Ken, Len and Den accompanied Carrie back onto the Tony Robinson.
“Carrie! Good to see you again. Welcome aboard. I hear that you have been having adventures without us?” asked Danno.
They had put their little misunderstanding behind them and embraced like old friends.
“Nothing as adventurous as yours by all accounts,” replied Carrie.
“I hate to break up this happy reunion,” interrupted Ken, “but we should get back to Time Control as soon as possible.”
Carrie was in the slide arrival zone of the solar system when she got word that the Eric Laithwaite had returned and made contact with TIO Rio. She received instructions from Stakus to make contact with Ken and the others to lure them to returning the Slider to the control of Time Command. In case persuasion didn’t work they also gave her the codes to take over Eric remotely.
Taking one of the inter-planetary Slip-Streamers, she manoeuvred close to the Eric Laithwaite and radioed Ken. He seemed to be in a good mood and even invited her to Jaunt aboard.
There was no morning on Namurai Sun Jewel I, but in the hours of waking, a mist passed over the trench and coated all in a glimmering sheen. The silver buildings gleamed and the black sky seemed to soften and relent its crushing presence. The Admiral woke in his quarters covered in moisture. It was not like the delicate and fragrant dew of Lumina, rather it clung like honey and disturbed his skin. He rolled out of bed and ran to the dry-shower, where he scrubbed furiously with noxious chemicals. As he stepped out, a hard knock came at the door. Opening it, he saw a familiar face.
“And I suppose you want me to lead the charge?” The Admiral said.
His face flushed red and he brought his palms down hard on the oval platform. “Of course that’s what I want! I want you to scream into battle aboard the Jade Javelin! Break the will of the Alliance of Free Worlds and send them back screaming to their primitive hovels. Generate enough glory so sate the bards for a thousand years!”
“A ship! A ship!” cried Joseph. It was centuries ago since “Love Island” had been on TV but the news of a ship returning to the solar system always excited him.
“Do we know which one this is?” asked Saffron.
“Early signs are that it is the Fireheart. It left us in 2056 on a voyage to Canus 6. If they were successful they would have been exploring that system for a couple of years. Their crew would have aged 26 years over the total of their journey”
Eric Cook let me know about this.
It's so interesting I think I am going to actually go back to the beginning of its lifetime and go through all of the posts....
In Centauri Dreams, Paul Gilster looks at peer-reviewed research on deep space exploration, with an eye toward interstellar possibilities.