The state of TIAH
December 8th, 2006
Alternate Historian's Note: Stephen Payne has more work as our Guest Historian and our NaNoWriMo novel continues. We hope you are enjoying this change in format – let us know how you feel about it in comments or by emailing us. This will be the format of TIAH throughout the holiday season, unless we receive a great outcry about it. Speaking of the Holiday Season, keep in mind those who need help year-round and keep yourselves safe and happy, as well. And, should you feel generous inclinations towards our guest historians, you can visit the sites of those who have separate ones from TIAH; generosity towards us here at the Academy is always appreciated, too, and you can find ways to help us out all over the site. Right now, we'd appreciate a lead on a good day job, but any good wishes you have towards us can be emailed here.
in 0, Mullah Elijah Rafsanjani reflects on the abduction option in the town of Bayt La (Bethlehem). Put simply to snatch Jesus out of time and transport him to 2126. The idea has merit. On the flip side, he might just delay the ministry of Jesus by twenty two centuries. A contemporary Christianity might burn through twenty-third century Arabia in the same way it did the Roman Empire in the pre-jihad era. Hmm. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-
in 1919, imperceptibly at first and then so gradually no one notices it, the small image of a goat starts to move towards the corner of Michelangelo Buonarroti's Last Judgement painting over the altar of the Sistine Chapel. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-
in 1976, the Eagles release “Hotel California” which goes on to sell over 16 million copies in the United States alone between late 1976 and early 1977. The title song "Hotel California" reached number #1 on US billboards on May 7, 1977. The “beast” described in the lyrics was generally assumed to be a symbol for the drugs and alcohol which gripped vocalist Don Henley's life at that time. Not so, the lead song was a true story of events that really happened to Henley in Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico during 1973. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-
in 1990, F-16 fighters fitted with gigantic speakers transmitting amplified male arachnid sounds lure the giant spider into the Dead Sea. The high salt content kills the spider instantly and the nation of Israel takes a collective sigh of relief. It is unclear whether the region will gain or lose tourist trade as a result. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-
Sergeant Morris and Kevin walked over to the still form of a young woman on the roof. While Morris held his gun on her, Kevin checked to see if she had a pulse. He was afraid that she had fallen victim to the heavy amounts of radiation all around them – his suit's detector registered about 5 times the lethal level here. As he reached his hand out to her, though, her eyes fluttered open and she stared at them in horror. “Miss,” he said, “are you all right?”
“Uhm,” she stammered, sitting up, “yeah. Yeah, I think so. Thanks.”
“How long have you been up here?”
She looked confused and nervous. The odd thing was that she didn't seem to be suffering from any symptoms of radiation illness. “I... I don't know. What day is today?”
“It's the fifteenth. Thursday.”
She ran a hand through her hair and looked over at Morris, who still had his pistol drawn on her. “Who are you guys?”
“We're with the National Guard, ma'am.” Kevin looked around at Morris and said, “Sergeant, do you really think you have to keep pointin' that weapon at her?”
“The lock on that door was cut through,” he said. “Just like we did with the computer room, Bradley. What are you doin' here, lady?”
“I just... I was working on a research paper, and I guess I slept in my office. I woke up and the building was deserted,” she said, looking into Kevin's eyes. She had very pretty eyes. Kevin put that thought away and listened to her continue. “I guess it was yesterday, I couldn't get anything to work, so I came up here to see if I could see what happened. I fell asleep looking around.”
“You just happened to have a lock-cutter with you, lady?” Sergeant Morris was clearly still suspicious of her.
She shrugged and looked away. “It comes in handy.”
Kevin had had enough of the questioning. “Sergeant, we need to get her to a medical unit for treatment. She's been exposed to a lot of radiation.”
“Radiation?” She sounded alarmed. “Oh, my God.”
That sounded a little less convincing. Kevin looked back into those pretty brown eyes, and he could see that she was looking into his to see if he believed her. He also looked over at the possessions she had at hand. He was pretty sure that there was a pair of night-vision goggles in the small pile of stuff she had near her, as well as a Geiger counter. He looked at it, and was surprised to see that it read a much lower level of radiation than his suit did. “Your meter here is broken, miss,” he told her. “I don't know how long you've been here, but the radiation levels here are lethal.” He pointed at the small meter on his suit. “Maybe you think this is all a big thrill, but it's probably cost you your life.”
The scared look on her face vanished as she dropped the act. “OK, Sergeant Rock, you got me. But, let me tell you two a couple of things.”
Steph's phone rang, startling her and the kids. “I guess they got the phones workin' again,” she said, getting up from the couch. She walked over to the telephone and picked up the receiver. “Hello?”
“Stephanie? Oh, thank the lord, I've been trying to get you since yesterday!”
“Hi, momma,” Steph said, smiling. “It's Granny Trent,” she told the kids. “How are y'all doin', momma?”
“Oh, we're all right, you know,” the older woman said. “I was just worried about you and the kids. And Jake. Do you think he's all right?”
“He was just here last night, momma. He's OK.”
“He was there last night?” Steph could practically hear the smirk on the other end of the line. “Is that right?”
“He and another soldier just stayed here for the night cause they had to get up this morning and head up to Waco,” Steph explained.
“Oh, my lord, Waco?” Mrs. Trent was shocked.
“He's a soldier, momma. They gotta do dangerous stuff, sometimes.”
“I suppose. I hope he's gonna be all right.”
“Me, too.” There was a moment of silence between them, and then Steph asked, “Do you want to talk to the kids?”
“OK, honey. I love you.”
“I love you, too, momma.” Steph handed the phone to George and sat back down on the couch.
Joan sat down beside her. “You OK, mom?”
“You should go talk to your grandma.”
“George'll be on there a while,” she said, smiling.
“Yeah, I guess.” She smiled slightly. “I'm just worried about your father.”
“Well, he has that other guy with him. A guy who just won the lottery's gotta be lucky, right?”
Steph chuckled and hugged Joan. “I guess so. Maybe some of it'll rub off. Lord knows we could use it.”
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