Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #259

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #259

…The Japanese have attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, making it impossible for us to return on an eastward course. We are to make our way west until we reach New York…

Pearl Harbor by Chuck Hamrick

Pearl Harbor by Chuck Hamrick

In the cockpit of the Pacific Clipper, they are ignoring whales as well…  and anything but what is coming through to them on their radio. They are being told to proceed to Auckland and await further instruction there. Upon landing, they are instructed to head west and return the Clipper to La Guardia Field, New York. The regular return route is not safe.

braceT LFTTO:              CAPTAIN ROBERT FORDbracket rt

FROM:         CHIEF, FLIGHT SYSTEMS

SUBJECT:  DIVERSION PLANS FOR NC18602

NORMAL RETURN ROUTE CANCELED STOP PROCEED AS FOLLOWS COLON STRIP ALL COMPANY MARKINGS COMMA REGISTRATION NUMBERS COMMA AND IDENTIFIABLE INSIGNIA FROM EXTERIOR SURFACES STOP PROCEED WESTBOUND SOONEST YOUR DISCRETION TO AVOID HOSTILITIES AND DELIVER NC18602 TO MARINE TERMINAL LAGUARDIA FIELD NEW YORK STOP GOOD LUCK STOP

It is Captain Ford’s unsavory duty to explain the situation and their dilemma. “The United States has declared war on Japan,” he begins, eliciting a gasp from the assembled two-score interested parties. “The Japanese have attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, making it impossible for us to return on an eastward course. We are to make our way west until we reach New York. To do so, we must research a possible route and make sure we are prepared to make any repairs to the aircraft along the way. This is going to take some time.”

Robert Ford-001

Most everyone is in a state of stunned disbelief. Individual inconveniences aside, these events mean that the war has hit home and it is the world’s second such in the span of two-plus decades. Leaders have come and gone, but the results are the same, which makes it hard for Americans to understand. None of these conflicts have taken place on our soil, at least until now. Could the Japanese be on their way to California?

“We will be returning to Noumea to pick up supplies and make sure that all Pan American employees are taken care of. From there we will stop at Gladstone, Australia. Anyone, who wants to get off, can do so there. In fact, I cannot make you stay aboard the Clipper, or prevent you from departing, from anywhere we land. But you will be responsible for your own passage home after we leave Queensland, Australia. I can tell you that none of our stops will exactly be exotic ports of call.

          “In the meantime, we at Pan American Airways will do everything we can to make this journey as comfortable as possible. You will be reimbursed for any personal funds that you use.” That last statement is pure speculation, be is sure that Trippe would be so pleased to see his aircraft return, that he will make good that remote promise.


Alpha Omega M.D.

“The full-throat-ed roar of the four engines filled the cabin as NC 18602 moved forward into the takeoff run.  The slap-slap of  the water under the hull became a staccato drum beat.  Spray whipped higher over the sea wings.  After a few seconds the hull began to rise out of the water but was not quite free.  Ford held the yoke steady as the airspeed indicator displayed the increasing speed: 40 knots…  50…  60…  70…

Pacific Clipper Take-off

“At 70 knots Ford brought the yoke back gently.  The Clipper nosed up.  Passengers seated in the aft compartments might have thought they were about to submerge as the tail came close to the water and the spray hurtling back from the sea wings splattered the windows.  At 75 knots Ford eased up a little on the yoke then immediately brought it back.  This rocking motion was necessary to raise the ship “on the step” – that area of the hull which would be the last to break free from the clinging suction effect of the water now hurtling along underneath the ship.  As the airspeed went to 80 knots the sound of the water abruptly ceased.  The thrumming beat against the hull was replaced by a sudden smoothness as the great ship broke free and began climbing.”  — from Ed Dover’s The Long Way Home

Episode #259


page 241

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 242

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 242

…Earth is preoccupied with logging time, whereas here, where near immortality reigns supreme, who’s counting anyway…

Celeste McKinney is a paragon of adaptability, whose hyperphysical exploits will be heralded widely as heroic in the planetary arena called Eridanus, part of the star system named Epsilon Eridani, somewhere south of Orion’s Belt.

She can rest assured that her sons will not perish… even though they would have without the help of the Eridanians.

Time and its passage is a matter of relativity. If you are situated on a planet you can mark and catalog passage of time by the revolutions of the planet you are on. Now a “day” on Eridanus will not be the same as a day on Earth. Similarly, if you wish to count the days it takes to circle the sun, you label that a year. In the case of Eridanus, not only does it orbit a giant molten planet, they all circle a pair of stars; the year thing tends to be a little complicated.

Planets

But Earth is preoccupied with logging time, whereas here where near immortality reigns supreme, who’s counting anyway? On Eridanus life is not measured by its length, but rather the quality of ones’ existence. This very disregard for counting, one year or one thousand is especially obvious in the case of this very different world, where one day is only 2.4 hours, yet one of its years equals ten on Earth.

It is a good thing that Deke & Gus will be ignorant of their unplanned trip to Eridanus and the time it consumes. Compare that to their parents and the sister they do not know they have in the flesh. That wayward wing of The Space Family McKinney had no idea where they were going or how long it would take.

But thanks to a makeshift molecular stabilizer, the proper star-drive tweaks and pre-programmed course, their relatively short-two-and-one-half year one-way-trip should be a piece of cake.

Their out-of-body benefactors, who did include a doting & relieved Mother along with 4 Masters of the Universe, have instantaneously returned to Eridanus, with plenty of “time” to prepare for the arrival of yet another pair of those wacky human beings of Earth.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 242


page 284 (end Ch. 9)

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