THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 130
…Deke and Gus McKinney would be thrilled with a civilian-Sikorsky ride back to King Ranch, but it is not in the cards and their adopted Uncle has some somber news to deliver…
The cloud cover at 20K has broken enough for Francine to see the familiar blue & white paint scheme of Roy’s helicopter.
She cannot request a fly-around, hover-around or otherwise slow-down-around the area, so all she can do is blow a kiss Roy’s way and prays that whatever caused him to cut his flight short and land that hunk of steel is not
Her purse does contain her KHST PDA, which can still pick up a CNN News feed:
BREAKING NEWS… DATELINE HOUSTON TEXAS 6 PM CST VIA DEEP WATER NEPTUNE & UNITED STATES COAST GUARD: A RUSSIAN MADE HELICOPTER WITH FOREIGN NATIONALS ABOARD HAS BEEN CAPTURED IN THE GULF OF THE AMERICAS. THE TEENAGE SONS OF MISSING ASTRONAUTS SAMPSON AND CELESTE MCKINNEY WERE KIDNAPPED ON THEIR WAY HOME FROM SCHOOL, TAKEN CAPTIVE AND ULTIMATELY RESCUED BY THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD PATROL CUTTER MONSOON … CNN NEWS NORTH AMERICA.
She wonders if that report overlooked Roy’s involvement down there, but that is just like him; strong, silent, unassuming, and effective. At least she knows what he was up to.
A few minutes later, another: BREAKING NEWS… DATELINE GALVESTON TEXAS:4 PM CST NASA MISSION CONTROL COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR BRADEN KING IN GRAVE CONDITION TAKEN TO METHODIST HOSPITAL HOUSTON TEXAS TO REPAIR A DAMAGED PULMONARY ARTERY… CNN NEWS NORTH AMERICA.
Good news, bad news, red news, blue news, boy news, Roy news.
She receives a text message from Roy ::: P/U boyz at galv coast grd station. take to king ranch + stay w/them:::
She confirms receipt and with a twist ::: I will B there 4 U xoxo:::
Back where the action is, Roy must decide which direction to travel from the Deep Water Neptune and it directly affects the two post-adolescent boys who are currently attached to his hip. If votes were tallied and if this were a democratic moment, Deke and Gus would choose a civilian Sikorsky ride back to King Ranch. But it is not and their adopted Uncle has some somber news to deliver, “Braden is in ICU at Methodist Hospital.”
What more can these young men be subject to? One event, more impacting than the last, is assaulting their battered senses. “That neato Cutter will be taking you back to their Galvy port… cool, right? The Captain said that you guys can hang out on the bridge.”
THE RETURN TRIP