Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 108

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 108

Chapter Ten

 Landings

… Whooah, slow down…..they didn’t teach me that stuff at my school…

Constance Caraway has found her way to the lakeside airstrip peninsula known as Merrill C. Meigs Field. It has become an irreplaceable tool for Chicago commerce, an attractive perk for all those corporations that fill skyscrapers new and old, tall and small. Her mission there concerns one certain Beechcraft Bonanza with A1239XB on its side, containing one familiar pilot.

ALPHA 1239 X-RAY BRAVO on a southerly approach to runway 1-A; requesting permission to land.” This is Ace Bannion’s first visit to the island named Northerly and he puts down in the face of a north breeze. He gently whooshes his three wheels onto the freshly poured concrete and glides to a stop before the entire 3900 feet is used.

Once he has secured a berth for his plane, he heads for the Quonset hut that serves as airport control and terminal. At one end of the metal building stands a tall reddish-blonde with a steaming beverage in hand and whose identity is never in doubt. She is staring out a small rectangular window, riveted at the sight of a placid, mostly frozen Lake Michigan, mere yards away.

The man she calls “A.B.” for short is striding her direction, an Air Force duffle dangling from one broad shoulder, leaving his other arm free to engulf a longtime friend.

“Ace Bannion,” she screams! He ditches his duffle to make it a full frontal embrace.

Cee Cee,” he calls her CC for short. A running joke concerns a possible child together, ‘How about Dee Dee?’ AB-CC-DD has iambic pentameter symmetry.

Small talk catch up quickly turns into informational excess.

“… and the half-life of that carbon isotope proves it!” she explains.

“”Whooah, slow down…..they didn’t teach me that stuff at my school,” Ace is getting it with both barrels.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Ace Bannion-001

Forever Mastadon


page 96

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 66

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 66

…“That’s it… sure? Do you ever say no?”

“I do plenty, just not today.”…

“I have an apartment over east of State St., would you like to come over and talk about life for a while?”

— ‘Talk about life – what kind of cornball invite is that? Constance thinks, instead of speaks, to herself this time.

Without so much as a twitch, Fanny Renwick responds, “Sure.”

Was that too easy? again, she thinks to her nosey self. “It’s within walking distance. Let’s leave before your boss kicks us out.”

On the walk to Constance’s modest garden apartment and continuing past the midnight hour, they gain a familiarity usually reserved for life-long friends. Seemingly all of their combined 50 years are covered in that span of 7 brief hours.

Everyone remembers talking forever to someone you have known forever, but in this case, two lonesome spirits bond in a blink of an eye. It becomes apparent that neither wants this day to end, but there are far too many delicate topics that need to be broached before overnight stays are proper.

Before surrendering to separation, Constance tosses another softball in Fanny’s direction, “My parents have a cottage down in Panama City Beach, would you like to come down and hang out this weekend?”

 “Sure.”

“That’s it… sure? Do you ever say no?”

“I do plenty, just not today.”

“You are a peach, Fanny! I thought I was doomed to another boring weekender with the folks. Cool. Pack an overnighter and do not forget your bathing suit.” She may not live with her parents, but they still subsidize their only daughter’s university lifestyle and they truly are boring people, according to their dearest “Connie”. “Where do I pick you up?”

“I’ll meet you back here at your place.” At 25, Fanny is embarrassed to tell Constance that she still actually lives at home with her parents in Frenchtown, an increasingly seedy area in the heart of Tallahassee. “What time?”

“Is 7:00 too early, it’s a two hour drive to the coast?”

“It’s a date, 7 o’clock and don’t be late!”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 63

 

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 63

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 63

…Caraway & Renwick have been the best of “friends” ever since they met in Tallahassee 20 years ago…

“Can we afford all this Connie, the hotel alone is $40 dollars a night?” Fanny holds the money but it is Constance who controls it, a system of checks and balances that should make Congress feel guilty. Senators and House members go on oversea junkets, in the guise of fact-finding missions, when in fact they are on taxpayer sponsored vacations for themselves and three-quarters of their extended family… plus 2 or 3 loyal campaign contributors. Constance and Fanny are splurging by going a grand total of 60 blocks north of Hyde Park. “And I had to buy a new Polaroid after those creeps nabbed me, another $70 dollars plus sales tax.”

“That was $48,000 dollars I deposited at Northern Trust,“ she speaks to the LaSalle Street branch where she gave the Libby Incident money a safe haven, in a big-time hurry right after her spooky experience at 33 North LaSalle; in their well-gotten gains go a, scant block down the street and none too soon. “You should have the lion’s share of the remaining two thousand left, right?”

“I did advance Eddie $500 for January… and a $20 bonus for showing us a good time this week,” Fanny speaks to her discretion. “It was generous of Martin to pay him for December.”

“Good, that leaves us a good sum to celebrate in grand style!” Just what the new year has in store for them, is story as yet unwritten. “Let’s get back to Palmer House and get ready to ring in 1951!

“Friends”

“This is our first New Year’s Eve away from home,” Fanny reflects warmly on memories fashioned in Florida.

“Times, they are ‘a changing, Fan!”

The two women have been the best of “friends” ever since they met in a Tallahassee greasy spoon 20 years ago…


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 60

The NULL Solution = Episode 175

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The NULL Solution = Episode 175

…When one door closes, another one opens…

Deimostra McKinney has some explaining to do.

“I will tell you what I told Chasonn. I am not ready to make any long-term commitments to a world that is not my true home. I may have been born in space, but I have a brother, that I have never met, on Earth.” His head drops. “And I am not sure that I would be accepted as your mate. I am a social minority here on this planet, but not in a Null sort of way. From what my brother tells me, the Gifted threw a fit when they found out he and Princess Cerella were going to wed.”

“The Null believe what I tell them to believe.”

“That doesn’t work with a McKinney. Have you ever seen Sammy Mac do what he is told, at least the first time? Or my mother… she leads Ekcello around by the nose, if he had one I mean. And what about that rascal Joyner, they need to put that boy on a leash. I wager that he is in the NEWFOUNDLANDER with dad as we speak. He is every bit a child of Earth.”

“Do you prefer Chasonn to me?”

“This must be my lucky day,” two marriage proposals in the young hours of one cycle.

“What is luck?”

“Luck is an imaginary condition that relates to good fortune.”

“Then I am lucky for you?” She is confusing the man.

“I am lucky to have made your acquaintance, yes, but…”

The word “but” is an opposing proposition, not a positive conjunction in any language. Skaldic sees the writing on the wall, “I choose not to test my good fortune. Perhaps Offingga is the better choice for me after all.”

“You are pressing your luck Skaldy ol’ boy. My daughter is not for sale,” insists Sampson who is back from serving as doorman for Chasonn’s melancholy exit from the Spaceflight Expository. Now he rebukes the efforts of another suitor. Predictably, he has a rambunctious youngster in tow.

“You are fortunate to have such a loyal daughter Sammy Mac. She will make some Earthling a worthy mate.”

“Or drive him to my distillery. She is child of space; born to wander and free to make her own decisions.”Related image

Ekcello joins the group. He searches out the Null for a specific reason: to ask Skaldic if he would serve as Eridanus’ representative to Harmonia, not an insignificant gesture for the Gifted patriarch. When one door closes, another one opens.

That completes the roster of charter representatives to Harmonia, making the peacekeeping multinational officially complete. It is a bona fide hit in the Terran System, celebrated on Eridanus and accepted by the Seljuk, but will it play in Peoria?


The NULL Solution =

Episode 175


page 171 (end Ch. 17)

The NULL Solution = Episode 174

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The NULL Solution = Episode 174

…Skaldic happens to show up… him and his convenient home-field advantage…

“Do you prefer Skaldic over me?” Seljuk Chasonn asks.

“You certainly don’t beat around the bush.”

“What bush?”

“An imaginary bush; the unadvertised issue of my affection,” she needs to speak clearly, when diverse customs can be misunderstood. “My brother Deke has taken an Eridanian mate, but they have had years to get to know each other. Skaldic was hid from my sight until recently… and you… you are dashing and smart, but that is not enough for me to judge your character.”

“You are wise for one so young. I could take you to Seljuk, to meet my people.”

“I need to meet the people of Earth first. Do you understand?”

“Chasonn and Skaldic could prepare a contest to prove we are worthy of Deimostra.”

“What is the rush Chasonn? You must have a female on your world that will provide you an heir to your throne.”

She need not hit him over the head with a hammer. She has declared as unavailable. It is time to leave.

Skaldic happens to show up… him and his convenient home-field advantage. His shared experience with the Seljuk leader had brought them close, but only for a while. He would be happy to see him leave for home.

They do a manly exchange of pleasantries, knowing that they would not be seeing each other for a while; a neighboring galaxy is like not having a neighbor at all. Like a relative who lives on another continent on 19th Century Earth.

His cruiser is near the expository and after bidding Sampson farewell, it appears he is edging his way toward it.

“I guess Chasonn has another invention to work on?” Skaldic guesses wrong. The scorned foreigner will have plenty of time to repair his pride.

“Maybe,” Sampson says of his friend as he walks away… back to polishing up the NEWFOUNDLANDER.

“He is an interesting man,” Deimostra has unique insight, “I hope to see him again.”

Feeling like he has a clear path to victory, Skaldic tries his hand at furthering his own cause. “While we were gone, I had a chance to think about my future on Eridanus. I believe there is room in my life for partner, a mate who completes my assent as foremost Null.” His pride is evident, but premature.

“What about Offingga? You two make an awesome team.” Her hammer comes out again.

He thought he had made himself clear. Deimostra McKinney is not usually careless with her words.

“Offingga is like a sibling to me, certainly not a mate. I would be honored if you were to be by my side, to bring Eridanus into a new era, like Deke McKinney has with Cerella.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 174


page 170

The NULL Solution = Episode 173

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The NULL Solution = Episode 173

…Do you realize that I have never stepped foot on Earth once? I was born in space, on that ship over there,..

Francine Bouchette-Crippen is Earth’s appointed representative to Harmonia, having passed the muster required; married to a space-geek-world-leader-type AND experience with communication. So far, she has only been “called in” for a Harmonia Tower and Earth Obelisk orientation. She is still freaked out by the instantaneous location transfers. Fitch has assured her that she is not being disassembled and reassembled by a molecular scrambler. “Such a device has yet to be perfected,” he claims. Chasonn, the Seljuk inventor is unbeknownst to him.

Speaking of Chasonn, he has yet to return to his homeworld from Eridanus. It seems that a certain blue-eyed lass is interfering with his clarity of thought, thereby causing him to designate his Third-in-command as their Harmonia appointee. His Second must tend to Seljukian immediate interests. The Third has gone through the orientation and still cannot believe his eyes, though the concept of Harmonia is an agreeable one.

“I hear talk that the McKinneys are leaving Eridanus for their homeworld, is this true Deimostra?”

“Now who told you that?”

“Skaldic did tell me you were leaving and that I should do the same.”

As an object of desire, Deimostra is uncomfortable with her choices. The choices are fine, how those two choices fit into her family equation is the fly in the ointment. Of course Skaldic would want Chasonn out of the way.

“Returning to Earth is a dream, that’s all Chasonn. Do you realize that I have never stepped foot on my world once? I was born in space, on that ship over there,” she points to the NEWFOUNDLANDER, back to collecting dust in the lineup of possible Eridanian escape ships.

“You live with your parents, you are fortunate. Mine were taken away by the Ÿ€Ð before I could know them.”

“That is terrible. Skaldic’s disappeared right after he was born.” She has now gotten sob stories from both her suitors; Chasonn’s parents were as a result of leadership cleansing – Skaldic’s Nullian roots because they happened to produce a Gifted child.

“Do you prefer Skaldic over me?”


The NULL Solution =

WHAT’S A GIRL TO DO? SIGH by ASHLEY SWARTS

Episode 173


page 169

The NULL Solution = Episode 154

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The NULL Solution = Episode 154

…Skaldic would prefer keeping an eye on Chasonn’s intentions…

“Enough Sammy Mac! As long as we have Chasonn here, I suggest we act on my solution to the Harmonia Query. The planet Mars is central to the stability of this quadrant. We must consult Ekcello before we take Defender out on a mission.”

Space Trip by B-rad-asQ – deviantart.com

“What say you, Chase? Are you up to a trip to Terran territory?”

“We can take my ship.”

“Do you mind if you drop out of orbit and pick us up? I’ll need to see your transport mechanism work a few times before I can trust it.”

They have been ignoring an interested bystander.

“Can I come along?” Deimostra has watched the men interact, her father being the character-filterer in her life. If he gives someone a nickname, that is a green light.

“Just Chase and Skaldy this time around, honey.” Sampson is oblivious to his daughter’s motives. “Why don’t you show Chase around while we get Ekcello’s permission to leave the planet.”

Skaldic would prefer keeping an eye on Chasonn’s intentions. The lady sure accepted her tour guide assignment without hesitation. Deimostra is more than willing to usher Chasonn around the “hood”. Skaldic has his reservations about the arrangement. That fetching smile gives her away.

“You’ve already seen enough of Eupepsia, if you’ve seen one tower, you’ve seen them all. I’d like to show you the icefalls at the far pole. If we time it just right, we will catch the light refraction as Epsilon Eridani dips below the horizon.”

Skaldic was the first to show Deimostra the icefalls.–

“Ekcello does not trust you?” asks the footloose foreigner of Sam.

“He still thinks I may bolt for home on my own,” Sam admits. He turns to Skaldic, “Let’s pack up some of our own stuff. I don’t know what a Selljunk eats or drinks. I’ve been brewing some special grog for an occasion like this. Kind of like a boy’s night out.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 154


page 152