a father to six offspring and naturally belongs to them. The latter was the least of Matthew's worries. He considered space flights to be his main brainchild.
Three days after meeting at the party, Matt came to see Ridge.
"You've got a good laboratory, old man," Matthew whistled, looking at the spacious room for experiments. "Probably, no more than you, testing workshops." Ridge shrugged his shoulders dispassionately in response. He was sitting a little hunched, half sideways to the guest, quickly unscrewing parts from the metal body of the robot. He was pleased with Matt's attention, but he didn't want to be distracted either.
Of course, you can't argue with that." Matt grinned. What are you working on, old man?
It is more correct to say what I would like to end. But shouldn't you do the opposite? Mat, interested, pulled a plastic chair towards him and sat down a meter away from Ridge. It is.