The early light is breaking
The morning sun is waiting in the sky
And I think I'm gonna break away
And follow where the birds of freedom fly
I need to give, I need to live
For the world is slowly turning
And the lights of love are burning in my eyes
Caravans, oh my soul is on the run
Overland, I am flying
Caravans moving out into the sun
Oh I don't know where I'm going
But I'm going
- Mike Batt: "Caravan Song"
The deliberations had been very brief. It was an extraordinary situation. On many planets. On Uranus. On earth. ASTROCOHORS ‘senior officers agreed with Admiral McCloud that something needed to be done about Earth. Somebody reiterated that the state the earth was in was possibly a result of the so-called “ERTL lamp” that stood on Mars and bombarded the earth with rays that restricted the brain’s capabilities . And if you looked at the earth like that, you would have been inclined to believe that. In that case, all of this would not have been a homemade Earth problem, but an attack. But there was no evidence of such an attack. McCloud convened a committee that was to direct the fortunes of ASTROCOHORS CLUB from now on. Ostap Yefimov was appointed, Dozon Rasun, Zomm Arrghl, Fulmen Grancolline and Nat Anders. You had made a special contribution to the crisis surrounding the PURPLE DEATH. In addition, more should be added. Soraya Mahdar, an expert on the Asian part of the planet. Victor Araujo Sousa for Brazil. The CLUB should from now on encompass the whole world. A big job. But after the darkness that one had experienced in the last few days and weeks, also a ray of light. But someone would still be missing. Two new departments would have to be set up. Yes, McCloud thought, it really was a fresh start!
“Why can you set the clock after the alarm?” Yelled Admiral McCloud into the room. “It’s amazing, 9:00 am standard time sharp and we have an emergency! What is it?”
The crew gathered in the conference room looked towards the door. McCloud had stopped in the doorway. The alarm was still ringing through the corridors of ATLANTIS base. “Can anyone turn off the noise?” Asked McCloud. “I think they are all gathered.” “All but you, sir,” confirmed Commander Gibeur, who was standing at a table. She had switched on the projection screen. An overview map of the solar system could be seen on the screen. And points that moved between planets. Something had happened. “Well, I’m here now,” said McCloud. “So what’s up?” Gibeur brushed her hair back from her face. She was quite tense. “It happens what we had long feared. The Armada, which has been shielding the solar system from the outside world for almost a month, has started moving. A squadron is moving towards Uranus.” “Uranus!” McCloud’s eyes widened. “So they really want to disrupt the ceremony?” “I don’t think they just want to disrupt the ceremony,” said Gibeur. “They want to prevent them. Intelligence reports say that Scurra, the now deposed Praetor of Lokubami, has moved to an unknown location. Armed militias are moving towards the capital of Lokubami. We must suspect that they want to implement Scurra’s plan, in which he is proclaimed emperor. “ McCloud shook his head. “Why always emperor? Praetor is also a nice office and when you’re done, you just leave.” “You know, sir,” Gibeur pointed out, “that those who have power are always afraid of losing it again. The only question is: what do we do now?” All the officers in the room stared at McCloud in awe. The decision he had to make now was not an easy one. “Which ship is nearby?” Asked the admiral. “The BOURGOGNE,” replied Gibeur. “She is in the same position and is watching the situation exactly as we are.”
“Basically we have no choice,” McCloud stated. “Our job is to protect freedom, peace and democracy. Even if democracy is as strangely shaped as in Lokubami. But we cannot risk losing that. Get in touch with BOURGOGNE. They have to stop the squadron.” . If the BOURGOGNE should ask for support … do we have other ships nearby? “ “The HOOD would still be available.” “The HOOD, of all things,” McCloud grumbled. “Okay, if the worst comes to the worst, let’s use them. But to be on the safe side, put the fleet on alert. Who knows what the alien armada is up to. We may have to help out in many places in the solar system.” “Yes, sir! I will inform the BOURGOGNE immediately.” “And to everyone else: I need tactics and suggestions! Look at the maps, the strength of the Armada, all the information you need. This could be difficult today and I want us to be prepared!” The officers immediately got to work. In the meantime, Commander Gibeur spoke to the BOURGOGNE, who immediately set out to intercept the foreign squadron.
Fleet Admiral Leonard McCloud was seated at a long table. A dinner table. The table was in the so-called “Red Salon” of the ATLANTIS base. ATLANTIS had different departments, everyone actually knew that. There were modern sections, but there were also those housed in historic buildings. Like this one. The building had once belonged to the well-known merchant Retho vom See, who had it lavishly furnished. Massive wooden furniture dominated the room. The room was named “Red Salon” from the red fabric wallpaper that could be seen between wooden panels. And the curtains were red. A massive mirror surrounded by a wooden frame stood against one wall. And a plush carpet lay on the wooden floor. McCloud sat at the head of the table. As I said, he was alone, but there was still cover for several people. A naval officer stood to one side and waited. The officer considered this to be Admiral McCloud’s quirk, but he didn’t want to spoil the old man’s game. ASTROCOHORS also suffered from the pandemic. What McCloud was going to do here was actually a celebration. Because after the cowardly attack on ASTROCOHORS, the officers succeeded in an unbelievable show of strength in re-establishing all communication channels. That should be celebrated! But because of the risk of infection, too many people were not allowed to meet at once. So the admiral had other plans. “So,” said McCloud, “how does it look?” “All departments are operational again!” Reported the officer. “And everyone has gathered?” “Yes sir, they are all here!” “Then let’s raise our glasses together!”
The officer came to the table. He now had to stand in for the various departments. So that he would not get completely drunk in the course of the procedure, there was only water in the glasses that stood at the seats of the departments. Admiral McCloud, on the other hand, insisted on pouring himself a red wine from Chateau Picard. He raised his glass. “And now: report from all departments!” The officer stood behind the chair on the Admiral’s left. On a small sign on the table was written: “ASTROCOHORS CLUB”. The officer took the glass from the table, raised it and said, “ASTROCOHORS CLUB and the newly planned EXPEDITION department are ready for action again! We are ready to plan and coordinate new missions, sir!” They drunk.
The officer now moved to the next chair. There was also a sign on the table here. This was labeled “CANALIS TREMENDUM COLLABORATION”. The officer grabs the glass. “The CANALIS TREMENDUM COLLABORATION, or CTC for short, is waiting to investigate strange phenomena and get into the details, sir!” They drunk.
Again the officer moved one chair. In front of this was “CHEZ FRASHOKERETI”. The officer took the glass from the table and said: “I am extremely pleased to announce the complete production of the CHEZ FRASHOKERETI department! We are already investigating the extremely strange behavior of the Terrans with the help of new people. Super easy, barely an inconvenience, Sir! “ They drunk.
One chair further. The sign read “CLEF, PEN AND BRUSH”. “We at CLEF, PEN AND BRUSH have already begun to devote ourselves to the fine arts and are glad to be running at full capacity again, sir!” They drunk.
One chair further. “AQUAMARINON”. “On behalf of the regent of the water planet AQUAMARINON, I can announce that the cowardly attacks of the enemy have been repulsed. Count on us, Admiral!” They drunk.
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS ACADEMY”. “It’s been a terrible year, even for us at the ACADEMY, sir,” said the officer. “But we have strengthened our staff. We will continue to fight against ignorance and stupidity! We will take the next opportunity to make people smarter. And the next. And the next, until we win, or until we run out of opportunities. But we won’t give up! Science will continue! “ They drunk.
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS EMBASSY”. “I can hear the complainers, sir!” Said the officer. “Politics, who cares? But the last few years have shown that everyone has to be interested in politics, otherwise they will go under, and otherwise democracy will go under. We at the diplomatic corps of ASTROCOHORS EMBASSY are doing our best to ensure freedom and Equality persist.” They drunk.
One chair further. “CHRONICLES OF SIDUS BELLA”. “Our task is to analyze and file events. We have to learn from the events of the past. Unfortunately, however, we have had to discover that there are people who look for nothing more than a purity in these events that doesn’t exist. We. We confront these people and look at the history of the galaxies in a big context. That is our job at the CHRONICLES OF SIDUS BELLA. “ They drunk.
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS BATTLEFRONTS”. “We were face to face with the enemy, sir,” said the officer. “And we’re still facing the enemy. I don’t know what the future will bring, sir, but we’re ready on the BATTLEFRONT!” They drunk.
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS NExUS.” “Our institute is still busy measuring and mapping all the star systems and cultures, the galaxies and universes. Our task will never be finished, but we at ASTROCOHORS NExUS are doing our best!” They drunk.
One chair further. “BUREAU 07”. “It was all a troubled time for the secret service too, sir! But we were able to obtain valuable information and thus prove that the days of secret agents are far from over. BUREAU 07 at your disposal, Admiral!” They drunk.
One chair further. “THEATER OF THINGS.” “Humor is important in these times too. It’s our job, sir, and we do it with as much duty as the other departments! We bring people back up when they are down! Rely on the THEATER OF THINGS! “ They drunk.
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS CENTRAL”. “We at headquarters always fly a little under the radar. But important information is also gathered here and we are fully operational again, sir! We are ASTROCOHORS, Admiral!” They drunk.
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS Brasil”. “We in the South American section also had problems, especially because of the situation in the country. The attack also hit us hard, but ASTROCOHORS Brasil is ready for action again, sir!” They drunk.
One chair further. “LES GUERRIERS DE BOYARD”. “Our department has an unusual name and we are also a regional section. We are a little smaller, so we had difficulties getting back online, but from now on you can also hear from LES GUERRIERS DE BOYARD in French again!” They drunk.
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS ONLINE”. “We are also a regional section, responsible for the Asian area. Perhaps this will be a little different in the future, but at the moment it is so and we are doing what we can. ASTROCOHORS ONLINE and the main department ASTROCOHORS ONLINE i are ready for action ! “ They drunk.
One chair further. In the meantime the officer had circled the table completely and had arrived at the place on the Admiral’s right. It was the last one, and “ASTROCOHORS Japan” was on the sign. “We can only get through times like these together. We at ASTROCOHORS Japan are ready to make our contribution and we would like to announce that we are ready for action again!” They drank one last time. The officer noticed that there was a lot of water in his stomach. Admiral McCloud had taken only a small sip at a time. He didn’t want to get drunk either. Chateau Picard was way too good for that. At that moment the sound of a clock could be heard. In a distant corner stood an old clock on a dresser that rang a bell every hour. The officer and Admiral McCloud counted.
One – two – three – four – five – six – seven – eight – nine – ten – eleven – twelve! Midnight. The admiral rose.
“We’re just in time,” he said aloud into the room. “I wish all departments a Happy New Year! I’m not going to announce the usual year now, because I have learned that due to special circumstances the time calculation is to be changed. So we’re not talking about the year 2021 according to the time calculation of Terra … better Said, a calendar of Terra, because there are several. We will probably also abolish the Galactic calendar. In the future, the years according to the calendar of human history will be determined. The year “zero” of this calendar is ten thousand years before the year “zero “of the Terran calendar. It was the time when man built a city on earth for the first time. I will inform you all exactly, but if it stays that way, then at this moment we will welcome the year 12021! For you, your Departments and their people all the best in this new year! “ The admiral and officer raised their glasses one last time and drank from them. Then the officer took a small remote control out of his pocket and pressed a button. “The transmission to the departments is terminated, sir!” He said. “Very nice,” replied McCloud. “It’s a shame that the internet connection on this damned planet is so bad! Otherwise we could have brought the others in too, but I think it went well that way. What do you think?” “It was definitely very uplifting, sir!” McCloud nodded. “So, and now I will retire. I am tired, the new year has already started and I am not missing a thing.” “Exactly, sir. Good night then!” “Thank you! Good night to you too and a Happy New Year!” “Happy New Year!”
The 2020 California wildfire season is a series of ongoing wildfires that are burning across the state of California. As of September 11, 2020, a total of 7,718 fires have burned 3,175,523 acres (1,285,089 ha), more than 3% of the state’s roughly 100 million acres of land, making 2020 the largest wildfire season recorded in California history, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. However, from a historical perspective, it has been estimated that prior to 1850, about 4.5 million (17,000 km³) acres burned yearly, in fires that lasted for months. The peak of the wildfire season usually occurs between July and November when hot, dry winds are most frequent. The wildfire season typically does not end until the first significant rainstorm of autumn arrives, which is usually around mid October in Northern California, and roughly between the end of October to early November in Southern California. Climate change has increased the risk of wildfires in California significantly.
On August 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom reported that the state was battling 367 known fires, many sparked by intense thunderstorms on August 16–17 caused by moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fausto. Response and evacuations were complicated by a historic heatwave and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor declared a state of emergency on August 18. In early September 2020, a combination of a record-breaking heat wave, and Diablo and Santa Ana winds sparked more fires and explosively grew active fires, with the August Complex surpassing the Mendocino Complex to become California’s largest recorded wildfire. The North Complex increased in size as the winds fanned it westward, threatening the city of Oroville, and triggering mass evacuations.
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