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


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 249

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 249

…To discover that we are alive and living, 10 light-years away from Mars is a radical notion…

Radical Notion by Stephanie Holznecht

#Why would they believe that our intentions are to deceive? They surely will know we mean them no harm# Ekcello is relegated to speculation, when telepathy fails.

“You must understand Ekcello that they will have no precedent from which to draw from. Earth is still at odds with the whole UFO issue, without specific knowledge or tangible proof of alien visitation.”

#This is not true. Our ancestors, from the days on the Mother Planet, did indeed make contact with the civilization you call Egyptians. The artifacts you saw on our Explorer confirms direct contact#

“Yes it does, but I can tell you that all those Egyptians viewed you guys as gods, another thing to worship and pray to. And you “gods” never returned in their lifetimes–

–Even as far back as fifty and eighty earth-years, possible alien encounters were explained away as anything but.”

#There are other worlds with universal mobility in faraway galaxies. We know this as truth#

“Thank you for sharing, but until the people of Earth shake the hands of one of you dudes, the only true superior being is the God of our Fathers.”

#We must trust that your sons will be as open-minded as the rest of their family unit#

“We had five years to sort out the possibilities of where we were going and we had your ship to give us some solid clues,” Sampson recalls.  “I can tell you that nothing would please me more, but Deke & Gus are going to freak… this I know as truth

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

“Obviously your congenial author enjoyed Interstellar the movie… I saw it in the theater… but I wrote this book back in 1986, so you can see why it connected with me.” – Gwenny


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 243

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 243

CHAPTER TEN

Where Were We?

…the Stellar Explorer, piloted by the McKinney brothers, is losing control…

“SLAV, we are losing contact with the chrono-link. The ship is breaching the threshold, but it’s like we are watching it via remote hookup…,” Deke tries to explain what is happening.Stellar Explorer

“We have you on our screens, engage the emergency decelerator immediately…” encourages the SLAV.

But instead of slowing, it has more than doubled its maximum velocity. The SLAV crew struggles with what they are seeing and the data that defies description, considering known parameters.

“We were talking with them one minute… they were having problems… we cannot regain contact.”

At SOL Mission Control they are desperate for answers. “How can that be Fletcher Fitch? You never hinted that they could travel that fast!” Roy Crippen’s comprehension cannot possibly keep up with the pace Stellar Explorer was setting.

“No sir. We don’t know if the speed-of-light can be exceeded… and the crew blacked-out just after they lit the fuse.” After reviewing the data, the former Talibanistani-national posits, “But then after reaching SOL 1 and maintain it for a minute, it immediately jumped to SOL 2 and they are now approaching SOL 3. The heliopause {rim of the Solar System} will be breached in five minutes.”

There is only disbelief from Mission leadership.

“What do we do President Crippen?”

“Didn’t that thing have a velocity governor, Afridi — I mean Fitch, can they make the turn going that fast?”

“We are running the numbers now Mr. President. The unmanned test went nothing like this. We are only scratching the surface of exo-WARP conditions.”

“Tell me about it!” President Roy is at a loss for action. The fate of Space Colony 1 haunts him still. “Holy crap! This cannot be happening!”

There are no concrete answers let alone solutions, in this speculative world of SOL technology. How could this be… having tested three unmanned cruisers (the same one 3 times) at these exact speeds completing the mission without a hitch… and now this?


THE RETURN TRIP

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 242

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 242

…Earth is preoccupied with logging time, whereas here, where near immortality reigns supreme, who’s counting anyway…

Celeste McKinney is a paragon of adaptability, whose hyperphysical exploits will be heralded widely as heroic in the planetary arena called Eridanus, part of the star system named Epsilon Eridani, somewhere south of Orion’s Belt.

She can rest assured that her sons will not perish… even though they would have without the help of the Eridanians.

Time and its passage is a matter of relativity. If you are situated on a planet you can mark and catalog passage of time by the revolutions of the planet you are on. Now a “day” on Eridanus will not be the same as a day on Earth. Similarly, if you wish to count the days it takes to circle the sun, you label that a year. In the case of Eridanus, not only does it orbit a giant molten planet, they all circle a pair of stars; the year thing tends to be a little complicated.

Planets

But Earth is preoccupied with logging time, whereas here where near immortality reigns supreme, who’s counting anyway? On Eridanus life is not measured by its length, but rather the quality of ones’ existence. This very disregard for counting, one year or one thousand is especially obvious in the case of this very different world, where one day is only 2.4 hours, yet one of its years equals ten on Earth.

It is a good thing that Deke & Gus will be ignorant of their unplanned trip to Eridanus and the time it consumes. Compare that to their parents and the sister they do not know they have in the flesh. That wayward wing of The Space Family McKinney had no idea where they were going or how long it would take.

But thanks to a makeshift molecular stabilizer, the proper star-drive tweaks and pre-programmed course, their relatively short-two-and-one-half year one-way-trip should be a piece of cake.

Their out-of-body benefactors, who did include a doting & relieved Mother along with 4 Masters of the Universe, have instantaneously returned to Eridanus, with plenty of “time” to prepare for the arrival of yet another pair of those wacky human beings of Earth.


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Episode 242


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 237

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 237

…“Altitude 224.62, engaging vacuum induction, increasing isotope mixture to .759…

The final moments before the SLAV whisks the Stellar Explorer away pass quickly and is “put up or shut up” time. Fifteen years of R&D has dwindled to fifteen minutes of checklists. Nearly one-third of Deke & Gus’ lives have been spent in anticipation of this moment, now only a short ride to the outer atmosphere away.

Polite hand clapping grows into rousing cheers as the two deep-space pioneers climb the twenty stairs to enter the Stellar Explorer through the small side hatch. It is sleekly designed, more a side-effect of the speed it achieves, than the need for aerodynamics {no atmosphere – no friction}, but it can hold more than just the two pilots and makes less noise than an elevator door.

In contrast to that whoosh, the turbines of the generic SLAV will kick up its share of earthly dust, requiring hands over ears and on top of hats. It consumes every yard of runway one-niner to get airborne, much to the chagrin of the assembled, but not those of the informed.

All is calm in the control cabin of the Stellar Explorer, with no reason not to be, for if things go as planned, the jaunt to the edge of Solar System carries better odds than the favorite at The US Open tennis tournament. Las Vegas odds makers are taking bets that they will not re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in the predicted 30 minute window.

“I had Mindy put down a grand on at 9-2 odds,” Gus admits.

“Now how stupid was that? You are betting we have a headwind in both directions.”

“Not exactly. All we have to do is take our sweet time on the return trip.”

“I’m not sure they’ll pay off on that  Gus, when they find out who made the bet.”

“You can’t win if you don’t spin.”

“Enough of that nonsense, it’s almost time to light the fuse!” Games faces on, “Altitude 244.62, engaging vacuum induction, increasing isotope mixture to .759.”

“Five minutes to peak fusion, star drive ready,” Gus adds as he had done in the innumerable dry runs, “phase modes aligning, emergency decelerator on standby.”

Unlike the Enola Gay after it dropped its payload, the unnamed SLAV crew slows to an orbital stop to witness this milestone achievement in person. The Stellar Explorer is only visible for a blink-of-an-eye. —


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 236

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 236

…“You know Dad, I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much I appreciate what you and Francine have done for us.”…

The future Mrs. Gus McKinney and current Mrs. Roy Crippen, Mindy and Francine are trying to be inconspicuously confident in their supporting roles. The two women from different generations have forged a bond, despite their age disparity or love for either of the Stellar Explorer pilots.

There will be no fanfare trappings surrounding an event that has attracted an inordinate amount of media attention. The principle players do not wave to the adoring throng or give lavish speeches touting this SOL engineer or that IFOS founding member, such is the focus on the 15 billion mile roundtrip ahead.

The principles have congregated inside the turbotransport for last minute briefings and technical interaction. The final personal exchange is between Roy and Deke, “You know Dad, I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much I appreciate what you and Francine have done for us.” His spacesuit precludes closeness, but his teary hug of the man who had raised two adolescent boys through to manhood, is applied with all his might. “I know that Gus feels the same way, even though he hasn’t done a good job of showing it.”

“You better stop before you fog over your facemask. Just go out there and makes us proud.” Roy was fighting back tears.

But when Gus joined in the embrace, all bets were off, “I barely remember life before the ranch, but I never would have made it here without you and Braden, and Francine.”

It was a strange time and place for the pouring out of hearts, though no one seems to mind. Such is the intensity of a moment that will go down in history as a pivotal moment in the future of an Earth’s place in the Universe.

It is a shame that Francine was not there to share in the hugs, as deserving of credit as she is. That she never had to fret over Roy in his astronaut days, does not diminish her role in comforting young Mindy, the wife-to-be waiting for her hero to return safely to her arms.


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 234

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 234

…The Stellar Explorer {SEx}, first of three planned SOL cruisers, will be carried piggyback-style into the lower reaches of the thermosphere …

While the SOL Project lead astronauts are finding pillows, Roy Crippen and the rest of the support crew are up working, readying both themselves and the equipment that marks the first major venture into space since the New Mayflower came up empty handed from its rescue mission on Mars.

As one might imagine, security surrounding SOL has not been taken lightly, seeing that the United Korean Peninsula and its allies seldom pass up the opportunity for mischief.

The old adage ’Fool me once, shame on you / Fool me twice shame on me’ may need to be amended with this added, ‘Fool me thrice, a hopeless fool am I’. After Space Colony 1’s demise and New Mayflower’s brush with the same, no space rocks have been left unturned.

The Stellar Explorer, first  SOL cruiser, will be carried piggyback-style into the lower reaches of the thermosphere by a recently constructed sub-light assist vehicle (SLAV); a multipurpose vehicle which can repair orbiting satellites, service the International Space Station, and transport new technology like the SOL cruisers away from Earth’s grip.

Now most former Presidents of the USA, when their term(s) expire, retire to lifelong perks; the easy street of building a library of their own indulgence and staff/security until the day they die. Not Roy Crippen, as he heads the privately funded INDEPENDENT FOUNDATION FOR THE OCCUPATION OF SPACE or IFOS. He leads a vast team of scientists, engineers, and technicians who operate away from overbearing military meddling and partisan bureaucratic balderdash.

So from the ashes of what was his beloved NASA, Roy Crippen’s fingerprints are all over America’s venturing out of the Solar System, with the help of familiar names in the world of Mars and beyond.

On this day, one of excitement and apprehension, he is sending his stepsons, with the legendary name of space travel, McKinney, beyond the reach of known distance and its mythical barrier of speed; 186,282.051 miles/second. Just how much faster than the speed-of-light that Deke & Gus McKinney goes is TBD.


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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.


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 222

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 222

…The physical appeal of these Eridanians is an acquired taste… much like oysters on the half-shell or a shot of MALÖRT liquor is for the uneducated palate..

An Acquired Taste by Johan Potma

There is a meeting of two worlds, 9 light-years apart in The Milky Way and a light-century apart in societal progress…

Light-Years-Away-feat-DBX1From the tiptop of this whimsical Eridanian structure to the place where the NEWFOUNDLANDER has come home to roost, whatever lay beneath is marginally visible. Intermittent banks of mist-laden clouds do not help visibility, although the cool condensed water vapor is oddly refreshing to their weary spirits.

About the time when Sampson’s headache minimally abates, Ekcello breaks the silence. He knows that Sampson McKinney is the head of this Earthly family, but is frustrated by not having an acceptable method of two-way communicating. With each successive go ‘round it gets better, but an apt comparison would be, having a productive conversation with a pet or coffeemaker.

#We have decided to extract your background information from your mate. How long she is needed depends on her ability to recover from our sessions.#

#You and your offspring will be given our best accommodations, to meet the requirements of your human form. We endeavor that you acquire the skills needed for prompt communication. Please feel free to ask for your maximum needs#

On a similar wavelength as Ekcello, Deimostra takes her father by the hand. He is not exactly feeling like his confident “Sammy Mac” self.

Another robed figure, an overtly feminine specimen unlike preceding procession of “male” figures, appears out of nowhere when they step off that drastic elevator experience. The physical appeal of these Eridanians is an acquired taste… much like oysters on the half-shell or a shot of MALÖRT liquor is for the uneducated palate, but this “woman” has a look of elegance and grace, an Eridanian version of beauty.

Ekcello’s parting statement to them accounts for this observation, #As Deimostra is to Sampson, Cerella is to me. She is heiress to the High Counsel. She will assist you in getting you settled for now and when the time is correct, she will take you on a tour of the planet that will forever be your home#


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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.


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