Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Our Lady

The state of TIAH

December 12th, 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 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 is starting to believe his abduction plan will succeed. Delivering Jesus to the post-jihad year 2126 and frustrating the ministry will deliver a heroes' welcome, surely? -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-

in 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe (the Virgin Mary) appears in a manifestation to St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City. In 1648 Miguel S├ínchez, the author of the first Spanish-language apparition account said that "this New World has been won and conquered by the hand of the Virgin Mary” in a reference to the conversion of the Americas to Roman Catholicism with the notable exception of the Amish and Mormons. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-

in 2000, the United States Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore. To unite the country, the Court proposes a joint inauguration followed by the candidates sharing the presidency with each serving a two-year term. Best practice had been established by an indecisive election in Israel during 1984 when Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres agreed to the same power-sharing formula. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown calls Gore to strongly advise him not to accept the proposal. After all he had made a similar agreement with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1994 and he was still waiting. Dismissing Brown's advice as a counsel of bitterness, and being a gentleman, Gore invites Bush to serve first – whilst he occupies the Senate Presidency as agreed. For two years they fight tooth and nail over 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, tearing the country to pieces. -entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!-

“What is it?” Steph didn't think she really wanted to know, judging from the way Jake sounded, but wanted to get it over with.
“I need to come back to your place, all right? And I'm afraid I'm gonna be bringing Specialist Bradley and a couple of other people with me.”
Steph was confused. “Why?”
“Are you on the cordless phone, Steph?”
That was a weird question. “Yeah.”
“I'll email you, OK? It's not something that I can talk about over the line.”
That just scared her. “Are you sure you need to come here, Jake?”
“Yeah, Steph, I really am.”
She wanted to tell him no; she and the kids had been through so much in the last 2 days, and she didn't like how mysterious he was being. But, if he really needed her help... then she had to give it. “OK, Jake. When are you gonna be here?”
“I'll tell you in the email. See you soon, Steph.”
The receiver went dead and she hung up. She walked over to the computer, where Joan was chatting with some of her friends. “I need to use the computer, Joanie.”
“Just 5 more minutes, OK, mom?”
Steph didn't think Jake was hitting 'Send' right then, so she said, “All right. But not a minute more.”
“OK.” Joan typed furiously, giggling a little at something that somebody had just messaged to her. Steph felt good that Joan was in a better mood than the previous day. She wished that she could toss all of her cares away that easily. George was happily watching his Justice League DVD's, without a care in the world. All the adult stuff was still a little unreal to him.
It felt a little unreal to her, too. She pulled a chair up next to the computer, making Joan a little uncomfortable. “Don't read over my shoulder, OK?”
“Don't write anything you feel like I shouldn't read, then,” Steph told her, smiling. She didn't read what her daughter was typing; she felt that the threat that her mother was close enough to read what she was writing was enough to deter the girl.
It obviously made Joan uncomfortable, because she wrapped up the conversation and turned the computer over to her mother. “There ya go, mom,” she said, getting up and walking over to the TV to torment her little brother.
Joan brought up her email program and signed in. Spam drifted in quickly, and she scanned through it until she found one from Jake. “Steph,” it read, “you need to delete this email as soon as you've read it, and empty your trash folder after doing that. There's more that Bradley told me you need to do, but we'll explain it when we get there. We've found out something here that kind of threw us for a loop, and we need some time to think about our next move. We won't stay there long, but we need a place where we can meet up with a couple of people before moving on. If you can't let us stay there, don't reply to this email. Instead, post a message to the forums at www.jcconspiracy.com saying S cannot help J. It's really important, though, babe. If we don't see that post before 3PM, we'll assume that you agree. Thanks.
She looked at the clock in the corner of her computer's desktop. It was 2:14. That gave her a little time to think about what she had just read. She deleted the email and emptied the trash folder, then opened up her Internet browser and went to the mysterious www.jcconspiracy.com. It was one of those nutjob conspiracy sites, with all kinds of 'proof' that Bush was behind 9/11, or aliens were being pumped for information at Area 51, or JFK was killed by the CIA; another real estate agent at her firm believed that stuff and tried to talk to her about it all the time.
She saw the link to the forums, and clicked on it. There were several somewhat cryptic postings; she guessed that people this paranoid needed someplace they could post things anonymously. A huge number of these postings were from today and yesterday; the nutjobs were out in force. What was Jake doing telling her to go here? He didn't believe any of this crap.
The clock had flipped to 2:33 while she had been wading through all the craziness on the forums. Joan had also gotten bored with torturing her brother and was now seated next to her. “What's with all the whoo-whoo stuff, mom?”
Steph closed the browser. “Nothin', Joanie. Your father and some friends are gonna be here tonight. Help me get the place straightened up.”

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