Saturday, November 30, 2013

No One Heard, No One Cared

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional. Warning: This story contains violence to children and women.

Emma dressed in her skirt, stockings, blouse, jacket, and hat for the evening stroll with her children.  She had Armando wear pants, shoes, shirt, a hat, and a jacket with lapels.  Ellie was dressed in a red dress with long sleeves and white trim.  She also wore a jacket and a hat.  They were ready for their evening stroll around to neighborhood just before dinner.

They walked their usual route form their home and stayed on the sidewalk.  Then they turned a corner.  To their amazement there were gangs of young men in brown shirts smashing windows of stores.  The baker's, the shoe maker, the bank, all were being smashed and ransacked.

"Com'on children, let's leave," said Emma trying to get her children to turn around.

"Some one should stop this," said Ellie.

"Yeah, let's get the police," said Armando.

"No, children.  Let's go back home this is not our business."

Emma tried to move the children away from the scene when someone grabbed her arm.  She was yanked hard, and her body swung around.

"What do we have here?" said the young man in a brown shirt who was holding onto Emma.

"A lady and two little brats," said another man also in a brown shirt.

"Let's have some fun," said a third.

Two of them gabbed Ellie and Armando and took them a few feet away.

"No! Don't hurt them.  They're my children," cried Emma.

Armando and Ellie tried to fight the men off but were too young.  The men started to rip the clothes off the children.  Emma watched in horror as she was held by the young man who was laughing.

As one of the men started to unzip his pants, another man shouted.  The young men stopped in their tracks.  Emma looked almost behind her and saw a man in a grey military uniform and a grey cap with a black brim.  He also wore high leather military boots.  She didn't notice the SS insignia on his lapel nor did she care.

"Help! Help! Help us sir!  These men are violating my children," cried Emma.

"We cannot have that here!  You men stop at once," the military man said.  He pulled out a handgun from a holster on the side of his coat belt.  He pointed the gun at the young men.

The young men stepped away slowly.  Ellie and Armando stood together and crying.  Their nice clothes half torn off.  Their jackets and hats were thrown to the ground.

"The children are not to be harmed," said the military man.  With that command he took aim and shot twice.  Ellie and Armando slumped to the ground.

"What have you done! Oh God...," howled Emma.

The military man grabbed her arm.  "Now no one will hurt the children.  Come lady, you are to give entertainment to these patriots.  He delivered her into the hands of the three young men  who proceeded to rape her right next to her children's dead bodies.

No one in the town cared to hear Emma's cries and shrieks.  No one thought it was their business when her voice fell silent.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Working the Rails

The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

Somewhere in solar orbit between Mars and the Asteroid belt, Nick and Jack work on Deep Space Station 1.  Shaped like a helix, or a spring, this particular station was an ore processing plant with its own artificial gravity accomplished by centrifugal force, that is, spinning.  Nick and Jack each operated a hefty robotic arm (RA) to capture incoming spacecraft and pass them on to Berthing Robotic Arms (BRAs) to be berthed on the outer side of the station to any number of ports.

"Did you catch the game?" said Nick as he looked up from his cupola on his side of the space station to Jack's cupola on the other side.  Between them spanned a truss and rails which their RA's rode on.

"Yeah, Seahawks won. You owe me $100," came Jack's voice over the intercom.

Nick had an automated cargo ship on his RA, and he was commanding it to roll towards his side.  Jack's RA was rolling towards the middle to capture the next one.

"Wait a minute, the bet wasn't who won or loss.  It was if Johnson scored touchdowns. You dope." Nick's temper was showing, like it always does.

"Sure he did.  You still owe me $100."  Jack started focusing on his monitors and lining up the capture target for an ore filled ship.

"Damn it.  How many did he score?" Nick's RA came to the end of the track right next to his cupola.

"Enough."  Jack secured the ore ship and started to orient it so it hanged toward him.

"Enough, what does that mean?  I need a number.  You...."

"Quit the chatter, ladies," said a middle aged female voice they both recognized as Victoria, their super.  "Nick, are you going to pass on that ship or keep it till Christmas and give it to me all wrapped up?"

"At ease, disease.  I got it."  Nick manned his controls again and passed the cargo ship to and outer robotic arm that would find a berthing port for it.

"Now boys, work nicely."

"But he started it claiming I owe him $100....." Nick complained.

"I don't want to hear it, Nick.  You two work nicely or I'll put one of you on disposable cargo duty. Got it!"

"Yes, ma'am," both workers said in unison as if they got caught red handed with their hands in the cookie jar.

"Good.  Now a passenger capsule is coming.  This is a VIP ship.  I expect you both to behave in a professional and respectful manner. V out."

Nick, Jack, and their RAs went back to work.  For a while things ran smoothly.  The cargo ships were pulling up to their position, and the RAs was grabbing them.  The arms rolled down to their respective sides, and made the passes to the BRAs.

Suddenly, Nick gets a message on one of his many monitor screens: - You still owe me $100. -

Nick's temper started to rise again.  Yet, he took some deep breaths and came up with a plan to nip this in the butt.

- Double or nothing - , he messaged.

- OK.  What do you propose? -

- The first who gets to the capsule wins -

- OK. I'm game. -

Nick patted himself on the back for his ingenuity and cunning.  He focused at the task at hand.  His work rhythm got faster and faster.  Jack, seeing that nick picked up the pace, didn't want to fall back.  He picked his pace up as well.  In no time, the line of the waiting cargo ships dwindled to a couple of ships.  Then the news broke: the capsule was coming into position to be picked up.

Soon, Nick was handing off his last cargo ship to a BRA.

"Com'on, com'on you stupid BRA.  Hand-off already." He looked up at Jack's side.  He too was handing off his last ship.  The BRA clasp onto the Nick's ship and he unclasp as fast as he could, and rushed his RA screaming down the track.

"Get that ball! Yeah!" Nick yelled at his RA knowing full well that neither his voice would reach it nor it would know what to do with the message, stupid RAs.  To his surprise and his demise, Nick saw Jack's RA was screaming down its track as well.  Both arms seemed like they were on a collision course.

"Com'on, com'on.  Get a finger on it."  Nick knew RAs didn't have fingers, but he was caught up in the game.

The capsule parked itself in position to be captured by the station.  The commander inside saw a strange sight.  Two RAs were coming toward him at either side at a tremendous speed.  Before he could contact station control, his ship rattled and banged startling not only him but his 10 VIP passengers as well.  He looked outside and he couldn't believe it, the two RAs had latched on and were trying to pull the ship both ways.  This was highly unusual.

"He's mine. Let go."  Nick struggled with his controls.

"No, he's mine."

"Cease and desist!" Victoria's voice came over the com.  It was so loud that pierced Nick's and Jack's brains and they froze.  "Nick, let go of the ship."

"But I had it. I got their first." His whining resembled that of a boy who lost the ball to the other team.

"Nick, the capsule is to be berthed on Jack's side.  Jack pass it on and then both of you are relieved.  You are to report to my office.  That commander of the capsule is agitated and wants to pull your heads off personally. V out."

Nick obliged his supervisor and released the capsule.  Jack transferred it over the the BRA and passed it on.

Nick was gathering his things in his cupola when he got another message.

- You owe me $200 -

He just stuck his tongue out at the monitor and left.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ticket to the Moon

 The following is a work of fiction. The characters are fictional.  Any resemblance of characters to real people is a mere coincidence and unintentional.

"Can we really go to the moon, Dad? Can we, can we?" Nathan's small arm pointed in the night sky at the bright unworldly object in the sky.

"Sure we can, son." Scott was setting up the telescope with the right angle and magnification trying to concentrate and keep the conversation going at the same time.  There were other families on that hill that night doing the same thing.  "We'll take Mom with us."

"Alright!" Scott took hold of the wheelchair and rolled its wheels over the grassy floor.  It was now in position.

Nathan leaned forward and looked through the small lens and exclaimed, "Oh boy! I can see Theophilus crater.  She's a beut'."

Scott had already bought tickets for a trip to the moon months ago.  He had just told Nathan about it.  The flight was to the first hotel on the surface of the moon.  It was a trip of a lifetime for Nathan who enjoyed all of nature and especially space.  Scott smiled at the thought, and then took a deep long involuntary sigh.  Nathan didn't notice, but just kept on enjoying the view.  Scott patted him on his bald head covered by a cotton hood.

A week after their astronomy night, Scott and Nathan found themselves strapped in some seats with eight other people.  They all wore some pressurized suits with helmets.  Scott could see Nathan really enjoying himself.  The boy marveled at all the gadgetry and took in the full experience.  He was elated and awed at the rumble of their spacecraft as it lifted off the ground and into the black sky of space.

Well on their way to the moon, father and son played fearlessly in the weightless environment.  Their capsule had two inflatable rooms to make more space after launch.  The other passengers were also enjoying them.  This setup made the three day trip to the moon more comfortable.

"Weeeee. Look, Dad, I'm flying like Superman." Nathan whizzed by Scott.  He caught his son by his heel. "Gotcha."  The smiles and laughter filled the spacecraft contaminating the other passengers with giggles, smiles, and jokes.

At one point, Nathan looked out the window and marveled at the large blue green marble outside. "Whoa!"

Scott came up beside him, "That's Earth, Son."

"I know what it is, Dad.  I just wish Mom could've seen it."  They watched it roll for a while and noticed that it was seemingly getting smaller and smaller as their craft hurled away from it.  The laughter and smiles turned into solemn contemplation and yearning.

Their craft finally docked to Lunar Station 1 in orbit around the Moon, and they took a lander to the surface where the hotel was.  After getting set up in their room, Scott got Nathan ready for what they came to do.

The airlock door opened and Scott stepped out onto the surface of the Moon.  Nathan followed in a motorized wheelchair.  Both were trying to get used to their space suits as they took in the sights.  Grey peaks and dark shadows were all around in stark contrast.  They looked around the strange world they found themselves.

"Come'on. We got to move." Scott pressed in a certain direction and Nathan followed closely behind.  Soon they came up to what looked like a black iron fence and a gate.  The gated area had carved stones all about it.  They went in and stopped in front of a hole next to a pile of dirt and a shovel in the pile.  There was also a head stone that had the engraved words, "Let thy Blue face shine brightly from my resting place - In Loving Memory - Evelyn Brookes - 2015 - 2045."

Scott ritually reached for the pouch in the back of the wheel chair and pulled out a metal urn with "Evelyn" inscribed on it.  He place it in the hole.  Then he stood up.

"Want to say a few word, Son?"  Nathan nodded in his helmet.  The comm had a little static, but it was enough.

"Goodbye Mom.  I hope you like the view from here.  The Earth is bright."  Tears started to stream down his face.  "I miss you, so much."

"Goodbye Darling.  You will always be with us.  Nathan and I are looking out for each other...." Scott tried to compose himself but failed.  He bent over in his sobbing.  After a few minutes he covered the urn with the dirt.  Then, father and son hugged.

They enjoyed the rest of their time at the hotel and spent every minute with each other sharing thoughts and playing games.  Then it was time to go home.

A year passed.  It was a rather stressful year for Scott.  There was a lot of paperwork to do, as well as work and all the rest of his responsibilities.

He was sitting on a bench in the large room.  His sorrow was drowning him.  How will he go on now?  He still had duties to accomplish.  A well dressed man in a black suit came up to him.

"Mr. Brookes.  Here you are."

Scott stood up and received the metal jar from the man.  He fingered and caressed the name scribed on it, "Nathan."

"I'm sorry for you loss. No one should have to bury their son.  Where will you place him, Sir?" Scott paused.  The man seemed so damn relaxed and normal.  Scott pulled out a single ticket out of his pocket.  He inhaled air and rounded up some courage.

"With his mother, on the Moon."