Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #133

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #133

…With her hand still in his, Harv’s mind is busy wondering if she may be, “George Eastman’s daughter?…

This intriguing lady is about to take her leave.

Harv Pearson is letting opportunity slip away. He realizes that she would not know why thisJudith Eastman-001 stranger is asking dumb questions, when he actually knows much of the artistry of photography, merely little of new mechanics.

“No!” he blurts, eliciting terse indignation. He seems intimidated by the woman, not for reasons of business, rather his rusty methods in dealing with a female that he is very attracted to. If she had been a mousy frump, with thick glasses and shrinking manner, he would have already submitting a resume for possible employment at the Reporter. She continues on, lugging her heavy equipment.

Mustering up the last of his courage, he straightens his tie, combing his thick, ever so slightly graying hair, off his forehead. With notepad in hand, he presents his best journalistic look. “Please, Miss, I do not wish to be a pest…”

“You are about to achieve that very thing.”

“Allow me to introduce myself,” he extends his hand. “I am Harv Pearson from the Quincy Reporter.”

  “Quincy, Florida?”

“Yes.”

“I have read your pieces on the Gulf Coast hurricane. Very moving, I must say.” She frees a hand to return his formal greeting, reassessing him in the bargain. ‘Not so bad’ she thinks, now that he has been validated in her mind. It occurs to her that she values who a person is, rather than accepting them sight unseen. She still has a chance to correct that flaw in her character. Judith Eastman,” she offers simply, “and forgive me for my lack of manners. When I’m at a task, I tend to look past other present matters.”

She flashes an absolutely charming smile, heretofore masked by her tunnel vision.

With her hand still in his, Harv’s mind is busy wondering if she may be, “George Eastman’s daughter?

“You flatter me, sir; sister yes, daughter no. But a good guess nonetheless and no doubt because you are up on things.”

“I do try… is it Miss Eastman?” She nods for him, which is a concession for her, considering she still wears a gold band on her left ring finger, even though she has been divorced for going on ten years. Judith does not harbor many particular fond memories of the mistake variety, but the ring allows editing of potential suitors, at least the ones who care respect marital status. Harv Pearson never bothered to look, a case of dumb luck. “I truly believe that photographic pictures will take the delivery of news to a higher plain.”

“We think that as well, Mister Pearson.”

“Make that Harv and the Eastman vision in the discipline goes without saying.” Judith’s family is to photography, as the oceans are to water.

“I’m not sure about my artistic expertise, but I do take new equipment to the field. That’s why I am here, testing a commercial version of my brother’s hand held box camera.” She underscores her role in the success of the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company, now Eastman Kodak.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #133


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #132

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #132

…I could not help noticing you down the hall. That is quite a camera you have there…

Perhaps the only person to go away hungry is Quincy Florida’s own, Harv Pearson. A bound notebook and pencil replace his knife and fork. He views this room as a Quincy Reporter-001smorgasbord of information; hundreds of column inches for hungry readers back home, with the publisher as the sole historian of this grand adventure. He is compiling enough material to fill a special section for the Reporter. In fact, he has sent a wire to his assistant instructing him to prepare for it and be sure to promote the extra edition in next week’s paper. Word has it, that there are unprecedented advance orders from Midway and Tallahassee and surrounding towns. Harv Pearson has carved a niche in the panhandle on the strength of his good record, strengthened by the solid reporting from the hurricane of last century, i.e. last year.

KodakBrownie1And as luck would have it, while he is making his interview list, checking it twice in the outer hall, he spies a woman lugging one of the newest cameras, looking like she knows what she to do with it. By his estimation, she is firmly entrenched in her thirties and wearing those years very well. Aside from her pleasing appearance, he had to wonder what a photographer could do for his cause, knowing full well that his newspaper has maybe not fallen behind the times, but his high school intern toting a tiny Brownie box camera hardly puts it anywhere near the top of the picture curve. Pearson, because of the lead time required for developing the film, inserts his pictures in the next week’s edition, unable make the previous deadline.

Judith Eastman-001 He is transfixed by the person, as well as transposing her talents into his situation, nearly missing the opportunity to meet her. Harv quickly closes the gap between him and her, aiming to change her awayward direction.

“Miss, oh miss?” he calls politely, not wanting to just grab hold. She stops, turning in response to the hail. “I could not help noticing you down the hall. That is quite a camera you have there.

“It should be,” she states flatly. “There should be only ten others like it in the country.”

“Ten? My goodness. You must be employed by the New York Times.”

She is not exactly put off by his approach, but he probably would have been better off introducing himself from the start. Right now, she thinks either he has had a few cocktails and got bored with his wife, or is some curious tourist really into all the new gadgets around this confluence of commercial technology.

“No, actually I am attempting to preserve the Pan-American Exposition through pictures. I am on my way to experiment with night photography, so if you will excuse me——-?”

He is letting opportunity slip away.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #132


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 129

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 129

…“Well, if James becomes one-half the man, he can be proud!” No Southerner who ever truly knew Jefferson Davis could ever say anything different…

Jefferson and Varina Davis

John, Martha, James and Abbey Ferrell claim an adjacent room at the Hotel Niagara that actually has a door on their common wall. The kids are happy that it locks from both sides, thereby opening only when both parties consent; like now when both ladies have donned their Sunday best and the guys, well they are still guys, caring less about who sees them and in what state.

“This is the cat’s pajamas!” proclaims James, pulling every cord, drawer, knob, fob, bob and contraption within his reach, which is far more than when he toddled around getting his hands into everything as a kid..

 “Don’t you mean the cat’s meow?” John surmises the meaning. “The latest thing, I -the-cats-meowsuppose.”

“Yes, of course,” says the nouveau Bostonian. “I suspect that the South is becoming isolated from the rest of the world.”

“James, you very much sound like that primitive desk clerk,” Martha points out. “We sent you to Harvard to become a lawyer, not a judge; judgment coming only by wisdom. If you return to Tallahassee with notions like this, it is you who will be the stranger.”

Big City-001“There is much to be said in account of Southern charm, son,” John Ferrell seeks to temper mother’s stern posture. “If you do not use it, you will lose a valuable tool. Please do not become one of those slick city swindlers.”

“I plan to steal money from widows, defend murders and thieves and perhaps change the law that says students must listen to their parents.”

  Sarcasm has its place, just not here & now..

“Do not worry, Father, I keep him in his place,” Abbey assures. “You see, we are not known as the toast of New England. Somehow, somewhy, fellow students call us, “Jeff and Varina”.”

          “Oh my!” They all know what that represents; former President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis and his wife. “James is far more handsome than Mr. Davis,” Martha claims and accurately so.

“Well, if he is becomes one-half the man, he can be proud!” No Southerner who ever truly knew Jeff Davis could ever say anything different and Ferrell had and has an autographed copy of his book, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

“Me thinks we doth dwell too much. The hour hath come to get ourselves to thee carriage.” James Shakespearian-izes the fleeting nature of the moment, lightening the mood from the grip of the South’s mostly forgettable history.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode # 129


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You Are Missing These Things – WIF Simple Pleasures

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The Modern World

Has Robbed You

of These

Simple Pleasures

There are a lot of great things about the modern world, including instant communication, a wealth of amazing entertainment options, access (depending on your part of the world) to some of the best healthcare in history, and the ability to travel all over the world at incredible speeds that our ancestors would have found mind-boggling. However, all good things also have their downsides, and there are some negatives to our modern conveniences that we often don’t think too much about, sometimes because the modern convenience has hidden some past joys entirely from our view. In today’s article, we will go over 10 examples of this phenomenon.

10. An Unobstructed View Of The Night Sky

It used to be that most people could look up at the night sky and see an absolutely stunning vista. You could see a multitude of colored stars, and you could certainly imagine how your ancient ancestors could have once gazed up at that same sky, and imagined all the various powers that have been attributed to them in the past. Now, however, the modern world has largely taken that joy away from us. Due to light pollution, you often have to travel a good days drive from what some would call “civilization” in order to get a proper view of the night sky. Sometimes 50 miles or so can get you a decent view in one direction, but it is rarely going to get you a fully proper 360 degree view, unless you already live in an an area that’s relatively remote.

And even if you can get all the way to those few spots left, you will still have satellites, planes and other flying objects drifting through your view, and polluting the once pristine view of the night sky. While planes and all the city lights give us great convenience, there is an absolutely stunning view hiding right in plain sight, that most of us will live our entire lives never getting to see.

9. Leisurely, Peaceful Meals, With Time To Talk And Digest Our Food

Now, while some countries still take time to linger over meals for the sake of tradition (such as France and Greece), many other major powers such as the UK and the USA eat much quicker. An International Economic Study by the OECD Think Tank found that the United States spent about one hour total on average per day on meals, the UK only about one hour and 19 minutes, and the French, on average, spent two hours and 13 minutes on combined mealtimes, making them the most leisurely with their meals. The industrial revolution has made the world move incredibly fast, and people in many countries just find themselves spending less and less time eating food as the world becomes faster paced and they have to keep going quickly to survive.

It has been well established for some time that there is a strong link between weight gain and eating far too quickly, which is what makes this modern trend alarming. As people eat quicker and quicker in order to keep up with the fast paced modern world, they don’t take the time to properly digest their food, which makes it far easier to overeat. And of course, overeating is a huge contributor to obesity, and other serious weight gain related health problems.

8. Seeing A Phone Number We Don’t Recognize, And Not Being Afraid To Answer 

Phone calls have certainly gotten more advanced over the years, and even most of the older generation tends to agree that advances like caller ID, voicemail, and the like were really good ideas that made things a lot better. However, all the same, it used to be a lot more normal to answer a phone call from a number you didn’t recognize, without actually expecting some kind of devilry. Unfortunately, telephone scams are numerous and make up a staggering percentage of calls, so much that the telecoms and the FCC are trying to work to find a way to bring an end to it, or at least cut it down in a large way in the short term.

Elderly people often get fooled by scam calls the most, but the scammers, trying to find someone to steal from, will target anyone they can get to answer the phone for a little while, and will try to trick important financial details out of people. Now, no one really wants to answer a number they don’t recognize, as they are almost expecting it to be a scam caller of some kind, and with text, Facebook messenger and Snapchat, people tend to just communicate through those mediums in some way or another, and don’t bother to talk for more than a few minutes. The days of people simply calling and having a chat, or being able to answer an unknown number without paranoia, are mostly gone.

7. The Ability To “Go Offline” For A While Without Severe Anxiety

It used to be that before the internet and smartphones changed the world, people had to talk to each other, read a book or engage their hands in something perhaps a little more productive. At the very least, when spending time with someone else, they generally had to do something with them and make conversation. Now, however, people will spend hours hanging out staring at their phones, occasionally showing the other person a funny meme and making sure their phone is charged at all times.

And it is certainly a useful tool to have, but it has become an entertainment crutch for many people for any sort of boredom, and has become such a part of us that many people now get anxious and upset if they don’t have their phone on them or have it charged. According to a study by researchers from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at the Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, roughly three quarters of young adults suffered anxiety like twitching, or even scratching when observed for research purposes without their smartphones.

6. Delayed Gratification Is Something A Lot Of Even Older People Are Forgetting 

It used to be that you had to wait for certain times for your TV shows to be on, but now anyone can typically just binge their favorite shows without bothering to even wait for commercial breaks, which means even many of the older generation are forgetting the joy of delayed gratification. Across all generations, whether it is a self-scan at the grocery store or a second drive thru lane at McDonald’s, we are all being trained to hate waiting for more than a few seconds.

No matter what the generation, people in developed countries seem to have become less and less willing to wait for anything, and this likely isn’t good for any of us overall. The evidence for this goes back to the famous Marshmallow study, conducted by Stanford professor Walter Mischel in the 1960s. He offered children a marshmallow, but told them if they could wait while the researchers were out of the room, they would get a second marshmallow. As you can imagine, some of the children went ahead and just ate the marshmallow, while others resisted the temptation. After following them for 40 years, the numbers showed better success at SATs and the like, and less issues with stress and substance abuse, among those who had waited to gain that second marshmallow. This suggests that delayed gratification is a very useful tool for success in life.

5. Learning A New Hobby (And Impressing Our Friends And Feeling Super Cool About It)

While this isn’t something we have lost entirely, there is a certain magic that is definitely gone, due to the ubiquity of the internet. Before the ability for everyone in the world to instantly record and upload anything they do, it actually took some exploring and discovering to get the information you needed for a brand new hobby, and then, once you actually figured it all out — or at least the basics of it — you were usually the only one any of your friends knew who could do something quite like that, at least at first (if it doesn’t catch on with others around you).

However, now we really have lost that simple happiness, as people have become so incredibly jaded. It isn’t as hard to get into a new hobby anymore, as you can find a billion tips on the internet, easy starter kits for everything, and a ton of people who can do it a lot better than you. And of course, it’s right at the fingertips of your friends, too. While they may still be somewhat impressed to see someone do it live, and encourage you as their friend, it certainly won’t wow them as much when they can go online and immediately find someone who can do it a million times better than you can, who has been doing it for years. It also can make it hard to keep up with your hobby when it’s so easy to compare yourself to actual experts, and feel discouraged at how long it takes you to reach that level. The internet has sort of ruined us. (Except this site, of course — keep reading this site, guys!)

4. Being Able To Relax Away From Unnatural Or Industrial Noises 

It really wasn’t that long ago, back before the industrial revolution, when we had a much more peaceful world (with regard to noise pollution and, well, regular pollution). There were no big factories belching smoke. You go back a little longer and we didn’t even have trains. No WiFi, constant radio communication, internet, or satellites, and no planes constantly flying overhead. All the sound pollution, both audible to the human ear and not, was almost entirely non-existent just a few hundred years ago, but now there is almost no escape from it. And while you have to go out of the way, you can get a mostly unobstructed view of the night sky if you travel far enough (although you will still see planes and such), but it is a much more difficult issue when it comes to noise.

Researchers who have tried to find any quiet spots on earth have only found spots that are temporarily quiet from unnatural sounds. No matter how far you go, at the very least, the occasional airplane will fly by and ruin the natural soundscape you were trying to enjoy. Planes may be convenient, but there are tens of thousands of flights every day, and the sound from them constantly soaring through the sky has made every corner of the globe a site for intermittent noise pollution.

3. Waking Up To Natural Circadian Rhythms Is An Almost Non-Existent Privilege 

It used to be we just kind of went to bed and got up based on our natural alarm clock, but electronic aids now wake the world up. This is also kind of necessary now, because almost no one goes to bed shortly after sundown, or gets up at sunrise anymore. The privilege of simply going to bed like everyone else does, and knowing the whole world has pretty much the same schedule and will be waiting for you when you get up, is gone.

Now we go to bed at all sorts of weird hours, sometimes for only brief snatches, and many types of workers have schedules where shifts change throughout the week, leaving their poor bodies even more confused. On top of that, many are so trapped by social media, that even waking up for a brief moment, they have to check their feed — this kind of behavior is not good for our sleep patterns.

2. There Is Now No Escape From Shocking, Horrible And Grotesquely Sensational News 

With the ubiquity of the internet and the 24-hour news cycle, we now have access to news from any corner of the world at all times and a corresponding need to fill air space. While you’ll see the occasional positive human interest story, the news is mostly dominated by the worst of the worst, and because of such instant, worldwide, mass communication, no editor has any trouble filling their entire news block with a stream of horrific goings on.

No longer are the days when the news could simply only find so much negative to give you, and wasn’t going to be on 24 hours a day regardless, so at least you got a break. For some people this puts them in a quandary, as they feel as a responsible person they should keep up with the news, but it can be hard to filter out the important things from the constant horror. No matter how important you think it is to keep up with it, you may want to be careful about your consumption. Multiple replicated studies have found that people who viewed negative news broadcasts have more anxiety afterwards, and are more likely to start talking at length about things that worry them, and make them out in their heads to be something far bigger than they are.

1. The Constant Fear Of A Lawsuit Over Everything Has Left Us All On Edge 

In the news over the past several years, we’ve seen a steady stream of stories about little kid’s lemonade stands getting shut down by city authorities, with the police sometimes literally coming in and tearing them down. And just recently, the State of Texas passed a law specifically aimed to not make it so impossible for children to run a simple lemonade stand. However, we have to understand that the reason behind the police taking down lemonade stands is not to be mean to children, but due to the way our modern world works. Today, it is not just the US legal system, but also American culture that has become extremely sue-happy.

State laws regarding licenses and permits, which these lemonade stands obviously don’t have, because they are run by children, require you to be inspected and get licensed, because it both protects the public safety, and protects the proprietor from lawsuits. Now of course some may consider it silly to sue a child, because if you get sick drinking lemonade from a child’s stand obviously you understand that you took the risk in your hands. However, if someone got sick, it could potentially open the child’s parent up to a lawsuit, and perhaps the city as well if it could be proven they were negligent in their duty to make sure roadside food stands are properly licensed and inspected for food safety. Whether it is a lemonade stand being smashed to bits by the police, or a parent freaking out at a neighborhood kid climbing their tree (over fear of them potentially falling), the lawsuit-happy culture of the modern world has left America on edge.


You Are Missing These Things –

WIF Simple Pleasures

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #116

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #116

…I am going to give those people a “welcome home” they will never forget…

Inspiring words, among other accounts, pass by the desk of the President of the United States. These are his people, the people of Herbert Love’s world and he could not be more proud. So moved is he that he breaks from his long-held tradition and leaves his handicapped Ida in the care of Major Walter Reed. The imitable and nearly invisible V.P. Garret Hobart (a lame duck by most accounts) is entrusted with Washington D.C.

I am going to give those people a “welcome home” they will never forget.”

Time to Remember-001And so he does, while rushing off to the state capitol of Florida, with most of the Washington press corps tagging along. “The gratitude of this nation will not be a mime’s cheer.” William McKinley is not just a decent man. He is forward looking in his direction, yet he seldom ignores the needs and the desires of the few. This is an important quality for a country that is expanding nearly as fast as its rapidly improving sectors of communication and travel.

In less than two months there will be a presidential election of 1900, so this trip to Florida may do wonders for McKinley’s patchy Southern support. Herb Love does not have a widely public personae, so his best friend cannot garner him support, only Love’s little slice of the Panhandle and not much more below the Mason-Dixon Line.

But this September of disaster and the related stories of heroism and triumph over adversity, may well translate into popular votes in November.

Speaking of popular, the Republican nominating committee and attending convention had decided that the office of vice-president needed upgrading. They choose Spanish-American War hero and current governor of New York state Theodore Roosevelt, to replace the ignoble Hobart, who was merely a crony of first term financier, Marcus Hanna. So it’s out with old and in with that “damned cowboy”. In political circles, that is a term of endearment.

Enough of back-door politics though.

There has not been a preponderance of “full dinner pails” in the South since the Civil War, though steady progress can be seen.  But in the wake of the hurricane, whose fury should have been given a name that progress has been set back.

As it turns out, it is not too late to cash in on the workings of the Love complement, as reported by Harv Pearson and spread nationwide by everyone’s source for news: large sheets of thin paper with black ink printing on it; singular to each city, bound by unwritten rules of fairness and confidentiality. Because of the efforts of hurricane heroes and revealing reporters, the sitting President should receive a beaucoup bump in popularity. Luck and timing is a politician’s greatest ally.


Alpha Omega M.D.

welcomehome

Episode #116


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode # 115

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #115

…Broken limbs are set, deep wounds are stitched, virus and bacteria are thwarted; lives are saved, fears allayed, souls preserved by an experienced old man, a dedicated chemist and a Negro child…

NEWSPAPER-man

Newspaper Man

What this grouping of Floridians has accomplished, is amazing.

Quincy Reporter-001     And because of Harv Pearson, those days will not go unnumbered. Perhaps the most compelling story that readers of the Quincy Reporter and those other newspapers picking up the story courtesy of wire service access, is that of a retired German doctor and his young black assistant. While local hospitals were awash with disease and confusion, this retired immigrant doctor converts a university gym into an oasis of organization and healing. Without all the instruments and gadgets of their professional counterparts, Siegfried Endlichoffer efficiently knifes through the nonsense with the calculated precision of the Kaiser Wilhelm, whom he had left behind in his native hinterland.

And there at the doctor’s side, the most unlikely nurse one could ever imagine; Alpha Omega Campbell, formerly Alfrey, coming of age in a hurry, applying the volumes of medical tidbits related to him over the previous three years.

Ziggy-001Harv Pearson is witness to this incredible healing team. Mention must be made of druggist Jacques Francoise, who goes so far as manufacturing medicines on the spot, using whatever ingredients he can lay his hands on, supplementing those he had pre-prepared. He and Alpha take turns carrying out the triage-inspired orders from Doc Ziggy, some of which comes from the unspoken chemistry between the three.

on-the-scene     Broken limbs are set, deep wounds are stitched, virus and bacteria are thwarted; lives are saved, fears allayed, souls preserved by an experienced old man, a dedicated chemist and a Negro child,’ pens the journalist, for the record.

‘Sadly, though fortunately not tragically,’ he continues,Willy Campbell, father of young Alpha, as well as Jacob Haley, a simple teacher, have succumbed to exhaustion. They used their last gasp of energy in a tireless retrieval of sick and injured from the field of destruction. They tarried until nearly everyone within saving distance–was.

‘My hat is off to these men and the prayers of all, who they have touch with their kindness, go out to them this day.

‘Be proud you people of Quincy, Midway and Tallahassee, for your sons and daughters, husbands and grandfathers have acquitted themselves most excellently!’


Alpha Omega M.D.

Young A.O.-001

Episode #115


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #76

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #76

…The headline reads: BATTLESHIP MAINE BLOWS UP IN CUBA! Hundreds feared dead….

USS Maine-001

For John Ferrell, nothing could be finer. His business is growing with double-digit zeal. Baby Maggie Lou, nearly one year old, is thriving across San Luis Lake and Martha seems to have family matters under control, though he suspects that she suspects that he suspects she knows something. However it has happened, life does not get any better than this.

Under his arm is the 17 February 1898 edition of the New York Journal, their only true source of news around the country and the world. He has broken tradition by bringing it home unread, for two reasons. The first is to spend more time with his wife, an honest attempt to rebuild the shaky foundation of their marital house. The second and greater justification for this late morning digestion of his favorite rag from the North is that he has delegated individual store managing to qualified others. Daughter Agnes is one of these, seemingly fated to take up the mantle of the retail grocery business.

“It is so nice to have you home more, John. Now you can see how good I am getting at the laundry. Do you want starch on your shirt collars?” She cannot resist cleverly reminding her wayward spouse that he knows that she knows. He will stubbornly ignore any and all of her backhanded inferences on the subject of Laura Bell.

He does, however, give her an authentic, if not real kiss, as she sits in her favorite rocking chair, embroidering colorful flowers on white cotton pillow cases. She lays down the craft, taught her by Olla, to absorb the much needed attention.

A sideward glance draws her peripheral attention to the unfurled newspaper. The headline reads: BATTLESHIP MAINE BLOWS UP IN CUBA! Hundreds feared dead. 

“Oh, dear Lord in Heaven, that is Maynard’s ship!” she frets in disbelief. Her brother, Lieutenant Commander Maynard Gaskel, is a high ranking officer on one of the United States’ finest fighting ships. In the absence of war, she cannot fathom its possible demise.

John Ferrell looks over his shoulder to see for himself and reads further. It describes the horrific events of two days earlier, equally taken aback……


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #76


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