No Place Like Home
Chapter Two: "Let's Get Small"
No Place Like Home: Chapter 2; "Let's Get Small"
Star-liter's Inn, Friday, June 7, 2024, 1930 hrs:
Victor and Rusk occupy their usual spot; the same table where they have met for fifty years.
Bella, their waitress, approaches these two familiar patrons, "You two seem to be a little preoccupied tonight?"
Victor looks up, and says, "... Bella, your smile is brighter than all the stars combined in the Milky Way ..."
Rusk manages a smile for their "niece" as she, in turn, places her hand on his shoulder.
"Okay--just shout to me when you need something," Bella says as her attention focuses on a patron, waving his hand for her attention, over at the next table.
Rusk draws in a deliberate breath, "I am considering a philosophical perspective based on a recurring dream."
Victor encourages, "Please continue..."
Rusk: "The first mission deployed to the Moon, rocket enters stratosphere, spent, released into orbit...my dream, this means...something...a balance of giving and taking.,.?
Victor: "Rusk, each NASA Space mission since 1958 presented challenges--tragedies--loss of life! consider our dear Bella. Her parents. Tragic. Have we not made sufficient payment...in lives?"
Rusk: "I don't know...dreams are puzzling."
The two men sit in silence, drawing a swallow of their favourite beverage.
Excerpt of The Academy's weekly televised interview, Thursday, June 6, 2024, 1000 hrs:
Sci-Reporter: "...Major Johns, the Press has recently learned the Mars project is a 'bio-metric recognition program' and allegedly utilizes three points on the human body to gather data for the purpose of tracking, compiling data, for every individual's identity.
Major Johns: "My pleasure. The bio-metric recognition program, a type of 'biological template' is a map imaging program, designed with the sole purpose to illustrate the complete DNA and RNA molecular structure, on an atomic scale, of the human body.
We are currently developing a safeguard of microscopy technology capable of many processes involving tiny silicon chips designed to travel within the entire biological network. These silicon chips are 'information gatherers' compiling a compliment of data with the purpose to map the entire DNA and RNA components of every cell tissue. The data will be used by the silicon chip artificial intelligence to identify, investigate, and engage repair sub-systems, For example, the human nervous system: the brain has microglial cells, comprising a vast network of about 100 million neurons with branches that connect at over 100 trillion points. The silicon chips I mentioned earlier will offer support to the microglial cells. We have also designed an external bio-metric 'GPS-styled system' which will monitor the progress of the silicon chips..."
Highway I55 crossing Rainbow Towers Way, Friday, June 7, 2024, 1930 hrs:
"Thanks for sharing the ride to my place, Turbo," says Nurse Jean.
Turbo turns to Jean and offers his trademark smile.
"Anytime friend," chimes Turbo.
Jean wants to shower and change from her work-clothes, then make their way to Turbo's home to share supper with his family.
Their eyes meet for a moment.
Turbo's gaze lingers: taking in the vision of his friend Jean, the warm breezes pulling her shoulder-length, black hair way from her face, presenting a tanned profile of her natural beauty. He reconsiders before giving away his thoughts out loud: she has not changed a bit in all these years, considering all of life's challenges she has had to face.
Turbo announces with his humorous flair, "...My stomach is anticipating Molly's home-made 'killer lasagne."
"Molly" is Turbo's wife of ten years.
Jean responds, "I'm feeling hungry too..."
Now preoccupied with the dial on the car radio, Turbo gleefully chortles, "Excellent! Here is one of my favourite new singers...!"
"I notice, Turbo, you are becoming fanatically 'Retro-C lately'," Jean attempts to shout as Turbo turns the volume dial, and tries to sing along,
"By the way you're talking,
I guess you'll soon be walking
Out my door.
We don't want to hurt us
That's not the reason why you came
Part of my life,
Back at ya!
Making it 'right'
Back at ya!
Friend we'll be all right
Trying to make it 'right'
Is a part of my life
Back at ya!
"Ha ha ... sing it, Conroy!" exclaims Jean.
While they are waiting for the traffic light to turn green at an intersection Jean gently caresses the finely trimmed hair of Turbo's brush cut.
"Nor C, and his hit Back At Ya is my favourite tune," Turbo says with joyful fanfare.
Jean's eyes focus and linger on a familiar image in her rear-view mirror.
"I don't want to seem paranoid, but, you remember the story I told you last week about a car following me home from work?"
"Uh, sure..." as Turbo reaches out the passenger side window to adjust his side passenger mirror.
Jean affirms, "I think that same car is following us now..."
"Hmm. Well, at the next light turn right and down Star's Alley--we'll take a detour to your place, okay?"
"Sounds like a plan..."