THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 82

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 82

“Maybe it’s not a good idea to poke that thing around, not knowing what the result will be?”…

Careful now!

— Energized and ever curious, the two-remaining visitors on Mars press on to the depths of the alien ship. As they near the geometrical center, there is the palpable lets-go-exploring-calvin-and-hobbessensation of power about, much like being yards away from a pulsating 30,000 volt transmission line. The black hair on Sampson’s forearms stand on end and Celeste’s blond-locks react statically.

Sampson surmises that they are nearing the “engine room”, “Judging by its staying power it has to be nuclear or whatever style of atomic fuels they use. Old Karl at GLF would be drooling about now.”

The technology needed for intergalactic travel is beyond Earthly understanding, though they are currently on the right track. The NEWFOUNDLANDER most certainly did not plod along to get to Mars, like Chronicle did, or like the 21st Century New Mayflower is about to.

 

Brightly coded signs, reading gobbledigook threatening in form, leading them to believe they have found the engineering section with supercharged propulsion onyx-black-001unit/s. Upon gaining entry to the forbidden area, thank you Celeste and your mystically useful black rock, they can only wonder why it is so closely secured.Related image

There are more lifeless Newfoundlian bodies here than the
rest of the ship combined. Gathered in a tight circle, like Uni-Scouts at a Saturday night bonfire, are 10 of the NEWFOUNDLANDER’s crewmen. There is an object/i.e. device in the midst of the fallen bodies, five feet in diameter and eight feet tall. Two corpses are closer than the rest with what looks like tools in their hands, as if repairing something fragile.fork-001

While bending over to relieve one of them of his tool, “Where do you think this goes,” he beckons Celeste to come join him.

Sampson manipulates the tuning fork shaped instrument, twist it at various angle and degrees. He even goes as far as trying to shove it into the middle, where the two cones intersect, in the middle, but the smooth surfaces are not arrow-downreceptive.

“Maybe it’s not a good idea to poke that thing around, not knowing what the result will be?”press_button_receive_bacon

“You have a point; this has more and different juice than the magical-meal machine.”

The “thingy” Sam is handling inadvertently drops to the deck of the engine room from waist level.…..


THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 82


 

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Science Fiction Coming to WIF – THE RETURN TRIP

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Science Fiction Coming to WIF

Science_Fiction

– THE RETURN TRIP

Retrun Trip Ad

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Grab some caffeine, open your trusty and ubiquitous computing device and take 5 minutes to read THE RETURN TRIP – every day except Saturdays at WIF.

Below is the “Query” summary sent to literary agents and publishers. This is a good ol’ fashioned Science Fiction book. Set in the near future, it is easy to relate to and somewhat plausible.

 

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THE RETURN TRIP

The Space Family McKinney

Space Colony 1 is a stepping-stone, Earth’s best chance to leave the Solar System – There is a family of space explorers named McKinney. Join them as they colonize the planet Mars…..and are hijacked to the stars.

science fiction from Gwendolyn Hoff

Earth attempts to colonize Mars, but the McKinneys get an unexpected trip to Orion’s Belt instead.

BACKGROUND: THE RETURN TRIP is a book that I wrote in the mid-1980s. In the face of current events concerning the privatization of space exploration and specifically recruiting a married couple to start a colony on Mars, I decided to reach back to my unpublished 1st draft and update my original work. The Challenger shuttle disaster took away my steam at the time, having already included some Space Shuttle trouble in the book.


Astronauts Sampson & Celeste McKinney are first to populate Space Colony 1, a collaborative orbiting space station, towed to Mars by a drone. The eventual goal, once the colony is up and running is to bring in small waves of other colonists and then establish a colony on the now well-known surface of Mars.

But while the McKinneys are down exploring the surface with their lander Tycho, a non-participating foreign power destroys the orbiting Colony, thereby stranding them. They lose their ability to communicate with Earth.

In survival mode and awaiting an anticipated rescue mission (the shuttle Mayflower), the couple stumbles upon an alien vessel, buried in centuries of space dust. To their surprise and convenience, its life support is still functioning. This is good, especially because Celeste McKinney has conceived a child during their 50 million mile trip to Mars.

Just as they settle in and wait for help, the ship  (they name NEWFOUNDLANDER) is recalled by its alien builders and it takes off for home…..at 2x the speed-of-light.

Some 9 light-years (4.5 Earth) later— they arrive at a binary star system located in Orion’s belt

— The Mayflower rescue mission discovers an empty Tycho 

In the meantime, Earth starts its own speed-of-light (SOL) program and McKinney sons Deke & Gus are now pilots in it—but their science is flawed and The Space Family McKinney is reunited on the planet Eridanus, in the star system Epsilon Eridani.

THE RETURN TRIP is so titled because “the end” is only the beginning; as in the year 2051 the United States begins a new era, at the S-O-L, outside its Solar System, and out into The Milky Way.

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GwendolynHoff.com / writingisfun-damental.com

BOOKS PREVIOUSLY BLOGGED (and available thru Episode Catalog links below):

CONSTANCE CARAWAY  P.I.

ALPHA OMEGA M.D.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR (1896-1959)  (ISBN 978 1 4691 9018)


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 261

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 261

…Gus peers out of the pink sky, wondering exactly just which star out there has that one certain blue jewel in orbit around it…

 

A loving father cups Gus’ face with his hands, massaging his cheeks, wiping away the tears. “I want you to know that it took me a very long time to realize that my {Freudian slip}… I mean our, return would do more harm than good. If we go back now, with everything we have learned, we will screw up everything, every timeline, and we would be using technology that the world cannot properly handle.

Freudian Slip

 

“Gus, it took a monumental effort to cooperate enough to colonize Mars and even then the Koreans were compelled to screw things up. How can we be trusted to crisscross the galaxy?”

“Now, that you know the secrets, why the hell not? We could use the improvements to SOL, fix all that molecule crap and take it from there. You are selling mankind short, aren’t you?” He is expressing the hope of the current generation.

“No, no Gus, you’re not getting it. These Eridanians lost fifty of their astronauts, just like that,” he snaps his fingers. “The very NEWFOUNDLANDER that saved our lives was lost and abandoned. But they learned from that screw-up, four thousand damned Earth-years ago. No other planet or galaxy gave them the technology for that ship, they built it themselves. Trial and error is a Universal precept.”

“Earth-years Dad? You sound like they have you brainwashed.”

“Did I not mention that they brought you back from the dead? Don’t be a pudknocker!”

Gus peers out of the pink sky, wondering exactly just which star out there has that one certain blue jewel in orbit around it.

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah, you bet…………” Not entirely true.

But life goes on.

Back at the pleasant, earthly living quarters for the first such of the specie to inhabit the sextet planetary system of Epsilon Eridani {two stars-two planets-two moons}, once again are emptied of McKinneys, as is their custom to dine with the native Eridanians, who are enamored by those wacky humans and their stimulating company.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 257

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 257

…I knew Crip would come after us…

 

“This is the ship we named NEWFOUNDLANDER, they call it Explorer here. Your mother and I stumbled on it, buried in 40 centuries of Martian dust and it came from these people,” he points at Cerella like she built it.

“”Without it,” Celeste adds, “I hope you realize that we may not have lasted long enough to greet the New Mayflower.”

Mars

“And we had to step over Cerella’s dead ancestors to get in….”

“Sampson McKinney!” Celeste warns. Cerella is amused at their interaction.

“Sorry Queenie,” he continues, “but once we got in and found out life support was still operating, we had it made in the shade; air, water, food {well their version of it}, everything we needed to wait out the rescue mission. I knew Crip would come after us.

“Do you know what happened to Colony?” Deke wonders why the issue had not been broached.

“Frankly it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“A Korean satellite.”

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Whether mischief-maker or meteor, no differences Deker, but it definitely was an ‘oh-shit’ moment!”

“We just had one of those, Dad,” Gus recounts.

“I bet you did Gussy, I bet you did! Hey, let’s take you on a tour of Explorer, our home away from home for the first six years of Sister Sammy’s life.”

Fingering the perpendicular/parallel lines, just as she had done on Mars twenty-two years ago, Celeste ushers the group in. It looked lived in. The signs that she, Sampson, and Deimostra had indeed spent considerable time here were all over, including Sammy’s first attempts at art.

Space art

 

For a while, when they were allowed, the guys are preoccupied by the mechanics of curiosity; looking at every instrument and device and discussing possible theoretical function, among themselves like kids in a candy store. Sampson has the expertise to correctively intervene, dispelling excusably errant notions from these SOL newbies.

As they tour the more boring lower sections of the Eridanus Explorer, Deimostra takes her turn as tour guide, “This is the room I was born in.”

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 256

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 256

…“This is the ship we named NEWFOUNDLANDER, they call it Explorer here…

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

“Doesn’t that girl talk like she’s not from these parts?”

“It’s us that’s not from these parts and now that you mention it, she does look like she is from San Francisco or maybe New Orleans… yeah, I’m thinking Mardi Gras.”

“Boys, you are definitely alive for real and 10 light-years from Earth—–you were right when you guessed Epsilon Gus, in Orion’s Constellation.” Father Sam tries to center their thoughts on the present.

orion

“There is no way we could have come this far on Stellar Explorer! Even if we would have had enough fissionable material, it would have taken ten years.” He looks over at Deke. “Hell, you haven’t aged a minute.” He looks at Sampson and Celeste. “And how did you guys get here, sweet Jesus, you don’t look a day older than us!”

Definite signs of skepticism waft through the pink mist of Eridanus.

“How did you get off Mars for that matter? The New Mayflower reported that Tycho was empty, it was like you evaporated. We even had a freaking memorial service for you!” Gus is having the most trouble wrapped his mind around the concept.

Cerella decides to give up her attempts at communicating in the official language of the United States, her mind drifting directly to Deke McKinney, while Sampson leads them back to the Spaceflight Expository.

Deke is intrigued and receptive, taking Cerella into his cerebral depths.

Dad does his best to explain things to Gus while pointing at it like it was his own, “This is the ship we named NEWFOUNDLANDER, they call it Explorer here. Your mother and I stumbled on it, buried in 40 centuries of Martian dust and it came from these people,” he points at Cerella like she built it.

“”Without it,” Celeste adds, “I hope you realize that we may not have lasted to greet the New Mayflower.”

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 256

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 250

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 250

…how many times had their sons looked at Orion the constellation, unaware of their parent’s presence, there 10 light-years distant…

The huge sliding door, which looks like it weighs a million pounds, unseals like a floating bee, leading to the spaceship “NOT FOR SALE” showroom.

That opening, for Celeste and Cerella along with Deimostra, heralds Steller Explorer’s imminent arrival. Of these three bounding beauties, it is difficult to tell who is more excited, their silky white robed trains straining to keep pace.

Ekcello was already aware {of course he was}, Sammy Mac guesses as much {dumb luck}, but it is Ekcello who has poured cold H2O on Cerella’s parade.

Disappointment

#I think it best that our newest visitors be restored slowly. They will be greeted by the McKinneys alone. We cannot have them reacting irrationally#

#But it is I who has made the necessary preparations for them. I am disappointed at not being allowed to greet them in person#

 

#Disappointment is futile, cherished one. You will have your chance once they have fully grasped their fate#

The McKinney women reach out and touch her empathetically. Sampson shrugs his shoulders; just another telepathically shared moment that passes him by.

#We hope that your reunion goes well# Ekcello and Cerella float away, the latter is let down for a different reason..

 

These newly unplanned duties discombobulate the McKinneys momentarily. Just as Deke & Gus had given up all hope of seeing mother and father again, likewise mother and father have already dealt with their grief. How many times they had longed to send the equivalent of a letter to their sons, recounting their story of survival; first on Mars, then aboard the NEWFOUNDLANDER, and finally on the misty world named Eridanus?

mars.jpgNewfoundler 4Towers

And how many times had their sons looked at Orion the constellation, unaware of their parent’s presence, there 10 light-years distant?

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

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 250

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 219

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 219

…that first day, the initial encounter will not be forgotten by McKinney or Eridanian alike…

 

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

First Contact

…………….that first day, the initial encounter will not be forgotten by McKinney or Eridanian alike. Imagine what was going through Ekcello’s formidable mind, when he and their manner of historical society expect to inspect a spacecraft, which has been gone for thousands of years, only to find alien Earthlings onboard.

They feel the accompanying gall of being taken by surprise. That they could not focus their telepathic powers on one of their own products clipping along at twice the speed-of-light, sticks in their craw, if they have one. Or did they simply forget to check? They are not a mindless bunch.

 

And by any stretch of their boundless imagination could they have guessed that anything other than an automated system, not a live female Earthling, was behind the curiously engrossing music they had been interacting with for a month leading up to this day.

A grouping of four male and one female Eridanians (not NEWFOUNDLIANS – the McKinney label), clad in long, whiter than white, robes of varying design, moving in such a flowing manner that one cannot detect the action of bodily motion, have come upon this historical treasure. Their mouths were not moving, but there was obvious interaction among them; positive and negative head movements, extended arms and pointing fingers were all signs of Eridanian back & forth.

 

A scientific team, marked by the unique instruments they were carrying, preceded Ekcello’s group and their hectic-hands-on approach.

Now they are nobody’s fool, well aware of the Explorer’s (Explorer not NEWFOUNDLANDER – the McKinney naming) misfortune, though they were not versed as to why the crew had perished instantaneously, back in the day of cumbersome space travel. Virtual immortality has since been achieved in the intervening four millennia, and that outside influences can disrupt life, is foreign to them.

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 219

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