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Those who don’t study history???? Time Patrol- Black Tuesday out today!

Black Tuesday finalThose who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. The Time Patrol, though, has the mission to make sure history does repeat itself as the history that actually happened. It takes six changes to our timeline, all on the same day in different years in the past to trigger a time tsunami which will wipe us out. The Time Patrol’s mission: send six operatives back, one to each year, and make sure our history doesn’t change.

What was great fun about writing this, and about reading it I hope, is that I got to research a lot of history and not only learn things, but also think about WHAT IF.  For example, what if the first Internet message was a failure? Would computer development and networking gone another way with massive central computers and just terminals elsewhere, which was the way IBM and other large developers wanted to?

What if Sir Walter Raleigh had not been executed? Would have followed through on plans to escape to Spain and plot? What if Operation Credible Sport had actually been launched and the Iranian hostages rescued? Would Carter have been re-elected and not Reagan? Or if it failed, and there was a massacre in Tehran of both Americans and Iranians? What if the first Internet message wasn’t sent. If it was a failure?

Time Patrol: Black Tuesday is out today. Read it and wonder: What If?

The first date being attacked is 29 October, known as Black Tuesday in 1929.What appears to be a mission about the stock market crash turns out to be something altogether different; involving Meyer Lansky and other shady characters of the day.

But there are five other October 29th’s to go to at the same time:

There’s Roland in 999 AD, on board a Viking ship heading to raid an English monastery.

Scout ends up in the era of free love in 1969, at UCLA, on the day the first Internet message was sent. Or was it?

In 1980, Eagle finds himself in the swamps of Florida, part of a Ranger School patrol, on the day the final test run for Operation Credible Sport’s specially modified C-130 is being conducted. This is the planned second attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran.

black tuesdayMoms is high in the Andes on 29 October 1972, where a handful of plane crash survivors are struggling to stay alive; an event that will eventually be written about with that very title ALIVE!, a testament to the strength of human character. But it seems the Shadow wants no one to survive.

29 October 1618. Sir Walter Raleigh is to be beheaded. Mac’s mission? Make sure it happens. But Raleigh, and some other forces, are there to rescue him and change history.

Are the members of the Time Patrol up to the task of making sure our timeline stays intact against the sometimes devious, sometimes blunt efforts of the Shadow Timeline?

Nothing but good times ahead.

As long as the Time Patrol does its job!

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Where the Time Patrol Ended Up This Particular Day 1972: Bigfoot, ALIVE!

Black Tuesday finalExcerpt from Time Patrol: Black Tuesday

Andes Mountains, Argentina, 1972. 29 October– where Moms has to make sure some of the Andes plane crash survivors, actually survice.

Moms had done a lot of hunting in her time, but she’d never seen a track like this. Large, over six inches wide by sixteen inches long. Almost human shaped, but different. “What made that? What did we shoot?” Moms asked.

“A monster,” Correa said. “We did not kill it, as you could tell. It has gone off to nurse its wounds. It has had many names, in many lands. Yeti in the Himalayas. Abominable Snowman. Sasquatch. Bigfoot. Ts’emekwes among the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest. Here in the Amazon and Andes it has been called Mono Grande, or Large Monkey.” He shrugged. “I prefer Yeti. Much simpler.” He slid the FN FAL rifle onto his shoulder. He coughed, hard, for several moments, turning partly away from Moms and bending over.

“Are you all right?”

“A touch of the flu,” Correa said, straightening up. “Nothing to worry about.”

bigfoot-faceMoms didn’t care for the cold. Early in her career she’d served in a special ops unit that was oriented toward Winter Warfare training. That meant she was prepared, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was good that she knew what she was doing here at 13,000 feet in the Andes in the middle of the fall.

It was bad in that she’d learn to hate being cold.

It is 1972. According to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), this is the longest year ever, with two leap seconds added. The Nightstalkers close a Rift near Hoover Dam. Nick Ut takes his Pulitzer Prize winning photo of a naked 9-year-old Vietnamese girl running after being bombed by napalm. A Japanese soldier is discovered hiding on Guam, 28 years after the end of World War II. A Serbian flight attendant survives a fall of 33,000 feet in the tail section of a plane that explodes mid-flight. The Godfather is released. Nixon orders Haiphong Harbor mined. Watergate. Atari releases Pong. The last manned moon mission, Apollo 17, is launched. We’ve never been back.

Some things change; some don’t.

Her mission had just begun, and already Moms had battled a creature of legend.

Nothing but good times ahead.


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Where the Time Patrol Ended Up This Particular Day: 999 AD Vikings, Kraken & More

Excerpted from:  Time Patrol: Black Tuesday

Where the Time Patrol Ended Up This Particular Day

monstersOn maps of old, those blank spaces beyond the known world were marked: Here There Be Monsters.

Off the East Coast of England, 999 A.D. 29 October

Roland was ready for battle, a sword in his hand rather than a machinegun, but the general concept was the same: Fell deeds awakening against the forces of darkness.

And here be the monster as a thick, ropy tentacle lunged up out of the water. At the tip was a mouth fringed with sharp teeth, snapping, searching for flesh. It hit one of the Vikings directly into the chest, the teeth boring deep. The man slashed at the creature with his sword even as he died.

VikingshipThe Viking leader was fast to the defense with Roland at his side, almost as fast. They battled desperately as more tentacles came out of the water. Roland sliced through one, stomping down with his leather boot on the snapping end, crushing the teeth. To his right, another Viking was lifted into the air, tentacle wrapped around his chest. The unfortunate warrior was pulled down into the black water, disappearing. The man never cried out in terror or for help, swinging his sword even as he was taken into darkness. It was the way a Viking should be taken, weapon in hand, guaranteeing a place in the hall of Valhalla.

If such a place exists.

But warriors need to believe in something beyond themselves, whether it be country, flag, unit, comrades or Valhalla.

kraken5Neeley had told Roland of these creatures, the kraken.

He was elated to finally meet one.

Roland jabbed the point of his sword directly into the mouth end of a tentacle, right between the teeth as it came straight for him. The sword went in and then further in, the teeth snapping down on the steel, getting closer and closer to his hand, finally stopping at the cross-shaped haft before the tentacle pulled back, dripping gore.

It is 999 A.D. The last year before the turn of the first millennium Anno Domini. In another part of the world, the Samanid Dynasty, encompassing parts of Iraq and Afghanistan, ceases to exist after crumbling under an invasion from the north. Not for the first time and not for the last time, that region of the world is convulsed in conflict. Across the sea to the west of England, Christianity is being officially adopted in Iceland. Gerbert of Aurillac becomes Pope Silvester II, succeeding Pope Gregory V. He is the first French Pope and introduces the western world to the decimal system using Arabic numbers. He would thus be accused of studying magical arts and astrology in Islamic cities, with charges that he was a sorcerer in league with the devil.

Some things change; some don’t.

And here, on a Viking longship, Roland was facing creatures of legend while on a mission whose objective he wasn’t exactly certain of. But he had a shield and a sword and he was in the company of fierce warriors in the midst of a battle.

Roland was at home.

(Roland’s mission, well, we’re really not sure what Roland’s mission is, but it involves Vikings, Kraken, Berserkers, monks, a nun and a seer.)

How making a bed is like making a night water parachute infiltration

Water landingWell, not exactly the same, but I had torn the bed apart because my wife was coming home from seeing the grandkids for a week, and between me and Cool Gus and Becca all sleeping in it, well everything needed to be washed, disinfected (and probably should have been burned and start from scratch). So we’ve got this thing (some of you know the name) that goes over the other thing (like a blanket) that has buttons on one end. So you have to unbutton it and untie the little knots at all four corners to take the blanket out and wash it and the other thing (duvet cover? Seems I’ve heard my wife use those words). That’s not like a parachute jump.

What is, though, is putting the cover back on. Because I have to trace the seam of the cover down to each far corner and as I was doing that, it occurred to me that it was exactly what you do when you land in the water at night and your parachute settles down on top of you. To get out from under it before it sinks (and it will sink with you under it if you don’t), you have to reach up and find a seam in the canopy and then feel your way (it’s dark, you’re in the water, the parachute is on top of you) along the seam until you reach the edge of the chute. Remember you’ve got the risers and all these other lines that run to the parachute itself and it’s quite easy to get entangled; those lines are made of 550 cord which lots of people use in survival bracelets and other things.

I think I wrote about this in The Green Berets: Dragon Sim-13 because a water jump is how the team infiltrated China for their mission. I commanded a Maritime Operations A-Team, so we did water jumps, high-speed casts, combat swims, and freezing in cold water. Also remember a key SOP: Dry suits aren’t.

Furthermore, apropos of nothing other than making the bed, I hate putting pillowcases on pillows. My wife tends to critique my pillowcase technique. It’s weird how there are household things you either hate or like. For example, I like emptying the dishwasher. I actually like taking out the trash (although this might be genetic since my father retired from the NY City Sanitation Department). I don’t like working in the garden and my wife would spend her life out there. I don’t like swimming in cold water (see previous paragraph).

IMG_2359And, of course, as I come out from taking a shower after making the bed (it was hard as aardvark wrestling although I did not lose an eye) what do I see on the fresh, clean bed?

BURNERS(fist)And coming 6 Oct: burners

“Things all apart;

the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”


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