Episode 8: Transmissions

Crystal’s jaw dropped, and the hairs on her neck stood on end. No way… she muttered, shaking her head in disbelief. This is not happening to me But it clearly was. How did you find me? she addressed the droid.

Your prints were left on the box, Crystal Weightless. Crystal backed out of the doorway and braced herself against the corridor wall. The droid knew her name. She was good at getting herself into binds, but she always turned to the same person to get her out. Gravity she thought out loud. Hitting the red button by the door, she hid the Nebula X from view and raced wide eyed to the galley where the other girls had already started eating.


Tension continued to build at the Lander camp on Mars. What few comments Wormhole made were laced with innuendo. Ash’s anger grew until he could no longer contain it. The sun was setting when Ash finally turned to Wormhole and said You’ll never get away with this, Sly.

I already have, you fool! came his scathing reply. With those words, Wormhole rose to his feet and reached for his saber. Instinctively, Lander did the same.

Don’t do this, please! Ash tried to reason. Wormhole only chuckled and removed the safety bolt from the butt of his weapon. A blaze of green energy, a contained beam, shot from the handle, illuminating the campsite which had quickly grown dark. The blinding flash of light burned into Ash and Krate’s eyes, and Sly Wormhole stood, powerful, with his own huge black shadow spilling over the valley behind him like ink.

Ash activated his saber as well, intending only to call Wormhole’s bluff, but both men knew that Wormhole was capable of killing without remorse.

Why are you doing this? Ash asked, but Wormhole only came back with a hideous laugh.


Flash keyed his coordinates into the computer. Uranus sparkled off behind the TNI, but Saturn’s orbit placed it on the other side of the sun, and only empty space lay between him and Jupiter’s path. the screen flickered and Flash adjusted the communications disc toward the Earth.

His gamble at Pluto had paid off by sending him only a few degrees off from his desired course. Still, with the distance he had to travel, those few degrees would place him millions of miles from his target.

The screen went white and then scrolled text from top to bottom. Not his own calculations or database, but transmissions from home! I’m here! he shouted. I’m alive!

Categorized as Sci-Fi

Episode 7: Space Dreams

Flash Meridian sped through space like a bullet with nothing to mark the time. No day, no night, the sun imperceptibly brightening. He slept, waking to eat, to calculate, to sleep again.

As he slept, he dreamed. His mind took him back, it seemed, through every memory of his life. In sleep, he mentally returned to his parents’ home, where insignificant details presented themselves to him, begging to be noticed… explored… appreciated.

He reached out to touch the painted window sill, flooded by the full afternoon sun, beyond it was the view of the blue sky and green fields outside. What was common to him then had now become a distant and foreign planet. Domestic details, so unlike the clean, efficient, practical features of his ship, held a significance greater than themselves. Almost microscopically, Flash studied the simple function of a door hinge, the weave of carpet threads, the glazed pattern on china plates.

Time passed quickly while he dreamed. He returned to the day, as a child, that he buried a bird he found dead on the gravel driveway. He thought of the relationship between the decomposing body of the bird to the grass, the grass to the air, and how everything on Earth created an interdependent system.

Out here in space, his surroundings were so clinical, so sterile, so unnatural. Out here in space, he was completely alone, and he longed for that soft, rich world he once knew.


Tension was building at the Lander camp. Krate was fully recovered from the sedative, and Wormhole never left the two men alone, though Krate and Ash tried to get time away from him to devise a plan.

For the most part, the camp was silent with suspicion.


Back at the Space School, Crystal attended most of her classes, but she was clearly distracted. She lived in fear that a Federation officer would come looking for her in regard to her stealing. Never before had anyone at the school seen Crystal so subdued.

After a day of staring into space, of fiddling with things on her desk and doodling with pencil in her notebook, Crystal made her way back to her chamber to sleep. No dinner, she just wanted to go to bed. She punched in her access code, and the door slid silently open. Crystal only stared, shocked by what she saw.

The Nebula X was standing motionless in her chamber. A light flickered in its right eye sensor and the droid spoke. You have returned…

Categorized as Sci-Fi

Episode 6: Gravity

Ash simultaneously monitored the descent of the incoming ship and Krate’s condition. A sample of Krate’s blood revealed a strong sedative in his system. Further testing revealed the source: algae. Inadvertent discoveries like this could revolutionize the use of anesthetics back on earth. Sleep it off, Krate, Ash said quietly as he disembarked to find the Nomicon ship. Compass in hand, Ash set out over a nearby ridge, and found the craft about a half hour later. It would be good to see some other people from Earth. Ash imagined this monumental meeting as he approached the ship. The initial handshakes and welcome, the catching up of Earth news later over dinner. The Nomicon ship gleamed in the Martian afternoon and Ash’s heart pounded with the thrill of it all. There had been many times already that the mission’s setbacks could have cost them their lives. Who was the mysterious space girl who had saved them? Where was Flash? The door of the ship began to lower. Ash was anxious to bring an in depth investigation against…


Wormhole stood smugly in the open door of his ship. Ash felt suddenly nauseous, but was careful not to allow his shock to show.

Lander… said Wormhole slyly. He knew he had the upper hand. Major, Ash responded with a salute. Welcome to Mars, sir. Thanks, Lander. How is Azimuth feeling? Ash detected a knowing chuckle in Wormhole’s question, and did not respond.


Flash could see Uranus far, far to the right of his path toward the sun. He scanned his route for any potential collisions. Though he wouldn’t be in the main asteriod belt until he passed Jupiter, there was always a chance that he would encounter them in the entire Jovian range. Then after a meal, it was back to the cryo tube and uneventful space.


Crystal Weightless confined herself to the school and lived in fear that her plundering would be discovered. While her classmates and teacher noticed a change in her behavior, the only person she confided in regarding the Nebula X was her twin sister, Gravity. Her classmates assumed she was up to something. Her teacher preferred to believe Crystal had finally settled down and was taking more of an interest in her studies. Paranoia raged in Crystal’s thoughts and dreams.


Ash led Wormhole back to the ship, where Krate was awake and still feeling groggy. When he saw Wormhole, he was consumed with fear and rage. Both men secretly wished they could kill Wormhole before he had a chance to further sabotage their expedition and lives. Outwardly, they maintained a facade of comraderie and respect. They weren’t fooling anyone.

Categorized as Sci-Fi

Episode 5: Don’t Drink the Water

Ash Lander and Krate Azimuth left J-IV for their return to Earth. Having been unsuccessful in their attempt to save Flash Meridian, they still had work to do before going home. For decades, it had been clear that setting up a colony on Mars would enable much greater exploration in space. They were scheduled to rendezvous with a representative of NOMICON, the company that would be planning and building the colony.

Arriving on Mars before the Nomicon party, Ash and Krate did tests on the Martian soil and water. The horror of J-IV behind them, the two men worked well together gathering and testing samples from the Martian surface. The only sign of Martian life that they saw was the vibrant green algae that grew on the rocks in the water. Analysis of the water revealed that it was, indeed, H20. As the sun rose, only slightly more distant than it appeared on Earth, the men reflected on their lives and families back there. At times as close as 35 million miles away, they felt that they were almost home.

Ash Lander turned to see Krate Azimuth dipping his hands into a small pool to take a drink. Col. Lander knew that sufficient testing had not yet been done to determine whether this water was suitable for human consumption – they only knew it’s basic composition. But it was too late. So great was Krate’s nostalgia for Earth, that he acted as though he were there already and drank deeply from his cupped hands.

By the time Ash reached him, Krate was unconscious. A quick check of his vital signs revealed to Ash that he had a pulse and was breathing. As Ash carried Krate back to the ship, he looked up to see a ship descending toward them. The Nomicon Party


Flash Meridian sped past Neptune like a comet and wondered how he would decelerate as he neared the inner planets. Sleeping in a cryo-tube, time passed quickly – he spent as much as two weeks at a time asleep. Whenever he woke, the initial impression was that the view had not changed much if at all. But when he calculated his distance from the sun, it was clear that he was making very good time indeed.


Crystal Weightless had a bit of a problem on her hands. The Nebula X, upon activation, launched into the demo mode, simulating her capabilities for who she assumed was her new and rightful owner.

Colored lights shot from her fingertips as a recorded voice droned from her mouth-aperture. X-RAY: Right index finger… INFRARED BEAM: Right Eye… HEAT VISION: Left Eye…” As each function was mentioned, a light beam shot from the corresponding area on the unit. Crystal just stared in horror and wanted to get away from Nebula X, the pod and Europa. When the droid demonstrated her sleep and shutdown features, Crystal slipped away and fled back to her school, vowing to never plunder another ship.

Categorized as Sci-Fi

Episode 4: Waking Nebula X

Ash Lander and Krate Azimuth safely aboard their ship, Crystal extracted fuel from the core of J-IV and filled their tanks. Having done a good deed, she went back to her mischievous hobby of looting unmanned cargo pods. These slave ships contained anything from food and water to high tech equipment, and Crystal loved the surprise of opening them. She fancied herself a child on Christmas morning rather than the pirate that she was. So many ships were lost that she felt no guilt for the few she scavenged. The Federation built in loss due to attrition, and she knew that her ships were numbered among them. Rarely did she find anything of great value.

Occasionally, however, she found something really special.

On a jaunt near Europa, some 417,000 miles above Jupiter, she picked up the signal from a slave ship passing in the vicinity. She used her manipulator to guide it, by radio control and landed it softly on Europa’s surface. Her pulse quickened as she approached the small craft, anticipating what she may find inside. Tools, repair materials and fuel were common, and were often of no use to her, being highly specialized items. Food was good. Clothing was equally desirable, and could be sold back at the school to the less adventurous girls.

Crystal deactivated the shield as she approached the pod, and quickly removed the cargo bay door. A large bondi box was partially exposed beneath packs of dried food. The food was a major score. The box most likely held satellite components or some unidentifiable techo mass, which she would discard into space. Jamming her backpack and pockets, she gathered as many of the food packets as she could carry. Almost as an afterthought, she decided to unlatch the box lid and see what it contained.

As she released the latch mechanism, the lid opened itself, and a soft light pulsated from within the translucent box. It contained a Nebula X, which Crystal had only seen in the weekly entertainment transmissions. This was no ordinary cargo. The Nebula X was the latest fashion droid.

Oh wow, Crystal gasped, frozen in mid-air as she hovered above the sparkling treasure. Someone would be looking for this. Crystal gazed at the flawless chrome skin and ruby lips, the crown of blue nebula encircling her head, and the dress made of gold. The Nebula X’s sapphire eyes, though dormant, seemed to watch her float. This suddenly made Crystal feel uncomfortable, so she decided to close the lid again. She did not want this pilfering to be traced to her, especially now that such a costly item was involved.

As Crystal drifted down to where the box lay, the Nebula X suddenly sat up with a quick, mechanical motion that startled her. The droid had been activated.

Categorized as Sci-Fi

Episode 3: Slingshot

Halfway between Neptune and Pluto, the full realization of his situation hit Flash Meridian. He was nearing the edge of our solar system. All transmissions from the rescue party had ceased, and he knew he had to take charge of his own destiny.

Pluto had been visible for some time, and was now looming larger in vast, empty space. It was his last chance. To approach close enough to be held by Pluto’s gravitational pull long enough to slingshot back toward the sun. The sun now appeared as a distant star. It would take precise calculations to aim himself at it, and he would be relying on pure, dumb luck. Still, it was his only hope. There was a good chance that he would impact Pluto. There was a chance that his ship, the Trans-Neptunian Interloper, would be torn to bits in the attempt. There was a possibility that the human body would not survive the tremendous g-forces involved in the semi-orbit. None of this mattered. His demise would be guaranteed if he stayed with his current course.

Flash sat, hurtling through the void at previously unimagined speed, yet feeling no sensation of speed whatever.


Ash stared, bewildered, at Crystal, unable to move or speak. Her movements were deliberate and efficient.

Ash’s panic subsided. Whether she was a dream or not, he was comforted by her presence.

Now I’ll take care of your friend, she said

Krate’s affliction was no accident. Someone had sabotaged the mission by planting a chip in Krate’s brainstem. By this time, Krate actually posed no threat to Ash. His own torment was so great he writhed in violent spasms.

When Crystal cut the chip loose, he fell, still, unconscious.

Ash surmised correctly, that this was the doing of Major Sly Wormhole. Once in deep space, Krate was supposed to kill Ash before self-destructing. The mission was unsuccessful, but the chip was removed before any permanent damage was done to either man.


Flash looked up to see a sky dominated by the frozen surface of Pluto. Never had he seen a more inhospitable place. He looked away, wishing that he would not become a part of that landscape.

Stress on the TNI was building as Pluto’s pull increased. It was all Flash could do to remain conscious under the strain.

Soon it was over. The shaking. The Noise. The sickening force. The computer indicated that he was now traveling away from Pluto much faster than he had approached it. The sun was barely visible, but it lay in the general direction he had hoped to find it. He paused only for a moment to celebrate this victory. He had to prepare once again for warp. It would take decades off his return trip.

Though he had had no signal from Earth for some time, he continued to broadcast reports from his tiny cocoon in space. The thought that someone might hear made him feel less alone.


Krate and Ash awoke in the safety of their camp on J-IV. All was back to normal – as it was when they landed to retrieve core samples. Sorry, said Krate. It’s all good, Ash responded.

Categorized as Sci-Fi

Episode 2: Meet Crystal Weightless

Crystal Weightless: Intergalactic socialite.
Jet setter for the space age or cosmic bimbo? You be the judge.

We last left Ash Lander on one of Jupiter’s remote moons with no food, no water and no shelter, hunted by his comrade, Krate Azimuth.

In fitful sleep, he imagined what would happen when he was found.

The hand that eventually woke him was not that of his deranged friend-turned-nemesis, but more the touch of an angel.

Her gentle touch and beatific smile made Ash wonder whether he was dreaming… hallucinating… or already dead.

He would soon learn, however, that Crystal Weightless was an ordinary space girl out to have a good time. She happened upon Ash Lander while looting unmanned slave ships. By jamming their radio controls, she could intercept them and plunder their cargo. Her confidence and working understanding of inertia stood in stark contrast to the panic raging within Ash. Every task performed by our astronauts was based on complicated and difficult mathematics, while Crystal instinctively scaled walls and manipulated enormous freight laden pods in zero gravity. This was the only life she had ever known, and it was a life she loved.

Categorized as Sci-Fi

Episode 1: Rescue Flash Meridian

U.S. Astronauts Ash Lander and Krate Azimuth, each celebrated and undisputed American heroes, were selected for what had been referred to as THE MOST CHALLENGING MISSION IN THE HISTORY OF EARTH’S SPACE PROGRAM. Their mission: to find Flash Meridian, whose ship, the Trans-Neptunian Interloper, had been swept offcourse by an unseen gravitational presence and was hurtling toward the outer reaches of our solar system.

Advances in the field of warp travel had made interplanetary travel possible if not common. With these greater distances came greater danger, and the greatest enemy, our space pioneers were about to learn, lay within. The unfathomable reaches of the human mind challenged even those of deep, mysterious SPACE.

Here on earth, Alpha Control tracked the astronaut’s course, and kept the anxious public updated on the progress of the mission. Families across America gathered around their radio sets each evening to vicariously share in the excitement of space travel.

Our heroes enjoyed the novelty of weightlessness, and the new challenges that space travel offered.

Seen from Amalthea, its closest moon, Jupiter covers 1/4 of the sky. While Col. Lander would weigh close to 300 pounds on the surface of Jupiter, he finds that a single step on Amalthea sends him bounding several yards.

strapping on his vector boots, Col. Ash Lander is able to explore the moons of Jupiter without the confines of a ship.

While taking core samples on Callisto – also known as J-IV, strange and frightening transmissions were received at Alpha Control. Astronaut Krate Azimuth had been acting in a strangely threatening manner toward Col. Lander. Perhaps it was the solitude of space getting the best of him. Perhaps it was a chemical imbalance caused by warp speed…

… but when he turned his ray gun on his comrade, the fate of the mission and indeed the life of Ash Lander came into question.

…Most Americans imagined the frightening events set in the context of their own world.

Having fled the initial confrontation on Callisto, Col. Lander found himself hunted on a remote moon with no food, no water and no shelter, only his gun, which never left his grip, even when he fell from exhaustion into restless sleep,

and nightmares about what would come next.

Returning to Earth, a Vanguard begins to vaporize from friction with the air.

The Space Age began on October 4, 1957, when the first artificial satellite – Sputnik I – was successfully launched. That proved that men could actually put something into space. Later satellites – the Explorers, the tiny Vanguard, and other Sputniks – proved it many times over.

Categorized as Sci-Fi

RELAUNCH! Flash Meridian celebrates 10 years!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the birth of The Adventures of Flash Meridian, a science fiction story created in Grand Marais, MN. Written by Timothy Young (aka Timouth or Flash), It featured a cast of model/actors in a series of digital photographs to form a sort of comic book story on the internet. The original episodes will be featured here, interspersed with trivia, behind the scenes interviews, photographs, appearances, activities and education, all in an interactive format here at blogspot.com. There are also the original soundtrack recordings, Flash Meridian songs and bonus tracks, as well as the first 31 episodes read by the author with the musical score. Do you remember seeing the series online? Did you happen to see it on television or on stage, hear it on the radio, read about it in a newspaper or magazine? Well, IT’S BACK! Feel free to share your comments here as I gradually upload the fun!

Categorized as Sci-Fi