THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 277

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 277

…“Settle down folks, Gus is just taking Stellar Explorer out for a test flight……a day earlier than scheduled…

Gus McKinney cannot foresee a viable future on Eridanus, with his reunited family or not. He is the same square peg in a round hole as Sampson – the difference being he is going to take action.

The great doors of the Space Expository open to reveal a sky packed with unfamiliar star patterns. Somewhere out there in the vast mass called The Milky Way, is a little yellow dot, that warms a certain blue planet, just right, just right enough to support a human race; it’s called HOME and that is where he is headed.

Before Gus’ physical presence is missed, the signature roar of a spacecraft in sub-light acceleration can be heard in the distance.

Celeste has had a premonition recently that she did not act upon. “Safe travels Gussy,” she prays.

One minute Sampson is describing a tornado to Fortän, the next his subconscious comes alive. Being non-telepathic he is the last to know that which everybody else does, “The Earth ship has left the firmament,” one of the Elders utters in the Olde Language, Celeste translates for him.

“Settle down folks! He is just taking Stellar Explorer out for a test flight……a day earlier than scheduled,” Sampson reports.

Just about everyone else knows better.

It is an unlikely time to happen, having shown no propensity for it previously, but like a lightning bolt from inside a tornado, Sampson McKinney’s mind is keyed to the telepathic signal meant for him by Ekcello. This is the unforeseen message he receives, #When the High Counsel convened, some time ago, we had one specific issue to deal with; the effect of the humans on the stability of our society#

Sam is astounded at the clarity, minus that annoying sing-song stuff he was used to. Even still, it’s not what he wants to hear.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 277


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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


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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 274

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 274

…Whatever the season, whatever the reason, this is a joyful moment in the extensive history of Eridanus…

… Back at the wedding “party” and ever the prankster, Sampson insists Fortän judge the liquidLoudmouth Soup refreshment that has loosened the collar of more than one celebrator. She liked it so much that she requested a whole glass and when the brew hit home, it would be hard to get a word in edgewise.

She is quite lucid, in an entertaining sort of way, allowing a real personality to shine through. Mental perfection is quite a narrow path to take and sometimes it takes a little lubrication to expose one’s humanoid-ity.

Whatever the season, whatever the reason, this is a joyful moment in the extensive history of Eridanus {which spans countless millennia} and an untold story for a planet {Earth which is an infant by comparison} which could use some good news for a change —

— Having Ekcello wrapped around her pinkie finger, Celeste has a major role in arranging the ceremony that sets the cements her son and his daughter for all time… which to her surprise is Weddingdirectly, yes sometime BEFORE childbirth. She does not question the time-honored Eridanian ritual rather she injects as many tasteful Earthly touches as possible, for the comfort of her clan.

Probably the most enduring custom, that of having a Maid-of-Honor and Best Man, is a lock-down must. On the guy side, Gussy is the obvious choice, with Sampson a close second. Cerella chooses another heiress, from a towered city on the other side of the planet, who is as close to a best friend as things go here. She and Zina were born in the same century and as personal contact goes, their minds seem to be tuned to the same tune. —


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Episode 274


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 273

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 273

…For someone about to give birth any day now, Cerella looks no plumper for the wear…

History Lesson

History according to Gus McKinney

A lot of pent-up emotion spills out onto the Eridanian landscape, expunging that indigenous cloak of suppression. For a brief time, this joyous time and place obscures what is 10 light years away; except for Gus McKinney, who never wants to forget one certain woman {Mindy} OR Deimostra who is enamored by the romantic history of the other 9+ billions people she never had the chance to meet.

That place and those times are long ago and far way. Right here they live in peace. Right now there is no room for homesickness.

Cerella is an excellent diversion to that end.

#Gotta love those Earth girls#

“Cerella, come join us dear. We were just getting a history lesson from the boys,” Celeste insists that mother of her pending grandchild share in the family setting; rare is the occasion that Eridanians feel compelled to do so. “You are absolutely glowing today.”

Bedecked in dresses cut above the knee, which is comfortably conducive in this clammy climate, Celeste and her daughter display flesh not seen in these parts.

Misconception

Image result for hubba hubba gif#There is nothing left to our imagination# lament the Native females.

#How refreshing {how about those Earth women}# praise the Native males.

What is amazing about Cerella’s appearance is centered above her waist instead of below. For someone about to give birth any day now, she looks no plumper for the wear.

But she is definitely with child, as Celeste had discovered when future mother-in-law Fortän invited her over to her city for some grandmotherly chit-chat a few cycles back.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 273


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 272

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 272

…“As long as we are telling stories, tell everyone some about Roy Crippen..

As long as we are telling stories, tell everyone the one about Roy Crippen, like getting married?????????????????????????????????????????????????????? {never thought that would happen}, adopted two lop-eared space brats {willfully borrowing our trouble} and then {out of the blue Texas sky} becomes President of the United States of America,” a somewhat jealous patriarch sums-up what he knows.

“You are leaving out Director of the SOL Project. He has to be devastated by now, both him and Braden,” Celeste adds.

“It is a damned shame that he and the entire freaking planet think that the McKinneys are dead and gone!” Selfishly Gus points to the stars and the fiancée it represents, as an example of the grieving.

“Gus is leaving out the good/bad/ugly, the meat in the meatless sandwich. Here we go,” Deke recounts from Earth’s perspective in greater detail:

  • Space Colony 1 is blown out of Mars orbit by the United Korea’s Sang-Ashi satellite,
  • Mom and Dad are stranded on the surface of Mars with only the Tycho lander to survive in,
  • New Mayflower is sent out on a rescue mission, when it zaps Sang-Ashi into forever,
  • President Sanchez takes out the Korean’s space program with a limited nuclear strike,
  • New Mayflower gets to Mars only to find the Tycho lander empty and you guys nowhere to be found… not even a good clue,
  • And finally, Gus and I are named SOL test pilots and take Stellar Explorer out of the Solar System and do not bring her back!”

“Now what else could possibly go wrong in Dad’s… I mean Roy’s world? He was in charge of two colossal space failures and he’s not getting any younger.”

That is quite a chain of events that Deke lays out.

You left out the part where we were taken hostage by a Talibanistan invasion force and Crip rescued us from that oil derrick in his helicopter.” It is fill-in-the-blank time. “And right after that, he runs for President, which was way cool to be a part of!”


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Episode 272


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 271

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 271

ELEVENTH AND FINAL CHAPTER

…It is also a day for reminiscence, particularly for The Space Family McKinney, as they hearken back to the good old days of yesteryear on Earth…

Excitement, joy, good times, and good old family love abounds this day, in the year {as close as they can agree on a stardate} 2055.005. The McKinneys are gathered outside the spiraling towers for a celebration: the public acknowledgement of Cerella of Eridanus-Eupepsia and Deke McKinney of Earth-Texas as mates for life.

All the ingredients for a grand time are present, with the unusual lifting of the pink mist, mystery pizza aplenty, and an ingenious alcoholic brew that Sampson has managed to replicate.

The unexpected upward visibility allows for the viewing of the “test run” for the new-improved Stellar Explorer, so there are ample choices for one and all to be festive; where you have both a “wedding” celebration and a beggar’s chance to see something traveling really fast.

It is also a day for reminiscence, particularly for The Space Family McKinney. Hearken back to the good old days of yesteryear on Earth. For one, Deimostra McKinney loves to hear about the planet she never knew, even if those stories seem chaotic and illogical.

“Do you remember the time Braden decided to go to Mardi Gras alone?” Sampson has a sack full of stories about family friend Braden King. “He was going to find himself a woman in New Orleans, good or wicked!”

“Yes and we got a call from a Louisiana jail asking us to come and bail him out,” Celeste recalls vividly.

Solicitation of a Prostitute was the charge. He goes looking for a girlfriend and he finds a hooker instead!”

“What is a hooker?” asks Deimostra.

“Never mind.”

Gus remembers an alternate childhood version, “But you told us his car was stolen.”

“At the time, that was all you kids needed to know. He made us swear never to tell anyone, as long as we lived.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Family Stories

Episode 271


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