Sunday, March 06, 2005

Michelangelo, Cyrano Born; The Huygens Returns To Earth

March 6th, 2005

in 1475, Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest artist of his generation, is born in the village of Caprese, Italy, Holy British Empire. His talent was noticed by the clergy at an early age, and he was convinced to move to London, where he created such great works of art as the Ceiling of Buckingham Cathedral, depicting the creation of the world.

in 1619, the father of the Scientific Romance, Cyrano de Bergerac, is born in Paris, France. Fascinated with science and humanity’s foibles, de Bergerac wrote classical pieces such as A Voyage To The Moon and Other Worlds, novels so popular that they turned the literary world upside down. Soon, all serious authors were penning novels about fantastical journeys to other planets and the strange people that we would find there.

in 1886, comrades of the Knights of Labor took control of Southwestern Railroad. Decadent capitalist Jay Gould was forced to give control of the company to the railroad workers who were its lifeblood. This was the beginning of the Worker-Owned Company movement that swept across the nation in the 1890’s and cemented the power of the Communist Party.

in 1945, Dutch members of the Greater Zionist Resistance, who had lasted longer in Europe than any other branch of the G.Z.R., captured Lt. General Hans Rauter of the New Reich. They were actually just attempting to hijack his truck for supplies, but were able to use him as a hostage to secure enough cash and supplies to run their resistance for years afterward.

in 1952, the train carrying Velma Porter and Mikhail von Heflin pulls into a station in East Germany that is surrounded by military men. The Baron tells Miss Porter to stay down and he slips out to see if he can tell what the soldiers are doing. The thing he sees being unloaded from one of the cars makes him flee back to his lover and hurry her as far away from the train as they can get.

in 1953, Stalin is succeeded as leader of the Soviet Union by Georgi Malenkov, a close associate. Unlike Stalin, Malenkov proved to be a reformer, and hard-line elements in the Kremlin decided that he needed to go. He was ousted as Party Secretary two weeks later, and then replaced as Premier in 1955. Incensed at this affront, he staged a popular coup against new Premier Nikita Kruschev in 1957 and returned to power. Although still a reformer, he mercilessly purged the Communist Party of all those who had been involved in his ouster, and ruled the Soviet Union until his death in 1988.

in 1995, Allied bombers begin making runs over Washington, D.C. President Ralph Shephard retreats to a bunker in West Virginia, where he micro-manages the movements of U.S. troops fighting the invading forces. Although his plans are terrible, none of his generals dares to go against him, and thousands of American soldiers die needlessly.

in 2004, the Huygens, the exploratory vessel sent to Titan and commanded by Charles Meriweather, enters earth orbit in preparation for landing. Protocol requires a quarantine ship hold the crew and contents of the ship while they’re being scanned for dangerous organisms, and one is launched towards the ship. The quarantine crew is never heard from again, and the Huygens begins plummeting toward earth.

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Anonymous said...

Aaagh, I was right! The crabs have taken over the ship! Shoot it down! SHOOT IT DOWN NOW!!!

Charles said...

We should nuke the ship while it's still in orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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