THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 265

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 265

…The Time-Masters have been scanning the future of multiple worlds: theirs, ours and even the dreaded Seljuk…

The Seljuk

The Seljuk

“There is a need for a consensus assessment of the growing emotional influence of these earthlings on our world,” Ekcello stresses.

“Have the newcomers caused us trouble? The original three have had a positive effect on my city, as I believe yours?”

“It is not trouble is the strictest sense, but I fear that the youngest of the newest is unstable enough to possibly attempt an escape.” He speaks of Gus like he was a grandchild, or the Eridanus equivalent.

“Is it possible to send them back without damaging the time-stem?” They are discussing many of the very things to be dealt by the Counsel in general, but Fortän’s opinions are valued by Ekcello and hold particular sway.

Time Masters

 

“That is what I hope to find out this day. The Time-Masters have been scanning the future of multiple worlds: theirs, ours and even the dreaded Seljuk.”

The far-off and long-forgotten Seljuk is an outlaw-outlying-system in Eridanus’ distant past, even though it was the Seljuk who Eridanus emulated in their transition to transcendentalism— But there is a rub-of-the-green when it comes to Seljuk nature; they are and likely continue to be a paranoid bunch, steeped in a shunted corner of the Triangulum Galaxy.

“The passing of time will always tell,” concludes the wise-and-only Eridanian female Elder.

Side-by-side, mates for life, with years numbering in the many thousands, make their way to the dusty Founder Shrine amphitheater which is now filled with 1500 Elders.

There are notes flying through the audible frequencies, both sharp, flat, and perfect pitch. As confusing as the sung/spoken jumble seems, to have all these Eridanians using telepathy, at once in the same tower, would be a mind-blowing folly.

The appearance of Ekcello and Fortän causes the background noise to cease.

Founder Shrine

 

When Ekcello beckons the gathering to order, it becomes: each man, each voice, democracy in its utmost form, “I summon you today, here at Founder Shrine, to discuss the topic of the humans, who have grown so dear to us in recent times.”

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 263

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 263

…Whatever keeps these young dynamic human beings busy, Ekcello is all for it…

During the timeless days that follow, the assimilation of the two newest additions to Eridanus is as complete as it is going to get. Gus McKinney has tabled his protestations for the time being, while the elder of them busies himself by spending his days learning and understanding the essence of what it means to be an Eridanian. Deke studies the new culture, the younger follows in his father’s track of citizenship; in, out, around, and through every space vehicle in the Spaceflight Expository, to more fully grasp the essence of space travel and the complicated fabric that is time. He learns that the manipulation of the latter unlocks the secrets of the former.

Whatever keeps these young dynamic human beings busy, Ekcello is all for it. He is relieved not having them weigh so heavily on his officious mind. Yes Gus is only temporarily appeased, but being anticipatory is what telepathy is all about. Dealing with this smoldering tinderbox of a human has leapfrogged to his list of priorities.

The High Counsel of Eridanus, the omniscient ruling body of the planet, consists of one representative from each of the fifteen hundred spired cities. In nearly each case, the eldest {very high math} individual holds these mainly ceremonial positions. The need for a governing parliament has given way to a perfectly ordered society. The reasoning behind the choosing of elders is only evident when the rare problem arises. These old-timers remember what it was like on their now molten Mother Planet, a far cry from the current state of affairs. As a body, they credit the fresh start on a new planet as the secret for their societal success and the corrections for any mistakes made on the old.

And as well-liked and welcomed the Earthlings have become, their overall impact on the average Eridanian is profound and growing.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 260

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 260

…“We can’t be sent back or they won’t let us go back?…

 

She speaks to Deke alone; who takes her hand and kisses it gently, like it may fall off in his.

“What did she say Deke? It sounds like Far East music to me.” Gus is not used to being upstaged when it comes to getting attention from the female persuasion.

The two that have been taken with one another, continue their one-on-one exchange undaunted.

Quite comically, the remaining characters in the room restart a conversation of their own.

“What’s the matter Gus, do you feel left out?” Sampson chides Gus, like a father teases a son.

“Hell no Dad, I’m engaged to be married.” The fact that they are 10 light-years away from a wedding day matters not.

“What’s her name, where’s she from, do you have a picture?” Mom bullies her way into a litany of motherly queries.

Gus reaches into his SOL Project flight suit for the Houstonian engagement picture of him and Mindy McDonald. “How long did it take us to get here?”

Celeste looks to Sampson, the official timekeeper of the family.

“30 months, as far as I can tell.”

Stellar Explorer

Stellar Explorer

“A 2½ freaking years? Are you sure we needed rescuing, because I bet Mindy has already mourned my death, like we did you guys.”

“Ten more seconds into SOL warp and you surely would have died. NASA astro-mechanics did their job, but the bio-people did not,” Dad does his best.

“The Eridanians have mastered the fabric of time and they thought we would like to know about your fate. So, “we” went back to when/before that happened, adjustments were made to your ship. It is because of those adjustments that we could not allow you to return to Earth,” good news-bad news from a loving mother.

“We can’t be sent back or they won’t let us go back?” The more the idea of being separated from Mindy sinks in, the less savory is the notion.

A loving father cups Gus’ face with his hands, massaging his cheeks, wiping away the tears.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 254

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 254

…“Where in God’s name is Errordannias…

“Holy crap Deke, we must be dead!”

That kind of material is so like Gus. Sampson breaks into a hearty laugh.

They speak to each other like the “others” cannot hear, “Mom and Dad and they haven’t aged? Someone must have slipped us a mickey.”

“Maybe, but before I passed out, Mom was floating in front of me, showing me her wedding band.”

“Maybe we went through a wormhole or something?”

“No Gus, it is really us,” Celeste assures.

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Sampson follows up with, “You ain’t dreaming boys, and we are for real.” He has his arms about Deimostra’s quivering shoulder, ushering her forward, “And I’d like to introduce you boys to your sister.”

She smiles sheepishly. Deke and Gus rub their eyes. Instinctively she hugs each in turn. The whole hallucination theory suddenly goes out the window.

Shaky on their feet and at a loss for words, tears of joy stream down their cheeks; no how, whys or wherefores.

“May we present to you, Deimostra Samantha McKinney, child of space.”

“Okay, if this fairytale contains a sister, fine, but where the hell are we?”

Towers

A good place to start would be stepping out of the Stellar Explorer, five family members’ hand-in-hand filing past the menagerie that is the Spaceflight Expository. Upon gaining the edge of the massive entry/exit doors, they are exposed to the miles high pedestals that dominate their new home, “This is Eridanus and it’s not a fairytale.”

 

Error-what? Where are the people,” Gus wonders?

“They live in towered cities like Eupepsia, this one and those dotting the horizon. We thought it best that we are your first contact.”

“Where in God’s name is Error-dannias, it sound like Epsilon Eridani the star,” Gus knows his stars, but cannot make the connection to their present position, likely believing that they had just nodded off a bit.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 251

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THE RETURN TRIP

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 251

… the line of potential Eridanian adolescent suitors for the McKinney daughter extends past Orion’s sword…

 

What are the inexpressible words which will best describe the twisted path that brought the McKinney family here, against all odds?

Like how do they explain how Sammy came to be? They had not gotten around to “that talk” before they went to Mars. Celeste surmises, “I bet you Braden took care of that!” It has been tough going without the company of their best friend, though they would never have guessed that Roy Crippen and his wife adopted their pair of space-orphans. “And they are grown men now Sam.”

Deimostra has blushed to a crimson shade, having recently had that famous mother-daughter “talk”, although how “it” will work with an Eridanian male has not been explored, although Cerella had discussed how she would “interact” with Deke, given the opportunity. In a case where things like that work themselves out, the line of potential Eridanian adolescent suitors for the McKinney girl extends past Orion’s sword.

“I know you have only seen images of them on our PDAs, but I want you to show them how you feel, including hugs and kisses, once they process the concept of having a little sister,” father Sam interjects, “and Celeste, try not to cloud their minds with that telepathic stuff. If they are anything like me, they won’t take to it very well.”

“You need not worry father,” maintains the firstborn of space, “I am not the naïve child you pretend I am. It is true that I am not of Earth, but I have my mother’s wisdom and I have your….something, oh yes, your persistent persistence.”

“Thank you for that backdoor compliment Deimostra!”

“The Stellar Explorer has entered into a descending orbit,” Celeste sense aloud. Her and Sam’s memorable first impressions of Eridanus, the then unnamed planet, flood in. “It is a shame that they cannot be fully conscious, to see the mist parting to reveal the towered cities.”

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 242

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 242

…But 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 out-of-body 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.

7f80a-orion2010labeled_andreo600h

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.

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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. 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-one-way-trip should be a piece of cake.

 

Their out-of-body benefactors, who did include a dotingly relieved Mother and 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.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 230

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 230

…Given their druthers, Ekcello and his like may well have dismissed Earth as a lost cause…

 

— Cerella, the most familiarly physical of these “people” and heiress to the High Counsel of Eridanus, has taken it upon herself to make the new resident aliens her personal project; the three+ on site and the not-so uncomplicated task concerning the fate and ultimate destiny of the other two McKinneys, one Deke and one Gus. A truer friend or advocate they could never find on this or any other distant world.

As constant companion to Deimostra Samantha McKinney, child of space and stellar student, Cerella has immersed herself into the Eridanian experience, from the visitors’ point of view.  “Exo”, as Sampson refers to him, has assigned his daughter to assimilate the McKinneys to the ways of their new life. And now the stage is set for two additional contacts. She has displayed the knack for learned, deep compassion, a singular ability among her peers. She will require every ounce of that very soon.

For all the superiority and refinement on Eridanus, a tendency has rooted itself over the millennium. The auras of love and friendship have been supplanted by pragmatic substitutes, ones that infer oneness and shared ideals, a collective mentality if you will. Whether this switch to emotional temperance was coincidental or contrived, the task of not losing touch with those fleeting human qualities has fallen to Cerella. There is a worthiness factor to emotion that will benefit Eridanus, particularly because their current Earth-induced interaction is not going to end.

And that this prominent heiress has taken such interest is truly a stroke of luck for the McKinneys specifically and Earth in general. Given their druthers, Ekcello and his like may well have dismissed Earth as a lost cause. Without the “love” Cerella has shown, even Celeste would not have been able to comfortably call Eridanus “home” —

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