As we left Earth, the Third Race War was threatening to go nuclear. With the time dilation effect, we feared we’d come back to a cool, burnt cinder.
When we returned, the lights were still on, so to speak.
We were greeted by a decontamination crew. Their suits obscured that all-important skin tone, nostril shape, hair.
We all were thinking it. I asked it:
“Who won the final Race War?”
The masked crew looked at each other, baffled by our alien concerns.
After we were certified uncontaminated, their supervisor said: “Okay, we’ll take off our masks immediately … since you care.”
My fiction has appeared in Analog SF, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Writers of the Future (vol. 29), Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and other places.