Star Chamber
Chapter 21: Going to the Moon!

Copyright© 2019 by A Carpenter's Son

On Saturday: 7:24 AM in West Seattle.

Frank was going to wash that Alien ship. He had been wanting to do that all week. The buckets weren’t where they should be. The rubber gloves were also missing. As he exited the shelter Zeke was sitting on the steps, “How long have you been here?”

“I couldn’t sleep, I got here at 6:35,” Zeke said

“Let’s get you a cup of coffee.” Frank turned around, “Follow me.”

When they got to the kitchen, Frank asked, “You got any money?”

“Got a ten, five, and a twenty on me,” Zeke said

“Put your five in that bucket there. Do you need breakfast, we also have fruit and all the coffee and tea you can drink?” Frank asked. Zeke was eyeing the steam table with eggs, sausage, and hash browns.

“Help yourself, when you come again if the door is unlocked come on in as if you own the place. Okay?”

Frank went over and got a bowl of blueberries and a banana. Frank filled a cup with coffee and sat across from Zeke.

Lucy came out, “Make sure he washes his dishes.” As she covered the pans on the steam table, “Are you taking the Bell sir?”

“I was going to wash the alien vessel first then take the Bell out,” Frank said.

“No, you’re not going to wash that vessel. You need to learn to delegate. You got hundreds of cadets ready to do anything, Sir.” Lucy was standing with her hands on her hips, “I’ve already taken the hazard tape down the guys are already washing everything they can reach. We got the school’s Geiger counter to check it when we’re done. Then we are going to wash up and go practice for Sea-Fare and other air shows.”

“At the mouth of the Columbia River?” Frank asked.

“Yes, the Oregon bunch is going to meet us at 11:00 AM,” Lucy said.

“Where is he taking you on your ride, Zeke?” Lucy had sat down next to Zeke, “That Sausage is really good this morning. It came from God.”

Zeke looked to Frank, “Could we really go to the moon?”

“Major, you need to let him drive. He’ll make good officer material if he can keep his foot out of his mouth and his hands-off other’s properties.” Lucy said.

“Yes, Lieutenant.” Frank wanted control of the discussion.

“May I take my leave, Sir?” Lucy knew she had completed her mission. She smiled.

“Yes, Lieutenant.”

“Thank you, Sir,” Lucy stood up, saluted, turned, and headed for the exit.

Zeke focused on his breakfast.

“Zeke, do you have any sisters or brothers?”

“One each Sir. Brother is nine and sister is six.” Zeke had a pained expression, “Sister has Down Syndrome.”

“How has that changed your life?” Zeke asked.

“A lot,” Zeke said.

“Like losing one’s parents,” Frank asked.

“Almost that bad.”

“My sister, Lieutenant Lucy was talking to our father and mother last night. She wanted to know how to heal all the kids at school. They are putting together a plan.”

“OMG!”

Space our last Frontier:

Zeke said, “The guys will be shooting hoops at the part.”

“Take us there.” Frank talked Zeke through it. Soon they were at the park looking at two incredibly surprised young men.

“Go get them, Zeke.”

“Guys, you want to go to the moon?”

“We need to get your parent’s permission.” As they walked to the spaceship.

“Let’s go try.”

Lars was an only child; Frank offered his dad a ride. He accepted. His mom said she would go when Lars became a cadet.

Hitch’s dad got in with his little brother. His mom joined them.

Zeke’s father was still pissed, “No he’s grounded.”

“Sir, your son two years ago got me to St. John’s Shelter and with contributions from Lars and Hitch got me $40. Without that act of kindness, I may have died. I owe him a ride. Please come with us, we have four seats left.” Frank said.

“What about his being expelled?”

“We’re working on it,” Frank said.

“Do you have any power?”

“Sir, I have no idea, I’ve only been a Major for a week.”

“You’re the one that saved Seattle.”

“Me and my 1,100 cadets Sir.”

Zeke’s father looked hard at his son, “Okay. You say my wife and other kids can come too?”

“Yes.”

“Let me get them.”

Once all aboard and seated, “Do we have everybody’s permission to go to the moon?” Frank asked.

“Okay do key!” Zeke’s little sister said. Everyone laughed.

“Okay, Zeke check your shields.”

“Greenlight.”

“Tell Bell what you want.”

“Bell, take us to the moon.” The ship started rising.

“You control the speed. Go up to 5% until we clear the atmosphere. Watch your scanners, we don’t need a 747 trying to occupy our air space.” The ship leaned back putting everyone against the backrest, “Everyone double-check your safety harness.”

“How fast is 5%?” Hitch’s Father asked.

“About as fast as the fastest jets in the world.” Frank shared.

Many eye-opening thoughts were shared by the passengers.

“Okay we are about fifteen miles up; we are going to do a slow roll to the left. Zeke bump the speed to 20% then turn that knob to the left.”

“WOW!” The ship did a 360-degree roll coming back to its position of flat.

“I didn’t know I was signing up for that?” Zeke’s mother commented.

“That will be it for the stunts today,” Frank said.

“Then that was fine.”

“Okay do key!” Zeke’s little sister said. Everyone laughed again.

“Zelby did you enjoy that?” Zeke’s mom asked.

“YES!”

Frank turned around and looked at the parents. They were all doing a circle with their index fingers. Frank got Zeke’s attention and did a 360 with his index finger. Zeke turned the knob again. The ship did another roll.

“WEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

“WOW!”

“Zeke we are at 20 miles, check scanners, open up the speed to 100%. Check shields.”

“Wow!” Zeke said.

“Bell how long do we open the God box?” Frank asked.

“Ten seconds will reduce the time for the journey by four hours,” Bell answered.

Frank looked over his shoulder, “Boys and girl I want you to count to ten when I say now. Okay?” Frank got three okays, he reached up and took the lid off, “Now!”

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, “TEN”. Was heard and Frank put the lid back on the box, “Thank you, kids. Without you, we couldn’t have done that.”

“Bell could count.” Lars’ brother said just loud enough for all could hear.

“I didn’t think of that,” Frank said laughing.

“What did you just do?” Lars’ father asked, “What does the God Box do?”.

“It changes the time. For a bit there we were warping space.” Frank said.

“By using the God Box, I just saved us four hours. I’ll use it again on the way back.”

“Look at that.” Said Lars. He was seeing the moon up close.

A little voice in the back asked, “Can I come closer to the window?”

“Yes, unbuckle if you want. There is a bathroom on board like on a Boeing Jet.”

“Zeke come to a stop, let’s eat lunch.”

Over the intercom came, “445 is this the good ship Bell?”

“This is Major Frank Taylor in the Bell.”

“This is Father John Taylor in the Patricia. Hi son. Everything okay?”

“We stopped for lunch. I have the three gentlemen that apologized to me on Monday and most of their families. We’re missing only one mother. Having fun sir. I have been advised by a certain First Lieutenant to take the day off.”

“She told me. Pretty proud of herself. Ever get tired of the view son?”

“No sir.”

“We’re heading around, see you later.”

“Love you, dad!”

“Back at you son!”

The Patricia was moving slowly between the moon and Bell. It disappeared in a blink of an eye.

“Zeke, what did we forget?”

“To check scanners when we came to a stop.”

“Will you forget next time?”

“I will try not to sir.

“Have you learned enough for today.” When Frank got the nod from Zeke, “Will I be seeing you three tomorrow?”

“When do you want them there?” Zeke’s dad asked.

“When they want to be there,” Frank said, “Sir, your son showed at 6:35 AM. It has to come from them. It’s there, just let it develop. Their effort will reflect on their promotions.”

“Have you ever had anybody drop out of the Cadet Program?” Lar’s dad asked.

“No, and that was before we were being paid.”

“Zeke switch with Lars.”

“You’re being paid?” Hitches’ dad asked, “How much does a new Cadet make?”

“We are a volunteer reserve force of the US. We make half what is on any of the pay scales for our armed forces. A private in the Cadets make $866.50 a month.

“Okay, Lars keep turning a bit more left. We’re getting a little bit further out. Check the cloak.”

“It’s green.”

“There, that’s better. It’s like your bicycle. Pretty soon it will be natural.”

“Does everyone become a pilot first?” Zeke’s mother asked.

“We have a Captain Wisner that was an Air Force Pilot that got shot down in the Gulf War. With no training, he is a better pilot than I am. He probably was flying The Patricia so he can become certified at least for something. He sat down in a brand new 995 Defender and figured out how to fly it. Thank God he had two of my brothers that had been certified to train him.”

“We also have a Major Byrd. The General won’t promote him unless he has at least three certifications. I’ll be taking him out in Bell next week. If he stayed in the Marine Corps, he would have been promoted. He lives near Chicago and the General wants a Battalion there. We have seven ships there now and they are the heroes of Chicago.”

“General Franks thinks that in ten years there will only be spaceships flying passengers between cities. Those of us with Space Certifications will be needed.” They were coming down over the North Pacific.

“You said Boeing made this ship.”

“Yes.”

“If our other children want to become cadets. What would you suggest?”

“His name?”

“Zany.”

“How old are you Zany?”

“Nine.” The boy said.

“Are you a helpful nine or a whinny nine?” Frank asked.

“Good!”

“He gets good grades, does his chores, and helps me cook all with a pleasant attitude and smiles a lot.” Zeke’s mother said about Zany her other son.

“He helps me on my projects around the house, rakes the grass cuttings, sweeps the driveway.” Zeke’s dad said, “Both boys make doing projects short work and fun.”

“Zany, do you want to shoot?”

“Yeah!”

“Thomas, do you want to shoot?”

“Me too.”

The two boys sat in the gunner’s seats and were guided by the two moms. They were home with the equipment. The set up looked like Nintendo or Play Station. They were cutting one of the icebergs coming out of The Baring Straight into all kinds of pieces.

“Your target practice serves the purpose of clearing the oceans for boats and shipping.” Lars’ father observed.

“Yes!”

“What a safe way to practice.” Said Hitch’s father.

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