THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 19

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 19

…Back on Eridanus, they have their suspicions, but eventually choose to quit the space exploration business…

Quitting the Race by Melody Greenlief

It had been a fruitful mission to the Blue Planet, with a brief stopover at the Red Planet. This was going to be their last trip to hunt for and gather representative artifacts from this very young, yet developing civilization. The primitives worship their star, chart the other stars in the sky and they are developing some form of fundamental science. They are/were worth watching, which is easily done from either above or nearby.Related image

It is a form of spying, harmless and stealth. But it is time for Explorer {NEWFOUNDLANDER} to head back to Eridanus.

Just one more thing: the Elder council had determined that the mission should include a closer look at that red/dry planetary neighbor. It seems like the prudent thing to do.

And so they do.

The crew, numbering 50 intrepid space veterans, does not discover anything spectacular there. All the usual universal elements are present, with signs that this harsh planet may once have had a life-sustaining atmosphere and plentiful water. Hindsight forensics pays few dividends after millions of years. There are no cities or thoroughfares left behind.

Without alarm, a bright wave of light suddenly sweeps across the Plain of Xanthe,  , is draining the life from every single Eridanian soul.

No one knows if it is caused by a storm indigenous to this planet or something else?

Back on Eridanus, they have their suspicions, but eventually choose to quit the space exploration business. They now fear the unknown. They ground their fleet in favor of provinciality. Perhaps then they will be left alone.

 In the Triangulum Galaxy

Sammy Mac & Son are shut out of the action for now.

Brain-to-brain is the best way here of communicating with Chasonn and his Seljuk brain trust. It is the only way they can assure secrecy and Cerella will take matters from here.

#My people have been deactivated. I cannot be sure if it is all their doing#

#The Ÿ€Ð#

#Perhaps. If Ekcello has withdrawn the population, then he senses impending danger#

#Why are you not affected#

#The younger human is my mate for life#

#Outcast?#

#Different. We came here to warn you. It appears we are too late#

#Not if you confirm that the Ÿ€Ð have changed their tactics. We know they do not condone space travel, but killing has never been a method they use#

#That is not true. Deep in our past, someone terminated one of our expeditions. And then there is

#We have been wondering about that, that and the recent return of that ship to your home#

#It has resulted in an indirect alliance between my people and the planet Earth#

#Is Earth of any use to us in our combined efforts to thwart the Ÿ€Ð or #

#That you reactivated your fleet and included the humans demonstrates your level of concern#


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 19


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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 12

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 12

…We’re going to take Stellar Explorer out for another demonstration run, to the Sun and back…

Roy Crippen needs to brush-up on his tap-dancing moves. President Harper Lea Bassett has landed at the Galveston Launch Facility with personal glory on her mind. She has been lucky enough to be elected leader of the ever morphing “free world” during the debut of honest-to-goodness viable space travel. Gone, or shortly so, are the days when it takes 4 months to get to Mars. Folks from around the globe are falling all over themselves to line up for the forthcoming Mars City outpost.

Whether she deserves a gram of credit is going to be history’s business.

Her lapdog right-hand-minion-lackey, otherwise known as Chief of Staff Dane Shriver, had been sent ahead to orchestrate a credit taking – made for satellite – must see spectacle, with Madame President playing the part of maestro. He thinks he has done just that.

But Prez Roy has other plans.–

No Deke McKinney is a real problem. Real American heroes are destined to be propped up for their insatiably adoring public, people who are used to living life with the immediacy of their hand-held device lifelines; where they see what happens, nearly as it happens.

Deke McKinney is otherwise indisposed.

Roy Crippen has his hunches, but hunches will not cut it here and now.

He has a plan.

We’re going to take Stellar Explorer out for another demonstration run, to the Sun and back… anywhere but around this town.”

Fletcher Fitch is the first to raise his hand. “The SLAV crew isn’t ready to go. They have been furloughed to Palm Springs.”

“Really, Palm Springs, really?” Roy is playing dumb. He’s the one who sent them there… purposely for such an occasion as this. “We don’t need ‘em!”

Is he nuts? Engineer Fitch is thinking just that. No SLAV, no go.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 12


page 18

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 2

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 2

…Deke is gone and SEx {ÊS ÊX, its demonstrative nickname} is off-the-charts fast, with a reinforced hull and a molecular stabilizer that we didn’t even know existed…

–It is currently 2051 and much has transpired in the intervening two decades:

  • Mars has been visited by 17 probes and landers from numerous countries, but remains unoccupied by any human being

    World Space Consortium

  • Thanks to the New Mayflower’s rescue attempt and ultimate exploration, a plethora of firsthand insights about The Red Planet have been executed
  • The World Space Consortium has disbanded due to the distaste of human lives being “lost”
  • There have been 3 more Commander-in-Chiefs since Prez Roy, all of whom have a vested curiosity about the SOL Project

“What about the cabin security? What do those cameras show?”

“Nothing after you guys lit the fuse, Gus, nothing until you made the Pluto turnaround. The funny thing is, we could not access that video feed until after you landed. Either way the result is the same,” Roy recaps, “Deke is gone and SEx {ÊS ÊX, its demonstrative nickname} is off-the-charts fast, with a reinforced hull and a molecular stabilizer that we didn’t even know existed – isn’t that right Fitch?”

The man formerly known as Aldona Afridi tries unsuccessfully to mask his humiliation. Back in Talibanistan, they and the Koreans would have banished him to the rugged winter mountains for his lack of explanation. “We never considered the change in molecular structure of the human body as it crosses the SOL barrier.  I only calculated g-forces. How could I overlook molecular structure?”

“None of us did, Fletch, no need to beat yourself up.”

“What would have happened without a molecular stabilizer,” Francine is cautiously curious, “one body, two bodies or no bodies?”

She turns to Roy, “Look dear, we’ve got Gus and we’ll have to guess the rest.”

His mother by any other name, she hugs Gus McKinney as tightly as she can. He will have to do for now. Deke McKinney is formally considered MIA, however unexplained.

The rest of the world cannot know the puzzling outcome of mankind’s first jaunt to the edge of the Solar System, at least for the time being.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 2


page 8

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode Catalog

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The one-stop shop for the entire post library of:

THE NULL SOLUTION

(scroll down for episodes)

 “The Space Family McKinney”

Prelude/Recap  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Aa

Recap /History https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Af

Episode = 1    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Au        Chapter One   RETURN TRIP Continues

Episode = 2    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7AH

Episode = 3    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7AT

Episode = 4    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7B1

Episode = 5    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Ba

Episode = 6    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Bm

Episode = 7    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Bu

Episode = 8    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7BR

Episode = 9    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7BV

Episode = 10  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7C6

Episode = 11  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Cd    Chapter Two  Free at Last

Episode = 12  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Cp

Episode = 13  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7CE

Episode = 14  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7CY

Episode = 15  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7D7

Episode = 16  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Dh

Episode = 17  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Dp

Episode = 18  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7DK

Episode = 19  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7DO

Episode = 20  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Eb

Episode = 21  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Eo

Episode = 22  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7EB

Episode = 23  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7EK    Chapter Three  The 64 Parsec Question

Episode = 24  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7ET

Episode = 25  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7F0

Episode = 26  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Fj

Episode = 27  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Fw

Episode = 28  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7FB

Episode = 29  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7FI

Episode = 30  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7FQ

Episode = 31  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7FV

Episode = 32  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Gd

Episode = 33  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Gn

Episode = 34  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7GA

Episode = 35  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7GI      Chapter Four  Friend Or Foe

Episode = 36  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7GR

Episode = 37  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7H2

Episode = 38  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Hz

Episode = 39  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7HO

Episode = 40  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7HX

Episode = 41  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7I8

Episode = 42  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7Ih

Episode = 43  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7IG

Episode = 44  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7IN

Episode = 45  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7IZ

Episode = 46  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-7J7

Episode = 47     Chapter Five  Null Not Void

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Space Family Thanksgiving on Earth  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-4sb 

Space Family Thanksgiving on Eridanus  https://wp.me/p2MBwN-4sf

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Episode = 59    Chapter Six  Milky Way Apprehensive

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Episode = 72     Chapter Seven  SCIFI

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Episode = 85    Chapter Eight  Fuzzy Mathematics

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Episode = 96    Chapter Nine  Phantasmic

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Episode = 109   Chapter Ten  Snail’s Pace

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Episode = 119    Chapter Eleven  Cryptomaniacs Anonymous

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Episode = 130     Chapter Twelve  Facts & Other Fibs

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Episode = 140     Chapter Thirteen  Eupepsia Dreaming

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Episode = 144    Chapter Fourteen  Tall Tales

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Episode = 157    Chapter Fifteen  Key to the City

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Episode = 170     Chapter Sixteen  Harmonia

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Episode = 172    Chapter Seventeen Will it Play in Peoria

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Episode = 176    Chapter Eighteen  Two Sides to a Mirror

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Episode = 184    Chapter Nineteen  Outbound Outcome

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Episode = 188   Chapter Twenty  The Long Way Home

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Episode = 193    Chapter Twenty-one  They Call Me Lorgan

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Episode = 196    Chapter Twenty-Two  Unwelcome Home

Episode = 197

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The End

THE NULL SOLUTION = Prelude/ TRT Recap

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The NULL Solution = Prelude/ TRT Recap

…Background scenes from the last book/Where THE RETURN TRIP leaves off…

…and where we join THE NULL SOLUTION

Book One – THE RETURN TRIP – Excerpts

 The Space Family McKinney has been splintered into fragments, flung here and there by forces, some that they control and others they do not.

Back on 2051 Earth

January 9 2051 ending of book one – THE RETURN TRIP

“President Crippen! Stellar Explorer is back on our screens. It made the Pluto turnaround!” The crew of the SLAV revises their previous report. “There is no way they could have made that turn at Sol x3, but they did, Crip!”

Roy Crippen crumples in a heap, relieved beyond measure at this turn of events. He could not bear the loss of more family, adopted or otherwise. “Thank you my dear Lord,” is all he can say.

The entire SOL Project Mission Control, led by Braden King erupts in applause when they hear the voice of Gus McKinney, “Lovell Space Center, this is Stellar Explorer… we’re heading back to Earth!”

Francine Bouchette-Crippen and Mindy McDonald melt into an embrace, as women who love test pilots do.

At that declaration of success, Gus McKinney glances over from the co-pilot seat, to check on how brother Deke McKinney came through the intense G-Forces of the turn screaming, “We did it man!!!!”

The pilot seat is empty ______________

Back on 2030 Mars – History of THE RETURN TRIP

Sampson and Celeste discover another spacecraft

January 2030

The very mound they had originally detoured to investigate has been cleared of its dust-cover, swept clean by ill-fated winds of change. It would seem that they are not alone on Mars, as one would assume, as a large spacecraft has appeared alongside and it is not of Earth. For all to see: 50 meters of shiny out-of-this-world metal.

And judging by what is left behind, of the soil/dirt that is, it was like it had been covered in mud; Mud? It sits in a dry creek bed, for what has probably been thousands of years maybe more.

Celeste has already donned an infrared magnification enhancement and focuses in on what are markings, to the left of what is most likely an entrance. The insignia are not decipherable, but judging by the size of the entry, there is a strong possibility that the creators of this presumably interstellar ship were not midgets. It looks like Sampson could pass in without so much as stooping.

There are vertical slits, perhaps windows, placed at various points along its angular lines. Using his naked eye, Sampson swears he sees blinking lights through the largest such window, which Celeste dismisses as a silly notion, that it can only be the reflection of the midday sun.

“I wonder which one of us would be considered the UFO,” Celeste muses.

They find the dead crew of a failed Eridanian expedition

After traversing 2/3 of the rectangular vehicle’s exterior, they find themselves at what appears to be the threshold of the apparent entrance, if it has such a thing. Assuming that nobody is home and the door is locked, gaining access should prove to be futile, with no knife to jimmy the door. The 4 foot wide notch in the ship’s wall runs several feet into its 150 foot expanse. It is away from the sunlight, which does not make all things bright in these parts, as dark as Celeste’s native Sweden during its sunless winter swoon.

“Damn,” Sam galumphs into spread-eagle prostrations. “Maybe we should be using the helmet lights,” he taps the side of his head to do so, to light their way and expose the upright-cancelling offender.

“Whooaa,” he springs to his feet like a wrestler scoring 2 points on a lightning-quick reversal {and low gravity}.

Celeste would have laughed had she not popped her light on, fearfully recognizing the cause of Sam’s fall, “That is a body!”

They discover what the Eridanians were doing on Earth

“Does this remind you of museum storage room, where incomplete dinosaur skeletons wait for missing pieces?”

At the precise moment they near some items, mostly likely activated by a motion sensor, pre-focused shafts of light appear.

“Fourth Dynasty Egyptian.”

“Are you serious?” Sam asks.

His versatile wife numbers Egyptology as an educational pursuit during her college career. “Khufu,” she single out a solid gold bust!

“God bless you.”

“Cheops to you Sam.” He was not making fun, merely his lack of similar expertise. “There are references to this bust, but no one has ever seen it… 4500 year old solid gold.”

Another shaft of light is cast upon, “And what is this?”

“Another piece of the Palermo Stone, I don’t think this one has been catalogued. Do you see the similarities between Egyptian writing and the newfoundlian scrpit?”

“English grammar is confusing enough.”

“That is the Code of Hammurabi,” she points to the writing on a Diorite stone tablet, nearby, “Cuneiform writing for damn sure!!!!!!”

And though he is not as versed in Egyptian antiquity, in the manner and scope of his encyclopedic partner, he is not completely devoid of ancient historical knowledge. “The Code of Hammurabi is from 21st Century B.C. Babylon, kind of a wage scale and social

ranking for old-time Near East lawmakers.”

“Very good Sammy Mac and here I thought that space had vacated your unrelated memories; there is more than SOL and time travel up in that brain of yours.”

He is used to her deriding his seeming lack of culture, not that she is entirely wrong.

“The pristine state of this stuff leads me to believe that they are the originals, not poached from a crypt. Whether Egypt or Mesopotamia, these have not seen the harsh exposure of the centuries since.”

“I guess that this explains which direction they were heading?”

“Perhaps, but it seems that they have been going forth and back for a minimum of 5000 years.”

The 1st Earth-child-of-space is Born

Deimostra Samantha McKinney was born almost two weeks premature, paradoxically so on April 1st 2030. Deimostra {Deimos} is certainly an uncommon name for such a cute blond-haired blue-eyed baby girl, so named for one of Mars’ reliable, if not fickle moons; Phoebe {Phobos} would have been too easy. As one would guess, her middle name is the feminine form of father Sam, an everyday tag she will carry as “Sammy”, the affectionate term she has already responded positively to.

Tomorrow – Episode 1 THE NULL SOLUTION


THE NULL SOLUTION

Prelude/Recap


pages 1-6

 

 

 

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 185

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 185

…The mourners want to stop crying, but who will be the first? They wish they had more answers when God alone knows what happened on Mars…

Presidential candidate Crippen wraps up the grim occasion.

“But because we don’t know what exactly happened to them, is of little matter now. Today we are here to honor them and to make a promise, the promise of continuing dream of the McKinneys …and all of us at NASA…SOL-logo the dream of colonization, not just of Mars, but the stars beyond it! But we are going to go there, AT THE SPEED-OF-LIGHT!!!.”

The reference to the SOL Project is intentional.

Roy does not miss the opportunity to draw Charlotte Walker onto the funeral altar, a move that does not go unnoticed by the attending press.Image result for red white and blue wreath

“All of us, in our own way, knew Sampson and Celeste McKinney. Do not fail them or their memory.”

Roy Crippen, Braden King, Deke McKinney and Gus lay a giant RW&B wreath on the flag-draped caskets. The clergy representatives, each of their faith, give their blessing. The honor guards carry the sarcophagi to the waiting horse drawn cortege.

The crowd disperses slowly, bound together by a trance of unbelief. They want to stop crying, but who will be the first? They wish they had more answers when God alone knows what happened on Mars. They do not want to have to memorialize speculative assumptions, but just when is the right time to say when?

Apart from a mourning nation and most of the “civilized” world, two significant figures remain stoic. Whether or not they are expected to be resigned and vulnerable, the McKinney boys, with eyes to the heavens and beyond, hold firm. They are sending a message for the world to heed: ‘We remaining McKinneys dedicate the rest of our lives to the memory of our parents and the future of America’s space program.’


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 185


page 175

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 184

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 184

…we have lost not only two of our finest astronauts, but the very first colonists on another planet…

Roy Crippen takes his turn as, mourner, moderator and commemorator.

“I do know Sampson and Celeste McKinney and I can proudly say that they counted me as their friend. To know them is to know the definition of reliability. If I had a dollar for every time I heard them say, ‘You can count on us.’ I would be materially rich beyond measure.

“As Braden King would tell you,” he points at BK sitting between the boys, “there isn’t anything they would not do for their country and their space program. And if we could hear them now, they would be telling us, ‘Do not stop with Space Colony 1. You must press on; you must come out and be with us.”

He pauses to reflect on what space exploration is all about.

“When one decides to become a working astronaut, there are certain things you must come to terms with in your mind. Topping that list and there is little question as to its reality, is that constant companion of dealing with the speculative unknown: d-e-a-t-h. We at NASA, as well as our global partners at the World Space Consortium, deal with technology at its finest, but because of the distances involved and other uncontrollable factors, danger is:

  1. one step behind every single manned mission
  2. when we step out of a vehicle exceeding 100,000 feet of altitude
  3. each time we take that next step baby step closer to the edge of the solar system

“I need not remind you of the Challenger or Columbia and the brave men and women who gave their lives. Did they believe they would return to Earth safely? Yes they did. Did they know there was a possibility that they wouldn’t? Yes they did.

“We have gone 27 years without a fatality in space. We now find ourselves coming to grips with terrible realization that we have lost not only two of our finest astronauts, but the very first colonists on another planet

“…. both were keenly aware of the perils they would be facing. Did they know that Space Colony 1 was destroyed by jealously and hate not a meteor or electrical malfunction? No probably not.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 184


page 175

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 183

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 183

…If there is a dry eye in the house, good luck finding one…

If there is a dry eye in the house, good luck finding one. Even among NASA critics, closet detractors or flat-out opponents who are there only to be dutifully seen, the moment captures their humanity. What heart can be hardened against the thought of a husband and wife doomed to die a slow death on the expansive plain of a planet millions of miles away.

“I never had the chance to meet Celeste McKinney and I am not a mother, but I can tell you this much; the bravery required to sacrifice your life for the furthering of the greater good speaks volumes of her character.” Francine Bouchette-Crippen speaks  the female voice. “As a news anchor, I poured over hours of video regarding the McKinneys and what that video revealed to me was that two people shared the same dream; the dream of a planet that longs to experience what the Hubble Space Telescope brought to our device screens, from 3×5 to 80” diagonal.

“In her own words, I hear loud and clear, Celeste McKinney speaks to reaching out into the solar system, not just to secure the natural resources we so desperately need, but also strive to answer the irksome questions about whether we are alone as intelligent beings. She speaks to the dreams of her beloved Deke & Gus, to follow in the wake of their travels outside Earth’s atmosphere, past our Moon, and out to the Andromeda Galaxy.”

Francine begins to break down, a side of her few have seen in public. She uses the eerie silence to gather herself and pause for effect, “And tomorrow is Mother’s Day.”

She summons the strength to continue.

“I have been robbed of the opportunity to meet these two fine explorers, but with my time spent at around the people who love them and the precious moments I have shared with Deke & Gus, their fine character and lofty aspirations, I am so very proud to be part of their lives and legacy.”

She weeps as she backs away from the podium, the sad pedestal overlooking two huge portraits, the empty flag-draped caskets – topped with a sign made by Gus.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 183


page 174

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 169

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 169

…“Just how long will we be staying on Mars?”

“Until the experiments are done or we run out of excuses… and then we will discuss.”…

“We’ve been eavesdropping Rick… where the hell is Sammy Mac?” If the situation weren’t so bothersome, it would make for a great episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. “Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?”

“Their boys aren’t listening in are they?”

“No, thank God and we are going to control who knows what, when and you are taking care of the where.”

“Then I don’t think we can say anything for sure Roy – Braden. This is all way too strange and it is going to take some time to do a CSI Mars or wait for them to come back from wherever they are hiding. Tycho looks lived in but not lived-in enough, if you know what I mean?”

“I may be overstepping my bounds, but I am going to have you stay out there and conduct every single experiment or at the very least, pick up where they left off.”

“FYI……I see some early spectro-photographic soundings that show some huge lithium deposits, not to mention liquid water and crude bacteria deep in the subsoil.”

“See if you can unravel the missing person’s mystery first and worry about all the other goodies later.”

“Just how long will we be staying?”

“Until the experiments are done or we run out of excuses… and then we will discuss.”

“What do we do with Tycho when we leave, shut it down, blow it up, hang a For Rent sign on it?”

“None of the above; Just close the door and leave the lights on!”

“Now who would leave a perfectly good machine like Tycho behind on a distant planet?”

“Too bad we don’t have an automatic recall feature or a good hangar to store it.” Roy laments an unnecessarily un-lamentable set of circumstances. “I guess we will have to be the first.”

{Maybe not Roy!}


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 169


page 160

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 168

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 168

…It’s like they hitched a ride from off the planet and we passed ‘em up on the way here, like sub-light-ships in the night.”…

Ships in the stillness of the night, 1888 – Ivan Aivazovsky

— New Mayflower cameras tell most of the story from the outside, however Rick Stanley and his #2 {nameless brand X astronaut} have been inside the seemingly abandoned for some time with a 3rd keeping their ship anchored in the sea of red sand.

Moonlight Stroll by Jay Nottingham

There is a valid reason for the lack of interaction, fueling concerns about what they do not find inside Tycho; neither McKinney. The Mars lander has that “lived-in” feeling, but the residents are not where they were expected to be.

“Doesn’t it look like they come in and out of Tycho a lot…I mean every day?” asks #2. “And there is stuff missing that shouldn’t be…the hard copy of the star-chart is gone, not to mention their EVA gear. Maybe they’re on a moonlit stroll.”

“Yeah and where is the lander interactive tablet? It is portable but you wouldn’t take it out into the dusty beyond.”

The most amazing discovery of all, are the digital numbers on the environmental and power-level readouts.

“Oxygen is at 98.2%. H2 0 is 100% of capacity. And the volts and amps have not dropped below 99% in 2 freaking months?”

No bodies, no consumption, no mischief, nothing is adding up for Rick, who has been through some mysteries of space

Moon Station

{Just like the initial recon/shuttle missions to set up the Moon Station outpost. Mysteriously, they discovered that items, left behind by the Apollo missions, were missing, when no one other than NASA had been there since the 1970’s;  WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?!}

Don’t you just love fiction?

“100% water, what’s up with that? That level should be at 45 by now. It is like they hitched a ride from off the planet and we passed ‘em up on the way here, like sub-light-ships in the night.”

“Or they ended up with a tour guide who doesn’t know shit about Mars.” —


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 168


page 159