THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 45
…“We are tracing the signal, we believe it originated somewhere in the Middle East.”…
“The future of the great Space Colony depends on my speaking with Roy Crippen.”
The remarkable power of a single laminated business card is opening doors Afridi did not know he would be walking through. Now, whether or not -whoever picks up- at Lovell Space Center or Galveston Launch will be as receptive, that remains to be seen. If and it is a big IF he can pull it off, Afridi will be breaking into the secure frequency band used by the Space Colony mission; highly irregular and extremely illegal.
Rashid the Turkish METEOR Radyo-master gives the earnest scientist a quick run-through of all the pertinent buttons and switches of the equipment, then leaving him to the fate of the frequency. He is fairly sure that the station’s anonymity will be untraceable; thereby absolving it of culpability. Unless, that is, if this guy saves the world, in which case he would gladly share in the glory.
Aldona looks back at Fatima, who throws him a good-luck kiss. He then takes a deep breath and initiates his long-range pirate transmission.
“Mission Control, come in. This is an urgent matter,” he urges in his bifurcated English intonation.
“What was that? I don’t recognize that voice,” Sampson is distracted, “did you hear that Crip?”
“We are tracing the signal, we believe it originated somewhere in the Middle East.”
“I was thinking the man has a Jupiter accent,” chimes too kool for his spacesuit Sam.
“There was a large solar flare a couple days ago, probably a piggyback transmission,” Celeste speculates.
As they move in, a blinding flash engulfs the landscape, bright enough to light the already daylight Mars landscape. Horrified at the unsavory possibilities, Sampson McKinney switches to Tycho’s skyward monitor, perhaps to catch an incoming meteor. Debris is pelting the ground around them.
“What in God’s name!?” That could have been voiced by anyone of them.
THE RETURN TRIP