THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 277

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 277

…“Settle down folks! He is just taking Stellar Explorer out for a test flight……a day earlier than scheduled…

Stellar Explorer

Stellar Explorer

The great doors of the Space Expository open to reveal a sky packed with unfamiliar star patterns. Somewhere out there in the vast mass called The Milky Way, is a little yellow dot, that warms a certain planet, just right, just right enough to support a human race; it’s called HOME and that is where he is headed.

Before Gus’ physical presence is missed, the signature roar of a spacecraft in sub-light acceleration can be heard in the distance.

Celeste has had a premonition recently that she did not act upon. “Safe travels Gussy,” she prays.

One minute Sampson is describing a tornado to Fortän, the next his subconscious comes alive. Being non-telepathic he is the last to know that which everybody else does, “The Earth ship has left the firmament,” one of the Elders utters in the Olde Language. Celeste translates for him.

“Settle down folks! He is just taking Stellar Explorer out for a test flight……a day earlier than scheduled,” Sampson reports.

Everyone else knows better.

 

It is an unlikely time to happen, having shown no propensity for it previously, but like a lightning bolt from inside a tornado, Sampson McKinney’s mind is keyed to the telepathic signal meant for him by Ekcello. This is the unforeseen message he receives, #When the High Counsel convened, some time ago, we had one specific issue to deal with; the effect of the humans on the stability of our society#

Sam is astounded at the clarity, minus that annoying sing-song stuff he was used to.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 270

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 270

…Ekcello elaborates as best he can, “if I give you the keys to the starship, would you like to take it out for a spin…

 

— Quite coincidentally, at the same time his daughter was taking a mate, thereby cementing a McKinney legacy in the city of Eupepsia, yea all of Eridanus, Ekcello takes some steps of his own, at the unanimous direction of the High Counsel. His coming actions do not sew a seed of new life; rather a grander plan is planted for the harmony and well-being of the galaxy…

…For that end, on any given day or at any given moment, if one would like to locate either Sammy Mac or Gus one would do well to begin your search at the Spaceflight Expository. Ekcello is no one’s fool, finding father & son engaged in a heated discussion on just where Earth’s theory on the speed-of-light had gone wrong. A debate is supposed to be a back-and-forth, but clearly Gus is spitting into the wind.

However errant either side of the argument is, Ekcello listens closely intending not to rebuke but to guide. Sampson is technically aware of where his son’s theories are askew, but it is the wise Eridanian alone who can make SOL wrongs right.

“Would outfitting your Stellar Explorer with a permanent space-drive be of interest to you?” Ekcello is asking a fish if it lives to swim or an Eridanian if they enjoy music.

Instead of jumping for joy, Gus takes a negative turn. Would they trust him to test it out when the project is complete? He has a roomful of spaceships in his room at King Ranch that can only travel at the speed-of-light in his mind. The Space Expository is like that room, merely huger. From where he sees it, what good would it be?

He dismisses Ekcello’s offer, unaware of the gravity of it.

“Gussy, he is talking Warp 3 and you are blowing him off.”

“In your terms Gus,” Ekcello elaborates as best he can, “if I give you the keys to the starship, would you like to take it out for a spin?”

He is so excited, he is beside himself. For the first time, since coming back from molecular disintegration, being reunited with his parents and meeting his new sister, he can look beyond the pink mist and the stars beyond.

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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.”

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 254

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 254

…“Where in God’s name is Errordannias…

“Holy crap Deke, we must be dead!”

That kind of material is so like Gus. Sampson breaks into a hearty laugh.

They speak to each other like the “others” cannot hear, “Mom and Dad and they haven’t aged? Someone must have slipped us a mickey.”

“Maybe, but before I passed out, Mom was floating in front of me, showing me her wedding band.”

“Maybe we went through a wormhole or something?”

“No Gus, it is really us,” Celeste assures.

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Sampson follows up with, “You ain’t dreaming boys, and we are for real.” He has his arms about Deimostra’s quivering shoulder, ushering her forward, “And I’d like to introduce you boys to your sister.”

She smiles sheepishly. Deke and Gus rub their eyes. Instinctively she hugs each in turn. The whole hallucination theory suddenly goes out the window.

Shaky on their feet and at a loss for words, tears of joy stream down their cheeks; no how, whys or wherefores.

“May we present to you, Deimostra Samantha McKinney, child of space.”

“Okay, if this fairytale contains a sister, fine, but where the hell are we?”

Towers

A good place to start would be stepping out of the Stellar Explorer, five family members’ hand-in-hand filing past the menagerie that is the Spaceflight Expository. Upon gaining the edge of the massive entry/exit doors, they are exposed to the miles high pedestals that dominate their new home, “This is Eridanus and it’s not a fairytale.”

 

Error-what? Where are the people,” Gus wonders?

“They live in towered cities like Eupepsia, this one and those dotting the horizon. We thought it best that we are your first contact.”

“Where in God’s name is Error-dannias, it sound like Epsilon Eridani the star,” Gus knows his stars, but cannot make the connection to their present position, likely believing that they had just nodded off a bit.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 253

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 253

…“Holy crap Deke, we must be dead!”…

After Stellar Explorer settles into its perch, Celeste wrestles with the techniques she learned from Cerella; the “thawing” of human beings, not the more familiar suspended-sleep-state NASA employed for astronauts on the way to Mars. These are not-so-ordinary lives at stake. Cerella soothes her from the rear, coaching her through the procedure.

Rich oxygen-laden and argon infused Eridanian air replaces Deke & Gus’ Earthly mixture. That they quickly adapt to the hyper- atmospheric combination is important, their parents having had years to do so.

And though she had been present at the out-of-body rescue 30 months ago, it is nothing like sharing the same physical space with her sons; so silent, so innocent, so unaware. She gently, carefully removes the metabolic retardation shroud from around the unconscious men. With the aid of a scanner, which she herself had developed in the interim, a physical human-tailored check created and now performed to detect any temporary or permanent damage to their befuddled molecules.

The hijacked SOL astronauts pass this loving scrutiny like troopers, proving that the timing and placement of the molecular stabilizer had been fortuitous and effective.

In the reverse order of their suspension, the last to succumb is the first to resuscitate. When Deke begins to stir, Celeste hastens her familial onlookers to join her.

Because he was virtually frozen in the moment, Deke’s last conscious impression was of his speaking to what seemed to be his mother. One can imagine the boggling ramifications of now seeing his father and a strange young girl as well, adding to the aberration; the difference being that this time the images are very clear and not translucent.

Déjà vu all over again prompts him to repeat his attempt to revive his co-pilot, “Gus, come on Gus, wake up dude!”

“Wake up Gus!”

 

“What do you want?” Like the morning of their test flight, he is in a fog.

Deke merely points to the three unlikely people standing before them.

“Holy crap Deke, we must be dead!”

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 252

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 252

…Like a puppet on a string, the well-traveled ship from “home” dangles above its new dock…

 

“The Stellar Explorer has entered into a descending orbit,” Celeste sense aloud. Her and Sam’s memorable first impressions of Eridanus, the then unnamed planet, flood in. “It is a shame that they cannot be fully conscious, to see the mist parting to reveal the towered cities.”

Epsilon

“Perhaps Ekcello will trust me to take them up in one of these ships, one of these days.” There is a hint of selfish motive and respect in his voice. Nothing would scratch his itch like taking one of these flying machines out for a spin, now that he knows them inside and out {Perchance to circle the Epsilon system at sub-light speeds, or reignite interest in physical space travel, or convince them to use their 5th dimension time-travel talent instead of suppressing it}. None of these notions are probable.

“Not a chance! He knows you know the way back to Earth,” his wife engenders reason aimed at her daughter.

“Do you think I would abandon you & Sammy? No, no, no, I would abduct you first.”

Celeste cuts him off at the pass.

“Kicking and screaming you would. I’m not sure that we fit on Earth anymore. But I know it has crossed your mind,” she points to her own cranium. “You would make Earth a dominant space power within a year.”

She knows him all too well. —

Stellar Explorer

Stellar Explorer

— The trio steps to the side of the huge receiving doors and strain to catch their first external glimpse of Stellar Explorer. The pink sky parts and they gaze upon the sleek SOL cruiser, which outwardly looks like it had a few inflight nicks. It is a handsome piece of aerodynamic design, bearing the proud flag of the United States of America on either flank. The mere sight of the Stars & Stripes opens the tear ducts of the elder McKinneys. Deimostra takes in the touching emotional display, now realizing what loyalty to country, and home planet, is all about.

They stand transfixed as Stellar Explorer defies gravity in its low speed maneuvering which brings it to rest next to Explorer/NEWFOUNDLANDER. Like a puppet on a string, the well-traveled ship from “home” dangles above its new dock, seemingly reluctant and clueless as to how and why.

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 251

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THE RETURN TRIP

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 251

… the line of potential Eridanian adolescent suitors for the McKinney daughter extends past Orion’s sword…

 

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

Like how do they explain how Sammy came to be? They had not gotten around to “that talk” before they went to Mars. Celeste surmises, “I bet you Braden took care of that!” It has been tough going without the company of their best friend, though they would never have guessed that Roy Crippen and his wife adopted their pair of space-orphans. “And they are grown men now Sam.”

Deimostra has blushed to a crimson shade, having recently had that famous mother-daughter “talk”, although how “it” will work with an Eridanian male has not been explored, although Cerella had discussed how she would “interact” with Deke, given the opportunity. In a case where things like that work themselves out, the line of potential Eridanian adolescent suitors for the McKinney girl extends past Orion’s sword.

“I know you have only seen images of them on our PDAs, but I want you to show them how you feel, including hugs and kisses, once they process the concept of having a little sister,” father Sam interjects, “and Celeste, try not to cloud their minds with that telepathic stuff. If they are anything like me, they won’t take to it very well.”

“You need not worry father,” maintains the firstborn of space, “I am not the naïve child you pretend I am. It is true that I am not of Earth, but I have my mother’s wisdom and I have your….something, oh yes, your persistent persistence.”

“Thank you for that backdoor compliment Deimostra!”

“The Stellar Explorer has entered into a descending orbit,” Celeste sense aloud. Her and Sam’s memorable first impressions of Eridanus, the then unnamed planet, flood in. “It is a shame that they cannot be fully conscious, to see the mist parting to reveal the towered cities.”

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