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.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 242


page 284 (end Ch. 9)

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 221

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 221

…Ekcello is trying to find a way to communicate with the least accessible of the three off-worlders…

“She is sleeping Sammy, just sleeping,” Father Sam explains to his daughter.

It was a torturous five-some-odd minutes, during which the Eridanians had re-closed their eyes and seemed to concentrate on Celeste. At the conclusion of this quietness, she momentarily returns to her family.

“They want us to follow them Sam. Please trust them.” Celeste collapses into his apprehensive arms.

He makes intense eye contact with them as if to say, “If you hurt either of my girls, you will regret it.”

Ekcello must have got the crude message and determined it as anxiety. For the first time, Sampson finds out what it is like to “Talk” with these haunting humanoids.

#Sampson McKinney, we are the people you know as NEWFOUNDLIANS. Please excuse our seeming disarray, but as you may sense, we were not prepared for your presence on NEWFOUNDLANDER/Explorer. That simple mode of transportation was our ancient attempt at understanding your species#

The strain on Sampson’s mind overwhelms him, mostly because Ekcello is trying to find a way to communicate with the least accessible of the three off-worlders. Even the youngest McKinney seems to have had her fears alleviated. But Dad’s mental resistance results in a headache of migraine-ic proportions, all because he just not on their prevailing wavelength.

Not far from the outer edge of the tower Eupepsia, the lofty structure that Explorer Eridanus2 - Copyhad brought them to, and an elevator of sorts await. To be accurate, it was only an open-air platform; not a conveyance for the faint of heart. It makes nary a noise, barely jostling a hair on their heads or having a sense of motion whatsoever.

For all his astronautical achievements Sampson begins to squirm when the one mile mark of the vertical climb is gained. He sits down next to his mentally drained spouse and uses his spare arm to clutch Deimostra, who at this point of her young life has no fear… none. He wishes that she would take a nap at this critical time in the meeting of two worlds; 9 light-years apart in The Milky Way and a light-century apart in societal progress.


THE RETURN TRIP

The Meeting of Two Worlds

Episode 221


page 262

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 218

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 218

…fast-forward 7 years, to that star/planet/moon system in Orion’s Belt…

“Meet the people of Eridanus. The # sign is not a hashtag, it a representation of their musical way of communicating (I wrote this book before Twitter was created) – Gwenny

 

#Concentrate Sampson McKinney. Think of the sons you left behind on Earth. Let your stubborn mind leave the finite confines of your body#

Sampson, his eyes closed is nearly grunting from the effort to imitate the psychic ability of their hosts of the planet/moon Eridanus. Hyperphysical transmigration does not come easy for one who defines hyperphysical as a brisk walk down to the perfectly sound solid ground 2000 floors down. Why did they build these silly towers anyway?

#How do you explain your wife’s talent for this simple exercise?#

Ekcello, the Supreme Elder of Eridanus, can access Sampson’s mind, with his world’s overt form of lyrical, cantabile style of advanced communication. But this 21st Century-model-male from Earth does not receive anything other than what his ears can hear. His limited auditory canals collect a completely different and foreign version of the resident/alien’s lecture. While a strange combination of music and indeterminable letters roll around the twisted canals of his inner ear, he has yet to master the parapsychological tools used by the average Eridanian.

Celeste McKinney for her part and Deimostra McKinney for the most part, have pretty well grasped the telepathy portion of their life on Eridanus. Yet it has taken the full 7 years of their extended stay on this whimsically enchanting world to refine the complex mental exercises down to a science.

Towers

If it had been up to him, Sampson would have just as soon re-boarded the NEWFOUNDLANDER (Eridanian name translated: Explorer) and head back to Earth. But to his dismay, Eridanian law forbids space travel, by its civilization, by conventional means. Any one of the 325,241 permanent residents, in this world of spiraling towers reaching into a pastel-pink sky, can if the spirit moves them, go for an out-of-body escapade, with the permission of the Elders.

For Space Colony 1 Commander McKinney, there is one thing that always bothered him, perhaps the reason why he cannot wrap his brain around telepathic communication: “Why didn’t they know that their spaceship contained three human beings? If they travel with their minds, they should have known.” That disconnect has added to the feeling that they were being held against their will.

This has been an awkward process from the beginning, even though they should be feeling grateful for the way they have been treated…

… That was seven 7 years ago.

 


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 218


page 259

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 210

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 210

…that impenetrable gaseous shield that encases Planet X collapses inward, like the flushing of a toilet, revealing…

DreamySkies-blue1-(Magical)Instead of knifing through the planet’s pea soup ionosphere, to allow that anxiously awaited first glimpse from on high, the NEWFOUNDLANDER nestles into an orbit above the vaporous barrier.

“I really, really hope that is water vapor and not pollution, ‘cause I would greatly prefer Seattle to Shanghai. Or worse yet, that is an ammonia blanket!” Sampson McKinney expresses the palpable anxiety pressure in the cabin, with the trio of Earthlings as presentable as they can be after five years in space. The vagueness of the moment has leveled the playing field between adults and child; so many the questions, so few the answers.

Suffering through two orbits and finding it hard to maintain an upright edge, an unexpected event serves to divert their attention. While on the (sun)lit portion of their revolution, Epsilon Eridani bright rays vanish, eclipsed by one or both of its mates. The harsh return to total darkness lasts several revolutions only. The molten brother and the desolate daughter spin away on their intended paths while restoring a stars’ radiation to the seemingly confused little sister.

Eridanus3

Another trip around the outlying reaches of NEWFOUNDLANDER’S home seems likely. The wait is maddening for the stowaways. After all, if they were in a holding pattern above Honolulu International, at least they would know which hotel they were staying at. They have spent what they believe to be one-half of a decade of their lives aboard a hijacked alien spacecraft, willing hostages of the unknown, but reluctant strangers of uncertainty. That they arrive at this place in the galaxy with a shred of sanity to their names is a testament to their training and the dedication to carry out a mission, no matter what it takes or where it takes you.Related image

Photo by Warner Bros., from Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century

But as another ho-hum orbit ends, much like the earlier eclipse and just as abrupt, that impenetrable gaseous shield that encases Planet X collapses inward, like the flushing of a toilet in the Southern Hemisphere at home. NEWFOUNDLANDER follows in behind the withdrawing cover and as it descends to the altitude of an intercontinental supersonic transport, the planet of their fancy is revealed in its entire splendor.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 210


page 249

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 204

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 204

…Is the NEWFOUNDLANDER a colonizer/scout that is now returning to a burned out home?…

“Get a load of that one,” Sampson to Celeste & Sammy, “it is 2X the size of Jupiter and spinning like a top!”

A NEWFOUNDLANDER monitor dedicated to geological activity reveals a tempestuous surface, three-fourths boiling with volcanism. Elsewhere, raging magnetic storms ripple through a conspicuously toxic atmosphere.

“I think we can cross that planet off our list Sam,” Celeste reasons.

“It may not be what you would call a vacation destination, but a recent course deviation puts us right in line with that monster.” He checks and rechecks his unlikely calculations, each time netting the same results.

“There cannot be so much as a trace of oxygen or a stable slab of ground on that planet Sam. Remember when we speculated that the NEWFOUNDLIANS may have been searching out a new home planet? Or has their world started a geological upheaval after they left? Is this ship a colonizer/scout that is now returning to a burned out home?

“That is a possibility,” he says in a regretting tone, “but what if one of those moons happens to be their home? There is one moon, slightly smaller than Earth and yet another could be Neptune’s twin brother! And Neptune2 looks like it has a moon of its own. Doesn’t that blow your mind?”

Epsilon_Eridani_b

This is an inaugural peek at a solar system through provincial perceptions of conventionality. Hubble had alerted Earthly eyes of the existence of viable planetary systems circling other stars, so odds favor it. But to have postulated the strange and complex menagerie attending to Epsilon Eridani, no super-telescope could have sorted out.

Exhibit One: There four mega-planets in similar orbits, over a billion miles away from their blue-white star, the largest planet owning two moons, one the size of Neptune, and that with a satellite to boot; unheard of.


THE RETURN TRIP

Burned Out by Louise Adams

Episode 204


page 243

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 203

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 203

…they believe the end of year 2035 is near, a conceptual rendering of time, partially reconnoitered by Sammy’s growth and keeping track on an old-fashioned wristwatch…

Painting of Nestor Ferronato

As the enlarging emergence of Epsilon Eridani and the heightened anticipation it is Related imageproducing, Sampson’s demeanor stabilizes; finally a goal is in sight. There aren’t stars around every corner. In the coming of a new orange sphere, he can sense the warmth internally, even though an Earthly comparison would be like spotting the Rocky Mountains from the east while driving an automobile. What seems like a day later, you first get the sense you are going uphill.

epsilon eridani by arise chicken117

The far-reaching scope of the NEWFOUDLANDER’S viewscreen becomes the hot topic as they believe the end of year 2035 is near, a conceptual rendering of time, partially reconnoitered by Sammy’s growth and keeping track on an old-fashioned wristwatch. The estimated forty trillion, that is the #40 with twelve zeroes, miles of space traveled, where nothing but darkness and tiny white dots dominate the viewscreen, finally there is a tangible celestial objects to train their longing eyes on.

Five (that is the #5 with no zeroes) heavenly bodies they are coming upon. Other than the obvious blazing tangerine fireball, this system’s sun, a star from Earth telescope’s perspective, four immense planets are orbiting Epsilon Eridani at the far-out distance equal to Jupiter’s. They are spaced far enough apart in the planes of their orbits so that their gravitation cancels each other’s out. There are no other significant bodies inside this planetary parade, although there is one nearly continuous band of asteroids, meteors, and comet-like matter circling Epsilon 100 million miles out.

Each of these gigantic spheres numbers many objects as “moons” as an entourage.Epsilon Eridani b.jpg Several of these would make sizable planets on their own merit and perhaps they were before this quartet of gravity hogs drew them into their inescapable clutches.

“Get a load of that one,” Sampson to Celeste & Sammy, “it is twice the size of Jupiter!”

A NEWFOUNDLANDER monitor dedicated to geological activity reveals a tempestuous surface, three-fourths boiling with volcanism. Elsewhere, raging magnetic storms ripple through a conspicuously toxic atmosphere.


THE RETURN TRIP

great destination by henryz – deviatart.com

Episode 203


page 242

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 255

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 255

…likely believing that they had just nodded off a bit…

“Wait a minute Gussy… I think we are leaving out something in all this. Forget about seeing our long dead/gone/whatever parents on this bizarre planet. I seem to remember thinking that we were phasing in and out of reality right after we lit the SOL fuse.”

“That’s right! I was trying to engage the emergency decelerator and my hand could not reach the console,” Gus recounts his frustration.

“At the time I was thinking we had had it, lab-rat hell, how about you?”

***                                             ***                                     ***

~~they reach across and bump their fists; someone had to do it and this is what we signed up for~~

***                                            ***                                      ***

“It did not look good did it bro?”

“And that’s about where we stepped in,” Celeste inserts the current time-stem into their recollection of events.

“Are you telling us that we died and you changed history? That is a bit bizarre?” Deke is coming to grips.

That is when Cerella needed to add the perspective of the time-space angle, #You did expire, right after the point when your molecules destabilized#

“Shit Deke, I told you this was a dream!”

#But we noticed that your presence in the 2051.025 time-stem was no longer and after consulting with the High Counsel, we decided to save your lives, for the sake of your mother and father#

“I’m a big fan of the space-time continuum, but I’m pretty sure you have messed with Earth history.”

#We have not Gus McKinney. Earth has continued on its path, steeped in the knowledge that you expired in space aboard your version of the Explorer#

“Our version?”

#Yes, the other ship named Explorer is in the berth next to yours#

It isn’t long before Deke notices that Gus is discussing time-travel with a very different looking girl.

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 255

page 298

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