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Parthian Kinsman

I boarded, at Newton Abbot, destined for Liverpool, Lime Street and found a compartment, with one occupant, in a surprisingly crowded train. Placed my holdall, in the net above, on entering, and said.

‘Busy, for the time of day,’ before taking a window seat.

‘I wouldn’t know.’ My companion traveller, replied, slowly, but not dismissively.

‘Not a regular, then?’ Persuaded, perhaps, into talking, he closed his book, but didn’t appear to mind. He was, possibly, mid – fifties, dark haired, with mid – eastern complexion.

‘I’ve been with my family, and leave has finished.’

‘Leave. Do you mean, shore leave? I asked.

‘Yes,’ he half – smiled,’ I’m to re-join Parthian Kinsman, in Liverpool.

‘Really – same situation. Re- joining a Blue Circle Liner.’

‘Jonas Faja. First Mate, Parthian Kinsman,’ he replied. It wasn’t that unusual to meet up with other seafarers, joining or leaving a ship, at that time.

‘We have not been supplied ammunition,’ he said, unexpectedly.

‘Ammunition?’

‘Munitions.’ He appeared to correct himself.

‘Right,’ I said. Blue Circle Line ships were well provisioned, but this was not always, the case.

‘Where are you trading?’

‘To Cape Town, and you?’ He asked.

‘We’re on a South American run,’ Rain slaked across the window, as our train left the station. I wasn’t sure what to make of my train companion? He appeared, preoccupied and only partly, willing to talk.

‘Be away, from all this.’ I looked toward, rain spots on the window.

‘That, is true,’ he replied. I remembered, seeing Parthian Herdsman, in Birkenhead. A modern liner and I assumed Parthian Kinsman would be similar.

‘Air – con, makes life tolerable, in the tropics,’ I said. But he did not reply. Next door was heard to open.

‘Buffet car is now available for refreshments, gentlemen.’ Then, it was our turn. I turned toward Jonas Faja, after the call.

‘Might, not be another chance,’ and stood up.

‘Are you?’ I asked.

‘No, but don’t let me, stop you.’ Jonas, raised his book, to continue reading.

On my return, the compartment was empty, with no sign of Parthian Kinsman’s First Mate. Maybe, he saw me as an interruption to his reading.

On arrival, I went by taxi, to Motor Vessel Albany Pride, due to sail and later, in the wheelhouse, the pilot said,

‘We’re waiting on Parthian Clansman, to clear.’

‘Is it not Kinsman, Pilot? I asked. ‘Met with Kinsman’s First Mate, on the train here, briefly.’

‘That, you didn’t Second.’

‘Yes, you’re mistaken,’ said Captain Howarth, in agreement.

‘Parthian Kinsman, was sunk, outside Biscay, forty – two. Afterdeck fitted with a four inch gun, but no ammo. Right, Pilot. Not a chance, out of convoy.’

‘Really?’ I said.

‘Might, have had a chance, with a working gun, but yes, Kinsman went down with all hands.

‘You’re mistaken Second,’ agreed the Pilot. ‘I’m friends with First Mate Jonas Faja’s family, from the war. I can vouch, that there’s no way, that you could have met up with Kinsman’s First Mate.

‘I stand corrected,’ was my reply and left it there.

Foot Note:

Fictional story. Merchant ships, were reported, to have four – inch deck guns, but not supplied with ammunition in WW 2.

Order: A word

It is, that words, have depths of meaning, which can be missed or unappreciated. In several contexts, the word, “order,” has held significance, in author’s life. Reflective of service life – an order was needed to be obeyed, sequential to outcome. Apart, from orders, given on a parade ground, there were those, verbal ones, aboard ship, such as “drop anchor,” and a telegraph ring to “Stop Engines.” Sound, notification, with visual instruction, described, on a dial; helpful, in a noisy, engine room.

Written, Standing Order provisions, are laid down by a ship’s master, which require signature, of witness, from a deck officer, before he or she, takes over a watch. An order, might be for – ship to shore Radio communications – “To be courteous, clear and pleasant.” Another, that officers of the watch are to be fully acquainted with the operation of all navigational equipment, and to avail themselves of its usage. Seemingly, an obvious instruction, but a reminder underline, does not go amiss. Specifically, perhaps? “That, in fog, mist, falling snow etc…,” ship’s master is to be notified of deterioration, in visibility, immediately. Pertinent orders, appropriate to conditions.

That, author, has early background knowledge embedded in the word “order,” can, momentarily, obscure variation of meaning, for this author, when applied elsewhere. That’s excluding, noun application for, public behaviour/civil order declaration; orders in society; as per monks, nuns, friars and non religious organizations. More, concern, is for, that of arrangement of things, in relationship, to each other and a particular sequence pattern, in relationship, to each other, and a sequence, pattern appropriate to conditions.

Difficulty, of recall arises, for example, when definition, is sought, for named, action, and resultant programme for preparation of a postal walk delivery, known as, “the ordering, of a delivery.” Chimes, with ordering groceries, online, in that a list is made, but there is deeper context. That is, for a detailed order layout, of the complete delivery, from start to finish.

A street name, printed with house numbered layout, on a frame, which lists delivery, up the even side, and back down the odds side of the road. On the ground, real life experience, might have determined that crisscrossing, for the postal deliverer, is more appropriate, perhaps, on a narrow road. Layout, altered, number – wise, to accommodate and re- order delivery. Large letter/packet space, allocated to business’s, which receive large delivery. Effectively, another re-order. Instructional cards, for those new to the delivery. -“Fierce dog, that bites fingers through letterbox at 10, Acacia Avenue – beware!” Yes, occupant might well receive a letter of complaint, but notwithstanding, the card is useful knowledge of potential danger! A council street re- numbering plan, where house occupants now receive mail with “new,” numbers, but door numbers have yet to be altered? Part of an ordering for each house/ flat/apartment/ school/hospital etc… described in labelled print view across a postal delivery, from start to finish.

Sequential definition, is also required in a digital programme, to achieve required outcome, as with a postal delivery, which seeks to order, best un-interrupted flow for deliverer, on foot.

“Order,” is a small word, which holds superior application, to that of planning, in practical and actual context. Plans, can be altered, misinterpreted and even refined to an extent that coherency may be lost. Ordering, where this is, access to knowledge by practical experience and not from plans, alone, is capable of producing defined symmetry.

That, many of our varied activities require diligence and application to order, sought for outcome, leads into that understanding, belief, that environmental experience determines a Darwinian biological evolution, in natural generation adaptation, for creature, insect and plant. At molecular, down to quark* and minute level, an ordering has to be made, with capability, beyond our conceptual comprehension, to date.

Quark: * Not, directly observed, but “theoretically,” prediction on their existence has been confirmed experimentally

Photon Waves

Former friends are over there,

dancing in the photon waves, come what may.

Within sun’s ray caress on this window sill;

waves that break, turn as they wish.

Many particles, not obeying laws of physics.

When I look, only then, are they there.

__________________________________________

Nothing is there, but then it is.

We search with clumsy microscope

to seek tangential material.

We see with parallax – eyes – movement – form

-why should they not be there – even if

we are turned away? They live and breathe

within a fabric that we will never see –

unless sensing inwardly when we turn, gulping, gasping, praying,

yet with wakened eyes.

There within Plank’s theory they sing and

practice dance; entrance there companions over there

in every way – in new born light.

a poem from a forty poem anthology.

Poems with themed notes

Sam Grant

ISBN: 978-1-78222-464-8

Good Book shops can supply. Please give ISBN, either

at retail outlet or online – Poems with themed notes.

Back cover description

Love starved by Electronics is a sonnet selected

for a Sonnets for Shakespeare anthology

In Riding through Time ghostly horsemen

appear to ride down the ages.

Captured into their realm – a meeting with an alien depicted in verse

Thankful thoughts and Spirit of Spring. These are a few of the poems in this varied anthology.

Notes have been prepared and included by Sam Grant to give background information and set the poems in context.

ISBN: 978-1-78222-464-8

Matte paperback edition and Kindle. Free on Amazon unlimited.

Publication Of Galactic Mission – Part Two. 16/10/2020

Immediate link to Kindle edition https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08LBKHB19

Radio Somerset. Released on October 30th

(28 day availability from October 30th)

Interview. Author Sam Grant with Simon Parkin:

to make you smile and make a difference. Mid morning show – toward end of show.

Interest during Lock Down for author’s Maritime novels from readers of Sea Breezes. Both novels, in one instance requested from a reader overseas, plus Scotland and Cheshire. Galactic Mission Part Two does include sea- going catamarans in latter half, but is primarily science fiction.

Author crewed – not very well – aboard catamarans in youth. Never really got the hang of the trapeze or sliding seat mechanism to maintain stability in strong wind!

Alice Fast Forward

Alice in tumble;

White Rabbit pursuit;

dream land,

remembered.

Too tall? Too short?

Pretty garden entry.

Fantasy escape;

Wonder World? Yet

– highly fraught.

____________________

Fabled creatures;

confusion;

advice from caterpillar.

Duchess with pepper?

Baby, a pig?

Grinning Cheshire Cat.

Mad Hatter, with dormouse,

seeks, tea time infinity;

forever, on move,

round table.

____________________

Cards of status

and none.

Queen of Hearts,

on croquet ground, repeats,

“off with their heads,”

no quarter given;

yet heads stay intact.

_______________________

Fishy story,

from Mock Turtle.

School days, that lessened;

Alice with gryphon; explains,

Lobster Quadrille.

“Will you, walk a

little faster, said a

whiting to a snail…”

______________________

Alice talks

about

fish, as food;

retracts, to not,

give offence.

Mock Turtle

gives Alice,

Porpoise,

for purpose.

__________________

Talk, from Alice

of White Rabbit;

curious tales;

where more,

are to come.

Animals remind,

Alice of school.

Mock Turtle,

weeps tears

with song sung;

no upset – after all,

landed turtle,

make tears.

__________________

“The trials to begin,”

heard, in distance.

A complete pack of cards.

King, Queen of Hearts;

where King to judge.

_______________________

Alice finds,

theft of tarts is,

now, to try.

White Rabbit,

blasts trumpet

for announce.

_______________________

Mad Hatter,

there, with dormouse;

apologises,

still at tea!

Nonsensical,

like, so much.

King, gets animal jury,

to write tea –

dates down.

Execution threatened.

Hatter, in agitation,

bites, tea cup.

____________________

Alice, alarmed;

new height growth.

Dispute with

Hatter and King.

Whilst Guinea Pigs,

shut out, in act of

suppression.

______________________

Hatter, keen to

finish tea;

keeps head;

exits, through

door.

______________________

Next witness,

is Duchess –

much sneezing,

with pepper.

_______________________

Dormouse, still there;

but thrown out,

when “treacle,”

said for tarts.

_______________________

Confusion follows,

whilst Duchess, Cook;

also, in disappear.

Alice wonders,

who next witnees,

will be…

’til,

White Rabbit,

calls out – Alice!!

Dispute, arises

over verse.

Jack of Spades;

made, but of card.

Alice, rushed , by pack;

awakens, on sister’s

knee.

__________________________

Vision, given,

now , for sister,

Alice’s dream.

White Rabbit,

Gryphon,

court room scene,

Mock turtle weeping,

swapped, for mowing cows.

________________________________

Elder, sister’s eyes –

see, Alice, grown woman.

Remembers , Wonderland.

With small children;

eyes, made bright and eager

told tale, now, by Alice.

—-The end—-

Alice, Fast Forward

by Sam Grant.

First published in Quora – Wonder Land,

for Sara Smith.

October, 2020.

Galactic Mission – Part Two

https://amazon.co.uk/dp/B08LBKHB19

Chapter 1

James awakened on Mars

Newly, landed , on a strange planet, there was no way, I felt able to make a commitment. I’d dodged giving an answer, as to whether I’d partner with Adriana, but now, after we’d settled in, it became apparent that an answer was needed?

‘How do you mean partner?’ I asked, when we were above the main capsule, alone in an observation platform.

‘You asked about wanting me to partner you, on landing?

‘Yes, now as a female of your species, we could produce off spring. Is that what you are asking James?’ An abstracted direct question, and not that romantic.

‘No, I meant in a more working together sense.’ How could I cope with twin appreciation, for Lara and Adriana, with both in boss capacity? Not well! Was the answer I came up with. And, as for a partner. A go between, might have been a more accurate description! Adriana continued, as if I’d not answered.

‘Genetic reproduction would be of ancestral origin, in that offspring would grow to have powers and would be ready to return to Galactic Force, if required. We’ve trialled a genetic similarity from data banks. Apparently, this is not advisable. Progeny would be taller, but I noticed

7

that your body is disproportionate to your legs, James, Since we’ve acquired access to feelings and understanding of your species, we appreciate that a reproductive female would be disappointed for offspring to have short legs. But then, that might not be much of a consideration for male progeny.’ I wasn’t going along with this advanced hypothetical supposition.

‘Hey, we’re not anywhere near that yet now. I’m attracted to you Adriana, but confused, because it might be, that feelings for Lara are temporarily transferred. I want this partnership to be separate. Is this because you’ve copied so much of Lara. Not just in looks?’

‘Lara, doesn’t have super powers, agreed? And, I possess highly advanced automata, in the form of Captain Dryson and Alfredo. Never, would I’ve considered to remain with you and this group, without presence of machine capacity at highest galactic level. Doesn’t power have aphrodisiacal properties James?’ I ignored this comment by a down play of the role of Adriana’s automata.

‘You mean, they’re like your minders then?’

‘Not a relevant comparison James, at all. They’ve computing capacity, beyond all in the Quadrant domain on earth. Transmittable understandings, which can reach into known galaxies and extract information to bring to operation, in full strength, here with me.

‘Right,’ I said, in that twilight zone of not wanting to make a decision before understanding more.

‘I don’t feel able to answer, without talking with the others.’

‘Your friends will be with you. I can offer everything a human woman can offer and more. Is that not appealing to you?’ That, was in itself a big worry.

‘ I would treat you not as a complete equal, but you

8

understand that’s not possible. I would be loyal and not make pretence that you’re interested in Lara, like Nina did.’

‘You know about Nina, and how she walked out?’ I came in with.

‘Surely, this doesn’t surprise you, James. We accessed all relationship history you encountered and about your partnership with Nina. Not to pass judgement, but I occupy the female human body and mind, in totality, and can see how your fascination for Lara was not just because you admired her as a capable work executive. Fully understood, how Nina would be upset about attention you gave to Lara’s talks and personal capability, I also, for that matter have knowledge of primitive survival mechanism, humans still possess. A need to search for protection and security. Nina, could not see this protective capability in you James. I though will compensate and be able to accept that, which Nina would not be willing to.’

‘Thanks, but not for the less than flattering description.’ I remembered that feeling of powerful attraction toward Adriana, when first awakened from our hibernation pods. Now, a less primal attraction. Emotional copy of Lara altered, as if Adriana, then decided to have a separate individual personality, the moment she severed connection with the Galactic Force.

‘You must already know, how I feel about you?’ I said.

‘I’ve no longer that ability to enter human minds, even with assistance, from automata. In that way, I understand, more how it is to be like a human.’ This, could’ve been a lie, but there was no suggestion of suspicion, in her eyes, when I altered, from, you might say, enthrallment, to a cooler assessment. This would have been spotted before. It might be true that, she’d relinquished immediate link to the Galactic Force, but near super – human powers were still available, when Adriana called on resources , given her, through ownership of Captain Dryson and Alfredo, whilst settled in the Hellas Crater, on Mars.

‘Lara, hasn’t suggested to you James, that she wants more from you, than cooperation and possibly friendship. That dynamic of corporate relationship, is still to remain, in place?’

I was still trying to come to terms with the sharp analysis displayed by Adriana in orchestration of the mission and remind myself, with how, she’s insinuated herself, into a similar position, in my mind to that held toward Lara. When released from the earth escape pod, I was still, in a dream state, which unrealistically could have featured Adriana. It was, like a focused battery light, at first wakening, which gave tantalizing attraction for Adriana, in place of Lara. Only, later to realize that for all the invitation of partnership, it was like fools’ gold, because Adriana, or her galactic numeration of XP100 was in control of our lives. An alien presence, which controlled the solar planets. Now, on Mars, a dominant Galactic presence with attempts to flirt and affect ambiguous femininity, when I was, like a fish, hooked at the end of an angler’s line. Adriana, continued.

‘I need to re – programme Captain Dryson and Alfredo. It’s advisable that you talk with Lara and see how committed she is to answer orders from me for the conceivable future.

‘Do Lara, or any of us have a choice?’

‘You know James, I understand what you call freedom of choice, but in a situation like this, don’t you believe that it’s safer for all in the group, that I make decisions, with data, that is, assessed by minders, as you disrespectfully call

10

them? It’s getting closer to when lead comets, enter this solar system. We need to make the decision, as to when the attack rockets are released. After successful deflection, of these, it will be necessary, for a party to return to earth. New mission members will be chosen from out of all the main group. Meanwhile, James, you might explain to Lara and Jeb, that you are to work with me, Yes? Maybe, Lara will be like Nina and show jealousy, do you not think?’ I nodded my head from side to side, in disagreement, with this likelihood.

‘No, I don’t think so and neither do you.’ It was no surprise, that Adriana, transferred to ongoing human, appreciated humour. A big regret was, that Adriana, not Lara partnered me on this Mars mission.

‘Perhaps, then, you would like to view continued botanical development, in the farm capsule, James? Crops, will soon be ready to be harvested.

‘Aren’t we not returning to earth. Isn’t that a bit pointless? I mean there’s sufficient supply in the three rockets,’

‘This, is now a functioning botanical, animal and human encampment. A fort with a community. We have placed shields, around the complex. The Chinese settlement will be aware of our arrival.

‘What time frame are we in then?’ I asked.

‘Real time, of course, James. Captain Dryson will be in contact with a Chinese settlement, before I return, every thing to earth time. Rockets, are to be launched, to deflect the comets. Calculations suggest that within, three months of earth time, a first rocket will explode its missile into a lead comet. There’re important decisions to make after this. It’s intended, that Corporal one will make an impact sufficient to deflect the comet pack away

11

from the solar system. A second rocket is back up but will be deployed, to ensure the comet pack clear planetary gravitational drag. Meanwhile, automata will build continuously, to effect large accommodation spaces, for future colonizing parties from earth. Your group have chalet accommodation, within main capsule. Lara and Captain Jeb will remain as de facto leaders of the Group for Life Corporation here on Mars, and will consult with you and me. Does Lara like the chalet , set off the ground?’

‘Yes,’ I replied. A dream memory which displayed a chalet came back. As if reading my thoughts Adriana continued with,

‘Yes, It’s planned to integrate natural growth, within design. Captain Jeb has an adjacent chalet, similar to his holiday one.’

‘Will we age faster?’ I asked.

‘No, the opposite. Produce, grown from seeds we brought from the galactic store house has ability to slow aging process below that of earth.’

‘What about the children and their growth?’ I asked.

‘An effect which translates to fully grown adults. Human children continue to develop to maturity.’

‘And then what, Adriana?’

‘They enjoy the same slowed process. if, agelessness you find attractive, James? I benefit from this, in you not aging overmuch, whilst I remain a possible reproduce for your species. But I’m disappointed that you only want this to be a working relationship. You still believe you have a future with Lara, James?’

“Live in hope,” could have been my reply, but I said,

‘We have a good working relationship,’

Adriana continued.

12

‘A group of Chinese earth dwellers are prepared to leave and settle here. It’s my intention that Chinese Mars settlors join with your one hundred and fifty. Volunteers will remain to maintain the modules we have built and are living in.’

‘And on earth, there’s turmoil, with no government?’

‘No James, Captain Dryson, has installed A + 3 monitoring of all earth systems, with Alfredo to follow implementation. Plant and machinery will be run efficiently, due to a locked in mechanism. Peoples, across the earth, I believe will be happy to share resources. All lives, will be seen to be in peril. A wake up call to work in harmony initially, will be exactly as was planned. It was noted that social distancing that was implemented in earlier times created an understanding of frailty for your species, toward infection from close contact. International understanding assisted more cooperation. Our galactic intelligences cosmic struggle focus, with comet diversion away from earth destruction, has also been a unifying force. A display shown to you James, whilst you believed to be in Stroud train station Waiting Room, has also been made available to production companies and offices around the world. Diagrammatic news on the position of the comets and their trajectory toward your solar system. We have sent views of the approach and explanation as to how the lead comet can be deflected. It is a gratification for earth people that planet and existence can be saved. Quadrant, though have taken credit for this, It’s a mystery, that unity can only be found, when everything could be destroyed. An appreciation of life to be cherished, has for the present, eliminated animosity, envy and jealousy. Now, that the earth is seen as fragile, when threatened rom those marauding, in space. Soon, will be a good time to return to earth.’

I felt abstracted from this final speech, as if Adriana was communicating with, an outside audience.

______________________________________________________________________________

An extract first chapter, from Galactic Mission Part Two. At

https://amazon.co.uk/dp/B08LBKHB19 Available Free with Amazon Unlimited. Kindle

ISBN: 978-1-78222-773-1 paperback edition.

Please give ISBN at good book shops.

Galactic Mission Part One. ISBN: 978-78222-512-6 paperback edition was first published in 2017. Alien intervention in 2110, sees James first encounter with Adriana. URL amazon.com/author/grantsam.

Kindle editions on Amazon give preview chapters of all Sam Grant listed books.

A beach swim

A stone’s throw from the sea. That was a favourite advertising mantra in many a guest house brochure or newspaper advert. As a child, sea, could be seen from two bedrooms. A strip, contrasted with skyline, across fields, dotted pine trees and chimney tops. Some days sea view, almost merged with blue sky.

Three beaches, in walking distance, to invite the swimmer. Meadfoot, was farthest away, and only became favourite, after sea service. So much, is taken for granted, when you live in a town with natural attractiveness. Unappreciated, fully, with doorstep availability, and before immersion, in sea life, where, most shorelines, were viewed world ports. Mainly, city docks or river quays, hundreds of miles into Argentina or Venezuela. To swim in these rivers, ill advised, due to piranha or crocodile. That’s apart, from general river condition, which risked typhoid contraction.

Meadfoot beach, is a beach, littered with fallen rock face. When the tide departs, spots of sand, strewn with seaweed and rock pool, appear. Nearby, Redgate beach, suffered a rock fall, which closed bridge access. Oddicombe, though, had a rock face, positioned dive board, plus pebbled beach, described in romantic novel, Dancing on the Beach by Sam Grant. There’s no nearby island, though, which was imagined for storyline.

More recently a marine lake, by a beach, has allowed a return to sea swimming. Fifty years forward. A number of swimmers, wear wet suits, but water has warmed, from earlier months, and can be murky, for this man made lake, over run by incoming tide. Water clarity, most likely influenced, by tidal over flow. From preference, a dive in approach, as from ship or boat to enter the water. This marine lake, is barely, above waist level, on near side. There’s no choice, other than to dangle legs, into the water, and summon courage up, to lower yourself down. Whilst crowd -viewed by seagulls, either wheeling above or sat on lake’s far barrier. Perhaps, sat there in contemplation, of, a supermarket type, promenade foray, after discarded fish and chip carton; remnant dough nut; splodged, dropped cornet; or similar delicacy. They do seem to look contemptuously, over from their perch. Might, even be stopped from that food hunting spree, to witness this land creature’s attempt to overcome fear, or not, of cold water impact. Impetus, to dive forward is driven by an appreciation that to stand waist height, without movement has already chilled lower body half, and movement is needed or you might as well, leave the lake. One method, is to half – pretend you’re really in the water, and that most cold effect has already been accommodated. After all, probably less than half your body, remains above the lake. “Anyway,” – you came to swim! So, you have to tell yourself, to get on with it! It’s decision making time, that benefits from immediate action, because your body’s, rapidly chilling. Once, that decision, is taken, to go in, vigorous swim, out, into the lake, lessens that first – isn’t it cold moment! But, the water’s not as cold, as in April! How, we like, to make comparison, in a belief, that a situation, sees improvement over time?

How, we can also be susceptible to an expert’s advice? Dr Mosely, recommends that two rapid exercise bike pedals, with a rest in between, is most beneficial to obtain health benefit. Two swim sessions, spaced, with rest in between, at the marine lake, have been followed.

Station Encounter. Original story, which led into Galactic Mission novel of 2017.

It was a hurried exit from the flat. Burning the toast, setting off the smoke alarm and flying out of the front door. A lateness detective looking for evidence would have noted the hasty tying of shoes, on the wall by the front gate, mouth still chewing on the remains of buttered toast. Verbal expletives expressed dropping the car keys on the pavement. A jamming of the car seat belt, causing further delay. Clues aplenty, about being driven by lateness. Planning the future. Visualizing, imaging a parking space before you set out. As you arrive , a car pulls out, or a space appears spectacularly, in a row of cars. Reserved, prepared for you, by some cosmic helper. There were occasions, when this worked for me. Not today. It was too late to prepare for what was now the present, as I drove into the packed station car park. it meant an excursion to the very end of the park. and a squeeze into a space by the railings other drivers avoided.

The station clock’s minute hand on the platform caught my eye, as it jumped to eight twenty – six. This reduced anxiety. My train was due at eight – thirty five. I went to the waiting room. A recent boxed shaped addition. Inside, rows of tables with bench seats. On the far wall, a poster, of a train, hurtling through lush countryside with the bold claim, ” you can escape the crowd, relax, you’re on track,” running across the top. I sat in the corner next to a window, with my back to the poster. The table height, ideal for leaning on to scroll my Tablet. I intended to access the Head Office website, but became distracted by a cut – price holiday advert. It was a recent discovery of mine that broadband was available, in this corner of the Waiting Room.

The door clicked. I looked up. A young woman, I guess, in her early twenties entered, in blue leather coat and a shoulder bag. Hair, sort of encased in a woollen hat. Without looking around, she came across, and oddly asked,

“Is this seat taken?” As if we were already in a train compartment. Not really seeing then why in an empty Waiting Room anyone should want to sit opposite me. I rationed my answer to –

‘No.’ I considered it wise to pretend to be absorbed in the advert, although I glanced across, as she sat down. She placed the fingers of her hands, momentarily together, but then lowered them, before placing her elbows on the table with hands held to cheeks. I noticed there were no rings on her fingers. Deep blue eyes transmitted a pleading look.

‘That’s a neat looking tablet.’ she said. ‘I’m disturbing you. I expect you want to be alone.’ She leant back with finger nails on the tables edge, but leant forward again, with a smile. Her eyes registered that overt interest level, which men can be reeled in on. The woollen type of beret she deftly removed, and dropped on the table. Blond hair tumbled down, to shoulder length. A shake of the head made it fall into place.

‘Would you mind accessing a site for me?’ she asked. The batteries flat on my I pad. Could you enter this? Don’t worry I have a code.’

‘Yes, that’s not a problem,’ I said. My curiosity, as to why a code was required, over ruled by that compliance technique women can use, when a sap, like me, finds them attractive. The strap curled away from her shoulder as she picked up her handbag. Its clasp clattered on the table. From a pocket, she produced a laminated card, with large type, showing a string of numbers and letters. Longer than my mobile phone number. After facing it towards me, to read, pink nail varnish visible, I was already, in my mind, questioning my helpfulness.

-” Where was this going?” – But, as if she read my thoughts, she reassured me, by saying,

‘It’s only, a family message.’

‘Lower case,’ I heard myself ask, while her friendliness and perfume abducted rational male decision making.

‘That’ okay, you’re very kind,’ she said. I didn’t expect to see a video screen. A script appeared. A man’s clear voice began, but then stopped to synchronize, with text appearance. Timbre, not unlike that of the woman’s, but more authoritative and announcing

“You are now entering Real Time and exiting Earth Planetary zone time.”

A momentary pause. The pulsating glow from the moving script, brightened, as if in receipt of a more powerful energy source. I’d never seen such luminosity on my Tablet before.

” The script will now run independently,” the voice, said. I looked for a person, in the room, because the voice was no longer coming from my Tablet. It seemed to be near, where I was. The woman moved her arm, along the bench behind and turned towards me.

‘We already know you, everything will be all right,’ she said. This statement kindled in me the memory, of a captor who reassured a prisoner, when in an interview room, who had no chance to escape. I was unconvinced , about everything, being “all right.” Although, the Waiting Room appearance looked unchanged, it felt like its existence was moving away. I could not move my legs.

That dream sensation where you cannot run away had taken hold. Although I could see and move my hands. I took a deep breath and held it before letting it out. The woman said,

‘Do not worry we are not here to harm you,’ which creepily worried me more, because although I couldn’t see any person, I felt a powerful force holding me to the bench seat. I looked at the screen and there were moving pictures, which showed a life biography alongside the script – mine. That voice restarted, but with details about the solar system. Details, about specific sectors, quadrants and the positioning of Venus and Mars relative to the earth. This alien woman’s face became animated, whilst listening to the data, although meaningless to me. Frightening because the script described my motivations on a review basis. Acceptable when good. Other times it depicted me as arrogant and oblivious to those around. Not a flattering ghost written biography, but the truth! That’s really scary, who wants the world to know the unedited truth about your life? I was already considering who else could gain access to this. Total strangers with access to my life details. Yet, I didn’t feel this woman was a representative from St Peter or the other place. There followed laughter

‘I find you amusing. You are right I am not a being from either of those places.

‘Incredible,’ I replied. Now trying to hold back outright panic.

‘I have some explaining to do. My name, it has been decided is Adriana.’ What did that mean, my name it has been decided , by what or whom? Not a name I was likely to forget, in a hurry. She continued.

‘Where do you think you are?’ This seemed like a dumb sort of question.

‘I’m sitting in Stroud Waiting Room , waiting for my train, of course,’ I said. A leather belt around her coat, slipped away, as she stepped away from the table and raised arms and opened the coat, which revealed a pink mini dress and tanned legs. Her arms, once horizontal, opened further, giving appreciation of feminine form. This distraction most likely intended to ensure my interest and attention. She turned, more directly toward me, smiled, hands with fingers spread, palms rotated to face down. I felt that the room and essence of my being there, now, was subjected to powerful control. Her arms ,as they lowered, cancelled the light from the windows, and left only light from three ceiling ones.

‘Now,’ she said, as she sat down opposite me, once more,

‘We are no longer in Stroud, we have entered “REAL TIME.” – we have informed you of this. You were listening, were you not?’

‘Yes, but, where are we?’ And in a pathetic little voice,

‘How am I going to catch my train?’ She ignored that question.

‘Real Time, is the ability we have to make your time, elastic. We can retrieve past events, and we can extract from a time frame, for purposes of research. We are able to convert molecules into constructs of our design and determination. Hence, we have kept for you the same environment,’ she said in speech fashion.

‘Thanks,’ I said, as if being handed, an unwanted drink, but thinking it was wise to go along with the situation. Beginning, now to feel like some organism, but with consciousness, in the petri dish of a scientist.

‘It is because you are ordinary, a plausible individual, James. You do not mind me calling you by your first name, do you?’

‘No, but I’m not so keen on the ordinary, plausible description.’ She seemed amused and smiled, before asking,

‘Do you find me attractive, James ?’

‘My feeling is that you know that,’ I replied. ‘You reliably access whatI’m thinking ,’I said.

‘ I expect you understand matters like heightened pulse,’ I said, attempting to elevate my ordinary status.

‘We can intercept your neural pathways and access thought activity before you are aware of receiving it. That is true. That feeling of attraction in the human race, we have difficulty understanding. You were younger when we contacted you on previous occasion. You appeared, James, uninterested in your opposite specie type, the female.’

‘That’s not true, when did you contact me?’ More, that my life path meant I never met many of the opposite specie, as you put it.’

‘I must return to our purpose,’ she said. The man’s voice, repeated, “Return to purpose.” Which made me re – consider, who, or what else, was listening to this conversation.

‘We need to enlist others to assist in breaking the news of our presence to the human species. This is part of evolutionary progression for humanity.’ Which, made me feel like some abstract commodity, but I kept quiet.

‘Your quest to explore other planets, cannot be achieved, without our assistance. We can transport people to the Moon, but also make life habitable, on Mars. You — James, have been selected to promote this information. Representatives, around your world are being selected to do this work. It will save many, now on Earth, and secure a safer future for your species.’

‘But I may not want to be your Noah,’ I said.

‘You remember this event then,’ she said.

‘Not exactly. It’s just embedded in our religious culture. Hey, I’ve only been here twenty – five years.’

‘We could take you back to the beginning of your human race.’

‘No thanks, I’ll pass on that,’ I said.

‘There’s more explaining to do,’ she added hastily. ‘Now that we’ve made contact , we need to allow this knowledge, to develop within you, before we proceed. We believe, you, James, will soon want to be part of this progression, when we reveal risks to future Earth generations. We do not expect you to fully understand, yet. I will allow you to catch your train. We believe you will want to know more. We will revisit.’

‘What! Here, how?’ I asked. This Adriana creature laughed.

‘You are not anywhere, you are outside time and place,’ Now twirling blond locks together, and burying them back, into that woollen hat. It occurred to me that it was something like a military beret. I was not convinced , as they say, that she came in peace. There was no mention of a star command fleet, yet. This did cross my mind, which she picked up on.

‘No, in time, you will understand we come in peace,’ she said. Those were her last words, before arms and hands, faced upwards. Moved, in a reverse procedure, now making the window light reappear. Evidently, with her mission accomplished, that was it. I’d wanted to ask more questions, I realized. The guile. That capturing of a man’s attention, enticement, persuasion, all made me believe, Adriana, was an actual woman, but how could this be? Footsteps, could be heard coming down from the metal stairway, outside. Adriana, turned, smiled and waved at me, whilst leaving, via the Waiting Room door. My tablet, showed the picture clock, at eight thirty.

“The train, now arriving at platform one, is the eight thirty – six for Swindon,” came from the platform loudspeaker. I switched my Tablet off, placing it in my inside pocket, before standing up and walking towards the door.

First appeared, in short story form, in 2015. Later became a chapter( re-written) in Galactic Mission – Part one, 2017, Begins James Walters encounter with Adriana – ” The Empress of Earth and all planets circling the solar system.” (A Part Two, Galactic Mission is near to publication 19/09/2020)

Author note

This story, appears, rewritten as a chapter in Galactic Mission by Sam Grant. An early short story entry, before publication of the complete science fiction novel, in 2017

Extract story from – MISTS OF TIME Sam Grant 2018.

Good book shops can supply. Please give title/ author and ISBN

ISBN 978 -1-78222-620-8 Waterstones online. amazon.com/author/grantsam

Paperback, hard cover and Kindle unlimited editions

That move from writing the novel to talking about it

There’s no doubt, there’s a big leap, from that arena of words on paper to dialogue about your novel. One discovery, that can be made, is that your reader can take ownership, which is positive, but can be in conflict with your imagined portrayal of character, situation and intended response.

This can move forward to where a reader will tell you that in the sequel, you the author, must resolve, injustices to a character and make sure perpetrators are brought to justice! Myriad other aspects exposed for scrutiny. Interpretation is subjective. Author remembers, how, a fighter pilot, related that one movement in a Beethoven symphony, reminded him of landing his fighter plane on a runway. Not sure author’s novels engender such dramatic interpretation. Every reader, will decide how they view a particular character – and this might not necessarily relate to authors intended effect.

Galactic Mission Part Two, begins with a character list. Similar to that of a cast list in a play. Galactic Mission (2017), did develop around ideas around a play, which the author acted in, but characters in the novel are not related to this play. New story line includes characters from Galactic Mission (2017) plus new ones. There are historical characters introduced, similarly to aboard the airship, in first Galactic Mission (2017) and chapters which include group members from the first novel. There’s a possibility of a chat about Galactic Mission part Two on Radio Somerset.

State of play. Final corrections have been submitted and a front and back cover are in preparation. Will keep readers posted with further news.

Best wishes, Sam Grant – Author name of Colin Coles. 8/09/2020.

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