THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 250

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 250

…how many times had their sons looked at Orion the constellation, unaware of their parent’s presence, there 10 light-years distant…

How many times?

The huge sliding door at the Spaceship Expository, which looks like it weighs a million pounds, unseals like a floating bee, leading to the spaceship “NOT FOR SALE” showroom.

That opening, for Celeste and Cerella along with Deimostra, heralds Stellar Explorer’s imminent arrival. Of these three bounding beauties, it is difficult to tell who is more excited, their silky white robed trains straining to keep pace.

Ekcello was already aware {of course he was}, Sammy Mac guesses as much {dumb luck}, but it is Ekcello who has poured cold H2O on Cerella’s parade.

Disappointment

#I think it best that our newest visitors be restored slowly. They will be greeted by the McKinneys alone. We cannot have them reacting irrationally#

#But it is I who has made the necessary preparations for them. I am disappointed at not being allowed to greet them in person#

#Disappointment is futile, cherished one. You will have your chance once they have fully grasped their fate#

The McKinney women reach out and touch her empathetically. Sampson shrugs his shoulders; just another telepathically shared moment that passes him by.

#We hope that your reunion goes well# Ekcello and Cerella float away, the latter is let down for a different reason..

These newly unplanned duties discombobulate the apprehensive Eridanus McKinneys momentarily. Just as Deke & Gus, who had given up all hope of seeing mother and father again, likewise mother and father have already dealt with their grief. How many times they had longed to send the equivalent of a letter to their sons, recounting their story of survival; first on Mars, then aboard the NEWFOUNDLANDER, and finally on the misty world named Eridanus?

And how many times had their sons looked at Orion the constellation, unaware of their parent’s presence, there 10 light-years distant?

What are the inexpressible words which will best describe the twisted path that brought them here, against all odds?


THE RETURN TRIP

Twisted Path

Episode 250


page 224

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 239

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 239

…That would be “Sammy Mac” not MacSammy and he is feeling a bit left out, quite literally in-the-dark and in-adequate…

… In the quiet locale, as dark and empty as space itself, three Eridanians stand silently, fingertips touching to complete a triangular circle. With no outside influences to affect the intent psychic aura, no stray thoughts to disturb times’ continual flow, the trio bends the temporal fabric, reaching out across fifty trillion miles without so much as a blink.

Cerella, heiress to the High Counsel of Eridanus and two time/space travel historian experts are poised to place a very different form of humanoid aboard the Stellar Explorer.

Ekcello attaches himself to this aggressive undertaking, before they depart minds from bodies, #Celeste McKinney has convinced me that she is capable of contributing to this effort. She can comfort her offspring, when they become disoriented by our intent and discouraged by the failure to complete their mission#

In a rare emotional reflective moment, he admits, #We can only wonder what was going through the minds on our own Explorer at the point of their perishing in Earth’s Solar System#

So without fanfare, Celeste joins the group..

Sampson, who was not about to let Ekcello out of his sight at this critical juncture, expresses distress over the decision to allow Celeste to “go” along, Are you positive that she will be able to do this… and survive with her wits?”

#Your mate is most persuasive MacSammy, but she is also worthy of our trust and we consider her as a peer. You need not fear for her life, it is only her spirit that makes the journey#

That would be Sammy Mac and he is feeling a bit left out, quite literally in-the-dark and in-adequate.

Once Sampson is calmed, Ekcello’s aura makes five among his mental emissaries, for the duration of this unprecedented enterprise. The only Earthling that has not mastered some sort of psychic dexterity {if you do not count still-teenage Deimostra} will have to wait until the hyperphysical transmigration is complete.


THE RETURN TRIP

Transmigration by eReSaW  on deviantart.com

Episode 239


page 214

 

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 229

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 229

…Earth must be convinced that Deke & Gus McKinney are yet another major failure in Earth’s misbegotten ventures into space…

Misbegotten Moons by Elena Stone

#The successful test of an unmanned vehicle at sub-light velocities is leading Earth to the wrong conclusions# Ekcello is as emotionally invested as his Eridanian rationality will allow him, #There is a point in time, before they achieve that SOL threshold, that we could make the necessary alterations to their space-drive and bring them here to Eridanus#

Sampson prefers another option, “Why not save their lives, make the test a success and let them slingshot back to Earth? I don’t think Eridanus is in their flight plan.”

#For your technicians to believe that it was by their merit that made the speed-of-light possible, when it clearly is not, would be like us sending you and Celeste back; the damage and confusion would offset the good intentions. They must be convinced that Deke & Gus McKinney are yet another major failure in Earth’s misbegotten ventures into space#

“Now wait a minute here Mister! We may not be the most successful space program going… however many other space programs there are… but you are not letting us learn by our mistakes.”

#That logic is flawed#

“What are you saying Sam? Don’t you get it?” Celeste is adamant. “Either way the results will be the same, in the eyes of our world. Why should the reputation of the SOL Project take precedent over reality? The best possible solution is for the boys to join us here on Eridanus.”

#At this point in the space/time continuum, the people of Earth cannot know the difference between death and disappearance as opposed to perceived success. How will your sons be able to explain the sudden emergence of a completely foreign technology. They could not#

“Excuse me if I find it hard to get used to deciding the outcome of otherwise predetermined circumstances, family or not. They are going to freak out when they, all of a sudden, find themselves here. At least we had 5 years to think about it.”

#We implore you to listen to your mate. She has seen for herself and she understands#

Though outwardly he appears a dissident, Sampson McKinney has internalized and reconciled this matter of morality and mortality. Of all the things usually attributed to the Lord’s mysterious ways, the manipulation of the future by an alien race, raises more questions than those answered; each instance becoming moot and academic.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 229


page 207

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 226

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 226

…Sammy Mac, that pretentious Earthling, has mastered the art of changing the tone of a conversation with the Supreme Elder of Eridanus on a dime…

At times like this, Celeste will listen; merely listen for positive signs of sanity in her man.

Out of a combination of boredom and sarcasm, Sampson starts whistling the slow, soulful, deep-south 19th Century slavery tune, Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.

Ekcello must have been snooping, whisking in behind Sampson’s rendition of yet another strange sound from a likely strange source.

#What is that curious music you produce Sampson McKinney? I did not know you could musically communicate#

“It’s called whistling Ekcello old man. If it tickles your ears, well if you have ears, then your senses, I have a million more like it…” He jumps into the, Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey”.

Sammy Mac, that pretentious Earthling, has mastered the art of changing the tone of a conversation with the Supreme Elder of Eridanus on a dime, before it has a chance to start. Whenever he did this, the Eridanian man of meditation’s expression takes on #Now where was I?# look, extremely unsettling for one of such intense concentration.

On track once again, Ekcello emotes in his lyrical style, #You have two male offspring#

“Yes, Deke & Gus,” Celeste steps in to address an issue never far from her heart; quickly and longingly in her audible voice.

#The High Council has begun to journey back to your Earth and its yielded disturbing revelations concerning their future#

Suddenly Sampson grasps Ekcello on Eridanian terms, “Are they in some sort of trouble?” he wonders aloud.

#Only in the sense that they are in the forefront of a flawed space vehicle propulsion project#

“They haven’t abandoned The SOL Project!” A proud papa speaks of children he never had a chance to see grow up. “I knew my boys would become astronauts!”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 226


page 205

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 220

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 220

…“They are probing my mind… like walking through every corner of my brain with this melodic clamor all around…

The Eridanians make sure their ship is ship-shape.

Directly after the “germ-inator team” nod their all-clear andImage result for door opening gif inspections can proceed, directly before Ekcello could begin his coded entrance to the inside, Sampson decides to get the party started. With Celeste at his left side and Sammy’s sixty pounds hoisted by Celeste, he lights up the NEWFOUNDLANDER/Explorer’s entranceway and opensWell Hello There GIFs | Tenor that outside access.

The McKinneys stand as a family in portrait.

The Eridanians are nearly floored by the un-bargained-for presentation. You could almost hear them gasp in baritone oneness.

Getting the jump on a telepath is difficult, if not unprecedented, but when you do, a picture is worth a thousand words as they say. For a fraction of a second, before their practiced disciplines could grasp the moment, all these cognoscente beings would do is to stare in disbelief, if you could only read their minds.

Realizing that speaking would only serve to complicate the confusion, the Space Family McKinney {minus Deke & Gus} maintain their quaint pose, allowing their hosts the chance to catch their breath, or whatever keeps them afloat? But they are not long for a quandary state, having determined that the stowaways pose no immediate threat.

The five mysterious robed beings form a mental huddle, short-cut=think-tank style. When closed eyes are opened, they surely have made a decision of sorts.

“They were inside my mind Sam. It’s like I could hear scores of voices all at once,” Celeste whispers sideways.

“I don’t hear a thing, what do you mean,” Sampson reacts gingerly, less sure of their reaction to verbiage?

“They are probing my mind… like walking through every corner of my brain with this melodic clamor all around.”

“Are they still in there?” he asks, looking toward her like she has been taken over.

There is no answer. Her eyelids fall shut and she is in a deep trance.

Deimostra cannot hold back, “What is wrong with Mommy?” She nears tears.

“She is sleeping Sammy, just sleeping.” He could not be sure, but he was in no position to find out otherwise. When he moved to brush a stay blond hair from his wife’s face, an unknown force holds his arm back.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 220


page 199

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 219

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 219

…back 7 years, to that first day, the initial encounter when the McKinneys stepped off NEWFOUNDLANDER, will not be forgotten by Earthling or Eridanian alike…

First Contact

… that first day, the initial encounter will not be forgotten by McKinney or Eridanian alike. Imagine what was going through Ekcello’s formidable mind, when he and their manner of historical society expect to inspect a spacecraft, which has been gone for thousands of years, only to find alien Earthlings aboard.

They feel the accompanying gall of being taken by surprise. That they could not focus their telepathic powers on one of their own products clipping along at twice the speed-of-light, sticks in their craw, if they have one. Or did they simply forget to check? They are not a mindless bunch.

And by any stretch of their boundless imagination could they have guessed that anything other than an automated system, not {Celeste} a live female Earthling, was behind the curiously engrossing music they had been interacting with for a month leading up to this day.

A grouping of four male and one female Eridanians (not NEWFOUNDLIANS – the McKinney label), clad in long, whiter than white, robes of varying design, moving in such a flowing manner that one cannot detect the action of bodily motion, have come upon this historical treasure. Their mouths were not moving, but there was obvious interaction among them; positive and negative head movements, extended arms and pointing fingers were all signs of Eridanian back & forth.

A scientific team, marked by the unique instruments they were carrying, preceded Ekcello’s group and their hectic-hands-on approach.

Now the Eridanians are nobody’s fool, well aware of their ship’s (Explorer not NEWFOUNDLANDER – the McKinney label) hardship and AWOL status, though they were not versed as to why the crew had perished instantaneously, back in the day of cumbersome space travel. Virtual immortality has since been achieved in the intervening four millennia, and that outside influences can disrupt life, is foreign to them.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 219


page 198

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)

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 212

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 212

…Only one new model in four thousand years, how can that be, I think we may have made a slight miscalculation…

Miscalculation by Jared Hindman

The largest of these towering edifices opens its low-level gates, in order to swallow the NEWFOUNDLANDER. The giant size sliding doors draw apart slowly and they can almost hear the creaking of the glides due to a possible drought of inactivity. The well-traveled ship both lumbers and floats in, after the gap reaches its full extent.

The adult McKinneys cannot take their eyes off the still functioning monitors. They have entered into what appears to be a vehicular {space} gallery.

“Do you remember the EAA Convention in Wisconsin?” Sampson tests his wife’s premarital memory about a yearly gathering of flying machines, pilots, enthusiasts and an accompanying aviation museum.

“Yes I do. You wanted to show off something there to your buddies.” Celeste was thinking about her inaugural introduction to his friends and fellow airborne buffs.

“Yeah Oshkosh, by gosh, and the P-51 Mustang I had been working on for 5 years!” That comment earns him a fist to the shoulder. She meant hers-truly. “There is every type of spacecraft imaginable here.”

About that he is correct.

And then some; human eyes have not seen, nor can they imagine where some of these ships came from, though there a few that look like they were made by Earth’s own rocketeers, “That looks the first liquid-fueled rocket made by Robert Goddard in the 1920s! They made a movie about that Celeste. Stick an American Flag on that one.”

Identifying the antiques is easy. Just where the NEWFOUNDLANDER fits into this collection, only the folks of Planet X would know, although that vacant slot on the right, near the end of this mindboggling menagerie seems to have NEWFOUNDLANDER written all over it.

“There is only one ship here that looks more advanced than this one.” He is baffled. Only one new model in four thousand years, how can that be? I think we may have made a slight miscalculation.” (like Wile E Coyote)


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 212


page 192