THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 25
…“You are looking live, at a sold-out Mars Aveeno/Sunscreen Stadium…
“What the mood out there,” Roy asks Braden King, the communication expert, while walking under the live streaming video.
“They’re all good, Crip. Celeste has spoken with Deke’s orthopedist, so she has settled down.”
“There has been a boatload of crap going on Braden; first Fred, then Phil and toss in a reckless child.”
“He was shooting pigeons, keeping them out of the cattle feed.”
“Key people die suddenly without warning, cattle eat, chicken s**t and little boys break bones; what else bad can happen?”
“Good morning Earth,” Commander McKinney summons Mission Control from its funk. “You are looking live, at a sold-out Mars Aveeno/Sunscreen Stadium, where today you will witness a classic confrontation between the hometown Mars Planetiers and their cross-system rivals the Fighting Colonists from Earth.”
Sampson reimagines a long gone Brent Musburger sports-casting introduction, taking everyone by surprise and sanding the rough edges off the tense atmosphere.
“You are too cool for your spacesuit Sam,” Roy reacts positively.
“Not even close, nothing can touch this,” Roy qualifies and reflects. “We all have read THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES; any speculative-fictioner worth his salt has devoured those short stories.”
“When it came time to hang a name on the first of the new shuttles, I could not help but think of Bradbury, 19-freakin-50 when he wrote that stuff.
“Do you remember that his colonists mostly failed after early successes?”
“Yes, the shape shifters and the sand ships.”
“They did not react well when it came time to share the planet with those interlopers from 50 million miles away; they were prepared for the Earthlings, but ended up abhorring them.
“I think it’s rather late in the game for second guessing, we’ll leave that poo-pooing to the Koreans and I suppose China, India and the Talibanstani Cabals.”
Rhetoric is just rhetoric until it is backed up.
“And the Koreans accuse us of being Imperialists, when helped themselves to their neighbors to the South. And in the case of the Taliban you can say, North, East, West and every “-stan” in between.”