THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 6
…The future is reserved for the dreamer, the past is there for the reminisce(r), but the present belongs to the opportunist, as it is for Roy Crippen. …
While the happily married McKinney’s prepare to inaugurate Space Colony 1 and the whole of Colony Control/Command Com gawks at the spectacular views sent back by the huge orbiting station, the project coordinator still has his head under the hood, so-to-speak. For Roy Crippen, a shuttle astronaut from the horse and buggy days, with the Chronicle currently in place, the task of dispatching the deep-space shuttle New Mayflower now becomes his top priority; a green light has replaced the amber shade which has been flashing on the project status screen for an agonizingly long time.
Here at the Galveston Launch Facility, finishing touches are being applied to the refitted shuttle. The passenger liner type vehicle and its load of astronauts, scientists and miscellaneous personnel must be ready to hit the long and empty reaches of space ASAP; 26 future citizens of Mars City.
Getting the New Mayflower into space is routine, save the very rare and unfortunate exception. All precautions have been taken and were a breeze compared to the 140 million kilometer journey ahead, at the painfully slow space-pace of 50,000+/- km/hour.
It seems like so-much wasted time to Roy Crippen. “We should be able to go much faster than this.” Beside his duties as heart-and-soul of Space Colony 1, a considerable soul by itself, he lays awake nights working out one particular science project in his mind; speed-of-light space travel. 100 physicists and “spacies” are presently taking theory and making it reality in the laboratory, but the physical application of SOL theory is his persistent pet peeve. There resides a completed SOL Cruiser on the drafting board of his soul.
The future is reserved for the dreamer, the past is there for the reminisce(r). But the present belongs to the opportunist, as it is for Roy Crippen. This tall, thin man has garnered worldwide attention because of the Colony, the kind usually coveted by more attention seeking men. He has minimized the office of the President of the United States or the ever busy Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency in his mind.
There are reporters from Fox International, Reuters and World Newsmakers assigned to follow his every move. Some suggest he run for President in 2036, a notion he scoffs at, but secretly finds intriguing.