THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 22
…“Good Morning you Martians!!”…
At 04:30 Greenwich Mean Time (who knows what spot it is in the Martian day), the lonely corridors of Space Colony 1 are filled with a rousing rendition of “WE ARE THE WORLD”. Every so often Braden King decides to awaken the heroes of the heavens with song; a weak, but suitable choice.
“Good Morning you Martians!!” There is a huge Earthly buzz about the 1st manned landing on the planet surface.
His enthusiasm has taken several minutes to travel the many-miles emptiness, but largely ignored by the sleeping sojourners. They are doing their best to be fresh for the frenetic days ahead. Presently entangled in a pretzel-like position, Sampson uncoils himself to speak into ceiling, “McKinney’s Bakery, head crumb speaking.”
“I want to order one Martian Muffin and two of your Deimos Donuts.” Braden plays along, as if he has a choice. He and everybody else on Earth is excited about this phase of the mission; getting a bird’s- eye-view of the goings on, up close and personal. “I bet you guys have been up for hours getting ready for the landing.”
“What’s it to ya’?” Sam counters with a dash of insincerity.
“You sound a little groggy old man; you haven’t contracted some indigenous bug, have you?”
“No Braden, just some hyperspace-lag,” Celeste is new to the party.
“Ah, the better-looking McKinney weighs in. Are you set to cavort about the Martian plain?”
“Tithonius Lacus is on our event horizon and it ain’t going nowhere buddy.”
“Never mind him Braden; he slept like a cement mixer last night,” Celeste attempts to mitigate the coming seminal agenda, by changing the subject.
“Hey, I think we are all on edge Celeste and I don’t want you to worry, but Deke has a compound fracture of his femur, fell from the hayloft at the feed barn. He is in and out of consciousness, but Doc Jim thinks it is temporary.”
“I think those millions of miles have gotten to her, King. Can we save the good news for later, or isn’t there any?”
“You guys are the good news.” Braden King assures. “I thought you would want to know sooner-than-later.”
“We know you will take good care of him, King. Hell, I broke my clavicle jumping from my turbo-cycle when I was his age.”
“Let’s get on with it guys,” Celeste regroups, marshaling every ounce of her famous bluster. “We have initiated video, all systems are a go, be prepared for the thrill of a lifetime!”
“Roger that Lieutenant Commander, we will be on the edge of our chairs.”
Braden was going to toss in a “good luck”, but decides to say a quiet prayer instead.
THE RETURN TRIP