THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 238
…Before they lapse into whatever fate awaits them, they reach across and bump their fists; someone had to do it and this is what we signed up for…
— As Deke & Gus prepare for SOL, all phases are not aligned.
“SLAV we are losing contact with the chrono-link. The ship is breaching the threshold, but it’s like we are watching it via remote hookup…,” Deke tries to explain what is happening.
“Gus,” he urges, “wake up. There is something wrong here!”
Gus snaps out of his funk to check his instruments, “Everything is fine. We have passed Warp One !!!”
“No, look at the chrono-link, it’s reversing itself, like we are being heading back in time.”
Gus’s image, or Deke’s perspective of his brother’s appearance looks like something their generation never had to put up with; the fading signal from an analog receiver. In the digital realm, when you are losing the frequency, things pixelate, stop and start and rearrange. In the cabin of the Stellar Explorer, everything is wavy, like seeing things through the delirium of desert animated air.
“Yeah, I’m not feeling all here, how about you?”
“… like our molecular structures our breaking down? Try engaging the emergency decelerator.”
“I can’t, my hand gets within an inch, they stop short,” Gus is straining against an unknown barrier. “It’s no use. Our bodies cannot maintain structure at these speeds.”
“The 3 unmanned went off without a hitch! I absolutely do not get this?”
“That may be the key… unmanned… they didn’t know how the human body would respond when they broke the sound barrier either.”
“Or if man could stand the G-Forces of a Redstone rocket or Atlas 9 liftoff in the Mercury Program,” Deke recounts.
“Or what is was like to experience prolonged weightlessness.”
All of those barriers had been crossed without major incident.
But there is a theme developing at SOL: You can only make your best guess as to what happens, if you have not done it before.
“Well if we cannot slow this thing down and our bodies cannot keep up, something has to give.” Deke’s assessment of the situation is simplistic, but consistent with the philosophy of the test-pilots that had blazed trails before, which means that they can only deal with what is directly in front of them.
Before a waiting and wondering while, the McKinneys lose all control contact with the SLAV ship and as well as each other. Before they lapse into whatever fate awaits them, they reach across and bump their fists; someone had to do it and this is what we signed up for.