The launch carrying the mail, supplies and replacements eased slowly in toward the base, keeping the bulk of the Moon between itself and Earth. Captain Ebor, seated at the controls, guided the ship to the rocky uneven ground with the easy carelessness of long practice, then cut the drive, got to his walking tentacles, and stretched. Donning his spacesuit, he left the ship to go over to the dome and meet Darquelnoy, the base commander.
An open ground-car was waiting for him beside the ship. The driver, encased in his spacesuit, crossed tentacles in a sloppy salute, and Ebor returned the gesture quite as sloppily. Here on the periphery, cast formalities were all but dispensed with.
Ebor stood for a moment and watched the unloading. The cargo crew, used to working in spacesuits, had one truck already half full. The replacements, unused to spacesuits and, in addition, awed and a bit startled by the bleakness of this satellite, were moving awkwardly down the ramp.
Satisfied that the unloading was proceeding smoothly, Ebor climbed aboard the ground-car, awkward in his suit, and settled back heavily in the seat to try to get used to gravity again. The gravity of this Moon was slight, of course - barely one-sixth the gravity of the Home World or most of the colonies - but it still took getting used to, after a long trip in free-fall.
The driver sat at the controls, and the car jerked into motion. Ebor, looking up, noticed for the first time that the dome wasn’t there any more. The main dome, housing the staff and equipment of the base, just wasn’t there.