Thursday, December 14, 2006

Narrow Escape - Almost

The state of TIAH

December 14th, 2006

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Alternate Historian's Note: Stephen Payne takes up the slack for us as we head down to the conclusion of the first half of our NaNoWriMo novel. 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 my lovely Co-Historian could also use some more memory on her PC, if anyone feels generously inclined. (It's PC133-style – yes, it's an old machine). Any good wishes you have towards us can be emailed here.

in 0, Mullah Elijah Rafsanjani witnesses the star of David over the town of Bayt La (Bethlehem). He is gripped by an unexpectedly strong feeling of anticipation. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-

in 1995, the misnamed Yugoslav Wars reach a stalemate as the Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by President Slobodan Milošević, President Franjo Tuđman, President Alija Izetbegović, President Jacques Chirac, President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister John Major, Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Those seeking Justice have to wait another 131 years when all of the signatories appeared for questioning before the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of the Reconstructed United Nations in 2126 to answer for their role in the Muslim Holocaust, the renaming of the Yugoslav Wars in post-jihad society. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-

in 2003, President of Pakistan Pervez Musharaf almost narrowly escapes an assassination attempt. He dies the next day and America loses her strongest ally in the war against terror. By the inauguration of John Forbes Kerry thirteen months later, the war is over, closing a short but tragic episode in America's history. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-

Kevin looked at the roadblock coming up and sighed. “I'm ready to take this suit off.”
“Just another ten miles or so, and we can.” Sergeant Morris was slowing down. “Hey, do you think there's any way they can trace us through the suits?”
Miss Carbonari piped up and said, “Probably. Hell, they may even have bugs in the suits and be recording everything; but, with so many guys out there to listen to, I doubt they know what you guys are up to. Yet.”
“You're so reassuring,” Kevin said. He pulled out their mission orders as the sergeant pulled the jeep up to the hazmat-suited soldiers guarding the highway. “Now, shut up.”
She was mercifully silent as they rolled to a stop and a guard approached them. The young man asked, “Which team are you?”
“Went to the meteorology building at Baylor,” Sergeant Morris said as he handed the mission orders over. “Real exciting.”
“I bet.” The soldier looked over at Kevin and then back into the jeep. “All this the computer stuff from the meteorology building?”
“Yeah,” Sergeant Morris said. He was perfectly cool, but Kevin felt his face growing hot. He looked away from the soldier to hide it.
Unfortunately, the soldier noticed. “You OK, pal? Is your suit on good?”
“I sure hope so,” Kevin said, checking the zippers.
“Specialist Bradley here's got a lot to worry about,” Sergeant Morris said. “He won the lottery. He just wants to get this mission over with so he can enjoy his money.”
“No kiddin'?” The soldier totally forgot what he was thinking about. “How much did you win?”
“Three million,” Kevin said, sheepishly.
“Holy crap,” the young man said, laughing. He handed their papers back and asked, “Hey, can I get a loan?”
Kevin gave him what he hoped was a convincing smirk and said, “I'll think about it.”
The soldier waved them through the roadblock and Sergeant Morris pulled through nonchalantly. Once their was a bit of distance between them and the checkpoint, he gunned the engine. “You need to work on your skills, boy,” Morris said.
“I'll say,” Miss Carbonari said from under the tarp. “How do you ever get women?”
Kevin blushed. “I don't think that's any of your business.”
Both Morris and Carbonari let out knowing 'ahs'. “So, it's been a while,” Carbonari said.
“Well, he is a computer nerd,” the sergeant said.
“You know, that is such a stereotype,” Kevin said, his cheeks red as apples. “Most of the people I work with are married.”
“Of course, of course,” Carbonari said.
“I think we're far enough away, now,” Morris said, pulling the jeep over to the shoulder. “Let's get these suits off.”
“Finally,” Kevin said. He jumped out, unzipped the helmet and flipped it open. The chill air of the morning had become barely cool in the afternoon, and it brushed his face gently as he shed the hazmat suit. He sat down on the ground to get his feet out of the leggings, and once he was free, tossed it aside.
The sun was starting its slow descent to the horizon, giving the hills a reddish appearance. It was beautiful. A lovely, perfect autumn day. He pulled his cell phone out, turned the camera on, and took a picture of it.
“Hey, hacker-boy, we need to get scootin',” Carbonari called over to him. “We're burnin' daylight.”
He looked at the hills. They were the same as they had been in his childhood, when his parents would take him for those long drives with his brother and sisters. He took a picture of the hills, too.
“Bradley, we need to leave,” Sergeant Morris said, coming over to his side. He looked down at the little view screen on Kevin's phone and said, “Nice picture.”
“My family would drive around out here when I was little,” Kevin said. He stood up and grabbed the hazmat suit. “I just wanted a reminder of what it was all like before.”
Morris nodded. They walked back to the jeep, where Miss Carbonari was waiting impatiently. “Are we done looking at the scenery?”
“Yeah, we're done,” Kevin said, climbing into his seat. “Let's go.”

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