THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 22

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 22

…“Good Morning you Martians!!”…


At 04:30 Greenwich Mean Time (who knows what spot it is in the Martian day), the lonely corridors of Space Colony 1 are filled with a rousing rendition of “WE ARE THE WORLD”. Every so often Braden King decides to awaken the heroes of the heavens with song; a weak, but suitable choice.

Martian Welcoming Committee

“Good Morning you Martians!!” There is a huge Earthly buzz about the 1st manned landing on the planet surface.

His enthusiasm has taken several minutes to travel the many-miles emptiness, but largely ignored by the sleeping sojourners. They are doing their best to be fresh for the frenetic days ahead. Presently entangled in a pretzel-like position, Sampson uncoils himself to speak into ceiling, “McKinney’s Bakery, head crumb speaking.”

“I want to order one Martian Muffin and two of your Deimos Donuts.” Braden plays along, as if he has a choice. He and everybody else on Earth is excited about this phase of the mission; getting a bird’s- eye-view of the goings on, up close and personal. “I bet you guys have been up for hours getting ready for the landing.”

“What’s it to ya’?” Sam counters with a dash of insincerity.Image result for that's a joke son

“You sound a little groggy old man; you haven’t contracted some indigenous bug, have you?”

“No Braden, just some hyperspace-lag,” Celeste is new to the party.

“Ah, the better-looking McKinney weighs in. Are you set to cavort about the Martian plain?”

 “Tithonius Lacus is on our event horizon and it ain’t going nowhere buddy.”  

“Never mind him Braden; he slept like a cement mixer last night,” Celeste attempts to mitigate the coming seminal agenda, by changing the subject.

“Hey, I think we are all on edge Celeste and I don’t want you to worry, but Deke has a compound fracture of his femur, fell from the hayloft at the feed barn. He is in and out of consciousness, but Doc Jim thinks it is temporary.”

“I think those millions of miles have gotten to her, King. Can we save the good news for later, or isn’t there any?”

“You guys are the good news.” Braden King assures. “I thought you would want to know sooner-than-later.”

“We know you will take good care of him, King. Hell, I broke my clavicle jumping from my turbo-cycle when I was his age.”

“Let’s get on with it guys,” Celeste regroups, marshaling every ounce of her famous bluster. “We have initiated video, all systems are a go, be prepared for the thrill of a lifetime!”

“Roger that Lieutenant Commander, we will be on the edge of our chairs.”

Braden was going to toss in a “good luck”, but decides to say a quiet prayer instead.



Episode 22

page 21

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What the (fill in the blank) just happened!

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What (()&%$#% just happened!

Gwenny’s Wayback Machine once again takes us back to the year 1985, year 14 of my Science Fiction days. Ronald Reagan was President of a more innocent United States,We Are the World” is recorded in reaction to that new disease AIDS in Africa. The Space Shuttle program is in high gear, but the Challenger will soon be doomed to an ignominious fate.

Personally, I have started my book project “THE RETURN TRIP”,  a space-family saga that will see the Challenger cruelly intervene 12 months in the future . About the time that I am winding down Chapter 3, after a fruitful 3 hour session, I go to save the document thanks to that nifty feature on my Radio Shack 2000 that allows you to come and pick up where you left off………………..

………………….and then it was gone. )*&%^$#_){}][=?><(!! what just happened!!??

Whether it was procedural operator error or a computer glitch, 2 months of work just evaporated——and it was good stuff too!

That is the time when, after you stop crying, you wonder if you can possibly recreate all those great words & phrases.  And though I would recover, at that very moment I hearkened back to a recent time when it would have taken a house fire to lose 3 freaking chapters!

Nightmare #2 is a bad dream of a different color, as the Wayback machine fast-forwards to 1990; another seeming roadblock that may derail a book writer.