Oasis in the Libyan part of the Sahara – Credit to Sfivat and licensed under Public Domain.
The open sky stretched from sand to horizon and the riders advanced on the oasis. Kathleen Morales led her band of rebel outlaws, two dozen strong, toward the wide, limpid pool surrounded by long grass waving in the torrid breeze under the shade of the broad palm branches. But when they finally arrived at this rare shelter amid a vast wasteland of the east, they discovered they weren’t alone.
The desert bandit swung a leg over her saddle and dismounted, heavy boots making their mark on the damp soil. Her hair, a tangle of magenta, azure, and her natural brown, flew up as she landed, and the gold and silver of her nose and ear piercings sparkled in the filtered sunlight. She marched up to the tiny collection of refugees and declared, “Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my oasis?”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivering his “Day of Infamy” speech to a Joint Session of the US Congress on December 8, 1941, one day after the Empire of Japan’s attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. – Found at Vision Chasers’s YouTube channel
Florence paused at the door, “what the hell did you just say?” The fifty-nine-year-old housewife and mother of three stood in-between the kitchen and the living room in their third floor apartment on Montgomery Street. Her hands were pressed firmly on her hips, with the right one still holding a wooden spoon she’d been using to stir cookie dough in anticipation of the grandchildren’s visit later that evening.
“I said that after President Trump’s terrific speech, Congress still refuses to declare war on Japan.” Her husband Rudy was at the far end of the living room, dressed in his favorite flannel shirt and khaki trousers, light reflecting off of his balding pate, and leaning over the cabinet of their Philco radio which they’d received from their eldest boy Roger for a Christmas present last year. “They’ve been replaying the recording of the President’s speech. It’s just about over. Listen.” The retired chemical engineer turned up the volume just a bit.
Image: Google Images labeled for re-use.
This was by far, the bleakest and blackest of Fridays, at least to the inhabitants of the northern lands of Shek.
Sir Cornelius of Aaroness mounted his steed Urgeox just outside the border of the twelfth village, and turned the animal in a tight circle in order to look back at the conflagration consuming that community. The flames were reflected in the lenses of his helmet, while the filters made certain that no soot or any slight remnant of the dying bacterium brought here by the priests could offend, let alone harm him in any way.
“A beautiful sight, isn’t it Urgeox.” A gloved hand patted the beast’s shale-colored hide on his muscular neck. The Grendel, for such is what they were named by the first exploratory team to visit Chandra Beta as a prelude to human colonization, stood impassively, a marvel of adaptiveness and exacting training. “I know. You care not. Your only concern is food, shelter, and my ministrations to your base needs.”
Found at NBC News – image credit not listed
Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls. Unfortunately, the mysterious figure was also the only way out.
“Are you bitches in or not?”
“You know we’re in, Cass. You don’t have to act so hostile just because you’re the only one to be able to speak to the Strundrun.” I was never sure if Cass was a man, a woman, or something else, and it was murder trying to constantly construct sentences without using personal pronouns.
“Then your group is the last, Carter. I never thought so many Idahoans, or is that Ida-hoes, would buy a ticket.”
Oh yeah, Cass was flirting with me, and right on the floor of the state senate. I’m supposed to call Cass “they,” and just then, I felt like “they” wanted to put me on the floor and do something to me that involved lubricant and swim fins.
On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
The sun simmered red as it slunk towards the jagged horizon. Herman Pope and Krista Hubbard stood watching it from the parking lot at the Houston Space Center anticipating their last day on Earth.
“When will the Object reach perihelion?” The twenty-eight year old systems engineer grasped the older gentleman’s hand without taking her gaze off of the sunset.
The fifty-five year old senior operations manager looked at his watch, which had been his father’s before his. “Less than thirty minutes.”
“That’s how long we have?”
“Maybe. Are you sure you don’t want to go back inside? The Argonaut is transmitting continual status updates.”
“Round trip communications between here and Mercury’s orbit is something like 13 minutes.”
“If it happens, we won’t feel the effects for a while.”
“Yeah, but my brother in Hawaii won’t be having a good day. He’s supposed to graduate from college there next month.”
“Come on, Krista.” He gently tugged on her arm.
“No.” She pulled back harder than she had to. “I want to stay out here.”
Pier 14. (Photo: Curtis Simmons/Flickr)
“You embarrassed me this evening.” Myron was standing with Rachel outside the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco waiting for the valet to bring around the car.
“It was the truth. What are you complaining about?”
“Truth or not, you shouldn’t have said it.”
“It’s over and done with. Here comes the car now.”
He pulled out his wallet and extracted some bills. “Thank you,” he uttered softly as he tipped the young woman and then received the car keys.
“Here.” He tossed them at his wife, her unbidden reflexes deftly causing her to catch them.
Scene from the 2017 film “Victoria & Abdul
The wedding loomed closer and all Tay could do was think of storm clouds. She did love Silas, after a fashion, but while their marriage would join their two Kingdoms into a formidable and wealthy Empire, Udristan to the east and Mutriuka and Kozanar to the south would likely become fearful. Previously, neither her beloved Sasmen or Silas’s nation of Crenia to the west were considered a threat, but this wedding and all of its implications could be interpreted as a prelude to war.
“A penny, Tay.”
She had been staring out her private tower’s western window at the city skyline and the farm lands beyond, and hadn’t noticed that her mother had come in.
Turning, she walked over to her, knelt, and kissed her hand in greeting. Then she rose and faced the Queen. “You would be short-changed, I’m afraid.”
“Oh, that again.” Her friendly demeanor instantly soured, and she adopted an expression of displeasure. “I’m only thinking of our people. This alliance will strengthen both of our nations. You know that.”
“And quite possibly plunge us into a bloody war, Mother.” She spun and walked to the window, and then turned back to her progenitor and the most powerful woman in their nation. “I’ve explained the dynamics of it again and again…”
“Yet you fail to convince me, little one.”
Found at vogue-element.cn
Bobbie Jo wouldn’t know class if it crawled into her knockoff Prada and went home with her. Of course, along with adopting ersatz haute couture, she made everyone call her Roberta after graduating from Einstein University in Sagan City. But a deal was a deal, and since her home colony world Drake had paid for her free ride tuition to Einstein, including passage to and from Epsilon Eridani, she was obligated to return to what she now called “a provincial backwater wasteland.”
“Welcome back, Bobbie Jo.” Omer Thorpe was the President and CEO of Biosynth, the world’s one and only bioengineering company, and they desperately needed skilled medical engineers. “I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.”
“I can’t say it’s good to be back Omer, but for the next ten years, I’m yours. Oh, and please call me Roberta.” They shook hands, and although the Grandfatherly man was impeccably clean, she still felt like she was touching something that came out of the rear end of a rat.
“Oh, you’re just spoiled by all that high life on Campbell. I hear Sagan City is quite a gem compared to any of our local communities.” He continued smiling and winked at her. He’d been teasing with Bobbie Jo ever since she was in pre-school. Everyone in Tysonville knew each other and always had since it was founded three generations ago.
“You have no idea.” She looked around the lobby, which was as bright and modern as the lobbies of any corporation she’d visited on Campbell, but after six years on the premier colony planet, coming back home was a major let down, coloring her every perception of life on the fourth planet orbiting Tau Ceti.
Rahab and the Two Spies – Found at Seeds of Faith website and Pinterest
The strangers with her on the rooftop paused in unison. Before Rahab laid them under stalks of flax in order to hide them from the soldiers of the King, she said, “I know that Hashem has given you the Land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the Land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Reed Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
“When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for Hashem your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Now therefore, please swear to me by Hashem, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, especially our little children, and deliver our lives from death.”
So the men said to her, “Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the Lord gives us the Land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you. We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the Land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father, and your mother, and your brothers, and the little children, and all your father’s household.”
A street view of Saigon, 1967 – AaronPogs – Own work
The video footage was grainy, but Taylor recognized them easily.
“You’re worth every penny I paid you, Tran. Now blow. I’ll watch the rest alone.” The Vietnamese photojournalist left the darkened hotel room without a word. He moonlighted at this sort of work, taking photos and video of unsuspecting couples, and since he’d already been paid, he was satisfied to go home to his wife and children.
Taylor kept watching the film. The cheap 8mm projector rattled like the engine of his first car, a beat up Chevy Impala, but after weeks in the jungle constantly exposed to the sound of automatic weapons fire and artillery, the military intelligence officer blithely tuned it out.
Tran had followed the couple to every tourist attraction in Saigon from the Ben Thanh market to Notre Dame Cathedral. “He really showed you all the hot spots, sweetheart.”