The Long Rain (Bradbury)

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The Long Rain
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Four men, trapped on a perpetually wet Venus following a crash, look for a fabled Sun Dome, a shelter with a simulated sun. Two lose hope and die, one makes it to a destroyed dome, the last reaches a functional dome.

A group of men, including a lieutenant and soldiers named Simmons and Pickard, were stranded on Venus, a planet where it rained perpetually. The rain was so intense and relentless that it drove the men to the brink of insanity. They were trying to reach a Sun Dome, a shelter that provided warmth, food, and respite from the rain.

The Lieutenant — resolute leader of the expedition; orchestrates the journey to the Sun Domes; maintains optimism in trying circumstances; turns white due to the relentless rain.

We'll be at the other Sun Dome by four this afternoon.

They reached one Sun Dome, only to find it destroyed by the native Venusians. One of their group, Pickard, went mad and was killed by Simmons to prevent him from becoming a burden.

Pickard — another surviving crew member; becomes frustrated and psychologically unhinged, eventually succumbs to a state of catatonia and drowns standing upright in the rain.

Simmons later committed suicide, leaving the lieutenant alone.

Simmons — one of the surviving crew members; tenacious but disillusioned from the constant rain; loses his hearing, succumbs to despair, and chooses suicide over continued suffering.

Can't you hear anything? You go on. I'm tired. I don't think the Sun Dome is down this way.

The lieutenant, driven to desperation, considered walking into the sea to end his suffering. However, he spotted another Sun Dome in the distance. He reached it, finding it intact with food, dry clothes, and a synthetic sun providing warmth. The sight of the sun and the relief from the rain brought him immense comfort.