THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 276

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 276

May you all live long, laugh often, love hard, with the hope that our paths will cross again someday…

Could anyone possibly trace this comportment back to the root of Gus’ discontent?

Yes. Ekcello and the other members of the High Counsel are collectively aware that Gus is saying goodbye to his family. The young man is conflicted, yet resolute and his hosts have willfully supplied him with the means to leave Eridanus. He is supplying the will to do so.

With that yellow dwarf star {and the blue planet that orbits it} circled on his star chartsescape route and no one manning the security shielding that prevents escape velocity or unauthorized reentry, the new and improved Stellar Explorer is pointed at the other end of the galaxy.

Erroneously believing he needs to be surreptitious, he had positioned the Stellar Explorer in such a way for a rapid route of escape. Everything was set up correctly, except for one nagging detail: Deimostra, his sister had left the party early, exhausted from the excitement, so he had not been able to see her before leaving himself.

Dare he risk being found out because of a sentimental lapse? No, she and he had shared"My dear sister Sammy" in his restlessness privately, though how was she to know how serious it had become. He decides to leave his personal flight recorder behind, with his smiling image and the following message:

My dear sister Sammy;

I’ve only known you for a short time, but I think we bonded over our mutual interest Earth, our home planet, well you know what I mean. It peaks your curiosity, but it nags at me to no end. Tonight I am taking steps to return to Earth, at any cost, because that is where I belong, not here.

May you all live long, love hard, with the hope that our paths will cross again someday.

All my love,

Gus

He places the device in a place he knows she and she alone will find it, alongside her copy of his engagement picture to his dearest Mindy… as he sets his plan in motion.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 276


page 320

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 275

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 275

…feeling alone, even though he is among his closest ties, Gus tries to hide the hurt he works so hard not to show…

The whole Cerella/Deke event itself is a big to-do: #First comes the marriage, which will happen without fail – next comes the child: an Eridanus fairy tale #Image result for magic eight ball gif

Just when that is going to be, is up for much discussion, on both sides of the equation.  Because this conception is a product of two different species, it seems even the most experienced physical physicians cannot accurately predict the final outcome… #It could be tomorrow or ten cycles from now#

“Let’s start a pool on when the Cerella actually delivers and another buck on the sex. Two guesses per person, two bucks a throw and winner gets the entire pot,” why not make good sport of it all, Sampson.

Ekcello thinks, somewhat correctly that a buck is an Earthly animal and ignores Sam like he often does, #The child should be forever known as “Crettano”, heir to the heiress of Eupepsia# believing he gets the honor of naming rights.

“We were thinking along the lines of “Reggie”,” Sampson weighs in on the baby name game. “Reginald Braden McKinney, child of the stars, heir to intergalactic exploration,” should be his lengthy Earthly moniker, being positive that it will be a boy and he will win the pool, “… or Regina in the unlikely case that I am wrong.”

Fortän and Celeste make mind-to-mind contact, each deciding to relinquish their respective control over the matter, secure in the knowledge that, from this day forward, the intertwining of the two worlds is irreversible. What was once thought as impossible…?

Standing alone and inexplicably feeling alone, even though he is among his closest ties, wondering just how he had been spirited away from the love of his life, Gus tries to hide the hurt he works so hard not to show.

  • Where was HIS “Mom, Dad, I’d like you to meet the next Mrs. Gus McKinney.” moment?
    • The day when Mom’s hug would choke a grizzly bear
    • Dad would shake his hand until his arm falls off
    • And how they would accept Mindy McDonald into the family, every bit as joyfully as Cerella

None of the above is on the long-range radar right now and the pressure inside his irresolute mind is building, a crescendo not to be ignored. The abstract notions that flash in and flash out at an increasing rate, cause him to seek out the parents he has rediscovered. He tells them each, “Just what it has meant to see them again and be a part of their lives”. They are flattered by him sharing, but cannot imagine what has brought this on at this, his private pivotal moment.

Gus McKinney has something cooking in his brain and he lavishes his heartfelt affections toward brother Deke, which is not a stretch, because Gus is an emotional guy. It’s the timing and intensity of that affection that is.

As for his interstellar acquaintances, who have become accustomed to emotional outpourings, they equate him to his father; one and the same, cut from the same cloth.

Could anyone possibly trace this comportment back to the root of his discontent?


THE RETURN TRIP

The Cloak of Discontent by Margo Schopf – Johannesburg, South Africa

Episode 275


page 319

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 263

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 263

…Whatever keeps these young dynamic human beings busy, Ekcello is all for it…

During the timeless days that follow, the assimilation of the two newest additions to Eridanus is as complete as it is going to get. Gus McKinney has tabled his protestations for the time being, while the elder of them busies himself by spending his days learning and understanding the essence of what it means to be an Eridanian. Deke studies the new culture.

The younger follows in his father’s track of citizenship; in, out, around, and through every space vehicle in the Spaceflight Expository, to more fully grasp the essence of space travel and the complicated fabric that is time. He learns that the manipulation of the latter unlocks the secrets of the former.

Whatever keeps these young dynamic human beings busy, Ekcello is all for it. He is relieved, about not having them weigh so heavily on his officious mind. Yes Gus is only temporarily appeased, but being anticipatory is what telepathy is all about. Dealing with this smoldering tinderbox of a human has leapfrogged to his list of priorities.

High Counsel by Wmskp12 on deviantart.com

The High Counsel of Eridanus, the omniscient ruling body of the planet, consists of one representative from each of the fifteen hundred spired cities. In nearly each case, the eldest {very high math} individual holds these mainly ceremonial positions. The need for a governing parliament has given way to a perfectly ordered society. The reasoning behind the choosing of elders is only evident when the rare problem arises.

These old-timers remember what it was like on their now molten Mother Planet, a far cry from the current state of affairs. As a body, they credit the fresh start on a new planet as the secret for their societal success and the corrections for any mistakes made on the old.

And as well-liked and welcomed the Earthlings have become, their overall impact on the average Eridanian is profound and growing.


THE RETURN TRIP

State of Affairs, mixed media on canvas by Vanessa Lam

Episode 263


page 306

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 260

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 260

…“We can’t be sent back or they won’t let us go back?…

Cerella speaks to Deke alone; who takes her hand and kisses it gently, like it may fall off in his.

“What did she say Deke? It sounds like Far East music to me.” Gus is not used to being upstaged when it comes to getting attention from the female persuasion.

The two that have been taken with one another, continue their one-on-one exchange undaunted.

Quite comically, the remaining characters in the room restart a conversation of their own.

“What’s the matter Gus, do you feel left out?” Sampson chides Gus, like a father teases a son.

“Hell no Dad, I’m engaged to be married.” The fact that they are 10 light-years away from a wedding day matters not.

“What’s her name, where’s she from, do you have a picture?” Celeste bullies her way into a litany of motherly queries.

Gus reaches into his SOL Project flight suit for the engagement picture from the Houstonian  of him and Mindy McDonald. “How long did it take us to get here?”

Celeste looks to Sampson, the official timekeeper of the family.

“30 months, as far as I can tell.”

“That’s 2½ freaking years! Are you sure we needed rescuing, because I bet Mindy has already mourned my death… like we did you guys?”

“Ten more seconds into SOL warp and you surely would have died. NASA astro-mechanics did their job, but the bio-people did not,” Dad does his best.

“The Eridanians have mastered the fabric of time and they thought we would like to know about your fate. So, “we” went back to when/before that happened, adjustments were made to your ship. It is because of those adjustments that we could not allow you to return to Earth,” good news-bad news from a loving mother.

“We can’t be sent back or they won’t let us go back?” The more the idea of being separated from Mindy sinks in, the less savory is the notion.

A loving father cups Gus’ face with his hands, massaging his cheeks, wiping away the tears, “Never say never…”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 260


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 254

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 254

…Where in God’s name is Errordannias…

“Holy crap Deke, we must be dead!”

That kind of material is so like Gus. Sampson breaks into a hearty laugh.

They speak to each other like the “others” cannot hear, “That’s Mom and Dad and they haven’t aged? Someone must have slipped us a mickey.”

“Maybe, but before I passed out, Mom was floating in front of me, showing me her wedding band.”

“Maybe we went through a wormhole or something?”

“No Gus, it is really us,” Celeste assures.

Sampson follows up with, “You ain’t dreaming boys, and we are for real.” He has his arms about Deimostra’s quivering shoulder, ushering her forward, “And I’d like to introduce you boys to your sister.”

She smiles sheepishly. Deke and Gus rub their eyes. Instinctively she hugs each in turn. The whole hallucination theory suddenly goes out the window.

Shaky on their feet and at a loss for words, tears of joy stream down their cheeks; no how, whys or wherefores.

“May we present to you, Deimostra Samantha McKinney, child of space.”

“Okay, if this fairy tale contains a sister, fine, but where the hell are we?”

A good place to start would be stepping out of the Stellar Explorer, five family members’ hand-in-hand filing past the menagerie that is the Spaceflight Expository. Upon gaining the edge of the massive entry/exit doors, they are exposed to the miles high pedestals that dominate their new home, “This is Eridanus and it’s not a Towersfairytale.”

“Error-what? Where are the people,” Gus wonders?

“They live in towered cities like Eupepsia, this one and those dotting the horizon. We thought it best that we are your first contact.”

“Where in God’s name is Error-dannias, it sound like Epsilon Eridani the star,” Gus knows his stars, but cannot make the connection to their present position, likely believing that they had just nodded off a bit.


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Episode 254


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 247

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 247

…And though he will never admit it, Ekcello inwardly welcomes the challenge of hosting two more of those wacky Earthlings…

The whole planet, a planet that is a moon of another planet which is a dwarf sister star, is singing with uncharacteristic giddiness.

For Ekcello, the perennial leader of the High Counsel, this widespread behavior is disconcerting. He hearkens back to a time, way back, to the times when the mother planet was a thriving world. Things were simple and carefree, more of a stoic-free zone, where logic was not the defining methodology. But when they were forced to flee that global geophysical tumult and move their collective to the Moon Eridanus, did the present inhabitants of Eridanus lose their thirst for space travel and abandon memories of unfettered joy.

Upon their arrival, Sampson, Celeste, and Deimostra tickled the baser instincts of the average planetary citizen to get the everlasting fog a’swirling. The approach of the brothers McKinney has induced the 3 I’s of quantifiable excitement, without them having yet set foot in the Central Tower.

TowersInstinct

Klingon Prison Planet V1 by imaximus

And though he will never admit it, Ekcello inwardly welcomes the challenge of hosting two more of those wacky Earthlings. They had come such a long way from the sun-god worshiping, pyramid building, sphinx-ters that the orbiters of Epsilon Eridani had encountered in a millennia long past.

Similarly his relationship with that Sammy Mac guy, something like finding out you fathered a child with a Klingon Prison Planet guard, has blossomed into genuine affection. Just don’t tell that to Sampson… that Ekcello admitted to anything of the sort.

An example of the growing bond between EarthMan and Eridanian surfaces when the latter relinquishes control of the Spaceship Expository to the former. He may not understand the need to keep busy {not just ponder the meaning of life}, like a parent handing the reigns of the family business, so has he to Sam, a trusted child.


THE RETURN TRIP

Family Business by Peter E Malbrough

Episode 247


page 290

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 246

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 246

CHAPTER 10.5

Company is Coming

…Cerella has made the enormous effort to master her verbal English, to be able to express herself to Eridanus’ newest visitors, whose spaceship is slowing down…

#Do you think your sons will be pleased with their living quarters?# asks Cerella in an apprehensive pitch, totally ignoring that other brother Gus will be along.

“I don’t see why they would not. You have spent the last half of the eclipse solstice getting things just right.” Celeste McKinney is using the spoken word to communicate with the heiress to the High Counsel of Eridanus. Cerella has made the enormous effort to master her verbal English, to be able to express herself to the two newest visitors, whose spaceship is slowing down, while their bodies are slowly speeding up to a new reality.

#What is Deke’s favored nourishment?# Ever since that out-of-body rescue, Cerella seems to have developed a schoolgirl fascination with the Deker.

“Well, for one thing you don’t have cows here Cerella, that’s a big roadblock. My boys were raised on Texas beef.” It is difficult to describe animals that are raised for food. “And secondly, you should replicate that illustration recipe for – you know – pizza.”

Cerella probes Celeste’s mind for the description of this strange combination of ingredients: a flat crust topped by layers of tomato sauce, cheese, and meats on a meat-less world. And woe be to the tomato-less culture, not to mention that it’s not easy being cheesy {without milk}.

“Not to worry my friend, I have been working on a facsimile of a good pie,” assures an anxiously awaiting mother.

#Pie. I can make a fingusberry pie#

“I will take care of feeding them. You handle the hospitality.”

— As inherently different Cerella is from her peers here on Eridanus, particularly her angelically beautiful  features, the heir-apparent to this world of ordered logic has let down her hair. She has embraced humanity and is diving headlong into the caring and understanding of.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 246


page 289

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