THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 99

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 99

…Too many twos, two many 2s and if there was a rock big enough to hide behind, Roy would have preferred it to this…

Image result for too many

Braden has been slowly dismantling the many-gift-mountain of cards, boxes, gift wrap and tissue. There are some meant to be shared, ‘Deke & Gus’. There are many specifically labeled either ‘Deke’ or ‘Gus’. Others are anonymous tributes to The Space Family McKinney.

By sheer coincidence and not divine intervention, we think, Francine and Roy’s packages are the last to be unwrapped. The givers of said gifts are still standing near one another, having ooo-ed, aah-d, and clapped politely throughout the process, which has run past daylight’s influence.

Most everyone has done the math or eliminated themselves from belonging to the boxes. Fate is once again shining a spotlight on that reluctant featured pairing, still trying to sort out their feelings, once they get past continuing awkward social situation.

The lady-well-wisher’s carton is next to last, opened with genuine excitement by Gus, “Channel 13 News Crew bomber jackets, look Deke!”

She was afraid people would think her a self-promoter, “It’s the same one worn by our cameramen and grips.”

“Way kool Miss Bouchette. All the kids at school can drool.”

The final unopened gift belonged to Roy.

“Read the card first Deke,” if Braden has the boy skip that part, it would be fine with Roy, who knows exactly how he signed the card.

Too late!!

“2 the two finest young men we know. With Love and friendship,           Uncle Roy and Channel 13 Francine”

The young man reads it loud and proud.

Too many twos, two many 2s and if there was a rock big enough to hide behind, Roy would have preferred it to this. The boys do not think about motivation when it comes to birthdays.

“A 4-D Galaxy Planet Asteroid Tracker by Intel, wow just like the one in your office Uncle Roy… and Francine?”

asteroid-tracker

Roy wanted to explain Francine’s duplicity, had he known how to. Some things are better left to wondering.

The agreeable crowd subdivides into smaller groups, to sample Braden’s BBQ skills—-and gossip.Related image

Roy looks for that back-forty boulder to hide behind.

Francine is just plain curious, but they are overtaken by the shuffled throng.

“I can’t believe how generous people are. Deke & Gus are so lucky,” Aunt Sassy (from the old country) shakes Roy’s hand like she was trying to bust it loose from his shoulder socket, while eyeing Francine up and down.

“Now Sassy, don’t break his wrist,” insists the senior member of the McKinney relative contingent Savta Inga Bergestrom (from the other old country). “You two look like you are having a wonderful time.”


THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 99


page 122

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 98

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 98

…Attention everyone, I would like to propose a toast… raise your glasses as I salute our Director Roy Crippen and Channel 13’s own Francine Bouchette!”

Image result for a toast artwork

Separately and together, she and he play it oh-so-kool, willing to allow randomness to take its course.

To anyone with two eyes and a television, they had been captured on video holding hands; the tension is thick and juicy.

braceT LFTWhispers:“Why aren’t they talking?” “I thought they liked each other.” “At bracket rt least they can talk to each other.”

In-house wagering is going on among the adults, “I have 50 bucks that says they will not talk.. any takers?” Just one of the side bets.

The master of ceremonies takes matters in his own hands, “Attention everyone, before Deke & Gus open their gifts, and I take the ribs off the grill, I would like to propose a toast… raise your glasses as I salute the two real celebrities among us—my apologies to any movie stars or sitting Presidents—To our Director Roy Crippen and Channel 13’s own Francine Bouchette!”

“C-H-E-E-R-S! Here – here! Salud!” come from all around from every side as the toasted make their way forward.

Whispers (he & she):“There are lots of people here.” “Yes there are and so many gifts.” “I didn’t expect to see you here.” “I had to file that story, I hope you know that.” “Of course you did, and I imagine my impulsiveness caught you off guard.”

13d01-6a00d8341cb55f53ef010536ace89f970b-800wiFrancine, in her big girl voice, “No need for you to apologize Roy what happened to us was perfectly natural.”

“Had I known you were engaged that would have never happened,” counters Roy.

“You were every bit the gentleman and I did not offer any résistance.”

“I am in some hot water over this whole mess, maybe you should keep your distance.”be5e8-6a00d8341cb55f53ef0120a604af2c970c-800wi

“Do you think I’m worried about my association with you? Bring it on fools!”


 

THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 98


page 120

 

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 95

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 95

…Subscribing to the “strength in numbers” axiom, the guest list has been expanded to include a variety of acquaintances, from the past, present and those not met

edgar-wallace-entertains-a-few-of-his-acquaintances

by HENRY MAYO BATEMAN

These past 2 action-packed days, from the point when the McKinneys attached the deep-space Chronicle to Space Colony, then go and pile on the current theatrics, will distort a person’s concept of the passage of time. Plus or minus 48 hours have drawn 2 days out to what seems to be a week, weaving and knitting every second into a patchwork quilt…

By the grace of God, the succeeding identical period of 48 hrs. streaks by and King Ranch logobefore you know it Wednesday 9 January 2030 A.D. has arrived. For visitors to Braden’s King Ranch, they are treated to the atmosphere of 19th Century American Old West, the date and place chosen to celebrate the combined birth of Deke McKinney, born 6 January 2015 and Gus McKinney born 11 January 2016.

The event was conceived out of love by the ranch’s owner to ease the pain of separation, for both children and parents alike. If everything had gone “according to space-birthday-001Hoyle”, Sampson & Celeste would have been back aboard the Colony and through the miracle of accelerated space communication, they would have been linked to the party by voice and by sight.

Regrettably, Mom & Dad are otherwise occupied.

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Gus’ BBQ Fantasy Guest

Subscribing to the “strength in numbers” axiom, the guest list has been expanded to include a variety of acquaintances, from the past, present and those not met. Friends, relatives, well-wishers and those pesky party crashers have gathered at King Ranch. The menagerie gathers around BBQ hour, which could be any random time of day, and has a few surprise guests; Grandma Savta Bergestrom from Sweden (the country) and Aunt Sassy McKinney, Sampson’s crazy Scottish/Irish sister from Great(er) Britain.

The turnout of GLF and LSC personnel is impressive, with the boys having grown up in front of their eyes as they tagged along with Mom & Dad over the years. Admirals and Generals have reason to be jealous of this Who’s Who crowd. There are two late arrivers to the festivities: ??? + ???

Tune in tomorrow


THE RETURN TRIP

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by Jon Flaming

Episode 95


page 117

 

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #331

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #331

…A double barrel dose of help: Kenty Johnson has money saved up and Kenty Jr. has the fresh blood of knowledge…

double-barrel-001

A.O. is taking his new lease on life in, in the spirit in which it is presented. Even as he watches familiar landmarks pass by as they ease up to his Virginia Street address. He is thinking about the future.

Maggie is waiting on the front steps of their house. What a welcome sight. There too are daughters Alpha, Laura and Zillah and their families. Maggie is seated in a wheelchair, one and all waving a hearty ‘welcome home’.

“Thank you, gracious Lord,” he proclaims tearfully.

But that isn’t all. There are other familiar faces.

“What’s Kenty Johnson doin’ here?”  Dr. J. Kenty Johnson is with his son, himself a newly minted doctor.

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“I needed a reliable source of information about your situation and Kenty came to mind. He filled in the particulars of your life, practice and such. AND he mentioned that his son was looking to make a difference in the Tallahassee community. And did we say that he fresh from medical double-barrelschool? A double barrel dose of help: Kenty has money saved up and Kenty Jr. has the fresh blood of knowledge.

One month ago, Alpha Campbell would have been bloated full of irrational pride, having suffered in silence for the better part of a decade. He was determined to find a way out of their money struggles and did not need outside help.

We all know what path that led him down.

“Well boys, don’t you think it is time we roll up our sleeves?”

Upon hearing Dr. Alpha O. Campbell utter that inclusive statement, his nurses who were hiding in LBMH for fear of their lives, come sprinting out the front door.

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LBMH

Somehow, Laura Bell Memorial Hospital looked whiter than normal that day… From down the street, a car streaks to the emergency side entrance, a man screams out, “My wife’s water just broke! Please help!”

“Scrub up, you Johnsons; we have a baby to deliver… Edwina will get you gowns and get her to the second floor…”

… The LBMH wing for whites.

(The End of the Beginning)


 

Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #331


page 312 (end Ch. 19)

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #307

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #307

…“If she turns you down Mr. Ford, you could pick me?” volunteers Dr. Jane. It appears that Friez is thawing…

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As far as anyone outside this hospital is concerned, Sara Fenwick is just another patient, is that understood?”

All heads nod.

“… Which means, we don’t want to read about “Constance and Ace” helping their friend become a Constance Caraway-001prima ballerina or anything to do with the fountain of youth.”

          “Are speaking about little old me?” Lyn asks with a coquettish tilt of her head.

          “You got away with exposing secrets once before, acting all innocent and ignorant, so don’t think we aren’t watching you.”

          “I’m flattered by the attention, Ben, but Bob and I are about to start another project as soon as we feel Sara is safe.”

          “From this time forward, we control who knows what and when. The general public wouldn’t know what to do with information about Sara.”

Vertical-001 “You have my word, Ben, my wife will behave herself.”

          Carolyn Hanes has to think over what she just heard. “Wife? That means we’d have to be married and the last time I checked–.”

          “We can take care of that here in Washington. They have a chaplain and a chapel here at the hospital. What do you say?”

          “Wouldn’t we be spoiling a perfectly good friendship?”

“If she turns you down Mr. Ford, you could pick me?” volunteers Dr. Jane. It appears that Friez is thawing.

  “He slurps his soup, Dr. Jane.”Vertical-001

          “So do I.”

          “He has a trick knee.”

          “I can fix that.”

          Hmmmm, I got it, she thinks. “All his underwear and socks have holes in them.”

          “Lyn?” Bob steps in.

          “Darn… socks I mean!” one last try for the doctor.

Lyn always has to feel like she is in control, even when she is not, hence her bantering with Dr. Friez. Even though this marriage thing is not her idea, secretly having considered it in rare quiet bravomoments, she is cornered.  “Since I seem to have competition Bob, I think it’s time we got hitched, fly-boy!”

The conference room erupts in raucous applause. The once stern and professional staff are quickly becoming like family. The coming years, the ongoing contact, with Sara at the center, will only reinforce that kindred ness.

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Image result for capitol balletAt the gymnasium in another wing of the huge hospital, Sara is being coached by the choreographer for the Capitol Ballet. She will be happy for Lyn and Bob, because her memories of love and life are but a faint flickering ember. One night in Ceylon took care of that.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #307


page 291

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #302

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #302

… “Do you think A.O. could take a look at my foot tonight? It’s been hurtin’ somethin’ fierce,” asks the house guest of Maggie Lou…

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“Do you want another cup of tea, Edwina?” Maggie Lou Campbell is entertaining a friend from Frenchtown. She enjoys showing off her home. 224 Virginia Street is two stories are filled with finest housekeeperthings that money can buy and kept to immaculate standards by a live-in housekeeper, who supervises the cook and the gardener/chauffeur.

“Yessum, please, Maggie. These little sandwiches is so good.” Edwina Stevens enjoys being entertained, especially being waited on by a real housekeeper, not to mention the chauffeur driven Cadillac that brought her for a visit. “Is that husband of yours workin’ late again?”

Maggie hesitates momentarily. She is beginning to suspect that her dear husband is involved in something suspicious. She has stopped going next door, as well as asking him about the details of his patients. He is paying the bills after all. “Oh yes, yes, Edwina, the man just ain’t slowin’ down.”

“Do you think he could take a look at my foot tonight? It’s been hurtin’ somethin’ fierce.”

“He’s very busy right now, told me he’d be really late, but check in with Lilly. I’m sure she can work you in tomorrow.”

“I believe I will do just that. I got to be scootin’.”

cadillac-1952-001“I’ll have Curtis bring the Cadillac over to the clinic.” The two old friends exchange a warm hug. “I hope that Alpha can fix that foot, I hate to see you limpin’ like that.”

“I”m kinda used to this cane, here… good for scaring’ away the bad ones.” She demonstrates a good whack about an imaginary head on her way out the front door and onto the well-worn path to the LBMH next door. It is past twilight by now and she uses the cane like a blind person. She aims herself toward the lighted front entrance, but does not reach her goal. Her elevated staff is in the wrong position to keep her already ailing foot from wrenching on a loose rock. She goes down at once, howling from the extra pain.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #302


page 286

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #287

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #287

…Sara wonders if there is any romance between the clever private eye and the dashing flyer…

sketches by Doug Widley

sketches by Doug Widley

Now, she has been replaced by Ace Bannion, for God’s sake. What a corny name! Even makes the name Fanny sound good. The only problem is that Ace lives on and Fanny is finished, at least in the pages of The Hawaiian Spy.

“Lyn?”

“Yes, hon.”

“You have been with Ford (Ace) so much lately, we never have time to talk, you know, the way we used to. And you are hardly ever at home. I’m starting to feel like a fifth wheel.”

Constance Caraway

Constance Caraway

Lyn has to measure her words carefully. Sara was returned to Earth not completely intact, missing this and that, with one exception. Her phenomenal sensitivity, the kind that knows when people need encouragement, has been somehow magnified, turning into hypersensitivity. Gone are the days when you could joke with Sara, say just about anything to her and move on. She was sweet that way.

But not anymore.

  Little things become huge, mostly because she does not understand the things she used to. And now she thinks she understands something about Lyn and Bob Ford. They have been working on that flying disk story ever since New Mexico. Whatever happens in their quest to uncover strange truths makes its way to Lyn’s typewriter. She wonders if there is any romance between the clever private eye and the dashing flyer. She has stopped reading for fear of just that.

Normally, Lyn would have shot back, ‘What’s the matter, Sare, you jealous?’ Not this time. “Robert is as obsessed with this spaceman thing as I am, and I’m the one writing the book!”

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sketch by Steve Rude

 Image result for flying disc “I’ve known you long enough to know that you like to work alone. Suddenly, Bob, oh — I mean, Robert, is with you as much as humanly possible. I don’t understand how he keeps his business going.”

          “He’s hired a friend to make his cross country trips, that’s why we bought a small plane together.”

          “You what?” Sara is stunned. She shouldn’t be.

          “I told you that I have been flying more, did you think I meant flapping my arms real hard?” Lyn mocks a bird in flight, like it was chased by a bigger, hungry bird.

          “That’s not funny! You know how I forget things!” She feels like the half-person everybody thinks she is and is mourning it. “I wish things would go back the way they used to be. I wish I could feel whole again.”

          “Some-one or some-thing did something to you during those six years and I intend to find out exactly what it was and how to correct it.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #287


page 270

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