THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 85
…“Gherkin Dogman!” Roy storms the recognized authority figure, the mysterious temporary Spatial Debris tech, but the butt of a rifle stops him in his tracks….
In the case of Roy Crippen and Francine Bouchette, intercom chatter is their audible
window into the coming tight launch window, the many stars a’twinkling yet shedding not a useful light on this moonless night, on the grounds surrounding the New Mayflower.
“Everything is alright Roy, perhaps our suspicions were unfounded,” she states, swayed by the positive update so close to launch.
They are pretty far out onto the tarmac when he tells her, “Let’s not take any chances,” taking her by the hand and sprinting toward Colony Mission Control and away from Gantry #2, where the New Mayflower sits brightly lit, launch vapor pouring from its 450 stance.
As they are running, skimming a scant 2 feet above the flat ground a jetcopter sweeps onto the scene, without US Air Force markings and not with the friendliest intent.
“That is a Mil Mi-38 Hind attack helicopter,” charging through the pitch-black
darkness, beneath the radar of a non-military installation. It drops and blocks their further advance.
These interlopers know their targets, with the swift effectiveness of a SWAT team, more than 10 armed men leap from open doors, before it touches down. The head start gives them a decided advantage, securing the intended hostages with ease.
Roy’s initial response to capture is to wax heroic, but disadvantageous numbers fly in the face of logic; an automatic weapon held by a familiar face decides the matter and that is that.
“I knew he would be foolish,” the supposed leader of the force speaks in some mischievous blend of Hindi and English.
“Gherkin Dogman!” Roy storms the recognized authority figure, the mysterious temporary Spatial Debris tech, but the butt of a rifle stops him in his tracks.
“No!” Francine pushes aside the assault-weapon-wielding thug to come to the aid of her fallen new friend. Other than an ugly lump at the base of his skull, the stirring victim is not seriously injured.
“As you may have guessed, I am not Gurkhas Dhangotma; in fact, my name is not important. What does matter is that we have you and this female as hostages and we insist that you cancel that silly rescue plan to save your imperialistic friends.”
– A rather simplistic description of the New Mayflower and its new mission.