Thursday, July 21, 2005

Struggles Among The Elders

July 21st, 2005

in 1704, the inhabitants of the Lalande 25372 star system, still receiving transmissions from the Rope system, but no longer transmitting themselves, detect a somewhat hostile tone in their broadcasts about the Elders’ galactic civilization. The Ropes feel constrained by factional political struggles within the Elders’ society, and are considering breaking away from them.

in 1831, Pope William IV put down the Belgian rebellion as Cardinal Leopold attempted to win independence for his people. William had Leopold executed and replaced with an English cardinal to underscore his disdain for the needs of Belgium.

in 1862, Southern rebels attack the U.S. military at Manassas Junction, Virginia. Poorly organized and hopelessly outgunned, the rebels are dispatched in short order by the Union army, but they inspire others who hope to bring down the Communist government of President Walt Whitman.

in 1899, hack writer Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. Never a serious author, Hemingway made his name with such melodramatic fare as Old Man & The Sea, The Sun Also Rises, and For Whom The Bell Tolls. While popular with the general public, his work faded quickly after his suicide in 1958.

in 4603, General Zuo Zongtang, conqueror of Hanoi, dies. Although he never lost a battle, his name has become synonymous with a victory that is more costly than a defeat. He left the military in 4563, published his bestselling memoirs in 4571 on the 10th anniversary of the Battle of Hanoi, and retired to life as a restaurant owner in Beijing.

in 1963, Carla Lambert dies in New Jersey at the age of 81. On her deathbed, she confesses that Thomas Edison was not her lover, but was, in fact, her father. She had kept the secret all these years out of respect for the man, not wishing him to be tarnished by the stain of affair.

in 1989, parodist “Weird” Al Yankovic’s first movie, UHF is released. It becomes the highest grossing comedy of all time, outpacing The Blues Brothers with over $258 million in receipts. Yankovic goes on to score other big-screen hits such as Running With Scissors and Long, Long Time Ago, his parody of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

in 1996, word reaches the Chimanimani National Park in Zimbabwe that their request for a truck to move the object has been heard. A truck will arrive in a couple of days to carry it to Harare. Professor Malcolm Thomas corners Dr. Melvin Courtney and asks him if he truly understands the significance of the object; Dr. Courtney, who has been trying not to, says, “I’m not blind; I know what it looks like. But, I will follow proper procedure, nonetheless.”

in 2000, a team of CIA agents arrives at Velma Porter’s New York City apartment and attempts to arrest her and her lover, Mikhail von Heflin. Not wishing these innocent pawns any harm, the Baron confuses them and sends them back to Langley. Meanwhile, he and Ms Porter plot their next visit to a Mr. Steve Huff.


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