THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 52
… “I do not believe we have underestimated your talents Awrah Bouchette.”…
“I will tell you of something your greedy leaders will not: At eleven o’clock AM Texas time, the Earth’s ultimate imperialistic endeavor, Space Colony 1 has been completely and utterly destroyed!” There is more than one stab into the belly and genuine pride in his delivery.
Francine eases herself down into her chair, gasping at the mere thought. This man does not sound like your typical crank.
“Did you hear me woman? The Taliban, Nepal and Korean governments applaud this accident. Allah and Buddha have spoken.”
“I heard you,” she whispers faintly. Everyone in southern Texas knows someone who works in the space industry or Space Colony specifically. “I am not inclined to believe you sir,” is all the journalism she can muster.
“You are the only civilian who has this information, use it to disgrace the infidels and enhance your own career and that of your station. Reuters would gladly break this story, no problem.”
“If I am the only Westerner to know this, if it is true, wouldn’t NASA want to hold a formal press conference?”
“But you do not want to share the spotlight,” he pauses, she mulls. “I do not believe we have underestimated your talents Awrah Bouchette.” He slips back into his Arabic vernacular.
“I’ll need more information before I can break this story.”
“You must have a source in the space program; I suggest you confirm it with them. But they will tell you the same things, if they are honest. They will speak of how an asteroid has destroyed your space station and stopped the useless expansion into space. They may try to rescue the project, but they will fail, Allah has prevailed. You will not discover your source…”
A dial tone abruptly replaces the bearer of horrible news.
And what is she to do with this? No one else of import is at the station.