THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 5

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 5

…Commander McKinney’s first step in real gravity resembles that of a newborn colt…

Newborn Colt by Robert J Bryan

Newborn Colt by Robert J Bryan

Like the superb team they are, precisely the reason they were chosen to inaugurate the Colony, the McKinneys {of space family fame} are moving to advance history. Sampson brings their modified space shuttle into docking position, unleashing thruster blasts for fine tuning. The massive craft floats in with deceptive ease, belying its gross tonnage of 90,000.

independance-dayOnce in place, they are able to shut down the weary guidance systems of the deep-space shuttle, not to be reactivated until it makes way for the second wave of colonists, another 6.2 months from now (which will be 7/4/2030—Independence Day). It will be a long wait, but there will be no shortage of things to do. Space Colony 1 is a state-of-the-art scientific laboratory and this particular pair of space veterans can make these instruments dance.

Sampson frees himself from the pilot’s chair gladly. Albeit quite comfortable, the seat has his body’s imprint in it, but it will be good to have a change of scenery. He and Celeste are looking forward to stretching out underused muscle and ligament.

After extended space travel, this first foray into it, space medicine experts are giddy by having this look into the human physiology aspect. Commander McKinney’s first step in real gravity resembles that of a newborn colt. It is embarrassing to stagger helplessly with almost everyone on Earth watching live or on tape delay. He shrugs off Celeste’s chuckles to regain his balance.

beauty-crown-001Not unexpectedly, the sleek figure of Lieutenant Commander McKinney does not fare any better than her mate, but looks prettier doing it. From most any point of view, her Miss Sweden 2014 crown would not have tumbled from her head, not like her astronaut headgear. She tries to corral her long platinum blond hair, throwing her head back, trying to act like nothing had happened.

In the process, she tips over sideways, puts out her left hand out to brace herself… thereby slicing open her palm on a digital gyroscope display. Blood flows through the epidermis immediately, sending Sampson to the nearest station first aid kiosk for gauze and sterilization material. He is terribly concerned, yet calmly tends the ugly wound.display

“Don’t think that this will keep you off the job,” using his worst bedside manner. “It should be okay before we need it.”

“I certainly hope so… it’s just a flesh wound.” Celeste is confused by his prognosis.

“I was talking about the monitor!”

Sometimes he treats her a little too much like “one of the guys”. It is advisable for him to display more spousal compassion.

“Did you assign us separate cabins Commander McKinney sir?” She is kidding……….mostly.


THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 5


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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 4

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 4

…Space Colony 1 has all the appearance of being worth every budget-busting Kronor, Rupee, Shekel, Dinar, Peso, Pound, Ruble and Euro, camels or cocoa beans

Image result for money artwork

Celeste McKinney hurdles mission business to inquire, “How are the boys Braden?”

“Your angels still have their halos, though slightly askew. They wanted to talk to you guys, but I told them they’d have to wait until you powered-up the Colony. In fact, if you do not adjust for the iso-magnetic field, we’ll have to pick up your pieces.”

“I’m on it Colony Control. All instruments are online—preparing to enter synchronous orbit with Space Colony 1—reducing speed to 11,000 km/hr—orbit set at 110 kilometers,” adds Sampson.

The Mars Colony’s main superstructure is a hulking 400 meters in diameter and 100 meters tall, with spiny offshoots that makes it appear to spinning like a toy top in its final few revolutions. It is that slow centrifugal motion that produces its own gravity, as well as placement above the Martian wispy atmosphere.

This multi-trillion dollar project, to which most of the developed free world, has made noteworthy input in people and money, has all the appearance of being worth every budget-busting Kronor, Rupee, Shekel, Dinar, Peso, Pound, Ruble and Euro, camels or cocoa beans. Years of planning, check and double-checking design and computation, has the world on the brink of the future outside of Earth and much closer to probing the rest of the Milky Way galaxy.

Like the superb team they are, precisely the reason they were chosen to inaugurate the Colony, the McKinneys {of space family fame} are moving to advance history. Sampson brings their modified space shuttle into docking position, unleashing thruster blasts for fine tuning. The massive craft floats in with deceptive ease, belying its gross tonnage of 90,000.

chronicle-001


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 4


page 6

THE RETURN TRIP – Complete Episode Catalog

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The one-stop shop for the entire post library of

(scroll down for episodes)

THE RETURN TRIP

 “The Space Family McKinney”

Episode 1    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6xV      Chapter 1   The Red Planet

Episode 2    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yu

Episode 3    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yD

Episode 4    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6yS

Episode 5    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6zh

Episode 6    https://wp.me/p2MBwN-6A2

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

Episode 11

Episode 12

Episode 13

Episode 14

Episode 15a    Chapter 2   Complications

Episode 15b

Episode 16

Episode 17

Episode 18

Episode 19

Episode 20

Episode 21

Episode 22

Episode 23

Episode 24

Episode 25

Episode 26  

Episode 27

Episode 28

Episode 29

Episode 30

Episode 31

Episode 32

Episode 33

Episode 34

Episode 35

Episode 36

Episode 37

Episode 38

Episode 39

Episode 40

Episode 41

Episode 42

Episode 43

Episode 44

Episode 45

Episode 46      Chapter 3   Up a Creek

Episode 47

Episode 48

Episode 49

Episode 50

Episode 51

Episode 52

Episode 53

Episode 54

Episode 55

Episode 56

Episode 57      Chapter 4   Space Family Confidential

Episode 58

Episode 59

Episode 60

Episode 61

Episode 62

Episode 63

Episode 64

Episode 65

Episode 66

Episode 67

Episode 68

Episode 69

Episode 70

Episode 71

Episode 72

Episode 73

Episode 74

Episode 75      Chapter 5   Change-up

Episode 76

Episode 77

Episode 78

Episode 79

Episode 80

Episode 81

Episode 82

Episode 83

Episode 84

Episode 85

Episode 86

Episode 87

Episode 88

Episode 89

Episode 90

Episode 91

Episode 92

Episode 93

Episode 94

Episode 95

Episode 96

Episode 97

Episode 98

Episode 99

Episode 100

Episode 101

Episode 102

Episode 103

Episode 104

Episode 105

Episode 106

Episode 107    Chapter 6   Timeout

Episode 108

Episode 109

Episode 110

Episode 111

Episode 112

Episode 113

Episode 114

Episode 115

Episode 116

Episode 117

Episode 118

Episode 119

Episode 120

Episode 121

Episode 122

Episode 123

Episode 124

Episode 125

Episode 126

Episode 127

Episode 128

Episode 129

Episode 130

Episode 131

Episode 132

Episode 133

Episode 134

Episode 135

Episode 136

Episode 137

Episode 138

Episode 139

Episode 140    Chapter 7   Pick a Pew

Episode 141

Episode 142

Episode 143

Episode 144

Episode 145

Episode 146

Episode 147

Episode 148

Episode 149

Episode 150

Episode 151

Episode 152

Episode 153

Episode 154

Episode 155

Episode 156

Episode 157

Episode 158      Chapter 8   Going Somewhere? (very far)

Episode 159

Episode 160

Episode 161

Episode 162

Episode 163

Episode 164

Episode 165

Episode 166

Episode 167

Episode 168

Episode 169

Episode 170

Episode 171

Episode 172

Episode 173

Episode 174

Episode 175

Episode 176

Episode 177

Episode 178

Episode 179

Episode 180

Episode 181

Episode 182

Episode 183

Episode 184

Episode 185

Episode 186

Episode 187

Episode 188

Episode 189

Episode 190

Episode 191

Episode 192

Episode 193

Episode 194

Episode 195

Episode 196

Episode 197

Episode 198

Episode 199

Episode 200

Episode 201

Episode 202

Episode 203

Episode 204

Episode 205

Episode 206

Episode 207

Episode 208

Episode 209

Episode 210

Episode 211

Episode 212

Episode 213

Episode 214      Chapter 9  Meanwhile Back @ the Ranch

Episode 215

Episode 216

Episode 217

Episode 218

Episode 219

Episode 220

Episode 221

Episode 222

Episode 223

Episode 224

Episode 225

Episode 226

Episode 227

Episode 228

Episode 229

Episode 230

Episode 231

Episode 232

Episode 233

Episode 234

Episode 235

Episode 236

Episode 237

Episode 238

Episode 239

Episode 240

Episode 241

Episode 242

Episode 243    Chapter 10  Where are we?

Episode 244

Episode 245

Episode 246    Chapter 10.5  Company is Coming

Episode 247

Episode 248

Episode 249

Episode 250

Episode 251

Episode 252

Episode 253

Episode 254

Episode 255

Episode 256

Episode 257

Episode 258

Episode 259

Episode 260

Episode 261

Episode 262

Episode 263

Episode 264

Episode 265

Episode 266

Episode 267

Episode 268

Episode 269

Episode 270

Episode 271     Eleventh and Final Chapter

Episode 272

Episode 273

Episode 274

Episode 275

Episode 276

Episode 277

Next to Last

The End

“Get to know the people, places and things.”

Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for the sequel – THE NULL SOLUTION

NULL SOLUTION-001

 

©Copyright Gwendolyn Hoff 2020 All Rights Reserved

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 1

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 1

CHAPTER ONE

The Red Planet

For Sampson and Celeste McKinney, this is a proud moment, one that makes their 8 month year journey to this space-place worth every blasted boring minute…

Return Trip 3-16-001

The steadily enlarging sphere, which has been a fixture on their view screen for what seemed to be a fortnight, has silently made its presence known. The once reddish blur is now a well-defined reality that needs to be reckoned with. It is, after all, their destination.

From behind the back side of the fourth planet in the Earth’s solar system, an enormous man-made object adds space-colony-1-001itself to this pristine picture, giving them their first glimpse of Space Colony 1 in space; they had seen it last 38 months ago at the cooperative space dock, the last rivets being set in place. This grandest of all achievements of mankind has been towed by a drone-hauler to its present orbit around Mars.

For Sampson and Celeste McKinney, this is a proud moment, one that makes their 8 month year journey to this space-place worth every blasted boring minute. Here in the year 2030, a decade of secrecy has come to an end.

 

Note from Gwen: “Science Fiction was my first inspiration in my quest to write books. THE RETURN TRIP is the first of a series that features the Space Family McKinneythe first family of space exploration for NASA as it efforts to colonize Mars. As it was with ALPHA OMEGA M.D. and CONSTANCE CARAWAY P.I., the book is broken down into daily “episodes” w/an “Episode Catalog” to make the reading experience easier.


THE RETURN TRIP

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Science Fiction Coming to WIF

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Science Fiction Coming to WIF

THE RETURN TRIP

Science_Fiction

Grab some caffeine, open your trusty and ubiquitous computing device and take 5 (or 10) minutes to read THE RETURN TRIP – every day – except Saturdays at WIF.

THE RETURN TRIP

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.

This is Book One of a three book series about the Space Family McKinney. The Null Solution will be next, followed by Alternity. Every chapter is good, clean Science Fiction.


Science Fiction Coming to WIF

Return Trip-001

– THE RETURN TRIP

 

 

The NULL Solution = Episode 197

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The NULL Solution = Episode 197

…I believe that the McKinneys are seriously concerned about bringing back a viral agent that may be able to morph into a pandemic on Earth…

Crip may want to run this by the decontamination team.”

“The kid just needs a stiff shot of caffeine. That will perk him up!”

“We cannot take the chance. You message Roy while I do some lab work.”

As it would happen, the message meant for the director of NASA seeps into the cracks of bureaucracy and into the hands of a snotty-nosed underling.

-He reads.

THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH JOYNER. NOT EXACTLY SURE WHAT IT IS. CELESTE IS LOOKING INTO POSSIBLE LINK TO BUG THAT KILLED THE CREW ON MARS, WAY BACK WHEN. SEE YOU SOON – SAM

-He reacts.

Instead of delivering the {For Your Eyes Only} message to Roy Crippen, who would keep it under his hat for the sake of secrecy, the staffer shares it his colleagues while he is on his morning break. “Look at this, guys,” he proudly flashes the rare communication from the returning McKinney mission, “you don’t see one of these every day… it’s from Sampson McKinney himself!”

He thought he was reading about a little insect bite or something. The breakroom sees it differently, especially the medical officer in charge of infectious space threats.

“I’ve read about the 2030 Tycho/Space Colony 1 mission… they never were able to isolate the precise cause of the alien disaster. You don’t lose 50+ crewmen and ignore the cause. I believe that the McKinneys are seriously concerned about bringing back a viral agent that may be able to morph into a pandemic on Earth.”

“That is some farfetched theory, man.”

“Hey, do you want two aliens coming to Earth and spreading a deadly disease?” The room goes silent. “It’s my job to prevent such things and that’s what I am going to do!”

The horses have just got out of the barn.

By the time Roy tries closing the barn door, it is too late. Varying forms of Sam McKinney’s cautionary tale explode across every single known Internet medium and then some. And just like the Collapsar Axis invasion/panic/narrative, anti-alien sentiment suddenly trumps the feel-good homecoming story.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 197


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The NULL Solution = Episode 150

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The NULL Solution = Episode 150

…Deimostra has gone from talking love with her mom, to crunching numbers with the object of her affection…

“I’ve been tossing around the numbers,” the infamous Skaldic postulates. “I have made a Image result for juggling numbers gifmap…” he points, “… that is Earth, this is the planet Mars and way over here is our star system.” The graphics are scary lifelike. “At each location I have made a list of your family members and when they were there. I was working off the list you gave to me.”

“Yep, that is pretty much it.” Deimostra can only guess/wonder about Related imagea brother, sister-in-law and niece she has never met. “When you lay it out this way, it makes it seem like we’re all together.”

He can see that she is tearing up, moving closer to comfort her. She lays her head on his shoulder. The moment freezes.

She composes herself, “How about the NEWFOUNDLANDER? That is Image result for juggling numbers gifwhere I was born.”

“Ah, good point! That is where I have been going wrong!” He adds an image of the ship that brought the McKinneys to Eridanus. He adjusts the figures to fit the equation:

2 + 1 = 6

6 – 2 = 9

0 – 1 = 0

“You will have to stick with me on this, Deimostra.” He enters the following data:

**2 + 1 = 6 – (Sampson Celeste + Deimostra) in space = (Sampson, Celeste, Deimostra, Deke, Cerella, Joyner) on Eridanus. “2 + 1 = 6”

**6 – 2 = 9 (Sampson, Celeste, Deimostra, Deke, Cerella, Joyner) Eridanus minus (Cerella, Joyner) = Sampson, Celeste, Deimostra, Deke, Cerella, Joyner) Eridanus minus (Cerella, Joyner) would be a McKinney family reunion. “6 – 2 = 9”

**0 – 1 = 0 (Null minus Skaldic) = Zero. “0 – 1 = 0”

“That makes my head hurt, Skaldic.”

“All the numbers add up. Each represents some connection to your family… it also explains the flawed mathematics.”

Related image“Except the zero segments, 0 minus 1 is negative 1.”

Does not the word “null” mean “without value” or “zero”?”

“Okay, I’ll give you that. But what does null mean in your language?”

“The word “Null” is a designation, not a description. It is Earth’s meaning that makes it a derogatory term. The riddle maker has framed its solution with the Terran system as a foundation,” he concludes. “I can no longer consider myself a true Null.” He faintly laments having to be lifted to Gifted status, in order to restore the essential ancient Null Spirit in the TSF capability of the ship Defender.

 “Six McKinneys on Eridanus, nine McKinneys all told in the universe and my separation from my society satisfies the zero result.”

It is as easy as 1-2-3, maybe 4.

“My head still hurts.” She has gone from talking love with her mom, to crunching numbers with the object of her affection. Love = Headaches. Perhaps that is amalgam she should come away with.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 150


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