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Death and the Senator
Then, Steelman finds that an experimental medical treatment, one which can be administered only in the weightless environment provided by the Russian space station, may save his life. He is approached by the State Department and the Russians and offered the treatment and therefore the very possible extension of his life. Decades earlier, in his capacity as a powerful Senate committee chairman, Steelman had been instrumental in killing a similar orbital station for the USA, calling it an egregious waste of public funds. Now Steelman comes to understand that if he accepts the treatment he will be known as a hypocrite; furthermore, he learns in a graphic way that he will displace others who may be equally or more worthy from this expensive and exclusive treatment. Steelman realizes that the dilemma he faces has placed him in the crucible of his life.