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A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 11185

Updated: 2018-02-11 19:04

Here we go

Sandy's birthday came and went before the plans for the trip to the USA were all set. Many friends had come to visit; Wilma had been there, and Don, and even Professor Sams, although Paul and Sandy both suspected he was there more for Angelo than for the birthday-girl. A few weeks after that, Lester and Janet called at their door, together with Matilda Jones, the second captain. The reason of course was the visit to the US using the ship.

"We have one hundred and thirty-seven people who want to come along, " Janet said. She had done the asking around and come up with this impressive number. "If we can do this on the third weekend in June, that would work for everyone."

The family in Annapolis was on the television with the camera on. With them were a few others who were arranging the visit on their end, they all heard the conversation.

"A hundred and thirty-seven. That's a lot of folks, " someone by the name of Henry Ferguson commented, "but Bacon Ridge is large enough, should not be a problem. We already staked out the area around our ship a few times. Plenty of space, also for parking."

"So, as for the time difference..." Lester frowned and looked at Paul and Sandy, "we're still not certain how to approach that."

Matilda shrugged. "We came up with one solution, and that's to leave here at night, wait in space until it's night-time in the USA and then land there."

There was some debate about that, as it would be a waste of time, but nobody had a better solution.

"The later you leave there, the shorter the wait, " Timothy reminded them.

"Still, that would leave us waiting for several hours. Five at least I think, " Paul calculated quickly. "That's not good. We'd be spotted by telescopes all over."

"Unless we hide - oh no, that's nonsense, " Matilda shook her head. "I was going to suggest hiding behind a satellite but we'd be too big for that."

"But we can hide behind the moon, " Sandy said.

Everyone looked at her. "Damn, that's a clever girl you got there!" Henry Ferguson exclaimed. "Sounds so weird but it would actually work. I think."

"Do you know if Ben and Jess could do that? Set the course to a spot behind the moon?" Lester wondered as he looked at Matilda.

"I wouldn't know. They've never done that, but with the right info under their belt I'm sure they'd be able to. There's always the internet, right?" Matilda took her notepad and wrote down a few things. "I'll pester them about this and slap their wrists if they don't get it right."

"And the ship will help, " Paul said. "I know it will."

They agreed to give this plan the green light. Adele and some people from Annapolis would prepare the visit on their end, and Janet would inform everyone in the greater Bristol area of the plan. Everyone involved would take the entire weekend off, as that was how much time the visit was going to take, but each of them was excited about the prospect and the reason they suddenly had to fly the ship again.

"Oh. There is one more thing." Lester held up his hand. "If we really have about one hundred and forty people going, how do we transport them all to the ship without attracting attention? Even if we have enough cars, that would still mean a group of almost forty cars that suddenly is parked around the area. Not a very smart way of not attracting

at they were now taking along. 'They must trust us very much, ' she thought to herself, 'getting into this big thing and not having an idea what's going to happen.' She then took one more look at her husband and their son. Paul lay on the bed with Angelo in his arm. She saw Paul's lips move and was curious if he was talking or singing, but she didn't want to ask and disturb him. Her train of thoughts was interrupted when Matilda, the second captain, announced to everyone on board that they were going to depart. "Please make sure you are sitting or lying in a stable spot. We haven't done this with passengers before so take good care, and if possible be close to something you can hold on to. We're going to make this as smooth as we possibly can, but being careful won't hurt."

"Are we ready? If so, let's do it, " Matilda then addressed the crew. "And give me a countdown on all monitors so people know what is happening."

Melanie on the communications chair switched the countdown on and mixed an outside view into the image. Sandy wondered how the girl did that, but assumed it was something the ship had shown her, the way it had shown Paul and her how to scan and interpret vast distances without going screaming mad.

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..."

Sandy knew when the ship became visible. The large displays in front of her showed all sides of the ship, and then the earth fell away beneath them. Three trajectory-lines appeared on one of the maps and a blue dot floated along the most prominent one. There was no sensation of movement, everything happened in silence. It almost unnerved Sandy as she had time to experience the entire lift-off. No one in the chairs around her seemed the least bit agitated; the impressions she sensed from everyone were calm and controlled. Amazing.

'We did it, Paul, ' she said, 'actually they did it.'

'Give them my congratulations, sweetheart, I could see what happened from here, on the screen. Angelo fell asleep as we left. It's baffling.'

Sandy grinned and relayed Paul's words which caused a round of laughter that broke the silence on the bridge. As she looked at the monitor in the front she saw an astonishing sight. They were already behind the moon.


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