Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I am 500 words shy of 60,000 words in the Amanda Saga. I finally looked up the way to handle dialog. Funny, the Saga is almost completely dialog and only now am I looking up how to do it “properly.’ A friend’s thought it would need proper proofreading and editing job is on the mark. I will start the process of going back each day and doing what I can to get the dialog “re-punctuated” properly and fix any other little glitches I have left along the way (that is the ones I can see, I tend to miss a lot). All of this means, I am thinking I just might make my initial goal of a 70,000+ word novel that I set when I wrote the third installment back in the first week of December (The first three were supposedly standalone pieces that became the first three installments. I fully realize at 70,000+ words it means it would be a rather short novel; but, one has to start someplace. The next installment is attached.
We, the people of the United State, are now well into the future—the pestilence is rearing his ugly head. I guess picking a fight with our neighbor to the south is his way of rattling the swords. It does prove the man is a true bully for in the end, picking on Mexico is safer than picking on orphans (whom will probably be the subject of an executive order restricting their entry into the United States and deporting those who are already here). I have got to get a Twitter Account so I can chirp in his venue. My Chirp today would be: #Dumb_Idea_Donald You don’t pay taxes, why should you care that US taxpayers pay for the wall you said Mexico would pay for?
I did alert you to a blog, yesterday, which proposes a strategy for taking on the pestilence. I think since it requires actions such as letter, email, text messages, tweets and the like on a regular basis to the Members of Congress, it means protest is fine but not enough. One needs to make one’s displeasure apparent on a very regular basis. Unfortunately, most Americans are trying to make a living in the face of the opposition, billionaires who just rake in money and don’t actually fulfill their trickle-down role very well. So, it is difficult to get most of us to do something regularly to keep the pestilence’s idiotic policy proposals in focus.
I hope this finds you warm, happy, healthy and full of vim and vinegar.
Warmest regards, Ed
050 R and R
Fiction in 1521 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Special Agent Fleishman needed some R and R, research and review of his evidence and tentative conclusions. He moved all the furnishing out of his transport base and pivoted to the house Mrs. White shared with Mrs. Hastings on the day of his interview with Mrs. White. He arrived in their kitchen while Mrs. White and Mrs. Hastings were seeing him out their front door. He looked about and picked up the coffee cup that Mrs. Hastings had been using. He pivoted back to his transport base and then transported to the ATI Bio Lab.
Special Agent Fleishman checked the personal availability indicator and found Dr. Sandra Choy available in an hour. Sandra was his sister-in-law. So, he pivoted to her laboratory an hour later. “Dr. Choy.” He said.
Dr. Choy was looking at her display screen when Special Agent Fleishman entered. To Special Agent Fleishman’s eyes the image on the screen resembled a dynamic picture of water from a scum filled pond. Without looking up Dr. Choy said “And what can I do for you Special Agent Fleishman?”
Looking at the screen and all surfaces Dr. Choy was facing, Special Agent Fleishman could see none that would reflect and show her who entered her office. So, he asked “And, how do you know it is Special Agent Fleishman and not someone else?”
“Your body gives off orders that reflect what you eat and drink.” Said Dr. Choy. “No one else I know drinks hot chocolate with marshmallows. Besides you have with you a fairly freshly brewed container of coffee. You, Special Agent Fleishman are the only agent working an era when coffee and hot chocolate with marshmallows was heavily consumed. North America about 600 years ago, I should think.”
“So, you are telling me I smell like hot chocolate with marshmallows and freshly brewed coffee? Asked Special Agent Fleishman with a puzzled look on his face, for he wasn’t sure if he had been insulted or complimented.
“Forgot your basic training rule number 17?” Asked Dr. Choy.
Special Agent Fleishman laughed out loud. “No, I just did not think it applied to bringing a sample to The Agency lab where I am known. For heaven’s sake, Sandra, I shouldn’t’ think I need to have a local diet for two weeks before bringing you a sample. I see you are surviving the first few months of being mother to twins?”
Dr. Choy smiled broadly, “It will only be a few years before they are asking where their Uncle Anderson is.”
“OK, OK, I promised I would be there for their first Birthdays. I will be there. Now, I need a DNA workup on the woman who used this cup. I have filed DNA profiles on three others, they should match.” Said Special Agent Fleishman.
Dr. Choy opened a cupboard looking thing and said, “Set the cup in there.”
Special Agent Fleishman did.
Dr. Choy moved her fingers across the door she had just closed and said, “I’ll bet the woman’s first name is Amanda.”
Special Agent Fleishman said “So it is a match to the three samples already in the system.”
Dr. Choy opened the cupboard like door and said “Yes, It has a couple of full fingerprints on it as well. Can you get me prints from at least one of the other Amandas whose DNA matches this sample?”
Special Agent Fleishman was nodding vigorously. He took the cup and said “Your wish is my command. Back in flash.”
As Special Agent Fleishman vanished, Dr. Choy asked, probably herself “Where does he get these expressions?”
Appearing in Mrs. White’s and Mrs. Hasting’s kitchen
almost as soon has he as just disappeared from the same room and the ladies were still seeing him out the front door, Special Agent Fleishman, put down Mrs. Hasting’s cup and picked up Mrs. White’s cut and disappeared again.
Reappearing in Dr. Choy’s laboratory with Mrs. White’s cup in hand,
Special Agent Fleishman heard Dr. Choy’s rhetorical question and said. “I get around and pick up stuff. Here, is Amanda White’s cup.” He then placed the cup in the still open cupboard like affair.
Dr. Choy said. “I am very disappointed, you promised me a flash and there was none. All action and no flash. Is that why you are still single?” She winked at him. She shut the door and moved her fingers over the door and smiled. “other than a few wear marks, you know, scars and healed blisters, a spot on match.”
“Well, if you were a prosecutor; and, I were on the stand in court, I would say ‘it is my professional conclusion that the two finger prints are from the same person at different points in his or her life given the wear marks.’” Said Dr. Choy, with a professional air.
“So, we have three human beings living at the same time with verifiably identical DNA and whose life markers indicate they are the same person.” Said, Special Agent Fleishman. “This, one would think is an impossibility.”
Dr. Choy looked at him. “Have you never run across yourself in your travels?
“No, not to sit down and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. But I do kind of meet in passing. For example, when I got that cup, I was in the other room bidding the two women good bye while I borrowed this cup from the Kitchen. Which reminds me.” He took the cup and vanished only to reappear in less than the blink of an eye without the cup. “there, I could hear my voice for the split second it took to return the cup. So, yes, I am often twice in the same place and time. But, I don’t hang around with me or stop to chat. Those women live together, raise each other. They seem to know when they are going to pop up again. They seem to be aware of their identity; and it is part of their lives. While not terribly uncomfortable to have close calls or even see myself, I would not want any protracted conversations with me in the time line. That would be creepy.”
“Strange notions for a time traveler.” Said Dr. Choy. “Most people would not think what you do is possible. I suspect even you think it is a little off beat.”
“Well it wasn’t possible until about 35 years ago. Even now the only people who really know about it are in The Agency and there are damned few of us in The Agency. New things take getting used to.” Said Special Agent Fleishman.
“You haven’t been up line much, have you?” Asked Dr. Choy.
“No, I haven’t had an occasion or need to. Everything I investigate is in the past. It already happened.” Said Special Agent Fleishman.
“You mean like the Battle of Hastings?” Asked Dr. Choy.
“I suppose that is going to follow me the rest of my life.” Said Special Agent Fleishman. “But that was a turning point on the timeline. Besides, don’t you want to know about the past? He asked.
“Yes, I very much want to know about the past. You know that image I was working with when you came in? Dr. Choy queried.
“Yes, what was it?” Asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“A sample of what has been called primordial soup. It has amino acids and RNA, the basic building blocks required for DNA. I like to see how far it progress and eventually find when life began. So, I periodically take a jar back and fill it at different points on the time line in prehistory and this is the most recent. I don’t know if it is part of my job, a hobby or an obsession.” Replied Dr. Choy. “But, if we can pinpoint when life formed and get the recipe down, we will learn a lot about ourselves and the other species that survived.” She paused and looked at the image.
Special Agent Fleishman started to say “I think . . .”
But Dr. Choy interrupted him “Shush. I think I found your flash.” After about 10 seconds of silence, she turned to Special Agent Fleishman and said. “I think we are missing the obvious. You said ‘we have three human beings living at the same time with verifiably identical DNA.’ Are they in fact human beings of the same species as we are? We have never checked for that. Are they homo sapiens or a species that did not survive on this time line? I have never actually checked to see if the DNA in the samples from these women are DNA from homo sapiens.”
Special Agent Fleishman asked “So what do you need to do the analyses?”
Dr. Choy pointed to her display and said, “Nothing. It is all in there.” She ran her fingers over the screen and sat back. After a few seconds, the screen showed a number and explanation ‘99.6% of the nucleotide sequences of DNA from homo sapiens and the samples.’ Dr. choy explained. “The women is closer to us than a chimpanzee is, but not quite as close as a Neanderthal.