On his way out of the bar, Soldier Sam hesitated beside another one down the street, but was too excited about meeting Sarina at Cupids Office to get another drink. Then he paused, and heard his name being called. It sounded like Cupid’s voice.
"Oh, yeah, I’m coming back to your office right now," Soldier Sam promised.
"Before the internet it was very difficult to come up with Ideas for a great time on Valentines Day” Sarina explained. “Cupid would be shooting from the hip and needing an idea for a Valentines Day Activity in a split second.
“Yeah, Now it's an easy job” added Soldier Sam. “ Anyone can find a date idea and present it to Cupid. That’s one of the reasons why they are all such bad ideas. They got Directors that think they have come up with a decent scene and call it a show! What do they know?"
'I don't know what a girl like me is doing out here anyhow,' said Sarina.
Soldier Sam could have supplied the answer, but he wasn’t sure if he should. “Do you really want me to do this, Sarina?”
'It's a funny business, remarked Sarina.
'Funny!' responded Soldier Sam., 'It's confusing! Here against my better judgement I write just what you tell me to make our Valentines Day Activity be approved--and Cupid tells me to get out because we can't seem to agree on what would be the best way to present it.'
'That's an interesting take on it,' remarked Cupid. 'What do you want me to do, Soldier Sam-- knock you down?'
Cupid checked to see if his arrows were still there.
'Try it!' Soldier Sam suggested. 'You probably couldn’t Cupid, I’ve got a few more pounds on me than most' He hesitated and said honestly. 'I mean extra junk on me that I should work off. I never go to the gym.'
"You’ve only got several days to come up with a Valentine’s Day Activity I can endorse," said Cupid, "--but this is only a deal if your Valentine is for Sarina, of course."
"Don’t even believe for a moment that my target is anything other than Sarina!" Soldier Sam affirmed. "My idea won’t be any crazy stuff either. I've only got this one chance with Sarina and she knows it."
"Well all right then. You have an audience here with me, and if anything you can do is a good idea, I’ll let you know." Cupid said.
"But don’t put Soldier Sam under this much pressure to make a decision. I’m sure he will try his best to come up with a spectacular plan" insisted Sarina.
"We're not asking you to invent a miracle, Soldier Sam. If you want you can think it over for a bit. Then get back to me." Cupid conceded.
Soldier Sam felt a little better with this kind of moment to get a plan together.
"Oh, I'll definitely be happy with Soldier Sam’s Valentines Day Concept," Sarina said quickly. "Soldier Sam will for sure be able to dig up a good plan on the internet. There are a lot of examples my contemporaries have cited over the years.
“Yeah, I’ll make up something special and I'll convince you if it can work or not." Soldier Sam was grateful that Sarina didn’t mind if he recycled a plan he could find in his research.
Cupid checked to make sure he had enough arrows for Valentines Day and wrote something on a Orange Heart-Shaped piece of paper.
"All right, Soldier Sam. Run into your office and hop on the computer. It shouldn’t take you that long" suggested Cupid.
Soldier Sam only had to sit on the computer for bit before he uncovered an idea. He printed something out on paper and rushed to tell Sarina about it before he presented the plan to Cupid
Look, Sarina. We can Invent a new drink and name it something that belongs to only us” Soldier Sam was excited.
Yeah, perfect” responded Sarina, “We can Have fun mixing and testing new ideas to invent something unique that appeals to both of us. You don’t have to splash out we’ll just get the ingredients we can and go from there.”
Cupid overheard their discussion. “What can you guys handle? Any of the strong stuff? Can you invent something new using bourbon and give it a name? If you can, then this drink now belongs to you both!” That’s a great idea” decided Cupid.
Sarina started to wonder if other people had done this same thing for Valentines and their inventions were listed somewhere. Surely they would be able to come up with an original name once they had both Sampled a few.
Soldier Sam made his way around Cupid’s desk and poured out his heart. He had been waiting for an opportunity just like this to show Sarina he was worthwhile in life
Soldier Sam put the icing on the cake. "Thanks Cupid, at first you seemed like you we’re not going to approve the activity, but now you have generously agreed to let me and Sarina play a game like that on Valentines Day. I'm so thankful you did"
"There you are," said Sarina triumphantly. Soldier Sam we just punched our ticket to a great 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.
Rams Mascots tough standards taught Soldier Sam a lesson. Soldier Sam knew, at last, that it was a good instinct to fall in love with flying to the Moon. It was great training for the mission that was to follow. It was perfectly normal for Soldier Sam to feel challenged to his limits by Rams Mascots instructions every night, even if they must exist in entirely different realities — Instructor Rams Mascot and trainee Soldier Sam, It was perfectly good that Rams Mascot came to appreciate Soldier Sam’s dedication to the mission.
The Chairman thought to himself for a minute that it could be the officers were initially attracted to the combat environment, and it was not only the combat environment that developed the character of the officers. Maybe it makes no difference because the end result is the same. At first the officers had to spend months and months on reconnaissance patrols around the Mainland in the island regions that were being used as base camps and supply centre depots. The experienced officers were not accustomed to spraying fire immediately after the identification of Mainland forces. They had been trained to wait as to conserve supplies that may not be replaced anytime in the near future.
Many skill sets must be in the training tool box-- “Engineering” provides power to the other bridge positions. “Helm” maneuvers the ship. “Weapons” prepares and fires torpedoes at the enemy. “Sensors,” “Shields,” and “Tractor Beam” have duties as well. One player acts as captain, charged with making sense of the great mess that develops against another team of players on a similar enemy ship.
The chairman thought that a sound derivation of an organised structure was paramount to achieving consistent and reliable delivery of supplies and other route infrastructure, but the officers were just concerned about actually making it back to the terminal in one piece. The point upon which the chairman was most emphatic concerned the distribution system of supplying route infrastructure needed new policy, since HQs policy had established that market should dictate the basic returns of prior officer summits in which supply routes were deemed to be to be in the operational interests.
LAST DAY ON EARTH ACTIVITY
All the Women at the Office are excited about their Valentine Gifts, but Sarina is not expecting anything exciting from Solider Sam.
Sarina braced herself as she stepped into the office on Valentine’s Day. She glanced round to check; it hadn’t started yet. Good, she’d be able to fortify herself with coffee first. That might help a bit. Looking really busy was her main line of defense though.
Sarina kept her gaze on the screen and her hands busy on the keyboard to discourage anyone from asking her if Solider Sam had cooked her breakfast or made any other lovely gesture.
The onslaught began just before 10AM. A huge bunch of roses arrived for one of the women. Sarina noticed the glowing look on the woman’s face as she read the lovely note attached to her bouquet.
More gifts arrived during the day. Chocolates costing twice the regular price because they were in a heart shaped box, Extravagant cards and Teddy Bears and Flowers,
Why did all the presents have to be sent to the office?, Sarina complained. It was as though everyone had to prove something to the world, not show their love to one special person.
The real frustrations Sarina was starting to feel didn’t kick into high gear until lunchtime.
By then everyone who was likely to receive such a thing had their flowers, cards or chocolates. A bunch of women had been taken out to lunch and another had left to meet her fiancé as they were off to the Canary Islands for a couple weeks
Conversation then turned to plans for the evening.
Most of the women seemed to have arrangements for a meal out. Soldier Sam and Sarina didn’t go to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Soldier Sam always said everywhere was always so crowded that the atmosphere was hardly romantic.
One woman had plans Sarina approved of. “We’re going to an Laker Game. We both like Hoops so he thought it was a good idea. That’s pretty romantic, don’t you think?”
Sarina and some others agreed.
“And we’ll grab a takeaway and bottle of wine on the way home.”
That sounded rather nice to Sarina but it was clear one or two others felt that unless the gesture was expensive, it didn’t really count no matter how much thought went into it.
“So, what are you doing, Sarina?”
“We’ll have a meal in“, Sarina tried to sound Upbeat.
“Which you’ll have to cook, I suppose.”
Sarina was planning to cook, but a Frozen Pizza wasn’t her idea of a Good Valentines Day.
“I insist on being taken somewhere luxurious for any special occasions and being given a nice piece of Shiny,” Sarina was told. “You really should get that man of yours trained.”
Sarina and Soldier Sam’s relationship was a true partnership. Special occasions were a reason to celebrate together, not for one to spend money on the other. Any spare cash they had went towards paying for the house, not on Shiny Things.
Sarina didn’t really expect Shiny Things, but there was one piece Sarina would very much like to have. Still, she didn’t expect it. She knew Solider Sam loved her and hadn’t they proved their commitment to each other already?
As Sarina left work that evening, the maintenance guy was hanging around the Lobby. Sarina smiled at him and his face seemed to explode into a grin.
“Whatcha doing for V day, Sarina?”
“I don‘t really even think Valantine‘s Day is a Big Deal“ Sarina replied “ I mean, come on. The clichés are ridiculous. Candy. Flowers. Who Cares?
The maintenance guy laughed. “You’re such a cynic. You’re not even going to dinner?”
“I’m planning to go home and put a Frozen Pizza in. Not even with Toppings. Just the Cheese kind.
“You got a delivery, Sarina..”
Sarina smiled. Soldier Sam wasn’t so bad. He wouldn’t let the whole day pass without something. That was just the type of guy he was, and another reason she loved him.
It wasn’t your typical roses, it was a vanilla envelope with her name scrawled in calligraphy instead. Curious, Sarina slit it open and pulled out a single sheet of paper.
“Go outside” it read.
Sarina looked up suprised. “It says to go outside.”
So Sarina went outside. out the door. A Taxi with a Big Heart Shaped “S” was waiting at the curb. The driver stepped forward and opened the door. “Sarina? Someone is expecting you.”
What was going on? Sarina slid into the back seat and the Taxi pulled away from the curb.
Oh, Man, Sarina hoped Soldier Sam hadn’t spent a ton of money doing something fancy for her. Sure, sometimes she liked dressing up and hitting the town with her friends, but since she was with Soldier Sam, she was thrilled just for a night out at Burger King.
The taxi cab drove all over town. The driver was telling stupid jokes to get Sarina’s attention. Sarina waited until her patience reached a limit and asked him to pull over at the corner,
Nope the taxi drive replied. I have specific instructions on where to let you off.
“There’s a pint of cheap bourbon under the seat there. Make yourself comfortable. We aren’t there yet.
Sarina did and it took the edge off a little bit.
A short time later, Sarina asked if he had any more bourbon and he said he did.
So Sarina just decided she would roll with it as long as there was something to drink.
It didn’t matter, Sarina Decided. Solider Sam was going to do what he was going to do and she would have to just live with it.
Finally, the Taxi pulled up to the curb in front of an abandoned warehouse.
Sarina was like WTF but she trusted Solider Sam.
Stopping in front of the Main Entrance, the driver handed her another envelope.
Sarina opened it.
“Go through the partially shuttered doors, make a right, and follow the hallway.“ it said.
Sarina followed the instructions, wondering why her heart was beating so fast. Another piece of paper was taped to the Door at the end of the Hallway.
“Enter” it read.
Cupid’s Office was covered in darkness, but the moment Sarina opened the door lights flashed on as Bright as the Sun on a Bronx Summer Afternoon.
Sarina had never been so Shocked.
It was a massive replica of Yankee Stadium built entirely with Legos as big as a House!!
Suddenly, Solider Sam appeared.
“What are you doing?” Sarina asked.
He smiled and handed her a Drink in a Tall Plastic Cup just like they sell at Yankee Stadium.
“I figured you’d be disappointed with all the usual Valentine’s Day Stuff. So I thought it would be fun to build this for you. Bet you never expected that!
Surprise rocketed through Sarina. Solider Sam knew her so well,
She reached out and took his hand.
Solider Sam led her to a Pair of Bleacher Seats from the Old Yankee Stadium.
Sarina sat next to him. Her Favorite R&B Classics started playing from Speakers the Second she sat down.
The Lego Yankee Stadium shone bright, as bright as comets exploding and they just took it all in for a Moment.
Finally, Solider Sam handed her a pack of M&Ms and a Valentine’s Day Card.
“You’re all I got, Sarina.”
“Oh, what’s this?” Sarina wondered.
“Can I open it?, Sarina Asked.
“Sure Sarina, of course,” Solider Sam said. “I Love you Hot Stuff. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Sarina poured out some M&Ms into her hand and said, “Oh, that’s so sweet.”
“You’re the best, Sarina..”Soldier Sam said in the Best way he knew how.
“Thank you, Darlin‘,” Sarina Replied.
“ Look, I wrote `“I Love You just every bit as much you Love Yankee Stadium.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Solider Sam,, Sarina said.
“I’m not going to give up on Valentine just yet, Sarina. “You know I’ll win.”
Maybe Valentine’s Day wasn’t so bad after all.
You're a member of a Starship crew that is lost in space following the Explosion of the Sun, destroying Earth. During that time, Rams Fans were aboard and dreaming of another chance to see a Football Game on a new planet..
But as the Rams Fans start to lose hope of ever finding a home and a better future, passengers become destructive. Rams Fans regularly participate in their own football games for entertainment and man the virtual reality stations to get their Rams fix in and escape their reality.
Your Guidance of the Starship has been smooth, and all members of the crew simply sit and stare at the ship windows, equipped with non-stop highlight reels from all the football exploits experience in Rams Stadium during its entire existence on earth. Even with the capacity to look out into outer space with its stars and comets and brilliant asteroids, everyone was fixed on the Rams Content.
As the Starship's captain, can you keep your passengers on the right path and find a planet suitable for hosting Rams Games before your ship descends into madness? Soldier Sam is aboard, and you have survived because of an advanced tractor beam contained on the ship.
You want to find out if there was any possibility your ship would reach the new planet anytime soon and no way of knowing what you are facing––you take Soldier Sam’s hand and open the airlock.
Soldier Sam and his cohorts have made some wings of the massive ship into raucous battle zones. His plan is to seal off all those loyal to the Rams team and open the airlock, leaving them all in space. You have seen Solider Sam act up like this before, and when you discover the 35th Wing is planning to engage, to take supplies with them, and to make a desperate sprint to a far away galaxy, it is up to you to stop him.
Another oscillation wave passed. Sarina and Soldier Sam jerked and squeaked at the end of their harnesses. Soldier Sam held on tight. On the monitors, Rams Mascot’s video signal went in and about.
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 crew can’t get out if we leave,” Sarina said. “The doors are locked. We have to override and set them to manual. Or else we will have major problems/”
“Somebody’s going to have to stay and manage the doors, if they’re on manual,” Soldier Sam had a plan.
“Us,” Sarina said. “We’re staying. We’ll evac back to the shuttle once the crew is in the pods.”
Soldier Sam looked at Sarina and she looked at him.
“We are going to have a tough time here, if we stay.” Soldier Sam said what Sarina was thinking. Sarina didn’t speak angrily. She spoke as if she were making sure all the Rams Fans knew the risks.
“Doors are down between us and the shuttle, too. They’re all down.” Soldier Sam observed.
“I’ll stay,” Sarina said.
A wash of Orange lit Sarina’s panel, and the main support alert light over the monitors went Orange. “Pressure is dropping throughout the hull,” Sarina reported. “We’re springing leaks all over the place.”
“Sectors 3 and 4 just blew,” Soldier Sam said. That was Sarina and Soldier Sam’s route back to the shuttle. Decision made for us: we couldn’t leave.
Sarina knew how to do this. She had done it over and over again in the simulator. This is just a drill? “Override Sector 8, 9, and 10. Soldier Sam, take control. Switch the decompression doors to manual override in all sectors.”
.Sarina’s plan was to open and close them in sequence to act as a series of airlocks.”
“Air’s gonna get thin,” Soldier Sam said..
“Better than no air at all. Soldier Sam, do you have comms with the crew yet?” Sarina’s hands had stopped shaking, but here muscles were squeezed tight.
“Affirmative,” Soldier Sam said. “I can broadcast, at least. I’ve got the loudspeakers.”
“Tell the crew to gather and, once we pop the doors, to get out.” Sarina decided.
Another oscillation wave hit. It seemed worse than the previous one, somehow. Another cable was going to detether any second.
Sarina took the edge of the console and snarled, “How in this busted universe is it getting worse?”
“Ouch!,” Soldier said. Then, “OK, they’re through the first door.”
“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 NASHIRA! “Check it out, Sarina!”
Planet experiences dust storms, which can turn into what resembles small tornadoes. Larger dust storms occur when the dust is blown into the atmosphere and heats up from the Sun.
“Sounds perfect for Rams Football” exclaimed Sarina.
Sarina’s Partner, Soldier Sam, stood in front of the controls talking to Rams Mascot. He was just a Legend to Soldier Sam.
Soldier Sam’s position in the Starship would be up soon and he had begun to have that difficult feeling of those who live always on the edge of existence.
'Stuck here on this Starship with you, Sarina,' Soldier Sam complained. 'That's the only option I have.'
'How do you live?' asked Sarina--without too much show of interest.
'I don't live. The days go by, the weeks go by. But who cares? Who cares--after all these years.'
'You had a good time in your day, Soldier Sam' Rams Mascot reminded him.
Soldier Sam looked after an accounting firm back on earth.
'Sure,' Soldier Sam admitted, 'I had a great business. All anybody could want.'
'You mean that business that Sarina set up with the Rams?' asked Rams Mascot.
Solider Sam looked quickly at Sarina, punching away at the controls.
'No. I didn't say that was one. But I've had plenty of the Rams Fans Crew feeding out of my pocket. Not now though--a man my age is not considered a Brilliant Prospect.'
'But you've got Sarina,' said Rams Mascot. 'Look Soldier Sam, I'll give you a tip”
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!!”
During landing it’s like when you’re on a roller coaster and it stops really fast.
PLANET X ADVENTURE
Wow! Sarina just won Scuba Diver of the Year. And the Prize was an adventure to fly a helicopter out to a Navy Ship to go Scuba Diving on Valentines Day! As you can see she is absolutely Thrilled.
As the first rays of sunlight appeared in the east on Valentines Day, Sarina got up, put her shoes on & started to go to work doing her hair. She was surprised to see Soldier Sam already had all the bags packed for their adventure. She had completely forgotten it was Valentines Day until she had her first cup of coffee.
“I‘m super excited to go Scuba Diving Today!” Sarina was smiling even though she hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep and the alarm clock had surprised her.
Sarina and Soldier Sam do something special every Valentines Day.. Today was no exception. Sarina cannot find her sunglasses. Sarina always loses things. The sunglasses are not on the Kitchen counter. They are not in her room either, either.
Sarina ran upstairs and put on some new clothes that she had saved for today over her swimsuit. It was a Rockin’ Outfit and Soldier Sam admired Sarina’s selections from her closet.
Sarina gets dressed. She is almost ready. She just needs her sunglasses. She thinks maybe they are on the table by the door. Or maybe they are in the Trophy Room. They could also be in her purse. Sarina is exasperated.
Sarina and Soldier Sam were so excited they were going on a scuba diving adventure! And that she would get to pilot a helicopter for the first time to get to the ship.
They had decided to go out and grab a meal at Burger Palace on their way out of town.
Sarina grabbed her keys
"What a pretty day!" said Soldier Sam.
“This is going to be an awesome Valentines Day Adventure!” Sarina was excited.
“I’m excited too” Soldier Sam laughed.
Soldier Sam puts the bags in the Back of the Jeep. He checks to make sure everything is there . Yogi, their dog, jumps in the backseat. That puppy sure loves adventures!
Soldier Sam is ready to leave. Where is Sarina? She knows he likes to arrive at Burger Palace before the Lunch crowds.
The Valentines Day weather outside was just perfect, a light breeze and the small patches of fog that hovered close to the ground soon disappeared with the rising of the sun.
This was going to be a very special day for Soldier Sam since he had not even seen Sarina during the week since she was off flying God-knows-where on her assignments.
Every morning before work Soldier Sam would Call Sarina and they would pass the time talking as they each made up their Breakfast. Over the course of the last week Sarina and Soldier Sam had talked about a lot, but there was still a lot of ground to cover.
Each day they grew closer together and when they had talked last during the week Soldier Sam had asked Sarina if she has heard about the results of the Valentines Day Contest.
Sarina told Soldier Sam that she did and she won the Grand Prize so he seized the opportunity and asked her to be his Valentine for the Big Day.. She said that she would love to and offered some suggestions to make their Valentines Day Extra Special.
Back at the house on the day of the trip, Soldier Sam was starting to grow impatient to get the Show on the road. Sarina is always late!
Sarina searches for her sunglasses. She cannot find them, and she knows Soldier Sam is waiting. She always hears about it when she is late! She grabs her purse and locks the door.
"You are late," Soldier Sam says as she gets in the Jeep. Sarina tells Solider Sam that she could not find her sunglasses.
Solider Sam looks at her and laughs! He flips down the sun visor so Sarina can see herself in the mirror. Sarina looks in the mirror and laughs too. Her sunglasses are on top of her head. They were there the whole time!
"It is always in the last place that you look," Sarina Laughed.
Sarina and Soldier Sam fastened their seatbelts. A sudden roar echoed across the Neighbourhood as Sarina started the engines. She made a quick but thorough check of the instruments. Minutes later, they were rapidly cruising toward their Lunch destination.
“We should get there with plenty of time to spare”, Soldier Sam assures her.
Sarina scooped up her Smart Phone when it suddenly activated. “This is the Chief Valentines Day Adventure Coordinator, Ma’am. Your helicopter is all ready to go
“Roger.” Sarina replied. “We’re on our way!”
Soldier Sam says “What would you Like to Do on Your Valentines Adventure that would make it extra special, Sarina?”
“I have been thinking about it all Week!”, Sarina said with unbounded Excitement.
And Solider Sam knew Exactly what he wanted to do with Sarina all day long. It would be Magical”
Solider Sam already had it all Figured out because her had been planning ahead for the Valentines Day Adventure ever since he found out Sarina had won the Prize.
Solider Sam spilled the Beans and told her he had brought along a Blockbuster Coupon that would make the Event extra memorable.
“Great! I can’t wait to Start having so much Fun Valentines Day Activities with you, Soldier Sam!” Sarina exclaimed.
They got seated at Burger Palace right when they walked in the Door. Sarina was eating her second bowl of salad with a ridiculous amount of croutons & absolutely soaked with Thousand Island dressing twirling her fork when all of a sudden she was displeased by loud munching noises in front of her. It was Soldier Sam, of course. He was eating, with no shame, a bundle of warm bread buns.
"Stop eating all the bread," Sarina demanded. Solider Sam had a mouth full of bread buns. "Ugh, I swear pigs eat with more Grace than you," she added. He smiled back. He finished chewing with his mouth full, knowing how much it bugs her.
Within minutes the waitress came and delivered his food and placed it on the table. Solider Sam was full of anticipation. Then he spoke. "I am so very happy I got to see you again, I really missed you. You want some ketchup & mustard all over you, Right?" She paused, rolled her eyes towards him.
"You are important to me," he added sincerely. "And you are so beautiful, you smell so good I can't wait to get my Munchin' On..."She did not know how to react, no one had never ever said something like that right to her face on Valentines Day.
Sarina replied "That is really sweet, but what the hell are you talking about?" She asked incredulous with a deeper confused look. "Look at me" she commanded, snapping her fingers. But he continued stuffing his face without the response she wanted.
Solider Sam held his huge burger right up to his face & took a long pause for dramatic effect. "My stomach is so so empty without you. Nothing will ever, ever come between us.You mean everything to Me. That's for Fucking Sure. I can't wait to order you again from Burger Palace next time."
After eating, they make quick progress to the airfield & made a final check on the weather. The forecaster on the radio came on as soon as they got on the Interstate and reported that it would be “Ceiling & Visibility Unlimited” for at least another 48 hours.
“The Ship’s all ready to fly,” said the Coordinator when her called Sarina again. The mechanics had done their job well in preparation for their mission & the Adventure Coordinator greeted them as they arrived.
Choosing the right Scuba diving centre is always very important & just might change your perspective on Life. Solider Sam had done a lot of research to find out just how unique the Adventure would be so they can share in something that the entire world can't Replicate & have fun with the best possible scuba diving experience.
The day would indeed turn into an adventure for Sarina! Days like these are great for our business interests because Sarina comes in to grace us with her presence” the owner of the Scuba Diving Center told his Staff
Sarina was bouncing off the walls as her Valentines Day Adventure drew closer and closer.
“I can fly the helicopter out to the ship for the first time and experience unmatched fun!" exclaimed Sarina.
Sarina has a Special Valentines Day Present coming soon. What in the World could it be?
When Sarina had been notified that she won the Grand Prize in the contest, the message said “Sarina, you have a BIG Valentines Day Present coming.”
“What could it be” Sarina wondered.
Then the moment finally came. “Come and See you Special Valentines Day Present Surprise, Sarina!”
It is the Best Present Ever!” Sarina could not believe it when he saw the coupon for 50% off everything in the Store.
Sarina Smiles and Smiles and the Smiles would just not disappear as Sarina started to look around.
Here is a Valentines Day selection for scuba diving Lovers, Soldier Sam explained. I’m sure this will make any scuba diver happy!
“I want a Waterproof dry bag!” Sarina started out her buying Spree.
I ‘ll never have to pack again without it now. Since I never exactly know which dive conditions I’ll have, this dry bag has become my best friend. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to board a very comfortable boat with a dry area, but sometimes it is just a zodiac boat with zero dry zone. Sometimes I can board the boat from the jetty but sometimes I have to walk in water to go onboard. With waterproof bag, I can take my wallet and phone without worrying a second about them getting wet. I also put inside my accessories for my camera such as my spare batteries!
“ I want a Fins Hot Shot Aqua Lung!” Sarina had made her second selection.
When I traveled abroad to go scuba diving and had to rent the fins, I usually end up with bulky, unattractive & cramp-giving fins! This is why I want the fins as one of the very first pieces of equipment I can buy with the coupon. I had 2 other pairs before and the huge advantage of these ones is their compact size: they fit in a normal suitcase! They are also very light, making them your best friend. These adjustable fins can be used with or without booties, and the strap at the back make them easy to put on. Since they are shorter, they are very efficient fins. Thanks to their shape, they also perform well with frog-kick. A great gift for a reasonable price.
“I want a Power Shot Camera!” Sarina continued.
I want a cost-effective solution for scuba diving because I want to start underwater photography to bring back colourful underwater memories from my Valentines Adventure. I want a waterproof and shockproof. model, not bulky or expensive The perfect point-and-shoot compact camera is what I want to have in my pocket.
“There’s the helicopter, Sarina. You can buy more stuff when your get back. Get ready!”
Soldier Sam handed Sarina an aeronautical chart. Spreading it out, Sarina carefully examined the surrounding terrain. “Here we go”, she decided. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.”
Soldier Sam was very confident in Sarina‘s abilities, even though this was her first flight.
They took off and soon the wind whistled against the wings. “Hang on!” Sarina shouted as she pulled the throttle closed & applied aileron & rudder control. Sarina worked hard to level the aircraft, eased back slowly on the wheel, and they were pressed down into their seats.
Sarina got the aircraft back to straight & level—but with not much altitude to spare. She increased power and the plane climbed higher. For a moment neither of them spoke.
“Whew. Goodness Gracious!” Sarina finally exclaimed as she looked in the mirror at her hair to make sure it hadn’t fallen out of place during the Wild Ride.
Soldier Sam was relieved too. “I can’t say I’m much for this kind of manoeuvre. “ he admitted.
Sarina had made her decision. “We are going to land on the Ship now!”
Since Sarina already had a few dives under her belt, she is really getting the hang of this diving thing. Dare we say, Sarina been bitten by the diving bug? She had broken through from beginner to experienced, and had simple trick to make each dive extra special. Sarina always used an up-to-date diving logbook!
How can keeping a logbook can help you be a better diver?
Always know how much weight you need.
Sure, Sarina had to ask for help calculating her weight the first couple of times she had dived, but by now she had become much more self-reliant. A record of the amount of weight she needs with various combinations of gear saves time and helps her to pinpoint the right amount of weight and improve buoyancy. Nailing her buoyancy was one of her first milestone to reach on her path to becoming a better diver.
Write down equipment needs and repair notes
If Sarina every forgets her snorkel keeper, she uses her logbook to write a reminder. She also makes a note of needed repairs after a dive while it’s at the top of her mind. Good divers have a well-stocked equipment bag and well-maintained equipment.
Record your milestones
Some dive locations and advanced dive courses require a certain amount of logged dives. Sarina had never wanted to limit herself due to lack of experience. She always records dives in her logbook because you might need proof later.
An up-to-date logbook is a present to your future self. The days you spend diving can be the happiest days of your life. Take the time to write down your adventures, keep track of the lessons learned, and improve on what you did last time because this will give you inspiration to pack your dive bag and inspire another trip.
After landing safely on the pod, Big Boat put to sea. Sarina was so excited to be free once more seeking fun & adventure.
And fun and adventure Sarina found. Sarina was having so much fun she knew that in the future she wanted to make many more joyous deployments with Soldier Sam on the ship, sharing the wonder of the whole wide world.
Sarina and Solider Sam were so very happy together and grew very strong.
Sarina had found herself over herself head over heels in another adventure with Solider Sam. The fun would never Stop!
Monster waves stomped the sea as Sarina made entry into the water!
Things like that happen in adventures.
As the calming colours chased away the clouds, this adventure was getting more and more fun for Sarina.
The water was the perfect home for Sarina’s Valentines Day Adventure. It is full of life and love and Sarina was so Happy she got to spend the Valentines Day on the Beautiful Sea.
Sarina had found a place so very different from the elements of the City and the Ocean was so very different inside.
"It is pretty awesome! The ocean is a splash-filled retreat” explains Sarina, as she raced to the extreme depths of the Amazing Underwater Playground. It offered Sarina a rare chance to be totally free of Traffic in the City and other daily hassles!
Sarina loved her new Orange Scuba Tank since that is the colour of her favourite College Basketball Team. Sarina really wanted Syracuse make it to the Big Dance so she could spend time with Soldier Sam watching all the Action during the March Madness Tournament. Or even the NIT tournament if it means more Syracuse Basketball " says Sarina.
"I love spending time at the depths of the ocean so I can see everything I am capable of doing" added Sarina..
Sarina was such a Water Warrior and had proven beyond doubt that you can stay entertained and active on Valentines Day, no matter what!
"Especially when you are locked up in in the City all week you have to get your energy out somehow and this is the perfect place to come do it" laughed Sarina.
Sarina wears a High-Tech Mask when she is diving in the water. She can take pictures of all the beautiful coral reefs, fish & sharks in the Ocean and has the safest air tank in the World when she goes underwater.
Sarina thinks this is all an Incredible Joyride & likes to tell her friends about her underwater adventures when she goes back to all the fun parties that everyone is so glad she is a part of.
Sarina loves having the time and freedom to spend all Valentines Day moving the Flippers on her feet so she can get around easily when she dives in the water.
As she was slicing through the water Sarina saw a Sting Ray up close. It was Big. It was Grey. It swam up very quickly coming very close to Sarina!
Sarina did not stick around for long to take pictures of the Sting Ray. She swam away really Fast. The sting ray nearly scared the wits out of her.
And we all know that one must keep their wits about them while scuba diving!
After Sarina had all the Scuba Diving fun someone could possibly pack into Valentines Day, she returned to the Ship.
“Thanks for such a Fun and Exciting Valentines Day, Soldier Sam! It was the Best Ever!”
Sarina was all ready Scuba Dive all over again, just as soon as the next opportunity on the Horizon.
The Starship started to move again, this time with more speed. The speed kept on increasing and when it was in the middle of the runway, the Starship started to climb up and was off the ground.
Sarina and Soldier Sam are on Boat Destined to Arrive at Magic Island in Time for Sarina’s Birthday Party!! But the Trip does have it’s Difficulties.
A night on the sea in an open boat is a long night. As darkness settled finally, the shine of the light, lifting from the sea in the south, changed to full gold.
On the northern horizon a new light appeared, a small bluish gleam on the edge of the waters. These two lights were the furniture of the world. Otherwise there was nothing but waves.
Sarina and Soldier Sam huddled in the stern, and distances were so magnificent in the dingey that Sarina was enabled to keep her feet partly warmed by thrusting them under Soldier Sam‘s.
Sometimes, despite the efforts of the tired Soldier Sam rowing the oars,, a wave came piling into the boat, an icy wave of the night, and the chilling water soaked them anew.
Sarina’s plan was to twist her body for a moment and sleep the knocked out sleep once more, while the water in the boat gurgled about them as the craft rocked.
The plan of Soldier Sam was for one to row until he lost the ability, and then arouse the Sarina from his sea-water couch in the bottom of the boat.
Soldier Sam plied the oars until his head drooped forward, and the overpowering sleep blinded him. And he rowed yet afterward. Then he touched Sarina in the bottom of the boat, and called her name.
"Will you spell me for a little while?" he said, quietly
There was no answer so Soldier Sam started dragging himself up to a strong sitting position. And was going to be the workhorse for the night. He would do anything for Sarina. Only bounded by her imagination
Sarina was cuddling down in the sea-water at Soldier Sam’s side, and seemed to go to sleep instantly.
“What a Glorious thing to see!! Soldier Sam wanted to shout to all the oceans how much he Loves Sarina!. But he kept these emotions to himself and just started to come up with a good plan so his behavior woudn’t disrupt Sarina’s Big Birthday Celebration.
“Sarina will be rested in the morning so hopefully her positive Spirit will miraculously carry us to shore so the Fiesta can get on it’s feet!!, Soldier was sure she could do it.
Sarina is like Superwoman to Soldier Sam,. Like a strong ray of sunlight shining through tough day after tough day…
Soldier Sam began searching around the approaches to the moon where they found the trap tunnel door where the adversary was taken away.
Sarina knew that this must be some sort of access point and began to dig around on the controls.
Soldier Sam dug and searched all around for a key that would work, but no luck. Until suddenly as Sarina dug around the control room, she made a hit when she looked at the adjacent bunker.
MOON ADVENTURE ACTIVITY
Solider Sam was running along the Beach, trying desperately to figure out where the Fireworks Show was going to take place that night. It was July 4th.
As soon as he got to the first road he could see, a Great Truck was rolling down the road.
Soldier Sam recognized the unforgettable sight of Sarina. The Truck rolled toward Solider Sam and he ran in front of it.
Sarina slowed the Truck down. Soldier Sam held up his hand and the Truck halted. Sarina leaned out the window.
'Is there no other patrol here?' Sarina asked of Soldier Sam.
'No, Sarina,' said Soldier Sam quickly. 'There should be. I'm Soldier Sam, just another guy trying to make it from the Beach to the Fireworks Show Tonight. Could you give me a lift down the road?'
It was unprecedented--it was asking for an act of grace, but Soldier Sam’s need for the Fireworks Show that night was great.
Sarina looked at Soldier Sam closely.
'Oh yes, I remember you,' Sarina said. 'Get in.'
Soldier Sam considered this and concluded Sarina probably meant for him to get up in the back of the Truck.
But Soldier Sam was feeling bold and wanted to talk to Sarina so compromised by opening the front door.
Sarina was one of the biggest Stars the operation had ever seen.. She did not occupy herself with a simple patrol like this much anymore.
Sarina spent most of her time rocking from coast to coast on fast planes, merging and launching, launching and merging, but sometimes she enjoyed a break by going on the beach road patrols.
'Some day, these full operations stranding someone like you on the beach might become a problem, Sarina suggested.
“Yes, Sarina' agreed Soldier Sam heartily, 'Sarina--'
'Sarina cut him off. They ought to have a frequent patrol out there.'
'Yes. Sarina. Sarina--'
'Hm-m-m!' said Sarina. 'Where do you want to be dropped?'
Solider Sam geared himself to work fast.
'Sarina, when I was just a simple recruit--'
'I know,' said Sarina. 'You just wanted a Job.'
“But, Sarina now I don't want anything at all. Soldier Sam said in all honesty.
'But it would sure be a miracle to get to see the Fireworks Tonight.' Soldier Sam admitted.
Sarina wasn’t planing on going directly to the Fireworks Show. Instead she drove swiftly up the main street to the Area where more Troops had probably found themselves.
In front of the next administration building Sarina stopped on the pretext that the engine was missing, and almost in no time a small but definitely interested crowd began to gather.
'Where are we going?' asked Soldier Sam.
Sarina drove on up the road. Ahead of them a small company group was walking--one of them, turning, saw the Truck and drew the attention of the others to it.
Whereupon the senior member of the party threw up his arms in what appeared to be a gesture to get Sarina’s attention, and walked toward the Truck as it approached.
Sarina came to a stop. An excited leader ran up and put his head in the Truck window.
'Sarina, our company has just been though an Exercise Can we use your radio to advise the other groups?'
“What exactly Happened?” Sarina asked.
We ditched our post & started running, totally losing sense of direction. We were being chased. We narrowly missed being hit. Fresh Reinforcements were on the way. Once we had achieved some separation, we slowed out pace. We saw our boss conferring with staff, so we stuck around to see if we could learn anything. We discovered others had held the line & there was no need to retreat after all.
Well, despite being through a lot, it seems you are in a less precarious status now, right? Sarina asked.
The group nodded in the affirmative.
So Sarina and Solidier Sam headed out again to the Fireworks Show. It was a long ride ahead.
Soldier Sam had never been in a Truck before, and had no concept for how they work as far as mechanics goes.
Many Leaders like Sarina describe the essence of how things are supposed to work to increase understanding among subordinates like Soldier Sam.
And Soldier Sam was about to find out much, much more about Trucks. More that he would have ever wanted to know, in fact.
“Well, we have been through a number of things over much time that were were a great deal like ultimate disasters,” began Sarina.
I remember in particular some of the repercussions of an old Truck we had that wouldn't go unless you pushed it for quite a way and suddenly let your clutch out. Once, we had been able to start the engine easily by cranking it, but we had had the Truck for so long, like I said, it wouldn't go unless you pushed it and let your clutch out.
Of course, it took much more than me to do this; it took sometimes as many as a dozen of us, depending on the grade of the roadway and conditions underfoot. The Truck was unusual in that the clutch and brake were on the same pedal, making it quite easy to stall the engine after it got started, so that the car would have to be pushed again.
Soldier Sam was trying to understand, but just couldn’t stop anticipating the Fireworks Show. It was all he could pay attention to.
Sarina went on explaining to Soldier Sam why she had never liked those old Trucks, even when it was good, so that explained her suspicion of all the older Trucks that haven’t been maintained properly.
Soldier Sam knew that in the future, he would be required to identify everything in the entire fleet that came into the Maintenance Operations to be upgraded: Hornets, Super Hornets, F-35s, CH-53Ks coming on line, Apaches and F-16s in the other Services.. The list went on and on... Soldier Sam could never remember.
The only Truck Soldier Sam was really interested in was the one they were riding in at the moment, for it needed to hold together to get to the Fireworks Show Grounds, now rapidly approaching.
Sarina and Soldier Sam jumped out of the Truck to get a good view of what was sure to be a Fantastic Display just as the MC started shouting through a megaphone to prepare everyone to the action ahead., "GET READY! GET READ-Y!!” he was yelling, "THE SHOW IS ABOUT TO START!"
The theatre was in absolute darkness before there were rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightning offstage.
Fireworks Shot in to the Air.
Neither Sarina or Soldier Sam, or anyone else that was there would ever be able to completely get over the Incredible Display, one that Soldier Sam planned on fully considering on the right home. But at the moment, he just wanted to React.
“This is defiant and brilliant!” Soldier Sam started to put in his Two Cents.
“Damn Yes! Hard Core!”, exclaimed Soldier Sam.
“And that's how you do that!! added Soldier Sam I can't think of any better way to say what I don't want to say.”
“I know you think things too, Soldier Sam” said Sarina. You just don't like to get in other people's business.”
“So do you want to know what I believe in or what? asked Soldier Sam.
“What Soldier Sam? Asked Sarina
No One has Values anymore” replied Soldier Sam.
“Everyone has Values, Soldier Sam. But they are not always the same. Sarina responded.
“Cause...'Merica!! Soldier Sam replied.
No one has ever come anywhere close to telling my story. Thank you, Sarina. No one could have said it better.
"There is Nothing America Can Not Do. It just needs to do what is right" Sarina said
"I'm the American Pitbull you want, Sarina. Soldier Sam was being sincere “ It's all I want to be. So make a move on me!”
Hours later, the Fireworks Show finally ended and everyone had to get back to what they were doing before the Show that night. Sarina and Soldier Sam, each in their own times, had never known a July 4th moment such as this.
But to get back to the Truck, Sarina and Soldier Sam climbed back in to get back to the Beach for another Round.
Sarina wanted to talk more about the Truck, and Solider Sam was glad for the opportunity to express how much Sarina and the Fireworks showed extreme parallels to Beauty. Soldier Sam was trying to imagine the Ultimate Beauty that would be on display if Sarina herself was a Fireworks Show.
Sarina still had a few words of instruction for Soldier Sam. Solider Sam Loved to hear Sarina talk, even if he could not follow the substance of it.
One of my happiest memories of This Truck was when my Boss at the time replaced the real deal by getting together a great many news clipping articles from his office, placing them in a square of canvas, and swung this under the Truck with a string attached to it so the canvas would give way and the steel and tin things would clatter to the street.
This was a little scheme to frighten my company group, who had always expected the Truck might explode. It worked perfectly. That was over a decade ago, but it is one of the few things in my life I would like to live over again if I could. I don't suppose that I can, now.
"Stop the car!" I had shouted, recollected Sarina "But it couldn’t. The engine fell out." "God Almighty!" we all knew what that meant, or knew what it sounded as if it might mean.
Time was all mixed up in Soldier Sam’s Brain. He didn’t understand anything about how Trucks worked. He was still trying to put together an explanation in words for the Fireworks that night. How they had been so Beautiful, just like Sarina. Soldier Sam was trying to put that into words.
All Soldier Sam could contribute to the conversation for instance, he thought--or, rather, knew--that it was dangerous to drive a Truck without gasoline: it fried the valves, or something.
"Now don't you dare drive all over town without gasoline!" Soldier Sam suggested to Sarina as they started off onto another road. Gasoline, oil, and water were much the same to Soldier Sam, a fact that made matters both confusing and perilous.
Soldier Sam could only suppose that Planes, Trains, Trucks and Aircraft. Even Ships, were propelled by some newfangled and untested apparatus which was likely to let go at any minute, making us all taste trouble.
Sarina knew that eventually, everything in the fleet would be replaced in the final assessments. We had parked it too far from the curb on a street with a car line. It was late at night and the street was dark. The first streetcar that came along couldn't get by. It picked up the Truck and drubbed it losing its hold now and then but catching a new grip a second later.
Tires booped and whooshed, the fenders queeled and graked, the steering-wheel rose up like a spectre and disappeared in the direction of the Long Blue Road whistling sound, bolts and gadgets flew like sparks.
Soldier Sam knew that Trucks, Aircraft and the like he never remembered would still be going on every July 4th forever, God Willing We Get Our Act Together.
But all of Sarina’s talking about Sparks, Flight, Pops and Sparkles for the Fleet was giving Soldier Sam a notion of how he wanted to explain to Sarina just how Beautiful She Is.
Soldier Sam almost had his description of the Fireworks Show he wanted to let Sarina in on ready to go as they approached the Beach after a Long Day and Night.
"Tomorrow, this Truck will all fly to pieces, Soldier Sam”, Sarina told him, in graphic description of just how Lucky Soldier Sam had been that night.
“Sarina, Sarina!!” exclaimed Soldier Sam. “I finally Figured out how Beyond Beautiful Fireworks would be if they were like You!!”
RAMS PLANET LANDING
Sarina and Soldier Sam rushed out of the door shooting adversaries with their ray guns left and right as they ran down the hall.
They opened the first door they could find and there, sitting on the landing pod was Rams Mascot. He smiled his biggest smile and ran up to greet them both.
“I didn’t think you guys were going to get here on time” Rams Mascot said.
“Of course we would, Rams Mascot!” Sarina and Soldier Sam replied.
The officers concluded that, in this particular action, it would not be advisable to chase the targets along their path en route to the destination, since this would increase the chances of our flanking columns coming under attack. If the forces on the Mainland islands detected the aftermath of our exercises, they would either lie in wait for us or send out increased detachments of patrols. At this stage, only some of the officers could be tasked with the involved compass readings required for the next round of reconnaissance since the great majority of them had lost some perspective on the mission because of the cumulative effects of Mainland actions against the unit.
After several hours of careful maneuvering, we came up on a Mainland position that was convened in a concentrated group and the officers decided to approach them from behind. It was really too dangerous to stay in the area. The opposing forces were just coming off an action instigated by one of our flanking units and, having been surprised at that juncture, they would soon turn their attention to a comprehensive sweep to rout out any lingering threats. Another unit in our column decided it would be prudent to escort our unit to another position that would not present as dire a scenario. The officers had become consumed with the anticipation and concern that comes with a potential contact in such close quarters.
The chairman had communicated to the officers that we would not be staying in this position for any great length of time, and some of them were still arguing over the maps, drowning out the objectives of the chairman. Anticipating another sneak attack from the Mainland forces, the officers came back another time on our original bearing which could only mean one thing given the miscalculation the officers had sustained in reading the maps. It looked like we were for a minute lost so the chairman cut off his staff work and directed the unit to start circling to pin down the location of both the unit and the Mainland forces on the nearest island thinking that, despite the current predicament, this could be his lucky day.
His premonition was gratified when a Mainland patrol was spotted, and the officers said their hearts were beating strongly and their blood racing. Everything was suddenly bright as the sun and razor sharp. We turned sharply at the end of the strip and came back for yet another pass. Forward, down, observe and fire. Forward, down observe and fire. It was getting repetitive for the officers and it appeared that the second unit would soon have to come into the theatre for a quick relief effort. There was only enough space for the column to move single file into position, and the chairman was considering going against his better instincts thinking, to hell with the steps he learned during training.
The chairman devised a plan to clear through, follow on and fire. The flanking fleet had regrouped at the edge of the clearing, and the officers seemed satisfied that the job was done instead of going in pursuit. The chairman felt that the unit was just getting started and gaining momentum, so he told the officers to not relent and go after the Mainland forces without delay. The reconnaissance team had filtered through the communications and found the position of a supply depot, so the officers went about making it the recipient of a good shelling and got busy. It would prove to be a serious business and the stakes for Mainland relations with Oceana were higher than it might have seemed to the officers who were totally consumed with the minute to minute decisions that were critical to the success of the mission. Things were getting hot and the operation would last a couple of days.
During landing it’s like when you’re on a roller coaster and it stops really fast.
There was a great deal of preparation to be done before Rams Mascot declared the Team Lottery open at Rams Stadium. Sarina and Soldier Sam were both excited for the Big Day.
The night before the lottery, Rams Mascot and Soldier Sam made up the enveloped stuffed with slips of paper and put them in the Blue and Gold Box, and it was then taken to the safe of Ram’s Mascots and locked up until Rams Mascot was ready to take it to the Rams Stadium the next morning. The rest of the year, the box was put way, sometimes one place, sometimes another; it had spent time in Sarina’s office several years and sometimes it was set in Soldier Sam’s Bourbon Cabinet and left there.
There were the lists to make up—of all the Rams Players. There was the proper swearing-in of Rams Mascot by Soldier Sam, as the official of the lottery. There was also, a ritual salute, which Soldier Sam had to use in addressing each player who came up to draw from the box, but this also had changed with time, until now it was felt necessary just for Soldier Sam to speak to each person approaching.
Rams Mascot. with one hand resting on the painted Lotto Box. he seemed very proper and important as he talked interminably to Soldier Sam and Sarina.
Just as Rams Mascot finally left off talking and turned to the assembled Rams Fans, Sarina disappeared and made her way to the sideline.
"Clean forgot what day it was, Sarina said to the Rams Coach, who stood next to her, and they both laughed. "Thought Soldier Sam was out back fixing his car, Sarina went on. "and then I looked out the window and saw all the Fans Tailgating, and then I remembered it was Lottery Day and came a-running."
Sarina readied herself and Rams Coach said, "You're got here in time to help with the Lottery Box, though. Soldier Sam and Rams Mascot still talking away up there."
She took leave of the Rams Coach and began to make her way back to the 50 yard line. The Rams Players separated good-humoredly to let her through: a few players said. in voices just loud enough to be heard above the Crowd of Fans packed into the New Rams Stadium, "Here comes Sarina," she made it after all."
Sarina reached Soldier Sam and the Rams Mascot, who had been waiting for her to grab the Playbook from Rams Coach. said cheerfully greeted her. "Thought we were going to have to get on without you, Sarina, grinning.
"Well, now." Rams Mascot taking a drink of Bourbon, "guess we better get started, get this over with, so we can go back to work. Anybody ain't here?"
"The O-Line." several people said. "None of them are here."
Rams Mascot consulted his list. "The O-Line" he said. "That's right. They are still Rehabing from last year? Who's drawing for him?"
"Me. I guess," Soldier Sam said. And Rams Mascot turned to look at him
“Soldier Sam draws for the O-Line" Rams Mascot said. "But doesn’t the O-Line have an agent to do it for them Soldier Sam?"
Although Rams Mascot and everyone else in the stadium that day knew the answer to that Important Question perfectly well, it was the business of the lottery to ask such questions formally. Rams Mascot waited with an expression of polite interest while Soldier Sam answered.
"They aren’t here, Soldier Sam regretfully. "Guess I gotta fill in for them this year."
"Right." Rams Mascot said. He made a note on the list he was holding. Then he asked, "is Sarina drawing this year?"
Of course I’m drawing this year, announced Sarina" Several voices in the crowd said things like "Good Luck, Sarina." and "Glad to see you’re going to do it."
"Well," Rams Mascot said, "guess that's everyone. Is Soldier Sam ready for action? Yep.
A sudden hush fell on the crowd as Rams Mascot cleared his throat and looked at the list. "All ready?" he called. "Now, I'll read the names—and a representative from each group come up and take an envelope out of the box. Keep it unopened without looking at it until everyone has had a turn. Everything clear?"
The Rams players had done it every year so only half listened to the directions: most of them were occupied,. not looking around.
Then Rams Mascot raised one hand high and said, "QB." A player disengaged himself from the crowd and came forward. "Hi. Big Guy." Rams Mascot said. and QB returned the greeting They grinned at one another
Then QB reached into the Blue and Gold Box and took out a folded envelope. He held it firmly, as he turned and went hastily back to his place with the other players. where he stood, not looking down at his hand.
"RBs, WRs, TE." Rams Mascot said. "All you guys"
"Seems like there's no time at all between lotteries any more." Sarina said to Soldier Sam. "Seems like we got through with the last one just a short time ago, but another year has passed."
"Time sure goes fast for you, Sarina.—Solder Sam said.
"D-Line?" announced Rams Mascot.
"There goes those guys." Sarina said. She held her words.
"DBs," Rams Mascot said, and the group went steadily to the box while someone in the crowd said. "Go on, guys," and another said, "There they go."
"We're next." LBs said, as they came around to the side of the box, greeted Rams Mascot and selected an envelope from the box. By now, all in front of the crowd there were Rams Players holding the envelopes in their hand. turning them over and over with anticipation.
Still on Stage, Sarina and Soldier Sam stood together, Sarina still steadying the Table.
And… “Sarina!!!” the Rams Mascot Yelled.
"Go ahead Sarina," Soldier Sam said. and the entire crowd cheered in delight as Sarina selected her envelope.
"They do say," Sarina said to Soldier Sam, who stood next to her, "that the rest of the NFL they're talking of giving up the lottery."
Soldier Sam replied. "Pack of crazys," he said. "Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in their cars, nobody works anymore, except the Rams of Course, Those other Teams can live that way for a while.
"Some Teams have already quit lotteries." Rams Mascot said.
"Nothing but trouble in that," Sarina said stoutly. "Pack of young fools."
"I wish Rams Mascot would hurry up with this, Sarina said to Solider Sam. "I want these proceedings to be over."
"It’s almost through," Solider Sam said.
Rams Mascot called his own name and then stepped forward precisely and selected an envelope from the box. Then he called, "Soldier Sam, now it’s your turn, finally."
"I’ve been in the lottery longest of anyone," Solider Sam said as he reached into the box for his envelope.
After that, there was a long pause, a breathless pause, until Rams Mascot, holding his note in the air, said, "All right, Folks." For a minute, no one moved, and then all the players opened their envelopes at once.
Suddenly, all the Fans began to speak at once, saving. "Who is it?," "Who's got it?," "Is it someone on the offense?," "Is it someone on the defense?" Then the voices began to say, "It's Sarina I bet," "I bet Sarina got it."
And all the players were disappointed, turning around to the Fans and holding their blank slips of paper above their heads.
"Well, everyone," Rams Mascot said, "that was done pretty fast, and now we've got to be hurrying a little more to get done in time." He consulted his list. Sarina he said, "you have the Roster. You got any one else?
"Of course” said Sarina. “Special Teams!! "How many Players, Sarina? Rams Mascot asked formally.
"Too many to count," Solider Sam said.
"Well, we will just ask the Kicker and Punter and Kick Returner to grab an envelope for the whole Special Teams Unit, Sarina suggested.
"All right, then," Rams Mascot said. ", Special Teams got their envelope?" Yep. Anyone win when they opened it? Nope.
The Fans began to move around to see Sarina. Sarina was standing quiet, staring down at the envelope in her hand. Suddenly. Sarina shouted to Rams Mascot. "You didn't give Soldier Sam time enough to take any envelope he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!"
"Be a good sport, Sarina." The Fans called, and Soldier Sam said, "All of us took the same chance."
"I think we ought to start over," Sarina said, as quietly as she could. "I tell you it wasn't fair. You didn't give Soldier Sam enough time to choose. Everybody saw that."
"Ready, Soldier Sam?" Rams Mascot asked. And Soldier Sam, with one quick glance at Sarina, nodded.
The crowd was quiet. They were all whispering, "I hope it's not Soldier Sam," and the sound of the whisper reached the edges of the crowd.
"It's not the way it used to be." Soldier Sam said clearly. "People ain't the way they used to be."
"All right," Rams Mascot said. "Open your envelope. Soldier Sam, You first.
Soldier Sam opened his envelope and there was a general sigh through the crowd as he held it up and everyone could see that it was blank.
"Now Me" Rams Mascot said. There was a pause, he looked at Soldier Sam, unfolded his paper and showed it. It was blank.
"It's Sarina!!!," Rams Mascot announced, and the Fans were hushed. “Open your envelope, Sarina!!"
Sarina ripped open her envelope and waved it to the Crowd. It had the Brand New Rams Logo on it Outlined with a Heart!!
Soldier Sam had created the Heart the night before at Rams Mascot office.
Now the Prize winning Heart was displayed on the New Giant Screen in the Stadium, and there was a stir in the crowd. Then the Entire City of Los Angeles heard the news on the broadcast and celebrations in the streets would soon follow.
"All right, Folks." Rams Mascot said. “Sarina is the Winner! Let's finish quickly and you Folks drive home safe, you hear?"
Then all the Rams Fans reached under their seats and hurled Party Streamers and Glitter Balls at Sarina, cheering wildly.
"Sarina, Sarina, She is the Winner!!"the Fans screamed, and Notes of Celebration Flashed across the Giant Video Screen.
Sarina was now the Princess of Rams Nation!!! So Special! And much, much more Fun to Follow in the New Rams Stadium!