THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 95

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 95

…Subscribing to the “strength in numbers” axiom, the guest list has been expanded to include a variety of acquaintances, from the past, present and those not met

edgar-wallace-entertains-a-few-of-his-acquaintances

by HENRY MAYO BATEMAN

These past 2 action-packed days, from the point when the McKinneys attached the deep-space Chronicle to Space Colony, then go and pile on the current theatrics, will distort a person’s concept of the passage of time. Plus or minus 48 hours have drawn 2 days out to what seems to be a week, weaving and knitting every second into a patchwork quilt…

By the grace of God, the succeeding identical period of 48 hrs. streaks by and King Ranch logobefore you know it Wednesday 9 January 2030 A.D. has arrived. For visitors to Braden’s King Ranch, they are treated to the atmosphere of 19th Century American Old West, the date and place chosen to celebrate the combined birth of Deke McKinney, born 6 January 2015 and Gus McKinney born 11 January 2016.

The event was conceived out of love by the ranch’s owner to ease the pain of separation, for both children and parents alike. If everything had gone “according to space-birthday-001Hoyle”, Sampson & Celeste would have been back aboard the Colony and through the miracle of accelerated space communication, they would have been linked to the party by voice and by sight.

Regrettably, Mom & Dad are otherwise occupied.

barbecue_pin_up

Gus’ BBQ Fantasy Guest

Subscribing to the “strength in numbers” axiom, the guest list has been expanded to include a variety of acquaintances, from the past, present and those not met. Friends, relatives, well-wishers and those pesky party crashers have gathered at King Ranch. The menagerie gathers around BBQ hour, which could be any random time of day, and has a few surprise guests; Grandma Savta Bergestrom from Sweden (the country) and Aunt Sassy McKinney, Sampson’s crazy Scottish/Irish sister from Great(er) Britain.

The turnout of GLF and LSC personnel is impressive, with the boys having grown up in front of their eyes as they tagged along with Mom & Dad over the years. Admirals and Generals have reason to be jealous of this Who’s Who crowd. There are two late arrivers to the festivities: ??? + ???


THE RETURN TRIP

snows-bbq-jon-flaming

by Jon Flaming

Episode 95


page 90

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 199

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 199

…”Ajax Caraway, that definitely has a ring to it,” therein lays the root of Constance still being single…

“What is the Saturday Special?”

“Hasenpfeffer stew,” counters Polly Pabst.

“What kind of stew is that?”

“German for good, let’s go dear, it’s…I’ll explain it in the car…we’ll be seeing you again Polly.” Ace predicts that they will be back. “Did you ever have a pet rabbit?”

“No, we had a parakeet.”

“Then order the meat loaf, if they have it”Luft's-001

Not far down the road, tucked into a lightly forested foothill, they locate Luft’s Route 67 Inn. It is a “motel” by every definition: 10 or so rooms on ground level, each with their own door.

The kindly innkeeper takes their money and passes a register Ace’s way. Mr. and Mrs. Caraway are now official, if not unofficially married guests in Eagle, in the short time before heading into Cooney (Oconomowoc’s  odd nickname).

“Ajax Caraway, that definitely has a ring to it,” therein lays the root of Constance still being single. If she could figure out a way to keep her surname, maybe she could bridge that commitment disconnect.

Once you wing your way north out of Eagle, the terrain flattens out, carved smooth by ice age glaciers. The forests thin out, exposing acres of corn fields and large fenced in pastures that nourish hundreds of Holsteins, the four-legged machines whose milk help make this America’s Dairyland.

pabst-farms-signIf your destination is Oconomowoc Lake, you never do make it to the city proper, having to veer off of Hwy. 67 to less obvious road choices. Bodies of water dictate where roads go and if you come upon a fork in that road, you are given the opportunity to make a wrong turn.

To the right, you will pass away from the lake and the fields of Pabst Farms, 1500 acres of working agriculture that acts as a buffer zone; the Pabst family and Al Capone’s lawyer are tucked away on sprawling acreage.

Hang a left and you will soon see the waters of one of the cleanest fresh water lakes in the state. Sure, the winter’s ice is still floating off shore, but the Caraways can understand why this hidden gem is the destination for meat packers, brewery owners and gangsters; Armour, Miller, Uihlein and Capone; mansion after mansion line the hills along Beach Road, which runs along the western shore.

Right before you round the corner again, just as Ace’s friend’s directions say, P.A. Valentine’s Danforth Lodge sits high above, the royal landlord to the rest of the lake’s residences.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Oconomowoc Lake Club

Forever Mastadon


page 167

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 88

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 88

 …Eddie notices a black Cadillac ironically similar to the one that ran them off the road…

Raring to go, Eddie Dombroski has them on the way to O’Malley’s Garage in a flash. He is on a mission of his own now and there is a steely resolve in his demeanor. His turns, left or right, are crisp, his acceleration away from stoplights lively.

He is on the hunt for the woman he has been married to for six years; she had patiently waited out his service in the Army, four year conscription during the height of the Big War that included him taking a bullet for the cause of world freedom. She is a great cook but “couldn’t get one going in her own oven” he shared with the girls once, referring to her inability to bear children. What he failed to mention was the reason for his Purple Heart; the bullet that took out one of his testicles.

“When we get near the shop, let us out a few blocks away, so we can sneak ourselves peak, get the lay of the land,” cautions Constance. “And park the car out of sight on a side-street.”

It is a sound plan; evaluate then act.

“One more stoplight ladies,” he tells them. Using his keen cab driver far-ward vision he notices a black Cadillac ironically similar to the one that ran them off the road on the way back from Tolentine. It is parked at the side entrance to O’Malley’s. Inadvisably, he does not share this useful tidbit with his passengers, letting them out two blocks to the south as he was instructed.

Without fanfare Eddie steps on the gas of their sedan, charging up behind the black car, blocking it in. He jumps out the passenger side door and storms into the building.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 78

The NULL Solution = Episode 39

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The NULL Solution = Episode 39

…You can knock Cerella over with a single solitary puff of misty air. Not in all her upbringing had she ever had contact with the Null…

Of all the inhabitants of Eridanus, the heretofore shunted Null are nearer to humanity, in contrast to the others. With no robes, with visible legs to stand on, they are not whitely colored – rather individually so. On top of that, they are downright approachable.

Skaldic and Offingga see the Defender slide through the massive opening of the Spaceship Expository and they are there to be the official welcoming committee. They stand tall & confident in their newfound independence. Surely they would not be punished for any acts of insolence.

You can knock Cerella over with a single solitary puff of misty air. Not in all her upbringing had she ever had contact with the Null. Now, and that covers considerable Eridanian cycles, she does, not knowing where to look, how to act or what to say.

The youngest McKinney snatches the honor, “I do not believe we have been introduced; my name is Deimostra Samantha McKinney. I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”

‘What a dry fresh breath of air are these people of Earth,’ Skaldic thinks, not expecting such simplicity. “They call me Skaldic the Null and my companion is Offingga {translation: the jabberer}.” 

That spontaneous Null irony whizzes past without notice.

“How is it that we haven’t met before now? We {she points to Mom, Dad, and Deke} landed on your planet many cycles ago. Surely we should have crossed paths.”

“The Null tower is on the empty side of Eridanus.”

“There are others like you… so where are they?”

“Many more and it is best that they stay in our tower.”

“You act so different than Cerella and her father Ekcello.”

“We do not possess the ability to communicate with our minds.”

“I can teach you. If my brother can learn, certainly you can.”

“We are inferior beings in the eyes of the Gifted, unfit for interaction.”

Cerella slams the door on the increasingly uncomfortable exchange.

Image result for door slamming gif


The NULL Solution =

Episode 39


page 44

The NULL Solution = Episode 29

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The NULL Solution = Episode 29

…Prez Roy is back in the swing of ‘retirement’, cleared by his physicians and bolstered by the best meds and nanotechnology available…

YouTube Video about Nano-

Gus is dealing with the startling revelations presented to him by a family he did not know still existed.

“What do I do with “this”, Mindy?”

Mindy McKinney has been waiting patiently for their date-night. “You do as your mother says.

What is there to lose? Keep an eye on the secure NASA database and hope the other geeks don’t miss something important.”

“I have a sister that I never met,” Gus was blown away by the other “this”. “And how do I present this information to Roy? He was 2 ticks from dying and now he hears another of my visions?”

“He trusts you Gus. He didn’t poo-poo your last story. In fact, didn’t he tell you that he smelled Deke’s cologne inside SEx?”

THE END of: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Back to Earth Part Too

The first rule of maintaining a good marriage is listening to your spouse… and doing as they say.

Gus McKinney is wise; Roy Crippen, not so much.

“It hasn’t been 12 hours, Roy,” the former Francine-Bouchette and First Lady raises an obligatory objection to his debriefing of the last SOL mission. For all she knows, God struck him down for lying to the current President of The United States. Surely there will be a Senate Select Committee appointed to investigate on who-knew-what-when. “Why didn’t I marry that TV executive in Houston?”

The lady doth complain too much.

Despite of his rocky episode, Prez Roy is back in the swing of ‘retirement’, cleared by his physicians and bolstered by the best meds and nanotechnology available. Ex-presidents are kept alive at all costs. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush {#39 and #41) were sustained until their 90s, but that was then and this is now. If you do not live to 100 these days, you were victim of one of the following:

  • Fast Food
  • Accident
  • Murder
  • Suicide
  • Starvation or living on the United Korean Peninsula {the same thing}


The NULL Solution =

Episode 29


page 33

Allegiance vs. Protest – The Great Divide (Op-Ed)

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Allegiance vs. Protest – The Great Divide

…A mixed(up) message…

One Woman’s Opinions

It usually takes something BIG to draw me into the open. I usually play things pretty close to my chest, my chest being the last place people would look. But the events of the past few days, specifically the to-do about protesting football players and a megalomaniac in the Oval Office.

It certainly was not Mike Pence. He was out of the office at the time, probably hosting a luncheon for a delegation stumping to make Puerto Rico the 51st state of our present (dis)union. They need not bother, because in my last book “The Null Solution”, sometime around 2050 I have made it so… the book is Science Fiction after all.

But I digress.

Full disclosure: I voted for & still support that megalomaniac.

Nevertheless, I am so worn down by the state of current events that I try not to watch the 1st (first) 15 minutes of the “news”, as to avoid being beat down by politics, murder and natural disasters.

  • – I avoid discussions on politics
  • – I cannot fathom the act of murder
  • – I do not live on a fault-line or in a hurricane prone state

The weather and sports come on 17 mins into a newscast.

My precious Lord has taught me how to deal with anger OR at least the best ways to avoid it. BUT, the day has come when no remote control or bomb shelter can disguise the hate that is flooding, like a stubborn tropical depression, onto the entire landscape that I like to call the United States of America.

Due in part to the age of social media (admittedly I am a blogger) and the immediate nature of how we receive our information, fake or not, segments of society can unite in a matter of hours. Movements that used to take a year to pick up steam, are now spread by Instagram, hot mics or Mark Zuckerberg even before they can be explained or retracted.

What started with one San Francisco 2nd-string quarterback and his expressing his displeasure with how Blacks are being treated by the police, has exploded into a name-calling discourse of overblown proportions. Colin K. may have been more upset about being on the bench.

Are there bad cops? Yes. Is there economic disparity in the world? I can attest to that myself. Does it mean that the issues are not being addressed? The answer is one-big-fat NO.

Neither am I questioning the allegiance (to the USA) of these protesters. Everyone wants their everything, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

Fast food workers are being assaulted for not getting peoples’ orders out fast enough or God forbid, the order is wrong. Fast *&#(#@! Food for crying out loud.

The problems with our society can be summed up with one two-word phrase: Immediate Gratification. No longer is God’s time good enough for us. We want what we want & we want it NOW.

Instead of trusting God to work on our behalf (for our own good), we choose to hold our breath until we are blue in the face… and we make sure everyone knows about it. Toss in an incriminating video or whip some Facebook friends into a frenzy and there you have it. Immediate results without having to wait.

With luck it goes “viral”, a word that is used far too much.

I ordered curly fries not regular!

What was my original point? Oh yes, “Allegiance versus Protest – The Great Divide”, was my title. That seems to be the bridge too far.  For those who do not understand what the hoo-ha is all about are questioning the allegiance of the protesters; allegiance to God & country. Personally I think that is a bit much about too little, but it is just enough to divide a nation like the English Channel separates Britain from France. Why isn’t it called the French Channel? Protest @ 6P.

In the end, this is all about a mixed(up) message and cauliflower ears. When God set up the Tower of Babel, he did his usual dandy job & it still exists in theory.

Evil on both sides, has turned a simple issue into a garbled hot mess. Even the not-so-evil are caught up in the fray.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is the Word given to the Apostle Mark, as he quotes in The Holy Bible.

If whole world could adhere to that Fatherly advice, the world would be a Garden of Eden for all.


—  The preceding portrays the views of Gwendolyn Hoff alone. I welcome everyone to “Love thy neighbor as yourself”, even if they don’t live next door.


Allegiance vs. Protest

– The Great Divide

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 235

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 235

…This is no ordinary day and the electric atmosphere is equal to the achievement…

Reuters/Gene Blevins

On this day, the 9th of January 2051, Roy Crippen is sending his stepsons, with the legendary name of space travel, McKinney, beyond the reach of known distance and its mythical barrier of speed; SOL.

Roy had long ago resolved his issues of guilt surrounding that other pair of McKinneys, yet he will not be able to free himself from the responsibility about to be heaped upon him with this day’s foray; the exploration of the Black Frontier.

The Black Frontier, so named because space is a vacuum filled with invisible dark matter and light-catching objects scattered sparingly about, is about to have a speeding projectile slip through its tranquility. And nothing but perfection can be accepted. Such is the margin of error.

“The fusion units are online President Crippen,” reports a technician, to a man who longs to be called “just plain Roy”.

“Are the cooling sensors set to maximum Hadley? The vacuum induction will be engaged when they reach 275 miles and we cannot have hyper-generation in the meantime.”

That technician, the engineers, the pilots, and everybody in the room know this, but again, he is leaving nothing to chance. The unmanned test was a colossal success and that exact result is to be repeated.

Three hours later, arriving at runway one-niner, simultaneously with the rising sun, Deke & Gus McKinney step out of the IFOS turbotransport looking alert and wired for the day of their lives. This is no ordinary day and the electric atmosphere is equal to the achievement.

The press/dignitary area is stuffed to overflow with anyone having a handheld PC, camera or microphone (all-in-one these days), even though they will only be witness to the SLAV escorting Stellar Explorer out of eyeshot. Ironically, without the aid of super-duper slow-mo time-lapse, there will be no recorded “footage” once they engage the vacuum induction.


THE RETURN TRIP

Out of Sight by Carmen Guedez

Episode 235


page 277

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