THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 46
Up A Creek
…like I was saying, the Korean Sang-Ashi Probe is not an ordinary satellite…
“I think we have reestablished voice-com on the secure channel, listen,” Braden King carries it over to the intercom.
“Mission Control Galveston, can you hear me please?”
“Sam must be trying out a new accent,” comments Roy.
“Is this another of your jokes Sam?” Braden is sorting things out.
Aldona Afridi is just as, if not more confused. Is this the way Americans communicate on their space missions?
“I need to speak to a Roy Crippen, the Mission Director.
The man himself answers, “This is he and what are you doing on this secure band?” He is firm, yet yielding.
“My name is Aldona Afridi. I am the Chief Ordinance and Systems Engineer for the Sang-Ashi Deep Space Probe. I have defected; I am in Turkey in order to give you vital information.”
Roy is holding back, waiting for anyone else with a clue to jump in. He whispers, “I seem to remember hearing that name in connection to Korean Space. Isn’t that probe passing by Mars soon … and could this be the cause of our communication gap with Mars, Braden? Maybe they are doing some spying.”
“No telling Crip, this is strange, but yes that Korean thing is out there somewhere, maybe it’s lost. We are not seeing it.”
“You have obviously gone to some effort to speak to me, so for now, I will listen to what you have to say.”
“Very well, like I was saying, the Korean Sang Ashi Probe is not an ordinary satellite, in the sense that it has its own defense laser ordinance. It is far more powerful than it needs to be, but I was forced to design it as such.”
“Why does a space probe need defensive systems,” wonders Roy aloud?
“They told me it was for warding off asteroids and meteors; not an unusual reaction for the paranoid Koreans. But I start to suspect that they had something else in mind, when they ask me for the manual override codes for the laser. I refuse and that is why my family and I escape to Turkey and precisely why I need to warn you.”
THE RETURN TRIP