"You want to talk to me? What for?" demanded Cupid. "Couldn't you tell me now--I'm way too busy.”
This attitude crossed Sarina--who was here to watch over the Valentines Day Activity interests of both her and Soldier Sam.
'When can you come up to my office and see me?' said Cupid.
Right Away,' said Soldier Sam. 'I feel kind of all shaken up, Well, with how close Valentine’s Day is—it’s giving me an excited thrill.'
'Sarina really did it and told you all about how special of a day it is?' questioned Cupid.
'Yes, Sarina told me all about Valentines Day,' said Soldier Sam. 'And it's worth its weight in gold compared to other holidays. I'm even going to get me a new agent to promote our Valentines Day Activities and bring them to your office.'
'I tell you a better plan.' said Cupid hastily, 'I'll get you direct access to the Valentines Day Activity Directorate. They approve some of the scenes.
Soldier Sam was overwhelmed by the opportunity. For once he had an opportunity to participate in a Valentine’s Day Activity.
"I'm glad you came with me to Cupids Office, Sarina," Soldier Sam said, "you've been great. Did you get my note?"
Sarina wasn’t sure what to say. "I thought maybe you had nothing to do so you wrote all those Greeting Cards and you might want to pay me back for all this stuff you have put on me"
"I don't ask much," Sarina said sharply, "I let the world have fun at Soldier Sam’s expense behind his back and freeze him out of things. But now I've got something and I'd like you to come over here and consider it"
"All right--all right." agreed Cupid.
Soldier Sam’s eyebrows lifted as saw how enthusiastic Sarina had become, but he said nothing—still fixing his eyes on the floor with the bottle of Bourbon raised.
'The trouble this Valentines is Solider Sam doesn’t have any imagination” said Cupid. “He wan’t in jail or anything like that. He had a Word Processer and a Library.
But all he did was write stories about Rams Mascot and all we got for a scene was that Rams Stadium.
We got to weave something around that-- like he promises Sarina something and in the end she collects.' Suggested Cupid.
'I want time to think it over in my brain' said Soldier Sam. 'If Sarina will agree to go out and do something on Valentines Day--
'Sarina might take you out, Soldier Sam' said Cupid. 'From now on I'm picking my own Valentines Targets for the Holiday.
What do you got?' Sarina looked at Cupids arrows, enough to trick me into going out somewhere with Soldier Sam?”
“What’s your plan, anyway, Soldier Sam?” Cupid inquired.
Soldier Sam stared at Cupid blankly for a moment; then out of thin air, produced his best piece of imaginative fiction--
'I might take Sarina on an expedition to some Antique Shops,' Soldier Sam answered, 'and try to find some antique Metal Tins. They are useful for so many things!!'
Sarina looked excited.
'Wait a minute! Wait a minute!' Cupid was on his feet. 'I seem to recall some Antique Shops not too far from here. You two could even stroll down the street on foot. Otherwise you would have to hire a car and hop around all those Strip Malls on the edge of town”
What’s your vision, Soldier Sam? Cupid wanted to find out what ideas he had for Antique Metal Tins.
'I seem to see Soldier Sam as an Antique Hunting apprentice.' observed Sarina.
'Yes.' This hopefully” commented Cupid.
Off the top of his head, Soldier Sam had a few ideas, and promised he would think of more before Valentines Day.
“An Antique Tin to offers a super-easy way to keep all your Yankees Game Tickets and paperclip the Box Score to it” suggested Soldier Sam. Crack open a popcorn tin or something else. Some are even customisable and put your Tickets to have a special memory. Do this every year until its full. Then get another one!” Soldier Sam’s idea was for sure a good one.
Let’s mark your idea as ‘Temporary Complete” Soldier Sam” decided Cupid. “and you can even consider leaving something almost as valuable as Yankees Tickets.
“Just think about what that is sparkling that many put in a box for Valentine’s Day.” Suggested Cupid.
Cupid turned to check how many Arrows he had brought with him that day. I’ll consider your idea if you promise to come up with several more ideas about what problems Antique Metal Tins could solve.” Added Cupid.
Sarina suggested that from now on, Soldier Sam’s bright idea would referred to as the “Antique Surprise Shopping Showdown.”
That’s a fantastic name for what is sure to be an Amazing Expedition” Cupid approved. Now Sarina and Soldier Sam were even more excited for Valentines Day!
Soldier Sam’s Training for New Starship Missions was not at all like what he expected. Rams Mascot was not a typical Instructor.
“Know this,” thundered Rams Mascot, now right in Soldier Sam’s face, “that if you ever do attempt something I have not trained you to do, you will certainly destroy Rams Nation and all that is Great about the Rams.” At this, Soldier Sam looked down at the ground. At that point he wished he was invisible. He did not want to hear more, yet Rams Mascot continued. “Soldier Sam, your orbit is preordained, one from which you cannot stray.”
To keep the subsequent operation in the strictest confidence among the officers was crucial, and extremely stringent requirements were imposed as to who knew what and when. Dress rehearsals by day and night had been a key objective of the unit’s training, and only officers that succeeded during these intense exercises were selected for this mission so needless to say they were prepared and understood the role that they would have to play in a real-world contingency.
In a Fleet Problem, we would task the CSG to conduct a combat mission-- conduct strikes on, giving it maximum flexibility in timing and mechanism. We then would create scenarios rich in submarine threats. The CSG’s mission would not be ASW, but rather conducting a core combat strike mission in support of the joint fight in a robust submarine threat scenario. Teaming the submarine threat is the means to the end —strike. If you destroyed all enemy submarines and lost no friendly units but were unable to execute the mission assigned—strike—then Blue loses and Red wins. How the CSG commander manages that threat to accomplish the mission is not prescribed. Speed and manoeuvre? Go for it. Aggressive surface ASW? Great. Will the escorts sweep ahead or stay near the CSG? Air assets? Of course. How is that coordination going?
The reason was because we had deployed to a different installation than we had been at the last time the supplies were delivered and the unit was one ot the last left behind for some time now, which had been going now for several years. The wait had made the unit prepared to deal with the Mainland. The main group of officers had been subject to a training period of several years to prepare for this very contingency now at hand and they worked tirelessly to mount a defens e to the policy. The planets had been forced into the other supply substitute mostly because the primary equipment part was not in the cache when HQs Policy was written, so there was a delay in authorising the action against the Mainland.
LAST DAY ON EARTH ADVENTURE ACTIVITY
Soldier Sam collapsed into the chair, leaned over and put his head in his hands “Oh, Fuck” he complained.
Sarina, sitting light and straight up on the couch, smiled brightly at him.
“Not feeling so well today?” Sarina asked.
“Oh, I’m great,” Solider Sam replied.”Just dandy, I am.
“Know what time I got up? Well, I never fell asleep. I kept trying to make it off to dreamland, and every time I got close I just couldn’t and my head would roll under the bed.
“This isn’t my head I’ve got on now” Soldier Sam continued. “ I think this is something that used to belong to Mickey Mouse. Oh, Fuck.”
“Do you think maybe a drink would make you feel better?” Sarina suggested.
“Oh, no, thank you.” Solider Sam replied. “Please never speak of anything like that again. I’m through. I’m all, all through. Tell me, was I very terrible last night?”
“Oh, goodness,” Sarina said, “My parents were in good spirits too. You were all right.”
“Yeah,” Soldier Sam said.”I must have been dandy. Do they never want to see me again?“
“Good heavens, no,” Sarina said. “They thought you were terribly funny.”
Of course, Papa was a little on edge, there, for a minute at dinner. But Mama sort of held him back in his chair, and got him calmed down. I don’t think anybody at the other tables noticed it at all. Hardly anybody.”
“He was going to sock me?” Soldier Sam said. ”Oh, Lord. What did I do to him?”
“Why, you didn’t do a thing,” Sarina said.”You were perfectly fine. But you know how Papa gets, when he thinks you are making too much love to me.”
“Was I making a pass at You, Sarina?” Soldier Sam asked, “Did I do that?”
“Of course you didn’t.” Sarina said.”You were only fooling that’s all. I thought you were awfully amusing. I was having a marvelous time. I only got a little tiny bit annoyed just once, when you poured that drink over my head.
“My God,” Soldier Sam said. ”A drink on your head. And with all the work you got done at the Salon before we went out. Dear God. What’ll I ever do?”
“Oh, I’ll be all right,” Sarina said. ”Just send me some flowers, or something. Don’t worry about it. It isn’t anything.”
“No I won’t worry,” Solider Sam said.”I haven’t got a care in the world. I’m sitting pretty. Oh, Fuck. Did I do any other fascinating tricks at dinner?”
“You were fine,” Sarina said.”Don’t be so foolish about it. Everybody was crazy about you. The maître d’hôtel was a little worried because you wouldn’t stop singing, but he really didn’t mind.
All he said was, he was afraid they’d close the place again, if there was so much noise. But he didn’t care a bit, himself. I think he loved seeing you have such a good time. Oh, you were just singing away, there, for about an hour. It wasn’t so terribly loud, at all.”
“So I sang,”Solider Sam said.”That must have really been some treat.”
“Don’t you remember?” Sarina asked.”You just sang one Note after another. Everybody in the place was listening. They loved it.”
“Only you kept insisting that you wanted to sing the same song over and over, and everybody kept shushing you, and you’d keep trying to start it again.”
“You were wonderful, Sarina reassured him. “We were all trying to make you stop singing for a minute, so you would pay attention to how you were moving all that food off the plate, but you wouldn’t hear of it. My, you were funny.”
“Didn’t I focus on eating, with all that singing?” Solider Sam said.
“Oh, you sure did,” Sarina replied.
”Every time the waiter would come back to our table to refill our glasses, you’d order another appetizer. Like everything left on the menu, long after we had finished eating our main course.
“You had the whole kitchen staff Steamed at you,” Sarina laughed.
After Earth’s Sun exploded, your immense Starship was enlisted into action with the mission to sustain as many Rams Fans as needed to fill Rams Stadium, and then some. All of the survivors dream of finding a habitable planet so the Rams can once again, dominate the NFL.
As part of the few expert detectives aboard your Starship you need Soldier Sam to keep the starship in order and mission capable. Soldier Sam has never set foot on Rams Stadium solid ground, but he has heard stories and seen films about NFL Life.
In order to try and win over Soldier Sam, you develop a virtual reality simulator that recreates Rams Football on Screens surrounding the field of view in your Captain’s Communications Headquarters. It depicts the Reality of Rams Football on the ground and is controlled and optimized by a highly advanced artificial intelligence simulator.
However, when Soldier Sam realizes the Trick he begins to hash out a scheme to take control of the ship to set his own course for the future.
Soldier Sam’s intentions are to Discover the Ultimate Planet, with or without the terrain to support Rams Football. Under these conditions, you launched your ship into Hyperspeed, achieving interstellar travel like Soldier Sam had never seen.
Your ship contains thousands of machines programed to terraform a planet in a faraway solar system, building NFL football infrastructure from the ground up.
But Soldier Sam’s crew launched a pod off your ship, set on developing a planet established by and for the machines, not for Rams Fans. After years of plotting time travel, Soldier Sam is poised to execute his master plan. The momentum begins to tip in his favor.
But when your Starship suddenly locks Radar onto a Starship built for another NFL Team, you are able to capitalize off the crisis and rally the support of your crew around you. You have been trained to never let a good crisis go to waste, as all Starship commanders are.
Soldier Sam was right. On the big monitors toward the front of the room, Sarina could see the enormous tension cable swinging majestically free. The arc ascended. Sarina’s muscles clenched as she considered whether it would intersect and slice through the fragile hull.
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.
The station was one long circular corridor with a dozen pairs of modules projecting from its sides. Those modules were divided into “North” and “South.” The shuttle was docked at Sector 3, along the inside of the wheel. Ops was in Sector 7, on the north side of the wheel. North and South were not a completely arbitrary distinction; “east” was the direction of spin.
Venting Sector 3 North must have strained an already fatigued cable. Or one with a manufacturing flaw.
“Are there any suits in here?” Soldier Sam asked, almost casually..
Sarina looked across the deck at the emergency locker. She unclipped, took a deep breath and jumped for the locker.
Empty. The crew must have taken them when they evac’d. Let’s get off this thing while we still can!”
“The cable’s OK,” Soldier Sam said. “It’s going to wrap the hub.”
The hub could survive losing one tensioner. Maybe even two or three, if they failed in the right places around the diameter. But if they failed at the hub, rather than along the wheel, they’d cut it to ribbons as they lashed around.
Across the diameter, the screens showed a puff of debris glittering in the sunlight, particles turning like mirrors falling in slow motion. And in the mist of that shimmer of irregular confetti…
A stronger signal from Ram’s Mascots transmission.
The shock zapped through the deck under Sarina and Soldier Sam’s feet. They managed to hold on this time.
“Definitely not a drill.” Soldier Sam’s suit faded color..
“Maybe something blew up when the deck jumped?” Soldier Sam said
Sarina wished she believed that answer. But she figured something much worse was going on. “The rupture is opposite the snap. I think we’ve got a forced resonance—a critical oscillation frequency—going on.
Something like that hit Rams Stadium back on Earth once. It vibrated to pieces.
“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 Plant DIADEM! Check it out Sarina!”
Planets thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide acts as insulation, reducing the escape of heat built up at the surface, resulting in high temperatures.
“Sounds perfect for Rams Football” exclaimed Sarina.
Sarina was about to accuse Soldier Sam of mutiny for the plan he had hashed out with the Rams Fans Crew aboard the starship when the welcome interruption came.
Rams Mascot was about to launch into his description of the Planet and transmitted initial graphics of the Terrain there.
Soldier Sam then arrived with a message from all the Rams Fans aboard the Starship.
“Dear Rams Mascot” it read. “ Please take some time off and show all of us around the Planet!”
'My God!' Rams Mascot exclaimed. 'How can I be expected to get anything done and show all the Rams Fans around at the same time. Who are they?' Rams Mascot demanded an explanation from Sarina.
'I don't know” answered Sarina. They are face painted with Royal Blue and Sol colors and some of them are really stirred up about life on the Starship.. Soldier Sam and I fear they are going to break into a Riot.”
“Some of them look like the Fans we had seen on Earth. All they talk about is Football, they can’t seem to speak any other language, While all of them!” Rams Mascot continued on.
Soldier Sam was readjusting his virtual reality goggles to see for himself.
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!!”
They will feel the plane slow down and the cabin crew will prepare them for landing.
PLANET X ACTIVITY
Now, addressing this business of the Easter Island. Where does Sarina stand on the Easter Bunny? Lots of people say she makes much more of him than he deserves.
Well, to that Sarina says. Why not? He is the face that is all and all good as far as Holiday Mascots. Some might even say he stands alone. Sarina gave up trying to run her own chocolate factory as soon as she met the Easter Bunny.
The story really begins when Sarina got back to town after visiting Easter Island some months ago. She was spending a week or so there, as she generally did during the winter but had to break short the visit to come back to get a new Valet.
They sent Soldier Sam.
Sarina will always remember the morning he came. It so happened that the night before she had been present at a rather cheery little supper, and was feeling pretty rocky. On top of this she was trying to read a book the Easter Bunny had given her.
You see, the Easter Bunny was particularly interested on boosting Sarina up a bit nearer his own plane of holiday event making. She was a girl with a wonderful profile, but also steeped in serious purpose.
Sarina can't give you a better idea of the way things stood than by telling you that the book the Easter Bunny had given her given her read was called "Why I Got Egg-spelled from School," and that when Sarina opened it at random she struck a page beginning:--
The Easter Bunny was so Eggs-austed after executing the Mission he decided not cook and Hopped over to eat at his favourite restaurant, IHOP.
Perfectly true, no doubt; but not the sort of thing to spring on Sarina the morning after such a party..
Sarina was doing her best to skim through this bright little volume when the bell rang. Sarina crawled off the sofa and opened the door. A kind of tragic sort of respectful Soldier Sam was standing on the porch.
"I was sent by the agency, Sarina," Soldier Sam said. "I was given to understand that you required a valet."
Sarina would have preferred someone completely opposite of Solider Sam; but she told him to stagger in, and he floated noiselessly through the doorway. That impressed Sarina from the start. Solider Sam didn't seem to have any trouble walking at all. He just streamed in. He had a sympathetic face, as if he, too, knew what it was to party so hard the night before.
"Excuse me, Sarina," Soldier Sam said kindly.
Then he seemed to flicker, and wasn't there any longer. Sarina heard him moving about in the kitchen, and presently he came back with a glass on a tray.
"If you would drink this, Sarina," Soldier Sam said. “It is a little preparation of my own invention. A lot of people have told me they have found it extremely invigorating after a late evening."
Sarina would have clutched at anything that looked like a life-line that morning and tried it out. For a moment Sarina felt as if the drink was strolling down her throat with a lighted torch, and then everything seemed suddenly to get all right. The sun shone in through the window; birds twittered in the tree-tops; and, generally speaking, hope dawned once more.
"You're the Best!" Sarina said, as soon as she could say anything.
Sarina perceived clearly that this cove was one of the world's wonders, the sort no home should be without.
"Thank you, Sarina. My name is Solider Sam."
"You can start in at once?"
"Because I'm due over at the Easter Bunny’s Island Estate soon."
"Very good, Sarina." Solider Sam looked past her at the mantelpiece. "That is an excellent likeness of the Easter Bunny, Sarina.
Solider Sam couldn't tell Sarina anything she didn't know about the Easter Bunny.
Sarina had known the Easter Bunny ever since she was a kid, and at this point in the proceedings there was another ring at the front door. Soldier Sam shimmered out and came back with a telegram. Sarina opened it. It ran:
Return immediately. Extremely urgent. Catch first train.
The Easter Bunny
The Easter Bunny knew Sarina was going to visit the Island Estate later in the week anyway; so why the hurry call?
Something must have happened, of course; but Sarina couldn't see what on earth it could be.
"Soldier Sam," Sarina said, "We will be going down to the Easter Bunny‘s Island state presently. Can you manage it?"
"You can get your packing done and all that?" asked Sarina.
"Without any difficulty, Sarina“.
"All right, then," Sarina said.
"Yes, you can be sure of that Solider Sam said."
And then Soldier Sam went away to collect his kit, while Sarina started in again on "Why Easter Bunnies Egg-cerise to Stay in Shape" and took a stab at a chapter headed "Use the Eggs-press Lane to Prep for Easter Fast."
Most of the way down in the train that afternoon, Sarina was wondering what could be up at the other end. Sarina simply couldn't guess what happened.
Was the Easter Bunny in Trouble? He wouldn't have let anything crazy go on in his house. He wasn’t a real Party Animal He was just finishing writing a History of Easter or something, which he had been working on for several years, and didn't stir much from the library.
He was rather a good instance of the sort to in the past, throw caution to the wind and not have a care in the world. You would never have thought it to look at him now.
"Sarina, you remember asking me, when you left, to make myself pleasant to the Easter Bunny? Solider Sam asked Sarina.
"Yes, of course. Sarina replied."
The idea being, of course, that at the time Sarina was more or less dependent on the Easter Bunny so her choice of Valet Services probably wouldn’t happen without his approval. And though Sarina knew he wouldn't have any objection to Soldier Sam, Sarina didn’t want to take any chances; so she told Solider Sam to make an effort to fascinate the Easter Bunny.
"You told me it would please him particularly if I would read some of his History of Easter Books." Soldier Sam confirmed.
"Wasn't he pleased?" asked Sarina
"He was delighted. He just finished writing the thing I read nearly all of it right away. I have never had such a shock in my life, Soldier Sam commented. The book is an outrage. It is impossible. It is horrible!"
"C’mon, it couldn’t have been as bad as all that." Sarina responded.
"It is not a History of Easter at all. The Easter Bunny has written his personal perspective! He calls them 'Recollections of a Too Busy Life'!"
Sarina began to understand. As Sarina knew, the Easter Bunny had been somewhat on the rough side at times, and it began to look as if he might have turned out something that would grab the headlines if he had started recollecting his long life.
"If half of what he has written is true," said Soldier Sam, "the Easter Bunny’s time he spent year-round in years past must have been perfectly appalling. The moment I began to read he plunged straight into a most scandalous story of how he was thrown out of a music hall.
"Why?" asked Sarina
"I decline to tell you why." replied Solider Sam
It must have been something pretty bad. It must have taken a lot to make them chuck people out of music halls, said Sarina.
"The Easter Bunny specifically states he had drank a full 1.75L of Bourbon before beginning the evening," Solider Sam went on. "The book is full of stories like that.
"Oh, well, I shouldn't worry, Sarina said No publisher will print the book if it's as bad as all that."
"On the contrary, Sarina. the Easter Bunny told me that all negotiations are settled and they have agreed to send a copy out with every single Easter Egg Basket this year. It will be an immediate publication. They make a special thing of that sort of book. They published Santa’s North Pole Memories the minute he finished it.
"Well when I tell you that Santa’s North Pole Memories are simply not to be compared with the Easter Bunny’s Recollections, you will understand what I am saying. The many exploits of his best friend appear in nearly every story in the book! I am horrified at the things he did!”
"What's to be done?" asked Sarina.
"The manuscript must be intercepted before it reaches the Easter Egg Basket Distribution Center, and destroyed!"
Sarina thought this sounded rather sporting.
"How are you going to do it?" Sarina inquired.
"How can I do it, replied Solider Sam ? Didn't I tell you the parcel goes off the day before Easter? I have a pre-arranged social obligation and won’t be back until Easter Morning. You must do it. “
"What!" Sarina reacted with shock.
Solider Sam gave Sarina a look.
"Do you mean to say you refuse to help me, Sarina?"
"No; but--I say!"
"It's quite simple, Sarina"
"But even if I--What I mean is--Of course, anything I can do--but--if you know what I mean----" said Sarina
"You say you want to me to be your Valet, Sarina?"
"Yes, of course; but still----" said Sarina
"I will never be your valet if those Recollections are published."
"But, Soldier Sam!" said Sarina
"I mean it. You may look on it as a test, Sarina. If you have the resource and courage to carry this thing through, I will take it as evidence that you are the real deal. If you don‘t do it, I will know that the agency was right when they advised me strongly not to be your valet.
It will be perfectly simple for you to intercept the manuscript, Sarina. It only requires a little resolution."
"But suppose the Easter Bunny catches me at it? He'd cut me off!." Sarina replied.
"If you care more for the Easter Bunny than for me, Sarina----"
"No, no! Rather not!" said Sarina
"Very well, then. The parcel containing the manuscript will, of course, be placed on the hall table for the delivery guy to take to the Easter Egg Basket Distribution Center. All you have to do is to take it away and destroy it. Then the Easter Bunny will think it has been lost in the post."
It sounded like a questionable plan to Sarina.
"Hasn't he got a copy of it?" Sarina asked.
"No; it has not been typed, said Solider Sam. “He is sending the manuscript just as he wrote it."
"But he could write it over again." Sarina responded.
"As if he would have the energy!" Soldier Sam said.
"But----" Sarina hesitated.
"If you are going to do nothing but make ridiculous objections, Sarina----"
"I was only pointing things out." Sarina said
"Well, don't! Once and for all, will you do me this quite simple act of kindness?" asked Soldier Sam.
The way he put it gave Sarina an idea.
"Why don’t you do it, Solider Sam? Keep it a Valet type of thing, kind of, don't you know."
The idea didn't seem to strike Soldier Sam.
"I will do nothing of the kind, Sarina. I wonder you can't appreciate the compliment I am paying you--trusting you like this."
"Oh, I see that all right, but what I mean is, You would do it so much better than I would, Solider Sam. It’s clear by now that you are up to all sorts of dodges, good at taking cover and what not.
"Sarina, will you or will you not do this perfectly simple thing for me? If not, say so now, and let us end this business of pretending that you give a flying fuck about me."
"Oh, all right," Sarina said. "All right! All right! All right!"
“We need to save Rams Mascot, we are traveling to the moon with adversaries in our path, we need your help understanding what is going on!” said Sarina.
It looked up at Sarina and Soldier Sam and began speaking: “Well, we all used to live on the moon.
One day, one of our leaders wanted to take over Rams Planet, but this created conflict. The fight lasted for millenniums until the planet could no longer handle it anymore.
It would be difficult to describe the bond Sarina and Solider Sam felt that was here established on the seas. No one said that it was so. No one mentioned it. But it dwelt in the boat, and they both realised it.
Sarina and Solider Sam were friends, friends in a more curiously iron-bound degree than may be common.
It was more than a mere recognition of what was best for the common safety. There was surely in it a quality that was personal and heartfelt. And after this devotion to Sarina there was this comradeship that Solider Sam, for instance, who had been taught to be cynical of men, knew even at such a time this moment was the best experience of his life.
But no one said that it was so. No one mentioned it.
"I wish we had a sail," remarked Sarina. "We might try my overcoat on the end of an oar and give you a chance to rest, Soldier Sam."
So Soldier Sam held the mast and spread wide the overcoat and the little boat made good way with the new rig. Sometimes Soldier Sam had to scull sharply to keep the sea from breaking into the boat, but otherwise sailing was a success.
Meanwhile the lighthouse had been growing slowly larger. It had now almost assumed colour, and appeared like a little grey shadow on the sky.
Soldier Sam at the oars could not be prevented from turning his head rather often to try for a glimpse of this little grey shadow.
At last, from the top of each wave the partners in the tossing boat could see land. Even as the lighthouse was an upright shadow on the sky, this land seemed but a long black shadow on the sea. It certainly was thinner than paper.
"Sarina, by the way, I believe they abandoned that life-saving station there a time ago.” Soldier Sam was not very optimistic.
"Did they?" asked Sarina.
The wind slowly went away. Soldier Sam was now obliged to hold high the oar. But the waves continued their old tough swooping at the dingey, and the little craft, no longer under way, struggled over them.
Shipwrecks are their own animal. If only we could train for them and have them occur when we had reached peak condition, there would be less disasters at sea.
Neither Sarina or Soldier Sam had slept any time worth mentioning for previous to embarking in the dingey, and in the excitement of clambering about the deck of a foundering ship they had also forgotten to eat heartily.
For these reasons, and for others, Soldier Sam was not fond of rowing at this time.
Sarina wondered how in the name of all that was holy could there be people who thought it amusing to row a boat.
It was not an amusement; it was punishing, and even someone who could convince themselves of anything could never conclude that it was anything but a slap in the face to the muscles and a crime against the Spirit.
Sarina mentioned to the boat in general how not the amusement of rowing struck her, and the weary-faced Soldier Sam smiled in full sympathy.
Previously to the foundering, by the way, Soldier Sam had worked double-watch in the engine-room of the ship.
"Take it easy, now, Soldier Sam." said Sarina.
"Don't spend yourself. If we have to run a surf you'll need all your strength, because we'll sure have to swim for it. Take your time."
Slowly the land arose from the sea. From a black line it became a line of black and a line of white, trees and sand.
Finally, Sarina said she could make out a house on the shore.
"That's the house of refuge, for sure," said Soldier Sam. "They'll see us before long, and come out after us."
The distant lighthouse reared high.
"The keeper ought to be able to make us out now, if he's looking through a glass," said Sarina. "He'll notify the life-saving people."
"No other boat could have got ashore to give word of the wreck," said Soldier Sam in a low voice. "Else the lifeboat would be out hunting us."
Slowly and beautifully the land loomed out of the sea. The wind came again. It had veered from the NE to the SE. Finally, a new sound struck the ears of Sarina and Solider Sam in the boat. It was the low thunder of the surf on the shore.
"We'll never be able to make the lighthouse now," said Sarina. "Swing the head a little more north, Soldier Sam.”
"'You got it. A little more north,' Sarina," said Soldier Sam.
Whereupon the little boat turned its nose once more down the wind, and they both watched the shore grow. Under the influence of this expansion, doubt and apprehension were leaving Sarina and Soldier Sam.
The management of the boat was still most absorbing, but it could not prevent a quiet cheerfulness. Soon, perhaps, they would be ashore. And soon they will for sure be able to celebrate Sarina’s Birthday like they had been looking forward to the whole year. From the day after her Birthday last year.
Their muscles had become thoroughly used to balancing in the boat, and they now rode this Wild Bronx Bronco of a dingey like pros.
Soldier Sam thought that he had been drenched to the skin, but happening to feel in the top pocket of his coat, he found a pack of cigarettes!!
Half of them were soaked with sea-water; and the other half were perfectly scathless.
After a search, Sarina produced some dry matches, and thereupon the partners rode strong in their little boat, and with an assurance of an impending rescue shining in their eyes, puffed on the smokes and judged the good and bad of all humankind.
Sarina and Solider Sam both took a drink of Scotch that they had in store for the Big Celebration ahead. Like the Magic Island, Sarina’s Birthday was getting closer and closer!!
The Starship rushed fast through the air without a bump or a jolt, when all of a sudden bad weather overtook Sarina and Soldier Sam. The Starship began to swing from side to side
MOON ADVENTURE ACTIVITY
“Let’s go to Burger King!“ Solider Sam approached the car. “Wow, what a beauty.”
Sarina turned to look at Soldier Sam. “I beg your pardon?”
“I said she’s a beauty.”
“The car. You were talking about the car.”
“Yeah, right“.. Sarina was checking out the car’s sleek curves.
“It’s the latest thing.” Solider Sam said starting on a litany of the car’s greatest features.
Sarina held up a hand. “I know all about cars.
“Well, why don’t you get in. Get the feel of it.”
Sarina slid into the drivers seat, She touched the gear shift
“It’s got a Radio.” Solider Sam’s voice interrupted her..
She touched the steering wheel, thinking about the future. Road trips. Its always such an adventure out there, just waiting for me thought Sarina.
Solider Sam smiled, and held up the car’s key. “Road trip?”
The traffic moved forward a couple of feet and the people behind them are honking. You should keep up with the others, Solider Sam says.
If this is such a smart car, Sarina replied, it can damn well drive itself.
Traffic starts to move again around them, but they're stuck now behind the vehicle. There's a lot of honking and fender crunches as cars try to squeeze around them.
The dashboard is making binging and bonging noises to go with the flashing lights. Can't you turn that damned thing off? Sarina asks.
Solider Sam fumbles with the buttons and dials on the instrumentation panel and sets off a wailing alarm.
What was that? Sarina exclaimed.
It's probably just the virtual reality feature, Solider Sam says calmly, something happening on our windshield that we can't see because of the sunlight.
With sound effects? Shock waves? Sarina is still concerned.
It's a very smart car, Solider Sam reminds her.
I just want to get to Burger King for a Double Whopper with Cheese!” Sarina complains.
The special feature gizmo on the dashboard showing what lies ahead has gone dark.
Perhaps they've lost reception. But then there are sirens around them either from outside the car or inside the dashboard.
There's a kind of whooshing bump—FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS! Sarina shouts—and the temperature drops and sky darkens and they are all alone on an empty highway.
Sarina turns on the windshield wipers, turns them off, turns on the headlamps.
Why is it so dark out? Sairna asks.
Probably a different time zone, Solider Sam says with a shrug.
I wish I knew where we are, complains Sarina as they race along,
The special satellite feature on the dashboard is working again, but it seems to be stuck back in the other time zone, where it's still sunny.
Now turn on your interior lights, Sarina and I'll show you how to get the video phone going. Also I'll see you better with the lights on.
Maybe it would help if you could turn off the virtual reality on the windshield, Sarina.
It's not like the dashboard feature, Sarina. It only shows what's around you that you can't see because of the dark, things like road signs, billboards, other stuff
Actually, with the full moon out, I can see most of those things anyway, Sarina says, now I can read the signs.
We're passing one now. It says Burger King!
Look at the screen on the dashboard, Sarina. It's right here!
The special satellite feature already has the menu right in front of them.
Whoa! Sarina says
Everything in between them and Burger King is suddenly contested airspace.
Overhead, bombers and cargo planes, fired upon by booming anti-aircraft batteries, are flying through searchlight beams and exploding shells, dropping bombs and parachutists.
Let go of the wheel, Sarina! Soldier shouts, his urgency making him sound more like a drill sergeant.
The virtual reality feature will drive you out of this!
On the ground, heavy artillery is shelling the tanks and armoured cars rolling through the ruins of the filling stations and restaurants.
And keep your foot off the brake, Sarina!
They are surrounded by waves of troops attacking one another with grenade and rocket launchers, flamethrowers, submachine guns, missiles. Fighter jets strafe the battling troops, water bursts from bombed mains, and balls of fire roll into the air.
The car bounces across blasted parking lots, races past exploding gas pumps, dodges the tumbling debris and the low-flying jets, then drops down into a ditch, weaves through a thick forest, splashes across a river, climbs a bank, wheels spinning in the mud, and lands finally on a darkened highway.
Where are we? Sarina complains.
Uh oh. More changes happening here, Watch the wheel, Sarina! Just keep going straight ahead!
Solider Sam turns the virtual reality feature off and turns the music on from the radio, noticing how silent the night is.
As if simply by magic, the road was empty. No other cars or lights.
At least we're going the right direction, Solider Sam says cheerfully.
They cross into the sunshine and soon they are driving through light traffic down the sunny highway, heading for Burger King with their favorite song on the radio as they roll along.
Sarina starts Singing. “Better than what is coming from the radio, says Solider Sam. Although you kinda need the backbeat.”
Everything is familiar now, and so, being familiar, passes without notice. “I know where we are now” says Sarina.
We went for a ride in the car, Sarina” Solider Sam recaps the drive. “Things happened. Now we’re at Burger King so the real adventure is just starting.”
RAMS PLANET LANDING
The Starship rushed fast through the air without a bump or a jolt, when all of a sudden bad weather overtook Sarina and Soldier Sam. The Starship began to swing from side to side
The chairman wondered what the hell was going on, and he decided to look into the matter himself. It was paramount that he seek out a decent vantage point, so he left the officers to their own business and went to check out the wireless communications unit. We were making our way quickly with a zig here and a zig there as we beat out a path to the next destination, keeping a distance from the flanking fleet.
Despite the fact that the signals were being shielded from forces on the Mainland, they had somehow spotted us, and the shelling began again in earnest. An hour passed and then the barrage stopped as suddenly as it had started. It seemed like a peaceful silence to the officers, they gave the signal to advance and the chairman jumped up like there would be a real opportunity for some significant gains.
The view we had achieved from our new position was not as good as the officers had hoped. We spotted one of the islands with a fresh mountain range that was unexpected and the officers scrambled to verify our new vantage point on the maps. Reconnaissance had reported an unidentified group of spectators on a high plateau and they appeared as if little ants scurrying around, but we had no idea what their intentions were or if they were packing a punch.
So were descended into another proverbial valley as far as intelligence was concerned, and the chairman decided to set up a new headquarters where the officers could be tuned into the wireless to establish communications with our flank. Maybe they could be of some assistance. The time passed quickly, and the first reports coming in from the companies were somewhat contradictory and a little bit obscure. Even though they were close to the island, they had not as of yet encountered any resistance but were establishing a solid line of defence anyway.
During the ensuing hours, activity on the island appeared to the officers as chiefly single, disjointed actions, without any real coordination, but it quickly became apparent that a surprise was going to be in order. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the group appeared to be in an organizational mode, so we had to become prepared for another onslaught. A scouting party has achieved some success in determining exactly what types of forces were present and they quickly relayed their concerns as they advanced slowly to get an even better perspective.
Bad news would come next from the officers in communication with the scout team from the flanking fleets. They indicated that they had found themselves in an unfavourable position among elements from the Mainland that had taken up quarters in our immediate vicinity, so the chairman took it upon himself to find out first-hand what sort of contingencies were anticipated by the officers. After briefly examining the must recent reconnaissance intelligence, the chairman decided that a offensive show of strength would be warranted in this case. The position of our company was hardly satisfactory.
We quickly became underpinned by initial fire from the Mainland forces, and wasted little time in getting undercover, since we had no great direct view of their positions and our ears rang in response to a huge explosion just off the mark of our position. The chairman advised the reconnaissance team to advance using caution and following on these orders, they achieved a measure of success. When they scanned the terrain, they spotted what looked like an observation post, so the chairman agreed that this would be a suitable initial target, something to get us going and fire at.
Once we engaged, the sudden attenuation of activity directed towards us from the island seemed like a great blessing. The chairman had been irritated that it took the officers so long to positively identify a key position on the island because it had halted our advance and pinned us down, but the thought of actually being hit did not occur in the minds of the officers. They had been in situations like this before and even while their stomachs crawled regularly, most were readily accustomed to this physical phenomenon. We were certainly in a spot.
The fleets to our flank were tasked with the most dangerous task for our company in this case, the destruction of the coastal battery that was now clearly preparing for another round of action. The chairman had little time to prepare for this contingency and he was given carte blanche from the Oceana authorities since a positive advance against the Mainland forces would be a good bargaining chip in their political negotiations. The conditions were quite similar that that faced by another company in previous months.
The officers observed that it would be lucky for the chairman to not subsequently be subject to a review by the Oceana authorities about the details of the operation. His knowledge of the vicinity, gained by the study of maps and photographs taken by the drones, enabled him to positively identify the spot on the island that would serve as the target. On reaching the range of the target, the officers encountered a state and condition of affairs that might well have quieted even a strong and robust heart.
We halted often enough to make sure they were advancing correctly given the light conditions provided by the moon, and we thankfully slipped by a patrol that had come from the Mainland. The operators of the drone had hardly joined the company when the chairman gave the order for the gaps in the island forces to be blown. The success signal was relayed within an hour, right before the second drone was set to arrive. Filled with pride that an action in the interests of Oceana was complete, the officers felt that, even while a tradition of excellence had not yet been established by Oceana in this theatre, they were instrumental in an effort to create one that could have lasting effects.
Both of Sarina and Soldier Sam’s eyes opened wide.
“Sarina! That must be what happened to Rams Mascot! He must’ve seen the same guy that grabbed Rams Mascot so they took him out before he could tell anyone.” Soldier Sam exclaimed.
“Yes, that sounds about right, and if we don’t get to Rams Planet right now, we could be next.” concluded Sarina.
Sarina suddenly looked up at the Scoreboard at Rams Stadium, her problem was still unsolved, and there was in the air that sense of Pre Game Hype before the Rams Game, which is so essential to life.
The Rams Scoreboard had a rough start to the year, but still it threw out a deep Royal Blue/Sol glow. As Sarina looked up it started booming in spite of the season’s difficulties.
There on the 50 Yard Line sat Rams Mascot, steadily stealing a glance at Sarina’s eyes. He made a motion to it as though to hunt it away, but it did not stir.
Then Sarina made the motion of throwing something. Still Rams Mascot did not stir, but showed its Tough Guy Colors, and his eyes shone in the Stadium lights with an added effect.
Sarina felt amazed, and seizing the First Down Marker Chains, ran onto the field. But before she could reach the 50 Yard Line, the Mascot let out with a rally cry to the crowd, took a couple of steps jumping and running up the rope, the Marine Corps Climbing Rope that Soldier Sam had stolen from a nearby Boot Camp.
At the top of the training rope was the Rams Scoreboard with an Alarm Bell affixed to the bottom of the scoreboard at the top of the climbing rope.
It was not quite visible to all the Rams Fans that day since their eyes were strictly fixed on the Rams Scoreboard Lights, and there was darkness beyond the range of the digital spectacle. Instantly, the noisy scampering of the football players on the field began again.
All at once Sarina stopped, as on previous game days being overcome by a sudden sense of excitement. Sarina had been given the responsibility of controlling the Scoreboard Display Content on her Smart Phone from her position on the field.
Sarina remembered the occurrence at the First Rams Game this Season, when Soldier Sam had locked himself in the control room and highjacked the Scoreboard Display. To be sure, Sarina was not going to let that happen on this day.
There, right smack dab on the 50 yard line sat Rams Mascot, clearly to be full of mischief for this game.
Instinctively Sarina took the nearest thing to her hand, the official game day football, and flung it at Rams Mascot. The football was not quite aimed right and Rams Mascot did not stir, so again the shot of the First Down Marker was repeated against at Rams Mascot, and being closely pursued, fled up the climbing rope of the Alarm Bell stationed on the bottom of the scoreboard.
Strangely too, the departure of Rams Mascot up the rope was instantly followed by the renewal of the noise made by the football players, as the Kick Off was drawing near.
On this occasion, as on the previous one, Sarina could not see into which part of the Scoreboard Rams Mascot disappeared, for her Smart Phone needed all of the Pixels in each compartment to Display her content to the tens of thousands of fans in Rams Stadium that day.
Could Rams Mascot have the intent to Sabotage the Scoreboard this Game? Only time would tell.
On looking at her watch Sarina found it was close to gametime; so she lit up the Scoreboard and made herself a glass of Bourbon, as was her custom to make it through the game. Sarina had got through a good spell of work, and thought herself entitled to a bit of liquor; and so she sat on the bench at the side of the field and enjoyed it.
While drinking, Sarina began to think that she would like to know where Rams Mascot disappeared to, for she had certain ideas not entirely disconnected with a Rams Mascot Trap.
Accordingly Sarina lit up several parts to the Scoreboard to play Feature Presentations she had composed over this past week placing it so it would shine well into the view of all the Rams Fans.
Then Sarina got all the footballs in her vicinity and placed them handy to throw at Rams Mascot. Finally, Sarina lifted the rope of the Alarm Bell and placed the end of it on the 50 Yard Line Stage.
'You could inform the entire State of California of an important event, one much greater than a football game,' Sarina thought to herself. When her preparations were made she looked around, and said to Soldier Sam:
'There now, my friend, I think we shall learn something of you this time!' Sarina began her work again, and though as before somewhat disturbed at first by the noise of the football players, soon lost herself in her propositions and problems.
Again Sarina was called to her immediate surroundings suddenly. This time it might not have been the sudden silence only which took her attention; there was a slight movement of the rope, and the Scoreboard Lights moved.
Without hesitation, Sarina looked to see if her pile of footballs was within range, and then cast her eye along the climbing rope. As Sarina looked she saw Rams Mascot drop from the rope on the 50 yard line stage and look at her like as if to challenge.
Sarina raised a football in her hand, and taking careful aim, fired it at Rams Mascot who, with a quick movement, sprang aside and dodged the missile.
Sarina then took another football, and a third, and fired them one after another at Rams Mascot, but each time unsuccessfully. At last, as Sarina stood with a football poised in her hand to throw, Rams Mascot had given up his defenses.
This made Sarina more than ever eager to strike, and the football flew and struck the Rams Mascot with a resounding blow. He gave a shout out of surprise and turning away from his pursuer, ran up the steps to the 50 Yard Line Stage and made a great jump to the rope of the Alarm Bell and ran up it like lightning.
The Scoreboard Foundation rocked under the sudden strain, but it secured strongly and did not topple over since it had been engineered so solidly.. Sarina kept her eyes on Rams Mascot, and saw him leap into the structure and disappear through a hole in one of the great sections of the Display Marvel, making himself obscured and invisible to the world.
Sarina turned herself towards Soldier Sam, who was looking forward to the Rams Game too.
'Soldier Sam, I shall with pleasure answer you any question you may choose to ask me if you will answer me one question first.' said Sarina
Solider Sam seemed surprised, but he smiled and answered at once, 'Done! What is it?'
'Did My Bronx Friends ask you to come here and see me and advise me?'
Soldier Sam for a moment was taken aback, and Sarina’s Friends got Hot and turned away; but Soldier Sam was a frank and ready figure, and he answered at once and openly.
'Your Bronx Friends did: but didn't intend you to know it. I suppose it was certain parts of my actions that made you suspect.
Your Bronx Friends told me they did not like the idea of your being in LA all by yourself, and that they also thought you were getting too attached to your bottles of Bourbon.
In fact, your Bronx Friends want me to advise you if possible to give up the Bourbon and the very late hours. I was quite the party goer in my time, so I suppose I may take the liberty and without offense, advise you not quite as a stranger.'
Sarina with a bright smile held out her hand. 'Fo’ Sure as I always say,' Sarina said. 'I must thank you for your kindness and My Bronx Friends too, and your kindness deserves a return on my part. I promise to take no more strong Bourbon at Rams Games—no Bourbon at all till you let me—and I will not stay up so late at night. Will that do?'
'Fantastic,' responded Soldier Sam. 'Now tell us all that you have noticed in LA so far,' and so Sarina then and there told in minute detail all that had happened lately.
Sarina was interrupted every now and then by some exclamation from her Bronx Friends, till finally when she told of the episode of going to the Dodgers Games.
Sarina’s Bronx Friends pent-up frustrations found vent in expressed shock; and it was not till a stiff glass of Bourbon had been administered that Sarina grew composed again.
Soldier Sam listened with a face of growing interest, and when the narrative was complete and Sarina’s Bronx Friends had been restored he asked:
'The Rams Mascot always went up the climbing rope of the Alarm Bell?'
'Always Every Game.', replied Sarina.
'I suppose you know,' said Soldier Sam after a pause, 'what the rope is?'
'No, I don’t know about the details of it', answered Sarina.
'It is,' said Soldier Sam slowly, 'the very rope Rams Mascot used in Boot Camp at the nearby Training Base. I recently acquired the rope via theft when I went on an excursion there.
Here Soldier Sam was interrupted by another scream from Sarina’s Bronx Friends and steps had to be taken for her recovery. Sarina having looked at her watch, and found that it was close to Game Time and readied herself.
When Sarina’s Bronx Friends regained their composure they almost assailed Soldier Sam with very pointed questions as to what he meant by putting such stories into Sarina’s head. 'Sarina has quite enough there already to upset her,' they added.
Soldier Sam replied:
'My Dear Bronx Friends, I had a distinct purpose in it! I wanted to draw Sarina’s attention to the Alarm Bell Rope, and to fix it there. It may be that she is in a highly distraught state, and has been Reporting on the Team too much, although I am bound to say that she seems as sound and healthy a woman, in strength and spirit, as ever I saw.”
But then the football players—and that suggestion of the devil.' Soldier Sam looked down at the ground and went on. 'I would have offered to go everywhere with her, but that I felt sure it would have been a cause of offence, to the Team. Not that I really care about offending them, it’s more like disinterest. Except for Game Days, of course.” Soldier Sam added.
Sarina may get into some strange fright and if she does I want her to pull that rope and ring the alarm bell, so we can rescue her,” Soldier Sam explained.
All alone as Sarina is it will give us warning at the base, and we may reach her in time to be of service. I plan to be sitting up pretty attentive during all team activities and will always keep my ears open. Do not be alarmed if the National Guard issues a strong response before morning.'
'Oh, Soldier Sam, what do you mean? What do you mean?' Sarina asked.
'I mean this; that possibly—actually more probably—we shall hear the great alarm bell from Rams Stadium tonight,' and Soldier Sam made about as effective an exit as could be thought of to head for the concession stands before the game got started.
Sarina had all the Rams Games worked out in her Reporters Notebook all right, and then her attention began to wander from Football.
The actual circumstances around Sarina, the calls on her attention, and her susceptibility as a result of her perfection were not to be denied. By this time the crowd noise had become much louder, and was about to reach a fever pitch.
Rams Stadium, solid though it was, seemed to shake to its foundations, and the crowd of fans roared and raged through its many concourse levels, private luxury boxes, up and down every corridor, spilling into the massive overflow sections in Hollywood Park and indeed all over LA and the State of California.
Even the Great Alarm Bell on the Scoreboard must have felt the force of the raucous, for the rope rose and fell slightly, as though the bell were moved a little from time to time still without sound and the climbing rope fell on the 50 Yard Line with room to spare. There needed to be a bit of slack in the rope, as Soldier Sam had designed it, for reasons we will see soon enough.
As Sarina worked the Scoreboard Content masterfully, she bethought herself of Soldier Sam’s words, 'It is the rope which Marines used in Bootcamp and she went over to the rope to take a look at it. Her hand touched the knot at the bottom of it, a knot that could not be broken by most Marines..
There seemed a sort of strong interest in it, and as Sarina stood there she lost herself for a moment in speculation as to just who these Marines were, and all of Soldier Sam’s stories of their exploits.
As Sarina stood there the swaying of the bell on the Scoreboard still lifted the rope now and again; but presently there came a new sensation—a sort of tremor in the rope, as though something was moving along it.
Looking up instinctively, Sarina saw Rams Mascot speeding down towards her, glaring at him steadily. He dropped the rope and started back with a muttered curse, and then to Sarina’s surprise, Rams Mascot turning ran up the rope again and disappeared, and at the same instant Sarina became conscious that the noise of the football players, which had ceased for a while, began again.
All this set Sarina conviction, and it occurred to her that she had not investigated Ram Mascot’s Trophy Case or looked at the Super Bowl Rings, as she had intended. But she had some clips of them to put on the Scoreboard to complement the content she had created for the game—a Super Bowl Highlights Video sequence named, appropriately, “The Chase for a Ring: Everyone’s Dream, but Especially Me!”
Sarina lit up the Scoreboard without shade, and, holding it up strong with her Smart Phone, noted that a section had went blank and the Video was not rolling across the screen as she had designed.
“Damn that Rams Mascot!!” Sarina turned to Soldier Sam. But Soldier Sam was not there. Where was Soldier Sam?
Soldier Sam had a diversion on the way to that concession stand. He went on an excursion to Rams Mascot’s Trophy Case and stood in front of the Super Bowl Ring Section. Soldier Sam had disappeared from that field for a reason. He had a destination for what he was about to steal.
At the first glance he started back so suddenly that he almost dropped his baseball bat, it was quite a sight. The most important Super Bowl Ring in the Entire World, and a look of extreme motivation overspread his face. His knees felt weak—he would need them for what he was about to do, and because of this, his Heart trembled like the grounds of an Earthquake.
But Soldier Sam knew what his mission was that day, if not anything else was known to him in the world so he pulled himself together, and after the pause of a few seconds stepped into his swing, raised the bat, and struck through the reinforced barrier, and examined the Super Bowl Rings in front of him and one now stood out clearly.
It wasn’t just a moment of coincidence that made Sarina’s Smart Phone controlling the Scoreboard fall from hand at that very instance, that same moment in time.
Then Sarina saw Rams Mascot fly down the rope, and noted the sudden cessation of the noise of the football players. However, Sarina pulled herself together, and went on with her examination of all the video content she had at her disposal.
With a feeling of something like destiny, Sarina recognised the scene of Rams Stadium as it stood, and gazed around her in an awestruck manner as though she expected to find some powerful presence there that day.
There, at the 50 Yard Line, with the climbing rope hanging behind, sat Rams Mascot, and save for the shouts of the Rams Fans, without there was silence.
Another bottle of Bourbon recalled Sarina to herself. Fortunately it was unopened so the liquor had not been spilt as a result of all the commotion. However, the practical need of attending to it settled at once her apprehensions. When she had reached the bottom, in a matter of minutes, Sarina tried to pick herself up off the floor and thought for a moment.
'This will not do,' Sarina said to herself. 'If I go on like this I shall become a crazy fool. This must stop! I promised Soldier Sam I would not drink the entire bottle of Bourbon..
Soldier Sam was pretty right about me not being able to put down the bottle of Bourbon! My nerves must have been getting into quite a state. Funny I did not notice it. I never felt better in my life. However, it is all right now, and I shall not be such a fool again.'
Then Sarina poured herself just one more good stiff glass of Bourbon and resolutely prepared to ready her Reporting Notebook for the game, which was about to start!
Sarina listened and watched attentively, and presently heard swift whistle noise at the the 50 Yard Line where the climbing rope hung down, and she thought it was the smashing of rope on the floor as the swaying of the bell raised and lowered it.
But it was in fact the Kick off to the Rams Game. Sarina felt for a moment another moment of panic as she thought that now the possibility of calling the outer world to her assistance was cut off, but an intense motion took its place, and seizing the football hurled it at Rams Mascot.
The blow was well aimed, but before the missile could reach him Rams Mascot dropped off and struck the floor with a soft thud.
Sarina instantly rushed over towards Rams Mascot but it darted away and disappeared in the darkness of the shadows of Rams Stadium. Sarina felt that her work was over for the night, and determined then and there to order Rams Stadium Security to put on a hunt for Rams Mascot.
From where she stood, Sarina looked up to the Scoreboard and saw all the evidence of sabotage she needed to put the Rams Mascot away for good. All of Sarina’s football video content was erased.
There was only on the screen fixed into place, a picture of her and Rams Mascot, alongside two Super Bowl Rings. All across the other portions of the Scoreboard were nothing but Flying Hearts.
Sarina rubbed her eyes in surprise, and then a great wave began to come upon her.
Sarina almost in a daze turned slowly round, and then her strength of resolve seemed to have left her and she was incapable of action or movement, hardly even of thought.
There, on the great 50 Yard Line, stood Soldier Sam, with a smile of triumph on his resolute face as he lifted up with his hands a great weight..
Sarina felt as if the blood was running from her heart, as one does in moments of prolonged suspense. There was a ringing in her ears from the roar and howl of the crowd, and through it, swept on the storm, the moment in Time Soldier Sam had hit the Turf, sliding down the rope.
Sarina stood for a space of time that seemed to her endless still as the Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy, and with wide-open eyes, breathless. As the kick off struck, so the smile of triumph on Soldier Sam face intensified, and he picked up the piece of the rope of the Alarm Bell which lay on the floor, drew it through his hands and then deliberately began to fasten the Super Bowl Ring to the end of it.
Sarina tried to think of what she should do. There was some triumph in Soldier Sam’s eyes, which he never took off Sarina. It was far and away beyond his capability.
Activities such as these had went on for many times, Soldier Sam seeming never discouraged nor discomposed at failure, but playing as if her owned the game.. At last in despair, which had reached its climax, Sarina cast a quick glance round her.
Sarina walked over and placed herself standing at the 50 yard line, and stepping up beside him, put her hand up and caught the end of the swaying rope of the alarm bell.
As Soldier Sam raised his hand the football players fled in fright, and disappeared through the tunnel out of the playing field. Taking the end of the rope, where the Super Bowl Ring was now in Sarina’s hand he suggested she take control of the Alarm Bell rope and show all the amateurs there that day how professionals take care of business.
When the Alarm Bell of Rams Stadium began to sound the crowd soon assembled with excitement, and Sarina, as always, became the Star of the Show!