THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 94

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 94

…Now that’s what I want to hear… enthusiasm – enthusiasm…

Image result for enthusiasm painting

Brittle Enthusiasm by Polly Castor

“The President says that there will be no second Space Colony until Sammy Mac and Cel are back on Earth!”

“Is this a repeat of what went on in the 20-teens? Feed the people and starve the christopher-columbus-001space program, how shortsighted is that? Yeah, let’s try to privatize space again, we all know how that turned out; that’s like sending out Christopher Columbus with two dinghies and a canoe. By the time they get done with the Washington push-pull, a Martian colony will not be feasible, hell then we might as well shoot for the stars.”

“Not necessarily Roy, they (the McKinneys) could be debriefed en route from Mars and we could have the main body completed by then; no reason we couldn’t have #2 in place by the end of ’31.”

“A year behind schedule and not manned by our 1st string people!” Crip’s biorhythm readings are lowered to somewhere between Custer at Little Bighorn and the Captain of the Titanic; surrounded by 2000 fighting Indians & the Promenade deck listing at 45º in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.

“Maybe they are right Braden. We had a serious breach of security at the very least and when the smoke clears from the inquiry, I will be working 2nd shift IT at an El Paso Automated Warehouse.”

 

“Look my friend, we are not going to let you anywhere near some half-baked witch-hunt, so I have a proposal,” Braden does what a friend does best; he tosses out a life preserver. “Come up to the Ranch (King) for a little R&R. I have a reluctant filly I’d like you to break.”

“That’s not in my wheelhouse right now. I would probably get thrown and break my back, neck, and both arms trying to cushion the fall.”

space-birthday-001“We will be expecting you on Wednesday the boys’ birthday bash and bring your bedroll.”Related image

“Hey, I can’t disappoint my biggest fans!”

“Now that’s what I want to hear…enthusiasm — enthusiasm.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 94


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 92

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 92

…“And what happened to Lois Lane?”

“You mean Sweet Polly Purebred,” Roy’s corrective cartoon analogy…

Dancing Lois & Superman by edsfox – deviantart.com

For Roy, sleep come mercifully quick, dreams not so sweet. —

“Mr. Crippen,” the day custodian had been dispatched to look for the New Mayflower Mission Director, “wake up, they are looking for you.”Image result for the seventh day

He looks at the blood splattered wearable tech on his wrist, “Okay its 06:30, even God rested on the seventh day.”

“It isn’t that you aren’t supposed to sleep sir, it’s that no one knew where you were, after what happened and all…”

Francine  I mean Miss Bouchette and I were taking a blow, she has left, I am here and New Mayflower is safely on its way to Mars, right my friend?”

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Iconic still from the 1902 Georges Méliès silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon)

“Last I heard it absolutely dusted the moon on the way by and Commander Stanley reports that spirits are high… except he was curious about what all the fire and explosions were.”

“Just a big-bang sendoff compliments of our friends from Korea and Talibanistan.” This guy still doesn’t know what Roy was talking about, as Sunday bleeds into Monday.

“Oh, by the way, Braden King checked in at 0:600 and he would like you call him when you have time.”

“Time—so precious so fleeting and he seems to work through every second of it.”

Call him Double Duty King… and Roy is advised to answer any call, any time.

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Roy brings himself into the flow of the daylight reality, tips his imaginary hat to the custodian and completes the circuit that sends his image and voice out to King Ranch, the finest 2500 acres this side of Venus.

Braden is waiting on his end of the 5×5 screen, “Is the Roy Crippen Action Hero?” He has seen the raw security video of the brouhaha early this morning. “And what happened to Lois Lane?”

“You mean Sweet Polly Purebred,” Roy’s corrective cartoon analogy; Superman’s girlfriend downgraded to Underdog’s poochie pal.

“OOOooo easy buddy, I just happened to see you protecting her from that copter-full of bad guys.”

“You mean there is a digital record of that stuff?”die-hard-001

“Don’t you dare act like nothing happened Crippen! That was the greatest footage ever, needs a title, like DIE HARD MARS.”

“Oh swell, we have real heroes waiting for us to pick them up and I am a candidate for the Medal of Honor, come on?”

“Leave your modesty behind in your office Roy, ‘cause right now you are the hottest thing going, every device on Earth has your image #1 on iTunes 10G,” in an instantaneous society, word travels at the speed-of-light. “Every network morning news show has been bugging me to get you to appear on their show and you can blame Sweet Polly for the pub. Missy Bouchette’s been on the air here in the Tri-county for two hours, giving her up-close-&-personal tale of intrigue, danger, and heroism.”

Roy does not respond; Braden cannot keep still….


THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 92


page 114

 

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 90

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 90

…And then there is the inconvenient reality of her VP fiancée, who is probably worried sick, period, without knowing about what is going on between the TV Newswoman and the NASA Colony Mission Director…

inconvenient-truth-001

Right now (Braden King) he feels like 80. —

— As would Roy Crippen had he not found himself half-passed out on his office couch, next to Francine, who is showing no signs of wanting to leave. She is obviously preoccupied by the concept of how she ever ended up so “close” to the space program. Conversely, for the first time since breaking 200 MPH whilst speeding away from her native Houston, the 10 o’clock newscast she bolted from crosses her mind. Her newly acquired sense of four-letter loyalty has shifted from KHST to NASA, in addition to that deviant stance, she doesn’t feel at all guilty about not having a camera crew along for the station’s {and her career} enrichment.

In fact, her television chores have also occurred to Roy, “Aren’t you going to file a
report to KHST Channel 13 Houston’s News Source?”

“Thank you for that proper station ID,” she forms her real response carefully, if not unenthusiastically. “I suppose I should.” And then there is the inconvenient reality of her VP fiancée, who is probably worried sick, period, without knowing about what is going on between the TV Newswoman and the NASA Colony Mission Director.

For Roy, whose mind never rests anyway, has been doing some thinking, you know, about mortality and bachelorhood. He has noticed the Francine’s transformation from selfish career person to Mamma’s every prayer for a daughter-in-law.

“Francine…….I’ve been kicking something around.” That is an understatement considering the drastic implications for her.the-right-words-001

“What???” She had been in a trance of her own.

“Well……,” he stutters, stumbles, and skirts the issue, “…throughout my years at NASA, both in the air and here with the Space Colony project, I feel there is a void, when it comes to a public presence, that one authoritative voice; someone with your media flair and experience that can deal with situations like we had today.”

Francine thinks she knows what he means, but does not lead him forward, fearing how she would respond.

“Heck,” his Southern drawl breaking in, “for as long as I can remember, it has always been ‘good ol’ Roy’ plunked in front of cameras and microphones and not to nasa (1)thrilled about it.

“No offense, but I’m not a big fan of you press people, although at first the attention was nice enough. But now it is a hassle and it is taking me off-course from my real job.”

“Sure, sure, you want someone else to be the face of failure.”

“Failure, I’m not so sure. We have only scratched the surface of what caused the Colony to go down.”

“I have not seen a single member of the press, not that pompous ass from Channel 5 or anyone from FOX or REUTERS and if they were here they would be asking a millions ignorant questions and some poor sucker here at CMC would have spilled their guts and piss you off.”

Roy is taken aback by Francine’s callous bluntness, and he hasn’t even asked the question.


THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 90


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 89

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 89

…The boys could not keep their eyes off the King Ranch linkup with Colony Mission Control, watching the slow visual crawl of the New Mayflower on its way past the moon…

Image result for one-sided conversations

One-Sided Conversations Typography by cheeriosbdr529 on deviantart.com

—Meanwhile, back in the Greater Houston Metroplex, reaction to the Mars bound Image result for metroplex mapNew Mayflower is every bit the equal to Galveston, perhaps having the edge with the mission’s two biggest rooters Deke and Gus McKinney there at King Ranch. The pre-launch drama will not be left out this time, leaving it for it in the hands of local news.

Braden King does not relax until the New Mayflower reaches escape velocity and clears the ionosphere. Then and only then does he join the boys who have exploded their bedtime to bits. Wild horses could not have kept them from watching their parents’ rescue mission move downrange and Braden has learned his lesson about withholding the truth.

“I wish we had a molecular particle transporter,” Gus muses, “and then I could beam Mom & Dad in time for Wednesday.”

He speaks about the big birthday bash that surrogate parent Braden King has had planned for weeks, to treat the McKinney boys who were born within five winter days of each other, one year apart.

Space Academy

“CalTech has been doing some amazing experimentation in that area Gus. One of my friends at the Space Academy has a dad who has successfully scrambled basic molecules and reassembled them.” Leave it to Deke to know so much about the project. “In fact, they say by the end of the 2035 they will be transporting a lab rat to a remote location.”

“That sound cruel to me…what if the rat goes in and comes out a cat.”

“I think he would be happy.”

“Or worse yet, get lost on the way,” Gus being an advocate for all creatures large and small. “They don’t get a vote.”

“If we didn’t use animals for research, the planet would have been overrun by flesh-eating epidemics back in 2018.”

“You were 3, how would you know Deke?”

“He is right,” if Braden says so, it is therefore gospel, “if I remember it spread out of  Africa and never made it across the Atlantic.

Black and White Pattern with Wavy Lines.

“You know I’ve been thinking, maybe it would be a good idea to invite Uncle Roy to the party,” no not blood uncle.  “He could use a day or two in the bunkhouse to wind down.”

“Well, duh Mr. King!” Braden speaks for the boys/transfixed.

super-kidsThe boys could not keep their eyes off the King Ranch linkup with Colony Mission Control, watching the slow visual crawl of the New Mayflower on its way past the moon. It will be tough keeping the rescue from dominating their every thought.

“Well double-duh Braden, I didn’t see his name on the list?” King mentions.

“It wouldn’t be a party without Crip, Mr. King.” He mocks.

“Oh yes, that is an excellent suggestion, we like it when he rides old Hellraiser the bull.” Braden has conducted the conversation for the 3 of them.

Black and White Pattern with Wavy Lines.

11-oclock

“That’s it boys, I think it is time to hit your bunks. Haven’t you heard that a watched spaceship never moves?”

He gets no argument.

“Come on Gus, we cannot stay wake for four months. And Mr. King, Uncle Roy would never ride Hellraiser, he smarter than that.” The brothers are aware of Braden’s needs, “And you deserve to have time with adults of your own age, you know like 64!”

Right now he feels all of 80. —


THE RETURN TRIP

Image result for when i'm 64

When I’m 64 by nickel8 on deviantart.com

Episode 89


page 110

 

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 82

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 82

“Maybe it’s not a good idea to poke that thing around, not knowing what the result will be?”…

Careful now!

— Energized and ever curious, the two-remaining visitors on Mars press on to the depths of the alien ship. As they near the geometrical center, there is the palpable lets-go-exploring-calvin-and-hobbessensation of power about, much like being yards away from a pulsating 30,000 volt transmission line. The black hair on Sampson’s forearms stand on end and Celeste’s blond-locks react statically.

Sampson surmises that they are nearing the “engine room”, “Judging by its staying power it has to be nuclear or whatever style of atomic fuels they use. Old Karl at GLF would be drooling about now.”

The technology needed for intergalactic travel is beyond Earthly understanding, though they are currently on the right track. The NEWFOUNDLANDER most certainly did not plod along to get to Mars, like Chronicle did, or like the 21st Century New Mayflower is about to.

 

Brightly coded signs, reading gobbledigook threatening in form, leading them to believe they have found the engineering section with supercharged propulsion onyx-black-001unit/s. Upon gaining entry to the forbidden area, thank you Celeste and your mystically useful black rock, they can only wonder why it is so closely secured.Related image

There are more lifeless Newfoundlian bodies here than the
rest of the ship combined. Gathered in a tight circle, like Uni-Scouts at a Saturday night bonfire, are 10 of the NEWFOUNDLANDER’s crewmen. There is an object/i.e. device in the midst of the fallen bodies, five feet in diameter and eight feet tall. Two corpses are closer than the rest with what looks like tools in their hands, as if repairing something fragile.fork-001

While bending over to relieve one of them of his tool, “Where do you think this goes,” he beckons Celeste to come join him.

Sampson manipulates the tuning fork shaped instrument, twist it at various angle and degrees. He even goes as far as trying to shove it into the middle, where the two cones intersect, in the middle, but the smooth surfaces are not arrow-downreceptive.

“Maybe it’s not a good idea to poke that thing around, not knowing what the result will be?”press_button_receive_bacon

“You have a point; this has more and different juice than the magical-meal machine.”

The “thingy” Sam is handling inadvertently drops to the deck of the engine room from waist level.…..


THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 82


 

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 77

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 77

…Consciousness comes suddenly for Mars’ most beautiful woman. “How long was I out?” …

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Conscious – Unconscious by Marie-Christine Serres

“Celeste!” He rushes to his wife, who drops like a Mars rock onto the unyielding glossy deck, without outward signs or warning.

The image of all those previous occupants, scattered around like they were stunned Image result for dead alien cartoonby a concussion bomb, is not very reassuring. Only now does he pick up on the well-
aged odor of death, “No not us Cel! Come on baby!”

He is not a doctor but he is the only being, human or otherwise, standing on the Red Planet. It is he who will be checking for a pulse, even with the NASA and United States logos rising and falling across her heaving chest. For one grateful moment, she had not been done in by the same “bug” that had wiped out the previous homeowners.

Her static body slowly begins to writhe, as if awakening from an anesthetic sleep. Sampson leans back, relieved that he did not entice her fate because of his own cavalier lack of caution. She must have fainted, perhaps from the hyper-oxygenated air, yet this is not the first time she has been waylaid by ill winds, the award-001first time coming in Tycho’s airlock.

Consciousness comes suddenly for Mars’ most beautiful woman. “How long was I out?” Has she pinned down the source of her dodgy episodes?

“About 3 Martian Minutes,” he jokes. “You haven’t been your usually steady self lately. Do you have any clues about what is going on, this is starting to scare me?”

Celeste knows enough about her body, an ability that every woman has need of, enough to know that these compounding events are not body-blows or fouled air. Sam’s concern is the outward manifestation of married love, a comfortable yet flattering feeling.

“Are you Sam the Detective or Samuel McKinney M.D.?”

Sam the Detective

Samuel McKinney M.D.

“As a doctor I am a quack, as a detective I am a hack.”

“Well Mister Quack-Hack, I’m going to give both of you a clue: What memorable thing happened on the night of 15 November 2029?”

“In and out of hyper-sleep I guess, about 40 million miles out. Come to think of it, isn’t that when Al the Computer woke us up to tell us that we were passing by some unidentified space probe?”

“Very good,” is her condescending comment to his incomplete recollection, “but what else went on while we were awake?’

“OOOOooooohhh….THAT else! One thing kinda led to another didn’t it?”rated-r

“This is your last clue: One thing leads to another and we gave “it” a name.”

“Itsaboutdamntime!”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 77


 

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 315

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 315

… Equity, in the hot summer of ‘55, comes on the form of a distressed young woman, with $200 dollars in hand and a suspected dead fetus lingering in her womb…

pitfall-001

Is there a fairy tale character like Peter Pan flitting around Laura Bell Memorial Hospital these days?

braceT LFT          As blissful and carefree things are for the Fords, the opposite is true for Alpha Omega Campbell. He is actually blissfully ignorant and seemingly carefree to the point of carelessness. Things on Virginia Street are falling into serious disrepair and the doctor’s Image result for peter pan gifcash flow has slowed to the equivalent of the leaky bathroom faucet in his and Maggie Lou’s master bedroom.

To survive these lean days of the summer of 1955, one property after another is sold at less than market value. Demand for the land that Maggie had inherited from John Ferrell, has slowed in the wake of the Korean War.      Now, post-World War II was a very different climate. Returning GI’s were snapping up parcels in cities like Tallahassee, no matter what the cost. But that was when A.O. was in the midst of his heyday and in no need of real estate equity.

Equity, in the hot summer of ‘55, comes on the form of a distressed young woman, with $200 dollars in hand and a suspected dead fetus lingering in her womb. She is hardly Tinkerbell spreading pixie dust at the back door of LBMH. Instead, a massive cloud of dank dust rises into the Frenchtown air.

Image result for sob story

“I’ve hired this musician to play a sad melody while I give you a sob story why I didn’t do my homework. It’s actually quite effective!”

  “I was bein’ treated at Havana. The doctor there gave me some awful tasting-stuff to settle my stomach. I’d been with child for four months and the mornin’ sickness was getting’ to me. My mother suggested I visit Dr. Wright, I don’t know why. He wasn’t my baby doctor; guess that he was away on holiday or such.”

          “When did you notice that somethin’ wasn’t right?” Campbell had put his stethoscope to her lower belly earlier and came to an early conclusion. He wants to peel away the layers of her previous treatment. “And why did you come to me, ‘stead of Doc Wright?”

          “Well, he said that you had a reputation for helpin’ girls like me.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Image result for sob story painting

Sob Story by Schernego Roman

Episode # 315


page 298

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