Angelika Chapter 125 Slowing It Down A Bit
Dieter Weschler was certainly making a name for himself, right now; we were on Uromathia where he was making an impression with the Elansa, including Jofyr, Deeron and even Chozak who flat out offered him a job. Poor Dieter was simply overwhelmed, apparently the kid lacked social skills having spent all his time tinkering with computers. Now here he was, rubbing elbows with all manner of aliens. A great deal of what made this kid so great was his unique ability to understand how the computer or operating system worked, but more importantly, how it did it's job. With his parents consent, Dieter was given a transnano injection so he was able to understand the languages he was being spoken to in. For some strange reason he really took to Jofyr, and all the other Elan androids who didn't quite understand this rather unique human but befriended him all the same.
I now found myself shuttling between mars and Uromathia dealing with Robarik and his cruise line and the situation with Dieter. Right now it looked as though the young man was bound for Falth it was just a matter of waiting for the official authorization. One of my other tasks was introducing the author Stephan Yates to Robarik Draaka. The meeting took place on Uromathia where Robarik, Branak Narshu, Allen Bickford, and Ferris Wheeling were meeting with Yurenna and Elick. The meeting went smoothly, the subject mainly dealing with tourist accommodations and who would pay for what and liability concerns. Afterwards Robarik, Branak Allen and I met in the bar where I introduced them all to Mr. Yates. Needles to say Mr. Yates was humbled being in the presence of such men. He graciously greeted them then made his pitch.
"Gentlemen, I have recently finished reading Holly Draaka's book "Wishing On A star," and I must say it really put the hook in me. Mr. Gandrigg suggested I speak with you in order to gain your permission to continue research on not only her life but the whole situation that took place well over a hundred and thirty years ago fifteen years before Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic flight at Kill Devil Hill." Robarik grinned,
"Well Mr. Yates, you are talking about my great great grandmother…"
"And my great great cousin Mr. Yates," added Allen.
"My great great grandmother was Hanna Narshu, said Branak, "Holly's closest friend."
"I think," began Allen, "All of us would like to know what approach you plan to use in writing your book, nothing against you but sometimes you writers tend to sensationalize things I really hope you don't plan on doing that here?"
"Absolutely not Mr. Bickford, what I read in her book was simply astounding, not only the historical but social ramifications are incredible. Tell me Mr. Draaka, do any descendants of the original contractors still keep in touch after all these years?"
"Some," replied Robarik, "However all are still very aware of what their ancestors had accomplished. No one dwells on the matter if that is what you're asking, all have their own lives and life itself goes on."
Mr. Gandrigg told me I would have to speak to you about getting permission to visit Falth and to possibly speak with people.
"That is true Mr. Yates, however I would suggest you first send each a letter of introduction, a hologram will do fine introducing yourself and what it is you are attempting to achieve, I or Branak here will see that they receive them."
"I will be more than happy to do that replied Mr. Yates. "In the story, Holly spoke of her sadness in knowing that in time memories would fade as to previous lives on earth, I'm thinking of the Malmeck children Todd and Jenny."
"Well the Melmeck family, as well as the Korthals, the Tergis family, the Narshu's, and Sarlayn's are all still around but whether they will consent to speak to you is another matter entirely, that is why your introductions are so important. I will certainly help you in anyway I can as I'm sure my friends here will do as well. But be advised, Mr. Yates, we will be monitoring your investigations very closely. By the way, that wasn't the only book my great great grandmother wrote, there is another. It's not really a book as such, it remains on a data storage device and it's written entirely in your language."
"Have you read it?" asked Mr. Yates,
"No, I have not," replied Robarik, "At least not all of it. While I understand your language, I'm unable to read much of it, but the best I can make out is that it's a recounting of her life, there's more to it than that, but as I say, I don't read your language very well. It's also possible that in other families someone may have written something of a similar nature as well, perhaps in your research you will be made aware of these writings."
"I certainly will be looking forward to checking that out Mr. Draaka," replied Mr. Yates.
Then Stephan added,
"As I read Holly's book, I took copious notes so for now it looks as though I've got my work cut out for me interviewing people back on earth, as well as investigating locations."
Well when you're ready Mr. Yates, I'll be ready," said Robarik.
Two Months later
Things were really starting to move forward. I was back home in South Dakota, Dieter Weschler had gone to Falth, the cruise line was preparing to make it's inaugural run from earth to mars, and author Stephan Yates was poking around somewhere. I had recently spoken with Allen Bickford about the line and the list of passengers.
"Well naturally a venture like this will be very costly but we've added a sort of economy class, because the advertising and good will these people will spread will go a long way towards renewing the public's interest in space and space travel. Singer's all for it. He also suggested we add another class to the ship consisting of contest winners. Apparently, various and sundry organizations, companies, and smaller entities have been running contests in which a round trip to Mars, or Uromathia is the first prize."
"So where are they traveling down in the cargo hold?" I chuckled. Allen ignored my sarcasms, replying,
"Not at all, the ship has an area called the "observatory," up behind the captain's and crew's quarters. Someone made the suggestion that part of it be sectioned off and a small addition be added. Although the accommodations are typical of any standard crew quarters on any Falthian navy ship the view is incredible."
"What about when they arrive at Uromathia or especially Mars?" I asked.
"The ship will have a shuttle that will take people to the surface. They are just now completing a landing deck and terminal to the main base on Mars. Tell me Jake, are you planning on being part of the first list of passengers?"
"No Allen, probably not, I'm taking a long vacation here at home, there are several projects I need to do around the house, and Dori and I just want to spend some time together for awhile." Although I was still reasonably young and in good health all this space traveling was really starting to wear me down, so much so that I began to tell everyone I really needed to take a break for awhile. If people needed to see me, then they would have to come to me.
Spending more time at home was really what the doctor ordered. The summer tourist season was winding down, with Dori working a lot of hours but we still had a lot of time to spend together. It was also a time to draw a little closer to my own family, my folks and my cousins. They had offered to help with some remodeling work, as well as a couple painting jobs on the house and one of the sheds. One day as we were taking a break sitting under a sun umbrella out in the yard, I looked around trying to recall all the history that had taken place here, not only in my time but back in Moreck's, and Colin's time. Holly and Morkai walked this ground, along with Amulian's and Lu'Korian's. Sighing, I said to my dad,
As much as I travel this will always be home for the Blessings, and the Gandrigg's."
Things had settled to a point that now both Dori and I finally decided that the time was right to start a family. It was a subject we had often discussed but for one reason or another kept putting it off. Finally the stars aligned, and everyone was telling us now was the time. Dori also told me something she had never mentioned before, and that was that Murgu females had the ability to prevent pregnancy for up to six or seven years. Up to this point, she had always avoided the question, and thinking it was something too personal to her, I didn't pry.
"It's just one of the unusual things about our race," she explained. "Lately, I've been having this odd feeling. I mentioned it to Angelika, who told me it was simply my body telling me it was ready to conceive. She also told me it was one of the reasons Murgu females didn't always have children until they were in their late twenties or even early thirties. This also posed another interesting question, and that was,
"What would the child be like?"
Although I had human blood in me (Karla Weatherspoon) Moreck's wife I was never sure how much of that had carried down through the years. It also begged the question of how much human blood our children would have. In a lot of ways, it really didn't matter, I certainly wasn't going to go out and get a DNA test.
Right now, the most important thing to Dori and I was that the time had come to start a family.
The Clurian Coffee Company was also another item on my list that needed attending to. Jill and Pete Showalter were running the store now and were continuing to do well, especially now that everyone knew all about the Falthian's now. Jey'Att continued to work in the shop as well as watch over things here, but lately she had been spending more time with Kha'Mak and Dar'Kal, as well as the Droid Guild. Now that the Falthian's and the Elan were now public knowledge and there was a regular trade route between earth and Uromathia/Falth, my old boss Moreck Gormeth was dealing in larger shipments of coffee and peanuts we could never hope to do. As a result, shipments out of our original Deadwood South Dakota were now going mainly to Uromathia, and Mars base. Kha'Mak still made a landing here every week, sometimes two with my family, as well as the Showalters. Handling everything
April Showalter, Pete and Jill's daughter, had now graduated from the University of Cluria and was now in the Falthian navy, her desire to see the universe having grabbed her interest. In fact, every boy and girl out of the Bickford, and Blessing family had joined the navy, the desire to "Go where no human had gone before."
All of them had read Holly's book, and her pioneering spirit had really put the hook into all of them.
At any rate, that's where we stood, both Dori and I knew it wouldn't last, but for now, we were determined to make the most of it.
One thing that had been on our bucket list for some time was a driving tour of some of the northern western states. Wyoming, Utah, Idaho. And Montana. Cody, Yellowstone, following parts of the Lewis and Clark trail. (I'd always wanted to do that ever since I was a little kid) Lot's of trout fishing, and of course, a stop at the little gas station/grocery store in Judith Montana.
This was where Angelika had first made her presence known. The place was under different ownership now, but the pictures of Angelika and some of her crew were still prominently displayed. The woman who was running the place now told me that people still kept stopping by from time to time. I gave her a picture of Angelika, along with a small box of rocks from Mars and walked out of there with a new customer for Clurian Coffee, the very same blend Angelika drank and was the preferred blend on Falth. On the return trip, we hiked to the east fork of the Bitterroot River where we, along with Robarik and his daughter, crashed, as well as being the site where Juko Dekken killed Olivia Blessing's first husband, and kidnapped Olivia and her son Caleb. The cave where they hid in now completely collapsed, but we were able to hike to the spot where Collin and Weeko first spotted the cave.
From then on it was more trout fishing at Ennis Montana, a run through Yellowstone, then home. About a week after we returned home, Dori informed me that she was pregnant, so once again, another milestone had been reached.
A few days later, we learned that the Asnoc had returned from it's duel mission of prospecting asteroids, and exploring Saturn and Uranus. This was also about the time Stephan Yates showed up for the interview myself, along with various family members, the Gandrigg's and the Blessings.
He got the full tour, the house Collin Blessing built, the house Moreck started, but was then turned into a storage shed when he moved to the main house. The shed the Amulian's lived in who were studying humans, the whole back yard where the first Inter-stellar summit was held, my great great grandfather's study and library, and finally the kitchen.
"This simple kitchen has seen a lot of history take place here, if the walls could only talk. The table and the chairs remain the same. You say you read Holly's book, well that's the door they tried blasting through. The phrase, "History happened here," was never more aptly applied than here in this kitchen. While people like Jules Verne, and H. were writing the first science fiction, the real thing was taking place right here." To say the least, Mr. Yates was humbled, this was indeed hallowed ground. He insisted on conducting interviews with some of my family members here in the kitchen, and when Kha'Mak arrived, it was the same thing. Yates spent nearly two weeks here interviewing not only family and friends but the Showalter's as well as people in town. On his last night here, we had dinner in town at the Deadwood social club.
"Looks like I'll be moving on to Pennsylvania now Mr. Gandrigg, from what Allen has been telling me there's a farm with a lot of stories to tell."
"Although no one has ever really said," I stated. "I think people like Andy Bickford and Moreck Gandrigg had a hunch that one day, someone like you would come along searching for the facts and eager to tell the story. Good luck Mr. Yates, and don't forget, if you have any more questions our door is always open."