Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Life and Times of Herman Jackson, Issue 4

As the pair approached Earth’s atmosphere Herman took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He knew that his father would protect him and guide him through safely.

“Hold on, Herman. Do not let go of me for any reason.” George said sternly to the boy, and with that, the father and son rocketed towards the blue planet.
Orange and red flames erupted around their insulated space suits. George had to trust in the coodinates typed into his armpad because his vision was completely obscured. The entry angle was correct and their suits were holding up splendidly. George accelerated.

Finally, they were free and floating above the Poacific Ocean. “Herm, it’s okay. You can open your eyes now.”

Herman, carefully and slowly opened his eyes. “Are we through?”
“Yes, son. Take a look around. This is where you are from.”
Herman stared down into the ocean. Never in his life had he seen so much water. He was amazed at how blue it was and how he could see the ocean life swimming below. “Wow. Dad, this is great!”

With a chuckle his father slid back his face plate letting the salty air hit him. He breathed in deeply. “Try it Herm. It’s the smell of home.”

Herman slowly reached up to slide his plate back as well and, somewhat nervously, pressed the button. The breeze hit him squarely in the face and the scent of the sea was unlike anything he had ever experienced.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Life and Times of Herman Jackson, Issue 3

Herman and his father sat and absorbed the scenery of the blue planet for more than an hour. They watched it’s slow rotation and marveled at the cloud patterns dotting the landscapes. No matter how much time passed, Herman’s father, George, was still amazed at this world. Invisible strings attatched to his heart pulled him back to the place he was raised.

“Herman,” George said to his wide-eyed son, “traveling through Earth’s atmosphere is a…unique experience. The combinations of things that allow humans to live on this planet make entry and exit a bit uncomfortable.”
Herman swallowed hard. He had heard about failed entries into this atmosphere in school. The boy knew his father would protect him, but that did only a little to assuage his fears. With a deep breath Herman grabbed his father’s hand and said, “I’m ready, dad.”

George, beaming proudly at how brave his son was, pressed a few buttons on his arm computer and their jetpacks ignited and began propelling them towards the home of the human race. He gripped his little boy’s hand tightly knowing that in just a few years, the opportunity to hold his son’s hand would be gone.

Herman was all George Jackson had and the reverse was true. Herman’s mother died from cancer three summers ago and left the father and son alone. Before that, George had always put his adventuring career first and his family second. When his wife, Shelly, was diagnosed, things changed in a hurry. Suddenly, George began to realize the responsibilities he had been neglecting to further science and exploration. His priorities immediately shifted and husband and father were infinitely more important to him than Space Explorer. Shelly was terminal when she was diagnosed, but she made it long enough to see the shift in the man she loved and new that her baby boy would be well taken care of. Safe in the knowledge that her husband would have everything under control, she let go and the illness took over.