THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 132
…“Russia is like a rotten cousin; you have to invite them to family gatherings, but you serve them cheap beer instead of fine wine…
“I have fashioned a schematic for you to forward to the crew of the New Mayflower, if it’s not too late. They must construct a circuit in that vehicle with an anti-laser deflection field. I can be fairly positive that Sang-Ashi’s path may be on an intersecting course.”
“They have had a small shadow following them ever since they got a million miles past the moon. Do you have any idea what that could be? Does Sang-Ashi have a twin?” asks Roy Crippen.
“I know that the Russians were ready to launch their own probe, Uralsk I think it’s called, but I only know this because of a launch conflict with an astronaut exchange to the old International Space Station.” ISS is still in orbit, though its usefulness has long since been relegated to space lab experiments. “They claim that it is headed for Uranus, but if that was the case, they’ve missed their mark by 10 million miles, like they were aiming for the elliptical, but used parabolic calculations.”
“Can they be that bad? They are truly like the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.”
“They will claim to have had Mars in mind the whole time, who would know the difference. And I don’t think any harm can come from a country whose Soyuz continued to be the workhorse of the ISS, ever since the United States stopped the shuttle program and until privatization came along. Regardless, my system must be implemented.”
“Russia is like a bastard cousin; you have to invite them to family gatherings, but you serve them cheap beer instead of fine wine.” United States’ relations with the Great Sleeping Bear has been as chilly as the original Cold War, but has warmed since they put Putin in the ground in 2028.
“Okay Aldona, I will forward this plan to Rick Stanley, before they go into hyper-sleep.” Roy Crippen trusts this man’s insider instincts, even though the verdict is still officially out on the fate of SC1. “As for you, my friend, I am getting you an office at Lovell and your family will be set up here at Elgin—you are officially on the payroll, with an eye on placing you in the SOL Project.”
“Do you mean speed of light?”
“Can you dig it Mr. Afridi?” Roy is retro-hip.
“Working for NASA seemed like a foolish dream to me and now it has come true!”
“We can use your expertise and any tidbits about the Korean factor.” — hipster Roy.