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About quokka

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  1. NB Chapter 26

    Both Tom and Margaret were a little annoyed that Sebastian was spending so much money on non essential comforts, but Sebastian and I, insisted that they accept these gifts as a big thankyou for allowing for Sebastian and his brothers to move onto the farm, and that as they were now in their 50’s, they should enjoy a few more comforts of home, and relax some more, now that Sebastian, Jose and I are now working on the farm. Now I was fit again, I was able to assist with the unloading of all of the furniture supplies, and place it all in the correct buildings, and as we finished the second truck, the first truck had returned with a second load, containing a brand new vehicle, for the farm. Later that day, Eric arrived with the Captain of the Ocean Explorer – Paul Kingsley with him, so he could have a face to face meeting with his bosses, mainly Sebastian and myself, and once Margaret had delivered some lunches for us at the main office, we sat down to eat and to discuss plans for Christmas. Normally the timetable for the ship, has it arrive in Albany on December 13th for 21 days of Christmas & New Year holidays, but it was decided to alter the timetable slightly, to allow for the ship to arrive back in Stanley just three days before Christmas, after heading to Cape Town, with stops at South Georgia Islands, Bouvet Island and Gough Island. With just two days to resupply the ship instead of the usual four days, the ship would then go onto Marion Island and Heard Island, before heading back to Stanley, in time for Christmas, where it will remain for 14 days, to allow the crew to have some shore leave, instead of continuing onto Albany. With Annette and Kyle Davies and our housekeeper, June Cooper travelling over from Western Australia, Tom and Margaret, Eric and Mary plus Jose would be joining, Sebastian, the boys and I on the ship for Christmas Lunch, with the Captain bringing extra supplies for the celebration from Cape Town. Once we had finalised plans for getting the ship back to Stanley for Christmas, and working out that there would be 12 of us for Christmas day celebrations, once the Christmas Day service at the Cathedral has finished, Captain Kingsley left the office, and Eric was waiting for him, to take him back to the ship in Stanley. After four days in Stanley, the Southern Explorer left, departing two days early, so as to get back here in time for Christmas, and in the mean time, I was slowly getting back into work on the farm, much to Jose’s disappointment, as it meant less time with Sebastian, who was now spending some time in the office, and helping with the boys. For the next three weeks, I was happy to get back into a routine on the farm, and once Tom had recovered from the Flu, I encouraged him and Margaret to take a few days off from the farm and stay in Stanley to just relax and do absolutely nothing, recruiting Eric and Mary to assist to make sure they did just that. As Christmas was fast approaching, the final plans had been made for Annette, Kyle and June to travel to the Falkland Islands via Santiago, where they would spend a few days, before flying to Stanley, arriving three days before Christmas, the same day the ship is due to arrive back. I had spent a lot of time talking long distance to Kyle once he had returned home from school, putting together a special plan for Christmas eve at the Cathedral. While Annette, Kyle and June were in transit to the Falkland Islands, I was organising things here on the island, making sure that Eric and Mary, plus Jose, Tom and Margaret accepted an invitation to attend Christmas lunch on board the Ocean explorer. I had arranged with Mary, for my Australian guests to stay at their place for their stay on the Islands, which Mary and Eric were very happy to do. Speaking to Captain Kingsley, I made sure that plans were in place, for the crew to provide a fantastic Christmas lunch meal for all of our family and friends, and having made preparations for a quick trip to Santiago, Sebastian arranged for me to have a chartered flight that came from Santiago to collect me and take me back to the Chilean capital, arriving the day after Annette, Kyle and June had arrived, to spring a surprise on them later that evening. I had spoken to Kyle after they had settled into their hotel rooms, in Santiago, and I knew that they would be eating at the hotel’s main restaurant each night they were there, and arriving in the late afternoon, I checked into the same hotel, and showered and changed, before heading down stairs to the restaurant. “Huon, hello buddy” Kyle shouted as soon as he saw me, and he jumped out of his chair and rushed towards me, “Hey my friend, how have you been enjoying Santiago?” I replied as I received a bear hug from Kyle, while Annette and June looked on, before we walked to the table and sat down. I explained that I would be travelling with them in two mornings time, as I had to come and buy some Christmas presents for my three cousins, and some friends on the Islands. Kyle told me all about their day and a bit in Santiago, since they had arrived, telling me about all the amazing places that they had visited, with his mother adding some information from time to time. “What about you Mrs Cooper? How have you been enjoying the trip here to Chile and looking around the place” I asked noticing that she was fairly quiet, as Annette and Kyle chatted. “It has been a new experience for me, I have never been out of Australia, and I found it a little unsettling at first, I think the overnight stop over at Auckland helped alot, that is a beautiful city, and I would love to see some more of it some time” June replied. I made a mental note to make some adjustments to Mrs Cooper’s return journey to Australia, to include a 9 day road coach tour of the North Island of New Zealand, as a special Christmas present for her. After dinner, June and Annette chose to remain in the hotel and relax, while I arranged a limo, to take Kyle and I on a tour of the city, and with me knowing Spanish, I had no problems talking to the driver. My room was just down the passage from where Kyle and the ladies rooms are, so when we arrived back to the hotel, we headed up to the fourth floor and saying goodnight, Kyle thanked me for an awesome night and headed to his room. The next morning, Kyle joined me for breakfast, while the ladies slept in a bit longer. Kyle agreed to join me for shopping, and as we left the restaurant, the ladies arrived for some breakfast, “Good to see you both this morning, did you sleep well?” I asked as we approached them, “Yes good thanks Huon” Mrs Cooper replied with a smile, “I was going to leave these at reception for you, but now I can give it to you in person” I said as I handed them both a envelope. “Inside is some cash, so you can do some shopping of any kind, just have fun while you are here, Kyle is coming with me to help me do some shopping for my cousins, so we will meet back here for afternoon tea, if that is ok with you?” I said to the ladies. “That is fine Huon, have fun” Annette replied, and they headed in for some breakfast, while we set off to do some major shopping. When Kyle and I arrived back at the hotel shortly after 2pm, we were both exhausted, and once we had stashed away all of the purchases, we had a rest before heading downstairs for afternoon tea with the ladies. When we met up with them, we were not surprised that they too had a short rest before coming down for afternoon tea. When finished, we agreed to meet up again jsut before dinner, and we once again retired to out rooms for a longer rest. After dinner, we retired to our rooms to pack and prepare for the early start the next day, with the flight leaving at 6.45am, and we had to be at the airport 90 minutes before that. Arriving at the airport just after 5am the next morning, all four of us were still half asleep, as we checked in and passed through Customs, and headed to the departure lounge, were we found a cafe to buy some breakfast. For 3 ½ hours we travelled till we landed at Punta Arenas, where we would be stopping for 75 minutes, before making the final 2 ½ hour journey to the Falkland Islands, arriving at the Mount Pleasant Airport at 1pm, where Mary would be waiting to collect us, and take us into Stanley. With the Falklands being so much further south of Santiago, our guests, were a little shoocked at how cool it was as we stepped out into the open, and made our way into the terminal to pass through customs. Mary was in the arrivals lounge when we had finished being processed, and she welcomed Annette, June and Kyle, and led us out to the waiting vehicle, with trailer attached to carry all of the luggage, including the large amount of luggage that I had brought with me from Santiago. “I had a call from Sebastian, just over an hour ago, he informed me that the Captain has called to say they would be arriving at 1400 hours, which is about now, I will get Annette and June settled into their accommodation, if you would like to go to the jetty to talk with the captain” Mary said to me. After spending an hour onboard the Southern Explorer, talking to the senior officers, about Christmas day celebrations, and calling Seb to let him know I was staying in town, I walked to the accommodation where I found my land rover waiting for me, which I was expecting, as I entered the guest house, where Mary and her guests where busy chatting away over a cup of tea. “Excuse me for the interruption, Mary, can you spare me about twenty minutes, I have a special request to ask of you” I said as I approached them. A few minutes later, Mary and I were walking down the road heading towards the cathedral, “I would like you to introduce me to Reverend Hart, as the mysterious singer please Mary” I said to her after a few minutes of silence, and Mary looked at me stunned, “Are you really sure you want to do this?” she asked me, “Yes, I have a special reason for this request and all will be revealed shortly” I responded. “Hello Mary, what brings you to the cathedral at this time of the week?” the Reverend Hart said when we arrived, “Hello Lionel, I have been asked to make a special introduction, I believe you know my friend here, Huon Devonport, he works for Tom and Margaret at Douglas Farm, and he is a first cousin of the owner of the ship Southern Explorer” Mary said to the the minister, as I stepped forward to shake his hand. “Yes, hello, I think I recall seeing you on some Sunday services” the minister replied. “Sir, I have a special request to ask of you, and in return I will have a special gift for you” I said to the minister, “Go on, I am listening” he said and I smiled, “I have some friends who have arrived from Australia, and we are having Christmas Lunch on board the Southern Explorer, when it returns to Stanley, a few days before. I would like to invite you and your wife, to be part of those celebrations, along with 24 needy people, of your choosing, who would normally have a less happier Christmas, due to personal and financial circumstances” I requested, “Well that is very unexpected, and I will gladly accept the invitation, and I will get right onto getting a list together of people in need to invite,” the minister responded. “I would like that it be a surprise for them, so maybe send them a invitation to a free Christmas dinner at the cathedral hall for 12 noon on Christmas day” I said, “that sounds possible, now what is the return gift that you mentioned?” the minister replied. “Well, my best friend from Australia is here for Christmas along with his mother, who is an Anglican minister in our home town of Toodyay, Kyle and I have been doing some recordings last year, and well, we would like to give you something in return” I said as I turned to Mary. “Reverend, the other thing I have been asked to do, is introduce you to your mystery singer, Mr Huon Devonport” Mary said with a huge smile, and the minister stumbled back a little bit at this news, and his mouth dropped open ins surprise, which made Mary and I chuckle. “Sir, back home in Western Australia, my friend Kyle and I have featured in a ABC television Sunday morning special, as we sang at different Anglican churches and chapels around the state, and as a one off and only a one off, Kyle and I would like to sing at your Christmas Eve service in two nights time” I said to the still shocked minister. “Well, how can I refuse an offer like that, and yes I have heard of your performances on ABC television in Australia, as a friend of mine sent me a DVD of some of your performances, I would also like to invite your friends mother to assist with the Christmas Day service, if she is willing?” the minister replied. “I will have to ask Annette, I mean Reverend Davies, if she would do that, as she is on holidays, she is staying with Mary and Eric, so we can ask her to come down and meet and talk with you” I responded. A few minutes later we left the Cathedral and headed back to Mary’s place. Once there, I chatted to Annette, and told her about the request to help with the service on Christmas Morning, and she agreed to go and speak to the minister later. “We might come with you mum, as we need to rehearse before Christmas eve tomorrow, so we can do that while you are meeting with the minister” Kyle suggested, and a few hours later, just as it was getting late in the afternoon, Annette, Kyle and I walked over to the cathedral. While Annette and Reverend Hart talked, Kyle and I went towards the front of the cathedral and sang a few Christmas hymns. Kyle was amazed at how good their singing sounded in the Cathedral, and after a few hymns,, Annette appeared with the smiling minister, who was thrilled to hear us sing, and he suggested that maybe we could sing from the loft of the cathedral, so as to keep anonymous, and he led us through some steel gates and up a tight spiral staircase, to the loft, which had an amazing view of the cathedral. Kyle and I sang one more hymn, and it sounded even better from up in the loft, and before leaving the minister gave a list of the hymns for the Christmas Eve service, and asked us to chose 3 of the six hymns to sing, and to let Mary know, so she can let him now before the start of the service tomorrow. After a wonderful dinner, Kyle and I helped with cleaning up, while the Annette, June, Mary and Eric chatted in the lounge room. Once we had served them some coffee, we said good night and retired for the night. The following morning, after breakfast, Kyle came with me as I drove back to the farm, where I introduced him to Sebastian, Louis, Joachim, Tom and Margaret and Jose.
  2. Chapter 6

    spanking his donkey dick don't you mean LOL
  3. DSJ Chapter 8

    Hi B2B Since Quinn is from Earth and he has a Sahndrol wife, and they have two sons, it would be presumed that they do have simular physiology, not sure about the UN special status, since the boys and wife have not stepped onto Earth, as they remain on URP property in Space, all the returnees are NZ citizens, so there shouldn't be a problem with them returning, considering they allowed NZ to be the location for the ship to land there. Demand on trade of minerals would something I haven't even tried to look into, as the URP is a separate republic, with all of its territory located in space, food I have not looked into either, but it is mentioned in previous chapters, that each colony would establish its own hydroponic gardens to keep the food supplies going. In regards to people from Earth migrating to the URP, that is something that would be happening in the distant future, although in the story this has started to happen, with cadets from Earth training at the URP academy. In a few chapters time you will also get and idea of other things happening between the URP and Earth. Keep reading and all will be revealed. Regards Q
  4. DSJ Chapter 9

    “So, what are you going to do to allow access to the outer planets and your technology? the Security Council chair asked, “We will do nothing till we are sure that the safety of the citizens of the republic are guaranteed, and that none of the advanced technology will be used for ill gain or for criminal purposes” Quinn replied. “But you can’t do that, we insist that you allow access to all your technology and access to the planets as soon as possible” one of the Permanent members of the council demanded, “Sir, might I remind you, that the Security Council and the United Nations, is responsible for the United Nations of Earth, as of 1945, that does not cover any planets in the solar system and beyond. We have established Embassies at 4 locations around the world, to allow countries and the UN to contact us through them. If you wish to discuss any other matters, then I suggest you contact our nearest Embassy to you, which is in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. There is no more to discuss at this time, so have a nice day” Martin said and he terminated the connection. A short time later, Martin called Damian – the Ambassador in Edmonton, and let him know of the conversation that they had with the United Nations security council, and that he may get some calls from the United Nations. Damian informed Martin and Quinn that he had located a building in Edmonton, a four-level apartment building, that was in disrepair, but he felt that it would be perfect for the Embassy, as the top level 12 apartments, could be used for the Embassy staff accommodations. Level three would be the executive offices for the embassy. Level two would be support staff offices, and the ground floor, would have a secure reception lobby, and two meeting rooms, and two bathrooms, with a restaurant, recreation and lounge space for staff, and a library, plus meeting and conference facilities, located behind them, all which can’t be access from the ground floor, but from the next level up, to ensure security. Currently staying in a hotel nearby with his family, Damian had already started the process of having the building cleared of any temporary internal walls, changes were being made to the two elevators, new ventilation and air-conditioning systems were installed on the roof. Giant concrete barriers, had already been installed in front of the building, to prevent any ram raiding, and all windows were being replaced with bullet proof, lead infused, triple glazing, for sound proofing, security and protection from intrusive listening. Starting with the top level, the 12 two - bedroom apartments, were being turned into 3 two - bedroom apartments, four 3 - bedroom apartments and a three - bedroom executive apartment. Once this is completed, Damian and this wife and son, plus two staff from Earth base will settle into their new accommodation, by then all of the safety glass, fire and security systems for all level will have been installed. The Embassy will employ about twelve local people as support staff, but none of them will have any information regarding the Republic, only dealing with local, national and international matters, before referring anything more to the two Executive staff upstairs, which they do not have access to, as the computers in the Executive are, do not have internet access of any kind, and all communications with earth base is done via Video link, using a special Sahndrol communications system, that can send communications of any kind without the use of Earth’s internet or satellite system, which prevents any security breach hacking of any kind. The other three embassies were doing the same, finding a small apartment building, and doing it up with all the required security precautions, and having two staff each from Earth base for executive support, and locals to do the rest of the support work. Six months after the initial agreements for establishing embassies was completed, all of them were now fully operational, and doing very well. The United Nations had called for the countries that are hosting Embassies of the Space republic as they were calling it, to cancel the agreements and send them back home, but all four host countries refused to abide by their demands, even when threats of sanctions were being called for, but South Africa, Switzerland, Canada and Singapore, just ignored the threats. As well as the four new colonies being established on the moons of Uranus and Saturn, the High council had gone ahead with plans to establish a Space Research and Training Academy - SRTA, on Mars, which has just been completed, and thanks to the additional shuttles and transport ship being sent from Sahndrol, the Republic now had enough ships and some defence fighters to use for transport and security of the Republic. The SRTA on Mars was now fully operational, and ready to take on its first cadets, who will come from the four countries that have Republic Embassy’s. After consultation and support with the governments of each of the four countries, Earth Base began advertising to all the universities in each of the four countries, requesting applications for positions as Space Research and Training cadets. The four - year programme is open to all permanent citizens of the four countries, who wished to learn Science research, Space travel, Space engineering, and the chance to live and work in space. Each applicant needs to be aged from 22 to 26 years old, no shorter than 5 feet 3 inches and no higher than 6 feet 2 inches, be between 72 kg’s, and 93 kg’s for men, and 56 kg’s and 73 kg’s for women, be of good character, with no criminal convictions, of any kind. Have no membership or affiliation with any declared terrorist groups or gangs. They must be of good health, physically fit, with no or limited alcohol consumption, had never used illegal drugs, and do not smoke tobacco or any kind, plus completed a minimum of two years of university studies, in either, Nursing or Medicine, Science, Mathematics or Engineering, and be willing to undergo any physical, medical or written examination of any kind. The High Council had put together a detailed twenty-page application form for each cadet applicant, which requires a DNA sample, finger print scan, cornea scan, a photograph, a full medical history going back at lease twelve years, and recent full medical examination. At the top of the first page of the form it states in bold lettering – “All Applicants be aware, that very advanced technology will be used during the medical and physical screening process, any attempts to withhold or mislead the organisation, with any information as part of this application process, will result in an instant cancellation and lifetime ban, of your application”. This, the council hoped would be enough to screen out any possible undesirables, trying to sneak into the system. The High Council had decided on a maximum of 64 cadets for the first intake, 16 from each of the four countries, and that there would be only one intake every two years, to ensure the safety of the facility on Mars. Leaving each embassy to distribute the advertising in the universities in their location, and the do the initial processing, it was quite a shock when on average, there was over 1,200 applicants at each location, and each Embassy was kept very busy with looking at each of the applicants, making sure that each one abided by the requirements of the Republic. At Earth Base, the twenty-six staff there, who are assisting Martin and Quinn to finalise preparations for the site of the 7-week long basic training camp in New Zealand, which will be held at a youth camp site, right on the beach, near the top of the North Island of New Zealand. At total of 16 staff will be coming from Jupiter to assist with the training, including the other eight crew members of Star Voyager, and Quinn will be the training director for this project. When all the applications had been received at all four locations, Quinn was informed that there was a total of just under 5200 applications, but after scanning them all, the embassy staff had disqualified a total of 396 of those applications, which still left a very large number remaining. When the applications arrived at Earth base, Quinn asked his staff to start going through each application in greater detail, and to check every bit of information on the forms are correct or not misleading, and after two weeks of checking, another 949 applications were disqualified, but still left over 3800 applications remaining. After some discussions with his father, it was decided to go to each embassy, and do some face to face checks with each applicant, and he organised a joint Video conference with all of his ambassador’s, to let them know what has been decided, and asked each ambassador to organise for an experienced medical clinician and a clinical psychologist, to be made available to assist with processing the applicants. On arrival in Singapore, just a few days later, Quinn, his two Sahndrol medical officers, and two original Star Voyager crew members, spent a day settling in and preparing for the next 8 long days of processing the first 946 applications. Using the two small meeting rooms on the ground floor and the conference and meeting rooms on the second floor, Quinn decided that the local clinician and clinical psychologist would use the ground floor rooms. Each applicant will then have to complete an aptitude test, to test in Numeracy, plus Abstract, Verbal, Diagrammatical, Mechanical, Situation Judgment, Inductive Reasoning, Cognitive Ability, Abstract Reasoning, Spatial Awareness skills. Each day, there will be approximately 118 applicants to process, and in groups of 16, they will sit to do the aptitude test in the conference room. Once the aptitude test is completed, the applicants go through a more thorough medical examination with the two Sahndrol medical officers, while Quinn and his two colleagues go through the results of the aptitude tests, which Quinn has set 85% correct as the pass score for each part of the tests, with a maximum of only one fail acceptable out of the 10 tests. Although this is a tough score to reach, Quinn wanted only the best applicants to enter the academy, and because there is such a large number of applicants, he hoped that the aptitude test results would reduce the number dramatically, to make selection a lot easier. Once the results of the aptitude tests are completed, along with the results of all of the psychological and medical tests, each applicant will go through a personal interview with Quinn, Lucas and Duane, to try and get to know each of the applicants a little bit more.
  5. DSJ Chapter 8

    At the halfway mark of the story, on the home stretch!
  6. DSJ Chapter 8

    After a few calls to Wellington, Martin had the Video link details to speak to the NZ Ambassador to the United Nations, and after making a quick telephone call to his office, requesting a video link conference, Martin and Quinn had the Ambassador on the video screen. “Your excellency, thank-you for taking this video link conference at such short notice” Martin said once the connection was made, “That is perfectly ok, I have just heard what had happened to you in Hawaii. If it is alright by you, I would like to speak on your behalf, to the USA Ambassador of the UN to express my disappointment on how you were treated earlier today at Honolulu Airport. From what I understand, you had been granted by the UN Secretariat, unhindered passage to the UN from New Zealand, which was ignored by the officials at Honolulu Airport” the Ambassador said. “That is correct sir, and yes, we would appreciate you speaking on our behalf, we have already spoken to our Chancellor, and it is his view, and mine as well as a member of the URJ High Council, that we deal with the USA and UN via Video link and Emails only from this point on” Quinn said, “Sir on a number of occasions, while being delayed at Honolulu, we recommended to the two officers that they contact you and also the UN Secretariat, regarding us having a meeting at the UN, and on all of those occasions they ignored our suggestions, which we have a mobile phone recording of. It was only when our ship, the Star Voyager landed in front of their terminal, did they realise that we were, who we said we were, and handed back our passports and escorted us out to the ship” Martin added. “Ha, ha, ha, I wish could have been there to seen that, leave it with me gentlemen, and I will get back to you via email, on what transpires. I will also let the Secretariat know what happened, and that a meeting will have to be arranged by Video link, instead of a personal visit” the NZ Ambassador said and a few moments later the video conference ended. Quinn decided to remain at Earth Base to see what happens from all of this drama, before returning home to Ganymede, to report back to the High Council, and be with his family. Two days later, Quinn had a video link conference with the High Council of URJ, to discuss options on how to proceed with Diplomatic relations, and setting up diplomatic posts at each main region on Earth, and the High council decided to proceed with the original plans to set up Diplomatic posts in Japan, Switzerland, South Africa, and Canada. The following day, Martin and Quinn sat down with the four URJ Ambassadors to discuss the planning and decide which Ambassador was going to which posting. It was during these discussions that a few concerns were brought up, firstly with Japan having a large number of USA defence bases in the country, there was no guarantee of safety and influence of URJ staff by the USA, and the same goes with Vancouver, which is very close to the USA border. To overcome these issues, it was suggested that Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, be the location of the Embassy in Canada, as it would be over 500 km’s away from the USA border instead of just 40 km’s as it is for Vancouver, and the Asian City to be selected for a URJ Embassy be in Singapore. Once this was decided, and it was approved by the High Council, Martin contacted the NZ Ambassador for each of those four countries to arrange meetings with the Foreign departments, to discuss establishing an Embassy in those countries. Within a short few weeks, meeting had been arranged with the Foreign Ministers of the four countries, to be held as secure Airforce bases, to allow for the Star Voyager to land safely at each country. The first visit would be the closest one, that being Singapore, followed by South Africa, Switzerland, Canada and back to Earth Base. Martin decided to let his son handle this part of the process, taking with him the 4 Ambassadors who will be representing the United Republic of Jupiter. They would fly at 55,000 metres again, so as to avoid all commercial and military aircraft, which fly usually about 4 times less than that. When it was time to arrive at the destination, they would notify the appropriate Air Traffic controller, then descend straight down and a steady pace, and land where asked to land. When the Star Voyager arrived at its first destination of Singapore, it landed at the Airforce base north of the main Commercial Airport, so as not to disturb commercial air traffic. Quinn was informed that the Airbase had been locked down, and security were patrolling the outer fence line. Moments after landing, a call came through from the URJ capital, informing Quinn that another fourteen-space craft had arrived in the solar system from Sahndrol, with another 1512 people onboard, including the remaining original crew and their families. Quinn decided to not mention any of this new information, while on Earth, until he has more discussions with the High Council, at a later time. Quinn was told that colonies will be established on the Uranus Moons of Oberon, and Miranda, making them the furthest colonies for the Republic. Colonies will also be established on Saturn’s Moons of Titan and Rhea, with the remaining space-craft coming to Jupiter to increase the populations at Callisto and Europa. As a result of this, the Republic will be altering its’ name slightly to the United Republic of Planets. Quinn passed this information onto the Ambassadors, who were a little surprised at the news, but also pleased in a way, as well, and they prepared to leave to ship to start their first meeting. The four-hour long meeting ended with an agreement to allow the Republic to establish an Embassy in the city of Singapore, and in return, the United Republic of Planets, will begin planning for future trips to space for Scientists, to allow them to explore and research other planets in the solar system, from a much closer distance. After nearly a week of meetings with Foreign Ministers from four countries, Quinn had confirmed agreements to allow for Embassies to be established in those four countries. The ambassadors had remained at their allocated locations after the meetings, to commence work on locating a suitable and secure location for an Embassy, and getting a long-term lease agreement completed, so the Embassies, can get established as soon as possible. In the meantime, Martin was delaying any video conferences with the USA and UN, until the Embassies have been established in each of the four countries, much to the annoyance of the United Nations. Once Quinn had returned back to Earth Base, with four Ambassadors now in place, he and his father – Martin, sent and email to the United Nations, to inform them, that they were now ready for a video conference, to discuss any concerns they may have, and later in the day, a Video call came through, and Martin and Quinn were ready for them. “Good Afternoon, I am Ambassador Martin Lenegan, Ambassador to the United Republic of Jupiter Earth Base near New Zealand, and this is Senator Quinn Lenegan, my son, and a member of the High Council of URJ” Martin said as he accepted the Video call. “Hello Gentlemen, this is the United Nations Security Council, with the 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members present, this is something new and a little unexpected, so firstly could you tell us a little more about your organisation, the United Republic of Jupiter” the chair of the council responded. “Certainly, I was part of an organisation, known as the Deep Space Research and Exploration Project, that was working on designing and building a deep space craft, that would go beyond this solar system, with enough food, air and fuel for three years. The project went a lot better than expected, and I will pass you onto my son, who was a back-up crew member on that mission, after three crew members were killed suddenly shortly before the mission commenced” Martin announced. Over the next fifteen minutes, Quinn gave a description of the journey to the Sahndrol planet, about the discovery of the cargo ship, and spending time on Sahndrol, learning their way of life, learning more advanced technology, and in some cases of crew members, marrying Drol wives, and having children. “We were given the salvaging rights of the cargo ship that we found adrift, and we made the required repairs, and made the necessary upgrades to our original ship, and with so many people wanting to try a new life in a new world, we came back with an extra 7 ships following, and we have established colonies on three moons of Jupiter, and will soon be establishing colonies on two moons of Saturn, and two moons of Uranus. As a result, we will be adjusting our name to the United Republic of Planets, with the High Council Members and the Chancellor, all elected by the members of the colonies, our capital is located on one of the moons of Jupiter, we will also establish a small colony on Mars, that will be a Space Research and Training Academy for people on Earth, who qualify to train there” Martin announced.
  7. DSJ Chapter 7

    too much what? drpaladin you need to explain your statement a bit more?
  8. DSJ Chapter 7

    Two weeks later, when the Star Voyager, delivered the five directors of Deep Space Research and Exploration Shuttle Project – DSRES Project of the United Republic of Jupiter (URJ) back to Earth Base, as it was being called now, the Administration of Earth Base, informed the Directors that they had received a number of messages from the NZ and Australian Foreign Ministers, regarding messages from the USA and the United Nations, with phone numbers to call. Martin as the Operations Director said he would deal with this matter, and have some discussions with the High Council, and he headed to his office, even though it was 5am New Zealand time, but he was aware that it was 11am in New York. “United Nations main switchboard, how may I direct your call” an American voice said on the phone as the call was answered. “Good Morning, my name is Director Martin Lenegan from the United Republic of Jupiter, I have been asked to speak to someone regarding our recent visit to New Zealand from Space” Martin responded, “Yes sir, I have been instructed to expect a call from you, hold please” the lady said, and I heard some background music start, as I was put on hold, to be transferred. “Hello this is the office of the Secretariat of the United Nations, am I speaking to Director Martin Lenagan?” a man with a European accent asked, “Yes, I am Director Lenegan, I am a member of the High Council of the United Republic of Jupiter” Martin replied. “Good, Sir it is the request of the Security Council and the Secretary General, that official representatives of your organisation attend a meeting with the United Nations, at the quickest possible time” the United Nations man said. “Sir, we will do as you request, only after I receive a guarantee that our representatives will have safe passage to and from the United Nations” Martin replied, “Sir, I will get that guarantee for you, were do we send it too?” the United Nations man asked, “To the office of the Foreign Minister of New Zealand, via their UN ambassador” Martin replied, “Very well sir, bye for now” the UN man said and the call ended. Martin reported the telephone conversation to the High Council at the URJ, with Chancellor Dennison Chaney suggesting that Martin organise getting Diplomatic passports organised for all Ambassadors, and High council members. After the call to the Chancellor, Martin organised all the paperwork for Diplomatic Passports, including photographs of all the Ambassadors and High Council members, and a few days later he used the DSRES helicopter, to fly to Wellington, on the North Island of New Zealand, to meet with the Foreign Minister. A fortnight later, once Quinn had arrived from URP, he and his father made the conventional journey to the USA, to meet with the United Nations, travelling to Los Angeles, via Honolulu, then onto New York, but the journey was cut short, when they arrived in Honolulu, when the USA passport control refused to recognise their Diplomatic Passports, because it included the United Republic of Jupiter on the New Zealand passport. “Sir, I suggest that you get a very senior passport officer, as this is not acceptable” Martin demanded, and a few minutes later another man arrived, “I am the Duty Supervising Officer here today, what is the problem” the man said to Martin and Quinn, and this time it was Quinn who spoke up first, “Sir, we hold Diplomatic Passports, and we are on our way to New York to attend a meeting at the United Nations, we are being refused continued travel, because our passports are not recognisable” Quinn said to the Duty Officer. “Gentlemen, may I suggest that we move to an interview room, so we can try and sort this problem out” the Duty Officer said to Martin and Quinn, who agreed and followed them to an interview room. While walking to the room, Quinn activated his mobile voice recorder, and kept it out of sight of the officers, as we sat down in the room. “We are on Diplomatic passports from the United Republic of Jupiter via New Zealand, on our way to the United Nations to attend a meeting that they requested, we have guaranteed unrestricted passage to the United Nations, and request that we be allowed to continue our journey” Martin said to the two officers. “I suggest that you contact the office of the Secretariat of the United Nations, and the New Zealand Embassy to confirm our journey” Quinn added, “We will make our own enquiries, and let you know” the duty officer said and they left the room. “Dad, I don’t like the sounds of this, and I suggest that we make our own arrangements to get to the United Nations, or head back to New Zealand” Quinn said once they were alone, “I agree with you son, will you make to call to Star Voyager, to come and collect us” Martin replied, handing over his mobile in the process, knowing that Quinn had his phone recording everything. The call to the Star Voyager was completed before the officers returned, knowing that it was now on its way, and would be arriving in just over an hours’ time, Martin and Quinn knew they just had to wait till it arrived. “Right, we have done some looking at your passports, and we do not recognise it as an official passport document, and as such, your visa to enter the USA is being cancelled, and you will be placed on the next flight back to New Zealand in just over two hours’ time” the Duty Officer announced to us. “Did you bother to contact the UN or the NZ embassy?” Martin asked, “We don’t need to sir, as the passports are not valid, and we will be holding onto them, you will remain here, until it is time to check-in for your flight back to Auckland” the Duty Officer stated. “I wish to remind you that you are illegally detaining us, and once again I suggest that you contact the UN and the NZ Embassy” Martin said clearly. When we were left in the room with our luggage to wait for the Star Voyager to arrive, or in their case for the flight back to New Zealand, we just sat and chatted, to let the time pass by, and 45 minutes later, Martin’s mobile rang. “Ambassador Martin Lenegan speaking” Martin said, as he put the call on loud speaker for Quinn to listen in, “Your Excellency, this is Commander Kuhn of the Star Voyager, we are very close to arriving at Honolulu, and we will be entering USA airspace in a few moments” the caller said. “Very well, have you spoken to Air Traffic Control to warn them of your arrival” Martin asked, “Yes sir, it took a bit of convincing before they accepted what we were saying, once they realised how fast we are going” the commander replied, and Quinn chuckled when he heard this, “Ok see you shortly, goodbye” Martin said and he ended the call, just as the two Passport control officers arrived. “We will be transferring you to the passenger departure lounge, so you can be ready to board your flight back to New Zealand” the Duty officer informed Martin and Quinn, “Did you bother to contact the UN or NZ Embassy?” Quinn asked the two men once again, “No sir, as we said before, there is no need to, as you are being deported back to New Zealand” the Duty Officer responded. “Well sir, I suggest that you keep an eye on the tarmac, as there will be a surprise arrival in a few minutes time” Martin replied with a huge smile, and right on cue, we could hear a commotion happening outside, and the two men dashed out of the room, and we followed them at a distance. When they were in view of the tarmac, and saw a giant space ship land on the tarmac, in front of the terminal, they turned to face us. “That gentlemen, is our own transport to get to the United Nations, so I suggest that you return our Diplomatic Passports and escort us out to our ship, before you cause more of a Diplomatic incident” Quinn stated to the two shocked men. “Yes, your Excellency's, right away sir’s” the Duty officer replied, realising the huge mistake that he had made in ignoring their suggestions. As they exited the terminal building, Martin and Quinn stopped, “Please state your names, and identification numbers” Martin said to the two men, who complied with the request, “Thankyou Gentlemen, you will be hearing some more about this incident, good day to you both” Quinn said and they walked towards the Star Voyager, leaving the two shocked men standing near the terminal door. Once inside, the Star Voyager took off and headed straight up, till they were just on the edge of entering space, then headed south back towards New Zealand, as Quinn decided that they had wasted enough time with the USA and UN and decided to deal with them via video link and emails. Once they had arrived back at Earth Base, near New Zealand, Martin and Quinn headed straight to the Executive conference room, to talk to the Chancellor about what had happened at Honolulu. “Martin, as the Earth Base Ambassador, I will leave it up to you to decide what to do about future communications with the UN, but it is my recommendation, that we deal with that lot with caution, and through long distance Diplomatic communications only. I don’t want anyone within the URJ to be put in any harm of any kind” Dennison Chaney said, “Very well sir, that is what we will do from now on, thankyou for your time, Earth Base over and out” Martin said and the communication ended.
  9. DSJ Chapter 6

    They had succeeded in exploring many places in deep space, meeting new civilisations on other worlds, and even returning to our solar system just under a year ago with a small fleet of ships to establish new colonies on three of Jupiter’s moons, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Today, the lead fleet ship will visit Earth for the first time, and that it would be here in Auckland, New Zealand where that will happen. He asked that everyone stand for the official welcome to Earth of the “DSV Perseverance” and her crew” the Prime Minister said. With that said the giant ship appeared out of the clouds. It slowly descended, opening out its landing legs, and gently coming to rest on the tarmac. Once all the dust had settled, a door opened and a sloping ramp appeared. Everyone in and around the tarmac was stunned at what they saw. Three men appeared and walked down the ramp and past the honour guard, till they stopped in front of the waiting dignitaries. They had seen and spoken to each other many times over the past few weeks but now they were face to face, and chatting like old friends. The three visitors were introduced to the wives of the official greeting party. Meanwhile an armed security team from the ship had stationed themselves just inside and outside the door and ramp. In front of the media, the PM introduced the three visitors, all three were part of the original crew that went into space. What no one knew was, that all 12 members of the security team were not, they were all from Sahndrol. All of this was being broadcast live throughout New Zealand and Australia, and within half an hour was delayed broadcasted all over the world, that a real space ship had landed on Earth and had chosen New Zealand as their landing location and not a heavily populated location like Europe or the United States of America. Air traffic restrictions remained in place, much to the disgust of many commercial and private airline companies, and road traffic restrictions were lifted in the mid afternoon as promised, but anyone attempting to get near the Naval base was promptly sent away. Anyone trying to get close to the base on foot were sent back by the police or if they got past them, they came across a wall of defence personnel on the outside of the boundary, and military guard dogs and their handlers just inside. Inside the base Dennison, Quinn and Lucas met each of the members of the guard of honour, after having inspected them on parade, and they also met the senior officers of each agency involved in the exercise. After lunch, the dignitaries and their wives were invited on board the space vessel for a tour and afternoon refreshments. Once that was over and they had returned to the Naval HQ building, the 11 members of the media were informed that it was time to pack up and leave, as that is the end of their close-up access to the event. As evening approached the security team returned inside the ship and the door was closed shut for the night, with the ramp remaining extended for use in the morning, as there were plans for a few outings over the next few days. The following morning a shuttle buggy came out the rear door and ramp, and was escorted through the streets of Auckland, where it stopped at a private boy grammar school and neighbouring ladies’ college, where they were greeted by the headmaster and headmistress of both senior schools. They briefly chatted before been lead into the school grounds to see the facilities, including interrupting a senior boys engineering technology class and a senior ladies’ biology and physics science classes. After visiting the classes, the visitors spoke with the headmasters and discussed ideas on developing advanced science, technology and engineering classes during the school holidays for the very top elite students who want to go into those fields of work. This would include two weeks in the Autumn holidays, two weeks in the Spring Holidays and 4 weeks in the Summer holidays. The headmasters were interested in participating if it was supported by the URJ both financially and practically. With providing the knowledge and expertise to teach these subjects, they suggested maybe doing a type of entry examination for students all over New Zealand and maybe Australia too, to apply for a position in the college of advanced science engineering and technology or CASET for short. The three visitors liked that idea, and they would get to work on developing the idea right away. Lastly, they asked if the two schools could be leased out to URJ for the holiday periods to run these courses, and both headmasters agreed pending approval from the board of governors. With a box full of text books that the senior students use for their classes in those three subjects, the three visitors returned to the ship, happy to have achieved a lot from their visits. During a lunch time video conference with the NZ Prime Minister, and Minister for Defence, Ambassador Chaenej asked if it was possible for them to request directly to the Prime Minister of Australia permission for a short visit to Australia, preferably landing at a defence force base for security purposes. Later that afternoon, Ambassador Chaenij received a reply from the Australian government, with a yes - they can land at RAAF Edinburgh base in outer Adelaide, South Australia, any time after noon in two days’ time. With this great news, Qjiin prepared the crew for a journey to Australia, but before then, they would visit two more high schools, this time government high schools, and once again it was done with no notice of them arriving. When the school principals learned who the visitors were, they were welcomed with open arms and shown around the school and allowed to interrupt a number of science classes to see the students at work. Two days later, the “DSV Perseverance” left Auckland, and flew westwards at very high altitudes so as to avoid all commercial and private air traffic. RAAF Edinburgh by now was ready for their arrival, and with the assistance of the Australian Army, the state and federal police forces, the base and all surrounding roads and flight zone had been shut down. At precisely 2pm the “DSV Perseverance” made its appearance. Waiting for their arrival was the Prime Minister of Australia, the Governor General of Australia, plus the ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs and the Mayor of Adelaide. Once again when the doors of the space ship opened, a team of guards came marching out, and they were followed by the three members of the URJ. The Commanding officer of the base was the first to meet the special guests, and after introducing himself, he introduced all of the Australian dignitaries, and invited them to have a tour of the inside of the ship, followed by some refreshments. Two hours later after they reappeared from the ship, the Prime Minister stepped towards the small number of media that were permitted restricted access into the Defence base, and announced that he was happy to be the leader of the second country to be invited to speak to the visitors from a far-off world deep in space and to see inside one of their magnificent ships. The PM said he had openly invited the space visitors to visit Australia again soon. Once all the dignitaries had gone, as well as all the media, the Defence base remained in lock down, as the space ship closed its doors for the day, locking themselves away in a safe protected environment, where no harm could be done to any of its crew. Over the next two days, the three executive council members made four unexpected visits to schools in the area, two government high schools and two private colleges. Each time they looked around the schools and interrupted some classes to see what the students were learning. Once all the school visits had been completed, the “DSV Perseverance” left the RAAF base and set off back home to the Moons of Jupiter, where the High Council was waiting for a full report of how the visit went. The three-day journey from Earth to Jupiter was a lot shorter than when Quinn first travelled in space, were it took 9 weeks to complete the same journey with the help of the time rips. During the trip home, Quinn kept busy writing up his report for the high council, remaining in his quarters for most of the journey. He would call home to speak to his wife and two sons each day to let them know he was on his way home and that he looked forward to seeing them again. For this journey it was a first for the 14 passengers that were on board. They were the Board of Directors of DSRES who were coming to see the Jupiter communities for themselves and to officially be sworn in as Ambassadors of the URJ - United Republic of Jupiter. Once that is done they will be returning to Earth and relocating to different areas on Earth to establish embassies, as representatives of URJ. This journey was more significant for one member of the Directors. For Dr Martin Lenegan he will be meeting for the first time his daughter-in-law and two grandsons. Quinn and his dad spoke a few times during the journey, but Quinn wanted to try and concentrate on his business. On arrival at the Space Port of URJ, they were greeted by an official parade, with all the pomp and ceremony, once it was over Quinn guided his father to a private lounge, where Quinn’s wife and two children were waiting. It was a wonderful sight to see my family all together at last, and it was nearly an hour later that I suggested that we let my father get settled into his allocated living quarters.
  10. DSJ Chapter 5

    He suggested to the guests that a meeting be arranged for the two ministers with the NZ Defence Chief and the Prime Minister, so they can be informed of the offer from the URJ, so proper planning can take place so there be no panic from the general public. Director Lenegan suggested that the location of the DSV Perseverance be on a military base where it will be more secure, and they would leave the decision of which base to the NZ government to decide. He said that the Ambassador of Sahndrol is the former commander of the original flight into space, and the Fleet Commander is the former science officer and also his son - Quinn, so there is no concern about aliens invading Earth. He continued by saying that they wanted to have a goodwill meeting, to show who they are and that they will cause no harm. Director Lenegan next stated that if there is any threat of harm to any person on the DSV Perseverance there would be a replied response of defence of the same scale, and will result in the immediate termination of all meetings and discussions that may be planned and the ship will return to URJ straight away. The briefing stopped at that point to allow the guests to digest everything that they have been told so far, which was very much a total surprise. A few hours later, after a nice lunch, the group returned to the conference room, where three faces appeared on the video link screen. Director Lenegan said to the two guests that he would like to introduce to them the three members of the Executive of the High Council of the URJ: Ambassador Dennison Chaenej, Fleet Commander, Commodore Qjiin Lenegan and Administrator Lucas Durjhim, all original crew members and now leaders of the United Republic of Jupiter. It was now Ambassador Chaenej who spoke to the two guests, laying out ideas on how the visit could be arranged, with ideas on who would be permitted to meet them, what security precautions should be taken, and how the media would be handled. He suggested a small team of media be selected after a thorough screening process has been done, to allow them more direct access to the official greeting party. Both of the ministers were exhausted after the end of the second half of the briefing, and were allowed to relax for two hours before dinner, and that, late on Sunday afternoon, they would be flown back home to Wellington, with a whole file full of top secret information, only for the eyes of the two ministers, the Prime Minister and the Chief of Defence. Three days later a top-secret meeting was held between the four men that not even their secretaries or their wives knew about. They met under the disguise of a social game of golf among old friends, except the were whisked away to a secret location in the countryside out of Wellington, where there was no eavesdropping, but they had video conferencing facilities. The PM agreed with his two ministers that it would be a great chance to beat every other nation on Earth to host the arrival of the first space ship not from their own solar system, and he also agreed that it be at a secure military base, and the base at Whenuapai, near Auckland, was the recommended location. Over the next few weeks the four men got together for their social golf games to plan this big event. Eventually the Chief of the Navy, the PM’s Media Secretary, the Directors of the Secret Intelligence Agency, and the Federal Police joined the social golf games. After nearly two months of planning, they were almost ready to put Operation Drop In, into action. The Federal Police and Intelligence agents were doing a joint drug detection and seizure exercise in Auckland, while the RNZ Navy, Army and Air force were doing a Joint defence exercise also in Auckland, which at one point will be combined into one huge event. The media were being told for now, that for the first time ever one giant training exercise involving 5 main agencies and some smaller agencies will be held in and around Auckland over a 6-day period, this story was relayed out to the people of Auckland, so as to warn them of it happening and not to worry, and that the local police will be there to assist if any civilians get caught up in the exercise. It is only known by a small group that this big event was a total cover-up for what was really happening. To keep the media in the loop with what was happening, a total of seven reporters from 5 news agencies had been selected to be given restricted access to the internal activities of the two training exercises which will eventually combine into one. For the first two days the exercise was going as planned. At 5am on day three, all senior officers of all agencies involved in the exercise were summoned to a top-secret briefing, which was held very early so as not to include the media. All 120 senior officers crammed into a large conference room which has Video link facilities, with three large screens, one in the middle of the back wall and one in each corner. When all was quiet the screen came to life. “Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of Operation Drop-In New Zealand. I want to ask you all, with a show of hands, who has heard of or seen media reports of the corporation known as DSRES or the Deep Space Research & Exploration Shuttle Project?........ that’s good to see that a good number of you keep up to date with current events, even if that was over five years ago. I am here today to tell you that not only did that project succeed in getting a shuttle to go into deep space, but also that the crew came back to our solar system in a bigger and more advanced space ship that has ever been seen. Not only that, but 6 other ships followed with a total of 628 people mostly from worlds far away from our own......... I see some of you do not believe what I am saying, maybe I should introduce myself, my name is Quinn Lenegan and I was the Science Officer of the shuttle, that left earth seven years ago. My Drol Name is Qjiin. My rank is now Commodore and I am also one of the three executives of the High Council of the United Republic of Jupiter....... That’s right, you heard me correctly, we have successfully established colonies on three of Jupiter’s moons. On Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. The purpose of this giant exercise, this week is to have a controlled site for the first ever arrival of a space vessel from another world. That is why you are all here today. Your senior commanding officers of each agency will brief you on what will be happening at 9am today. Thank you for your time and I hope to meet some of you personally over the next few days of our visit”. Once the screen went blank there was a lot of talk among all the people in the room, until they were instructed to split into their separate agencies for detailed briefings. It was about this time that a lot of people discovered that all telephone coverage in the area had been jammed, as ordered by the Prime Minister. For the next hour and a quarter each member was briefed on their duties by the agencies senior officers. Already all commercial air traffic had been diverted as previous planned at the start of the exercise. All private air traffic was either diverted if approaching or grounded if local, leaving only military aircraft permitted to operate in a two hundred km radius of Auckland. Even they were ordered to stay on the ground after 8am. In and around the shores of Auckland, 3 inshore and 4 offshore Naval ships were patrolling the area. The Army was stationed around the whole boundary of the Auckland Naval Base, while the local Police under the guidance of the Federal Police and Intelligence agency, had all highways, roads, laneways, footpaths and cycle ways closed for a period of six hours starting from 7am. Then most roads would be reopened, but some near the Airforce base would remain closed until further notice. At 7am the 7 media members specifically selected for this event were brought to the Airforce base, having been woken up at 6.30am and told to be ready by 7am to be collected, or miss out. They were told where to place their cameras and where the on-air reporters could stand, which is alongside a large marquee that had been installed near the edge of the tarmac. At 8.30am five official cars arrived, stepping out of the vehicles were the Prime Minister and his wife, the Defence Force Chief, and his wife, the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs and their wives, plus the Auckland Mayor and his wife, who only were informed of this special event just two days ago. The media were a bit shocked at the high-profile dignitaries who had just arrived and who sat in the marquee waiting for some special event, and that started to occur 15 minutes later. As the skies started to get grey and dark, the dignitaries sat down in their chairs and a guard of honour of about two hundred, from all three defence forces marched into position. Just fifteen minutes earlier they had been informed who the guard of honour was for, and a lot of them looked very uncertain. The Prime Minister stood at the podium, and announce “seven years ago a corporation known as DSRES or the Deep Space Research and Exploration Shuttle Project, announced that it had launched a shuttle that had a crew of 11 who would be going deep into space.
  11. DSJ Chapter 4

    The moons that were chosen only because they only one anywhere clise to being able to establish colonies due to their environmental conditions
  12. DSJ Chapter 4

    After some discussions it was agreed to let the colony on Ganymede go ahead, and so the ships made their way to their new homes, each of them having carefully selected a suitable location. On Callisto the Alpha, Beta and Gamma colonies are located approximately 15 kilometres apart in a triangle formation. On Europa the Alpha, Betta and Gamma colonies were also in a triangle formation but are only 9 kilometres apart while Ganymede Alpha was located on a plateau on the edge of a small mountain. The Perseverance decided to land on Ganymede near the Alpha colony so as to help coordinate the establishment of the 7 colonies from that point. The transport shuttles were the ideal size to transport the council members to the Perseverance for their weekly council sessions. It was agreed to get the building work started at Ganymede first as it would be supplying the building materials. Each of the colonies would have a number of same additions added, namely a power plant to provide all the power supplies, also a hydroponics centre, to create all the food they will require, and a sports and recreation area for their community. On Ganymede this was going to be done by building a huge dome over and around the colony that will be 8 levels or 36 meters higher than the roof of the ship, and approximately 420 metres in diameter, making the dome just 60 metres from the front and rear of the ship, but a good 170 metres from each side. These areas would be landscaped with lawn and gardens and turf sports fields, to provide a relaxing atmosphere to the colony. To overcome the harsh environment on the outside surface of the moon, the additional areas for power, hydroponics and other facilities would be constructed under the surface within the boundaries of the dome, except for a transport terminal which would be underground but away from the dome and will have a connecting tunnel to the colony. The transport terminal will be mostly a large entry foyer leading from the connecting bridge with the transport ships. At the end of the bridge is an escalator and stairs down to the foyer, which has the customs & quarantine centre. This will be the main receiving point for any ships coming from or going to Earth. Beyond that is another foyer that has an administration centre for arranging transport, as well as the entry gate to the departure lounges for transport to the colonies. The executive council decided that because the colony was creating a large community centre it would be the best location for the Capital of the Republic. Once the dome and the terminal are completed, four large columns 4 stories high, with views all over the colony gardens and a great high view of the world outside will be constructed on top of the main building, and that will have a one level High Council Centre, containing the High council chamber, and the Chancellors administration offices. Meanwhile on Callisto and Europa, the colonies were also planning on building underground with linking tunnels, but they were not going to build a big dome like Ganymede. But it was during the designing and planning of the undercover areas at Europa that discussions changed to incorporating the three communities to become one big community. Having the three colonies combined as one would reduce the work for everyone, and the more they discussed it the more everyone liked the idea until it was decided that was the best thing to do So now two of the ships relocated to the site of the ship with the best location, with them being placed in a rectangle shape sixty metres apart, and they planned to build a raised roof between the three buildings to provide a sheltered open space like the capital for recreation and sporting activities. When Callisto heard of the plans for Europa, two of the three communities wanted to do the same as Europa, but one of them didn’t. It was some time before they reached an acceptable compromise. The two communities would do a similar plan as Europa, while the third community had decided to travel to Ganymede and be part of the capital city, not directly linked to the city but only two kilometres away, so they were close enough to use the cities facilities. After some planning and designing, they came up with a location on top of a mountain plateau, which is about 32 metres above ground level, just short of the total height of the city dome. The plateau covers an area about 8 times the area of the former ship, and two rectangular covered areas were built, one on each side of the community. One side was for sporting facilities and the other side for social and recreation space. All of this work establishing the city and the other three communities took nearly a year to complete, and the executive council decided to hold off visiting Earth until all the construction work had been completed. By this time the executive council along with the Board of Directors of DSRES prepared a plan of action for when the Perseverance makes its first appearance on Earth. It had been decided that they needed to set up some protocols with the New Zealand government for the arrival of the first ever space ship from deep space. It was by chance that one of the directors of DSRES is old school friends with the New Zealand Governments Federal Minister of Defence and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, and he managed to arrange to have them over to his place for a weekend away. Unknown to them, they were whisked away by private helicopter to the remote Island, late on a Friday afternoon. It was near the end of the flight when the director announced to his two old friends that he was a Director of an organisation known as DSRES. Both men recognised the abbreviated name, and that he was taking them to the DSRES base on an Island for a tour and information briefing. On arrival at the base, the were greeted by a guard of honour, and the director introduced them to the other 4 directors before leading them into the base, where they were given a detailed tour of the facilities before they went to the dining hall for an evening meal. The visitors were shown to their guest quarters and informed they would be given a full briefing in the morning after breakfast. After a good rest and a hearty breakfast, the guests were shown to a large conference room, which included a number of occupied computer desks and a large video screen. Once everyone was seated, that being the executive council of DSRES plus the two computer technicians and the two guests, Operations Director Lenegan stood up and introduced himself, and began by explaining that DSRES was a private corporation, established to fund, design and build a long distance deep space vessel to travel into space to explore new worlds, and if possible meet people of new worlds. Director Lenegan said to the guests that the corporation had exceeded this main goal, and achieved a lot more, thanks to the work of the crew members who were brave and skilled enough to take this challenge. As broadcasted over five years ago, about a year after the launch of the vessel, they had managed to visit many of the outer planets in their solar system and send back data from those exploration trips to the planets. But as to be expected, there would be a long term of silence when the vessel went deeper into space. Over a year ago we had received our first call back from the crew of a new vessel, some of the original crew among them, but also crew members from the world that gave them sanctuary. After a long journey they rebuilt a large cargo vessel that they had come across and had salvaged, which is a more advanced vessel, and they were able to go even further out into space to explore more, before returning to this world known as Sahndrol, where they prepared to return trip to our solar system. With a bigger ship and more crew plus a fleet of seven smaller ships, they have returned to our solar system, stopping to examine each planet and its moons in more detail, mapping them all, and collecting more detailed data. With the additional 6 vessels which each one is a separate community, they have searched out a new place to call home. Over the past eleven months they have chosen a location and established 4 separate communities, each are of different size, with one been designed and built as the capital. There is now a community of 628 people located on three moons of Jupiter, who are now citizens of the United Republic of Jupiter(URJ), and that the DSRES now comes under their jurisdiction, as the Earth Embassy. Director Lenegan stated that soon all but one of the 5 directors of the former DSRES will move to different locations around the world to establish Embassies of the URJ. Those locations have not been finalised yet but would probably be Oceania, which will not be here on this Island, America’s - which will be located in Canada, Europe - which will be in Geneva, Africa - which will be in South Africa and Asia - which will be in Japan. He continued on by saying that, because this Island was used as the base for the Corporation, it was decided to approach New Zealand first, to ask if they would be able to host the first ship from outer space. The Deep Space Vessel known as Perseverance, is at the capital of URJ, waiting for the planning of arrival to be sorted out. Then it will come, but only if welcomed.
  13. DSJ Chapter 3

    The council gave the crew of “The Perseverance” a welcome home celebration party, and old friends were reacquainted During these celebrations, Quinn told of their journey, struggling with space storms, pirates, corrupt governments trying to confiscate the ship and remodelling the living quarters to make them family friendly, so there was now room for 1 VIP guest and plus 20 guests and 50 more crew. A few days later, Quinn was summoned to the Executive Council, where he was informed that they had selected an Ambassador to travel back to Earth with them, and who will represent the Sahndrol people on all Diplomatic matters. Quinn said he was delighted to accommodate the councils wishes, and asked who the Ambassador was. At that moment, Dennison Chaney (Chaenej in Drol) entered the Council chambers, bowed to the council before facing Quinn and smiling. Quinn bowed to Dennison and said that he is honoured to have such a gifted and honourable person travel with them. Quinn informed the council that they would be departing as soon as the ship is restocked, refuelled, and new crew members had been selected to fill the vacant positions. Ambassador Chaenej informed Quinn that his wife - Madame Chaenej would be travelling with them also. The council informed Quinn that he would be leading a fleet of seven ships back to his home solar system, as many had expressed an interest in joining the crew of the Perseverance. Since he was the fleet commander, Qjiinn, as his name in pronounced in the Drol language, was also awarded the promotion to Commodore. The other 6 ships were slightly smaller than the lead ship, with only three decks on each ship. They were selected because of the way they were designed, so they could accommodate more, with no research facilities. The ship can become a colony pod when they want to settle at a location, as it has generators, hydroponic food production facilities, and basic construction and maintenance workshops. Each ship carried a total of 22 crew and 70 passengers, and they carry one 5-person transport shuttle and four 5-person land buggies. A month later with a fleet of seven ships, with 76 on Perseverance, leading a total of 628 people to the home solar system of their leader, they set off for the journey to Earth, with just 8 of the original 11 members returning home. The 3 members who were staying on Sahndrol, had made recorded messages to their families back home on Earth. Qjiinn had decided that he wanted to visit all of the outer planets of his home system, and each of their moons, to examine and collect data on each one including mapping the planets that have surfaces that can be mapped, to see if any have breathable atmospheres simular to Earth that can sustain life. Previous research had shown that some moons of Jupiter and Saturn could possibly be able to have colonies, and these would be the moons they would concentrate on establishing two colonies on. Each ship also was carrying one piece of machinery that would assist with constructing additional buildings. Not passing through any time rips for the return journey would have made the return journey a lot longer, but with different ships with improved technologies, it would take about the same time as it took them on the original journey to deep space. The less than one-year long journey to Earth would be extended by nine months, for time to spend exploring the outer planets and moons, where Qjiin hoped he would make his new home, as he no longer felt that Earth was suitable to bring up a family. By that time, he would be 28 years old, his wife will be 31, and their sons Maenyl and Suamyl will be 6 and 3½ years old. The journey went very well as expected and took just over ten months to complete before they reached the outer edge of their home solar system. It was at this point that Quinn decided to call home base. “Deep Space Vessel Perseverance calling DSRES Project Base, are you receiving us, over”? There was an eight minute twenty second delay before they received a reply, “DSV Perseverance this is DSRES Project receiving you loud and clear, is that you speaking Quinn, over”, Qjiin recognised his father’s voice, and some tears began to show as he cleared his throat to reply. “That is correct Director, I’m receiving you clearly too. There is nearly an eight-and-a-half-minute delay from the time I stop speaking and hear a reply from you, over”. For the next two hours father and son spoke, with Qjiin telling his father all about their adventures. Ambassador Chaenej also participated by informing them of the official title that he now holds, and his life partner travelled with him. He also informed him of Qjiin’s title as Fleet Commander, with the title of Commodore, and that they have a fleet of seven ships, with a total of 628 people with plans to colonise one or more planets in the outer solar system, as an alternative to Earth. Ambassador Chaenej informed Director Lenegan, that they would be doing this before making a visit to Earth, so as not to create too many issues with the United Nations of Earth. During the next few months, Dennison made regular weekly reports to the DSRES base about their exploration of the outer planets and the moons, which were mapped, had various samples collected and analysed, and documented. Only two of Saturn’s moon – Rhea and Titan, were found to be inhabitable, even though the temperatures were very low, this could easily be overcome by the constructional buildings, to provide more space. When they came to Jupiter, there were two moons that would best suitable for colonising. They too have very cold temperatures, but they both have oxygen and water which were the main items needed to assist with colonising both Europa and Callisto. They were both thoroughly explored and mapped, while a third possible planet - Ganymede was a possible location later. Five representatives from each of the 7 ships met on the mother ship Perseverance to discuss their options with Qjiin and Chaenejas well as to present all the information they had gathered from the exploring, and to make final decisions of which ships would set up colonies on which moon. The representatives went back to their ships and discussed the options with the people on their ship, and two days later the committees came back to the Perseverance to announce their decisions, which was broadcasted back to each ship so everyone could see what was being discussed. Ambassador Chaenej suggested that a governing high council be selected to run what he suggested be called the High Council of the United Republic of Jupiter. The committee members all agreed to this. Dennison then suggested that each ship nominate 5 council members from each ship, and three Executive Council members will be selected from the Perseverance, making a total High Council of 38 Members. Later calls from the Captains of each ship had reported that the current 5 committee members would be the Council members. With that decided, Ambassador Chaenej proclaimed those members duly elected as Council members for a period of 8 years, or till they retire due to illness or death. He then asked for himself, Qjiin and Lucas to be accepted as Executive council members. The council members all agreed to this and recommended that Ambassador Chaenej be elected as Chancellor of the High Council for a period of six years, and this was all agreed too. Once that was all agreed on, the announcements were made from each Ship which will now be a known as a Colony, to where they would like to be located, three selected Callisto and three selected Europa, but what surprised everyone was that that the last colony selected Ganymede, be use of its rich deposits of Ore, which is suitable for producing building materials.
  14. BF Chapter 33

    We returned to the yacht feeling very relaxed after a wonderful night out. After having a bit of a sleep in we had a late lunch, then went into town to do some food shopping in preparation for our trip back to home port. After a light lunch we climbed into my vehicle, which Finn had driven down a few days earlier, and we headed to the domestic airport to collect Kirk and Leon. When we heard that the Canadian flight had landed, I started to get a little nervous. Simon tried to calm me down a little as we waited for the passengers to disembark. Simon and Finn stepped to one side out of sight of the arrivals, while I stood behind a tall man who was waiting for a passenger. When I saw Kirk and Leon arrive they stopped and looked around to try and find Simon. They were just a few metres away from me as I stepped out from behind the tall man and took a few steps forward. I was just two metres away and directly in front of them when they recognised me. They both dropped their luggage in shock and their mouths dropped open as Simon and Finn came up beside me with big smiles. “Simon, am I dreaming or is that really the boss standing there?” Kirk asked my best friend, and both Simon and Finn chuckled. “No, my friend, you are not dreaming. It is really Anton standing beside me,” Simon said, and both lads rushed forward and wrapped me in a group hug. Both had tears flowing down their cheeks. “Ok, guys, let me breath, and let’s get going. I will explain everything when we get to the Last Frontier,” I said to Kirk and Leon. “How was your trip back home?” Finn asked the lads as they let me go and retrieved their luggage, before they followed us out of the terminal. “Yes, it was good to see the families again, but we couldn’t wait to get back, even thou there was a lot of uncertainty on what will happen in the future with Hamilton Ocean Cruises,” Leon replied, as we walked through the huge carpark. “Anton, do you remember how someone did a mobile video recording of you when you were talking about our remote island adventures in the northern Pacific? I was thinking if we do something similar to explain what happened during the past 2 ½ years that you were missing,” Simon suggested. “I will think about it,” I said as we all climbed into the vehicle and set off for Fremantle. About 45 minutes later we arrived at the fishing boat harbour. We helped the lads to get their luggage on board and they settled into their usual cabin on the port side pontoon. “I think we better go back to our usual starboard side pontoon cabin,” Simon announced. “Can you start doing that please, Love, while I get started on dinner?” Finn said to Simon, who smiled as he headed down to the guest cabins to start packing the clothes that they had there. I sat at the navigation desk studying the charts. I pulled out a piece of paper from my pocket, and grabbing the sat phone I dialled the number. “Good evening, Horizon and Beyond, 1st officer Steve speaking,” I heard the familiar voice. “Good evening 1st Officer. How are you tonight?” I replied with a smile. “Joe, I mean Anton. Is that you?’ came a reply, and I chuckled. “Yes, Steve, it is Anton speaking. I am back on my yacht again and I am happy to be home. I will be seeing my grandfather and brother’s tomorrow afternoon, which I am looking forward to. So far just my crew know that I am alive and well,” I replied. “Ha ha ha, I can imagine the shock they got when they saw you,” Steve replied. “Yes, one of the crew members fainted twice before he believed that it was really me,” I said and Steve laughed. “Well, it is good to hear that you are happy and back with family and friends. I will let the captain know that you called. He is sleeping at the moment,” Steve said. “Ok, mate. It was good talking to you. Bye for now,” I said and ended the call before heading downstairs to help Finn with preparing dinner. Once we had eaten, I announced to the crew that we would be leaving at 7am the next morning with an ETA at home port of 1pm. I decided to relax in the crew lounge for a while before heading to bed early. The next morning, after a shower, I headed to the galley for some breakfast. Finn had some toast and a cup of tea waiting for me. “Good morning, Boss. It looks like we have a beautiful day ahead of us,” Finn said with a smile. “I have just checked the weather. We have good seas and a 20 km per hour wind from the south west for our trip up the coast, Boss,” Simon added as he came down the stairs from the bridge. “That is good. What are the lads doing?” I asked as I took a sip of tea. “They have eaten and are on deck ready to set off when you are ready,” Simon replied. I looked at my watch which read 6.40 am. “Have you eaten, Simon?” I asked my best friend. “Yes, Boss. Finn and I ate half an hour ago,” Simon replied. “Ok, let’s get going them. Take her out please, Si,” I replied. “The six-hour journey up the coast was very uneventful. We arrived in the early afternoon and moored at our usual spot where another vehicle was there waiting for us with a note on the windscreen; “Simon, keys in usual hiding place. See you when you get here, Gramps.” Leaving Kirk and Leon staying on board, Simon, Finn and I climbed into the vehicle with Simon driving. “Can we go to the school first please, Si? I need to see my brothers first,” I said, and Simon smiled. We set off to the district high school that was only five minutes away. On my own I walked up to the admin centre and walked through the front door. “Good heavens! You are alive,” the receptionist lady said to me as she spotted me enter. “Yes, ma’am. I was just lost and had no memory for a couple years, but I am ok now,” I replied with a smile as the lady stepped over to the side. “Attention students, can Neal and Jedd Hamilton please report to the administration office right away,” the reception lady said into the PA microphone. I smiled just as the deputy headmaster walked out to find out what was happening. “Holy cow! You are alive,” he said when he saw me. “Yes, sir, I am. I don’t know about the religious cow, but I am alive. I hit my head and lost my memory for a couple of years, but I am fine now,” I replied. I had my back to the front door when it opened. “You called us, Miss,” I heard one of my teenage brothers say, not sure which one it was. I slowly turned to face them. “Anton!” the boys chorused and raced towards me. They had grown so much I hardly recognised them as I was given a group hug by my brothers who burst into tears. “We missed you so much, Anton,” the boys said to me almost at the same time. “I have missed you guys lots too. Now if it is ok by the deputy I would like to take you home early,” I said as I turned to face the deputy headmaster. “Yes, Mr Hamilton, you have my permission. It is nice to see you again,” the deputy headmaster said, and waved us goodbye. The boys followed me out of the administration building and grabbed a hand each to stay in contact with me as we approached the vehicle. A few minutes later we arrived at my new home, that I was seeing completed for the first time, since it was still being built when I disappeared. It looked wonderful. Simon opened the door to the stairs below the office and called out, “Gramps, it’s Simon. Are you here?” “Yes. Come on up,” came a reply from Gramps. Simon stepped to one side to let me and my brothers go up the stairs. “Hello, Gramps. How are you?” I said softly as I arrived at the top. The boys stood next to me. “Good. I am just working through some plans with… my god… Anton. Is it really you?” Gramps said when he realised that it was me. “Yes, Gramps. It is really me. I lost my memory and just got it back recently. I have been working on a cargo ship as a navigator travelling all over Asia,” I replied, as I stepped towards him and gave him a long warm hug, which my brothers joined in. “My Dear Boy, how much I have missed you,” Gramps said to me as he struggled to fight back tears. “This office looks great compared to what was on the plans. I look forward to seeing the rest,” I said as I heard a noise coming up the spiral stairs. It turned out to be Roey. “Hello you. Oh my! Look how much you have grown!” I said as I squatted down to pat her. Roey jumped into my arms, knocking me down to the floor, and she began to lick my face, wagging her tail like mad, so happy to see me again. “Well it looks like she hasn’t forgotten you, Anton,” Gramps said to me, as he smiled, as I rubbed her tummy and hugged her some more. “It is wonderful to get such a nice welcome home. The boys were a little shocked when I was in the admin building at school waiting for them when they were called to the office,” I explained. “Well, let’s show you the rest of the office. Then we can go over to the house,” Gramps said to me. We followed him around the administration centre before we headed down the stairs, and Roey followed right behind me like old times, which made me smile. I glanced over to the wildlife reserve as I was looking forward to seeing Emma again. “Sara and James are on lunch break and they will be back soon,” Gramps said to me, as we entered the downstairs section of the house. The boys showed me their bedrooms, and the theatre room, before we headed upstairs. “The study is my bedroom, as I didn’t want to disturb your bedroom,” Gramps explained to me, as we looked around the upper part of the house, which looked great. We all sat down in the lounge area. “Gramps, we have finished all of the maintenance on the trimaran, and done a thorough spring clean, so the yacht is ready to go again. Simon suggests that I do a phone video to explain where I have been for the past 2 ½ years, and I think that might be a good idea to explain to all of our friends and past guests,” I said to Gramps as I heard Simon coming up the steps. “I will be the videographer, so the family can be together for this. And where you are seated now is perfect,” Simon said when he appeared. He pulled out his phone. “Ok, Gramps, maybe you can do a short introduction without revealing Anton being here. Then we can move to Anton to explain everything,” Si said. An hour later, after three attempts, we had completed the 15-minute video clip, and Simon transferred it onto a computer where we all watched it to see if there were any mistakes before we agreed that it was fine. Going online to the company website Simon removed the notice about closing down the company, and added the video clip on the front page. “Dear family, friends and former guests, I am very happy to announce, that the decision to close has been reversed. I have someone here to explain everything,” Gramps said in the introduction as the video moved to include me and the boys in the picture and I began my explanation. “In conclusion, I wish to thank everyone who has supported my grandfather and two brothers during the time that I was missing. A big thankyou from me. For now, we as a family, will be spending some time together to catch up on the past two years, so we will not be accepting any cruise bookings until further notice. Thank-you,” I said as I concluded the video clip. A few minutes later, as we sat around chatting, we heard a scream coming from the office. We saw Sarah running across the walkway towards us. Simon opened the door for her and she came rushing in and raced into my arms. I just laughed. “Looks like someone was watching the website,” Simon said with a chuckle. “Well this is a nice welcome back,” I said to Sarah, who blushed a little. “Well, I better get back to the office. No doubt I will get lots on enquiries now that you have posted the video clip. It’s great to see you again, Boss,” Sarah said. Then she headed back to the office, and I chuckled at her enthusiastic energy. “I think it is time for me to go and see my favourite pet, to see if she remembers me,” I said. “We want to come and watch too, Anton,” the boys chorused. Once I had passed through the double gates, I sat down on the ground where I watched the wallabies grazing on grass hay. “Emma,” I called in a normal voice. “Emma, where are you girl?” I said a little louder, and suddenly I saw not one but five spikey creatures racing towards me, which made me chuckle. Emma stopped in front of me, then stepped onto my open hands. “Hello, Emma. It is nice to see you again, and you brought your family too,” I said as I ticked her under her chin. She rolled onto her back, and I ticked her tummy too, before turning her back onto her feet, and holding her close to me, where she licked me with her long sticky tongue, which I was not expecting. I carefully placed her back on the ground, where her four babies were close by watching our interaction. I placed my hand on the ground again. All four puggles, hesitated at first, then cautiously approached my hand, and smelt it with their noses, before backing off and hiding behind their mother, which made me chuckle. Emma came up to my hand and I tickled her under the chin before she led her brood back to their nesting area. As I left the yard I came face to face with James. “Holy crap! I thought you… wow you are alive!” James said in shock. I chuckled as I wrapped him in a hug. “Hi, Mate. How are you enjoying life as a wildlife carer?” I said to him, as he returned the hug, before stepping back a little. “I absolutely love it. I have learnt so much, and we get visits from your vet friend at the zoo once a month to check on them and bring any supplies I need,” James replied. “Thank-you for doing that for me in my absence. I hope you will stay and continue the great work,” I said to James, as Roey came up to me and sat down beside me. “I think Roey is saying she wants to go for a walk, so I better take her. I will talk to you later,” I said to James. I gave a small whistle and Roey followed me as we crossed the road and walked onto the beach. As I walked with Roey I thought how happy I am again. I was back with my family, friends and crew, and I was hoping that this would be the start of a new chapter in our lives, where we would not have any more dramas with terrorists, and crazy reporters, and just be able to enjoy what I have now. The End
  15. BF Chapter 32

    “The captain asked me to plot a course to Kuala Lumpur on the sea charts, which I did easily, and that is how I became the ship’s navigator, as their last navigator was evacuated to Perth with a medical emergency. So, that is what I have been doing ever since then,” I explained. “Wow, what are you going to do now… boss?” Simon asked me and I chuckled on hearing this. “Well, I haven’t really had time to think about it. I was pleased to find the apartment still untouched, after I found the key that I had left hidden, and I settled into the apartment. The following day I came down to Fremantle just out of habit, and I was surprised to see that both yachts were here, with the for-sale sign on the cat. “I went back to the apartment and relaxed till after dark, then came back with the spare set of keys I had at the apartment. I grabbed the alarm remote from the fly bridge drawer and let myself in. When I saw food in the dry store and the small fridge, I knew that someone was caretaking the trimaran, but I had no idea who, so I locked up again and headed back to the apartment, where I packed up all of my luggage from the past two years, plus everything that was already there, plus the food I bought the day before, and I came back to Fremantle. “I had no idea that anyone was on board when I settled in, until I heard you, Si, talking to Finn here on the phone. I hid in the cupboard in the study so you would not find me, and I cleaned up the single crew cabin I was sleeping in to hide any evidence of me staying on board. Then as you guys were cooking dinner last night I came up with the idea of preparing breakfast for you guys and the little prank. Sorry, guys, I didn’t mean to shock you both,” I explained. Simon and Finn looked at me and frowned, then looked at each other. Soon they were both smiling and burst out laughing, “Well, boss, it will be interesting when your Gramps and your brothers are told the news,” Simon said to me. “Yes, I will have to be careful there with Gramps, but don’t say a word to anyone until I have worked out what to do,” I replied. “Ok, but it is going to be hard not to say anything. It is so awesome that you didn’t drown, boss,” Finn said to me with a big smile and I chuckled. “Right, once you guys have finished breakfast and cleaned up let’s look at this maintenance that you mentioned earlier,” I said to the lads. I headed upstairs to the main bridge and opened the safe, which I was pleased to see had plenty of cash in it, plus my wallet was in there as well which I picked up and looked inside and found it to be exactly how I left it in my cabin so long ago, before putting it into my pocket. As Simon walked up the stairs and walked up to me, I turned around and gave Si a big hug. “It is really good to see you again my friend,” I whispered into his ear, as he returned the hug. “I have missed you so much, Buddy. It is great to get this hug from you after so long,” Simon said in reply. “Hey, hands off. He is my boyfriend and not yours,” Finn said as he came up the stairs. Si and I laughed as we separated and Simon walked over to his boyfriend and kissed him. “Why are you jealous or something?” Simon said, “and where is my kiss?” I added which made Finn blushed. “Ok, where is this list of maintenance that is overdue?” I asked Simon, and he stepped over to the desk. After shuffling through some papers, he found the list and handed it over to me. After taking a quick look, I could see that a lot of it was replacing parts that had some wear, both indoors and on deck. “Right, Simon, I want you to call Gramps. Tell him that you and Finn are staying on board to start on doing maintenance on the yacht, and don’t say anything about me. Once that is done I will get started on organising getting supplies,” I said to my friend. “Right away, Boss,” Simon said to me, as I turned to Finn. “Now standards have dropped since I have been away, so let’s get started on a full spring clean please,” I said to Finn. “Yes, Boss,” Finn replied and he headed back downstairs to get started on my request, and I headed outside and up to the fly deck, where I sat down to relax a little, and Simon joined me a few minutes later. “Right, your gramps is happy for us to stay in Fremantle and get started on the maintenance, which he is pleased that we are doing,” Simon said to me with a smile. “Good. Go and let Finn know that we are both going to the marine store to get some supplies, and let’s get started,” I said to Simon. Just over an hour later we returned with our hands full of shopping bags, and we got to work on all of the outside maintenance. Finn called us when it was time for lunch, and on arrival in the crew area I was pleased to see that Finn had been busy, giving the place a good scrub to get it spotless. After lunch, we got to work to help Finn with cleaning up all of the indoor areas of the yacht, and as the day come to a close we knocked off work to relax, happy with what we had achieved in one short day. “What are we going to do once we have finished the cleaning and maintenance?” Finn asked me, just as the yachts sat phone began to ring. I was about to stand up to answer it, when I realised that I needed Simon to answer it. He chuckled at me before going to answer the phone. “Last Frontier, Simon speaking,” he said as he looked towards us and smiled as he listened. “Hi, Sarah. OK thanks for that. Yes, we will go and pick them up. Give me the flight details again please,” we heard Simon say, as Finn jumped up and went to get a pen and some paper. “OK, so it is flight Air Canada 9690 via Brisbane, arriving in Perth on Tuesday at 4.30pm. Right, Finn and I will go and collect them and they can help with the maintenance so we can get it done quicker,” Simon said and moments later the call ended. “So, our stewards are returning a little earlier than planned. How about we spring a huge surprise on them on Tuesday,” I said with a big grin, and both Simon and Finn laughed. “You are so mean, Boss,” Finn said to me and I just smiled and nodded my head. “I think once they are on board, we should have all the external maintenance completed, and anything else we can deal with while we sail north to home port,” I announced. “So, we have under three days to get finished. Let’s have dinner and have an early night, so we are up early to get this work done,” Simon announced, and Finn gave a disappointed look, which made me laugh. Simon chuckled as he blushed a little. We headed downstairs and Finn gave Si and I some vegies to peel while he prepared the meat, and an hour later we were sitting down to a delicious meal. “I am not sure what Gramps has planned for the company, and I guess we will have to wait till we get there on Wednesday afternoon, but I was thinking that it would be nice if I treat the family and crew to a circumnavigation of Australia, with a stop-over at New Zealand, so we can have some time together without having to worry about guests,” I suggested. “I think that will be great for your gramps. He has really aged in the past two years since you went missing. I am sure it will make life a lot better for him,” Simon said to me. “By the way, what happened to my pets, Roey and Emma?” I asked. “Both of them and Emma’s family are all doing good. Roey missed you very much for the first few months, but your brothers have kept her happy, and she is all grown up now. Emma and her family live in the wildlife yard that you built behind headquarters, and there are a few more additions, including a family of bandicoots, a family of brushtail possums, and a family of rock wallabies,” Finn announced. “Wow that is a lot more mammals than I expected in that small yard. We may need to try and expand that space. What about Isaac, Si? What is he doing?” I responded. Simon’s face suddenly changed from happiness to sadness, and I was not sure what that meant. “Isaac passed away from a stroke about three months ago, and your Gramps has been fairly depressed since then,” Finn replied for Simon. “Oh, Simon, I am so sorry to hear that. He was a wonderful man who did so much for everyone else. He will be missed by everyone that knew him,” I said to my best friend, as I moved over and gave Si a comforting hug. Once we had finished eating and cleaned up, we went up to the formal lounge to watch a movie before we retired for the night. I had a restless night, as I thought about Gramps and how much he had suffered in the past two years, which I hoped to change when we arrived at home port on Wednesday. The next morning, I struggled to get out of bed, after having very little sleep. After a shower, I walked out to the crew area where the lads were having breakfast. “Oh man! You look like shit,” Simon commented when he saw me. “Thanks, Mate. That’s just what I needed,” I snapped back. “I am sorry, Anton. That wasn’t meant to be anything nasty. Are you ok?” Simon replied. “Just worrying about Gramps, so I didn’t get much sleep,” I replied as I sat down. Finn went to the oven and pulled out a plate of breakfast for me before pouring a cup of tea. After breakfast I was feeling a little bit more alive, and while Finn was cleaning up I finished my breakfast. “Let’s take the morning off to just relax. I don’t have much energy to do much today,” I announced. “That’s fine, Boss. If you want to rest, we are happy to continue on,” Simon said to me. “How about we sail over to Rottnest for the day, so we can just enjoy the time together,” I added. “Awesome! That sounds great,” Finn said happily. Fifteen minutes later we were cruising out of the fishing boat harbour, and once clear, Finn and I raised the sails while Simon was at the helm on the fly bridge. We joined him once the sails were up and the engines were turned off, and for twenty minutes we headed west towards the southern end of Rottnest Island. Simon announced that we would anchor just inside a small remote bay at the south end of the island. We had a wonderful day out with a long walk on the island hiking tracks and along some of the remote beaches, plus we did some snorkelling too which was fun. When we arrived back in Fremantle late Sunday afternoon, we saw that the catamaran was missing. Simon picked up the phone and called my Gramps. “Hello, Gramps. This is Simon speaking. Finn and I went to Rottnest for the day, and we have just arrived back to find the catamaran missing,” Simon said as soon as the call was answered. “Nice to hear you, adopted grandson. Yes, the new owners took possession of the catamaran at noon today. We got a good price for it,” Gramps replied as Finn and I listened in on the call. “Ok, we just wanted to check in. How are Neal and Jedd?” Simon asked. “They have had one of their bad days today. I had to collect them both from school early. They are resting at the moment,” we heard Gramps say. “Ok. Well, say hi to them from us both. We will be coming up on Wednesday, so we will see you in the late afternoon then,” Simon said. “Ok, Simon. We will see you then. Bye,” Gramps said and he ended the call. “So, my brothers are still finding it hard without me, are they?” I said after a few moments of silence. “Yes, they have their good days and bad days, but it could be teenage hormones also,” Simon replied. “Oh, yes. They must be 16 and 14 years old now,” I said remembering that they were probably very grown up since I last saw them. “I think Wednesday afternoon will be a very emotional day for many people. Oh, by the way, do you remember when Sarah rang the yacht and wanted to talk to you 2 ½ years ago,” Finn stated. “Um, I vaguely remember something about that. Was it anything important?” I replied. “Well yes in a way. Your friend James, from the station in the Kimberly, arrived unannounced hoping to catch up with you and see if you had a job for him,” Finn said. “Oh, so what happened to James?” I asked. “Gramps gave him a job to look after the Wildlife yard and the garden around the headquarters. He shares a house with Sarah and Oscar a block away from headquarters, so he is close to work,” Simon replied with a smile. “Ok, it will be nice to see him again. Oh, and what happened about you know who?” I replied. “He stayed for a few weeks. He admitted that he did wrong by cheating on you and was sorry for doing it. When he was better he returned to Perth. He is now a paramedic in Perth,” Finn replied. Once we had finished mooring in the fishing boat harbour, I decided that we would eat out that night, so we showered, changed and locked up. We walked down to some of the restaurants that are scattered around the area, and we enjoyed a nice night out, before we returned to the yacht and turned in for the night. All of the next day we kept busy cleaning and finishing doing the maintenance on the yacht, and happily we finished everything that needed doing. We relaxed in the saloon for the last few hours of the afternoon. I suggested that we try another restaurant in Fremantle, so once again we showered and changed, locked up the yacht and headed towards the centre of town to check out some of the other restaurant locations where there was some live entertainment and a fantastic meal. We stayed a little later than usual, since we had no plans for the morning.

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