"This is Soldier Sam, Cupid. I've been working on a Valentines Day Activity with Sarina and we are hoping you can approve it today so we can get everything all lined up.”
This would give Soldier Sam a head start on the plan with his chief collaborator, Sarina.
"Is it an emergency?” asked Cupid.
"I'll say it is. For Sure." insisted Sarina.
Soldier Sam continued to improve the script till Cupid arrived. He wanted to put in his Bronx Zoo Trip Ice Cream Eating Match idea but time was short--still, he had finally let Sarina in on the plan, but they weren’t sure how to plan it all out. Even where the match would take place.
Soldier Sam wrote laboriously in his notebook.
“Soldier Sam, you look exhausted by this effort and you could probably use a drink!” observed Sarina.
So Sarina opened the Bourbon drawer and poured Soldier quite a drink. Soldier Sam gulped it down quickly and requested another. Sarina granted his request and even sampled the Bourbon herself.
With the Bourbon Glow, Soldier Sam got his second wind. He had done almost what he had been hired to do—but he usually did more with the dialogue of the Valentines Activity scripts than he did the structure.
Cupid arrived and addressed Soldier Sam: “How can I be sure that the idea is an original one?” You do have lots of ideas for Valentines Day Activities but how could you come up with all of them just spending the day staring at a wall?”
Soldier Sam’s response was immediate. “Because of Sarina. She makes watching Paint Dry the most exciting event on Earth. She inspires me to do things that would be unimaginable if I tried to do it myself.”
Soldier Sam had another drink, and told Sarina to amuse herself at the nickel slots machine in the in the back of Cupids Office so he and Cupid could discuss the substance of the thing. You know how it would all play out.
“So you’re interested in an Ice Cream Eating Valentines Activity at the Bronx Zoo, but on a much bigger scale that is usually offered at most Zoos?” Cupid asked Soldier Sam.
"Yeah, I figured the Zoo would be packed on a Holiday like Valentines Day, such as things are these days, and no one would notice if we had Ice Cream all over our faces" responded Soldier Sam.
Sarina had won big at the nickel slots machine and decided to stop there with that game and return to the conversation.
“So we are still trying to figure out where to go for our Valenines Day Activity? asked Sarina.
“What about the Bronx Zoo?” Cupid Suggested. That king of Valentines Day Activity idea is for the most diehard couples. Sarina might even mistake Soldier Sam for a Resident at the Monkey Tent.
“Yes, what a great idea, Cupid!” exclaimed Sarina. “We could even get some exercise, Soldier Sam. Why, with all the different Exhibits thoughout the Bronx Zoo, we could walk around all day!”
Soldier Sam agreed. Yes, Sarina, the Bronx Zoo does seem tailor-made for an Ice Cream Eating Contest. “But just don’t let go of my hand when we are at the Monkey Exhibit. You don’t want to lose your Date.”
Cupid approved the idea immediately. This is for sure an original idea. Even so, this one might be a bit intense if you’ve never been to the Bronx Zoo before. If you have never tried it, go for it. It’s a blast.
“Soldier Sam, Sarina is going out with you on Valentines Day at least, and it'll remind the world you're alive. And I'll dig you up some tickets”
“But keep an eye out. Sarina. It isn't good for you to get socked if you want my honest opinion.
The proposal had buzzed Cupid, he switched the order of his arrows
'You two are going to have to wait for Valentine’s Day.' He turned to Soldier Sam: 'That's enough. Your Valentine’s Day Activity has been approved. Better go out the side door, Soldier Sam and Sarina.
'How about the tickets, asked Sarina?'
I haven’t got them yet” responded Cupid. Drop by again when Valentine’s Day finally gets here.
Soldier Sam’s Training for New Starship Missions was not at all like what he expected. Rams Mascot was not a typical Instructor.
Rams Mascot and Soldier Sam both learned something else during the training sessions. They learned they would both carry the resolve their training relationship had brought them, as well as the, bond they developed forever. Soldier Sam would always carry the drumbeat of Rams Mascots instructions and Rams Mascot could carry Soldier Sam’s performance indicators into training sessions with future prospects.
Drill instructors at every moment during this time will attempt to turn the recruits into a unified platoon to enforce discipline and teamwork. Details you never paid attention to during your everyday life will be scrutinized. Most branches will teach you and take you through various martial arts and hand-to-hand combat techniques.
While powered, the helmsman may roll the helm dice and set aside those maneuvers that fulfill the captain’s orders at each decision point. The other stations also have custom dice tailor-made for their particular functions. The captain keeps schedules moving by directing the movement of energy from engineering to all of the other divisions. All the while, the enemy team is doing the same thing. Commands are issued and countermanded. The departments can indicate they need more power.
Completing convoy operations.
The task: take supplies and personnel to support allied forces with a constant danger of IEDs from the time you left the Crossing until you returned to a more secure base. For example, we were assigned a convoy mission, and it took weeks, basically hopped from one FOB to another with supplies, equipment, and even personnel. Our job was to provide combat support to the convoy using Humvees and military weapons to defeat enemy attacks and threats. There were normally a minimum of gun trucks assigned to a convoy. There would be one in the front, one in the rear, and two either roving or placed logistically in the convoy to oppose against any enemy threat.
At the pre-trip briefing, there is confirmation to the participants, the radio channel to be used, the number of vehicles in the convoy, the name and vehicle if required, confirm with the participants their knowledge of the units of convoy procedures. Once participants are in their vehicles at the commencement of the trip or at the commencement of each day for multiple days, there is a radio check to ensure all vehicles in the convoy are “on channel”, being the channel nominated to the participants at the pre-trip briefing.
Tell me a little bit about your Training experience, Soldier Sam.
At this point in the training, we had to practice getting the special forces unit drop us off at an inlet near the rendezvous point and handle the pirate vessel before continuing out. Rams Mascot said in no uncertain terms that we have a mission to complete.
The training I went through there was all about taking on a future in which I would be an astronaut and sure enough, I got cleared as one of a small group ready to go to the moon.
I was feeling scared and a bit worried about the mission but also feeling great because I was finely going to the moon. I went into a secret hide out to get my spacesuit on. I started to feeling like my adrenaline was pumping and was a bit excited.
Our service branch had requirements for a big chunk of our time to be set on compulsory Drill Duty.. We drilled with our new rifles and studied the tactics of wars past even though a new World War was going starting at the time.
At a very early hour each morning we all spread out to deploy over the training grounds, creeping up on the target range we had all been qualified at. It was good training for the kind of warfare that was waged on the moon but it had no connection with what was going on in other Solar Systems.
Some people used to think there was moon money behind it, but they didn't dare say so or they would have been thrown in the brig and go on trial as spies. It was a period of muddy thought and marked, I believe, the decline of military might for the experienced forces we would soon be replacing
At drill I was never any good at all. Most of the cadets were glumly indifferent soldiers, but I was no good at all.
Once Rams Mascot popped up in front of me during regimental drill and snapped, "You are the main trouble with this entire unit and you will be treated as such with punitive actions!"
I think he meant that my type was the main trouble with the drill formations but he may have meant me individually.
Before we could take off in our space crafts, Rams Mascot decided we had to stop of at the space station since the distant command group had told him some other information about what trouble our adversaries were causing in space. So first we travelled on a train to the space station, carrying all of the gear we would need.
Anything else you want to tell me, Soldier Sam ?’
Yes, Sarina. It goes a little something like this.
"What I think about every day is are we enabling team activities, and are we capable of sustaining our relationship forever? We have to ensure the right tools are available for our training.”
TOUR SITE SCENES
“Whatever the Weather”
Sarina and Soldier Sam had arrived at the North Pole!!
Sarina went to the North Pole and pressed some buttons, when this gigantic building came out of the ground. As I walked in the door of the building, I saw tons of elves with funny looking Red, White and Green clothing on. Then I saw lots of toys. Right then, I knew it was Santa’s workshop.
Wow! We are going to get a Tour of Santa’s office, where all the important Christmas decisions are made!
Wow, who knew an office could be so huge. Santa’s desk is huge like a house, and his laptop is redder and brighter than Rudolph’s nose. His chair has pockets and pockets full of candy. I see his naughty or nice list. WOW! He has his own milk bar.
After seeing Santa’s office, let’s check out another part of the North Pole—Where all the Work gets done. This is where the magic happens!
Look, it’s the elves. Let’s follow them into the tool shop. Whoa, it’s cool in here! When you first walk in you see the tool calibration machine. The very top of the hangar is too tall for the reindeer to jump. If you walk into the workbench area, you will see a tiny tables, not really like regular tables for regular workers you see everywhere else.. All the tool shop walls are red and green. Would you ever want to come to the elves’ tool shop?
“How does the weather look, Sarina?” asked Santa as Soldier Sam checked the screen. “You know it is only a couple of hours before we head out tonight. I need the final report so I can plot my course.
“We are on a tight schedule this year” added Santa. “There have been so many new good boys and girls added to my list this year,” he said as he watched Soldier Sam tinker with the dials of the Frosty-Weather-Meter-Reader.
Soldier Sam twisted and turned the dials. He was having great difficulty getting a good reading. Never in its 100 years of operation had the weather machine failed to provide Santa with the information needed for him to plan a safe route for his Christmas Eve trip.
Detective Sarina realized that this was not Santa because at that very moment she realized that she was climbing stairs in a supposedly one story Gingerbread House.
“Sarina and Soldier Sam. I have a Holiday Mystery for You to solve. Announced Santa.
“Oh, Santa. I’m great at Solving Mysteries! Maybe Soldier Sam could help too. What’s your problem, Santa?” Sarina asked.
Santa sure did have a mystery that no one at the North Pole could solve.
You can only watch in disbelief as the work-place prank you had planned turned to chaos. It wasn’t a Holiday Party, people had to explain their jobs to a new boss that knew nothing about the company.
'I can't do nothing, Soldier Sam,' Santa admitted. 'I always have trouble getting Sarina on the phone. Now it’s something a about a football trade and suddenly it’s like the season never ended for the Media. Some bullshit like that always happens.
'What's that got to do with me?' asked Soldier Sam. Sarina started off on an explanation about how important quarterbacks are to a football franchise and the concept of trading two former #1 Draft Picks for each other was unprecedented, and…..
“I’ve got another idea for this year” Soldier Sam interrupted Sarina and started up his pitch machine. “It’s tons of fun! I think anyone that has any sense of adventure would be enthusiastic about it.”
“Hey Santa, take us to the elves' workshop. I bet Soldier Sam and I will find a clue there to Solve your mystery.
Ok, Sarina and Soldier Sam. I’ll take you to the North Pole's elves' workshop. Maybe you will find a clue to solve this mystery. Just be on your best behavior.
You are a Guest at the North Pole. You will learn many useful things about our Operation that will be sure to help you on any mission you might find yourselves on in the Future.
Visit of the elves' workshop
Today, we will visit the North Pole's main industry: the elves' workshop. This is where all the toys are made, painted, wrapped, and even imagined! Santa will help you recreate the elves' workshop within your tour group. You can clean and fix toys just like an elf. When you are done, you can even wrap the toys with colourful paper. Working in the elves' workshop is a lot of work, but if you really put your heart into it (and listen to Christmas carols while you work), it's also plenty of fun! Are you ready? The elves start their day really early!
“Hey, Santa!” Look Soldier Sam! Look at that Orange Box sitting under the Christmas Tree. What could possibly be in the Orange Box?”
“Why don’t you open the Orange Box up, Sarina. Maybe it has something you are looking for!”
“Ok, Santa. Come over here and check out this Orange Box with me, Soldier Sam!” Sarina was so excited. They opened the Orange Box together.
Look Soldier Sam!” Sarina exclaimed. “It’s the Clue we have been looking for. I just knew we would find something at this Stop on the North Pole Tour!”
Ridiculous Christmas Sweater
Ridiculous Christmas sweaters are becoming all the rage these days, with “crazy sweater parties” becoming a popular Christmas party alternative. Since it also happens to be quite cold at the north pole, everybody on your team is going to be wearing one of these Christmas creations. Don’t be the odd-one out - deck yourself out in the craziest Christmas sweater imaginable. You can find a great selection of really bad Christmas sweaters at Walmart.
What a Great North Pole Tour you took me and Soldier Sam on, Santa. Now we have the clue to solve your mystery!” Sarina was so happy.
“Yes Sarina” Santa appreciated Sarina’s Smart Detective Work. Merry Christmas to you and Soldier Sam from all of us at the North Pole!”
You can only watch in disbelief as the work-place prank you had planned turned to chaos. It wasn’t a Holiday Party, people had to explain their jobs to a new boss that knew nothing about the company.
'Well, I remember,' said Sarina, '--because I was there when Soldier Sam had that Christmas Frosting Hole dug. He was out there on the back lot at nine o'clock
in the morning Soldier Sam teamed up with a gang of Elves to dig the hole and four cameras. He called you up from a field telephone and told you to go to the costumer and get into an elf suit. Now you remember?' asked Sarina.
'I don't load my mind with details, the Reindeer responded.
'You called up that they didn't have one to fit you and Soldier Sam told you to shut up and get into one anyhow. When you got out to the back lot you were sore as hell because your suit didn't fit.'
The Reindeer smiled charmingly.
'You have a most remarkable memory, Sarina Are you sure you have the right picture--and the right actor?' he asked.
'Am I!' exclaimed Sarina. 'I can see you right now. Only you didn't have much time to complain about that elves uniform because that wasn't Soldier Sam’s plan.
Soldier Sam always thought you were the toughest ham in the North Pole to get anything natural out of--and he had a scheme.
Soldier Sam was going to get the heart of the Christmas picture shot by noon--before you even knew you were acting. He turned you around and shoved you down into that Frosting hole on your backside, and yelled "Camera".'
'That's a lie,' said The Reindeer. 'I got down by myself.'
'Then why did you start yelling?' demanded Sarina. 'I can still hear you: "Hey, what's the idea! Is this some -- -- workplace prank? You get me out of here or I'll walk out on you!"
'--and all the time you were trying to claw your way up the side of that Frosting pit, so damn mad you couldn't see. You'd almost get up and then you'd slide back and lie there with your face working--till finally you began to get really worked up and all this time Soldier Sam had four cameras on you.
After about twenty minutes you gave up and just sat there, out of wind. Soldier Sam took a hundred feet of reel to record that and then he had a couple of prop men pull you out.'
So you had no right to file that false action claim against Soldier Sam. All you reindeer should be upset with yourselves for overtaking Soldier Sam and putting him in that studio lot holding cell.
Santa had arrived in the Christmas squad car. He stood in the doorway against the lamp of the Main Steet
'What you got here, Sarina? Someone who sampled too much Bourbon today?' asked Santa.
Sarina walked over to the holding cell, unlocked it and beckoned Soldier Sam to come out. Soldier Sam blinked a moment--then his eyes fell on the reindeer and he shook his finger at him.
'So you see I do know the whole story about you,' Sarina said. 'Soldier Sam cut that piece of film and titled it so you were supposed to be a race car driver who was being forced to serve as a Christmas Eve Sleigh puller.
You wanted to climb out and get at Soldier Sam in revenge, but Frosting all around and the Frosting kept knocking you back in.' added Sarina.
'What's it about?' demanded Santa.
'I want to prove I know this guy’s business,' said Sarina. 'Soldier Sam said the best moment in the picture was when the reindeer was yelling "I've already gotten the Gig with Santa on Christmas Eve!”
Soldier Sam titled it "Rough Transition to North Pole Career”
'You've got here "Collision with Bourbon",' said Santa looking at the blotter. 'Let's take these guys down to the precinct and give them the test.'
'Look here now,' said the Reindeer with his flashing smile, 'my name's Randy the Reindeer.. You can’t hold my crew in county.”
The Santa remembered the name and the face but he was not especially impressed because the North Pole was full of reindeer with bad attitudes- Comet, Dancer and Dasher, and all the rest.
All the reindeer failed that drinking test in the field, so they got into the squad car at the gate
After the test the reindeer were held at the station house until Rudolph could arrange bail.
Sarina was all ready to go but her car would not run, so Santa offered to drive her home.
'Where do you want to go, Sarina?' Santa asked as they started off.
Let’s just drive around listening to Christmas Music for the night. When a friend of mine wakes up I’ll touch her for a couple of bucks and go to the Best North Pole Hotel Conference.'
'Well now,' said Santa, 'I got a couple of bucks that aren’t working.'
The great mansions of Los Angeles slid by and Sarina waved her hand at them in salute.
'Last Christmas was nice,”' Sarina said, 'I like to be able to drop into some of those houses day or night. And Sunday mornings for football--'
'Is that all true you said in the station,' Santa asked, '--about how they put that unlucky reindeer in the Frosting Pit?'
'Sure, it is,' said Sarina. 'That guy needn't have been so upstage. He's just a reindeer like all the rest.
LAST DAY ON EARTH
“Solider Sam, I wish you'd fix up this Kitchen every once in a while. This one isn‘t working," Sarina was frustrated.
"What's wrong with it?" Solider Sam asked.
"I don't know."
"I just want you to look at it, is all, or call a maintenance guy in to look at it."
“What would he find?” Solider Sam didn’t like where this conversation was going.
"You know very well what he'd find." Sarina paused in the middle of the kitchen and watched the stove busy humming to itself, making supper.
"It's just that the Kitchen is different now than it was." Sarina continued.
"All right, let's have a look, Soldier Sam agreed.
He walked over and opened the Freezer.
Solider Sam’s approach threw off a switch somewhere and the Kitchen light flicked.
The light kept going on and off like it was on autopilot.
"Well, there is something wrong with the Kitchen you found, Solider Sam. Nice Work.”
“The Freezer is completely empty. That’s a Problem.” Soldier Sam observed.
"But nothing's ever good enough for you, Solider Sam" Sarina said. You could at least make yourself useful during the day.
The Freezer was empty as the Staples Center when the Lakers were getting blown out in the 4th Quarter.
“The autopilot must have forgotten to go grocery shopping,” Sarina was getting sarcastic.
Now, as Sarina and Solider Sam stood in the center of the Kitchen, Solider Sam had an bright idea.
"Let's order a Pizza and get it delivered," he said. "This freezer is pretty empty and it’s your fault you didn’t stop by the Market on your way home from Rams Practice.”
“But you haven’t been doing anything all day except playing on your phone, Sarina shot back.
Solider Sam didn’t say anything.
"You‘re so Lazy,” Sarina complained.
Solider Sam put his hand up to shield off the criticism.
“If you only knew the shit I have to deal with on my phone” Solider Sam replied.
"Are you serious?" Sarina sounded peculiarly tense.
"Yeah, I’m always late for meetings because I am constantly scrambling to figure out what they are going to be talking about. Always Late. It’s not fun.”
“I bet there’s nothing on your phone anyways. No one is paying attention to your Reports.“ Sarina started to throw punches.
The only thing I ever see that you write down is material for your Comic Books.“ Sarina continued.
“Let’s get back to talking about the Kitchen, Sarina. I’m hungry.” Solider Sam tried to redirect the conversation.
Soldier Sam was filled with admiration for whoever invented Dinner Delivery. A miracle for a reasonable price. They should figure out how to cook every kind of food that we just get delivered by calling one number, like 1-800-FOOD-4-ME
Every home should have that on Speed Dial so we wouldn’t always have to eat Pasteles“, Suggested Solider Sam.
Oh, really Solider Sam? Are we going to walk down that road tonight? Sarina was upset.
I want Dinner to taste like a quick jaunt to any place in the world as a change of scenery. Instead of flying to the Bronx Caribbean every night, said Solider Sam.
Well, there it was! Sarina and Solider Sam were fighting their way through an argument again.
And here came the Lions now, tempers flaring and so startlingly real you felt like you were being punished by a Roman Ruler in the Coliseum.
The Lions stood looking at Sarina and Solider Sam like they were hungry too.
"Watch out, Solider Sam!" screamed Sarina.
The lions came running at them. Sarina bolted and ran for the Patio. Instinctively, Soldier Sam followed after her.
Outside on the Patio, with the door slammed they both looked at the other's reaction.
"Solider Sam!", Sarina exclaimed. “Let’s stop fighting right now!”
“Sarina! I just got bitched out by the entire Pentagon today. I’m pretty stressed.
"They almost got us, Solider Sam!" Sarina was relieved it was that simple of a problem to fix.
“Here Soldier Sam. Now that we’re standing out on the Patio I got you a pack of cigarettes on my way home. But I didn’t have time to stop at the Grocery Store. So we still have that problem we were arguing about in the house.“
Sarina didn’t like fighting at all. Neither did Soldier Sam.
Here's your pack of Cigarettes. I bet running the business was rough today if you say it was.” Sarina was being the bigger person.
Solider Sam checked the patio door.
"It's got to be locked with all this smoke.” Sarina reminded him “That's all there is to it."
"All right." Reluctantly Soldier Sam locked the Patio door.
"You've been working too hard, Solider Sam. You need a rest." Sarina just wanted the argument to end.
"Actually, maybe I don't have enough to do. Maybe I have time to think too much.” Soldier Sam offered. “Why don't we shut the whole house off for a few days and take a vacation?"
"You mean you want to go somewhere? Are You Serious?” Sarina asked.
“I guess“, offered Solider Sam.
"But I thought that's why we got this house, so we wouldn't have to go anywhere.” Sarina said.
"I suppose I have been smoking too much. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself in this house when you are gone. I smoke a little more every morning and drink a little more every afternoon. I need something else to do.”
"Oh, Solider Sam!" She looked beyond him, though the door. "Those lions can't get out of there, can they?"
He looked at the door. "Of course not," he said. You have your phone in your pocket don’t you? Let’s just have dinner delivered to the Patio.”
“But I forgot the number.” Soldier Sam admitted.
As the Captain of this Starship, you tire of the seemingly endless journey through the void of space. This mission has been the only hope for Rams Fans to hold on to their dreams of once again, Filling Rams Stadium like they had done so many times before on Earth before it was destroyed by explosion of the Sun.
You convene a summit where you ask your lead engineers if there is any way to get to your destination faster. All nearby planets withing the range and speed of the Starship have been scouted and found to be unsuitable for Rams Games.
A new strategy is required to increase the power of your Starship to find a new home for Rams Football. After years of research and experimentation, the engineers report that they have found a way to increase engine efficiency, and you order your engineering team to immediately begin implementing this new design.
Soldier Sam is a Starship mechanic in charge of implementing the discovery of your engineers. Everyone else on the ship lacks the knowhow Soldier Sam has developed in a lifetime of Space Adventures, missions that he had experienced even while Rams Fans were still on Earth. Your Starship has maintained adequate resource production for a long time new but something is breaking down and production is slowing drastically.
Soldier Sam may be involved with a plot to render your Starship unable to reach more planets with the potential to host Rams Football Games. To avoid panic, you've told this information only to those Rams Fans who govern the ship as crew members and you are now tasked with fixing what's broken in time to save the Starship and determine if Soldier Sam is plotting against you.
The Starship hull shuddered hard enough that Sarina thought it would drive her brain crazy. Sarina grabbed the rail. “Open 12,” she said. “Give them a fighting chance to make the pods. There’s no more time.”
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.
“Fifty percent evacuated,” Soldier Sam reported.
“Oh, no,” Sarina thought, transfixed in her space.
Soldier Sam shouted. “Second wave of pods—”
All the lights went out with a tremendous rush of wind.
There was darkness and silence, but it wasn’t the silence of the void. Around Sarina, she could hear all the noise.
And then the lights snapped back on—ordinary, pleasant full-spectrum light, and not the yellowish emergency lights.
Sarina blinked, half-blinded, and shaded her eyes until they adjusted. When she lifted her head, Soldier Sam was standing by the sealed door, his hand on a panel housing a perfectly ordinary light switch. The air was sweet and clean, no hint of smoke.
“Congratulations,” Sarina said. “You passed.”
Sarina sat across the console table from Soldier Sam, who smiled smartly. Sarina tried not to be furious with Soldier Sam. She was only doing her job.
. Despite that, Soldier Sam pulled it together and did what had to be done in the end. In no small part due to example.
Saina was pretty upset, but showing that wouldn’t be professional. Sarina had Bourbon, at least, and drank some. “I’m so damned sorry that I let everyone down.” Sarina admitted.
Soldier Sam looked up surprised at Sarina over his own Bourbon bottle. “What makes you say that?”
“Maybe I could have done better.” responded Sarina.
“The crew is real,” Soldier Sam reminded her. “It’s just the disaster that was imaginary. And—imagine—you saved all the Rams Fans”
“You know there’s no such thing as perfection” Sarina said. “ It’s within parameters for the situation, however.”
“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 PERSEI! Check it out, Sarina!”
Planet’s Gravity field suggests it never got warm enough to differentiate into a rocky core and icy mantle, remaining instead a primitive mixture of ice and rock all the way down.
“Sounds perfect for Rams Football” exclaimed Sarina.
'Hey Sarina' Rams Mascot voice was excited too. 'I think it’s Great too,” agreed Rams Mascot?'
Actually to have interfered with the shooting of Rams Mascot’s position on Planet X was somehow a big deal, compared to which expensive exploits of Soldier Sam on the part of Rams Fans going comparatively unpunished.
Soldier Sam brought Rams Mascot with difficulty into focus, turning the camera first on one side then on the other, letting it sink, snap up and then lash forward to capture the best image taking a candid snapshot. Evidently it recorded what Rams Mascot had said.
On the other hand, zero hour for the Starship was coming soon, and Rams Mascot seemed positively the last resource and a stretch of one at that.
'Rams Mascot! Sit down and what will you have to drink? Soldier Sam, this is Rams Mascot--best Mascot in the NFL.. Are you hearing this Soldier Sam?'
Rams Mascot sat down, amid suspicious looks from Soldier Sam’s eyes. Was Rams Mascot an old friend sent to get Rams Football a home?
Rams Mascot saw this and waited for a moment until he found Sarina at the monitor.
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!!”
The air pressure increases, and Soldier Sam was complaining about the lower pressure his has adjusted to. Now, the extra pressure pushes his eardrums inward.
PLANET X ADVENTURE
Sarina was excited to finally see the Thanksgiving Day House she was so curious about. And Soldier Sam fumbled in his pocket for the key.
Sarina drew up close behind him, prepared to lose no chance of entrance, and saw in the little circle of light shed by the lantern that the door was heavily studded with iron nails, like the door of a prison.
In another minute Solder Sam had turned the key and Sarina had pushed past him into the house.
"That's for you," said Soldier Sam, with a grin. "Rams Mascot’s room is right over there."
Soldier Sam pointed to a door painted in the same Rams colors as the outside of the house. Soldier Sam set Sarina in motion.
Sarina crossed over, rapped somewhat loudly on the door, and went in, without waiting for an invitation. Rams Mascot rose from a table covered with Rams football memorabilia and Game Tapes, along with notebooks full of plays.
Rams Mascot confronted Sarina sternly.
"Who are you?" said Rams Mascot "How came you here? What do you want?"
"Sarina, Rams Team Reporter. On foot across the island. Just a chance to rest for a moment and drink a little Bourbon. That is all’ Sarina answered.
“We have to get out and continue on our journey to the Ship Dock and find some Thanksgiving Food Supply. All we have found so far on the way here were some Nuts’” Sarina explained.
Rams Mascot bent his eyebrows into an intimidating frown.
"Mine is not a house of entertainment," Rams Mascot said, squarely. "Soldier Sam, how dared you admit this stranger?"
"I didn't admit her," grumbled Soldier Sam. "She followed me on my walk over from the Repair Shop , and shouldered her way in before me.
“I'm no match for a beautiful woman like Sarina” Soldier Sam continued..”It’s a weakness of mine. I pour My Heart out to her, and she does with it what she pleases!"
"And tell me, by what right have you forced an entrance into my house, Sarina?" Rams Mascot demanded.
"The same by which I should have clung to a boat, if I were drowning. The right of self-preservation." Replied Sarina. “This Bottle of Bourbon is almost empty, See?”
"Your own self interest? In a Bourbon Bottle?" asked Rams Mascot.
"All we have found in our quest for Thanksgiving Dinner on the ground so far is Nuts," Sarina replied, briefly; "hardy sufficient for a Holiday Meal Celebration"
Rams Mascot strode to the window, pulled aside a heavy curtain, again the Teams’ Colors and looked out.
"Well, I guess you can take a break here," Rams Mascot said. "You can stay, if you choose, for a few hours before you two head on your way for Thanksgiving Dinner. Soldier Sam, serve the Bourbon Drinks."
With this Rams Mascot waved Sarina to a seat, resumed his football activities, and became at once again absorbed in the Rams Football Studies from which Sarina had disturbed him.
Sarina placed her coat and hat in a corner, drew a chair to the hearth, and examined her quarters at leisure.
Sarina stared about with an amazement increased by every fresh object upon which her eyes chanced to rest. So strange a room Sarina had never seen; yet seemed it stranger still, to find such a room on Magic Island.
Over and over again, Sarina looked from her host to his surroundings, all football related, and from his surroundings back to her host, asking herself who and what he could be?
While Sarina was yet observing Rams Mascot the door opened, and Soldier Sam brought in the drinks. Rams Mascot then closed his book, rose, and with more courtesy of manner than he had yet shown, invited Sarina to the table.
Soldier Sam opened up the Bag of Nuts he and Sarina had collected and placed them in little Party Dishes On the Table.
“We might as well snack on these Nuts to make the Bourbon settle a bit. We might have to wait a bit for our Thanksgiving Dinner; that is, if we are lucky enough to find it today.” Soldier Sam said.
"I have but the basic run-of-the-mill Bourbon to offer you, Sarina," said her entertainer. "Your appetite, I trust, will make up for the deficiencies,
Sarina had already made herself at home, at the Rams Mascot House and thanked Rams Mascot, saying that she had never tasted anything so delicious, except at your Local Los Angeles Burger King Restaurant.
Rams Mascot bowed in courtesy, and sat down to share those Nuts, which along with the Bourbon were the only supplies to be found there.
Sarina carried on her Thanksgiving Day business in silence, and, when everyone had finished snacking, Soldier Sam removed the tray. Sarina then drew her chair back to the fireside.
Rams Mascot, somewhat to Sarina’s surprise, did the same, and turning abruptly towards her, started to brief her on his Life so far.
"Sarina, I have lived here on Magic Island in the Rams offseason for almost two decades. During that time, I have not seen as many strange faces, and I have not read a single newspaper” Rams Mascot began to explain.
“You are the first stranger who has crossed my threshold for several years. Will you favour me with a few words of information respecting that outer world outside of Rams Stadium that I have parted company with so long?" Rams Mascot asked.
"Go Ahead and Fire," Sarina replied. "I am at your service."
Rams Mascot caught Sarina’s eyes in acknowledgment; leaned forward, with his elbows resting on his knees and his chin supported in the palms of his hands; stared fixedly into the fire; and proceeded to question Sarina.
Rams Mascot spoke with bitterness, and, having said this, relapsed for some minutes into silence. Presently he raised his head from his hands, and added, with a different voice and manner,
"I, Sarina, paused, investigated, believed, and was not afraid to state my convictions to the world. I, too, was branded as a visionary, held up to ridicule by my contemporaries, and hooted from that 5 sided Pentagon in which I had laboured with honour during all the best years of my life.
“These things happened a long time ago,” continued Rams Mascot. Since then, I have lived as you see me living now, and the world has forgotten me, as I have forgotten the world. You have my history."
"It is a very interesting one," Sarina murmured, scarcely knowing what to answer.
"It is a very common one," Rams Mascot replied. "I have only suffered for the truth, as many a better and wiser man has suffered before me."
Rams Mascot rose, as if desirous of ending the conversation, and went into the kitchen.
“I don’t have much to offer, but I do have this Frozen Turkey in the freezer I can put in a paper bag, so then it will be a bit easier on you two cause you will just have to come up with the fixins.”
“Oh, Look!” Rams Mascot was surprised. “I had forgotten, There is a Pumpkin Pie too. So you can have that as well if you want.”
“Oh, Thank You, Rams Mascot. That is such a generous and kind action!” Sarina was delighted.
"Look, Soldier Sam!" Sarina exclaimed, starting eagerly to her feet. "Oh, will you look at what Rams Mascot made possible for us tonight. What A Treat!”
“Even if we don’t find anything else when we make out way across to the Dock, We will not be hungry tonight. What a relief” Sarina gave thanks.
"At the Ship Dock," Rams Mascot echoed, thoughtfully. "Yes, the distance, it is true, but--are you so very motivated to spend the next hours to get there?"
"Yes, so very, very motivated, that I would just give away Rams Tickets for next season, lets hope there is one, to anyone at this moment for a chance to have Thanksgiving dinner at the Dock."
"Your wish can be gratified with a surprise too,," said Rams Mascot, smiling.
“I have inside information that a Special Ship will be docking there soon, a Ship full of Mystery.
If Soldier Sam were to go with you to meet the ship, and put you aboard, why, you could find your way to maybe the most exciting Thanksgiving you have ever expected,” Rams Mascot suggested
"A unique experience, to be sure." Rams Mascot added.
Rams Mascot smiled again, rang his Bell again with another drink of Bourbon, gave Soldier Sam directions, and, taking yet another bottle of Bourbon from the shelf offered it to the pair as a gift for their company that Holiday.
"The trip over to the Dock could be difficult walking, will this do for the rest of Turkey Day? I have noticed you are stumbling a bit so that probably means you have had plenty already.” Rams Mascot observed.
Sarina would have declined the extra liquor, for Rams Mascot was right, she was already feeling a bit toasty, but Rams Mascot pressed it on her so she agreed.
Just for good measure, Sarina took one last stab at the bottle on the table and it seemed like a liquid flame, and almost took her breath away.
"It is strong," Sarina said; "but it will help to keep our spirits up on the Journey. Good night, Rams Mascot!! You’re the Best!"
Sarina thanked Rams Mascot for his hospitality, and would have given him a salute but that he had turned away before Sarina could finish her sentence.
In another minute Sarina was out the door. Soldier Sam had locked it behind her, so Sarina and Soldier Sam were out on their way to discover what would be in front of them at the Dock.
Soldier Sam, less prepared than he should have been for his mission, given the sheer mass of Bourbon he and Sarina had consumed that day, shambled on before in silence, his lantern in his hand, and his shadow at his feet.
Sarina followed, she was glad for the peace and quiet after The Great Thanksgiving Pre-Party she had with so much fun experienced with Soldier Sam.
Sarina’s thoughts were full of the wonderful host Rams Mascot was that day. His voice yet rang in her ears like a Bell. Musing thus over what she had heard, and striving to recall a lost link here and there, Sarina strode on at the heels of Soldier Sam, making good progress on the Trail.
Presently--at the end, as it seemed to Sarina, of not so much time walking as she had expected—Soldier Sam came to a sudden halt, and said:
"Here’s the road to the Dock. Keep the stone fence to your left hand, and you can't fail of the way."
"The road's a fair road enough," Soldier Sam explained, "for foot passengers; but 'twas over steep and narrow for vehicular traffic. You'll mind where the parapet's broken away, close again the sign-post. It's never been fixed in years.
"Near the sign-post, you say? I will bear it in mind. Let’s Do It!" Sarina was feeling Brave.
"This ship is probably docked already” Soldier Sam was thinking about their inability to find any more Supplies for Thanksgiving Day Dinner, and was happy he was carrying the Turkey and Pumpkin Pie Rams Mascot had gifted them, and of course, the enormous sack of nuts.
Sarina and Soldier Sam walked faster. Sarina hummed a fragment of a tune, casting up enormous excitement in her head, having nothing to do with the Ship or the Upcoming Thanksgiving Day Feast
Sarina did her best to dismiss the wild speculations about the docking of the Ship and, to some extent, she succeeded.
There could be no doubt, however, of the fact, for the lights grew larger and brighter every moment, and Sarina even fancied she could already see the dark outline of the Ship ahead It was coming up very fast, and quite noiselessly, as Sarina and Soldier Sam picked up their pace.
Now the Ship was upon them and Sarina, in which might have been the boldest action of her Life, bounded up on to the Ship and motioned to Soldier Sam to bring the Thanksgiving Day Supplies on board.
Sarina attempted to open a conversation.
"How amazing this ship is tonight," Sarina said, addressing the Captain.
The Captain, looked at Sarina, but made no reply.
"The Siege of the Island," Sarina added, "seems to have begun in earnest."
"This ship," Sarina continued, "is clearly in a post-battle condition., I suppose you have brought to this Island to under repair?"
“Yes.” said the Captain. We plan to disembark and get this thing to the Shop, but not before we all eat Thanksgiving Dinner. Our Chefs have been working non-stop to prepare a great Thanksgiving Day Feast.”
We have all been looking forward to this. Would you and your Friend like to join us on the Ship?” asked the Captain.
“Of course!!” exclaimed Sarina. “That sounds wonderful!”
So Sarina and Soldier Sam sat down at the Thanksgiving Table and gave thanks for each other’s company.
The table was shared by many of the ship’s company, and not knowing what else to say..
“You’re awesome & tasty” said Sarina to the nuts. It had been a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner so far. Sarina's sweet face beamed down the length of the great table. Both Sarina and Solider Sam felt very thankful.
"I wish all the children this side of the Seven Seas had some Turkey, Stuffing, Potatoes with Gravy, Cranberries, Pumpkin Pie, and things," Sarina said quietly. Sarina was always thinking of beautiful things like that.
"And some nuts," Sarina said, setting her beautiful white teeth into the meat of a big fat nut. "It wouldn't seem like Thanksgiving without nuts."
"I know somebody who would be thankful with just nuts," smiled Sarina.
"Indeed, I think I would rather have them for all the courses of my Thanksgiving Day Dinner Today, Sarina said"
"Just nuts! No Turkey, No Fixins, or anything!" Sarina's head bobbed up from her plate and nut pickers in amazement. “Just nuts!”
"Sarina!" laughed Solider Sam. "Why, of course! Sarina! She would rather have just nuts for her Thanksgiving Dinner this time."
"I wish Sarina had more of my nuts today," Soldier Sam said to no one in particular, but they all laughed heartily, as heartily as they were eating the delicious food the chefs had worked so hard at preparing for everyone. It sure was tasty!!
What a Wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner Sarina and Soldier Sam had that Evening!
"I stuffed plenty in my Face, thank you." It was the satisfied voice of Sarina at her Best. Some nut juice had spilled onto her attire.
Soldier Sam looked at Sarina in surprise, for how did he ever believe this morning that Sarina would have plenty of nuts?
Then Sarina realized something and wanted to tell the world. Everyone at the Table could hear her as clear as a Bell.
"I’m where Solider Sam’s nuts went to!" Sarina yelled so everyone on the entire Ship could hear her. "He gave them to Me!“
Everyone at their Thanksgiving Tables throughout the entire Ship imagined correctly what she had done with all of it."
"Yes, that's where," said Sarina, leaning over her plate. And sure enough, it was. They all went into Sarina’s nut-hungry mouth!
And Sarina had found the very best ones she was sure, for not one was left when she came back to the table after grabbing some more Bourbon for everyone on that Lucky Ship, now graced with Sarina’s presence.
"Why, maybe, this very minute - right now – I’ve figured out the Ultimate Thanksgiving Day Dinner," Sarina laughed.
"Just as I dreamed about! Maybe I’ve come to the ultimate nut course - but every time I open my eyes it’s just a Load of all nut courses.
And maybe all the rest of the Folks that have been waiting for Solider Sam to join up on the ship—are giving thanks to me for all my hard work," Sarina exclaimed.
Soldier Sam Certainly Was. He knew Sarina was the one and only in the World he would ever want to share Thanksgiving Dinner with. What a Gift Sarina is always, but especially on that Thanksgiving Night!!
Soldier Sam caught Sarina’s hand to get some courage. Sarina was so experienced at space journeys, she was sitting conformably and told Soldier Sam to be normal. Soldier Sam tried his best to be normal and within a few minutes got his confidence back.
There was a problem. Some of the forces on the islands would not be part of the action, and the chairman knew that, if they were left out, they would not likely react positively to their exclusion. As with any raid, if it were to achieve any level of success, detailed planning must be carried out with consideration given to any possible eventualities. Each column had their own responsibilities and targets.
The water was icy, and Sarina reflected immediately that it was colder than she had expected to find it on the coast. This appeared to her dazed mind as a fact important enough to be noted at the time. The cold water was tragic.
When Sarina came to the surface she was conscious of little but the noisy water. Afterward she saw her companion in the sea. Soldier Sam was swimming strongly and rapidly.
There is a certain immovable quality to a shore, and Sarina wondered at it amid the confusion of the sea. The piece of life-preserver lay under her and sometimes she whirled down the incline of a wave as if she was on a handsled.
Our unit would hang out at the closest position to the islands, and lay in wait for the convoy and serve as a navigational beacon for the flank. Reconnaissance task forces were to rush back to the points and give the officers a chance to review the photographs and maps of gathering Mainland forces that would serve to be crucial for the unit to pull off the objectives set forth by the chairman. All the tactical information was quickly reviewed so there was an up to date view of the targets.
Sarina and Soldier Sam were approaching nearer to shore.
Sarina remained in the grip of this strange new enemy--a current. The shore, with its white slope of sand and its green bluff was spread like a picture impressively before her. It was growing nearer and nearer, for both Sarina and Soldier Sam.
A wave whirled Sarina out of this small, deadly current, for she found suddenly that she could again make progress toward the shore.
Sarina and Soldier Sam dashed inside the base and snuck through the halls. Suddenly, a group of adversaries were coming towards them from all directions!
“In here!” shouted Sarina, and Soldier Sam followed into an office looking room and locked the door.
Sarina and Soldier Sam were frantic trying to think of a plan when Sarina noticed a big orange button that said Code Emergency!
“Should we press it? What do you think it does?” asked Soldier Sam in a Panic. “
I guess we’ll find out!” shouted Sarina as she slammed down the button. Suddenly the space ships intercom began to countdown.
MOON ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES
It all started when Sarina was on holiday and decided to go on an adventure to make the day even better. Sarina was excited to go on a Magical Safari!
So Sarina packed her things and prepared for an adventurous safari. Sarina decided to hire a tour guide to drive her to camp site. It would be a Holiday Sarina would never forget.
The night before the start to a Safari Adventure Experience, a group of pirates landed on the beach at Magic Forest Island, including a tough one named Sarina.
When Sarina’s last adventure guarding a bottle of Bourbon was complete, Sarina was celebrated and asked to sign up for a Safari.
Some Pirates went below deck, announcing to Sarina, “Sarina you are going on a Safari Adventure Next. This is your new mission!”
They summoned Sarina and took her from the caverns of the boat.
Sarina’s was free once more to seek fun and adventure. And fun and adventure Sarina would find on this Safari Jungle Extravaganza.
Sarina had spent many joyous Pirate Missions with the Pirates on the ship, sharing the wonder of the whole wide world. and the Crew had to land at the Entrance to a Safari Adventure Experience.
But just as all the Pirate Treasure Hype started picking up steam, Sarina is about to find herself head over heels in another adventure..
Sarina was alert as could be and knew she was getting close as she saw herds of zebras grazing. It was Sarina’s first sight of animals in the wild. It was the most amazing thing she had ever seen.
When Sarina arrived at the campsite she saw tour-goers jumping up and down as high as any kangaroo. After they did their Safari dance for Sarina she became quite hungry, and the order of the day was rice and a strange meat called bubaduckbie,
it was quite different to any meat Sarina had ever eaten. The rest of the pirates were tired and decided it was time for a nap so Sarina went into their cabin and hopped onto the cot and pretended to sleep. The cot was actually a plank of wood with a table cloth on it. But Sarina didn’t care.
All the pirates were so exhausted from their voyage they could have slept anywhere. As Sarina pretended to be dozing off to sleep she just could not stop thinking of what the next day would bring.
Sarina heard the sound of a vicious roar outside the camp. At first she didn’t know what it was, but then it was quite obvious, it was a lion. Sarina considered for a moment to stay with her companions and thought she was too scared to go outside. Sarina looked to see if all the others was awake, but they was still sound asleep.
Sarina thought of the small brush fence that surrounded the campsite from the wilderness and her heart started to race. She imagined the lion would jump that fence and decide she was the dinner of the day.
After a while the roar sounded further away, until Sarina couldn’t hear it at all. Next, Sarina heard voices chattering, and went outside to see what it was.
The wind had turned the jungle into a Safari wonderland; and as the pirates worked hard to get prepared for the long journey ahead, the wind blowing the sand dunes was getting stronger.
There was one pirate that had no intention of taking a break.
Sarina didn’t understand the need to sleep for such a long time.
It was Sarina’s first Safari, and instead of just sticking in one space like all the other Pirates she wanted to explore the jungle for the first time by herself.
Sarina was the youngest and smallest Pirates in her group, and the grown up Pirates never let her forget it. She was constantly teased about her size and age.
As the other Pirates prepared to get situated in one spot for the entire next voyage, Sarina stretched her legs and rested next to a jungle tree.
“Are you going to fall asleep before we’ve even staked out our spots, Sarina?” asked one of the older Pirates.
“Just taking a little break, that’s all,” said Sarina.
“You haven’t been doing much to help out,” said another one.“What are you so tired from?”
“I’m not that tired, and if you ask me it’s a waste of time to sleep for so long. I would rather be out having fun on a Safari,” said Sarina.
“Sarina, even though you’re a Pirate try not to be such a problem to be around,” said the Pirate Boss.. All of Sarina’s compatriots laughed at the big Pirate’s comment.
“Sarina, in order to be rested we need to stick in one spot during this trip,” said the Pirate Boss.
“Yes, Sir” replied Sarina.
Sarina kept to herself for the rest of the evening while the other Pirates prepared to settle down for their long nap. Sarina knew once the other Pirates fell asleep she could leave the gathering spot without being noticed.
And that’s exactly what Sarina did.
After all the other Pirates began to snore, Sarina quietly sneaked out into the jungle for her Safari.
While her fellow pirates slept, all the Safari animals were awake and it was time for breakfast. After breakfast it was time for Sarina’s Safari. First off, Sarina saw warthogs; they were very cheeky, running away with their tails straight up.
Sarina’s mind was clear and the morning calls are carried in the fresh air. It’s like nature is broadcasting in Dolby Digital, and her senses feel almost superhuman.
“This is my personal safari story.” Considered Sarina.
During walking trails leading through the brush Sarina thought how wonderful it would be to get up every day just before sunrise and take a short stroll near camp.
The birds are tuning their loud instruments for the morning show. Hippos sound their baritone grunts from the coffee pools and monkeys chatter in the Jackalberry trees that branch over the winding River.
Signs of the traveling party that had already moved on are printed in the sand. A herd of elephants that moved past camp; pug marks from the hyenas that wooped outside until 3am; the frightened impalas that skipped by when the lions roared an hour later.
The sand still falls from the cusps of the cat’s pug marks, meaning the shy animal passed by only moments before.
There is a reason why senses are sharper and clearer when walking on a Safari.
Scientific studies have shown that time spent on Safaris actually makes everyone who experiences such an adventure more intelligent, more creative, better at solving problems, and also have longer attention spans after walking in the wilderness.
In essence, Sarina was no different to the original nature walkers. And this wilderness is their ancient stomping ground.
The leopard is close, and the skin on the back of Sarina’s neck began to tingle.
A predator does not always move silently through the bush. When other creatures become aware of its presence, the thickets begin to reverberate.
The birds, insects, monkeys and other animals all have their way of alarming when there is danger in the area. It’s like a natural police unit made up of volunteers from the whole neighbourhood, and if you are tuned into the frequency, you know what to listen and look for.
Monkeys call their croaking alarm from the top of a jackal berry tree; squirrels shriek from the branches, and a bushbuck barks like dogs down by the river.
Sarina’s pulse rises. she drew a deep breath, listening. She was aware of the dangers, but could feel the pull of the tracks in the sand.
Sarina tried to visualise her route, to tune into her mental frequency, to become the leopard. She wanted to follow the tracks; to trace the wild course along the spine of this ancient river, past 1000-year-old baobab trees, over open grassland plains, through shallow valleys.
Sarina took another look into the bush, staring deep into the brown to see if she could spot anything, but the alarm calls seem more distant now—the leopard is moving down the bank into into the riverbed.
Once Sarina was through the park’s gates – a herd of grazing impalas greeted her; Sarina rubbed her eyes in disbelief! Then a short distance on – a herd of zebras moving swiftly through the bush! Sarina kept photographing frantically just in case this dream would end, but no! An elephant just appeared around the corner”
The park is huge and is teaming with wildlife, but by nightfall visitors must stay secure in a camp, there are many camps in the park offering good amenities, excellent restaurants and safari drives.
As Sarina picked up her pace, she noticed three green looking hyenas slinking slyly about waiting to make their meal. Sarina stopped to look at them.
At first, Sarina was happy with her new found freedom and Loved being able to do whatever she wanted.
Sarina rolled around in the sand and repeatedly fell to the ground to make sand angels. But after some time passed, Sarina started to feel alone and missed her Pirate family.
The food she was accustomed to eating was long gone, and Sarina found herself growing very hungry.
Sarina had also traveled a great distance, and even though she had a powerful sense of situational awareness, she was finding it hard to get any real position on her location.
Sarina leaned into the breeze, and took a step forward.
But there was a sound the opposite direction—the familiar sounds of a truck bumping along and the sounds reminded Sarina of safety, of comfort, of belonging.
The kudu bark in the distance, this time further down the river. The leopard is moving fast. A francolin bursts from the bushes and the monkeys chatter away to each other.
Suddenly out of nowhere, Sarina heard a sound close by. The noise startled Sarina, so she looked around to see where it was coming from.
Sarina didn’t see anything! The loud sound could be heard again, and this time Sarina knew it was getting closer.
“Who’s there?” asked Sarina. “I’m a Pirate so you better watch out.”
At that moment, Soldier Sam peeked at Sarina from his vantage point in the Truck and looked around a tree. He ran over fallen tree limbs and Sarina figured that’s what was making the noise.
As Sarina started her Special Safari ride in Soldier Sam’s Truck, the waterfall was as blue as the bluest sky, and it fell into a lake that disappeared into the horizon. The sun blazed in a relentless burning flame, cracking the earth into a giant puzzle. Sarina started walking in awe, her heart bursting with the beauty before her.
Sarina grew up with nice surroundings and had traveled some, but nothing could compare to this kind of beauty. There was an untamed wildness to the Jungle that inspired wonder, and Sarina felt lucky just to witness it.
Soldier Sam had money falling out of his pockets from the Truck bouncing all over with nothing to get for it.. He looked like a seasoned trooper Safari Guide in camouflage. “I’m acting like a tree so butterflies will come,” he said. As he waited on the grass, a huge orange butterfly landed on his face.
Soldier Sam picked it up and said to no one in particular “A butterfly has come to see you.” His eyes widened. His wishes won’t always come true, but one did that day.
The Orange Butterfly was lost in the desert wind, exhausted, as it spiraled towards the ground on helpless wings. Sarina snatched it out of the air and cupped the beautiful creature in her hands.
The Orange Butterfly was battered by the winds, but safe in Sarina’s care.
Sarina ran out towards the flowers. The butterfly was too weak to perch, so Sarina cupped it in her palm and held her hands up to each flower to drink. Slowly, the butterfly perked up with legs tightened on Sarina’s finger. Then she spread her wings and flew off on her own: a tiny, sweet miracle.
It was beautiful on the desert dunes and Monster winds blew the sand around. Soldier Sam’s Truck was being tossed around like a Pinball in an Arcade Game.
Sarina had been tossed in the Wild Jungle with only her bottle of Bourbon for company.
Things like that happen in adventures.
By the time the calming colours chased away the clouds, this adventure was getting too hot for a Small Pirate Like Sarina.
Thank goodness Sarina was scooped up by Soldier Sam in his Truck!
Sarina was so glad she got to jump on board Soldier Sam’s Truck and was Safe again.
Then everything changed..
Soldier Sam’s skipped Sarina across the desert to a Magic Orange Tent of forever Free. An Oasis in the Jungle, Far Away from competitor Pirates.
Sarina was scared that some animals were going to jump into the truck and. In the distance saw a mother cheetah and a cub. They were beautiful. Sarina could have stayed there watching them all day. But it was time to move on.
Now it was time to go to see the elephants. Sarina loved the elephants; the colour reminded her of silver silk. The elephants didn’t seem to mind her being there, until Sarina went closer.
As one of the elephants turned around and made eye contact with Sarina, it started to move towards her, then another elephant came and another and another, until there were dozens of elephants chasing her.
Sarina was petrified. But Soldier Sam knew what to do. He blew this whistle that wasn’t very loud to Sarina, but was piercing to them. Immediately all the elephants turned around and stopped chasing us. Sarina made a decision that it was time to move on, for she didn’t want any more mishaps to happen.
Soldier Sam revved the motor, bumping Sarina along in the golden grasslands to where a mother Rhino was standing with her child who was the size of a motorcycle. Soldier Sam stopped the truck several yards away from them, and Sarina’s breath stopped in her chest as they approached us.
The Rhino towered above them, staring, and then charged. But when the Beautiful Beast came within five feet, it quickly and abruptly turned and sauntered away.
“Whoa!” Soldier Sam exclaimed as Sarina sat frozen in her seat. “Hah! She was just playing around,” Soldier Sam laughed.
Suddenly, she charged again. It was not a heartwarming sign that Soldier Sam looked scared. When she was a couple feet away from hitting the Truck, Safari Sam slapped the side of the truck hard with his hand. The Rhino screeched to a stop, heaving, and then turned away.
Sarina picked her heart off the ground and continued on her way.
“Please don’t bump me along the road so fast, Sarina asked.
Soldier Answer was “ I’m just a tour guide. That’s what I do!”
“Relax,” said Soldier Sam. “I’m not going to let you get hurt on the ride or anything like that.”
“I’m not scared” Sarina said with conviction.
“Well, that’s a relief to hear, but aren’t Pirates the toughest around?” asked Soldier Sam.
“Yeah, we’re big and tough all right, but I don’t want to get into an accident on this road,” said Sarina.
On these dusty track safari drives Sarina had most magical encounters with rhinos, sleeping lions, wrestling giraffes, sparring elephants and even a brief glimpse of an elusive cheetah stalking its prey.
Equally the most exciting river safaris revealed an exceptional array of birds along the riverbank reeds; yellow weavers, kingfishers, hornbills, a giant footed African jacana walking effortlessly on the waterlily leaf, a lazing crocodile blending in so perfectly, pods of Hippos yawning and sparring.
The next stop was the waterfalls. The huge water cloud hovering above signalled what is about to unfold. In no time, with Sarina drenched in her raincoat, she found herelf standing in front of the largest, most beautiful and most majestic waterfall on the planet. The sound of a million litres of water falling every second down a 350 Foot drop along a mile-long strip, was deafening – a treat that few other places in the world can offer.
Sarina and Soldier Sam we now aboard the grand ‘Safari Queen’ cruising on the river spotting hippos and crocodiles.
Sarina had no time to waste, driving in the SUV ready for a true safari adventure. Soldier Sam took a glance and nodded “I am very doubtful if we can do it with this vehicle, it has rained and there are puddles”
Stuck in a huge puddle, Sarina found herself face to face with this old lone and grumpy buffalo whose kingdom she dared to invade. Luckily the engine re started and reversed carefully out of this puddle, making Sarina promise herself that from now on she would stick to organized safari trips only! Soldier Sam was not much on organization.
The safari trips were a true ‘off the beaten track’ wildlife adventure. Watching Soldier Sam dodging the treacherous terrain yet keeping a keen eye animal spotting proved how it might not be such a great idea for Sarina to self-drive in this totally alien environment.
Sarina saw a pack of rare wild dogs setting off to hunt, vultures perched on a dead tree waiting their turn to gorge on a buffalo carcass, crocodiles soaking up the sun on the river bank just a few feet away from her boat. Giraffes and Hippos grazing whilst huge herds of Elephants fearlessly cruising along in the background.
Sarina and Soldier Sam decided to set their poles in rocks, serving as lines in the sand off the front of a small gathering of trees, and set up camp for a quick meal.
Just as an unattended pole bent with the weight of the wind, they spotted other Tour guests from the lodge coming over by the front side of the camp.
Faced with a decision between eating their lunch enduring meal table stories from amateurs that sunny afternoon, Soldier Sam decided to get Sarina and himself out of there.
“We’ll just eat this lunch in the Truck. We will find some shade and shelter from the wind. Sometimes, our state of mind must be served.
Riding on this truck with Soldier Sam was an ‘Out of this World ’ treat! At Elephant Sands campsite the huts surrounded a waterhole where elephants came in, between the huts, to drink and play.
Sarina decided to take a moment to rest after heat of the day watching wild elephants at the waterhole.
Sarina shared a moment with Soldier Sam drinking her coffee while the local wild life drank from the waterhole quite close to her. It all came to a climax before a massive storm, hundreds of buffalos, elephants, zebras and giraffes came out of the jungle for a last drink before they disappeared in the jungle for many days.
“Lucky me, Sarina” said Soldier Sam as they took off to find a spot for lunch. “I have a workplace that no longer wants me, and I can’t even get a Pirate in the middle of the desert on a Safari to want me either.” Complained Soldier Sam.
“Do you want me to change my mind?” asked Sarina.
“Oh no,” said Soldier Sam. “I was only joking.”
“Me too,” laughed Sarina. “I’m just teasing you.”
“I appreciate your kindness,” said Soldier Sam.
“What on Earth is a guy like you doing out in the desert anyway? This isn’t a safe place for you to be you know. asked Sarina. “There really are a lot of animals out here who could hurt you. Not to even count the potential for dehydration”
“Couldn’t the same be said for a little Pirate?” asked Soldier Sam.
“Not you too,” said Sarina. She put her arms over her face and said, “Now, I have Safari Tour Guide calling me little.”
“You appear to be quite a pint-sized pirate, so I am surprised to see you out here in the desert by yourself. That’s all I meant!” explained Soldier Sam.
“Well, I am somewhat inexperienced. And yes, I am a little Pirate,” said Sarina. “Until I get older there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t wait until then.”
“Why do you want to grow up so fast?” asked Soldier Sam.
“I am tired of being teased about my inexperience and size.” Sarina replied.
“As I used to hear when I was just starting out as a Tour Guide, “Don’t wish your time away. Enjoy your youth,” said Soldier Sam. You’ll be a big old Pirate before you know it.
“Years from now you’ll look back and wish you were still a little Pirate.” Soldier Sam predicted. “ Earlier you asked me why I am out here; do you still want to know why?”
“Yeah, I’m curious,” replied Sarina.
“Well, I am out here because I am an old Tour Guide that nobody loves anymore.” Explained Soldier Sam.
“Why would you say such a thing?” asked Sarina.
“Well, Holiday is coming up soon and as an early gift for the team, my boss hired a new Tour Guide who had better skills than me. When the team saw him work for the first time it was as if I didn’t even exist anymore,” said Soldier Sam.
“I am sure they still love you just the same. My Pirate Boss always says there are no favorites in World if you put in work. and everyone should get equal Love if they are committed to their work. Your performance should never change how you are appreciated,” said Sarina.
Soldier Sam nodded his head and said, “Maybe you’re right. What was I thinking? They have been utilising my work my entire life. I know I’m not any less useful than before. I guess I was just jealous about the new guy.
“You have great wisdom for being such a little Pirate, Sarina. “Listen to your own advice and you won’t be so frustrated about being teased,” suggested Soldier Sam “Take it from me, being young is a wonderful thing so enjoy it and have fun.’
To help ease the burden of such a long trek, Sarina and Soldier Sam laughed at some jokes and took turns driving the Truck.
Sarina and Soldier Sam rumbled along to a huge baobab tree where a leopard was dragging an antelope carcass up into the branches for his treetop feast. The silence was broken by the crunching of teeth against bone, and Sarina sat there in jaw-dropped amazement. She had never witnessed, so close-up, the concept of survival of the fittest, and felt vulnerable without razor sharp claws and teeth of her own.
Much to Sarina’s surprise, Solider Sam had turned on the truck boombox speakers as they set along on their way.
About a dozen Lions popped their heads out of their station to see what was going on. Soldier Sam’s boombox made every lion roar to ease the strain on their ears.
Since Solider Sam was playing the boombox so loud, one of the Lions looked over at Sarina and said, “What is wrong with that Tour Guide? Why is he making so much racket?”
“Sorry, he’s just making this Safari more fun by blasting some tunes,” said Sarina.
“That’s what you call that huh, music like that?” asked the Lion.
Sarina approached the lion and said, “Look, I know Soldier Sam’s music isn’t in tune with you, but please just deal with it like I am. We’re on our way back to the camp and he just wants to spread some fun.”
The Lion pointed at their hut and asked Sarina, “You hear that?”
Sarina leaned over to look inside and said, “Yeah, I hear music playing.”
“That’s right,” said the Lion. “We already have all the music we need, and we still have the provisions from our hunt to divide up between our groups. Time’s a wasting!”
“I understand! Sorry again about the disturbance and good luck to you. We’ll be on our way now,” said Sarina. The Lion just glared at Sarina and then ran back to the Lion Hut.
As Sarina and Soldier Sam continued their journey through the forest several more animals vented their frustrations to Sarina about Soldier Sam’s music.
There was a super-fast Cheetah in their view now. His water dish was dry and his food bowl was empty. The cheetah’s group had moved and left him behind, alone in an empty den.
Sarina transferred the Cheetah to the biggest habitat she could find and filled it with toy balls, bells, chewing sticks. Sarina named him Speedy and gave him lots of food to eat.
Then Sarina saw that the Cheetah had straightened his body. He stood tall, gripping his perch with new strength. His spots on his body shone, and his eyes were bright. His revival had begun.
Satisfied with her work, Sarina directed the expedition to move on for a few miles when they encountered a leopard making some noise.
Leopards commonly express feelings through sounds and actions, but words by nature escape them. Leonardo, as Sarina named him can make dozens of sounds, yet these are merely repetitions without reason—or so Sarina thought.
Now a group of elephants started to claim Soldier Sam’s music was the biggest distraction they had witnessed in a long time.
Enough was enough!
The sound of Solider Sam’s music was so bad Sarina thought it was going wake every animal in the entire Safari.
To get the point across to Soldier Sam that he needed to quit blasting that music, Sarina said she would appreciate it if he wouldn’t play another note.
Soldier Sam was disappointed that no one appreciated his music, so he just hummed aloud to himself the rest of the way home.
So Sarina and Soldier Sam had finally returned to their Safari Headquarters, a beautifully carved wooden structure that melted into the landscape. Under the stars, a chef was preparing a Safari feast, tossing a yogurt-soaked antelope-like kudu on the grill until it sizzled.
After rubbing the meat with salt and pepper, the chef perfectly placed bacon strips on top so that the flavor of the bacon melted into the tender meat. For a side for this succulent meat, a sous chef scooped melon balls into a large bowl, in which he sprinkled salt, pepper, muscatel wine, lemon juice, ground ginger, and mint.
The dinner table shook under the weight of curried minced beef pies and baked custard, brandy pudding and a wide selection of Bourbon.
Late that night after the Party was over, Sarina and Soldier Sam staggered back to their rooms only to find the monkeys pounding on all of the windows.
Sarina just laughed, because what else could you expect on a Magical Safari Adventure?
Sarina and Soldier Sam crawled into their cots to the chirping of crickets, safe from stampeding elephants and the crocodiles in the swamp.
The jungle bush orchestra played on long into that Magical Night..
The friendly voices at camp ,would still be there the next time Sarina and Soldier Sam decided to take another trip, but this ended Sarina’s safari story.
This Beautiful Safari Oasis was the perfect stop for Sarina. It was full of life, love and Solder Sam to play fun games with.
Sarina was so Happy she got to spend her Vacation on the Beautiful Magic Orange Safari Oasis!
As Sarina and Soldier Sam turned around to gather their belongings at the camp, it was time for them to go home. Sarina then knew that this was a Safari Holiday that she would never forget!
RAMS PLANET LANDING
Sarina and Soldier Sam were above the stars and it felt as if they were weightless, moving freely in the direction of the current. Before taking off, Soldier Sam had butterflies in his stomach.
True to form, the chairman arrived late at the rendezvous were the officers were gathered, and, since there were to be no alterations to the plan that required his immediate attention, the chairman went about his own business for the time being. Everything was gravy as long as the battery was notified at the correct time and position. A Mainland patrol spotted us moving around and opened fire immediately. Even though the origin of the barrage was out of range for our unit, we fired anyway and it was enough to make the Mainland forces scurry away across the horizon.
Sarina had arrived at a place in the sea where travel was beset with difficulty. She did not pause swimming to inquire what manner of current had caught her, but there her progress ceased for a moment.. The shore was set before her like a bit of scenery on a stage, and she looked at it and understood with her eyes each detail of it.
Solider Sam approached her from quite a distance. Sarina was calling to him, "Turn over on your back, Soldier Sam! Turn over on your back and use the oar."
"All right, Sarina." Soldier Sam turned on his back, and, paddling with an oar, went ahead as if he were a canoe.
Even though this latest action was considered to be a cake walk for the unit, the next couple of days figured to be quite different. A couple of the fleets to our flank charged inshore towards Mainland forces and were met with a rude reception. It was clear to the chairman that the unit would have to totally wipe out the resistance for our flank to be able to press forward with the mission. The officers were not to be deterred this day, and they met the opposition with a barrage of their own.
In Soldier Sam’s struggle to reach Sarina, he focused only on the Birthday Party he would celebrate with Sarina. If they both made it to shore.
Then Sarina performed her biggest marvel of the voyage. A large wave caught her and flung her with ease and supreme speed and after it struck her she was even closer to the shore. A true miracle of the sea.
Sarina and Soldier had at long last arrived on the beach but their exhausted condition did not enable either of them to stand for more than a moment.
After some time passed, the unit was instructed by the chairman to take time to reload and every officer that could be spared for this action was summoned. Some codes were intercepted over the wireless, and they would yield quite a bit of actionable intelligence, including radio call signs, as well as some of the challenges, countersigns and emergency signals employed by the Mainland. Being unaware of this catch, the Mainland did not change their codes in time.
When we moved up on them and engaged, the Mainland forces tried to make a dash for it, running around without a real direct trajectory, so they were hard to pin down. The chairman knew that the unit would have to prevent reinforcements from sweeping down on their new position. Half of the flanking fleet was sent to flush them out, and then the wireless communications trailed off for a significant amount of time.
Some more reconnaissance intelligence was passed on the chairman that a new Mainland position had been established on one of the other islands, so we started rushing towards it to get a better look at things before the officers would put together a plan to compromise their position or potentially rout it out, with would be a key victory for us in the battle for the chain of islands. First, the chairman had to make certain that a good defensive position could be established if the situation started to head south.
Owing to a slight miscalculation, we were late in getting down the route, and it was dark as we headed down the path. Thankfully, the entrance went smoothly and no Mainland check posts were encountered. Once the success signal was floated, we went on alone and as fast as the unit could move to the position on the other side of the island were the observation post was reported to have been established. A quick battery of fire took out their position and we went off into the night to get some rest after a long day.
Rams Mascot directed Sarina and Soldier Sam them to an old spaceship, punched in the destination and they headed on their way to Rams Planet.
A few hours had passed when the spaceship basically dropped down into disaster.
Even the engine fell off in the process, “Rams Mascot wasn’t kidding when he said an “Old spaceship” said Soldier Sam looking at all of the broken pieces on the ground.
ORANGE VALENTINES #8
“See a Show at Landmark Theatre”
The Flight through Space was finally complete. The Starship bolted down from the sky and landed in New York.
Cupid was there on the Tarmac to greet Sarina and Soldier Sam.
“Sarina and Soldier Sam!” Cupid called out. “Welcome to Syracuse!”
“Thanks Cupid” Sarina replied.
“Isn’t there a Big Orange Basketball Game Tonight?” asked Soldier Sam.
“There for sure is an Orange Game tonight. But first I have a Place to show you guys?” said Cupid.
Cupid was a Legend at Syracuse. It was in Fact one of his favorite places to be. To work his Magic.
Cupid is an energetic, clever problem-solver known for his ability to find solutions in dire situations. Cupid responds creatively to challenges and can react quickly to changes or “surprises” in the current moment. He has a zest for life that is contagious and a quick, engaging sense of humor.
There have been some past Valentines Day where some of the couples did not listen to Cupid when he advised them of the best Valentines Day activity. Cupid is the King of Love and always knows best. Some couples challenge Cupid directly on his ideas, and this always leads to an unhappy Valentines Day for them.
Let’s get on our way to our Pre-Game Event, Sarina and Soldier Sam” Cupid instructed.
“This is quite a place. Cupid added.
“Let’s do a little Preview before we get to the site, Cupid” Sarina suggested.
“Hop in my Ride, you two. I have a couple of questions about your Flight before we get to the Tour Site” Cupid responded.
“Looking into the vast ocean upon me I knew I had survived the plane crash, but how could I have ended up on this mysterious planet?” Sarina recalled. “I sat there for a moment trying to piece together what had occurred.
Both me and Soldier Sam had a suspect and that was an enemy ship. We had to find out whether their adversaries had contributed to their crash or not.
We had a potential proof but still both of us were not convinced by that. Then our intelligence officers asked us to investigate further.
After investigating more, Soldier Sam found another piece of evidence. He told me “I have found one more clue and I know who the guilty party is. Now I can claim the conclusion about who was responsible.”
Cupid’s Ride was zigging and zagging though Syracuse Traffic.
Here we are at the Mystery Spot for our Tour, Sarina and Soldier Sam” announced Cupid. “I’m sure the two of you are going to have a lot of Questions.
“We’re ready, Cupid” shouted Sarina. “Let’s Check it out!”
Soldier Sam agreed. “Let’s get this party started, Cupid!!”
“What is this place?” asked Sarina.
Landmark Theatre has distinguished itself for over 40 years as the largest exhibitor of independent, traditional and specialty film.
“You’ll all have to really watch your step in here,” Cupid told Sarina and Soldier Sam in a low voice.
“Why?” responded Soldier Sam.
“Because it is our centre for the arts,” replied Cupid. “Cuse fans want to see the show and the performers need to concentrate.
As long as there are filmmakers creating compelling cinema, the Landmark will remain committed to exhibiting meaningful films as part of a unique sophisticated entertainment experience
The group walked silently around the edge of the chamber to check it out
“Now you have gotten to see the stage where the greatest performance artists play to a full house of Cuse Fans” said Cupid.
“What are all these shows about” asked Sarina.
“The shows at the Landmark span many decades and all the way up to today.” Explained Cupid. Many of the currently running shows are about technology and the impact it has had on Syracuse.
“What kind of Technology?” asked Soldier Sam.
“A lot of the technology shows focus on action, there are many applications, like Autonomous Urban Aircraft. They will play a huge role in the future of the world and it all started in Syracuse!”
“Check out what is the latest technology we have developed.
“Autonomous urban aircraft” is under development privately as well as by the military and NASA. These flying vehicles, capable of carrying at least one human and therefore not considered drones, are already being debuted in Syracuse.
Sarina and Soldier Sam were stunned by what Cupid had just said.
That’s Amazing,” Sarina said “ But what’s the point of making it all artsy. Aren’t there real demonstrations happening in the real world, like the Air Show near the airport?”
“Because the shows at the airports don’t doesn’t span the full range of knowledge,” replied Cupid. “Such knowledge can only be gained when we consider the full spectrum of its impact well into the future. The arts are meant to stretch people’s imaginations beyond current demonstrations.”
Theatre and the performing arts teach society about itself, pointing out the attitudes and mindsets of current society. It can be a tool used to educate people about their current conditions.” Cupid continued.
“Look at this exhibit outside the theatre, Soldier Sam observed. “It tells us how the Landmark goes about showing the Orange Fans all the new releases.”
We enjoy playing a wide range of films; however, due to such factors as film release patterns, screen availability, or other challenges, not all films play in every market.
There was a moment’s silence.
“I’d like to show you something else” Cupid continued. It’s a hologram, with a special Valentines Clue for Sarina!”
“I’m going to take you over there now,” announced Cupid.
What’s this Cupid? Sarina asked as she and Soldier Sam walked over to the Hologram.
Read it and see Sarina. It is a special clue about Valentines Day” Directed Cupid.
“Ok, Cupid. Lets See what it says” Sarina started reading the Hologram.
“You take the Cake!”
I’m thinking of you on Valentine’s Day
You are nice, so I want to say
Give me a clue; give me a sign
Will you be my Valentine?
“I just can’t believe it!” Sarina exclaimed. On Valentine’s Day. A special message just for me!”
“Most impressive, who is behind this whole Landmark Theatre thing” Soldier Sam asked.
“In a way, the Landmark belong to all the Orange Fans that live here in Syracuse,” said Cupid. “And their families – ours included.
“Theatre helps us to understand the people around us and how they might be expected to react in certain situations” added Cupid.
Since the inception of the Landmark in 1974, it has been dedicated to exhibiting and marketing primarily independent film, foreign-language films, documentaries, top-quality studio releases and restored classics.
“It’s a paradise for all Orange Fans to take in the performance arts,” Cupid said.
“Look Soldier Sam,” Sarina said excitedly. “Here is a display about coming attractions.”
As soon as we know a film will be playing, our website is updated to reflect that information. “Coming Soon” information is available on each individual market and theatre page and on our recordings.
“I see.” Observed Soldier Sam. “Let’s make sure to go to a show soon, Sarina!”
“Wow, Cupid, that was quite a Tour!” Sarina exclaimed.
“It sure was” Soldier Sam had a great time too.
“We have some time to burn before the Game. Let’s stop by this Bar” suggested Cupid.
“By the way, Sarina and Soldier Sam,” Cupid remembered something. “You told me about your flight. But I forget to ask, did you two go on any adventures during your Pit Stops?”
It was a big day for shuttling through space, like a moving day for me and Soldier Sam. As we flew our Starship to our planet destination, one of the missile containers blew out into space.
We pulled off to a nearby planet that was not in our flight itinerary. Soldier Sam joined me, and as we waited for the repair, we sat in a beautiful landing pod laughing about our predicament, sharing stories, and discussing our future.
What could have been a bad day turned into a special and private moment with Soldier Sam. I knew even at the time to cherish our time without all of our typical distractions.
Cupid turned to Soldier Sam and handed him a drink, “Listen, Soldier Sam. I got Sarina a Valentine” Cupid explained.
Great, responded Soldier Sam. Sarina is for sure deserving of a great Valentine. Let me guess. It has something to do with the Game tonight?”
“I’ve got a special surprise that you will be sure to like, Sarina!” Cupid announced.
Cupid was excited about Sarina’s Valentine too!
Sarina recognized that the Tickets were courtside and in the front row!!”
“What are we doing Still at the Bar like this?” Cupid asked.
“You’re right, Cupid.” agreed Soldier Sam. “Let’s get a move on!”
CUPID’S FIRST SYRACUSE ORANGE GAME EXPERIENCE
After watching hundreds of Orange games on ESPN and seeing highlight reels on SportsCenter, being in the actual arena on Valentines Day and experiencing the game in first person felt totally different to Cupid.
The stadium address system would be crackling as the announcer began to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, will you make sure you rise and remove the hats for the vocal singing of our nationwide anthem. Rising to his feet Cupid started to listen to the tune. The performance artist’s voice was harmonious and enchanting while she did. Finally, the moment Cupid had continued to wait for, The Game was about to start!
The Stadium with its magnificent resemblance to others but still the best drew the whole group of fans towards it.
Cupid affectionately gave us a. Orange basketball with our names carved on it” Sarina exclaimed.
Everybody was finished with their parking lot activity projects and went towards the gates. But Soldier Sam held back for a moment to take a couple of pictures.
“We'll have to fight the situation”, Cupid assured Sarina as he motioned to Soldier Sam.. “Please don't break down. I am positive we'll find our way back."
Sarina was the first to exit the parking lot, followed by Cupid and Soldier Sam, but Soldier Sam was struggling.
Suddenly, Soldier Sam felt something striking him pleasantly in his head. he looked up and saw orange stadium and all of its glory.
“Solider Sam, do you like it?” asked Sarina.
“Of course I do”, Soldier Sam said in his bravest voice but from what Cupid wasn’t sure what kind of condition he was in.
Cupid decided that this was the only way out of the parking lot, and he thought of the delicious food to and within minutes led Soldier Sam out of the parking lot in his usual form.
“I’ve got a great idea!” Sarina exclaimed. “Soldier Sam and I should get a photo with Orange Mascot. Then we could prove we were here and have a lasting memory.
“Hey, Cupid,” Soldier Sam wanted to get his attention. “Could you snap a pic of Me and Sarina with Orange Mascot? That would be awesome!”
“Of course, Soldier Sam” Cupid replied. Just find Orange Mascot and I will be over to take the shot of you and Sarina.”
Cupid worked quickly--several times he was content with the angle and several times he deliberated and started over. Something that he had seen wasn’t a perfect shot.
The whole point of taking a photo is so that you can remember a moment. You're much more likely to capture the feelings and emotions of those moments by focusing on taking pictures that are authentic.
“Hey Sarina, we got that picture with Orange Mascot! All the lighting was great and we were posed perfectly. Isn’t it great we were able to find Orange Mascot and he was so accommodating?”
“Yes, Soldier Sam” Sarina answered. I thought for a moment Cupid was going to lose his mind trying to operation the photo function on my phone. He had never operated anything like that before.”
“The game is about to start Sarina!” Soldier Sam exclaimed. Why don’t you give me a quick rundown of the season so far?
“I know you have been following it closely and I really don’t have a clue about what the Orange have faced so far this year, Soldier Sam continued. “How are they doing?”
“Sure Soldier Sam,” Sarina was glad to show off her knowledge of Cuse Hoops. “There have been a lot of developments so far this year.
Syracuse fans always flood the Dome with vintage Syracuse jerseys and sweatshirts. Outside the arena, before the game, one opposiing fans said to me. , “A lot of ‘Cuse fans her a mildly surprised tone. The opposing fans had never seen its equal.
Productive presence in the middle allowed Georgia Tech to capitalize on an inside-outside scoring punch that Syracuse and its slow-to-shift zone could not discourage.
The first regular season game in the Dome was a star-studded affair. I was sitting courtside, leading the student band at one point and regularly entertained the crowd with my theatrics.
Interviews from the Orange Fans showed an outpouring of support: "I'm a huge Sarina fan ever since I found out about Orange Athletics. Having her here meant a lot to me, it was amazing experience, but I wish we could've gotten the win.
When Sarina returned from the concession stands she stopped for a moment in the doorway.
Let’s just go ahead with this Hoops Game Soldier Sam said. 'You can have it. I know most things aren’t more important than this.
“Just let me finish,' Sarina said. As Soldier Sam hesitated she added, 'Then we'll have a drink together.'
'When will that be?' asked Soldier Sam.
CUSE GAME ACTION
The game time atmosphere at the Orange Dome is electrifying and tense. The supporters of the other team are put in one corner of the Dome. Both sets of supporters are loud in their vocal support of their respective team and cheer with passion.
It is just this sort of rivalry that makes games such a fascinating spectacle. These teams have played against each other for years, and though the names of the players change with every year, it remains just the simple fact that Cuse has the best basketball team the world has ever known.
The supporters wear the colours of the stripe of their team. Hats and Jerseys and banners were aplenty as the two teams took turns running up and down court with excitement and energy with the officials and Orange Mascot.
Every time I need a mood lift or just to relax, I will once again visit that part of my brain and recall the incredible experience of being among all the fans and how they made me feel like I'm a part of the big Orange family.
For many others, the memory of watching an Orange Hoops game might just be another exciting experience, but for me, the memory has created a special place in my heart; it is a place where I'm perfectly happy and that is not usually the case.
It was FINALLY 2021. The Construction Work on the Rams Brand New Stadium was complete, and Los Angeles was Buzzing with Excitement. Fireworks were shooting up into the California Sky.
“This is going to be a great Lunch before the Ram‘s Inaugural Game at the Brand New LA Stadium!“ said Sarina as the Train turned the corner.
Seated next to her was Soldier Sam. “What a commute across LA.“ he remarked.
“You‘re the Best, Sarina,” he added, “and we are going to lunch together soon and then the Rams Game after that!“
The Train slowed down to its landing.
“Will we go to Burger King or McDonalds? asked Sarina, “I want Fresh Lettuce, Tomatoes and Mayonnaise in Fiascos on my sandwich and a side of Onion Rings with Orange Soda!”
“Then Let’s go to Burger King , of course,” replied Solider Sam. “McDonalds doesn’t serve Onion Rings”
“But first I must phone my work.” Sarina Reminded Solider Sam. Sarina whipped out her Smart Phone and dialled automatically.
Sarina talked for a couple minutes about the big upcoming event.
As they walked down the Street approaching Burger King, they were both getting super excited about a Flame Broiled Whopper.
“And when we get to Burger King, I’ll order first from the Menu. Then you” declared Sarina.
“Good morning, my friends,” said the Manager, coming forward with a Delicious Fiasco in each hand. Sarina and Solider Sam were regulars at the restaurant.
“Can we sit at that table““ asked Soldier Sam as they filled up their sodas?” his eagle eye noting that there was one empty table in the corner.
“That’s the table we usually get, isn’t it?” asked Sarina.
“Yes. Then we don‘t have to deal with the traffic from other patrons when they are moving about,” said Solider Sam, smiling since he was finally getting to eat that day.
“We are having fun, aren’t we?” Sarina asked.
“Yes, Sarina,” Solider Sam answered.
“Do you think we should get some desert?” Sarina asked. “Like some Chocolate Chip Cookies. Or will we not think of anything for a while?”
“We will not think of anything for a while.” said Soldier Sam. “It is still early in the day.”
“Sarina, do you remember that time when we disposed of all the Ketchup on the condiment station in the Trash and no one in the restaurant could dip their Fries until the staff took notice?”
“Yes, of course I remember, Soldier Sam,” said Sarina. It was a little joke they had.
“Sarina, please keep telling me about how fantastic it was to watch the Rams Stadium come together piece by piece, but not the rough parts.” suggested Soldier Sam.
Sarina touched his hand even though it was a little greasy from eating so many Onion Rings.
“Burger King is a Great Place and we’re having Fun and I Love You,” Soldier Sam said. He washed down what was left of his Whopper with Orange Soda.
“The Construction Workers were very brave,” Sarina said. “They were put in pretty precarious positions where it is extremely difficult to work. They dispatched many production orders, many of them approved by me, the Chief Architect in charge of building Rams Stadium. But I will not at this time discuss all the details.
“Sarina, we are unquestionably being listened to by that waitress over there. You are talking quite loudly.” Solider Sam noted.
“I am going to give you my Cardboard Burger King Crown,” Sarina said, “so that when you look at it in the mirror you can think of me. It will be something between us.”
Sarina tipped their waitress, and when they went out the door the air was as fresh as the Lettuce, Tomato and Mayo they had just had the pleasure of experiencing. The wind was light, and the Sun was bright.
Neither of them spoke as they crossed the street.
Once they had advanced a couple of blocks Sarina was starting to get excited “I’m ready for anything at the first ever Rams Game at the New Stadium! Anything at all. Yeah, what are you looking forward to at the Game?”
“Well” Soldier Sam replied “I am considering ordering a Margarita, since you want to share” but Sarina wouldn’t hear of it.
“Oh, Soldier Sam, what the kind of drink is that for such a momentous time? What’s wrong with you?” Sarina smiled and winked. We gotta educate this boy. Get him some good whiskey...”
Solider Sam shrugged. “Okay, Whiskey it is.” Sarina nodded her approval.
“Look!” Sarina tapped Solider Sam on the arm to make sure he was listening. “If know this Rams crowd, I have been at many games at the old stadium and let me tell you one thing I’ve learned—this is no town to be giving people the impression you’re some kind of lightweight drinker. Not during the Inaugural Game, anyway. Shit, they’ll roll you in a minute, knock you in the head and take every cent you have.”
Soldier Sam asked if he could sneak a cigarette. “I guess,” said Sarina. “But you know I don’t like it.”
He laughed. “Well, Sarina, are you gonna take pictures at the game? I guess you’ll be workin’ pretty hard on Instagram the next couple days” Solider Sam knew the answer to that question.
Sarina shook her head and said nothing; just stared at him for a moment, trying to look grim. “There’s going to be trouble,” Sarina said. “My assignment is to take pictures of the Riot.”
“What Riot?” Solider Sam was surprised.
Sarina hesitated. “At the Rams Stadium. It‘s going to get pretty rowdy at the first game. The Arizona Cardinals Fans. Don’t you read the newspapers?”
The grin on Soldier Sam’s face had collapsed. “What on God’s Green Earth are you talking about?”
“Well... maybe I shouldn’t be telling you...” Sarina replied. “But everybody else seems to know. The California National Guard has been getting ready for this game all year. They have thousands of troops on alert.”
Sarina continued, “They’ve warned us—all the press and photographers—to wear helmets and special vests like flak jackets. We were told to expect the worst....”
Solider Sam couldn‘t believe it; his hands flew up into the air as if to guard against the words he was hearing. “Those sons of bitches! God Almighty! At the first Rams Game at the New Stadium!” He kept shaking his head. “No! That’s almost too bad to believe!”
“Why? Why here? Solider Sam was incredulous. “Don’t they respect anything?”
Sarina shrugged again. “It’s not just the Arizona Cardinals. The latest intelligence says busloads of crazies are coming in from all over the country for every game this year—to mix with the crowd and cause trouble all at once, from every direction. They’ll be dressed like Rams Fans. You know—Royal Blue and Gold and all that. But when the trouble starts... well, that’s why the National Guard is so worried.”
Soldier Sam took a seat on a Park Bench for a moment, looking confused and not quite able to digest all this terrible news. Then he cried out: “Oh... Man! What is happening in this country? Where can you get away from it?”
“Not here,” Sarina said, taking a seat next to Solider Sam on the park bench. “C’mon.“ She grabbed his arm, urging him to get moving. Sarina was overdue at the Press Club and needed to hustle off to get her act together for what was sure to be quite a spectacle.
Solider Sam picked up his phone and scanned the front page headlines.
“Sure enough, Sarina AP is reporting there are to be thousands of Troops deployed to counter the Cardinals Fans”
Soldier Sam wanted to do something about this. “Where is the Arizona crowd staying? asked Solider Sam.
Sarina sighed. “My friend, you’re in trouble. This town is full. Always is, for sporting events.
Sarina told Soldier Sam that she has never missed a Rams Game and wasn‘t about to start now.
“Shit is going to get heavy, Solider Sam. With only hours until game time I have to get my press credentials in order.”
Sarina needed two sets; one for herself and another for Soldier Sam. How would he bear up under the culture shock of being plunged into a drunken mob scene at the Rams Game? There was no way of knowing.
Hopefully, they would arrive soon, and give Solider Sam time to get acclimated. Then Sarina could whisk him off to more agreeable conditions after the game.
The only other kink was the task of convincing the moguls at Rams Stadium that Solider Sam was such a prestigious sports fan that common sense compelled them to get two sets of the best Press Tickets.
This was not easily done. Sarina’s first call to the publicity office resulted in total failure. The press handler was shocked at the idea that Solider Sam could apply for press credentials at such a late point in time.
“You can’t be serious.” Sarina’s Boss said “The deadline was quite some time ago. The press box is full; there’s no more room... and who the hell is Soldier Sam?”
The rest of the press corps was interested, and even sympathetic, but there was nothing they could do. But finally Sarina was offered a compromise: she could get us two passes to the press box but a field pass was out of the question.
“That sounds Ridiculous,” Sarina said. “It’s unacceptable. We must have access to everything. All of it. The pre-game spectacles, the pageantry and certainly the game. You don’t think we came all this way to watch the damn thing on television, do you?“
One way or another we’ll get inside,” Soldier Sam. Maybe we’ll have to bribe a guard—or even beat up somebody.”
So they hatched a plan to play rough with the ushers at the narrow gates to the field’s inner sanctum, then slipping quickly inside, but not before beating up some Cardinals Fans on the way there, for their own good...
Then Sarina got a call on her phone “Yes, indeed.” said the voice on the other end of the call. “ Soldier Sam is being considered at the last minute. Is he your man or something?”
Sarina chuckled. “You won’t have any trouble finding him. You could pick that man out of any crowd.”
“Why?” the press gatekeeper asked. “What is it with him? What does he look like?”
“Well...” Sarina said, “Soldier Sam is the funniest looking thing I’ve ever seen. As a matter of fact it’s written all over him that he is a big fan. He will be dressed in full Rams Regalia. You’ll know him when you see him; don’t worry about that.”
Sarina and Solider Sam were already in the press box soon after they got access to the Rams Stadium. Sarina told the representatives all about Soldier Sam’s description and they seemed puzzled.
“Don’t let it concern you,” Sarina said. “Just keep in mind for the next decade we’re going to be close to all the Gridiron Action.”
Soon Solider Sam was putting on a charade typing diligently into his phone in the Associated Press section. Solider Sam and Sarina were standing at the bar, downing the management’s Scotch and congratulating each other on our sudden, unexplained luck in picking up two sets of fine press credentials. The other reporters at the desk were being very friendly to him.
“I just told then your name, Solider Sam and they gave us the whole works.” Sarina was so thrilled.
A few hours before game time, Sarina and Solider Sam had everything under control. They had seats looking down on the 50 Yard Line, color TV and a free bar in the press room, and a selection of passes that would take them anywhere in the stadium.
“Solider Sam, we have “Walkaround” press passes!!” Sarina was pleased.
The passes presumably to allow the newspaper types to rush in and out for photos or quick interviews, but to prevent drifters from spending all day running around, hustling the gentry and rifling a handbag or two while cruising around the boxes.
Clearly the Walkaround Passes were at a premium for the first ever event at Rams Stadium. And since it took considerable time to get from the press box to the field, and even longer to get back, that didn’t leave much time for defending the stadium from Arizona fans who were becoming more obnoxious by the minute.
“Solider Sam, let’s go out on the balcony of the press box to get a better view” Sarina suggested.. “This is the first time you have been to a Rams Game, so I want you to have a Blast.
Soldier Sam agreed. “It’s such a fantastic scene!!” —thousands of people shouting, exchanging fisticuffs, trampling each other and fighting with broken whiskey bottles. “We’ll have to spend some time out there, but it’s hard to move around, too many people.”
Solider Sam was curious. “Is it safe out there? Will we ever come back?”
“Sure,” Sarina said. “We’ll just have to be careful not to step on anybody’s toes and start a fight. Just look at this seating section scene right below us. It will only get worse as we start to move down onto the field.“
Thousands of raving, stumbling drunk Arizona Fans were getting angrier and angrier as game time grew closer. The whole place was jammed with bodies, shoulder to shoulder.
“It’s so hard to move around, complained Solder Sam. “The aisles are packed with people falling down and grabbing at you.
Soldier Sam looked so nervous that Sarina laughed. “Don’t worry. At the first hint of trouble I’ll start fighting the crowd myself!!”
“You should keep in mind, Soldier Sam, that almost everybody you talk to from now on will be drunk. People who seem very pleasant at first might suddenly swing at you for no reason at all.”
Soldier Sam nodded, staring straight ahead. He seemed to be getting a little scared.
From that point on, the scene started to become became a vicious, drunken nightmare. Sarina and Solider Sam were glad the National Guard had deployed.
“It’s sort of a joke,” Soldier Sam kept saying. “Why, in Wisconsin it’s quite normal. People don’t take offense. They understand that it’s just a game.”
“Fuck Wisconsin, Sarina said. “This is LA!!” These people regard supporting the Rams as a brutal insult. Just look what’s happening.”
“But all these drinks flying about are going to get all over us,” Solider Sam observed. “The stands are just brimming with drinks being thrown around.”
“Yeah... well, okay, Sarina said. “Let’s just figure we fucked up about equally on that one. But from now on let’s try to be careful when we’re around all these Cardinal Fans. I know. You won’t get down to their level an neither will I.”
But almost from the very moment Solider Sam and Sarina started out on their journey to the field they lost all control of events and spent the next couple of hours making their way around in a sea of drunken horrors. Their notes and recollections from the first ever Rams Game at the new stadium will be somewhat scrambled.
But now, looking at the big Royal Blue and Gold Notebook Sarina carried all through that scene, that is quite the evidence more or less of what happened. The book itself is somewhat mangled and bent; some of the pages are torn, others are stained by what appears to be whiskey, but taken as a whole, with sporadic memory flashes, the notes seem to tell the story.
Soldier Sam was very concerned some sections would catch on fire, since all Cardinals fans were showing ruthless disregard for the No Smoking Signs all over the stadium.
“Could it happen, Sarina? Solider Sam was getting even more concerned. Trapped in the stands with the masses. Thousands of people fighting. Drunks screaming in the flames and the mud. Why everything was just running wild. Blind in the smoke. Grandstand collapsing into the flames with us on the roof. Soldier Sam is about to crack. Drinking heavily now, but not getting dragged down into the fray, Soldier Sam and Sarina continued their journey down onto the field.
The mob was thick as far as they eye could see around the entire seating areas; very slow going in the crowd, very hot. On the way, Soldier Sam and Sarina came on a row of soldiers all carrying Riot Sticks. Many Platoons, with Helmets. A solider walking next to us said they were waiting for the governor and his party.
Solider Sam eyed them carefully. “Why do they have those clubs?”
“All the Cardinals Fans.” Sarina wondered what was going through Solider Sam’s head at that moment. Probably very shocked; the place was teeming with soldiers in full Riot Gear.
Solider Sam pressed on through the crowd, through many gates down many steps. Would they ever get onto the field?
Soldier Sam and Sarina shoved through the crowd and finally onto the field, quickly stationing themselves at the Free Whiskey Bar at the 50 yard line. Why not? Get it on.
Soldier Sam looked back on the crowd, not that they were safely down on the field “Look at that madness, the fear, the anger! I can‘t believe we made it though alive.” Sarina looked back and agreed wholeheartedly.
The Rams-Cardinals Game, the actual Game, was scheduled to kickoff soon, and as the Magic Hour approached Soldier Sam suggested to Sarina they should probably spend some time on the field itself, where they would get the perspective of fully viewing what was still going down, no stop to it. Unabated. Riots, Firestorms or savage drunken attacks.
Sarina agreed. “Right, let’s do it.”
If the bedlam spilled over onto the field, Solider Sam and Sarina could make an escape through the tunnels, provided of course if they weren’t jammed packed with the football players.
The scene in the stands was only getting worse. As it escalated, Soldier Sam and Sarina were in such shock that it took them a while to adjust.
“God almighty!” said Sarina. “Will you take a look at what is happening at the far end of the field, beyond the Goal Posts. “This is a... Wow!!!” Sarina turned on her camera, getting video of the Fans getting worse by the minute, trying to take notes.
Total chaos, no way to see the Press Box... “We certainly not going to make it back up there before the game. We will just have to bunker down on the sidelines.“ Sarina had make her decision. They were just not going to make it back up there until long after the game, when the Fans would be ushered out by the National Guard.
So Sarina just resigned herself to that fact. “Soldier Sam, stand back to watch those public safety alerts flash on the big board, like a giant bingo game.
It was finally time to watch the Cardinals visit the Rams in the first NFC West Matchup of the Year. When the crowd stood to face the flag and Respect“The Star Spangled Banner,” Sarina considered just how fortunate they were to be Americans, the Last Bastion of Hope in the Entire World.
The game itself was about to start, and even from their Super Status Seats there was no way to see what was really happening. Later, watching a TV rerun in the press box, we saw what happened. The Rams pulled out a Nail Biter, 28 to 24. The Rams started off the Season on the right note, but the Season was going to be quite a Marathon. What a Game!!
After the game was over, the crowd surged wildly for the exits, rushing for cabs and buses and cars they had no business driving in their condition.. The next day’s Los Angeles Times told countless stories of violence in the parking lot; people were punched and trampled, pockets were picked, children lost, bottles hurled. But Soldier Sam and Sarina missed all this, having retired to the press box for a bit of post-game drinking.
By this time both Solider Sam and Sarina were both half-crazy from too much whiskey, sun fatigue, culture shock, lack of sleep and general dissolution.
But Sarina was Upbeat.
“Let’s stay here all night, Solider Sam!! The Rams really played some Special Football Today!!“
“I’m so very happy I got to experience it with you, Sarina.” Soldier Sam was so thankful he got to spend such Precious Time with Sarina.