Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Yesterday got away from me. I suppose it was partly the day before and partly I lost track of which day it was. I did Tuesday things all day and it was Wednesday. Go figure. It did take some time to write the draft that I have appended below in the Amanda Saga since it is the longest to date—over 2,000 words. I didn’t know I knew that many words. I did have to take a few photographs and then there was the printer to get working on the new router. (Do you know how small the keyboard is on a printer with a window that is about as big as three small postage stamps?) I need to send Comcast (I forgot, they have gone upscale and are now some kind of “finity”. However they are still the pirates of the television world to me) a bill for all the time I put into hooking up the router they sent to replace the one that was going to go “flewey” because of software glitches and overall general ineptness at their end. It was a cleaver ploy to say, they were sending it to make it easy for us…cheap for them, I should think. So, how much should a retired guy charge for his forced labor? Remember a retired guy could go back to work but no one has offered him the $1,000/hr. that might get his interest. What is the going rate for full professors with oodles of experience these days?
The photos I took on my visit to Vancouver are a bit varied–not my usual fare, I am new at the urban photograpy and taking pictures of people in their natural habitat. First there is the fellow in Costco hanging on to a big, I mean big, bottle of vodka for dear life. Then the woman making pizza assembly line style all by her lonesome. Then there is the telephone with Kleenex next to it in the waiting room at the cardiac unit at the hospital. Then there are obligatory building shots taken on the fly from inside and outside the medical facility. I did drive thought some beautiful scenery on Cornelius Pass road open way home on Tuesday, a one lane each way with a drop off on the passenger side. However, it is difficult to get a shot off while driving at 45 on a windy road which is rather a ledge than a pass and Nancy is screaming in terror at being so close to the edge—hard to concentrate, if you know what I mean. Well, anyway, there is my photographic offering for the day. However, I did stop by Silverlake yesterday in an attempt to make up for Tuesday’s lack of scenery and clouds.
I trust this finds you in good spirits (liquid if you can), healthy and warm.
Warmest regards, Ed
056 Agent Flieshman has Dinner with the Amandas
Fiction in 2034 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Mrs. White opened the door catching Special Agent Fleishman off guard as his hand was extended and about to press the doorbell. With a surprised look on his face he asked. “How did you know I was here? I didn’t ring the bell.”
“Come in Special Agent. I remembered that you are very punctual and you did say you would be right over,” said Mrs. White. “Won’t you come in. We were just about to sit down to dinner, please join us.”
Special Agent Fleishman smiled. “I just had pizza with the informal task force investigating Judge Belemany’s attack on Ms. Gunderson, so perhaps a cup of something would be best, rather than dinner. If, that is not imposing, that is.”
Escorting Special Agent Fleishman into the dining room, Mrs. White replied, “No, that is not imposging at all.” Mrs. White looked around the Table, “I believe you know everyone except Amanda One. We call her Mandy One.”
Special Agent Fleishman walked over to the two, identical girls, nodded to them both and then extended his hand to one and said, “I believe you are Amanda One. I am so pleased to meet you.”
Amanda One giggled and put her hand over her mouth. She did not realize that her hair-clip was in the form of the numeral one and the other Mandy’s hair clip was in the form of a numeral two. She also did not know what to do with the proffered hand. Besides, she was only four-years-old, so she pushed it away and continued to giggle.
Special Agent Fleishman turned to the other little girl and said, “I remember you Mandy Two, but you only had one name then. I offer my congratulations on finding a second name. “ Again, he offered his hand.
Mandy Two, not to be outdone by Mandy One, immediately pushed away Special Agent Fleishman’s hand before putting her hand in front of her mouth and giggling.
Mrs. White widened her eyes, nodded her head ever so slightly and then raised an eyebrow in appreciation of Special Agent Fleishman picking up the hair-clip clue and paying attention to both girls as individuals. She pointed to a chair at the foot of the table and said, “We reserved a place for you.”
Special Agent Fleishman took his place at the foot of the table. There was an insulated pot of coffee near him so he filled his cup. Then looking up at the assembled Amandas and Brice Clarkton said, “I have a rather fantastic tale to tell you; then I have a proposal to make, or more properly a job offer for you all. Is there any chance Mrs. Smithers could join us?”
Mrs. Anderson chucked out loud and said, “Not a chance. She just left New Zealand on an art cruise.”
“No, problem, I can talk to her another time. Go on with our meal, I do have a long story to tell and you won’t want your supper to get cold,” said Special Agent Fleishman.
Each woman and Brice Clarkton picked up a fork and made a stab at something or other on the plates in front of them.
Special Agent Fleishman began his story. “about 600 years from now, in this universe, time travel is invented. Initially, time travel required bulky stationary machinery. The primary power was another future discover. That discovery was how to make time crystals. A time crystal is a crystal that maintains motion on its inside. Regular crystals are static, they do not move unless prodded with some form of energy. Time crystals are, however, in constant motion. They are as close to perpetual motion as you can get without having perpetual motion, for eventually even time crystals stop moving. But, eventually, in this case, is measured in millions of years.” Special Agent Fleishman looked around the table. No one, except the two Mandys, was eating. Unless one is eating alone, people tend to make comments, remarks and suddenly remember something to tell one of the other diners during a meal. So, the feigned interest in food that the assemblage made when Special Agent Fleishman told them to eat their meal before it got cold was not maintained once he got into his story. Listening while one eats with others is not a perfected art.
Special Agent Fleishman said, “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have me continue after you finish eating?”
All of them shook their heads no; and Mrs. White said, “No, this is fascinating, please continue. You may not recall, but I used to do a bit of work that involved changing materials to make computers faster.”
“Well if you are sure,” said, Special Agent Fleishman. He continued, “In the early manufacture of time crystals using different materials, some seemed to disappear. Then too at later times, some just seemed to appear. Over a period of seven years, researchers slowly figured out the time crystals that were disappearing simply had the energy to move in time, and did. Soon, researchers figured out how send the crystals to specific times in the past and future. Once they could control how far in the future or past a crystal moved it was not long before time travel became the goal. The key to time travel turned out to be an understanding of the eleven-dimensional space-time fabric from which our universe is constructed. I, myself still think in terms of four dimensions, for that is all I have receptors to input information into my brain. But, there are seven other dimensions that all act like the four we can mentally construct, except having them allows us to manage time. Previously, time always moved forward; it was impossible to go back. Adding the other seven dimensions allows us to treat time as a place just like the other three dimensions define a place. It turns out that we commonly think of as time is but one of three dimensions that act like up-down and left-right to time’s direction, forward and back. Prior to discovering the other two dimensions related to time there was only forward.”
Special Agent Fleishman looked around and said, “While I am not a physicist, I may be able to answer simple questions.”
Brice Clarkton spoke up. “So, what you are saying is that there are three dimensions of space-time we see in terms of, er, how should I put it, like three-dimensional geometry representing space and then three dimensions of space-time that represent time.”
Special Agent Fleishman said “Yes, you have it, you put it much better than I.”
Mrs. Clarkton asked, “So what do the other five-dimensions do?”
Special Agent Fleishman shrugged, and said, “I think one provides substance, but I am on thin ice here and don’t really have the faintest idea. It is all very advanced mathematics. Sorry.”
Mrs. White said, “Why are you telling us all of this future history and science?
“There are two reasons, said Special Agent Fleishman. “The first is that a man destroyed the first two time machines that we built. Their destruction, we think is the reason you ladies are here in this universe. When the time machines were destroyed in 2692 we think a vibration caused our universe to bump into your universe at 20 year intervals. Each of you and Mrs. Smithers,” he said guestering with his hand to include all the females seated at the table, “happened to be on a swing at the time and point of contact—that bump. You all jumped off the swing and hence got stuck here.”
Mrs. White interrupted Special Agent Fleishman “You said ‘we think.’ So, you are not certain.”
Special Agent Fleishman nodded. “We are pretty sure. We took DNA samples and find your DNA is 99.6% of the nucleotide sequences of DNA from homo sapiens. That means you could still be from this universe. However, when I went over to where you come from, I was unable to move about there in time or space as the 11-dimensional coordinate system there is different from here. In fact, except for sitting on the swing, every 20 years we are unable to get there at all. But, we have crack researchers working on a reliable way to get back and forth between what we think are two universes.”
Mrs. Allen asked, “How do you account for the fact that we are all,” using her arms to make an embracing motion to include all of those seated at the dinner table, “the same person, just at different ages, except for the little ones who are the same age?”
“Think of a universe as a sheet hanging on a clothes line to dry or air out. Then think of a second clothes line parallel to the first with another sheet, universe, hanging on it. If they lines are close enough together the sheets will bump into each other when the wind blows. We think the destruction of the two mechanical time machines in 2792 caused a bump in the sheet that is our universe to touch the sheet that represents the one you came from. That bump has an expansion and contraction period, like a pendulum of 20 of our years. And the bump is in the same time and place in both universes. So, you are all the same little girl who jumped off the swing in to this universe.” With that explanation, Agent Fleishman looked around as if he expected another question.
Mrs. Clarkton did not disappoint Special Agent Fleishman, she asked, “How does that explain Mandy One jumping off the swing just a few days ago?”
“It doesn’t,” said Special Agent Fleishman, “We think there is something that is not good about that. The frequency of contact is getting irregular and perhaps a prelude to something we won’t like. So, we would like to stop it before it causes whatever catastrophe it can cause.”
Brice Clarkton looked very worried. “How in the dickens can you stop something that you don’t quite understand?”
“Well, if we are right about the destruction of the mechanical time machines causing this contact, if we arrest Byron Mellon before he destroys the machines, shut the machines down, it will never have happened. If we are wrong, and we arrest Byron Mellon before he destroys the machine, no real harm done,” said Special Agent Fleishman.
“Who is Byron Mellon?” asked Brice Clarkton.
Special Agent Fleishman pursed his lips, “Sorry, that was Judge Franklin Belemany before he transported to this time and messed with a lot of lives.”
There was a collective gasp in the room. Then Mrs. White smiled sardonically and said, “Arrest the bastard.”
“You need to know one more thing,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “If we are right and we stop the contacts, you will not have jumped and there will be just one you left in the other universe. You will have no memoires of any of this for when we stop Bryon, I mean Judge Belemany, we stop the event that created all of you. However, if you want to stay with your memories and in this universe, we think fitting you with a biological time travel transplant will do the trick. But, if we do that, you will need to come to work for the Agency for Temporal Integrity and become agents of one sort or another like me.”
The adults in the room looked puzzled. After a brief silence, Mrs. Hastings asked the question that was on all their minds. “Why are you making us this offer?”
Special Agent Fleishman looked just a bit sad. “Unfortunately, when I do what Mrs. White says and arrest him before he destroys the mechanical time machines, it will change the past. In that past, none of you ladies will have jumped off the swing into this universe. You will, in your present forms, with your present memories, never have existed. But, you do exist. The Agency for Temporal Integrity operates on the premise that all people deserve to have a future. If I fix what is broken, you will not have a future. Giving you implants and employment is the only way we can make sure you each have a future.