THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 103
…“Is that the last one?” It so happens that Sampson’s mother’s brother’s nephew was an undertaker back on Earth…
— With Sampson obsessed by the microcosm/engine room, Celeste’s medical training has shouldered the grizzly task of logging/identifying the many vacuous uniforms that held the long-dead Newfoundlian crew. She was determined to give them a proper burial outside the ship, if that was their custom or not. “We will not lose our humanity out here Sam. If Earth’s flag is to be planted here, we will have given a good account of our kind.”
Sammy Mac does not spend all his time tinkering with other civilizations high-tech machinations, lest he ignore his part in the burial process or his marital good fortune. He does the digging; he does the hauling he gathers rocks for marking the mass grave, made to hold the four score Newfoundlians in total.
“Is that the last one?” It so happens that Sampson’s mother’s brother’s nephew was an undertaker back on Earth and young Sam would help with the family business while visiting. That experience gave him the inspiration to do something else with his life, like join the Air Force & ultimately NASA.
“Yes and no,” she answers.
“Come on Celeste, my bad back is flaring up.”
“You don’t have a bad back and I saved back the one we deemed as Newfoundlian Commander for posterity, he is in their supposed infirmary.
“Also, there is one cabin I could not get into. From what I can tell, the door is jammed.”
“Let’s take a look at it; I don’t want to have to do this again.”
“You were so busy in the engine room, I didn’t tell you about a lower level I found,” she admits as she guides them down a hidden passage.
“But we are on ground level??????”
“I know…….watch your……..”
“…head. It’s pretty cramped down here.”
“Thanks for the warning pal,” he rubs his forehead.
“I figure this is life-support and storage, notice the ducting?”
“My head did.”
At the end of the narrow hall, they come to the jammed door. It was like every other one on the ship, but it does respond to Celeste’s black onyx decoder-scrambler-door-opener or even flinch at the pinging note A of the tuning fork.
“I’ve tried every code I know, or have guessed,” she demonstrates thumb movements she has used before.
A typically male reaction to a stuck door is to use the escalating force method, which his Biblical (minus the “p”) namesake exhibits time and again; this Sampson does not have long hair or the strength needed here.
“Just a second Honey,” Celeste pauses to clear her throat. From out of her voice box comes out an acceptable middle C.
Low and behold the utilitarian slide-by opens w-i-d-e.