MAY I INTRODUCE - 09.18.2021
September 18, 2021
Good Saturday morning. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to Rupp's Notes/FBI Special Agent Hartman Series posts.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO MY SON MATT!!!
Being a long-time Jeopardy fan, I'm glad to see some stability coming back to the show as respects a host. Sony has announced that actress Mayim Bialik and previous winner Ken Jennings will co-host the program through 2021. Jennings is well-known among "Jeopardy" fans, having gone on an unmatched 74-game winning streak. He also was a consulting producer on the show. I would like to see Ken become the permanent host.
When I started this post, I planned to introduce you to the last three important characters in my novel SKYWARD, and recent news stories changed my plan. So one new character today, and two in my next post.
"I have been skeptical of the idea that the United States really wanted to enter a Cold War with China, but this announcement is significant evidence that it is indeed prepared to take such a momentous step. . . . Australia is gambling that . . . the United States will remain committed to its defense and to maintaining a regional presence in the face of the largest economic and strategic challenge in American history." Those are the words of Sam Roggeveen in THE INTERPRETER
"The U.S. is pivoting away from Europe and cannot fully be trusted," said Georgina Wright, head of the Europe Program at INSTITUT MONTAIGNE, a nonprofit transpartisan think tank based in Paris.
A REUTERS article states, "China on Thursday denounced a new Indo-Pacific security alliance between the United States, Britain, and Australia, saying such partnerships should not target third countries and warning of an intensified arms race in the region. . . .The United States and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China's growing power and influence, particularly its military buildup, pressure on Taiwan, and deployments in the contested South China Sea."
The above-mentioned articles address a defense pact between the United States, Great Britain, and Australia to counter China's aggressive moves in the South China Sea and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said of this pact that it "severely (is) damaging regional peace and stability, intensifying an arms race, and damaging international nuclear non-proliferation efforts."
With the above in mind, may I introduce Bik Wang to you? Here's a section of Chapter 13 from SKYWARD –
On the other side of the world, things were happening that would impact the Clique's plan.
Chen Wang pointed at two pictures hanging next to each other on the wall behind his desk. One was Li Hongzhang, a revered Chinese politician, general, and diplomat of the late Qing dynasty. The other was Otto von Bismarck, who masterminded the unification of Germany in 1871. Chen asked his son a question that Bik had heard many times before. "Why do I have a picture of a German up there?"
Bik responded, "Because Li believed in Bismarck's concept of a grand strategy."
"And, what is a grand strategy?"
"It is a long-term strategy pursued at the highest levels by a nation to further its interests."
"My son, you have been selected to be involved in a grand strategy not seen in three thousand years."
"I understand, father."
Chen walked from behind his desk and stood next to his son, looking at the pictures. "As our great leader Xi Jinping says, time and momentum are on our side. You have been selected by our leadership to be at the forefront of this period of historical opportunity. You are to rightfully command us to control space. You will lead the hegemony over the United States and their Western friends. You will fulfill Xi Jinping's dream and become famous."
"You are right, father. The United States is no longer in a position to talk us down."
"Yes, son. We have collapsed America, just like they collapsed Russia. Through economic and political superiority. Our blunting strategy of hiding capabilities and biding time has allowed us to catch up and surpass them. They didn't even know it. Their own people no longer believe in their government."
"This will be our Berlin Wall. I will establish a People Liberation Army base on the Moon."
"I love the way you say that with conviction. We have built our country up, now is the time for expansion. An expansion that is beyond traditional thought. It will include Chinese space colonization. I can foresee a billon of our countrymen in space.
* * *
This was written well before the news articles indicated above.
Again, I need to speed up my writing before it is no longer sci-fi. I say this because of yesterday's NASA Tweet - "Today's launch represents a significant milestone in the quest to make space for everybody."
I congratulate billionaires Jared Isaacman and Elon Musk for making history last Wednesday with their all-civilian crew launch and orbiting space venture.
NASA's only involvement in this mission was to provide the launch pad at Kennedy Space. It sets a precedent for private industry to lead the future of human spaceflight as the government loosens its grip on exploring the cosmos.
Two things caught my attention with this venture – Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant with a disability, and the fact that a ukulele made by Martin Guitar will be played during the crew's stay in orbit.
Arceneaux was a bone cancer patient at St. Jude when she was 10 years old, and her treatment included implanting metal rods in the bones of her left leg. While that likely would prevent her from flying on a NASA mission, it's not a barrier for a purely commercial flight.
In SKYWARD, the decision is made by the Bowman team to screen out anyone with a disability from going to their Moon Colony over safety concerns, just like NASA. But Miss Arceneaux's attitude and abilities have my mind questioning this decision. Also, I have noted that in Robert A. Heinlein's THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS, the principal character in his moon colony (other than Mike the computer) is Mannie, who lost an arm in a mining accident, which he replaces with various prosthetic devices for different occasions.
As respects the ukulele, in SKYWARD, I have guitar playing as one of the ways the Bowman moon colonists relieve stress. One of the first noncritical things the Bowman colonist started constructing were plastic guitars (carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy). My research indicates that they have become relatively popular for acoustic instruments since they can have similar mechanical and acoustic properties as wood but without the same sensitivity to humidity and temperature. Timber and the Moon do not go together.
In the next post, you will be introduced to Lexie and Kiana.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
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