Soldier Sam returned to Cupid’s office to find copies of his scripts in bright new red heart-shaped covers.
It reassured Soldier Sam to see his name in type. As he sat in Cupid’s waiting room he still wasn’t sure about the order of the Valentines Day Activity scripts. With the right director like Cupid this might be made into another Hit Movie like “You’ve Got Mail.”
Soldier Sam knew that if he got his name on something like that it meant a night of action with none other than Sarina, the biggest Star in LA.
But this time Soldier Sam decided to not blow it all on one activity on Valentines Day—He’d save his money--go to the base only every now and then, just to bark some orders and try to get a date with Sarina every night..like Forever.
Sarina interrupted his reverie, telling him to go in to Cupids Office. As Soldier Sam entered he saw with gratification that a copy of his latest activity idea was front and center on Cupid’s desk
Soldier Sam and Sarina entered that office. Before they sat down Sarina had some questions for Soldier Sam, prepping him for the encounter with Cupid. "Did you ever--" asked Sarina suddenly "--go to Walmart for any other reasons than a Hoodie and to browse the power tools aisle?"
"No," admitted Soldier Sam. "But I suppose I could get up on it. Is it a new assignment?"
"Not exactly.” replied Sarina “It's just that I think you've lost your grip. Not every girl wants to go on a Valentines Day Activity with such a cheapskate. A date with me requires a certain type of ambition. I've just talked to Cupid on the phone."
"Cupid must be nuts," said Soldier Sam, indifferent to this latest criticism."I didn't steal anything from Walmart last time I was there. Security was Tight.
“My name is on the application, isn't it? All the structure is laid out--every scene. I even was particularly interested in one scene—the one at the end about the Paintball War."
"Oh yes, the Paintball War," said Cupid as if he was thinking of something else.
"But if you like one of Sarina’s happy endings better--" Soldier Sam offered.
"Yes, I like Sarina’s ending better.” Replied Cupid. I never saw my arrows stand up at attention so fast. Sarina’s ending was dramatic, a True Love Story. Not one of your two-bit adventures in mediocrity.
.Cupid paused. "Soldier Sam, you've told the truth just once since you came in this room--that you stole that last Valentines Day Activity Concept from the Top Gun Movie."
"I certainly did not.” responded Soldier Sam. “I was just trying to pique your interest. You know that it was really filled with action, fighter jet strafe, motorcycle rides together..
“And we were seated in close proximity at all the After-Action Report training sessions” added Sarina. That was so Romantic.”
A certain attitude crashed over Sarina like a Tidal Wave as Cupid continued:
"I told you we had several Valentines Day Activity scripts to investigate. Cupid reminded Sarina, Not just yours, Soldier Sam”. All you did was just recycle the idea you had last year and we discarded that.
Soldier Sam was speechless.
"You see,” continued Cupid, You and Sarina clearly like each other. Seems like she typed a few details in the Paintball Script. Like filling a Red Heart Bag up in the Candy aisle. Like if Santa went Trick-or-Treating”
"Of course we like each other," said Soldier Sam. "Why, Sarina--"
"Hold it, Soldier Sam. You've already caused enough trouble enough today." Sarina cut in.
“Going Paintballing at Walmart is for the crazy couples.” Cupid observed. And you have proposed that the Paintball War with Sarina would take place at the biggest store in California.
“We can even add a fun twist to the game, Cupid!” Sarina was full of good ideas that day. Like if you win the Paintball Match, you get to raid the Cashiers Station on your way out of the Store.
Well, if you two have never tried spicing up your Love Game with a Paintball Match at Walmart, go for it.” Decided Cupid.
Soldier Sam was grateful Cupid had approved the plan. “This is going to be a blast, Sarina! Cupid had the last word.. “Just make sure you are okay with a little bit of stinging pain in your backside, Sarina. Those paintballs can shoot out of the gun pretty fast.”
Cupid had one more piece of advice. “After it is all over, just make sure to get back on the same team. No need to make your date mad for the rest of the day from you peppering her with paintballs
“And stay out of the Power Tools Section, Soldier Sam, Sarina warned. I don’t want you to get distracted shopping for all your DIY projects at our house.
Solider Sam could stand no more. He was ready to start that competition that day. He didn’t even want to wait until Valentines Day. Sarina was so Hot.
"Anyhow thank you, Cupid.” Soldier Sam’s idea was out in the open now. "Call my agent if anything else turns up." Then Sarina turned suddenly for the door, racing to schedule an appointment at the Hair Salon.
Soldier Sam’s Training for New Starship Missions was not at all like what he expected. Rams Mascot was not a typical Instructor.
Soldier Sam’s Training for New Starship Missions was not at all like what he expected. Rams Mascot was not a typical Instructor.
It had been some time ago that Soldier Sam was in his first training sessions. He was now quite a bit older and he had quite a bit of experience under his belt. But times had changed. Soldier Sam went to the space station and asked Rams Mascot “Can I go to Planet X on my Way to Rams Planet?” Rams Mascot said, “Yes, but you will need to get up to speed on how things have changed since you were in training last.” “How long will it take?” asked Soldier Sam. Rams Mascot replied, “Not long at all. There is a crisis brewing and you will need to take off from here very soon..”
Screaming drill instructors, in our face, in our space, in my nightmares. Dread when we incurred our Drill Instructors wrath. We know what it's like to fumble around trying to follow the simplest of orders, but be paralyzed with confusion and fear in the face of so much pressure and heat.
The “problem” part of the “Training Simulation is inspired by several sources. In some cases, we identified “problems” during our war games. Played at the operational level, [OpFor] team. Most of the time, each game identifies several key operational enablers employed by our forces. With the help of our team, we capture that key moment—friendly force disposition, enemy situation, mission, and even the losses suffered on both sides—and use it as a point of departure both for our input to the Chief Integrated Agenda and for our Fleet Problems. In other cases, as we considered how our ConOps would play out in reality, it became apparent there were warfighting tasks that were critical to success that we could not execute with confidence. This gap was not because deployers did not practice these tasks individually—the efficiency of the plan ensured they could—but because we as a force never practiced them together, in combination with multiple tasks, against a free-playing, informed, and representative Red Team. In one case, during an exercise planning session, we discussed a critical operational tactic that is used routinely in exercises and assumed to be executable by the fleet.
Military Discipline is a state of order and compliance existing within a command. It involves the ready subordination of the will of the individual for the good of the group. Military discipline is an extension and specialized application of the discipline demands continuance but reasoned compliance that preserves initiative and functions unfalteringly even in the absence of the commander. Discipline is created within a command by instilling a sense of confidence and responsibility in each individual.
Discipline demands correct performance of duty. The need for discipline is best inculcated in individual by appealing to his sense of reason. In the few instances where appeal to reason fail, the use of punishment is effective in causing a recalcitrant individual to conform and perhaps appreciate the need for discipline. Condemnation and earned praise from senior to his subordinate, either individually or collectively, for tasks well done serve to strengthen the disciplinary bonds which bind together the smooth functioning team.
Tell me a little bit about your Training experience, Soldier Sam.
We really had to be aware about the tempo of our exercises. Sometimes we had to move slowly. You never know what you could miss if you operate too fast. Sometimes we had to move quickly. Every second wasted destroys the element of surprise.
One of our destinations was bigger than the first, but not by much: It was a steppingstone to the outer solar system. There were. a lot of people there, way outnumbering us out in the dark and cold. Not a lot at all in the grand scheme of things. But it was a necessary stop along on our way.
I passed all the other courses that I took but I could never pass the minimum rifle standards. This was because all the other trainees had to spend a lot of time on a field range looking through a scope at distant targets, and I could never see through the crosshairs.. I never once could see anything that far away through the scope.
"I can't see anything," I would say.
Rams Mascot would begin patiently enough, explaining how anybody can see through a scope, but he would always end up in a fury, claiming that I could to see through a scope but just pretended that I couldn't.
"It takes away from the beauty of the target landscape anyway," I used to tell Rams Mascot.
We are not concerned with scenery in this course," Rams Mascot would say. "We are concerned solely with what I may call the mechanics of hitting that target."
"Well," I'd say, "I can't see anything."
"Try it just once again," Rams Mascot would say, and I would put my eye to the scope and see nothing at all, except now and again a sand dune rising about the desert--a phenomenon of maladjustment. You were supposed to see a vivid, restless clockwork of sharply defined targets.
"I see what looks like a lot of sand dunes," I would tell him.
This, Rams Mascot claimed, was the result of my not having adjusted the scope properly, so he would readjust it for me, or rather, for himself. And I would look again and see just the sand dunes.
Suddenly, as it did for all the others, a target leaped from the edge of the landscape, trying to jump into my crosshairs. Almost, the target seemed to touch my field of view and then started to be in focus in my view. Then I fired. I finally hit that target..
Anything else you want to tell me, Soldier Sam?’
Yes, Sarina. It goes a little something like this.
“You can do more than anyone to justify our future goals if we can get this right because I have to be motivated to go to work in the morning”
TOUR SITE SCENES
“What a Wild Ride!”
Sarina and Soldier Sam had arrived at the North Pole!!
We all think Santa Claus has it easy. He’s got world fame and popularity, and he only has to work one day of the year. It sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, think again. Santa is actually one overworked guy. He runs his workshops around the clock to get enough toys made for all the kids in the world every year. And with populations growing exponentially, demand is continually increasing, but since he gives his toys away for free, he can’t exactly raise prices.
Wow! We are going to get a Tour of Santa’s office, where all the important Christmas decisions are made!
Sarina went to Santa’s office right away. The only colors were red and white. There was a fireplace, a chair and bookshelves with the same Santa suit and a desk. I looked on the desk and saw a snow globe. I saw a list too. It was the naughty and nice list. Sarina was on the nice list. When I was done looking there, I went to the workshop.
After seeing Santa’s office, let’s check out another part of the North Pole—Where all the Work gets done. This is were the magic happens!
Sarina wanted to visit the sleigh. The sleigh was huge and wide. It had a bag full of toys. It was bright red and, guess what, another naughty or nice list. It was decorated with white icing. It had a built-in laptop and iPod in it. I was the luckiest person on earth because I got to visit Santa’s workshop. The stuff I saw were awesome, and it was the most wonderful experience I had.
Sarina had just finished putting the last coat of shiny red paint on a bicycle she built for Santa’s Workshop.
“Wow! That one really shines!” Sarina said.
But her smile quickly vanished as she saw the bike-testing elves through the window, speeding up and down the heated bike paths.
“I sure wish I could test bikes, too,” Sarina said to Soldier Sam.
“Emergency! Emergency!” blared Santa’s electronic North Pole Frosty-Weather-Reader-Meter.
“Due to super fierce Arctic snowstorms and extreme cold, no planes, trucks, or ships can make it up to the North Pole.”
Sarina hopped off her bike and walked up the long path that led to the Gingerbread House. Right away she was ushered inside by Santa Claus.. "Sarina,, I'm so glad you came. The last place I saw Soldier Sam was in the Elves’ Shop. I suspected that would be your first question." Santa said
“Sarina and Soldier Sam. I have a Holiday Mystery for You to solve. Announced Santa.
“Oh, Santa. I’m great at Solving Mysteries! Maybe Soldier Sam could help too. What’s your problem, Santa?” Sarina asked.
Santa sure did have a mystery that no one at the North Pole could solve.
An Advertising Firm lands a huge contract to make Christmas the most popular holiday. The main character is acting differently on the outside than they feel on the inside. They don’t understand a Holiday tradition.
"We're putting Sarina on the Christmas List" said Santa. "We ought to have some system to find Stars like Sarina"
Santa took a call on his Smart Phone, then swung back to Soldier Sam.
"But how did you ever get mixed up with this Sarina, Soldier Sam?” asked Santa You show up here, and clearly she seems quite out of your league"
"Well, I thought--" started Solider Sam.
"Why doesn't she kick it with someone who has more class than you?" continued Santa. "Getting all your dreams stirred up.”
Energy flowed back into Soldier Sam. He recognized his signal, his only opportunity..
"Well, I got you a Christmas Target for one of your Chimneys didn't I?" Soldier Sam said, with a bit of confidence.
Santa took a look at Sarina. “Sarina, do you care at all about Christmas?” he asked.
“I guess,” answered Sarina. “If the activity in interesting enough.”
“Hey Santa, take us to the North Pole's post office. I bet Soldier Sam and I will find a clue there to Solve your mystery.
“What’s your plan for Sarina on Christmas Day if I deliver both of you a present?” Santa inquired.
"Oh God," Solider Sam said, his brain was scrambling for an idea. "What do I have to answer that for, Santa?"
Santa leaned forward intensely.
"Soldier Sam, you're sitting over a trap door!" Santa challenged him. "Do you see how the floor is cut? I just have to press this button and drop you down straight into outer space! Will you talk?”
Soldier Sam was on his feet, staring at the floor.
Ok, Sarina and Soldier Sam. I’ll take you to the North Pole's Post Office Maybe you will find a clue to solve this mystery. Just be on your best behavior.
You are a Guest at the North Pole. You will learn many useful things about our Operation that will be sure to help you on any mission you might find yourselves on in the Future.
Visit of the North Pole's post office
I hope you are enjoying your visit of the North Pole so far. There are still so many things to discover! Your Christmas tree is beautiful! I am tempted to take it to the Green Pine Tree Forest... it would fit right in! Today, we will be visiting a very important piece of the North Pole, the post office. This is where all the letters sent to Santa arrive. We receive millions of letters each week. Have you ever written to Santa? He loves reading your letters as he sits by his fireplace. Santa will give you special Christmas paper. Use it to write your letters to Santa. When you are done, just drop them in your Christmas mailbox. I will deliver them to Santa for you. P.S. Santa really loves colourful drawings!
“Hey, Santa!” Look Soldier Sam! Look at that Orange Box sitting under the Christmas Tree. What could possibly be in the Orange Box?”
“Why don’t you open the Orange Box up, Sarina. Maybe it has something you are looking for!”
“Ok, Santa. Come over here and check out this Orange Box with me, Soldier Sam!” Sarina was so excited. They opened the Orange Box together.
Look Soldier Sam!” Sarina exclaimed. “It’s the Clue we have been looking for. I just knew we would find something at this Stop on the North Pole Tour!”
I’m sure Santa has all the latest 3D printers and robotic technology to save on an elf-based workforce and make his workshop more efficient. But there are some jobs you just can’t trust a machine to do properly. And that’s why every elf knows their way around a toolkit. A good hammer is essential.
What a Great North Pole Tour you took me and Soldier Sam on, Santa. Now we have the clue to solve your mystery!” Sarina was so happy.
“Yes Sarina” Santa appreciated Sarina’s Smart Detective Work. Merry Christmas to you and Soldier Sam from all of us at the North Pole!”
North Pole Mystery #1An Advertising Firm lands a huge contract to make Christmas the most popular holiday. The main character is acting differently on the outside than they feel on the inside. They don’t understand a Holiday tradition.
Sarina and Soldier Sam seized the Reindeer as he rounded the corner by the Gingerbread House.
'Hey, I got a pass!' the Reindeer protested, 'Good until Christmas--signed by Santa.'
“Santa specially wants to see you” said Sarina.
Here it was then—that Reindeer would be barred from the lot.
'We could knock you out for not promoting Christmas!' shouted Sarina. Everyone here has to promote Christmas. It’s what our firm does. It’s why we were brought here.”
'But we couldn't recover...'
'What's one take?' demanded the Reindeer. 'You can use another.'
'No we can't--the camera jammed. And this morning Santa took a plane to Los Angeles for a Legitimate Photo-Op on Hollywood Boulevard.
'Cut the scene,' suggested Sarina -and then on inspiration, 'I bet I could fix it for you.'
'You fixed it, all right!' Santa assured Sarina. 'If there was any way to fix it back I wouldn't have sent for you.'
Santa paused, looked speculatively at the Reindeer. His buzzer sounded and a secretary's voice said 'Reno the Reindeer.
'Send him in.'
This Reindeer was a big star where he come from and the glance he bent upon Soldier Sam was not kindly.
Soldier Sam offered the Reindeer a bottle of Bourbon.
But there was some other element besides anger in it and Soldier Sam shifted doubtfully as the Reindeer regarded him with almost impersonal curiosity--as if he were a candidate for Mrs. Claus’ frying pan.
The Reindeer rose hurriedly and took a step toward the door, but Sarina seized him and faced him around.
'Let's hear you talk. Tell us why you are not promoting Christmas,' Sarina demanded.
'You can't beat me up,' the Reindeer insisted. 'You knock my head out and I'll turn all the other Reindeer against you.”
There was a pause.
'What do you think about this, Mr. Reindeer?” Soldier Sam challenged.
'He can't talk,' said Sarina.
'You damn right I can talk!' said the Reindeer.
'We can dub three or four lines,' continued Sarina, 'and nobody'll know the difference. Half the guys you get to play Reindeer can't talk.
The point is this one's got the Star goods and the camera will pull it out of his face too.'
Soldier Sam nodded.
'All right, Mr. Reindeer--you're an actor. You can promote Christmas for our advertising film. You've got to play the part this Blitzen had.
Only a couple of scenes but they're important.” affirmed Sarina. “ You'll have papers to sign with North Pole Central Casting and you can report for work this afternoon.'
'What is this!' the Reindeer demanded. 'I'm not here for that--'
'The character you play is called "Reno Reindeer",' continued Sarina. She explained why it was necessary for the Reindeer to continue his impromptu appearance he just did recently.
The scenes which included Santa had been shot first, so he could get back to working on his Naughty or Nice List.
But in the filling out of the skeleton it was necessary to show how Santa reached all the Chimneys in the World , and what the Reindeer did after Santa dove from the sleigh.
Having appeared in the shot with Santa, Reno Reindeer must appear in half a dozen other shots, to be taken before Christmas.
'What kind of compensation is it?' Mr. Reindeer inquired.
'We were paying Rudolph 100 a day--wait a minute Reno--but I thought I'd pay you your last writing price, for the week.' Sarina said
'How about my reputation?' objected Mr. Reindeer.
'I won't answer that one,' said Soldier Sam. 'But if Donner can act and Blitzen and Comet and Dasher and Prancer and the rest, I guess it won't ruin you.'
Sarina was calm and cool.
'Can you let me have it on account,' asked Reno Reindeer, 'because really I earned that yester--'
'If you got what you earned yesterday you'd be in jail.” Sarina said plain. “And you're not going on any bat. Here's 50 and that's all you see for a week.'
'How about my Sleigh, it’s better than the one Santa’s got right now-' Mr. Reindeer offered.
'To hell with your Sleigh, Mr. Reindeer.' Soldier Sam made that decision.
LAST DAY ON EARTH ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
Solider Sam awoke the next morning and proceeded to complete his usual daily duties-and by now, he seemed slightly confused how long Sarina‘s Birthday had lasted. By afternoon, his confusion was even greater when he found Sarina missing from work.
The Logistics Hub that was usually bustling on a day like this was empty–which meant there was no breakfast. Neither was there any indication of where Sarina had gone off to. He called her mobile several times only to hear a message indicating that it was switched off. He still seemed clueless about the significance of the day.
By lunch time, Soldier Sam was restless so he decided to call a friend. That’s when Sarina returned and calmly proceeded to sit next to him as she spoke loud into her phone. She stopped her conversation for a moment to speak to Solider Sam.
“Thanks so much for the birthday wishes Soldier Sam! I knew you’d never forget.” The happy look on her face coupled with an expression of gratitude was enough to make Solider Sam jump up from the aircraft he was fixing. He would remember that moment for the rest of his life.
The flight line alarm sounded and in the current circumstances, it was a welcomed interruption. Sarina slowly opened the door and shot him a questioning glance as a delivery pilot stood holding what looked like a cake box in his hand. Before she could even react, a boisterous group of maintainers burst into song ….”Happy birthday dear Sarina! Happy birthday to you…..”
The surprise was soon replaced with a wide grin. Sarina smiled as she thought it was an indication that she felt loved and appreciated. She prepared to give Solider Sam a huge hug and planted a kiss quickly on his cheek. “Thanks a bunch for making my birthday last even longer than my flight!” Sarina exclaimed.
Sarina found herself saying “Today is going to be even more awesome than my birthday was last year on a plane. I will celebrate at my birthday party with two feet on the ground. Maybe even the Best Ever. Just for me, my very own. And I'm wearing my favorite outfit, A Yankees Jersey Soldier Sam is always considerate. And the baseball season is just now starting!
“Too much work to do now this week that we are taking today off for your party, Sarina,” Soldier Sam said.
“Well, I know something about that“ Sarina replied.
Sarina’s friends say she’s like the moon at night. Watching everything around her. Sarina invited some friends to come out to Burger King with her and Solider Sam. Sarina was so happy Soldier Sam wanted her to have her birthday lunch with lots of friends. Sarina had made so many since she started working on the flight line.
Sarina’s friends are cheering and making quite racket. We’ve got to get to Burger King soon, Sarina. You would probably rather have a Whopper with Cheese and Onion Rings than too much noise. There are going to be party hats balloons at the restaurant.
When we get back from Burger King Soldier Sam was showing Sarina off to all their friends who had arrived for the afternoon shift who made her spirits soar like the planes Sarina loved to work on so much.
Soldier Sam asked, "Sarina, do you mind if some of us come to your Birthday Party tonight?” Sarina likes it when Solider Sam asks politely for her input. He treats me like somebody special. "Sure," Sarina found herself saying.
Everyone at Sarina’s party is talking at once. But she was still having lots of fun. Sarina got a Do-It-Yourself Kit filled with construction supplies and helpful decorations for many other items that will have lots of utility in her life, like functional Sand panormas, Spa and other Beauty products and of course lots of streamers, balloons and party noise makers and there was a Disco Ball too!
"Neat," Sarina says. "Thank you, thank you!”
Sarina started open may of her other gifts, stacks of wrapping paper and ribbons are all over the party area. Boxes too.
"It's your special day, Sarina. So don’t worry about the mess," Soldier Sam says. Looking at her and Sarina send back a nice smile. Sarina is quite organized most of the time, especially with her tools she needs to work on the aircraft. Not today though, because Solider Sam really wanted my Birthday Party to be a Blast!
Everyone likes my Yankees Jersey . But Sarina kept up the hope that she would also get some Sparkle are a Girls Best Friend. Taking nothing away from how useful and dedicated Soldier Sam was to her, of course. No luck though.
Balloons are bouncing on the floor. Some are on the table. Some are stuck to the ceiling. We start bopping them around. Some get busted. What a blast. My favorite Yankees Jersey got ice cream spilled on it.
One of Sarina’s friends was hoping she would like playing with Magnetic Silly Putty. Maybe making a Lego Model of Yankee Stadium That's OK. Sarina felt too happy to complain. Maybe later I will. Maybe later this week if the flight line is slow Sarina figured she would have time to go sit in her office to do just that.
From Sarina‘s office, she can see the whole wide world of the flights line. All the fighter jets were stashed in the back awaiting attention from Solider Sam, just like her.
Standing in the office during some downtime makes Sarina think about things. Solider Sam loved her more than anything in the universe he knew about. Sometimes he didn’t know how to be as considerate as he should, around me. That was OK though, Solider Sam always tried his best.
It got better after we moved here. Now, Now I have something special and I’m so glad I get to work at such a rewarding job with Soldier Sam always there at her side.
My party was fun, but now I’m tired, realised Sarina.
As long as Sarina could remember, her birthday was the most anticipated day of the year. In school, she eagerly waited for this day to wear her very best and spend half the morning distributing chocolates to her schoolmates. She would impatiently and mark time until the moment her teacher would recognise her for her in front of the front of the classroom.
It was exciting for Sarina to every year hear the heartfelt chorus singing “Happy Birthday!” resonating through the classroom hallway. At home, her extended family would line up with presents and the day would end with a huge feeling of satisfaction and the anticipation for an even better celebration the following year.
As Sarina grew older, chocolates were replaced with treats at the school canteen for a special few. She would come home with a bag full of beautiful greeting cards and tiny knick-knacks, lovingly bestowed upon her by friends. It was a time when wishes were more warm-hearted and friends didn’t need an automated reminder to keep track of the day.
Then came Soldier Sam. If she had to choose the most memorable birthday celebrations, it would have to be last year, because who could forget your Birthday lasting 46 Hours. And In an airplane of all things.
In some years that they were apart, deployed who knows where, her phone would beep and Solider Sam’s voice would attempt to sing a few lines of the birthday song for her. But now that that whole deployment thing had become less mandatory, the last few years Solider Sam had always made a real effort, like as good as she expected, but nothing more unexpected that that 46 hour Birthday in an airplane last year.
Before Sarina could even react to the phone beeping, she’d turn around to find him smiling, cake in hand as he would swoop down get on her level. The surprises grew better with each passing year and for Sarina, the celebration wasn’t as important as receiving tokens of Solider Sam‘s love..
Soldier Sam would always wait each year for Sarina’s wish on her birthday. In fact, that was possibly the only wish she most looked forward to. When the first year had rolled in and as the week leading up to her birthday began, Sarina came into work a few days before the big day and found up there was business trip that was scheduled just the day before her birthday.
Sarina was disappointed and when she was at dinner that night, Soldier Sam could tell that she was upset. He tried to reassure her with several possibilities of what he had planned—they would celebrate her birthday before they left and continue the revelry when they would return to home base a short time later.
“There would be more than one celebration”, Soldier Sam reasoned when Sarina suggested he postpone the trip. Finally after a lot of deliberation he managed to persuade her saying ‘This is just our first birthday together . We have the rest of our lives to celebrate.”
Sarina relented with a smile and so just a few hours before they boarded their flight, Solider Sam surprised her with her favorite cake and flowers.. Sarina wasn’t her happy self on her birthday but none the less, she made efforts to enjoy the day with It was still an extremely wonderful day but it could have been better.
The months after the 46 hour birthday has flown by and Sarina’s Birthday was coming up soon. Sarina knew exactly what she wanted for a present this year.
“I want a Real Token of your Love, commitment and trust until the end of time for my birthday,” Sarina told Soldier Sam, but at that moment he didn’t hear because he was busy with “an important phone call”. Sarina wondered why the phone call was so important.
“I want a Real, Legit Token that makes our love, commitment at trust rock solid for my birthday,” said Sarina. Soldier Sam was rushing out the door to get to work in time so he would meet with “clients”. Sarina wondered who “clients” were. “’Clients’ must be important too,” Sarina said to herself.
That day. Sarina scrolled thought the client list of her ever growing business. It was a secret she cherished and what a huge profit it had turned out to be. It was simple: her business helped people never to forget the most important days for fighter jet repair.
Oh well! Sarina considered Soldier Sam would be back for dinner soon and he would have time for her. It was Pizza Night and Orange Vanilla Soda, a beverage both Sarina and Solider Sam enjoyed and could identify with!, After all, she had started her business for people like him who forgot the most important days and ended up in arguments and missed operational missions because of the condition of the equipment
. "Let’s give Soldier Sam a few more hours before I surprise him with what I want for my birthday,” decided Sarina
At dinner, they had all set up Pizza Night and Orange Vanilla Soda, a beverage both Sarina and Solider Sam enjoyed and could identify with. Sarina told Sam, “I want a Special Token out our Enduring Love, Commitment and Trust for my birthday this year.”
“On my God, Sarina. Of course! I thought you were never doing to ask.,” said Solider Sam. “I’ve been waiting for you to ask since the day we met.”
Sarina drew a picture of what she wanted to wear each and every day and colored it. She got some tape and stuck the picture on Soldier Sam‘s forehead. Solider Sam didn’t want something stuck on his forehead until the end of Pizza Night and Orange Vanilla Soda, a beverage both Sarina and Solider Sam enjoyed and could identify with. He looked at it. Really, Sarina? That is so Awesome to me! I know just the place to get it!
“Are you sure you don’t want a Rocket To Whizz up to the moon> Are You sure?”, Solider Sam asked.
“Yes, I‘m sure, I want what I stuck on your forehead” said Sarina
“Wouldn’t you rather get Season Tickets for Yankee Stadium?” Soldier Sam inquired further.
“No,” said Sarina. I want what I stuck on your forehead“.
“Are you sure you don’t want the fastest car in the world and excusive membership at all the big racetracks to speed around?” Soldier Sam was completing his line of questioning just to make sure Sarina knew what she was getting herself into.
“I don’t want a race car, a moon rocket or Yankee Tickets. said Sarina “I want what I stuck on your forehead for my birthday.”
“Hmmm” said Soldier Sam.
I know just the place we can go on your birthday. We can go scuba diving and find the wreck of the ship that has never been found. There is a treasure chest with the most beautiful of what you stuck on my forehead. The key is available at the Scuba Shop for anyone who is daring enough to try.”
Wow! I didn’t know that!” exclaimed Sarina. How Exciting!”
As Sarina and Soldier Sam geared up for her birthday this year, she was in high spirits once again and knew this would be the biggest important milestone Birthday of them all, even bigger than last years 46 day plane ride.
Soldier Sam’s plans for the Big Scuba Diving Birthday sounded spectacular.
So Sarina and Solider Sam get in the car and drive to the Scuba Diving Shop.
When they went inside, Soldier Sam asked the manager where the key to the Magic Pirates Treasure Chest is. He showed them where it was kept and handed it to Sarina so she could pocket it .
When they got to the dive boat and were ready to jump in the water, Sarina finally started to wonder what in the world was in the treasure chest, and why!”
Sarina and Solider Sam both dove into the water at the same time.
Soldier Sam wondered if Sarina wanted to get more out of the dive that just their big target.
Soldier Sam immediately figured out the answer to that question. Sarina shot like an arrow straight to the Treasure Chest target.
Sarina signaled Soldier Sam to find out if he wanted to open the Pirates Treasure Chest together at the same time.
Of course he did. Sarina and Solider Sam were finally at the big moment!
When they got to the treasure chest, Sarina opened the trunk with the key., Soldier Sam was right beside her .
What was inside the box was so beautiful to Sarina and she put it on right away.
It was all true! What was inside the Treasure Box was the most beautiful thing Sarina had ever seen. And even more precious than that since it represented the growing and enduring love, commitment and trust She would always share with Solider Sam.
When they surfaced, Sarina and Solider Sam both heaved a sigh of relief that evening. They finally found a token that represented their love commitment and trust.
What could have gone wrong with the Birthday wish Sarina so boldly set ? Both Sarina and Solider Sam we so very thankful to have availed that offer immediately when Sarina decided it was a Next-level step
The next morning Sarina started her day and came across a note attached to the treasure chest key, which they had been given to keep forever because of their shared bravery and
STARSHIP ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
You are in charge of the Ram’s Starship ever since Earth was destroyed by a devastating Sun explosion. Rams Fans have been drifting ever since.
But things have changed over time. Fans have grouped themselves into factions, each with different expectation of the potential for Rams Football on distant planets. In the time since Earth was decimated, other NFL teams have taken the same course as the Rams, each boarding their own Starship sent out in a wide arc of planet discovery.
If enough teams are able to find planets suitable for playing football, there can be an NFL again. Coordinates are ready to be set for a mystery planet with potential for acceptable terrain for Teams to play and now you have received word of a planet with extremely varied terrain.
The NFL has a plan to revive the game of Football on as many planets as possible, but as of yet not a single on has been found. Everyone on the starship realizes it needs a way to divide up all the tickets to future games fairly or risk mutiny.
As the protégé of Rams Mascot you are eager to find another planet to get down to the surface and see the Glory of Rams Football once again. Soldier Sam, however, has a different plan, one in which Rams Fans will never again witness a football game, at least not once he has been put into command.
If word of Soldier Sam’s plan gets out, his devious intentions could crush the hope of all the Rams Fans aboard the Starship to recreate Rams Stadium, possibly even one greater that that on Earth, impressive as that Stadium was.
Soldier San had never attended a football game in his lifetime. To him, NFL football is almost a legend or a myth, and in contrast to Rams Fans aboard the Starship, Soldier Sam had no appreciation for the game.
To you, Rams Football was so Real you could remember the Games like it was yesterday and don’t understand his intentions.
Soldier Sam’s plan is still a Wild Card and you’re concerned that no planet in the Universe will be able to revive the Magic of Rams Football.
Ops was deserted, but hardly empty. Bottles of Bourbon sat beside workstations lit by flashing alerts. Screens scrolled data and camera feeds. Bigger screens hung at the front of the room, showing the exterior surface of the hub and views of major corridors.
The Radio Crackled. Sarina and Soldier Sam both heard the noise.
“Rams Mascot is that YOU?!!” Sarina was shocked.
“Wait, Rams Mascot, I can’t hear you. Speak up!” Sarina shouted.
“Rams Mascot we have a bad connection. Hold on while Soldier Sam and I fix the ship so we can hear you. Sit Tight! Don’t Go anywhere, We will reestablish the connection,” Sarina Promised.
Soldier Sam looked at Sarina. His he was about to launch into something complicated, but it wasn’t hostile. “Let’s get to Ops,” Soldier Sam said.
The first-stage alert lights began flashing—just an all-hands call to action stations, but Sarina still expected the corridor to fill with hustling people.
It did not.
Sarina asked, “Do you see smoke?”
Soldier Sam said, “Let’s go back to the shuttle. This is not right.”
Sarina was surprised, “Where is the smoke coming from?”
It wasn’t visible, but the sight of burning plastics and ionization was obvious. Fire in space is hungry for oxygen, and it doesn’t share.
“Here’s Ops,” said Soldier Sam, and opened the door.
Inside was a scene of chaos from a post-apocalyptic game.
Sarina stopped inside the door. “Now I’m freaking out.”
“Step to the side, please,” Soldier Sam said, and moved her over with the back of one hand so they could enter.
The door sealed shut behind the pair with an atmosphere-retaining switch that Saina found reassuring. The smell of coffee overrode the smell of smoke. Also a good sign.
“OK.” Soldier Sam moved toward the life support station. “We need to find that fire and starve it.”
The easiest way to fight a fire in space is to deprive it of oxygen. Sarina and Soldier Sam had practiced this. Somehow, with Sarina’s hands on the cold molded plastic of a real Ops station, it didn’t feel like something she knew how to do.
“This has got to be a drill,” Soldier Sam exclaimed.
“If it’s a drill, you want to pass, don’t you?” Soldier Sam lifted the handheld on the engineering station and clipped the harness to its safety ring.
Sarina copied Soldier Sam. “Soldier Sam, would you get comms and see if you can find any signal from Rams Mascot on this reciever?”
Soldier Sam moved over to the station. As Sarina’s issuing instructions to Soldier Sam had shaken them loose, Soldier Sam checked other consoles.
An attitude jet fired again—a definite burn this time, the deck lurching under Sarina’s feet. Soldier Sam made a grab for his handheld and kept it from skittering away. “Stow your gear.” Sarina stuffed the unit into a pocket.
There wasn’t any loose gear to stow.
Sarina was glad she was clipped in. Soldier Sam had to grab the edges of his console.
“Got the fire,” Sarina said. “Sector 3 North.”
“I’m going to need an evacuation alert in Sector 3,” Sarina said.
“Good,” Soldier Sam replied. “How long?”
Sarina couldn’t do this. Sarina wasn’t able to do this.
There wasn’t anybody else to do it.
“Ninety seconds, Rams Mascot ?” There was no answer, so Sarina said, “90 seconds,” in a firmer voice.
An instant later, Soldier Sam said, “Done.”
“Where are You, Rams Mascot?” Sarina shouted into the radio receiver.
Rams Mascots voice came through loud and clear.
“WHERE ARE YOU, RAMS MASCOT?” Sarina wanted to know as soon as possible. “Can the Planet’s Terrain and Atmosphere support Rams Football””
“I’m on Planet SARGAS! Check it out, Sarina!”
Planets air expands and is buoyed up into the atmosphere where it delivers energy to the cooler surroundings at higher altitudes.
Sounds perfect for Rams Football” exclaimed Sarina.
Like someone in a dream Rams Mascot raised his hands--only then did he realize that he was looking directly into a great camera.
In an instant Sarina jumped in, ran past Soldier Sam and jumped onto the video console. After an interminable second Solider Sam heard the order loud and clear.
Rams Mascot rushed blindly through a portal on the new planet, around a corner, tripping over a cable, recovering himself and tearing for the video shoot. He heard footsteps running behind him and increased his gait, but in the doorway itself he was overtaken and turned defensively.
Sarina saw all this and instructed Rams Mascot.
'Hurry up, Rams Mascot!' Sarina shouted. 'That finishes my work. I'm taking this starship into orbit right now!”
As she scrambled into her position at the controls she threw back a last remark. 'I'm going to do the Hyper Galaxy Jump in just a minute.'
“Really?” Soldier Sam thought, as he scurried away.
Soldier Sam was unaware that Sarina’s boldness was to change the course of his life.
We are coming to Rams Planet, Rams Mascot! But we have to make 2 Stops.
First we are going to Planet X for some Upgrades to our Starship since we expect to Drift for Long Time to land on Rams Moon.
Then New Starship Upgrades for Big Fight to get from the Moon to Rams Stadium.
We are going to make a day of it on Planet X while our ship gets fixed. It will be an Adventure!!
Then we will go on a Day Trip on Your Rams Moon too.
“Look, Solder Sam!” Planet X is fast approaching “ said Sarina. Prepare for landing!!”
Landings can be fairly gentle to surprisingly rough, it’s all normal and the rougher landings can be intentional.
PLANET X ADVENTURE ACTIVITES
It was the Big Day. Sarina and Soldier Sam were going to Magic Mountain Island Adventure Park with Rams Mascot. The most Thrilling Rides in the Universe!
Sarina had wanted to ride a Roller Coaster her whole life. A Dream she had wished for since she was just a little tyke. Would Sarina finally get her chance?
Soldier Sam could read amusement parks like a book. He could ride anything, shoot accurately, was at heart afraid of nothing, and could fight like a little catamount when occasion for it really arose.
Among those who knew, Soldier Sam was considered one of the best scouts in the business. That is why Rams Mascot selected him when the idea came about that Sarina should go on a Fantastic Adventure.
Sarina was determined to go to Magic Mountain Adventure Island Adventure Park. She never had the experience of such a trip. The site had everything imaginable.
Rides that spun you around and hurled up and down all at the same time.
Rides where you can feel the high-flying rush as your swinging canoe set sail, swinging high and low on waves of excitement.
Rides on bumper car smash-up. No need for brakes as you put your pedal to the metal!
Riders where you can get your wave on in a realistic surfing simulator as you ride ten-foot waves on your own boogie board!
Rides where you get triple the twists and triple the dizzies on a wild waterslide that sends you swirling through twists, turns, and drops!
And of course THE ROLLERCOASTER. With countless to choose from. Strap yourself in for the Ride of a Lifetime!!
So, of course, Rams Mascot had, sooner or later, to take Sarina to Magic Mountain
Sarina wanted Soldier Sam, who liked roughing it, too; to come along. Soldier Sam and Sarina rigged themselves out bountifully, and prepared to enjoy the trip.
It was going to be a Wild Trip with anything involving Rams Mascot. For some reason, Mascots visiting theme parks believe they are the most entitled in all of the world when it comes to theme parks. Mascots always break the rules, they cut in the lines, they get upset when people call them on their shit, and they threaten the unlucky theme park workers and ride operators. Then they go complain to customer service and get free passes and shit.
It was a brand new, state-of-the-art amusement park. The Trios badges were pretty much an open pass to wander through all of the attractions or, if they ended up somewhere they shouldn’t be because of Soldier Sam “oops, guess I got lost” worked, always.
The coolest place by far was the maintenance office. It was also the tinker shop for broken ride parts. A massive expanse where you can see the inner workings of the carousel rides with broken ride cars was a great experience.
The syrup bags for the soda fountain upstairs were also there for workers that sold Mountain Dew Code Red which happened to spring a leak one day leaving it dripping thick red goo into a puddle on the floor.
So Sarina began to get very impatient.
Sarina and Soldier Sam would spend the entire day racing through the park side by side. Soldier Sam telling stories of adventure, and Sarina always chiming in about her anticipation of riding the Ultimate Roller Coaster.
“I worked at an amusement park on a beach the summer once upon a time, started Soldier Sam. “I sold food and a fair amount of beer, in my state being 18 meant although I was too young to drink, I was old enough to sell it in containers [we sold cans].
What kind of Beer, Soldier Sam?” interrupted Rams Mascot, glancing aside at Sarina with a humor-filled look at Sarina, to whom Soldier Sam ad mainly been addressing.
“A far number of customers yelling at me for things I didn’t remotely have anything to do with” continued Soldier Sam “Really, though, cotton candy was the worst. Making it might sound like fun. And it is maybe twice, but some of the sugar shoots back at you, impossible to avoid. And its hot so it really sticks to all over anyone that makes it. You go home with sugar sired to you. Most attempts at scrubbing it out are not going to do it.”
"Look that Water Slide, Sarina” Rams Mascot observed, with a laugh. "Sorry to spoil Soldier Sam’s story. Was it a good one?"
"It might have been if you hadn't spoiled it," answered Sarina "What did you do it for?"
"Oh, just to see him get distracted” replied Rams Mascot. He'll be reminded that I am in charge the rest of the day, and will hardly dare occupy your attention in front of me next time."
First Soldier Sam took Sarina on an indoor dark ride. It was a ride with boats that floated along past scenes. It had just been remodeled to a new theme, and in one room rather than remodel it into something else [the room was previously just mirrors with space lights that flashed] The designers had pretty much just left that room completely dark.
Like clockwork, the instant Solider Sam and Sarina would hit that dark room, they’d start a raucous, just messing with people. Only Sarina and Soldier Sam’s Super Vision would adjust and they could see fairly clearly, and even if other people were a foot or two away from them, they wouldn’t see the two of them.
So Soldier Sam and Sarina did lots of stuff. They would Splash Waves to rock the boats, standing on the edge of their own. They would make big noises, or bang on their boat. It was a BLAST.
“Isn't Soldier Sam fun?” Sarina exclaimed to Rams Mascot when they got off the ride.”I wish you could have seen him!"
Sarina laughed about the fun they had just experienced.
"Let's get ahead of the crowd so we can hurry up to what’s next," Sarina suggested.
Sarina and Soldier Sam ran through the crowd. Once well ahead of the masses they slowed down to a walk again.
"Soldier Sam says we'll go on the “Scrambler” next,” announced Sarina
"Oh, Yes. And that’s only your second ride here” responded Rams Mascot. “Are you glad?"
"Yes, I believe I am.” responded Sarina.
"Well, you're a Mascot and can do things too" offered Sarina. "Can't you do things?"
"You know I can” replied Rams Mascot. What do you suppose they'd say if I were to ride out that Bumper Car Race? The whole audience would have a fit."
"Who'd have a fit? Nobody but Soldier Sam, and I didn't know you'd gotten afraid of him yet! I say, Just Do It!! have a race, and then come right back." Rams Mascot looked eager.
"It would be nice," Sarina admitted. Soldier Sam and Sarina caught their eyes together and laughed.
"Why shouldn't I?" asked Rams Mascot. "I don’t really like staying in the moving circles of all these people. What's the sense of it all, anyway?"
"Why, just fuck it then and ride like the devil, I suppose," said Sarina supportively..
"I just might!!” Rams Mascot was getting excited.” I haven’t even been on a ride yet. Besides, you know what Soldier Sam said on the way through the turnstiles at the park entrance?"
"What did Soldier Sam say?" asked Sarina.
"Soldier Sam said I couldn’t even fit in a Bumper Car” responded Rams Mascot. “He said I better stick to the Water Slides.
"Well, why don’t you prove him wrong then?" Sarina challenged him.
"Oh, I will for sure fit in that Bumper Car!" Rams Mascot asserted with all the resolve of a true theme park adventurer. "I've got that all figured out.”
Soon after, Sarina and Soldier Sam were watching the kids drive by on the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway at the Magic Kingdom. They watched a dozen kids slowly drive by before Rams Mascot emerged from behind the corner. He was far too large for the car and was overflowing into the lane next to him. He was wearing an expression of absolute determination which only made it funnier.
Naturally, Soldier Sam and Sarina began laughing so loudly that they overpowered the speedway noises and caught his attention. He looked up, smiled and said in most stereotypical Mascot accent you could imagine:
"Dis is the closest thing to really driving I can get. They took away my license. I can't drive no more!"
To this day, both Sarina and Soldier Sam quote the Rams Mascot anytime they witness a fender bender in LA, which is a lot.
Rams Mascot looked to Sarina for admiration of his cleverness. She seemed convinced. She agreed and sent him to the concession stand for some invented Cotton Candy necessity.
When Rams Mascot was gone and Soldier Sam’s eyes drifted off her for only a moment, Sarina started tearing off in the direction of the “Yankee Clipper” Roller Coaster Running more Rapidly as any scientist had ever measured the Limit of Time.
Riding that Roller Coaster was the one thing Sarina had desired for as long as she could remember and right away Sarina enjoyed the Rush of it. It was Finally happening to the full to The Max.
"I left Sarina here just a few minutes ago," Rams Mascot observed, returning to Soldier Sam "and I guess she's given us the slip. Scold her good for me when she gets back, will you?"
Rams Mascot laughed with good-natured malice at the idea of Soldier Sam ever scolding Sarina. And he figured she would be back at any moment to feast on the Cotton Candy.
What happened next shocked not just Rams Mascot, Sarina and Soldier Sam. But the Massive Crowd that had joined then that day.
In a sudden moment Magic Mountain experienced a huge power outage. There are certain rides that’s a pretty big problem for. Namely, Sarina’s Rollercoaster. The backup to get everyone riding on the rollercoaster without power is a hand crank. So the power is out and there are lots of stressed out adventurers, but not Sarina. She had a cold beer, and knew the power would come right back on.
Sarina saw many people freeze inbetween her and the roller coaster, which made her Dream seem a bit further away for a moment, but then, as Sarina predicted, the power in the Adventure Park went right back on and Sarina’s Dream Experience was just moments away.
Solider Sam straightened up suddenly at what had just happened and quickly turned to Rams Mascot.
"You go back to th' concession stand, load up on as much reinforcements as you can carry, dial Sarina’s number and tell her this--that I've gone scoutin' some, and I want her to watch out for me. Got It?”
"What?" began Rams Mascot, bewildered.
"I'm a-goin' to find Sarina," said Soldier Sam, decidedly.
"You don't think there's any danger, do you?" asked Rams Mascot in a serious tone. "Can't I help you?"
"You do as I tell you," replied Soldier Sam, shortly, and bolted away.
Solider Sam followed the trail to the Rollercoaster quite rapidly, for he knew Sarina would be waiting there. Glancing his eyes ahead, the “Yankee Clipper” Rollercoaster line was discernible through the crowd.
Sarina was not a park employee but was watching everyone that dismounted that Rollercoaster. Every ride. She wanted to see those exhausted smiles for herself. Each ride came to a halt and the gate opened for the Lucky to get off. It started again with the next group of adventurers. Then, after each ride, the gates would open again and again.
"Here, I am, Sarina, lets jump into that Rollercoaster Line.” Soldier Sam had arrived.
Soldier Sam smiled at Sarina and stepped a few paces towards the Rollercoaster. Sarina followed, brimming with anticipation.
“Now What?” Sarina asked.
"Let’s Board that Roller Coaster, Sarina. Your Dream has finally come True!! Soldier Sam was excited beyond all belief too.
Solider Sam and Sarina walked up to the “Yankee Clipper” Rollercoaster Checkpoint and Sarina put her hands over her face and totally broke down. Sarina looked at the Rollercoaster up close so intently that for a moment Sarina saw no other goal in life than to get on that Rollercoaster. Nothing Else!!
"We're in for fight," said Solider Sam, coming back to Sarina after a moment. "There’s a Wrench in Your Dream Experience. We can't make a run for it through this Lockdown. We've just got to stand 'em off."
The Rollercoaster Security Guard would later explain, “I operate rides in an amusement park. I’m letting people into a ride where you have to be a certain size to go. In some rides, someone like Sarina just has to be with an adult to go, but this one says no on all signs, and we are quite strict when it comes to safety.”
I’m measuring Sarina and this is a No Go,” continued the Theme Park Boss, after Soldier Sam demanded to speak with their Supervisor.
“I’m sorry, Sweetie, but you’re a little too small to go. Come back next year, and I’m sure you’ll be able to go!” said the guard of the “Yankee Clipper”
“But I’m already full grown!!” protested Sarina.
“As Sarina started to leave, totally devastated, Soldier Sam yelled to contact me. The worker remembered.
“ Hey, hey! What if she just goes with me? Soldier Sam was going to Save the Day for Sarina.
“I’m sorry” replied the Attendant. We have a minimum. It’s for safety reasons. To make sure people fit in the seats.”
“But she’s very brave!” protested Solider Sam.
The Rollercoaster Master was resolute. “I’m sure she wouldn’t get scared, but we could risk her getting hurt, and we don’t want that.”
Soldier Sam was insistent. “But it’s such a close call! She has to go on the Rollercoaster. It’s her Dream! It has to be alright!”
The response was unwavering. “We have strict orders from the State. If it’s okay to just almost too small, where should I then put the limit? Where should I stop?”
Soldier Sam decided to rebel “Hm… good point. Come on, Sarina. Let’s get on that Rollercoaster ANYWAY!
So Soldier Sam took Sarina’s hand and boarded the thrilling “Yankee Clipper” Rollercoaster.
As Soldier Sam was well aware, you sit two per row and couldn’t contain his excitement to accompany Sarina on her very first Rollercoaster Riding Experience.
During the INCREDIBLE RIDE, their response to the massive torque they experienced at the Twist Knots was a moment to be cherished forever. The sharp waves of water grew progressively more dramatic, and Sarina and Soldier Sam held on for dear life.
Coming out of the installation at the top of the drop they see the "Waterfall Finale" and brace themselves for the Spectacular Splash. Out of the danger they came and the ride comes to a grinding halt.
They hear the voice on loudspeaker, "Welcome to the Rollercoaster Club of Champions, Sarina!! We are naming our entire Enterprise of Magic Mountain Adventure Parks after You!!”
Sarina and Soldier Sam were thinking about Rams Mascot the whole way. Was he still at Rams Stadium? What did they do with him?
Sarina and Soldier Sam were thinking about Rams Mascot when their escape pod landed.
“Um, Soldier Sam? This doesn’t look like the Moon” Sarina said looking nervously out of the window.
“Oh no, we’re on the Moon!” replied Soldier Sam. They put on their space suits noticing that the oxygen tanks only had enough for that day, and headed out of the pod.
Sarina and Solider Sam were focused on the waves that swept toward them. These waves were of the hue of slate, save for the tops, which were of foaming white, and Sarina knew the colours of the sea.
The horizon narrowed and widened, and dipped and rose, and at all times its edge was jagged with waves that seemed thrust up in points like rocks.
“Soldier Sam ought to have a pick up truck larger than the boat the partners here rode upon the sea.” Sarina thought to herself.
Watching the flanking fleets in action was reassuring to the chairman, as long as they were fighting on your side. Being on the receiving end of the business they administer would not be pleasant, to say the least. When the President has initially proposed the action, the officers had reservations and it was simply unreasonable for anyone to demand otherwise. The concerns manifested themselves to each officer in a unique manner, and repeated exposure helps, since it provides a rich measure of experience to draw on and permits better management conditions for the chairman, which is really all he had ever demanded.
These waves were most abrupt and tall like a monster and each froth-top was a problem in small-boat navigation.
Solider Sam squatted in the bottom and looked with both eyes at the several yards of gunwale which separated him from the ocean. His Yankees Cap was almost blowing off his head, and his Protective Vest dangled as he bent to bail out the boat. Often he said:
"Damn! That was a Narrow Clip." As he remarked, it he invariably gazed eastward over the broken sea.
On the other hand, experience with the tactics employed by the Mainland also put hardened officers with real-world operations at a disadvantage, since past endeavors had exposed them to no-win scenarios between trying to push the supplies policies forward and not trying at all. The intensity of the return fire from the Mainland was unexpected, even while detailed reconnaissance by the officers had been designed to mitigate losses to the unit, both operationally and politically.
Sarina, steering with one of the two oars in the boat, sometimes raised herself suddenly to keep clear of water that swirled in over the stern. It was not the most strong oar and it seemed often ready to snap.
Soldier Sam started pulling at the other oar, watched the waves and wondered why he was there.
At this moment in time Sarina was starting to feel some indifference which comes, temporarily at least, to even the bravest and most enduring when America is attacked, the Navy loses, the ship goes down.
An initial pass of the Mainland revealed that significant forces had been established, and it was obvious to the chairman that sustained engagement would be unpractical, as well as untenable. The second plan of attack had prepared for contingencies, but the officers were wary of deploying it because normally such a response is best executed closer to the mainland, and operational measures had not been ordered by the chairman at this distance before. They had to take everything with them to support the flanking fleet. It was always confusing and a big pain in the ass to change tactics at the last minute.
Sarina’s Spirit, as master of a vessel is rooted deep in her fabric, though she commanded for a day or a decade, and Sarina had on her the stern impression of a scene in the greys of dawn and later a stump of a top-mast with a white ball on it that slashed to and fro at the waves, went low and lower, and down.
Thereafter there was something strange in her voice. Although steady, it was, deep and a of a quality beyond oration or tears.
"Keep 'er a little more south, Soldier Sam," said Sarina.
"'A little more south,' Sarina" said Soldier Sam in the stern.
Sarina considered for a moment that a seat in this boat was not unlike a seat upon a Bucking Bronx Bronco, and by the same token, a Bronx Bronco is not much smaller. In fact, the craft pranced and reared, and plunged like a Bronx Bronco.
The position was bordered by the South Sea on one side, and the hilly terrain of an island on the other. To be out of position could be disastrous, so the officers has to get it right and the chairman figured to hell with other considerations. In order to be able to maneuver with any great precision, the pace had to be maintained. The officers were well aware of the problem and only requested that the speed of the operation would be such that they could take it from there for the duration of the exercise. There was almost no expectation of a smooth go at things, just a safe one.
As each wave came, and Sarina rose for it, she seemed like pole vaulter making at a fence outrageously high. The manner of her scramble over these walls of water is a mystic thing.
It was clear that the top of the waves were ordinarily problems in white water, the foam racing down from the summit of each wave, requiring a new leap, and a leap from the air.
Then, after bravely bumping a crest, the waves would slide, and race, and splash down a long incline, and arrive bobbing and nodding in front of the next menace.
MOON ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
Everything is Quiet. A Ship plummets toward Earth. No one can hear the roar of the ship’s engines. There is no sound in Space.
But inside the Ship, things are different. All the spare parts are working together in a constant, audible Hum. It is quite the experience.
The Guy from outer space comes from a world far away from our own.
He is a Champion in that place. But time is running out for him.
He had found an ancient ring from another planet on his way.
He asks it, “Find my replacement. Find a man on this world.. a man who cares more than he should. Find the Next Captain,”
He can’t hear any response over the Roaring Flames that have suddenly engulfed his ship. The ship is no longer in outer space. It has entered Earth’s atmosphere.
There is nothing quiet about the man flying the Test Plane for the very first time. His name is Soldier Sam. Flying is what he does best.
“You’re taking it too high,” someone says through Soldier Sam’s headset. The voice belongs to Sarina, the woman of his Dreams.
He should really listen to her. But he doesn’t . Instead, Soldier Sam takes the plane higher.
“I’m a Test Pilot, Sarina,” Soldier Sam explained. “I’m going to do my job. Let’s see what this thing can do!”
The Jet continues to climb. Just then, the engines shut off.
“Wait.” Soldier Sam says. He looks down at the controls. There’s no noise coming from them.
Sarina’s radio goes Silent. “Soldier Sam?” Sarina yells into her headset. “Soldier Sam answer me!”
But it is silent on the other end.
Soldier Sam pulls at the controls. They don’t respond. He has only a few seconds to eject before the plane crashes.
Suddenly, everything starts to Glow. A Bright Orange Light, as Orange as an Orange floods the cockpit.
It takes a minute for Soldier Sam’s eyes to adjust. He could soon see clearly. But it takes him much longer to believe his eyes.
His plane is no longer falling. It’s Flying, lifted up by a Shot of Orange Light.
The Orange light finally sets the plane down. Soldier Sam doesn’t recognise the area. There is too much Smoke to see anything.
Then, a Orange beam of light cuts through the smoke.
Soldier Sam follows the beam through the smoke. The ship on the other end of the light is waiting for him. It’s bay door lowers.
The Guy from outer space speaks. It is in a language Soldier Sam has never heard before.
The Ring from outer space translates for him.
“Greetings,” the ring says. “You must be the one I am looking for.”
Soldier Sam isn’t sure what to say. So he says nothing.
“You are not…running away at the sight of me,” says the Guy from outer space. “That tells me the ring has chosen correctly. Your bravery and…
But the guy from outer space is too exhausted. He simply hands Soldier Sam his ring.
The guy from outer space disappears. And so does the ship, fire and smoke. All that’s left is Soldier Sam and the all consuming Orange light shining through his entire body.
The ring will fit perfectly at it’s destination. Soldier Sam takes a step back. Visions fill his head. Planes whistle though the sky all around him.
They are on a mission. Somehow, Soldier Sam identifies with them –even though he has never seen them before.
They are Defenders and Heroes.
The vision ends. Soldier Sam Looks down. He is shocked to see that he is wearing the same strange uniform matching the emblems on the planes.
Sarina’s voice crackles from the Jet’s Radio. “Soldier Sam?” she says. “Can you hear me? Are you there?”
“Great,” Soldier Sam says, exasperated. “How am I going to get this thing airborne again?”
The a Bolt of Orange bursts from Soldier Sam’s ring. It surrounds the Jet. It rises into the air.
“Oh,” Soldier Sam says. I Guess that will work. By the way, I have something special for you.”
Soldier Sam takes a deep breath and signs off the Radio. He smiles. Then he summons all that is left of his concentration and jumps into the air.
And Soldier Sam just keeps going. The Jet follows close behind him in pursuit.
“This is a whole new way of flying!” exclaimed Soldier Sam.
Soon Soldier Sam is back at the base. He walks to the control tower.
“Whaaat?” Sarina called out. How did you get here so fast with what I ----?”
But the explanation would have to wait. Another plane has lost power. It is going down quickly.
With all eyes on the sky, Soldier Sam touches the ring to its final destination to charge it. It Sparks with Energy.
Like a Bolt of lightning, Johnnie shoots into the sky. Sarina aims the Ring and the Orange light beams out like a Shooting Star.
Energy surrounds the falling plane. Sarina closes her eyes. She concentrates with everything she can bring together and the plane lands on the runway.
Sarina was perhaps just as Shocked as Soldier Sam was. “How did I do that? With just this!” she was beside herself with amazement.
For once in his life, Soldier Sam stays quiet. He just smiles at Sarina and takes off for his next mission.
The Orange Force follows him. “In brightest day, in blackest night, you will never be far from me in Spirit. Because of the power of the Orange Light, as Orange as an Orange.
Soldier Sam will use the beam from Sarina’s Orange Light to conquer every obstacle in his way. He will Shine as Bright as the object he found. He will always follow through with the Strength from the Luckiest Spark of Orange Light.
RAMS PLANET LANDING
Sarina and Soldier Sam connected to the radio when Rams Mascot began to speak.
“We’re in space! We have to get out of here before the adversaries come back! Come on, I know where the escape pod is.”
Sarina and Soldier Sam were stunned, but they ran as fast as they could down the empty corridor, following Rams Mascot’s lead. They arrived at the escape pod where Rams Mascot explained that you can pick a destination and it will fly you to it.
Rams Mascot had no sooner given Sarina and Soldier Sam the coordinates when suddenly a group of adversaries arrived right at the escape pods door!
The shore grew dusky. The vision of the shore blended gradually out of reach. The ocean spray, when it dashed uproariously over the side, made the partners shrink and swear like they were being branded like a Bucking Bronx Bronco.
"I'd like to catch the chump who turned the light on in the lighthouse. I feel like soaking him one, just for good measure." Soldier Sam made his feelings known.
"Why? What did he do?" asked Sarina.
"Oh, nothing, but I was picturing everyone on the island being so damned indifferent." Soldier Sam answered
The officers had all reported present: the adjunct, the signals administrator, along with the orderly, intelligence and reconnaissance officers, and the rest of the group. Messages had already arrived from the large group that had amassed at our flank, with the exception of one unit that had not yet reported their new position. This group had been the unit most engaged with the Mainland during the barrage, and with the new cache of information, the chairman paused to go to an isolated area to write out the new orders which would then be communicated to the officers.
They sat together in the same seat, and each rowed an oar. Then Soldier Sam took both oars; then Sarina took both oars; then Soldier Sam; and then Sarina.
Teamwork makes the Dream Work.
Sarina and Soldier Sam rowed and they rowed. The tough part of the business was when the time came for the one in the stern to take turn at the oars. By the very last star of truth, it was a real fuckin bitch to change seats in the dingey.
First Sarina in the stern slid her hand along the handle and moved with care, as if she was trying not to make it break. Then Soldier Sam in the rowing seat slid his hand up other handle. It was all done with most extraordinary care. As the two moved past each other, both kept watchful eyes on the coming wave.
Sarina shouted out: "Look out now! Steady there!"
When the fleets had acknowledged the orders set forth by the chairman, including the unit the had not reported previously but had now come back online in one piece, the rest of the flank was grouped together en mass at more distant points from the Mainland to gain their breath. The officers had been stressing the gravity of the situation, which seemed to be a function of the heat and humidity off the island, and the chairman was still wrapped up in what had unfolded like not being able to shake free of an old set of camouflage khakis that had become full of dirt from days of use.
In disjointed sentences Soldier Sam tried to communicate "Sarina!! There's a Rescue Regiment just outside of Buccaneer Bay, and as soon as they see us, they'll come off in their boat and pick us up."
"As soon as who sees us?" asked Sarina.
"The Rescue Regiment” replied Solider Sam.
"Rescue Regiments aren’t fully staffed right now, so they don't have crews," said Sarina "As I understand them, they are only places where Gear and Snacks are stored for the benefit of shipwrecked people like us. They don't always come to the rescue."
"Oh, yes, they do," said Soldier Sam.
"No, they don't," said Sarina. "Well, we're not there yet, anyhow, Soldier Sam.”
"Well," said Soldier Sam, "perhaps it's not the Rescue Regiment that I'm thinking of as being near Buccaneer Bay. Maybe it‘s just shelter from the storm."
"We're not there yet, Soldier Sam!!" said Sarina.
Landings can be fairly gentle to surprisingly rough, it’s all normal and the rougher landings can be intentional.
ORANGE VALENTINES #1
“Play Time at Syracuse Zoo”
The Flight through Space was finally complete. The Starship bolted down from the sky and landed in New York.
Cupid was there on the Tarmac to greet Sarina and Soldier Sam.
“Sarina and Soldier Sam!” Cupid called out. “Welcome to Syracuse!”
“Thanks Cupid” Sarina replied.
“Isn’t there a Big Orange Basketball Game Tonight?” asked Soldier Sam.
“There for sure is an Orange Game tonight. But first I have a Place to show you guys?” said Cupid.
Cupid was a Legend at Syracuse. It was in Fact one of his favorite places to be. To work his Magic.
Cupid seems to innately grasp how people are feeling and what their intentions and struggles are. In his near-human like form, Cupid is deeply supportive and determined to help others and improve the world.
Once upon a time, one of the crew sitting in the assembly said, “I will leap and grab Cupid’s Arrows and I will shoot them myself.” Everyone mocked him and said, “Are you crazy? Have you seen yourself compared to Cupids stature? He is much bigger than you, he will crush you easily.”
Let’s get on our way to our Pre-Game Event, Sarina and Soldier Sam” Cupid instructed.
“This is quite a place. Cupid added.
“Let’s do a little Preview before we get to the site, Cupid” Sarina suggested.
“Hop in my Ride, you two. I have a couple of questions about your Flight.before we get to the Tour Site” Cupid responded.
Well it was something like this, said Sarina. “I had been on a flight back to our station after visiting a distant planet when we had hit some strange turbulence causing us to crash right into the ocean. At least I thought we crashed into the ocean.
In such a situation, Soldier Sam asked me, “Sarina, why do you think this latest attack was done by our adversaries?”
“If you had read the information from the other jets carefully, you would have known. Those jets had been on our tail ever since we took off. Sarina had responded.
When Soldier Sam further investigated I began to realise that he needed my help accomplishing even the smallest matters required to complete the Starship mission. But I was always willing to help him out.”
Cupid’s Ride was zigging and zagging though Syracuse Traffic.
Here we are at the Mystery Spot for our Tour, Sarina and Soldier Sam” announced Cupid. “I’m sure the two of you are going to have a lot of Questions.
“We’re ready, Cupid” shouted Sarina. “Let’s Check it out!”
Soldier Sam agreed. “Let’s get this party started, Cupid!!”
“What is this place, Cupid?” asked Sarina.
Welcome to Syracuse Fans Zoo Camp, Sarina and Soldier Sam. Why shouldn’t we have as much fun as everyone else at zoo camp? Asked Cupid.
Join us for programming exclusive to a Cuse Fan audience! Enjoy arts and construction activities making enrichments, meeting Zoo ambassadors and more!
“Are there many kinds of Life here?” Sarina asked.
“There certainly are,” replied Cupid.
“What about Sports Mascots?” Soldier Sam asked.
“There are many Sports Mascots at the Syracuse Zoo,” Cupid explained. “But none more prominent than Syracuse’s Very Own, Orange Mascot!
“He is here at the Zoo right now, and will also be at the Cuse Game Tonight, of course,” added Cupid.
At one point, a group of Sports Mascots with brightly coloured clothes and huge heads passed in the opposite direction.
“Wow, Sarina exclaimed! “I had no idea there were so many Sports Mascots here at Syracuse Zoo!”
There is also cutting edge technology here at Syracuse Zoo to enhance your educational experience,” Cupid explained.
“Check out what is the latest technology we have developed.
Virtual reality: Credit goes to Syracuse for envisioning VR, complete with goggles. also imagining entry to a digital world, in a way that rings familiar today all over Syracuse
Virtual Reality is great for all sorts of things” Soldier Sam said excitedly. “Syracuse Zoo sure has a lot of Sports Mascots, but in this Virtual Reality Exhibit, it is possible to interact with every Sports Mascot in the world.”
Sarina was stunned by what Cupid had just said.
Cupid took Sarina and Soldier Sam on an Exploration that day where they had the opportunity to have conversation and throw a ball around with many different types of Sports Mascots.
“We even got to see the Stadiums where they work, but none of them are as great as Orange Stadium, of course, “ Sarina said to Soldier Sam.
The Syracuse Zoo has done an outstanding job building the Mascot Virtual Reality Center using all of the modern tools that you see all around the World,” Cupid was in awe too.
But no experience in the world could prepare Sarina and Soldier Sam to get a bird’s eye view of what its like to be an Mascot engineer!
Cupid directed Sarina to check out a special Hologram at a reserved exhibit
Sarina took off running at this chance and Soldier Sam was not far behind here as they made like a bee line to see what Cupid had told them about.
What’s this Cupid? Sarina asked as she and Soldier Sam approached the Hologram.
Read it and see Sarina. It is a special clue about Valentines Day” Directed Cupid.
“Ok, Cupid. Lets See what it says” Sarina started reading the Hologram.
“I like the way you Roll!”
I'd be a monkey to make you mine
I'd climb a tree
Swing on a vine.
Get stung by bees,
Be my Valentine if you please!
“Unbelievable,” Sarina said.
“I just can’t believe it!” Sarina exclaimed. On Valentine’s Day. A special message just for me!”
“Here at his Day Job, Orange Mascot hangs out in a Nature Preserve with countless Orange Trees, a Lounge and a fantastic Splash Pool with an Orange Slide, Cupid told Sarina and Soldier Sam.
“Orange Mascot Slides into the Splash Pool frequently, to the delight of all the Cuse Fans here at the Syracuse Zoo” Cupid added.
“Will we get the chance to ride down the Slide with Orange Mascot too today” asked Sarina.
“You will indeed,” Cupid replied
It's amazing what construction capabilities Syracuse Zoo has at its disposal” commented Soldier Sam.
“I have seem many engineering feats all around the world, but no one is better at constructing a more grand exhibit than this where Orange Mascot is having so much Fun” added Soldier Sam.
“Yeah, Soldier Sam.” Sarina smiled. “You can even Test your building skills using seemingly ordinary materials that transform into the most high tech anywhere in the world!”
“Go ahead, Sarina and Soldier Sam,” instructed Cupid “Immerse yourself in an elevated Orange experience guaranteed to inspire your inner Cuse Camper.
Sarina is even tall enough to go on the slide by now” Cupid laughed.
Join Orange Mascot as you explore the zoo, play games, and meet Orange Mascot up close! Topics will vary each day!
“Why didn’t we see Orange Mascot when we first entered Syracuse Zoo?” asked Sarina.
“Because Orange Mascot wanted to be the center of attraction. Cupid replied. As you can see, all the Roads at the Zoo lead to this exhibit. Orange Mascot is the Star of the Show!!”
Sarina and Soldier Sam finally had the chance to meet Orange Mascot in true elemental form. They all slipped down the Orange Slide and all the other Cuse Fans at the Zoo Cheered.
“The oranges on the trees taste delicious” Soldier Sam registered his approval.
Cupid set up a picnic bench for Sarina and Soldier Sam to rest on. There would still be much more activities that day for all of them, and they needed to conserve their energy.
“Wow, Cupid, that was quite a Tour!” Sarina exclaimed.
“It sure was” Soldier Sam had a great time too.
“We have some time to burn before the Game. Let’s stop by this Bar” suggested Cupid.
“By the way, Sarina and Soldier Sam,” Cupid remembered something. “You told me about your flight. But I forget to ask, did you two go on any adventures during your Pit Stops?”
Our Starship had just cleared the pattern in its climb to another Galaxy when Soldier Sam said, “OK, we can land now.” Sarina recalled.
With my newly minted pilot’s license in hand, I had wanted him to be my first non-instructor passenger” explained Sarina.
I’d planned to circle the Planet before coming back to land.” Sarina continued.
I reminded Soldier Sam of this, and I’ll never forget what Soldier Sam said, way back at the beginning of our interstellar journey.”
“I’m not here to explore the universe, Sarina” Soldier Sam had said. “I just wanted you to know that I have confidence in you and will always support whatever you decide to do.”
'Once--' Soldier Sam said,'—once I went to a Cuse Game. Actually, it’s were Sarina and I first met. They were her tickets.
'Sure you did!' said Cupid. 'That was years ago.
'Well I got you a Valentine, Sarina,' said Cupid. I almost couldn’t find one for you . This type of Valentine was in high demand on the market.'
“Oh, Cupid, Thank You!!” Sarina exclaimed. “Look at this Soldier Sam, now we have front row seats for the Orange Game tonight, this will be so Exciting!!
From his seat at the bar, Soldier Sam issued a proposal:
'I’m Ready to go! Lets get out of this Bar and get to the Game, Pronto!'
'All right,' Sarina said. “Pay for our drinks, Soldier Sam.'
“Cupid’s First Orange Game Experience”
It absolutely was an Orange Hoops game on Valentine’s Day. It was a chilly night after the glowing orange sunlight had set down for the night. Cupid was gaining anticipation of what was likely to be a cutting edge experience. Cupid was likely to see his first Orange Hoops game.
Cupid’s first trip to Orange Stadium was an experience that will form a long lasting impression on myself. Having performed on a very recreational team and having the experiences of playing on a court in the park, it truly is nothing when compared with what Cupid would found the first time.
Even as Sarina and Soldier Sam approached Orange Stadium with Cupid and parked the car, they strolled closer to the entrance from the stadium.
The seats were courtside and it was exhilarating for Cupid to know he was in the same building that had built all those seasons of Orange Hoops, the best organization in the world.
“Remember that we were given a project on the stadium, well not exactly. Cupid recalled.”We had to build something else based on the Greatness of Syracuse. Come up with an adventure or something.
“If you remember there was a rumour from the Starship crew, that the person who first saw the stadium court would get a prize”, Sarina told Soldier Sam.
“At the beginning, everyone was thinking of making some kind of model. Later we decided to come up with Orange Stadium! Our team comprised both of you and me” Cupid recalled.
“We aren't chumps, Cupid, and if anyone in our group is a chump, it's you!”, Sarina shouted.
“Fine then”, Cupid said, “I guess you are a pair of loud mouths”.
“No we aren't”, Soldier Sam promptly replied. “Well we might have been trafficked secretly to Syracuse Nation!”,
“Think Sarina, we built a lake next to the stadium with the rock on the edge of it and I put Orange Mascot in the lake so when I was in the lake sitting on the rock I could see him.
Orange Mascot was hungry because you didn’t give him any food”, Soldier Sam,” Sarina said.
“On the other hand you were in the Stadium Parking lot.
“What about the Mascot? Did we leave Orange Mascot in the stadium, Cupid?”, Sarina inquired.
“I’ve got a great idea!” Sarina exclaimed. “Soldier Sam and I should get a photo with Orange Mascot. Then we could prove we were here and have a lasting memory.
“Hey, Cupid,” Soldier Sam wanted to get his attention. “Could you snap a pic of Me and Sarina with Orange Mascot? That would be awesome!”
“Of course, Soldier Sam” Cupid replied. Just find Orange Mascot and I will be over to take the shot of you and Sarina.”
'Will you turn your face a little to the light?' Cupid said politely. 'There, that's fine. You won't mind staying in that light will you? Just to snap sone Mug Shots for a while?
Becoming a better photographer has much less to do with the camera you use and much more to do with things like the camera settings you use, lighting, framing, composition, and the like.
“Hey Sarina, we got that picture with Orange Mascot! All the lighting was great and we were posed perfectly. Isn’t it great we were able to find Orange Mascot and he was so accommodating?”
“Yes, Soldier Sam” Sarina answered. I thought for a moment Cupid was going to lose his mind trying to operation the photo function on my phone. He had never operated anything like that before.”
“The game is about to start Sarina!” Soldier Sam exclaimed. Why don’t you give me a quick rundown of the season so far?
“I know you have been following it closely and I really don’t have a clue about what the Orange have faced so far this year, Soldier Sam continued. “How are they doing?”
“Sure Soldier Sam,” Sarina was glad to show off her knowledge of Cuse Hoops. “There have been a lot of developments so far this year.
The Orange are not great. You could easily detail several close-but-no-cigar games for Syracuse in ACC play. “But Cuse has gotten everything out of themselves that we could ask of them this year."
“We’re just not quite good enough. That’s the Bottom line. But we’ll keep playing.”
Coming it to the game, the Tar Heels believed they knew enough about Syracuse’s zone defense. The Tar Heels had watched a sufficient amount of film. They saw gaps worth exploring, open space on the perimeter worth exploiting.
In fantasy land, the Orange are still in the ‘under consideration’ list. If Syracuse wins out and then wins a pair in the ACC Tournament, that would move put them back into NCAA tourney consideration.
Soldier Sam scrutinized Sarina again.
'A Drink at Orange Stadium?' Soldier Sam asked cautiously.
'Oh, no,' Sarina responded. 'Just the tickets'
Soldier Sam moved nearer and nodded.
'You should do it Soldier Sam” suggested Sarina. “We are going to see some of the best action at the Game tonight.”
“Are you serious? Asked Soldier Sam.
Sarina was hesitating between her description of Soldier Sam at the Cuse Game. But she knew what she was going to call it. She was going to call it Soldier Sam in the Dome.
CUSE GAME ACTION
It’s the Orange players playing Team Ball on the hardwood court . People getting so pumped when there’s two teams going up and down the floor, for Cuse to get a big stop on D or drop a dime on the fast break.
The Fans like seeing the Orange compete by motivating each other, running down the court, Slam Dunking, and the team making a 3 from beyond the arc.
It is the Cuse Student Section decked out in Orange all around me cheering for their team the whole game all that was most exciting because they want their team to win. They want to motivate their team so if they do not win at least they got the motivation to do good in their games.
A high in volume cheer and a rush of excitement came from all of the crowd as another Slam Dunk was thrown down and then there we a couple of Triples drained from long range.
To me, seeing all the Orange in action was so much more excitement than I had every known. Just the verry special was it happened. It was nothing less than pure excitement to watch all the action.
It was the day before the Big Rams Game. The first ever in the New Stadium.
Sarina was still getting prepared for the Game inside the Stadium. Soldier Sam was disappointed that the Rams Tickets for the big game had somehow disappeared at the Ticket Window.
“Are you kidding me?” Soldier Sam was really getting tired of hearing Rams Mascot’s voicemail.
Soldier Sam was also really getting tired of standing out in rain. Yes, it was raining in Southern California that day.
“That’s figures” thought Soldier Sam. And, of getting his cigarette all wet.
Soldier Sam tried the number again. “Hey. This is the Rams Mascot. Sorry I couldn’t catch you, but I’m probably doing something really important.”
Rams Mascot had not been tops in Soldier Sam’s book for a while now. During the Rams Games last year, Rams Mascot had always taken forever in the concession stand line.
Soldier Sam yanked on the door handle to the Ticket Window and pretended like it was budging. Then came the obnoxious buzz of Ram’s Mascots car racing off behind him. Solider Sam smiled. At least one of his problems was solved. Unfortunately, he still didn’t have a way of getting to Burger King in time for Dinner.
.Unfortunately, the only car left in the Rams Stadium Parking Lot didn’t have a driver. Where could the driver be? Would that person take him to Burger King if he gave him or her all the money in her wallet? 10 dollars would be enough incentive, wouldn’t it?
“Did you need in here?” Soldier Sam turned his head, and there she was. The one person beside himself that was in the parking lot..
And, of course, it was Sarina, the Team Reporter.. The Fans favorite when at the game or doing any other media event. Of course, it had to be the Team Reporter.
“No.” Soldier Sam didn’t look at Sarina when he said it
“I was just hoping to get a ticket for the Big Game tomorrow. He looked at his feet. “Thanks.”
Soldier Sam expected to look up and see Sarina walking away, but she was still standing right there Soldier Sam looked up..Sarina looked at him. She seemed friendly.
“Someone is coming for you, right?” Sarina asked.
“Of course. They’re just late.” Soldier Sam replied.
The concern stayed with Sarina. “You’re sure?”
Soldier Sam glanced at his feet again. “Absolutely.”
Sarina still didn’t leave. Soldier Sam still looked at the ground. A few seconds passed. A few more. His eyes crept to his face. Sarina had a beautiful face and a rockin’ in shape look to her.
“…if you want to, I’ll give you a lift..” Sarina offered.
“I’m sorry. What did you say?” asked Soldier Sam.
“If you’d like to get out of the rain while you wait, my cars right over there.” Sarina pointed. “I’m not in any hurry.”
Soldier Sam wasn’t sure how to respond. Sarina was suspicious –the Rams Team Reporter not in a hurry the day before the Big Stadium Opener Game?
Soldier Sam was soaked from the Rain. Sarina was starting to get wet too as they stood there staring at each other. The wind struck Soldier Sam in the face, but he didn’t say anything.
Sarina was waiting for his reply. Solider Sam was waiting for her to knock his socks off him and drag him to her car.
At this point in time Soldier Sam never would have predicted a good outcome from the day. “I’m sure my ride will be here in just a minute.”
“Suit yourself.” Sarina started walking to her car.. Got in. Started the engine. Sat there for a moment. Didn’t leave. Why didn’t she leave?
“I’ll be fine,” Soldier Sam told himself. He called Rams Mascot again. Got his voicemail. Called again. Got his voicemail. Called agai…
“No one’s coming, are they?” Sarina cranked up the windshield wipers once she was inside. The radio was already on. Apparently,Sarina liked 70’s R&B music too..
“Why are you still here?” Sarina asked again.
Soldier Sam didn’t answer. He lit another cigarette and looked down at his feet again.
“Any time now.” Sarina wouldn’t give up.
Soldier Sam sighed.
“Let’s start easy here,” Sarina said. She turned the radio down so low that it became a buzz in the background. “I’m Sarina. What’s your name?”
It was a beautiful thing to Soldier Sam to hear a woman ask him anything in general. All the Rams Fans and Billboards and Posters inside the Stadium had her name on it.
“I’m Soldier Sam.”
“Do you like to eat, Soldier Sam?” It’s getting near dinner time now. Like Where?” asked Sarina.
Soldier Sam looked at Sarina. “Like Burger King I even have some coupons with me.” answered Soldier Sam.
Soldier Sam saw Sarina was interested and maybe hungry for dinner too but never in a million years would have dinner with him.
“So, you like Whoppers with Cheese, Onion Rings and Orange Soda then.” deduced Sarina..
“What about Zesty Sauce, Soldier Sam? I bet you like Zesty Sauce all over your face. A mess not even a handful of napkins could conquer.
“So there’s a sense of humor under all that mysteriousness.” The smile grew on Soldier Sam’s face.
Sarina’s hands were resting on the steering wheel. It made Solider Sam wonder if she really wasn’t in a hurry or if she was just trying to be nice. Soldier Sam figured she just wasn’t in a hurry. Soldier Sam didn’t know any other women that would be nice to him. This would be a first.
Soldier Sam actually laughed a little. It seemed to surprise both of them. It wasn’t as if what Sarina had said was all that funny, but it felt like the kind of joke you would share with a good friend. The easiness of it made the moment slightly wonderful.
“Are you ready to explain yourself now?” asked Sarina.
Sarina wasn’t someone Soldier Sam would predict would ever talk to him.
Another sigh from Soldier Sam. “Do you know Rams Mascot, Sarina”
Sarina turned the music the rest of the way off. Turned her entire attention to him. “I definitely know Rams Mascot.”
Really everyone knew Rams Mascot. He was somewhat notorious at Rams Stadium. He was an infamous installation at the Stadium, and Solider Sam knew it when he asked Rams Mascot for a ride.
“So, you didn’t expect to need another ride when you came to Rams Stadium today?” asked Sarina.
“And, there was no else to ask?” Sarina’s hands had tightened around the wheel.
Confession time. “I couldn’t call the cab company. Soldier Sam admitted. “ They’ve been dealing with me for weeks. I always call for a ride and jump right out of the car without paying fare.
“What are you still doing here?” asked Soldier Sam.
“What it looks like.” Sarina said. “I’m taking you to Burger King.”
“But, I didn’t ask you to.” Soldier Sam was shocked.
Sarina looked at Soldier Sam like he was absolutely crazy “But, you need me to.”
“It’s really okay,” Soldier Sam said. “Rams Mascot will come eventually.”
Sarina didn’t listen. “Which Burger King?”
The closest one, of course. I’m hungry!” Soldier Sam was ready to go.
“Thank you, Sarina.” They were outside Burger King. They had made it without a scratch.
They were about to part ways. But Soldier Sam didn’t want Sarina to leave. Not yet. The dryness inside the car made Soldier Sam very happy, but that wasn’t the only thing that had. They had had a lot of time to talk on the ride home thanks to the rain, multiple red lights and the broken gas gauge on Sarina’s car.
It had not been a normal ride due to the conditions outside, but it had given them both the chance to learn more about the other. Soldier Sam had found out Sarina grew up in the Bronx, and since Soldier Sam had also lived there for a while it gave Soldier Sam the opportunity to talk to her about something other than the Rams, something no one else would have done that was stranded in the Rams Stadium Parking lot that day.
Sarina had been more interested in lots of things other than the Rams, more than Soldier Sam would have guessed.
Along the way, the car had stopped and they’d had to get out and push. Soldier Sam’s socks were still wet, but the moment when he had fallen face-first into the ditch had been worth it. Sarina seemed to have felt the same way about him too.
“How you doing after that long car ride? ” Soldier Sam asked now.
Sarina laughed. “Like feasting on a Whopper with Cheese, Onion Rings and an Orange Soda. Zesty Sauce and free refills on the Orange Soda too of Course. You?”
“I guess we should probably get on that then,” Sarina said. She got ready to open the door on her side. “Would you happen to want me to have dinner with you tonight, Soldier Sam?”
“Only if Rams Mascot or anyone else in the World doesn’t want to too,” Soldier Sam replied. They hadn’t broached the subject on meaningful relationships yet, but Soldier Sam was surprised she would have dinner with him since then, since he was sure that Sarina must have someone to eat dinner with other than him.
Sarina was so Beautiful and popular and charming not to. Not to mention fun to talk too.
Sarina’s response was surprising to Soldier Sam.
Sarina replied “I didn’t think that I had anyone, but I’m sure they won’t mind. Imaginary Best Friends seem to be very understanding in these situations.”
Soldier Sam’s smile probably got a little too wide at that comment, but he didn’t care. It shocked him to know that there was not someone she was so into, and he felt so much better, that she wasn’t all locked up for dinner that night.
Soldier Sam put his hand on the door handle. Opened the door. Felt the rain that was still hitting the pavement the short walk they had in front of them from their parking spot to a Delicious Dinner.
“I would LOVE for you to have dinner with me tonight at Burger King, Sarina!!.” Soldier Sam’s voice showed he could not contain his excitement.
“Alright.” Sarina reached for the volume knob and turned off the radio before stepping Her Hotness into Burger King with Soldier Sam.
Soldier Sam was beaming as they went inside. Not even thinking about the Ticket Window where all the Rams Tickets had apparently disappeared into thin air.
But as we shall see Sarina had an even bigger Surprise for Solider Sam at dinner. He would get to see the Ram’s Game inside the Brand New Stadium anyway!!