Excerpt: “Over the hubbub and chatter came the brief warning wail of a small siren. The noise died as the people in the vast waiting room stopped talking. "Your attention, please!" boomed the loud-speaker. "Passengers for Spaceflight Seventy-nine, departing for Castor Three and Pollux Four, will proceed to Gate Seven for ground transportation to the take-off block. Spaceflight Seventy-nine, waiting for passengers at Gateway Seven!" There was a moment of silence, then a loud racket burst out as everybody started talking at once. There was only a small flow of people toward Gate Seven, almost negligible, because Flight Seventy-nine was essentially a cargo hop. In fact, this morning less than a half-dozen headed for the gateway. Among these was a tall man, impressive in his blue-black uniform. A space commodore, no less. He carried the light bag of the woman who was beside him, proud and happy and eager-looking. But traces of some internal storm clouded the man's features, and as they approached Gateway Seven, the man's perturbation worked closer and closer to the surface until finally it broke through."