A bloody fingerprint elicits a mother’s evil tale in Argentina

A bloody fingerprint elicits a mother’s evil tale in Argentina

Francesca Rojas’ two young children are killed in their home in the small town of Necochea, Argentina. According to Rojas, a man named Velasquez had threatened her when she rejected his sexual advances earlier in the day. Upon returning home later, Rojas claimed to have seen Velasquez escaping out her open door. Once inside, she found both her six-year-old boy and four-year-old girl stabbed to death.

Police arrested and questioned Velasquez, but he denied any involvement, even after some rather painful interrogation techniques were used to obtain a confession. Law enforcement officials even tried tying him to the corpses of the children overnight. When that didn’t produce any results, Velasquez was tortured for another week. Still, he maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal.

Juan Vucetich, in charge of criminal identification at the regional headquarters, had been intrigued by the new theories of fingerprint identification and sent an investigator to see if the methods could help crack the case. Until then, the only other method of identification was the Bertillonage, named after its inventor, Alphonse Bertillon, who worked for the Paris police. This method involved the recording of body measurements in more than 11 different places. In an age when photography was very expensive, Bertillonage gave police their best chance of definitively identifying a person.

When the investigator examined Rojas’s house, he found a bloody thumb print on the bedroom door. Rojas was then asked to provide an ink-print of her thumb at the police station. Even with only a rudimentary understanding of forensic identification, investigators were able to determine that the print on the door belonged to Rojas. Using this new piece of evidence against her, detectives were able to exact her confession.

Apparently, Rojas had killed her own children in an attempt to improve her chance of marrying her boyfriend, who was known to dislike children, and then pegged the crime on Velasquez. She was sentenced to life imprisonment.


A bloody fingerprint elicits a mother’s evil tale in Argentina - Jun 19, 1892 - HISTORY.com

TSgt Joe C.

Francesca Rojas’ two young children are killed in their home in the small town of Necochea, Argentina. According to Rojas, a man named Velasquez had threatened her when she rejected his sexual advances earlier in the day. Upon returning home later, Rojas claimed to have seen Velasquez escaping out her open door. Once inside, she found both her six-year-old boy and four-year-old girlstabbed to death.

Police arrested and questioned Velasquez, but he denied any involvement, even after some rather painful interrogation techniques were used to obtain a confession. Law enforcement officials even tried tying him to the corpses of the children overnight. When that didn’t produce any results, Velasquez was tortured for another week. Still, he maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal.

Juan Vucetich, in charge of criminal identification at the regional headquarters, had been intrigued by the new theories of fingerprint identification and sent an investigator to see if the methods could help crack the case. Until then, the only other method of identification was the Bertillonage, named after its inventor, Alphonse Bertillon, who worked for the Paris police. This method involved the recording of body measurements in more than 11 different places. In an age when photography was very expensive, Bertillonage gave police their best chance of definitively identifying a person.

When the investigator examined Rojas’s house, he found a bloody thumb print on the bedroom door. Rojas was then asked to provide an ink-print of her thumb at the police station. Even with only a rudimentary understanding of forensic identification, investigators were able to determine that the print on the door belonged to Rojas. Using this new piece of evidence against her, detectives were able to exact her confession.

Apparently, Rojas had killed her own children in an attempt to improve her chance of marrying her boyfriend, who was known to dislike children, and then pegged the crime on Velasquez. She was sentenced to life imprisonment.


50. Waban: The First State Prison Opens in California

The first state prison opens in California. It is a ship named Waban. When California became a state in 1850, the waves of prospectors rushing to the gold fields included those seeking opportunity and a criminal element as well. The need for a place to incarcerate criminals was at first met by prison ships, like Waban, but that proved inadequate. Point San Quentin was chosen as the site for California’s oldest prison, San Quentin, which was built by prisoners held on the prison ship Waban and opened in 1852. It originally held men, women, and, since there was no reform school for youth, some boys as young as 12. It wasn’t until 1933 that California’s first women’s prison would open at Tehachapi.

Another state prison was proposed in 1858, but it would be 20 years before construction began on the bank of the American River. Folsom State Prison opened in 1880, the first prison in the world with electric power and one of the earliest maximum security prisons in the U.S. Its first prisoners were transfers from San Quentin.


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What If You’re Wrong?

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement, – Hebrews 9:27

A match between a person and physical evidence collected from a crime scene does not prove guilt of a crime but presence at the location of offense. However, in conjunction with other evidence, it can make a case. Latent (hidden or invisible) evidence overlooked or destroyed by improper processing can lose a case.

In crime scene investigation the manner chosen to uncover evidence, such as latent prints, is decided prior to the search. The methods vary per the type of scene searched and evidence sought. Subsequent analysis and comparison of discovered physical evidence can lead to a match with a suspect.

So what if that decision is wrong?

Steps in Examining Physical Evidence for Latent Prints

I have written before about processing items for latent prints using fingerprint powders. Those techniques are effective for only certain kinds of evidence. Their use on other types will either fail to enhance (reveal or make visible) or simply destroy a print. Alternate techniques use chemicals to enhance latent prints.

Lab and field personnel have used sequential charts to effectively process evidence for years. The first step on each is visual examination. Each step after targets different components of the latent print and the substrate examined. Processing out of sequence hinders or eliminates success. For example, referencing the chart to the left, in processing paper for latent prints:

  • Iodine fumes can be used to enhance fatty oils (they appear dark brown) but do not affect amino acids in latent prints.
  • Ninhydrin can be used to enhance amino acids (they appear dark purple) but will destroy fatty oils in latent prints.
  • Using ninhydrin prior to iodine fuming eliminates what iodine might have yielded.
  • Instead of having two chances to enhance a print only one remains.

I have learned valuable lessons seeing prideful decisions based on a CSI’s believing their personal knowledge greater than those who have come before them. Their decisions, more often than not, turn out bad.

  • Procedures exist because mistakes, very likely the ones you will make, have been made before.
  • Learning from mistakes of others is better than learning from your own.
  • Considerate examination and processing of evidence has the potential to prove a person innocent or guilty of the highest crimes. Making the examiner directly or indirectly responsible for drastically affecting or ending a person’s life.
  • If you decide to skip a step be very, very sure because, if you are wrong, the blame falls on you and you alone.
  • That decision can drastically affect your life.

Steps in examining spiritual evidence

I am not aware of any sequential processing charts to guide you through examination of spiritual latency. I suppose I might try my hand at making one in a future post. However, the mistake of letting one’s pride-in-self override the experience of those who have come before is the same.

There are plenty of people, theologies, and ideologies to tell you what decision to make. We all must decide to make a choice, or not decide, and choose nolo contendere (no contest).

So what if the decision is wrong?

You now know the potential end results not following steps in examining physical evidence. I seriously request you look at the end results of NOT following the steps of finding truth in the world’s major religions.

I have looked at each of them and found Christianity to have the simplest end results. Death brings you immediately into the presence of the Creator. The choice you have made to believe: Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was sent by the Creator, and did die as sacrificial payment for your sins (past-present-and future), did rise from the grave, and did ascend back to heaven to reign over us brings you eternal life without pain, sorrow, or hardship. The choice to not believe sends you to an eternity outside of God’s love, in pain, sorrow, and hardship. Pretty straight forward, no do-overs, ifs-ands-or-buts simply heaven or hell—based on one decision.

Look at what the major religions teach about afterlife. How many hoops do you have to jump through to get to heaven? Or is it even possible? Which one do you NOT want to get wrong? Be very, very, sure about this one. The choice is yours. If you’re wrong the blame will fall on you, and you alone.

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Marillion - Explanations of Song Elements

Unpacking literary, historical, British and other song references from the lyrics.

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Grendel

Introduction: Fish wrote: "At the time of joining the band I was asked to provide lyrics for a long track the band had written with bits that had originally been in a song called The Tower etc. I was obsessed with a book called Grendel by John Gardner and the way that it points out that anything ugly is instantly scorned upon and seen as wrong.

"Hence a classic was born! The lovely thing about the piece is the way the music conjures up exactly the right mood 'ocean fogs' with its echoey vocals and yawning guitars, and forest quagmires with its bubbling keyboards (especially when it was done live)."

In an interview entitled Fishy Tales published in Melody Maker , 27 Nov 1982, Fish said, "It's like a psychoanalysis of the monster rather than writing from the hero's point of view. The idea intrigued me that anything that's ugly is automatically considered evil whereas, in fact, the Grendel monster had more right to be on the earth than the humans did. The most powerful meaning I see in our song adaptation is the futility of religion, how man goes out murdering, pillaging and raping and comes back, prays to God saying 'Forgive me for doing this,' and everything's okay.

"Then the monster comes along and, because he's considered evil, they say 'Please God, help us against the monster'. Meanwhile, the monster, who's done no wrong, is praying to exactly the same God saying, 'Please help me to destroy man,' because man is basically a little creep.

"Both sides are praying to the same god to help them kill the other one when one of the main things is 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' - that came up in the Falkands too, when the priests in Argentina were praying for help against the British invaders and the same thing was happening here!"

Trivia: The helmet that Fish wore on stage while performing Grendel, as seen in the video Recital of the Script, is a replica of the one found at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, which is the burial ground of one of the first Christian kings of England.

Note: Vast swathes of what follows are by Torch , a member of the Freaks mailing list in its early days. His material appears for a number of these early Fish-era songs, and will be indented to distinguish it.

Torch said: "Actually a pretty heavy plagiarism of a book called Grendel by John Gardner, a very good book that is listed as one of the top 100 horror novels of all time in the so-named guide. Gardner disliked such genre labels, mind you.

"The character of Grendel comes from the medieval epic poem Beowulf sorry for stating the bleeding obvious to those who know this he is a beastie who everyone hates and who marches of to kill Hrothgar the good guy and gets slaughtered for his pains. That section occurs quite early in the story. Beowulf is a wonderful bit of fun for anyone who hasn't read it, by the way! Anyway Gardner changes things around a bit quite ingeniously. he makes Grendel the hero of the novel, commenting that the story draws parallels with modern hypocrisy in society the way we cast out the ugly and disturbed so righteously when we are in the wrong. The old idea of the humane monster and the inhuman human etc. The novel is filled with gorgeously colourful language which the song borrows heavily."

'Midnight sun bids. Signal ending tasks'
Torch said: "The midnight sun occurs on the longest day of course, especially in the part of Scotland I write from, when it can be seen on the Banffshire coast setting and then visibly rising again, so keeping the world lit all night. hence the belief that the midnight sun keeps away evil. However in the song the sun is setting, saying goodbye to the moors and dusk charges it retreats as the oncoming night is so scary. People get frightened in the dark! Mountains perhaps echo as Grendel awakes and bays, or just because weird noises occur at night. Curfews bell, i.e. the bell tolling to tell everyone to get indoors to safety. As the bell tolls, the days work ends immediately and people lock themselves up in their homes, placing faith in oaken doors."

'They place their faith. As Grendel stalks the night'
Torch said: "At this point in the book, Grendel hasn't infiltrated anyone's homes tonight, so the line about bloodstained floors could refer to earlier deaths, or to the cowering hypocritical people with 'bloodstained hands'. Grendel is on the move."

'Earth rim walker. fear within their eyes'

Torch said: "He is a subterranean monster hence 'earth rim walker', a concept the book develops more. As it is a foregone conclusion that there will be murder done, 'prepare the funeral pyres', i.e. for the dead. A 'shaper' was a medieval storyteller who would sing to the villagers at night to make them feel easier in their beds and not scared. The practice still exists in South America to keep people happy and not disruptive or frightened. But the shaper is lying as we find out, and the villagers really are in danger, as they are coming to realise, so he can no longer heal their fear."

'Wooden figures, pagan. saviours born of dreams'
Torch said: "The old idols stare blindly. they are no help and can save no-one from Grendel. The saviours are wishful thinking. there is no hope. The ocean fogs like the charging dusk certainly will not help."

'They know their lives. flinch in Grendel's name'
Torch said: "They are exposed of all their hypocrisy by Grendel and bow in shame. They are too ashamed to face their people who are begging for help. Things are not good for the humans. "

'As Grendel leaves his mossy home. moonbeams haunt the sky'
Torch said: "He heads from his subterranean home to meet his foe, Hrothgar, the goody goody ruler. He is far stronger than him and out for vengeance. The night helps him as moonbeams haunt the sky and dusk charges we always view night as hostile when we are scared. Then comes the creepy, sly section as Grendel crawls the forest."

'Silken membranes span his path Fingerprints in dew'
Torch said: "He must be crawling if his fingerprints are in the dew. silken membranes. cobwebs. "

'Denizens of twilight lands humbly beg him through'
Torch said: "The dwellers (denizens) are so scared they beg him through alternatively 'denizens of twilight lands' could be night creatures, other beasts, of which he is the greatest, so they beg him through. this makes more sense as he hasn't encountered any people yet."

'Mother Nature's bastard child. solace within dreams'
Torch said: "Ill treated and despised by all that is pleasant, a natural perversity, he has brooded alone for too long, the shapers stories deriding him."

'The Shaper's lies, his poison tongue Maligned with mocking harp'
Torch said: "The Shaper fools them all with his sweet music and a harp mocking by its silvery tongue spreading lies floating on its notes."

'Beguiling queen, her innocence, Offends his icy heart'
Torch said: "He is a base beast who is offended by the assumed 'purity' of the ideal epitomised by the queen, who is beguiling because it is a false tirade her tiara crowns (sorry!) just as our royals are not nearly as fairy tale and reverent as we pretend. It offends him to anger. The organ sounds his arrival at the entrance to the hall. Brilliant music over the next section-so powerful. Time for him to work some natural magic. "

'Hounds freeze in silence. the grassy dell'
Torch said: "Smokes appears around him (his eye was on the potential this had live it seems!) and the dogs at the door freeze in fear. Sorry Fish, but things can't pervade ROUND, only through something!"

'Hero awaits him like lamb. children's cries'
Torch said: "There is a guard ready to slay this intruder who is a lamb to the slaughter, as Grendel will kill him easily."

'Screams are his music, lightening his guide Raping the darkness, death by his side'
Torch said: "Children scream and cry but the heavens and pagan gods are helpless, as are the shaper's words of comfort. He rapes the darkness (great image!) as he forces into it and defiles all with his progress. Death rides with him."

'Chants rise in terror. Hearts must know'
Torch said: "Already the slaughter has begun and the fire illuminates the bloody bodies scattered everywhere. The guards move in bravely but their inevitable deaths are futile their efforts to stop him are mere sacrifices for no cause, and they must be aware of this."

'Hero's delusions. cares not for the brave!'
Torch said: "The guards are deluded and are already dead men, hence feet in the grave. Grendel is the lurker at the doors of the Hall, and it is time to dispose of the brave. he kills the guards as the music flares up. A quiet interlude as he dwells over the bodies, and all in the Hall await with baited breath. Then the doors burst open and there he stands, his furious speech ringing out."

'So you thought that your bolts. putrid blue eyes!'
Torch said: "The slanders being the shaper's songs. Things don't look too hopeful for Hrothgar and his cronies!"

'Why should I feel pity. gonna take no blame!'
Torch said: "So we find out that they are far more evil than he, killing and then washing the blood off there hands, even blaming him as we now learn. "

'So you say you believe. sharpened knives'
Torch said: "An unnatural, greedy act!"

'When your hoards. the feet of your pagan gods!'
Torch said: "The victors after a war. Mmm, social comment!"

'Then you try to place. distort the truth'
Torch said: "So he is made the scapegoat and thus hated."

'Well I've had enough. let the blood flow. '
Torch said: "The parallels with politicians and social attitudes to crime are there for all to see, my job is done. Live, Fish would often pluck a fan out and have him up dancing with him, or even for the orgasmic guitar solo at the end pull out an audience member and mime ripping him apart and tasting his blood while Fish wore a medieval battle helmet. See the video EP of the song live. Of course the big bastard looks so right to carry it off live."

'Heorot'
Literally, the 'Hall of the Stag', named because of the antlers that adorned the door. It forms the root of the English word for a male red deer 'hart', the traditional prey of royalty whilst hunting.

'Shaper'
The shaper is a sort of tribal mystic/ bard who would sing to conjure his spells.

'His charm will testify' & 'reptile spell'
Grendel is given a spell by a dragon that will keep him hidden as he approaches the hall, and which makes him immune to normal weapons.


The Team

During their incarceration at the Atlanta Penitentiary, the Anglin brothers were caught trying to escape on numerous occasions. This led to them being sent to Alcatraz, which was a maximum-security prison. While there, they met Frank Lee Morris who was the leader of the team.


The group of four, which also included fellow inmate Allen West, had plenty of personal experience on how to escape or try to escape from various prisons. They pooled their knowledge and started working on a plan to achieve the impossible – an escape from “The Rock”.


10. Sleep App

A few months ago I downloaded a program for my phone – Sleep as Android. I bought the premium version of the app for the extra features to record sound throughout the night when volumes reached a certain threshold. It would activate when I would snore or move around. I would usually spend the next evening going over some of the recorded sounds. Everything was pretty normal until I listened to something out of the ordinary.

It was near the beginning of April, and I had the apartment to myself. I’ll let you listen to the sound before I go on explaining it.

It started out picking up my snoring, and then the hairs on my neck stood up as I hear my doorknob moving. Following this, you can hear my door open slowly.

I was confused and a little worried. Everything was still locked up, nobody came home (the chainlock was still latched on the front door), and my landlord certainly didn’t come.

I don’t use the app anymore.


Conclusion

As a symbol pointing to something else, what do you think the black goo means? Please comment below. Its dark, shiny surface accepts all our projections. I think the evil black goo we see in Twin Peaks and elsewhere is the greasy, residual nightmare of tar pits and predators of our past, a polysemous signal from our future, and a potent message trying to get through to us about our present. If we step back far enough, black goo may even symbolize the ‘ground’ and the ‘goal’ of life itself: it’s the body-blood of the Black Madonna.

Archeologists and cultural historians like to remind us that we “think through things,” that, in the end, we not only imbue the goo with our own moods and shadows, but the goo also guides our imaginations in certain directions. How has it been guiding you?

The black-faced woodsman delivers his tranquilizing poem in Twin Peaks: Season 3 (2017)

Black fire fills the body of a tulpa in Twin Peaks: Season 3 (2017)

Black liquid leaks out of meat in Eraserhead (1977)

Black goo pours out of a television in Paranoia Agent (2006) Black goo takes over Japan in Paranoia Agent (2006)

Special Thanks to Calen Presser, Harrison Terry, Christopher Forth, Micheal Garfield, ODD TV, and everyone else who helped me with this essay.

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A bloody fingerprint elicits a mother’s evil tale in Argentina - HISTORY


Almost a year after he was first detained by police in Warsaw, the Cameroonian ‘refugee’, poet and human rights activist is finally charged by the prosecution service, and faces a long jail sentence.

Mol’s case, as it was revealed in a blaze of outrage in the Polish media in January this year, is a tabloid journo’s dream.

An African who had won refugee status and had become a well-known media figure, campaigning on human rights and race issues in Poland, was accused by numerous women in Warsaw of infecting them with HIV, while all along knowing that he was carrying the virus.

But the case is not just about whether he knew, or not, that he was HIV positive (although that is what the court, when he finally comes before a judge, will be deciding). When asked by the women to use protection before sex, he had refused, claiming that they were only asking him to wear a condom because he was ‘an African’.

When the Rzeczpospolita daily went to Cameroon and Nigeria to examine whether Mol’s claims of political persecution in those countries was true, they found that his family, friends and work colleagues knew nothing about it. It seems that Mol was an economic migrant, not a political refugee. Mol's side of the story is here.

So, in one case we have a deadly combination of sex, race and politics. If you had to write a prototype tabloid shock, horror story, then this was it.

Of course, if the prosecution can prove that Mol knew he had HIV and had deliberately infected women as some kind of political ‘revenge’ – and this has been suggested in the press coverage here – then this is a very, very nasty crime, indeed, and nobody would be too upset if they slung him in jail and threw away the key.

Simon Mol and the ‘Warsaw Salon’

Many of the women who slept with Mol seem to come from artistic, liberal circles, known here as the ‘Salon’. Mol was a poet and writer (though not a particularly good one) who was a member of many cultural societies and political organizations in Poland. He was allied to the small Green Party, but also a member of an ex-pats’ writer’s club based in Warsaw.

After I was asked to join the same writer’s club, this summer, I was talking to one of the organizers about the Mol case. The guy told a familiar tale, of feeling ‘betrayed’ by Simon. Everyone was taken in by him, and not just the 12 women infected with HIV, and the many others who were lucky enough to get away with the encounter.

I also took part in a UK documentary about the culture of Polish soccer fans, which was filmed in Warsaw and Krakow late last year. One of the other contributors was Simon Mol, who was involved in the ‘Kick Racism out of Football’ campaign. I got a slightly worried email in March, this year, from the British producers of the film, asking whether Mol’s presence in the documentary would damage its credibility. It was too early to say yes or no, as nothing has been proved in a court of law, one way or another (and we should remember that it still hasn’t). I don’t know whether they have kept Mol in the film, but if I was the documentary maker, I probably would have left him on the cutting room floor.

I met Mol a few times, and he was a convincing character. He seemed genuine. And what he talked about – the inadequate refugee services in Poland, the racism he and other Africans encountered, remains, despite the fact the Mol himself allegedly appears to have been charlatan, essentially true.

Mol has left many angry, disappointed, and sick people in his wake. What is also worrying is the damaged image of genuine African refugees in Poland. They have joined the long list of victims of the actions of Simon Mol, the man whose poetry seduced a nation.


Young Adult

Themes and stories within this subgenre will appeal to an adolescent or young adult audience, with common storylines containing a budding romance within a dystopian society or survival/rebellion without the help of adults.

  1. Humanity lives above the clouds in mountain villages, and travels by air from one community to the next. The Earth below the clouds has become dangerous for humans, but the reasons for this have been lost to history. All you know is that anyone who has ventured below has never returned. When you learn that your family's airship has crashed beneath the clouds, you decide to rescue them despite the fact that you are only 15 years old. With your trusted friend by your side, you begin the descent down the mountain.
  2. You are in a small boat on the river with your neighborhood friend when you discover a cavern in the riverbank. It seems a recent mudslide revealed a previously hidden cave. You urge caution and stay in the boat, but your friend jumps out and dashes into the cave. When he emerges just seconds later, he is wounded and running for his life as gunfire roars behind him. Even more surprising, he looks like he's about forty years old. Upon seeing you, bewilderment crosses his face as he leaps into the boat, guns the motor, and zips downstream. Humanoid figures in silvery battle suits emerge from the cave, firing madly at your boat. When you finally get somewhere safe and hide, you are left to care for him as he explains.
  3. When there is a tapping on your window late one night, you open it expecting your boyfriend and are irritated to find it is your younger brother. He is yapping with excitement, begging you to come. He claims he's found a "government drone" in the backyard. Annoyed and doubtful, but with your curiosity piqued, you follow him. Your sourness turns to shock as he leads you to something silvery, smoking in a massive crater. It's not a drone at all, not unless it's from a country you've never heard of that writes with characters you've never seen. It appears to be a metallic sphere––and now it's open. Your brother claims it was closed when he first saw it. Your childhood fantasies of aliens begin to look less and less far-fetched the more you study this thing. Just as you are deciding what to do, there's a shower of what seems to be asteroids a mile up the valley. There's no doubt in your minds that it's more of the same bizarre spheres.
  4. Your mother is part of team tasked with inspecting trading ships that dock on your planet. Sometimes you join her on board, relishing the chance to explore the ships and imagining how one day you might make those interstellar journeys yourself. Today is a particularly good day because your best friend—and crush—is with you. You break away from your mother's crew and lead him into an isolated wing of the ship, only to accidentally stumble across an unmarked crate hidden in a storage room. Your friend dares you to open the crate, so you take out your crowbar and get to work. Your youthful excitement turns to grim dread as you manage to break open the crate and look inside. Now you and your friend are stuck with a secret that, if whispered to the wrong ears, could get you both killed.
  5. As Her Royal Highness of the Violet Rose and daughter of one of the five most powerful men in the galaxy, your life could be worse. On the other hand, it could also be much better. For example, you could not have two older, arguably more beautiful sisters who get all of the attention. You could not have one piggish bully of a brother set to inherit the throne. You could not have to marry the equally piggish—and quite old—Duke of Starstreams, an ogre of a man with a large fortune whose family has made no end of trouble for your own throughout the last century since the Empire dissolved. When a marriage alliance was proposed between the houses and you were chosen to wed the man, you thought you'd die of shame. You earnestly consider running away, until you discover his plot to overthrow the Galactic Council and establish an empire in your new husband's name. Now you know you have to stay, at least until you see him toppled. But to do so, you have to win his trust, and to win his trust you have to play the happy wife.
  6. You are playing with your friends high up in the mountains on a backpacking trip, when you see something fall to earth in the neighboring valley. You quickly hurry over to discover the smoking remains of what seems to be a flying machine. Your friends rush up to it immediately and, to your shock, disappear as soon as they get within a certain radius. You find yourself terrified and realize you can actually see the radius into which they disappeared, like a bubble of impossibly thin glass––or light––around the ship. You can hear distant sounds emanating from within. It sounds like your friends are in trouble. After a moment of doubt and horror you decide to follow them, breaking through into what seems to be another dimension––or maybe not? Another time, but same dimension? Another version of reality?
  7. As governor of the most prosperous mining planet in the galaxy, your father is an admired and intelligent man. Everyone respects and listens to him, but for some reason you can't, even when you know he's actually right. Despite the vast luck of your birth and a lifetime of training, you want to turn your back on politics and become an explorer. You father always says that true exploration is a hellish experience. The people who chart courses for planets have no idea what they'll find. They go to die so that others may live. You know he's right. The causes of death are endless, and it is probably your youthful inexperience that keeps you fixated on this idea. Still, you feel an inexorable flicker of excitement when the handsome chef's assistant tells you that he's joining an exploration crew. He's leaving tomorrow, and he wants you to join him.
  8. You are a new graduate from the Intergalactic Academy, assigned to a Federation freighter for standard supply runs in a central region of the galaxy. It is the perfect job for you—nothing unexpected, nothing dangerous, yet a good pathway up the career ladder to eventual command. Then things go downhill. You and your crew make port on a recently settled planet, but something has gone horribly wrong. The animals are going mad, and it seems all the people have sequestered themselves in the colony bunker and refuse to come out. When you attempt to communicate and are fired upon, you assume either the colony has been occupied by unknown enemies or the people have also gone insane. You must find out what has happened and resolve the problem, all while keeping your own crew safe from whatever is affecting life on the ground.
  9. Your colonial planet is an outlier in the galaxy, but extremely famous as it is the only place Whisperlings are known to natively inhabit. The creatures have developed biopigmentation control which allows them to change color to match their surroundings, making them invisible when motionless and nearly so when moving. They're also impervious to the electrotraps commonly used to catch prey on the planet. The beasts are incredibly difficult to find and fearsome fighters, but hunting them is the highest honor. It is believed that their DNA may contain the secret to invisibility, as well as a host of other genetic engineering mysteries. Today is your test. You and your fellow village boys are each given a tiny hoverboard, a single spear, and enough food and water to last a day. You are to catch the largest prey you can and return as soon as possible, and your results––both speed of the catch and size of the prey––will be compared against those of the other boys.
  10. Genetic engineering is commonplace and you live in a time when parents request specific genetic requirements for their children—color of eyes, level of intelligence, strength, height, build, gender, etc. Your parents opted for no genetic engineering and birthed you naturally, but your peers are all children of parents who manipulated their genetics. Now attending high school, you find that fitting in has become increasingly difficult. Your peers are better than you both academically and physically. You are the only student who wears eyeglasses, and you are a foot shorter than everyone else. However, you are determined to fit in and to excel despite the odds.
  11. You are part of an archaeological crew at a dig site within the Mongolian steppes. You are essentially a summer intern, with high hopes of someday becoming a real archaeologist. After a couple of weeks, you begin to think the entire operation is a waste, especially as there were never any permanent civilizations on the steppes. However, the leader of your dig is convinced otherwise, so you continue your work in the emptiness and the bitter cold. Things change when the ground collapses and you are one of many inexperienced underlings left on the surface. Some radio for help others set off to the nearest village. Meanwhile, you and a couple of friends attempt to rescue the archaeologists. When you find a futuristic device pulsating a deep purple light and sending vibrations through the earth, you realize the leader of the dig was far more correct than she had known. There was not only a permanent civilization here, but rather an advanced civilization—one that far predated humankind. Whoever they were, they all seem to be gone now. The technology is similar enough to that of Earth's technology that you can determine that the pulsating device is actually a homing beacon, and it's summoning its creators to this very spot. Are they out there? Are they coming back? Or is it just an echo left behind?
  12. The whale-like creatures that live in the temperate waters of your home planet have been hunted by aliens for generations. No one knows exactly why the aliens prize these creatures. All you know is that no one has ever stopped the hunt. Now nearly extinct, these last few remaining creatures have gathered off the coast of your hometown. Despite the aliens' advanced technology and your parents' refusal to help, you and your school friends vow to protect them at any cost.
  13. For your Advanced Physics senior project, you are given a budget and allowed to create what you wish, as long as you document the entire process. You have the good fortune of accompanying your father––a geologist studying plate tectonics at the North Pole—on one of his voyages, so you use this opportunity to run some rare tests of the Earth's magnetism that can only be conducted at one of the magnetic poles. Your father and his team are off doing work, leaving you with the run of the camp and lots of spare time. After an experiment gone wrong, you are immensely surprised when you open what seems to be a wormhole. The bad news is that it has drawn you and the entire camp inside, taking you to the exact opposite point on Earth: the South Pole. Now your father's team is stranded with no supplies or long-range communication. With the clock ticking down and a limited number of pieces of malfunctioning equipment available, you must find a way to communicate, find civilization, and get help for your father and his team––all before you perish from the cold.
  14. Your father helped reveal a traitor during the last Succession War, and your family was rewarded with a position governing the Empire's most recently discovered planet, a remote place abundant in resources and beauty. When you arrive, you find that the settlement is under constant attack. Farm burnings and night raids threaten this once idyllic place. Some say that the cause is rebels from the Succession War others say it is aliens. You are convinced it is just an ordinary band of criminals, but when you and a few new school friends begin to investigate these crimes, you uncover a secret darker and deeper than you could have imagined. As you follow the clues in a desperate gamble for peace, you begin to wonder if the Succession War itself might have been a lie.
  15. Combat camp is a dream for kids your age, a place where you can show off and hone your skills, hoping to be recruited for the Intergalactic Fleet. You've been enjoying duels, mock battles, capture the flag, hovercar races, and zero gravity training. However, when someone from your cabin is murdered, all training exercises are halted and the camp is locked down indefinitely. But there's a new problem: The camp is located on a deserted planet, set aside specifically for training. No transports have come or gone. Whoever killed the kid was another camper. Games become reality as distrust spreads and the children break into factions. Some bow to the counselors' questioning, but when killings continue, others break away into the wild, using their skills to fend for themselves. Counselors are forced to hunt down the miscreants and restrain them (both for their own safety and for the investigation), but not everyone is convinced the counselors can be trusted. Your team must choose its course, a decision made harder by the fact that the killer could be among you.
  16. As the first female ruler of a distant empire which spans several solar systems, you have a tremendous amount of responsibility on your shoulders. However, you are only 16 years old, and want to have the freedom to spend time alone, be with your friends, and date a boy—none of which can happen with bodyguards hovering around all the time. A young, brash spaceship pilot has caught your eye, but you are not allowed to date or marry beneath your station. Instead, the king of a nearby planet has arranged that you marry his son: a man who is as ugly on the inside as he is on the outside.
  17. In the near future, all activity is monitored closely by the government through smart phones. You've been raised to question this invasion of privacy, so you're the only one at your high school who isn't a walking zombie, staring at their phone all day long. But then a new girl shows up, without a phone, and acts suspiciously. You decide to become her friend, only to learn that the government has a much more nefarious plan than you had previously thought, and your classmates could be in very real danger.
  18. You're a young stowaway on a spacecraft desperately trying to return home after being separated from your family for many years. One crew member has discovered your hiding spot and begins to bring you food. After a few lighthearted conversations, you begin to develop feelings for him and you hope he feels the same way about you. However, when pirates jump out of hyperspace and seize the ship, your potential love interest is taken captive with the rest of the crew. Being the only person left on the ship who is not tied up, it is up to you to rescue them and take back the ship before it is too late.
  19. When an alien humanoid species is discovered in a nearby solar system, you heard all about it in detail because your father was part of the team that discovered them. Now, some are being brought to Earth willingly, in an attempt to establish a collaborative relationship. You have been chosen as a liaison to help the adolescent alien feel more comfortable during his first days on Earth, but he doesn't seem interested in getting to know you. In fact—he seems outright strange and rude.
  20. In the future, the U.S. government exiles all criminals and their families to a massive man-made island that is cut off from the country. Life on the island is bleak, overcrowded, and shrouded in poverty, but a new law has been passed that the children of certain non-violent criminals can be allowed back into the mainstream population. One of these teens attends your upscale private school and everyone is talking about her. You hate this stereotyping and decide to try to be her friend.

Well, that's it! We hope that you find these writing prompts useful. A special thanks to Catherine Gilson Highton for her great illustrations. Also, we would like to thank all of the writers who have contributed to this post. We couldn't have done it without you!


Watch the video: Mutter hat den Tod AUSGETRICKST und das Leben ihres Sohnes GERETTET - @AmoMama Deutsch