THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 21

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 21

…the mystery sphere suddenly disappears from the scene completely, with not so much as a goodbye, how do you do, or clue as to its origin…

Gus McKinney is pondering on where God lives or where in the infinite Universe this relatively tiny round intruder comes from.

Stellar Explorer was never meant to be anything but a point-to-point prototype. Here and now he is being asked it to be a scout cruiser. To complicate matters, he has lost communication with Mission Control. He won’t be speaking with them until he comes from around the bright stationary furnace.

The “dark” side of the Sun never used to be a hazardous place, seeing that at any given time, about ½ of the solid solar system contents lay on opposite sides of the glowing anchor. That the mystery sphere he is spying seems to be concealed contradictory to Earth cannot be a coincidence.  If it were completely stationary, it would have been seen by someone by now.

No human has ever laid eyes on this thing. Even Messenger, the NASA made probe designed to give the world a close look at Mercury and then meter solar flares & such, had not found it because the people who control the cameras weren’t looking for anything else.

Gus’ eyes are young and just fine. His fleet ride’s sensors aren’t attuned to analyze anything other than those related to navigation. “Jeepers creepers, if that isn’t the damndest thing!”

Not only that, it is moving away from Stellar Explorer like it has seen a ghost. The feeling is mutual.

Not only does it move, but it suddenly disappears from the scene completely, with not so much as a goodbye, how do you do, or clue as to its origin.

“Now that is downright impolite.” Out of sight – out of mind, there is no reason to linger. He expresses his suspicions to himself, “I wouldn’t know a wormhole if it bit me in the butt, but that is where that puppy had to go!”

Borrowing trouble is not on today’s to-do list. Roy’s instructions were to do a sun flyby and come back to Earth when Harper Lea Bassett was on her way back to D.C. So, with a wry smile on his face, and the love of a good wife in his heart, Gus McKinney guides Stellar Explorer from out behind the yellow dwarf star.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 21


page 25

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 5

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 5

…If the moon is made of Swiss cheese, the fabric of the Solar System is held together by Good & Plenty candy…

the taste of heaven by hannelin

— For a 24/7 operation the SOL hangar has to come to a complete standstill and it  is quite eerie.

  • The LED lighting has been minimized.
  • The only sounds are generated by the ambient hum of idling electronics.

Of the five human senses, Roy Crippen is prepared to utilize all of them. He prowls around Stellar Explorer without an agenda; stalking it, sizing it up without outside distraction.

The first thing he detects is the “smell of space”, the real smells of reinforced titanium having sliced through zero-gravity at 3x SOL. He talks to himself, ‘So that is how dark-matter smells.’ Just what that odor resembles resists tagging, but he’ll tuck it away for future reference regardless.

As he approaches the crew ladder, it finally hits him, “Licorice,” he concludes. If the moon is made of Swiss cheese, the fabric of the Solar System is held together by Good & Plenty candy.

He climbs the stairs as if they will crumble under his 200 lbs. Each of the 15 rungs holds-up reliably so, though the squeaking from his rubber-soled shoes seems out of place. When his eye level reaches floor height, rather his nose, he detects the faint smell of cologne strikes him, as does the fact that Gus McKinney doesn’t use fragrance. Deke McKinney does – Giorgio Armani.” He should recognize it since it was his Christmas gift to the elder stepson.

It is amazing what a person can sense when they filter out the unnecessary noise.

Once inside the fairly cramped crew cabin, there is a faint zephyr that seems to pass thru his thinning white hair. Out of the corner of his eye he is positive he saw an opaque flash.

Image result for wavy line gif

#What can I leave in the cabin to reassure our friend# asks Celeste of Ekcello.

#Your voice#

Image result for wavy line gif

Roy… ”

Roy hears just, “Roy” , no other word.

The CSI-Galveston investigator freezes. Just like the smells of licorice and Armani, this barely audible note has a familiar ring to it. Five minutes later it comes to him, albeit dubious, “Celeste?”

Related imageIt has been over twenty years since he had heard that voice; the day in 2030 when she and Sampson McKinney announced that they were departing Space Colony 1, which would be for the final time.

On top of that, he remembers what Gus had told him about the final seconds of his mission recollection, that Deke said he saw something or other of their mother.

Out of the blue, an aura of peace comes over Roy Crippen, much like that exhibited by a suddenly fully orphaned Gus McKinney.

Image result for wavy line gif

#That is sufficient Celeste McKinney. We must vacate this timestem#


The NULL Solution =

Five Senses of Humans by Seshadri – Expressionism

Episode 5


page 11

 

THE NULL SOLUTION = RETURN TRIP Recap/History

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The NULL Solution = TRT Recap/History

…Off to parts unknown – History of THE RETURN TRIP…

…It all began on Mars…

The McKinneys are whisked off Mars {Star Date 2030}

“It appears we are going for a ride family!”

“Where are we going?” Celeste wonders.

“I’d like to know, who is driving?” Sampson tries get the feel for some sort of helm, but it seems to be fruitless. “Let’s hope that it hasn’t forgotten the way to Earth, if that’s too much to ask.”

NEWFOUNDLANDER liftoff is smooth and with the exception of the anticipated g-forces, they were soon out of Mars’ loving embrace and headed… headed… unfortunately headed away from the sun, which at this point in planetary alignment, is in the opposite direction of Earth.

The McKinneys spot their destination

As the enlarging emergence of Epsilon Eridani and the heightened anticipation it is producing, Sampson’s demeanor stabilizes; finally a goal is in sight. There aren’t stars around every corner. In the coming of a new orange sphere, he can sense the warmth internally, even though an Earthly comparison would be like spotting the Rocky Mountains from the east while driving an automobile. What seems like a day later, you first get the sense you are going uphill.

The End is in sight

The NEWFOUNDLANDER continues to hurtle toward the planetary system which must surely be their final destination {that would be a muffled please, please, please?}. The ship with a remote control mind uses all the right moves on its approach, like it had done this very move before. A skilled navigator himself, Sam sincerely hopes so, because he is beginning to feel uneasy with the speed at which they going at this late stage. That scary mega planet is looking large and larger, its red-hot surface churning like the gates of hell…..and they have barely dipped below SOL.

The McKinneys arrive at their destination {Star Date 2036}

As NEWFOUNDLANDER shimmies into its pre-destined parking place, something occurs to Sampson’s astronautically trained mind, “Could it be that these people have abandoned space travel? I mean, did you see a fleet come out to escort us in? Have any of us seen any shuttle traffic, weather satellite or space station anywhere on the way here?”

Before Celeste can agree, the closing of the 100 foot tall doors distracts her and once again they are left to wonder what happens next. The enclosure now adds a claustrophobic slant to their rampant speculation. Confinement is a stark certainty, after over 5 years in the vastness of deep-space

Unease, doubt, apprehension: all these begin to consume Commander Sampson McKinney, formerly of Space Colony 1, recently employed NASA astronaut and previous inhabitant of Earth. It is all he can do to merely stand still and wait. The waiting is the hardest part.

An historic chapter of Earth’s history is about to be written.

The folks on Planet X (Eridanus) are in for a surprise of historic proportion.

This concludes our “catch-up” of THE RETURN TRIP

Sunday February 21 The NULL Solution = Prelude/ TRT Recap


The NULL Solution

Recap/History


THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 257

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 257

…I knew Crip would come after us…

“This is the ship we named NEWFOUNDLANDER, they call it Explorer here. Your mother and I stumbled on it, buried in 40 centuries of Martian dust and it came from these people,” Sampson points out.

“”Without it,” Celeste adds, “I hope you realize that we may not have lasted long enough to greet the New Mayflower.”

“And we had to step over Cerella’s dead ancestors to get in….”

“Sampson McKinney!” Celeste warns. Cerella is amused at their interaction.

“Sorry Queenie,” he continues, “but once we got in and found out life support was still operating, we had it made in the shade; air, water, food {well their version of it}, everything we needed to wait out the rescue mission. I knew Crip would come after us.

“Do you know what happened to Colony?” Deke wonders why the issue had not been broached.

“Frankly it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“A Korean killer satellite.”

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Whether mischief-maker or meteor, no differences Deker, but it definitely was an ‘oh-shit’ moment!”

“We just had one of those, Dad,” Gus recounts.

“I bet you did Gussy, I bet you did! Hey, let’s take you on a tour of Explorer, our home away from home for the first 5 years of Sister Sammy’s life; a month or so on Mars and the rest on our way here.”

Fingering the perpendicular/parallel lines, just as she had done on Mars twenty-two years ago, Celeste ushers the group in. It looked lived in. The signs that she, Sampson, and Deimostra had indeed spent considerable time here were all over, including Sammy’s (Deimostra) first attempts at art.

Space art

2nd Grade Painting, Aylana Wray, The Classical Academy – Central, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

For a while, when they were allowed, the guys are preoccupied by the mechanics of curiosity; looking at every instrument and device and discussing possible theoretical function, among themselves like kids in a candy store. Sampson has the expertise to correctively intervene, dispelling excusably errant notions from these SOL newbies.

As they tour the more boring lower sections of the Eridanus Explorer {NEWFOUNDLANDER}, Deimostra takes her turn as tour guide, “This is the room I was born in.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Rockwell

Episode 257


page 230

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 256

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 256

…Definite signs of skepticism waft through the pink mist of Eridanus…

Junior Skeptic #57 cover

It isn’t long before Deke notices that Gus is discussing time-travel with a very different looking girl.

“Doesn’t that girl talk like she’s not from these parts?”

“It’s us that’s not from these parts and now that you mention it, she does look like she is from San Francisco or maybe New Orleans… yeah, I’m thinking Mardi Gras.”

“Boys, you are definitely alive for real and 10 light-years from Earth—–you were right when youorion guessed Epsilon, Gus, in Orion’s Constellation.” Father Sam tries to center their thoughts on the present.

“There is no way we could have come this far on SEx! Even if we would have had enough fissionable material, it would have taken ten years.” He looks over at Deke. “Hell, you haven’t aged a minute.” He looks at Sampson and Celeste. “And how did you guys get here, sweet Jesus, you don’t look a day older than us!”

Definite signs of skepticism waft through the pink mist of Eridanus.

“How did you get off Mars for that matter? The New Mayflower reported that Tycho was empty, it was like you evaporated. We even had a f*****g memorial service for you!” Gus is having the most trouble wrapped his mind around the concept.

Cerella decides to give up her attempts at communicating in the official language of the United States, her mind drifting directly to Deke McKinney, while Sampson leads them back to the Spaceflight Expository.

Deke is intrigued and receptive, taking Cerella into his cerebral depths, respectfully speaking.

Dad does his best to explain things to Gus while pointing at it like it was his own, “This is the ship we named NEWFOUNDLANDER, they call it Explorer here. Your mother and I stumbled on it, buried in 40 centuries of Martian dust and it came from these people,” he points at Cerella like she built it.

“Without it,” Celeste adds, “I hope you realize that we may not have lasted long enough to greet the New Mayflower.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 256


page 229

 

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 245

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 245

The Eridanian Solution that ultimately saved two lives of Earth was not news for Earth to share in…

The irony of death, as it concerns the space program, is that the numbers are bloated. Four people are killed every seven minutes by such ordinary things like ground transportation and only immediate family and friends bother to notice. Should you lose four lives in space, the detractors of exploration cry “foul” and the world mourns.

All able hands are on deck at Lovell Space Center, tethered together by the hope that Stellar Explorer would begin to come-about, to make the wide sweeping turn necessary to return to Earth.

That torturous fifteen minutes proves to be the longest q~u~a~r~t~e~r  h~o~u~r on record. If those with the most dogs in the fight, namely Roy, Francine, and Mindy McDonald, if they could possibly hold their breath the entire time, they may have.

The perceived passing of the next few digital ticks eclipses the previous ones.

But in this poignant moment, the loved ones of Deke & Gus McKinney, as well as awaiting world, exhale; emptied of any remaining dioxides and positivity. They draw another bated breath when the Stellar Explorer blasts through the heliopause and continues on without slowing down.

If those on Earth could only be comforted by the truth; that this perceived disaster had actually been averted… the Eridanian solution that ultimately saved two lives of Earth was not news for Earth to share in and neither will they see the benefits from it, at least until that miracle can be properly sew into the fabric of the current timestem.

If that withheld truth be known, their flagging souls would have been buoyed by the fact that in thirty months, 2 1/2 years, The Space Family McKinney will be reunited once again!

Until and when that truth is revealed to them, scar tissue will form around a wound that is permanently deep and painful beyond belief.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 245


page 220 (end ch. 10)

Titanic Stories – WIF Into History

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Incredible Stories

of People Who

Survived the Titanic

The Titanic set out to make headlines as the largest ship on Earth, sailing on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic in April of 1912. Instead, it made history of a different sort as one of history’s greatest follies. The ship hit an iceberg on its fourth day – exactly 105 years ago today, to be exact – 400 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, and sank within two hours and forty minutes. Somewhere in the ballpark of 1,500 unfortunate victims, who mostly died by being in extremely cold, 28 degree (Fahrenheit) water. If you thought water couldn’t get colder than freezing, think about salt.

 But looking deeper at the history of the Titanic, you’ll find complex tales of people who acted decisively when an unforeseen catastrophe struck. You’ll see just over 700 stories of people who survived a disaster that might not have made it out of the Atlantic alive if not for a bit of luck. Among those fortunate survivors were…

10. Frank Prentice – Crew (Assistant Storekeeper)

Right before the Titanic made its final plunge into the ocean, the ship’s stern rose perpendicular to the water briefly, before sinking back down. It was there that crewman Frank Prentice, one of the last people to make it off the Titanic alive, decided to jump off with two of his comrades. One of his associates suffered a painful fall by hitting the propeller on the way down, but Prentice made it clear 100 feet down, where he stuck with his dying friend in the water before eventually being picked up by a lifeboat.

Prentice’s story is easy to verify, because his watch stopped at 2:20 a.m. – the exact minute that the Titanic sank. Remarkably, Prentice survived a second shipwreck when serving aboard the Oceanic in the First World War.

9. The Eight 3rd Class Chinese Passengers

One thing you’ll be surprised by, if you read the actual history of the Titanic evacuation, is that it was a highly civilized process. A lot of people followed the orders of the officers and were happy to give up their seats on the lifeboats for women, children, and the less fortunate without being prompted. If you want to hypothetically explore your chances of survival on an early 20th century shipwreck if you threw chivalry out the window, look no further than the eight Chinese passengers who all sailed under a single ticket. The band of Cantonese sailors were put out of work due to the coal strike and were on their way back to Hong Kong.

Their names varied, depending on various immigration records. When the iceberg struck, seven of them simply snuck into the lifeboats before they were prepped for unloading and hid under the blankets. Five made it out alive. The eighth sailor was picked up out of the sea by the life boat 14 (the one that picked up Harold Phillimore – we’ll get to him shortly). Combined with the survival of the Titanic’s sole Japanese passenger, the chances of an Asian surviving the Titanic was a pretty solid 7 for 9.

8. Olaus Jorgensen Abelseth – 2nd Class Passenger

Olaus Jorgensen Abelseth was a Norweigan-born livestock farm herder in South Dakota who was returning from a trip to visit relatives when he boarded the Titanic with five family members. One of the ways that an adult male could have found a place on the lifeboats when the Titanic sank was to have ample sailing experience, since the crew could only be stretched so far on the 20 lifeboats they needed to deploy.

Abelseth had six years of experience as a fisherman and considered answering the call for sailors, but his brother-in-law and cousin said they couldn’t swim so he decided to stay with them to ensure everyone’s survival in his family. When the ship went under, Abelseth got caught up in a line and lost hold of his family members. He swam twenty minutes in the water before finding his way to a lifeboat, and worked to revive boat occupants who had also been in the icy water while on the boat.

7. Hugh Woolner and Mauritz Björnström-Steffansson – 1st Class Passsengers

Hugh Woolner and Mauritz Björnström-Steffansson were sitting in the smoking room when they heard the fatal iceberg collision. After escorting one of their female friends to the lifeboats and helping with the unloading process, they waited on the lower deck as the boats were going down and decided to make a jump onto the last lifeboat as it was being lowered. This was within 15 minutes of the Titanic’s eventual demise, so it was pretty much a “now or never” attitude.

Bjornstrom-Steffanson made it on board but Woolner hit the side of the boat and bounced off. His fingers briefly caught the side but slipped, when Steffansson grabbed him as he was dangling over the ocean. He was eventually helped onto the boat. It must have been a dramatic site.

6. Charles Joughin – Crew (Chief Baker)

Most people in the 28 degree water died of hypothermia within 15 to 30 minutes, but Charles Joughin is a testament that every rule of nature has exceptions. Joughin took to drinking when the Titanic hit the iceberg (although to his credit, he also was quite helpful in throwing deck chairs into the sea so people would have floatation devices) and when the ship went under, Joughin casually swam around for over two hours until making his way to one of the life boats at the crack of dawn.

 Survival experts link Joughin’s success to the way that the alcohol raised his body temperature, and the fact that he claimed to never have his head fully submerged in the water. Some critics doubt just how long Joughin was in the water but the fact remains that eye witnesses on the lifeboat saw him swimming after the ships were adrift.

5. Richard Norris Williams – 1st Class Passenger

Richard Norris Williams was traveling first class to a tennis tournament in the States with his father. After the iceberg hit, the two remained relatively low-key, asking for the bar to be opened up and passing time in the exercise room (they did also stop to rescue a trapped passenger), but that didn’t make the actual sinking any less dramatic. Richard watched his dad crushed by a funnel, before being carried away by the resulting wave to what was known by the ship’s schematics as Collapsible A. It was one of two boats that didn’t have time to be properly loaded.

In this case, the boat capsized before turning right side up and was filled with water. Norris’s legs were so debilitated from the water that the doctor aboard the Carpathia recommended amputation. He decided against it, and eventually worked his legs back to functionality. He ended up continuing a tennis career that saw him winning the 1924 Olympic gold medal. He also served with distinction in World War I.

4. Rhoda “Rosa” Abbott – 3rd Class Passenger

Everyone knows the “women and children” first rule, but what many don’t know is that it was even crueler than you think. If you were 13 or older you were no longer considered a child, and that didn’t sit well with 3rd class passenger and mother Rhoda Abbott, who was not planning on abandoning her two sons, aged 13 and 16. A soldier with the Salvation Army and strong-willed single mother, Rhoda grabbed each one by the hand and jumped over the rail as the ship was going down.

When she emerged, neither of her sons had surfaced with her. They were both taken by the undertow. Like Norris Williams, Abbott surfaced to Collapsible A, which meant that her legs were also in decrepit condition. She spent two weeks hospitalized but holds the distinction of being the only woman to fall into the Atlantic from the Titanic and survive.

3. Harold Charles Phillimore – Crew (Seward)

James Cameron’s creation of Rose Decatur (played by Kate Winslet) is fictional , but her inspiration might have come from Seward Harold Phillimore, who was discovered clinging to a piece of floating debris among a sea of dead bodies by the last lifeboat to go back for survivors.

Phillimore shared the piece of driftwood with another man (unlike Rose, who selfishly let the love of her life go), but over the course of the 45 minutes between the Titanic’s sinking and his eventual rescue the other man (whose name is lost to history) suddenly drifted off into the ocean. Phillimore ended up having a distinguished career on the sea, earning the Mercantile Marine War and General Service medals.

2. Harold Bride – Marconi Wireless Company

Harold Bride was one of two telegraph operators for the Marconi Wireless Company, whose job was mainly to pass along messages between the ship’s passengers and the mainland. But he was also obligated to pass along navigational messages and warnings from other ships. This would make Bride and colleague James Phillips the MVPs for working the telegraph like there was no tomorrow. They were even given permission to abandon their posts, but stayed on until the ship’s very last minutes.

It was only as the water was filling up their room that they started to notice it was time to go. Both men made it onto the ship’s last lifeboat, known by the ship’s schematics as Collapsible B, which was turned upside down in the water. Bride’s feet were so crushed and  frozen he could barely make it up the rescue ladder when the Carpathia came.

As he passed a dead body getting up the ladder, he later realized that it was his comrade Phillips, who had passed during the night. Bride didn’t like talking about the Titanic because he was “deeply disturbed by the whole experience, particularly by the loss of his colleague and friend Jack Phillips.”

1. Charles Lightoller – 2nd Officer

Charles Lightoller started a life on the sea with an apprenticeship at the age of 13 and had already been to hell and back by the time he sailed with the Titanic as its second officer. By the time he signed on to the White Star line, he had already survived a shipwreck in Australia, a cyclone on the Indian ocean, and had to hitchhike all the way from Western Canada to England when he was unsuccessful in prospecting for gold in the Yukon and completely broke.

 When the ship hit the iceberg, Lightoller was one of the first to start lowering lifeboats. At around 2:00 a.m. (20 minutes before the sinking), he was ordered by his superior officer to get into the lifeboat, to which he replied, “not damn likely.” He eventually swam to the overturned Collapsible B and maintained order and morale among survivors who had all been thrown into the Atlantic, and prevented it from capsizing by having the men rock from side to side. Lightoller was the very last person to be rescued form the Titanic nearly four hours after the Carpathia picked up its first survivor. As the most senior officer to survive, he was also the star witness at the congressional hearing.

Titanic Stories

– WIF Into History

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 221

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 221

…Ekcello is trying to find a way to communicate with the least accessible of the three off-worlders…

“She is sleeping Sammy, just sleeping,” Father Sam explains to his daughter.

It was a torturous five-some-odd minutes, during which the Eridanians had re-closed their eyes and seemed to concentrate on Celeste. At the conclusion of this quietness, she momentarily returns to her family.

“They want us to follow them Sam. Please trust them.” Celeste collapses into his apprehensive arms.

He makes intense eye contact with them as if to say, “If you hurt either of my girls, you will regret it.”

Ekcello must have got the crude message and determined it as anxiety. For the first time, Sampson finds out what it is like to “Talk” with these haunting humanoids.

#Sampson McKinney, we are the people you know as NEWFOUNDLIANS. Please excuse our seeming disarray, but as you may sense, we were not prepared for your presence on NEWFOUNDLANDER/Explorer. That simple mode of transportation was our ancient attempt at understanding your species#

The strain on Sampson’s mind overwhelms him, mostly because Ekcello is trying to find a way to communicate with the least accessible of the three off-worlders. Even the youngest McKinney seems to have had her fears alleviated. But Dad’s mental resistance results in a headache of migraine-ic proportions, all because he just not on their prevailing wavelength.

Not far from the outer edge of the tower Eupepsia, the lofty structure that Explorer Eridanus2 - Copyhad brought them to, and an elevator of sorts await. To be accurate, it was only an open-air platform; not a conveyance for the faint of heart. It makes nary a noise, barely jostling a hair on their heads or having a sense of motion whatsoever.

For all his astronautical achievements Sampson begins to squirm when the one mile mark of the vertical climb is gained. He sits down next to his mentally drained spouse and uses his spare arm to clutch Deimostra, who at this point of her young life has no fear… none. He wishes that she would take a nap at this critical time in the meeting of two worlds; 9 light-years apart in The Milky Way and a light-century apart in societal progress.


THE RETURN TRIP

The Meeting of Two Worlds

Episode 221


page 200

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 218

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 218

…fast-forward 7 years, to that star/planet/moon system in Orion’s Belt…

“Meet the people of Eridanus. The # sign is not a hashtag, it a representation of their musical way of communicating (I wrote this book before Twitter was created) – Gwenny

#Concentrate Sampson McKinney. Think of the sons you left behind on Earth. Let your stubborn mind leave the finite confines of your body#

Sampson, his eyes closed is nearly grunting from the effort to imitate the psychic ability of their hosts of the planet/moon Eridanus. Hyperphysical transmigration does not come easy for one who defines hyperphysical as a brisk walk down to the perfectly sound solid ground 2000 floors down. Why did they build these silly towers anyway?

#How do you explain your wife’s talent for this simple exercise?#

Ekcello, the Supreme Elder of Eridanus, can access Sampson’s mind, with his world’s overt form of lyrical, cantabile style of advanced communication. But this 21st Century-model-male from Earth does not receive anything other than what his ears can hear. His limited auditory canals collect a completely different and foreign version of the resident/alien’s lecture. While a strange combination of music and indeterminable letters roll around the twisted canals of his inner ear, he has yet to master the parapsychological tools used by the average Eridanian.

Celeste McKinney for her part and Deimostra McKinney for the most part, have pretty well grasped the telepathy portion of their life on Eridanus. Yet it has taken the full 7 years of their Towersextended stay on this whimsically enchanting world to refine the complex mental exercises down to a science.

If it had been up to him, Sampson would have just as soon re-boarded the NEWFOUNDLANDER (Eridanian name translated: Explorer) and head back to Earth. But to his dismay, Eridanian law forbids space travel, by its civilization, by conventional means. Any one of the 325,241 permanent residents, in this world of spiraling towers reaching into a pastel-pink sky, can if the spirit moves them, go for an out-of-body escapade, with the permission of the Elders.

For Space Colony 1 Commander McKinney, there is one thing that always bothered him, perhaps the reason why he cannot wrap his brain around telepathic communication: “Why didn’t they know that their spaceship contained three human beings? If they travel with their minds, they should have known.” That disconnect has added to the feeling that they were being held against their will.

This has been an awkward process from the beginning, even though they should be feeling grateful for the way they have been treated…


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 218


page 197

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 213

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 213

…Deimostra has spent the final 15 hours sleeping, harmlessly dreaming of the people they were about to meet…

“I think we may have made a slight miscalculation about just how old the Newfoundlander is, considering this collection of spaceships.”

Photo by Lauren Hansen-Flauschen for Penn Museum

“Then how does one account for those never-before-seen artifacts in storage below, Sam?”

“Maybe they were lifted out of museum and the curators reported them as stolen. Or maybe they got lucky and found the stuff where no one else had looked before; I’m sure they had mass spectrometers long before we did.”

“No Sam, I’m telling you that modern man has not seen those treasures below! As for getting lucky — maybe, but not likely, considering the archaeological coverage in the Nile Delta.”

As NEWFOUNDLANDER shimmies into its pre-destined parking place, something occurs to Sampson’s astro-nautically trained mind, “Could it be that these people have abandoned space travel? I mean, did you see a fleet come out to escort us in? Have any of us seen any shuttle traffic, weather satellite or space station anywhere on the way here?”

Before Celeste can agree, the closing of the 100 foot tall doors distracts her and once again they are left to wonder what happens next. The enclosure now adds a claustrophobic slant to their rampant speculation. Confinement is a stark certainty, after over 5 years in the vastness of deep-space

Unease, doubt, apprehension: all these begin to consume Commander Sampson McKinney, formerly of Space Colony 1, recently employed NASA astronaut and previous inhabitant of Earth. It is all he can do to merely stand still and wait. The waiting is the hardest part.

“Have we landed yet Mother and Father?” Deimostra has spent the final 15 hours sleeping, harmlessly dreaming of the people they were about to meet, confined to her cabin for safety’s sake. Her feet have never been in contact with solid ground, but that is about to change. She has put on the dress Celeste had fashioned for this very portentous occasion, a feminine frock with as many little girl touches as were available on this male laden vessel.

“We have just landed dear one and we are inside a very, very…very large building.” She spins Deimostra around, tugging and adjusting clothing and hair. “These people are going to meet my pretty little girl.”

“When will we get to meet them?” she asks.

“I believe they would be coming through door number two!” Sampson hazards a cautious guess at the first sign of activity.

The next chapter of Earth’s history is about to be written.

The folks on Planet X is in for a surprise of historic proportion.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 213


page 193 (end Ch. 8)