Thursday, July 27, 2006

Success, Failure In France

The state of TIAH

July 27th, 2006

in 1776, the American revolution's emissary to France, Silas Deane, reluctantly has to inform the Continental Congress that his mission has been a failure, and that the French King Louis will not support the Americans against his fellow monarch because it would create “a bad precedent.” Deane had made overtures to several nobles, but once Louis let it be known that he disapproved, none of them were able to assist the American. Daunted by the collapse of his mission, Deane then moved on to Russia, hoping that the Tsar might be willing to lend assistance and secure an ally in the Americas, but Russia was even less willing to become involved with an attempt to throw off the shackles of another king. Deane finally returned to America when John Jay negotiated an end to the revolution and partial autonomy for the colonial states.

in 1794, in a daring preemptive strike, Maximilien Robespierre, President of France's Revolutionary National Convention, arrests the leading members of his opposition and has them guillotined in Paris. With his Jacobins ruling more harshly than the French kings ever had, Robespierre crushed his opposition throughout the country and declared himself dictator of France, a Caesar for the modern day. He recruited a young Italian who had been drawn to the revolution, Napoleon Buonaparte, to take command of the military and whip it back into shape, which he accomplished to great success. Buonaparte's soldiers not only protected the revolution, but expanded it, conquering several neighboring states and bringing huge chunks of Europe under Robespierre's control. The Great Terror, as Robespierre became known, finally ended when Buonaparte's ambitions finally led him to stage a military coup in 1803, and assume the dictatorship of France for his own.

in 1947, rancher Mac Brazel and New Mexican State Senator Argus Fitzsimmons have Sunday dinner together as the senator prepares to leave Roswell to head back to Santa Fe. Brazek has given the senator much to think about, and he has decided to call a few people he knows in Washington to see if the strange mystery about the “weather balloon” is something that can be cleared up. Saying goodbye, Brazel tells Fitzsimmons, “If it's something they want to keep secret because they don't want our enemies to know about it, that's fine. But they need to keep their secrets better, then, and not go crashing across the countryside.” Senator Fitzsimmons agrees, and heads back to Santa Fe. Heading back into his house, Brazel tells his wife, “I just think they got used to keeping secrets 'cause of the war, and they kinda like it, now.”

in 2017, the Pokor arrives in orbit around the strange world at the heart of the nebula they have been transported to by the golden alien device of the Starwalkers. Though the world looks dead, Najib Kasem, who had configured the device to bring them here, urges Commander Patterson to take the Eagle down and land on it. “There's something still down there, I'm sure of it,” he tells her. “Something they wanted others to see.” Patterson and Captain Mawrao of the Pokor relent to his request, and the Eagle flies down to the planet with Quarai and human crew aboard, including Kasem. Kasem seems to be almost in a trance, guiding Patterson to land on one specific patch of ground near what looks like a dry, dead lake. Donning space suits, they exit the Eagle and Kasem takes them to what appears to be a tunnel leading below the lake and into a large, circular chamber. Kasem says something in a strange language that none of them understand, and images of an alien race spring to life around them.

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