THAT'S THE DIRECTION WE'RE GOING - 09.22.2021
September 22, 2021
Good Wednesday morning. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMAN SERIES posts.
I've been in a writing mode. My novel SKYWARD is moving along, and I'm at a fun part of the story. That's the good news. The bad news is that it took me away from working on my posts. So this one will be about what I have been writing.
Tonight will be what has become an annual tradition since I moved to Burbank. Both of my son's birthdays are in September. Matt's is on the 18th, and Brian's is on the 24th. The tradition is a steak dinner at the Castaway's Restaurant up the hill from me. I'm looking forward to it. My grandson Ryan will also be joining us. A Rupp men's outing.
My brother Chuck's birthday, is also coming up. He will be 95 on September 25th.
In a recent post, I mentioned the wine grapes wildfire smoke problem. Here's some interesting info on the subject from today's LA TIMES on the subject – "Wine grapes damaged by smoke are among the crops covered under a $28.6-billion disaster assistance bill for states ravaged by wildfire, drought, or hurricanes. Thick smoke from some of the worst wildfire seasons in history tainted grape harvests in wineries in California, Oregon, and Washington between 2017 and 2020. Grapes are damaged when volatile phenols released by burning wood are absorbed at a higher-than-usual level, and the flavor is affected. Some California winemakers didn't make a 2020 vintage after their crops were burned or tainted by smoke. Similar problems are expected because of this year's fires. The disaster assistance includes up to $10 billion for various crops nationwide damaged by disasters in 2020 or 2021."
Here's the latest from my novel SKYWARD -
"I would love to. First, let me say this is going to be a little bit dramatic." With that said, Gavin pickup up his cell and dialed a number. "We're ready," is all he said. Then he announced, "This room was swept by the FBI earlier today to make sure there were no bugs or hidden cameras." Just as he finished saying that, two familiar people stuck their heads through the door. FBI Special Agents Dick and Coleen Hartmann entered, wheeling a stand with a large monitor and tiny camera on top. With them were two ladies and a man. They stood next to the monitor.
"I think you all know Mrs. Bowman's friends Dick and Coleen," said Gavin. You will get an introduction to their three friends in a bit."
"Hi everyone," Hartmann said as he plugged a power cord into the wall and clicked a controller that turned on the monitor.
Gavin continued as he pointed to the monitor, "And, with that monitor, several other people who have stayed up very late in Washington D.C. are going to join us. Three days ago, an event was reported to the President in his morning briefing that caused him to contact me about something he heard I was involved with. Our project. He asked me to send him material on it to a special group in Washington. I did. And, a decision was made. That decision is what this meeting is about."
Hartmann turned on the monitor, and as the screen flickered, he said, "The last few minutes of conversation could be heard by the group in Washington. With that in mind, I will turn the meeting over to President Varna."
The screen came alive and showed the White House Situation Room, with the President and eight other people sitting around the center table and several aides seated along the wall.
The President spoke, "Hello, Gentlemen. Sorry to spring this on you in this way. But, my friend Gavin mentioned you were getting together tonight, and it seemed to be an excellent time to discuss this with all of you. This is kind of one of those strange times when two things just seem to mesh together. I have been informed that China will establish a military base on the Moon within the next few weeks. Apparently, they are not going to announce it until after it is successfully established. They have already sent some rockets that have placed capsules in space hovering there with supplies for their base. And, it looks like they plan on launching more."
Following a sip of water, the President continued, "According to my Generals here, this appears to be more of a political or psychological ploy than military action against us. They want to show the world they are better and more advanced than we are. . . .that brings us to your space colonization project. My NASA experts say they couldn't match what the Chinese are doing for at least three years, if not longer. They also indicated that maybe they could speed things up with significant additional funding. . . .Well, at the moment, with the political divisions here in D.C., that ain't going to happen. So, to make it simple, do you think with NASA's and our militaries technical help, you could fund and establish a colony on the Moon within a year?"
Norm, Chris, Elon, and Jeff looked at each other for a moment. With their heads nodding yes, Norm stood up toward the monitor and said, "Yes, Mr. President, we can."
"All right then. Here's how it's going to work. For various P.R., political, legal, and international relations reasons, the moon colony will be designated as a U.S. Territory. Unlike the Chinese, it is not going to be a military base. We are not going to directly involve our military or the CIA in this project. But, as the colony is a domestic part of the USA, we will involve the FBI. Your liaison on this project will be the two FBI agents standing in the room with you, who I understand you already know."
There was a brief break as the President waived three people toward him. "Okay, I think I've done my part. It's after midnight, and I'm going to leave it with the rest of you to put this thing together. These three people are going to introduce themselves and tell you how they fit into the picture. I need to get some sleep and get ready for a bunch of meeting tomorrow. Dawn, the floor is yours."
"Thank you, Mr. President. For those of you who don't know me, I'm NASA Deputy Administrator Dawn Melrose. I'm here to let everyone know that NASA will do everything possible to make this project a success." Dawn stopped for a moment, then stated, "I suggest we give a name to this project. Any suggestions?"
Norm raised his hand and said, "I think it should be called Skyward. That's the direction we're going."
* * *
Note the above is subject to change in rewrites and editing.
The last person to make a presentation at the French Laundry meeting is the White House Press Secretary. She puts an interesting spin on what the "Skyward Project" is about, directly aimed at China.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp