I live and write somewhere in the US
A Passage to Nowhere
Commander Dana West clutched the armrests of her chair as her space vehicle flew into the thin Martian atmosphere. An onboard AI system controlled the space vehicle, better known as the SPV. The SPV shook violently as it fell towards Mars at 15000 miles per hour. Dana kept her eyes closed and prayed that if the SPV did malfunction, that her death would be a quick one. She suddenly remembered that she had a silver locket her mother gave her. It was lodged in her flight suit pocket. Inside the locket was a tiny painting of Saint Christopher. It had always given her comfort. Dana offered up a short prayer.
Somewhere in the Woods
Jurgen tripped over a branch and fell face first onto the forest floor. He spat dirt and branches from his mouth as he caught his breath. He listened for the bark of the bloodhounds. He rose to his knees and listened anxiously. He shivered as he listened for the excited barks of the hounds. They were out there, somewhere. But they had become fainter. Jurgen closed his eyes and offered a silent prayer to a God he did not believe in. He knew if he was caught, he was a dead man. Minute by minute the sounds of the dogs grew fainter. They were heading north and away from him.
It's All About Convergence
Not too long ago I realized that of all my children, only my two oldest had memories of the bad old “dial-up” days. They were born in the mid to late 90s. Technology wise, most internet users subscribed to dial-up plans offered by the local telcos as well as local Internet Service Providers. In my town, we had two or three ISPs run out of basements. In those days, cellphones were just beginning to catch-on. But still, most cellphone users were businesspeople. 3G cell protocol was launched in Japan during that period. Windows 98, and Windows NT reigned supreme on most desktops; Novel version 3.2 and Digital Electronics DEC systems still ran most business networks. Lotus Notes was still the preference for business email systems. For consumers, AOL, Yahoo, and Excite dominated the Internet, and Ask Jeeves was the favorite search engine for most people looking for answers to problems.