THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 16

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 16

…In the world of prankster-dom , the name McKinney has become the gold standard…

“You’re welcome Miss,” Sam tells her facetiously. He manages to look past the messy situation caused by the simulator.

To say that “Miss Sweden” is apologetic would be a severe understatement; her accidental hero insisting that she should not upset her scrambled constitution further.

The Infirmary is situated nearby, a wise placement and within minutes of the doctors, who work their magic on tummies.

Sampson McKinney heads for the washroom to rid him of what must have been Miss Sweden’s breakfast that involved pickled herring and lingonberries, while the ill patient sleeps away the next hour.

Since his triple-knit jumpsuit is beyond salvage, he helps himself to a set of  doctor scrubs, though finding a pair to fit his 6’4” takes a little sorting. In the world of prankster-dom , the name McKinney has become the gold standard. Chances are that someone is saying, ‘Did you see what McKinney did to Peculiar Pete at the meeting yesterday?’, or some other hilarious recollection.

The intern on duty, who is beholding to him for taking one for the team, consents to allowing a scam to be hatched, joining a nurse who had committed to the charade.

‘Doctor’ Sam stands over the slowly rousing victim, whose eyes are still closed, but conscious. A cold Image result for rare diseasestethoscope is placed on her tummy, “I am glad you called me in, Nurse Betty. This is a case of digestive reversal. I haven’t seen one this bad in years.”

“And to think it’s Rare Disease Day,” the nurse plays up the gag.

The victim cracks a lid ever-so-slightly to steal a glimpse of the medical team. The ‘Doctor’ is wearing a surgical cap and mask that conceals his warped identity.

“You don’t mean…?” Nurse Betty plays on..

“Yes I do Nurse Betty; we are going to have to operate, get these organs back in place; a complete Visceral Inversion to restore normal digestive function.”

“And she was so young.”

“I want a second opinion doctor. I am feeling much better.” Panic is setting in.

“Relax my dear, and your name is what?”

“Ensign 1st Class Celeste Bergestrom.” She looks around for avenues of escape.

The cruel joke has run its course. The doctor removes his clinical disguise, thereby revealing himself, even though they had met but briefly, “2nd Lieutenant Sampson McKinney at your service.”

“You **#!&^!!**______g   ___s!!!!”

He extends a hand. It was all in good fun, after all…

flashback-001


 THE RETURN TRIP

doctor-sam-001

Episode 16


page 15

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 15a

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 15a

CHAPTER TWO

Complications

research-001

Oblivious to any real-time happenings back on Earth, with all its own twist and turns, the Space Family McKinney operates in a space they are making their own. At this moment, in related orbits of Mars and Earth, they are 142.55 million miles from the nearest living life form, or at least that is the conventional wisdom. They are free from the incessant strife that is a direct result of 8 billion people who are urged to coexist, for the common good. It only complicates things when you add a million individuals per month to the pot.

Mars

Mars

Boiling it down to two, with the same last name, should simplify things, but there is a marriage override system that, when an order is given, it is magically turned into a request. The time-tested respectful salute from one commander to another is replaced by a loving peck on the cheek. When you share a bed, as well as a career, you are partners by the strictest measure.

“Have you looked at the spectroscopic analysis Sam?” asks Celeste of her Colony-mate, who is currently doing 4 things at once.

“No, but as you can see, I have my hands full getting these confound systems to talk to each other. I am doing the heavy lifting out here. Sometimes I wish they had assigned Rick Stanley to this mission; he would be giving more help with this nuts & bolts BS.”

I am the Research Officer here, Commander Crabby Ass. Do you think Stanley would have prepared that gourmet meal last night or massage your  *^#?>  like only I can?”

“Okay I give,” he heads her off at the pass, “what did the spectro-photographic soundings turn up?”

periodic-table-001“As I expected, there are substantial deposits of Iridium, Rhodium and Columbium, pretty rare stuff as we thought, but the real kicker is that there is Lithium in vast quantities down there everywhere.”

“You’re kidding. Curiosity, Spirit and what’s-his-name didn’t find much on their side of this dusty rock. We could start our own battery factory. Let’s keep this under our hats. If word gets out every spacecraft in the solar system will race each other to get here.”

“Isn’t it ironic? We can tell Talibanistan to take a flying leap, them and their 80% stash!” The enormous consequence of this lithium mother lode may well reach back into time, to pay down long overdue bills that piled up earlier in the Century.

texicali“Let’s stake a claim Cel. I could buy you and the boys the whole state of Texacali! Do you want Saturn my sweet? I’ll throw a lasso around it and make it yours!”

There was a time, back in their cadet/Space Academy days, when an influx of funds would have been welcome. As aspiring astronauts, they did not toil in the higher tax brackets.

Sacrifice. It isn’t just a word used around Easter; it has something to do with a life’s intended focus. Space, and the conquering of it, is a worthy endeavor. Both Celeste & Sampson have chosen this as their space-walk-of-life.

And it seems like yesterday…..

Continued


THE RETURN TRIP

Space Academy

Episode 15a


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #262

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #262

…“Would you do me the honor of escorting me to dinner?” asks John Ford of Carolyn Hanes, before he leaves the cabin of his weary airplane…

Meanwhile Caption-001“Is that gunfire I hear?” is the question of the moment in the passenger cabin.

Peering out the starboard side of the seaplane, for one and all to see is a submarine that is flying the Japanese flag. It has surfaced and its crew is firing the deck guns at the Pacific Clipper.

“I thought the Captain said we weren’t going to fly over any war zones?” Someone asks nervously as the flying boat pitches upward into the clouds. After several minutes they are descending down on Trincomalee, Ceylon.

Dockyard at Trincomalee, Ceylon from the Admiralty House by Harry Edmund Edgell

Dockyard at Trincomalee, Ceylon from the Admiralty House by Harry Edmund Edgell

Once safely harbored on the large island off the southern tip of India most of the crew disembarks, to be interviewed by the British Royal Air Force. They will also be guests of honor at a reception hosted by the wife of the Southeastern Asia Theater chief, Lord Mountbatten.

fords-flight-route  “Would you do me the honor of escorting me to dinner?” asks John Ford of Carolyn Hanes, before he leaves the cabin of his weary airplane. “I have been spending way too much time with the crew.”

Lyn hesitates. There is more than one dynamic at work here. “That would be wonderful, Captain.”

          It feels like a slap in the face for Sara, who is near enough to witness the perceived flirtation. It is short-lived. “Oh, and my bashful 1st Officer, Rod Brown over there, was wondering if Miss Sara would like to come along.”

          Sara Fenwick has not moved so quickly in her entire life. Imagine that, a double date? “Count me in!”

Double_Date          “Great! We will send a boat to ferry you girls ashore in a couple of hours. Oh, it’s definitely a formal affair. Let’s show them how a Clipper troop does the town!”

          “This ought to be interesting, Lyn. Are you sure you know what you are doing?”

          “I think that I am going to wear that black sequined dress. Do you have an extra pair of dark stockings?” She knows exactly what she is doing.

          “The one with the slit up to here?” she points to a spot on her thigh that is dangerously close to never-never land. “I think I’ll wear my navy blue suit, I just won’t wear a blouse under the jacket.”

         “Now that’s the essence of the evening. Let’s have some fun with this.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #262


page 244

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #242

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #242

…You don’t think that I’m going crackers, do you, Lyn?…

Going crackers-001

“Oh, Lyn,” using her pet name, “I don’t know what I would do without you,” declares Sara, Cobblestone (olla)-001subsequent to hugs and kisses therapy, currently in the cuddling mode. “When I left the house this morning, I thought it was going to be a quiet day.”

“I guess we will have to make this day quiet, Hon. I rang up Jenny Hawkins. She said was happy to get out Friends & Lovers-001of her stuffy apartment and come to work. All you have to do is tell me what designs you want her work on between customers.” Carolyn Hanes, a writer by trade and not an unaccomplished one at that, has much to do with Sara’s success as well. She is organized, detail oriented and proactive, all of which help her help Sara and her business. It does not go unnoticed.

You don’t think that I’m going crackers, do you, Lyn?

“Not any more than normal!”

“Oh, you! You would think I would have learned my lesson by now.” She mockingly pounds her partner’s chest, formerly cradling her head with bosomy comfort. “Really, I am very serious. Do you think I could have invented that bloody body in my mind?”

“Well, there are your dreams, the ones that have you flying like a bird,” an example only known by someone close. “I have vivid dreams as well, you know where I naked on a Roman daybed and you and ten lovelies are fanning and feeding me grapes. But yours seem to be real to you at the time and mine is merely a polygamous fantasy.” As a friend, it is Lyn’s duty to be honest and writers tend to be amateur psychiatrists anyhow, without the shingle dangling outside the front door.

“You don’t need ten other women tending to you, dear one,” Sara urges.

 “Yes, yes, you keep telling me that, but you can’t blame a girl for dreaming.”

There is little chance that either of them would abandon one for another.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #242


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #193

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #193

…Martha Ferrell is letting her true feelings surface for the first time…

Preparing For Thanksgiving by Doris Lee

John ponders Scotish aid.

‘I wonder if he wants to go see where his family has its roots.’ She knows John is eager, knee-deep in his new project, but a look that would stop a charging bull in its tracks, halts his notion there and then. ‘No, I suppose he has better things to do… busy, busy, busy, always something,’

 Thanksgiving is the next day.

“And please do not spoil Thanksgiving dinner with too much talk of Scotland. It will be difficult enough dealing with the extra guests.” She is in the kitchen, preparing to prepare enough food to feed the Third Scottish Regiment, with Agnes’ help… as soon as she wakes up.

“Ziggy is old and alone.” John insists.

“He is not the problem. Neither is his friend, Doctor Alpha. It is who will be with them.”

Truth-001“Laura Bell and Maggie – I thought we buried that resentment years ago?”

“We buried? No, I have learned to forgive your adultery, but I may never understand your complete devotion to that child, I mean we could have paid Laura off and sent them away. Instead, they live across the lake and you spend as much time with them as you do me.”Martha is letting her true feelings surface for the first time.

There is the welcome sound of footsteps coming down from upstairs, much to John’s relief. “Agnes, darling, you’re up early, good, your mother needs help peeling the vegetables, I am going to stoke the stove. Let’s make this the best Thanksgiving ever!”John heads for the woodshed for enough fuel to cook six separate dishes and a 25 pound turkey.

“Daddy is unusually lively this morning, Mother. Did we put too much starch in his underwear again?”

“I will let him tell you himself, but suffice it to say he has a new project to work on, something to do with the war in Europe.”

“How exciting! Do you think I could help?” Agnes could use a little spice in her life as well.

“No, I mean yes, no I mean maybe.” It is hard for her to be clear, without appearing to oppose the one man whom Agnes overtly adores. “We will discuss this after dinner, when the guests leave.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

MimiEunice_60

Mimi & Eunice by Nina Paley

Episode #193


page 181

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 163

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #163

…Such terms of endearment are harmless among friends…

dummkoph

John Ferrell now confides his unilateral decision to include Maggie Lou in his newly drafted will. to his friend and neighbor, caretaker of his unforeseen burden.

"I speak German"

“Ziggy?” He regains the attention of the doctor turned logger. “I need to tell you about a change in my last will and testament.”

“Vhat?  Vhat ezz dis nonsense. You are as healthy as your finest horse, dummkopf.”

Such terms of endearment are harmless among friends.

“No, I’m not foretelling my demise. I am merely concerned about Maggie Lou’s future.” He doesn’t have to tell Ziggy of his plans now, but disaster seems to lurk beyond every turned calendar year.

“Proceed.” Ziggy puts down his saw, conceding that all the windfall wood will not be collected and cut-up in one day.

Property  “This is a legal document which I am leaving in your care. To make a long story short, it bequeaths the listed land holdings to Maggie Lou upon my death.”

“Vhat about Martha unt James unt Agnes… unt Laura? Does not Laura deserve za same consideration?”

“Maggie Lou represents the future. I do not want the magistrates to decide the exact line of parentage; leaving this portion of my estate to my blood child should not cause the smallest stir… except from my family, which will be richly taken care of. We are speaking of a million dollars or more of business and personal holdings, to be split among them, as compared to patches of mostly unoccupied land in the currently less desirable sections of Tallahassee.

          “Mind you, that yes, they do not have prior knowledge of these properties, but neither have they legitimate rule over whom I leave them to.

          “Princess Olla, or as we refer to as, Laura Bell, will have insurmountable difficulties in administrating her part of my will; too many doubts and lingering bitterness will surround my passing. That is why I have established a living trust, appropriating this portion to Maggie at and not before the age of 21.

  Ziggy-001       “And until then, please live a long life, for the sake of Laura. Her very essence is life on San Luis Lake. In Frenchtown, she will be just another black woman with a light-skinned baby. In your house, she is family.”

The proceeding soliloquy is awakening legal propriety in a previously unenlightened cohort. “I am afraid that eet eez me wheech eez zee dummkopf. Of course I vill guard that vich you leave, Maggie Lou – or Frieda vill for zat matter. You can count on us, Johann.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Maggie Lou-001

Episode #163


page 152

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #158

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #158

…You were going to ask me a question, Harv. When you are at a loss for words, it is invariably serious and probably very personal…

Harv Pearson is not as dense as Judith thinks. He knows that he can never be a publishing giant, not with his love for the field and his newfound passion for their magazine. Selling out to Jackson, his editor at The Quincy Reporter, is the right thing to do… but so too is marrying the woman he loves. That makes two important items he hasn’t made time for. Should either or both grow tired of his procrastination, it would literally be a crying shame.

“Judith?” He stops his preparation for a transcontinental commute to a burning San Francisco, to prevent a fire at home. “What would you say; no… I was wondering if, I mean… we haven’t really discussed this, but…”

Pop-the-Question3     “Yes!” she says with assurance.

“Yes? But I didn’t ask you a yes or no question.”

          “You were going to, Harv. I know that when you are at a loss for words, it is invariably serious and probably very personal.” It is the unspoken task for women to pry the truth out of creatures who are inherently incapable of doing it well, if at all. “So, my answer is, yes, I will marry you and it is high time; I passed the spinster line some time before I met you.”

  ‘That was easy’, Pearson thinks to himself. Had he known what little effort it took, this proposing thing, he would have spared Judith’s sofa the imprint of his body.

“Well it’s a good thing we are doing this legal. I believe the common-law statute was just Common Lawabout ready to kick in.” Harv injects humor into a laughable situation, taking her perplexed person into his loving embrace. “You know that this changes everything, don’t you?”

“Yes, if you mean that you are losing that “big brother” camouflage… or that you will drop that nasty habit of squashing your passion. It’s not healthy, you know, having a lion inside the body of a pussy cat. We’ve wasted precious time in a cage and I intend to let you out.”

Emmeline

He responds to her metaphor, however corny, even to the point where it is she who must apply the brakes to their passion, which has found its way to an office settee. “Harv, honey, Stanley will be here any minute with the proofs of Emmeline Pankhurst.” She is speaking of English “suffragette” whom they are featuring in this month’s issue.

“I guess it is back into the cage.”

“Now don’t you pout,” she reassembles unfastened articles of her clothing, though she would have preferred not to.

Stanley, the lab technician, strolls into the tail-end of the compromising scene, unaware of how close he was to viewing his bosses in a new and revealing light. Fortunately his pupils are still dilating from the darkroom black.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Huckleberry Hound “The Lion Tamer”

Episode #158


page 147

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #153

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #153

… No one listening to this fiery man of God, on that hot June day, really believed that Ezra Elijah is his real name…

Ezra Elijah-001

– Leon and Gadsden Counties, Florida, big business is small and bustling city life is not. If Tallahassee were not the capital of its state and it did not have the two universities, the area more closely resembles southern Georgia or Alabama or Mississippi.

San Luis Lake-001 But it is not and that is a good thing, though as 1902 replaces 1901, there is still widespread poverty in the entire South, including Tallahassee, Midway and Quincy.

The Ferrells, John, Martha and Agnes, operate on the fringe of all that is bad, their place in the community tied to the locations of their three groceries. The neighborhoods are representative of the typical Southern mix; from the affluent Capital Hills to black Frenchtown and not much in-between.

At home on San Luis Lake, they are insulated and isolated from the people they serve. Some would say on the fringe of reality as well.

Once upon a time

      John Ferrell has busied himself juggling his two very different worlds, managing to keep them separate, apparently by the infinite grace of God. For a man who can be formerly categorized as a two-timer on both religious and personal fronts, (attending church at Christmas and Easter, in addition to having children by wife Martha and Laura Bell), he has experienced a revival of such proportions that neither his wife or Laura Bell know what to think, though they do not dare turn down the blessing. They can thank a traveling Protestant evangelist named, Ezra Elijah of the American Bible League, barnstorming Florida with news of the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ; grace being a gift from God for those who believe in him.

No one listening to this fiery man of God, on that hot June day, really believed that Ezra Elijah is his real name, but after listening to him speak on heaven and hell, all they can think of is where they will go when they die. Most of the Tallahasseans watching and listening to the figure, on the back of a well-traveled wagon, are there by happenstance, curiosity seekers like John Ferrell. A core of bible toting black women knew of his coming and are escorting and exhorting him along his way, as far as their faithful walk with God will take them.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Marvel Comic’s version

Episode #153


page 141

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #147

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #147

…I hope Susan B. Anthony is waiting for you in the lobby – that would fix your wagon!

“Has Beacon Hill copyrighted the name, Pearson-Eastman Journal?” asks Abbey in typically pointed fashion.

“Well, no, we have been swamped with the addition of Herbert Love to the limited partnership. It’s not like merely adding a name to a document you know,” James dares to clarify.

“If they do not have patent rights to their name, the first issue is fair game for plagiarism, or even worse, another magazine stealing their format ideas.”

“Yes,” he concedes, “I see your point. Sometimes even the senior partners lose track of details, seeing that we have over a one hundred clients that I am aware of. Not the least of them is J.P. Morgan’s scheme to freeze John D. Rockefeller out of the steel business.”

“I guess that makes George Eastman chopped liver?”

“No, but he is a silent partner. Judith is the Eastman in the lead.”

“Perhaps when women gain the right to vote, we’ll get some respect,” Abbeys states emphatically.

“Well, I respect you, honey bunch.” Oops.

“You can take your honey bunch and put it in the cellar next to the old potatoes. When men have the nerve to respect women outside the walls of the home, then and only then will God be glorified and true equality happening for all.”

“I must take my leave Hon…uh, Abbey. The office is expecting me.”

“Coward! I hope Susan B. Anthony is waiting for you in the lobby – that would fix your wagon!

  “I heard she is in a sanatorium, old and crazy I suspect.”

   He should have kept walking.

   “You best stop at the diner on your way home.”

    “What?”

     “And you will find your bed-things on the sofa. It will give you time to ponder women’s suffrage.”

This time he moves through the door without clever commentary. The doghouse is a lonely place.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #147


page 135

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #137

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #137

…as far as I am concerned, this is the classic case of good a thing happening to good people…

Eleven of the original dozen return to the Hotel Niagara. No, no one gets lost or killed – merely waylaid. It is no surprise that Harv stays behind, to explore the merits of night photography. His pass key may go unused. “Don’t you worry about me,” he tells them. They do not, but it does not prevent the adults from using their imagination.

The carriage ride back to Ferry Street is jam-packed with cross talk, about favorite dishes, the champagne, the President, the Statlers Hotel, but mostly Harv and Judith Eastman.

“Some people have a monopoly on luck,” laments Jacques Francoise, feeling like the wallflower at a cotillion; lonely, jealous and unchosen.

“Luck has little to do with it, my boy,” counsels Herbert Love, the benefactor of a successful marriage. “Harv has held out for the very same thirty years that Phoebe and I have been married. He had his chances along the way, but never the right woman. It takes courage not to marry out of loneliness. So, as far as I am concerned, this is the classic case of good a thing happening to good people.”

“The moral of the story is?” asks the other applicable party, Jacob Haley.

“I would say, ‘He who hesitates is not always lost’.”

“It’s more like, ‘Don’t put a fox in an empty henhouse’,” jokes Ziggy, whose world is far less complicated, rarely resorting to lofty theory.

He gets an elbow in his ribs for his trouble. “Shush, Siegfried! You can be such a visenheimer.” Frieda would know.

Wisenheimer-001

They are back at the hotel before poor Jacob & Jacques can be humiliated any further, returning to a staff that attends to them in earnest, not contempt. One can only hope that this small piece of attitude adjustment is a highly infectious disease, spreading faster than a million, million mosquitoes carrying yellow fever.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #137


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