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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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 253

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 253

…“Holy crap Deker, we MUST be dead!”…

Near-death experiences: Artwork of Death by Peter Sheehan.

After Stellar Explorer settles into its perch, Celeste wrestles with the techniques she learned from Cerella; the “thawing” of human beings, not the more familiar suspended-sleep-state NASA employed for astronauts on the way to Mars. These are not-so-ordinary lives at stake. Cerella soothes her from the rear, coaching her through the procedure.

Rich oxygen-laden and argon infused Eridanian air replaces Deke & Gus’ Earthly mixture. That they quickly adapt to the hyper- atmospheric combination is important, their parents having had years to do so.

And though she had been present at the out-of-body rescue 30 months ago, it is nothing like sharing the same physical space with her sons; so silent, so innocent, so unaware. She gently, carefully removes the metabolic retardation shroud from around the unconscious men. With the aid of a scanner, which she herself had developed in the interim, a physical human-tailored check created and now performed to detect any temporary or permanent damage to their befuddled molecules.

The hijacked SOL astronauts pass this loving scrutiny like troopers, proving that the timing and placement of the molecular stabilizer had been fortuitous and effective.

In the reverse order of their suspension, the last to succumb is the first to resuscitate. When Deke begins to stir, Celeste hastens her familial onlookers to join her.

Because he was virtually frozen in the moment, Deke’s last conscious impression was Related imageof his speaking to what seemed to be his mother. One can imagine the boggling ramifications of now seeing his father and a strange young girl as well, adding to the aberration; the difference being that this time the images are very clear and not translucent.

Déjà vu all over again prompts him to repeat his attempt to revive his co-pilot, “Gus, come on Gus, wake up dude!”

“What do you want?” Like the morning of their test flight, he is in a fog.

Deke merely points to the three unlikely people standing before them.

“Holy crap Deker, we MUST be dead!”


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Near Death Experience by Caz Cat

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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.


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Family Business by Peter E Malbrough

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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.


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 241

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 241

…Celeste glides closer to her sons, takes off her wedding band, revealing the inscription “Sampson to Celeste 1/1/2000”…

Not THAT kind of wedding band / painting by Joan Zylkin The Event Painter

#They are about to exceed the speed-of-light threshold#, one of the technically trained expedition-ists thinks aloud. They are suspended just a few feet behind the now unconscious test pilots. Celeste’s heart is fluttering somewhere up in her throat, stomach filled by stampeding butterflies.

#This vehicle does not contain a molecular stabilizer. We must make the necessary modifications immediately#

Without the need of words or visible actions, the task of making the Stellar Explorer astronaut friendly is tackled head on.

While the technicians tend to the engineering inadequacies, Cerella handles the human aspects. One of the two such living, breathing humans shifts about uneasily, perhaps an internal struggle to fight the effects of his deteriorating body.

“Gus,” urges Deke McKinney, “wake up. There is something wrong here!”

Gus snaps awake to check his instruments, “Everything is fine. We have passed Warp 1!!!”

“But WE are not fine.”

“Oh my God Cerella, you have to do something or they will die!”

Cerella nods and motions for them to face-up the seated space travelers. She is aware that consciousness will be temporary, until the repairs take hold. Once the human DNA molecules are stabilized, the degradation will cease.

One minute Deke and Gus were interacting; the next Gus drifts away again. Deke’s last cogent visual contains the visage of their mother. Understandably, he believes he is hallucinating, until he sees the strange figure of another creature next to her.

Before Deke can speak, Celeste closes her eyes in attempt to speak to them telepathically, while mouthing, “It is really me,” in hopes that lip reading will take place.

“That cannot be you Mom! Hey Gus wake up, tell me that I’m seeing things!”

Gus does not stir, his body embracing the unconsciousness due to the shortage of sleep from the night before.

#I am going to curtail the level of bodily function in your sons# Cerella intends to perform the equivalent of suspended animation, the slowing of human metabolism, to stem further regression and shorten the perceived length of Deke & Gus’ trip to Eridanus.

In a last ditch effort to convince him that she indeed who she appears to be, Celeste glides closer to take off her wedding band, revealing the inscription Sampson to Celeste 1/1/2000”.

Cerella steps in to grant them some physical peace.

Deke’s stressed left lacrimal gland releases a tear. His last conscious second is used to mouth the words, “We miss you.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Chaotic Tears by Hollie Leffel

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 232

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 232

…There are 3 very good reasons for Deke McKinney to be relieved that his brother broke curfew…

“What time is it?” Deke McKinney asks, as his eyes adjust to the bright lights of the kitchenette, having been awakened from quality sleep.

“I don’t know, 01:30 I guess, why?” Brother Gus doesn’t think much about it.

“We’re going to dust-off the moon in six short hours Gus!” The elder of the pioneering duo does not want any puerile thing to interfere with their brush with the future of space travel. “Did anyone see you come in? You will be scrubbed from the mission if they find out you blew curfew… you know that Maddox {mission coordinator} has been waiting for you to screw up, he hates you, you know?”

“That sapsack? He’s been pissed since his girlfriend hit on me at the Christmas party,” Gus’ voice echoes inside their small refrigeration unit scouring it for a late-night snack.

“There is leftover steak in the vacuum chamber, you need the protein,” practical advice from one who knows. “I told Dad that we would douse the lights at 2100 {military time}.”

“I have three good reasons for staying out:

  1. “Roy hasn’t been President for 10 years
  2. The SOL test is a 15 minute trip around the block.”

“Hey Buddy, Roy Crippen may not be President, but he does oversee the SOL Project and as for that trip around the block comment, I wouldn’t take it so lightly. And that’s only two, what’s the third?” urges Deke.

“3. I asked Mindy to marry me,” he licks the cold beef fat off his fingers.

There are three very good reasons for Deke to be relieved:

  1. He had not been out partying
  2. He had disabled the security cameras
  3. Mindy McDonald has been a game-changer in his brother’s life

“We are going to have the biggest wedding that Houston has ever seen!”

This post dedicated to © Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000) R.I.P.


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 228

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 228

…Sam even looks hurt, but looks can be deceiving, and through the mist of this over oxygenated, faraway world…

Hurt by Lydia Farquhar

#As your cerebral opposite Sampson McKinney, your life companion Celeste may soon be capable of making a hyperphysical transmigration journey of this magnitude. If she did at this very moment, she would be devastated and I cannot allow that#

“He is right Sam,” she is bracing him for a mind-stretching concept, “I told The Elders of my wanting to attempt Earth contact. They do not want to forbid me from doing it, our minds are our own, but it will destroy me to do nothing, to stand by and watch as our sons launch themselves into oblivion.”

She may have well told Sampson that she was leaving for good:

 “Have a good life, too bad you didn’t master telepathy.” {hypothetical}

The fact she aspired to go to Earth, after preaching patience to him for years:

“We will be fine on Eridanus.” {over and over again}

 She may have well as slapped him in the face.

Sam even looks hurt, but looks can be deceiving, and through the mist of this over oxygenated, faraway world he makes a mid-course correction, “Just what can you do for them old man? Can she save their lives without changing history? I hope you know what you are getting her into, messing with the future and all! I’ll have you know that I have a degree in Astrophysics, I have read every Science Fiction novel dealing with time, time travel, and time meddling and almost to the book, when you play with fate, fate jumps up and bites you in the ass!”

His emotional outburst is a test of their resolve.

All the while lending a condescending ear to Sam’s taunting harangue, Ekcello dexterously confers with his cohorts about the latest out-of-body reports from Earth, which only serve to confirm his previous assertions.

#The successful test of an unmanned vehicle at sub-light velocities is leading them to the wrong conclusions. The manned test, which involves your offspring, will result in irreversible bodily damage; your world will mourn their loss like they have mourned yours#


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 225

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 225

…“If you tack another 5 years on for a return trip, we may just be aliens on our own world, an irrelevant leftovers from the past…

“Somewhere, deep in their youthful existentiality, they must have a basal need, an outlet for all their buried emotion.”

“You are really into their minds aren’t you?” Sampson is actually jealous, but doesn’t show it. Their relationship is still sound, for a human marriage, but there is always that nagging fear of her losing her humanity, in favor of these alien attitudes. “You’re not thinking about ditching me, are you Celeste?”

“Now that is a silly notion Sam,” she barely recognizes an insecure Sammy Mac. “Where did that come from?”

“Well you are so close to these people and I really think they have accepted you as one of their own… and then there is old Sampson McKinney, that Neanderthal caveman from Earth, a  pain-in-the-ass, word speaking fool.

“Sometimes I think that if weren’t for you, they would banish me to that prison tower they are hiding, or better yet, hand the keys of the NEWFOUNDLANDER over to me and give me a map back to Earth.”

“There you go, that’s what you really want isn’t it?” The question is rhetorical.

“For a long time that is all I could think about. What has it been, 9 years since we’ve seen Earth?” It has actually been 15 (2045), but the slowing of his body clock has made time passage moot. “If you tack another 5 years on for a return trip, we may just be aliens on our own world, an irrelevant leftovers from the past. Not to mention that we will have missed the prime years of Deke & Gus’ lives… and Braden, How old is he now?

“Not to mention being debriefed by Crippen until we turn green. I bet he is the president of some private space-travel agency by now: Roy’s Rockets.

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


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 196

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 196

…“Deke McKinney,” she is sure to identify the concerned parties, “take your hands off me!”…

It’s a Trap by Bedard

“Thank you Deke, you make everything happen just like that.” This was her opening to move in closer, for a comfy viewing angle and an excusable snuggle. He does not see any harm in this move, in fact he prefers Susannah’s proximity for a movie showing to Gus, who doesn’t have great smelling hair… or great smelling anything.

About an hour into the movie, a nomadic vampire decides he will hunt Bella for sport and at their first confrontation, Susannah is startled and lets-loose shrieks of horror, acting like she is being attacked; she takes it way over the top and provokes Deke into trying to cajole her.

“Deke McKinney,” she is sure to identify the concerned parties, “take your hands off my bra!” She exposes more than the straps of her Victoria Secret push-up for him to see. She syncs her actions to what’s happening on the 60” screen, with Edward Cullen exposing Bella’s neck for a midnight munch.

Deke thinks she is merely acting out, like when there out riding horses and she takes off and hides in the bushes.

At the point of Twilight when Bella is seriously wounded by James and Edward kills James, she unleashes a bloodcurdling scream, while exposing the breast closest to Deke, who is starting to get freaked.

“Settle down Susannah, whoah, let me help you with your shirt.”

“Take your hands off of me; I’m not ready for sex!”

“Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you!”

“That’s what you said the last time,” she tells him as she reaches for her phone (to hang up on the surreptitious call), pretending to check the time after the movie ends. “Can you take me back to my hotel now Deke? Thank you for the great time.”

The poor stiff stands there still baffled by what he had just witnessed. She has always been a bit off-the-wall, but this act was borderline bizarre.

“Sure, no problem, I will give you some shorts and a highly collectible King Ranch t-shirt. Don’t forget you’re dress and shoes.” Even in the face of a fickle female, Deke McKinney’s good character is on display.


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 195

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 195

…In the back of her tainted mind, lurk the words of her father telling her to set the scene for a mock sexual assault…

But, as the other girls are swallowing her stories whole, wishing that that young space cadet across the room were with them, Dashing Deker is probably telling his own tales of romance and upcoming conquest to his buddies.

“She’s a little on the immature side,” Deke relates to his friends, “kind of spoiled maybe, I don’t know. But she is fun to hang out with and you have to love those boobs!”

It’s a good thing nobody in the girl-gaggle can read lips.

The rest of the night falls more into the lines of expectation, when nearing the end of the night some serious posturing is taking place on the dance floor. The frenzied techno-muzic is reduced to belly rubbing ballads; where pelvis-grinding is an art form and tonsil-hockey the standard form of communication.

Deke McKinney’s hormones are not completely dormant, though his thoughts are about the approaching ranch where Braden King has set out the hors d’oeuvres and programmed the gaming system.

Susannah Grisbaum is not entirely pleased with the nonfictional version of her evening with Deke, or the pace at which her fantasies are coming true… or not. Her fib-flaunting talk among the girls is not exactly a replacement for the “real thing”; like a Coca Cola without the carbonation.

She is about to add some hot fizz.

“I’m going to get out of this dress.” She helps herself to the bathroom and slips on an oversize, off-the-shoulder t-shirt.

In the back of her tainted mind, lurk the words of her father telling her to set the scene for a mock sexual assault. It won’t be so hard to make it sound like Deke is trying to take advantage of her underage assets. So while he touts the deli tray, she dials her father’s voicemail and the speakerphone is set to “deceptive”.

“Can we sit on the couch and watch a movie, like an on-demand dusty like Les Miserables or Twilight; yeah Twilight and you can be my Edward.” She refers to the teen movie classic.

“I like Bella, sure we can do the vampire thing,” he pounds the remote keys with the skill of a video master. “Here we go. I cannot remember the last time I saw the original.”


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