weeks later, with a slightly temperate breeze blowing across the plain
on which the Jupiter II sat ready and waiting for take off, the leaders
of the Rylorr and the Grringol met with the humans for a farewell.
Inside the spacecraft, John was making explanations from under
the console of the navigational controls.
Rrangruk and Mmringorr were waiting for him to finish.
"That neutron star played havoc not only with your planet,
but with my space craft as well," his muffled voice came from
underneath the console.
is why you were forced to land on our planet," Rrangruk commented.
and as soon as the star traveled far enough away, the equipment came
back online again. All I
have had to do now is make minor adjustments."
The two Ugorrim heard a thud, a sharp cry from their friend and
something mumbled, which they couldn't understand.
Shoving the tool tray out ahead of him, John slid out behind it,
rubbing his head. "You
would think that with all of the technology on Earth, they could either
make these things unbreakable or at least make a console with enough
space to work under it."
whuffed softly in laughter. Mmringorr
do a diagnostic and see if we are finally able to take off."
With quick compliance, the robot wheeled to the central computer
terminal to make the necessary tests.
An affirmative brought a smile of satisfaction to John's face.
down the ramp, the group joined the rest of the humans and Urgorimm.
"I can never thank you enough for giving me back my
life-mate," Maureen said softly to Rrangruk.
Standing on her toes, she pulled his face down to her and gave
him a kiss on his furry cheek. Rrangruk
grunted softly in surprise.
Robinson, I think that one life for hundreds of thousands is a good
return. Your life-mate has
more than repaid any debt that someone might feel he owed. I am grateful for his help in bringing our people
together," Rrangruk told her.
his friend aside, John privately posed a question.
"You're a doctor, Rrangruk.
What are the chances of my youngest daughter developing
paranormal abilities?" he asked, explaining the visions Penny had
your daughter had these kinds of dreams or been extra-sensitive to the
needs or emotions of others before this voyage began?" Rrangruk asked.
has always been a sensitive child with a great deal of empathy for
this voyage has increased this empathy of hers.
I wouldn't worry about it at any rate," the Rylorr reassured
him. "Keep an eye on
her. You know, great good
could come from her increased ability."
nodded his thanks. "Yes,
through her, the rest of the family had an idea that I was alive. I'm grateful for that."
They joined the rest of the group conversing near the ship.
the setting sun, the crew of the Jupiter II boarded, and the space ship
took off with only a slight displacement of dust and debris.
The Ugorrim below watched until the craft was nothing more than a
mote in the darkening sky.
board, Don West set the controls to guide them on a course, which they
believed would take them closer to Earth.
"When we come out of hyper drive, we would like to have the
wedding, John," he said to his future father-in-law.
joined him at the view port.
Arm in arm, they gazed at the beauty of the heavens.
“But before the wedding, you will get rid of that beard,” she
commented in a no-nonsense tone of voice.
dear,” he acquiesced with a contented smile.
out at the distorted starlight trails that were part of hyper drive
flight, John gazed in newly discovered awe.
wonderful beginning to our journey back home."
murmured, “Yes, it is.”
'And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and
count the stars, if thou be able to number them...'
" John recited softly and hugged his wife close.
quote in the last paragraph is from Genesis 15:5.
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