THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 225

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 225

…“If you tack another 5 years on for a return trip, we may just be aliens on our own world, an irrelevant leftovers from the past…

“Somewhere, deep in their youthful existentiality, they must have a basal need, an outlet for all their buried emotion.”

“You are really into their minds aren’t you?” Sampson is actually jealous, but doesn’t show it. Their relationship is still sound, for a human marriage, but there is always that nagging fear of her losing her humanity, in favor of these alien attitudes. “You’re not thinking about ditching me, are you Celeste?”

“Now that is a silly notion Sam,” she barely recognizes an insecure Sammy Mac. “Where did that come from?”

“Well you are so close to these people and I really think they have accepted you as one of their own… and then there is old Sampson McKinney, that Neanderthal caveman from Earth, a  pain-in-the-ass, word speaking fool.

“Sometimes I think that if weren’t for you, they would banish me to that prison tower they are hiding, or better yet, hand the keys of the NEWFOUNDLANDER over to me and give me a map back to Earth.”

“There you go, that’s what you really want isn’t it?” The question is rhetorical.

“For a long time that is all I could think about. What has it been, 9 years since we’ve seen Earth?” It has actually been 15 (2045), but the slowing of his body clock has made time passage moot. “If you tack another 5 years on for a return trip, we may just be aliens on our own world, an irrelevant leftovers from the past. Not to mention that we will have missed the prime years of Deke & Gus’ lives… and Braden, How old is he now?

“Not to mention being debriefed by Crippen until we turn green. I bet he is the president of some private space-travel agency by now: Roy’s Rockets.

At times like this, Celeste will listen; merely listen for positive signs of sanity in her man.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 225


page 266

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 220

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 220

…“They are probing my mind….like walking through every corner of my brain with this melodic clamor all around…

The Eridanians make sure their ship is ship-shape.

Directly after the “germ-inator team” nod their all-clear andImage result for door opening gif inspections can proceed, directly before Ekcello could begin his coded entrance to the inside, Sampson decides to get the party started. With Celeste at his left side and Sammy’s sixty pounds hoisted by Celeste, he lights up the NEWFOUNDLANDER/Explorer’s entranceway and opens that outside access.

The McKinneys stand as a family in portrait.

The Eridanians are nearly floored by the un-bargained-for presentation. You could almost hear them gasp in baritone oneness.

Getting the jump on a telepath is difficult, if not unprecedented, but when you do, a picture is worth a thousand words as they say. For a fraction of a second, before their practiced disciplines could grasp the moment, all these cognoscente beings would do is to stare in disbelief, if you could only read their minds.

Realizing that speaking would only serve to complicate the confusion, the Space Family McKinney {minus Deke & Gus} maintain their quaint pose, allowing their hosts the chance to catch their breath, or whatever keeps them afloat? But they are not long for a quandary state, having determined that the stowaways pose no immediate threat.

The five mysterious robed beings form a mental huddle, short-cut=think-tank style. When closed eyes are opened, they surely have made a decision of sorts.

“They were inside my mind Sam. It’s like I could hear scores of voices all at once,” Celeste whispers sideways.

“I don’t hear a thing, what do you mean,” Sampson reacts gingerly, less sure of their reaction to verbiage?

“They are probing my mind… like walking through every corner of my brain with this melodic clamor all around.”

“Are they still in there,” he asks, looking toward her like she has been taken over?

There is no answer. Her eyelids fall shut and she is in a deep trance.

Deimostra cannot hold back, “What is wrong with Mommy?” She nears tearing.

“She is sleeping Sammy, just sleeping.” He could not be sure, but he was in no position to find out otherwise. When he moved to brush a stay blond hair from his wife’s face, an unknown force holds his arm back.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 220


page 261

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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 213

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 213

…Deimostra has spent the final 15 hours sleeping, harmlessly dreaming of the people they were about to meet…

“I think we may have made a slight miscalculation about just how old the Newfoundlander is, considering this collection of spaceships.”

Photo by Lauren Hansen-Flauschen for Penn Museum

“Then how does one account for those never-before-seen artifacts in storage below, Sam?”

“Maybe they were lifted out of museum and the curators reported them as stolen. Or maybe they got lucky and found the stuff where no one else had looked before; I’m sure they had mass spectrometers long before we did.”

“No Sam, I’m telling you that modern man has not seen those treasures below! As for getting lucky — maybe, but not likely, considering the archaeological coverage in the Nile Delta.”

As NEWFOUNDLANDER shimmies into its pre-destined parking place, something occurs to Sampson’s astro-nautically trained mind, “Could it be that these people have abandoned space travel? I mean, did you see a fleet come out to escort us in? Have any of us seen any shuttle traffic, weather satellite or space station anywhere on the way here?”

Before Celeste can agree, the closing of the 100 foot tall doors distracts her and once again they are left to wonder what happens next. The enclosure now adds a claustrophobic slant to their rampant speculation. Confinement is a stark certainty, after over 5 years in the vastness of deep-space

Unease, doubt, apprehension: all these begin to consume Commander Sampson McKinney, formerly of Space Colony 1, recently employed NASA astronaut and previous inhabitant of Earth. It is all he can do to merely stand still and wait. The waiting is the hardest part.

“Have we landed yet Mother and Father?” Deimostra has spent the final 15 hours sleeping, harmlessly dreaming of the people they were about to meet, confined to her cabin for safety’s sake. Her feet have never been in contact with solid ground, but that is about to change. She has put on the dress Celeste had fashioned for this very portentous occasion, a feminine frock with as many little girl touches as were available on this male laden vessel.

“We have just landed dear one and we are inside a very, very…very large building.” She spins Deimostra around, tugging and adjusting clothing and hair. “These people are going to meet my pretty little girl.”

“When will we get to meet them?” she asks.

“I believe they would be coming through door number two!” Sampson hazards a cautious guess at the first sign of activity.

The next chapter of Earth’s history is about to be written.

The folks on Planet X is in for a surprise of historic proportion.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 213


page 252 (End Ch. 8)

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 211

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 211

Shangri-La is one proper adjective attached to describe Utopian perfection, though there is nothing on Earth, mythical or real, to compare it to…

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.

“This is the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on,” Celeste puts her hands to her chest, to contain her rapidly beating heart.

“My God Celeste, I believe we have discovered where Heaven is.” Put an X on this spot for further reference. It’s is one thing to have seen Mars in person for the first time, quite another to observe the incomprehensible.

Eridanus2 - Copy

There are no clear-cut continents or oceans below, or any typical land features for that matter. In the place of familiar geography, spiraling cities, on invisible stilts, rise randomly up into the pastel pink skies. The majestic lofty perches are scattered about the planet surface in no particular pattern. Nowhere to be found: sprawling industrial complexes, its attending pollution, gaudy interconnecting roadways for wheeled vehicles or skies plugged with crisscrossing contrails trailing flitting aircraft.

Shangri-La is one proper adjective attached to describe Utopian perfection, though there is nothing on Earth, mythical or real, to compare it to and no word in the English language can do it justice.

Come to think of it, even the NEWFOUNDLANDER, now making an aerodynamic approach to the nondescript terra firma of this enigmatic sphere, looks strangely out of place. Yet it appears to be coming home like a long-lost relative or the family black sheep welcomed back with open arms, no questions asked; The Parable of the Prodigal Son (see Luke 15),

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

The largest of these towering edifices opens its low-level gates, in order to swallow the NEWFOUNDLANDER. The sliding door of giant size draw apart slowly and you can almost hear the creaking of the glides due to a drought of inactivity. The ship lumbers in, after the gap reaches its full extent.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 211


page 250

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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 209

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 209

…The McKinneys are relieved when their space-taxi whooshes past the ominous molten maelstrom and subsequently an uninviting barren exo-world that looks like it would make a great prison planet

—The NEWFOUNDLANDER continues to hurtle toward the planetary system which must surely be their final destination. The ship with a remote control mind uses all the right moves on its approach, like it had done this very move before. A skilled navigator himself, SamImage result for speed of light gif sincerely hopes so, because he is beginning to feel uneasy with the speed at which they going at this late stage. That scary mega planet is looking large and larger, its red-hot surface churning like the gates of hell… and they have barely dipped below SOL.

Born to go fast and built for speed, Sampson and Celeste are in white-knuckle mode, each in their own way, praying that the NEWFOUNDLANDER would slow down! Imagine being a passenger in an auto without a steering wheel whose brakes have failed and that would pretty much sum up the situation.

Little do they realize that due to the orb’s enormous mass, the illusion of proximity is just that, an illusion? At a half a million miles out, the stardrive that had relentlessly propelled them past several other stars without a pit-stop begins to back off, freezing the white dots of light behind them. An example: Earth’s sunlight will catch up to the Epsilon Eridani solar system in another year or so.

They are relieved when their space-taxi whooshes past the ominous molten maelstrom and subsequently an uninviting barren exo-world that looks like it would make a great prison planet. Once the sub-light deceleration has taken full effect, and you can DreamySkies-blue2-(Magical)definitely notice the difference.

The only possible landing point is the third largest member of this unique triumvirate, a misty looking sphere, the size of which is hard to judge. There are no clues as to what lays beneath the cloaking shroud; no hints to its close-up appearance.

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.

What lies beneath the clouds & mist?


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 209


page 248

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