Good Morning Ted and Jody:
July is half over. I am thinking that months have a very short half life. They seem to go like shooting stars. Speaking of stuff in the sky, I understand that the Aurora Borealis is visible from our latitude tonight and tomorrow night. It may be from yours as well. I am going to drop Ann Marie a note and ask her to check and take photos from Iceland. She sent me a photo from Iceland this morning. I need to get there to take some myself.
I finally got the pfd file of my Democratize Money on a tablet so Art can read it. Getting to it turned out to be somewhat convoluted and inelegant, but it is accessible and readable on an old Acer tablet. Perhaps, there is an easy way to do easy things? Now to connect with him.
Just for my record, I watered again this morning. Gracie was out, so, I threw a lot of sticks at the same time.
I have been using this OpenOffice Writer for well over a month now. I do find it not quite up to all the bells and whistles that Office Word has. However, it does not hang up my computer. The only drawback to not using Office Word is that everything prior to mid-June f this year is in Office Word Files. It is going to be a chore to get them into a usable form.
I will not be publishing a letter or episode of the current novella on Monday or Tuesday–July 17 and 18. I’ll explain on the 19th
Warmest regards, Ed
027 Learning about a Strange Place – Part III
Fiction in 1172 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Special Agent Fleishman was stunned by what he had just heard. “That is a prediction no one would want to hear. And you don’t have space capabilities?”
“No, we have been inward looking rather than outward looking,” replied Stephen. “We have spent our history finding ways to make life better for ourselves, each other. We see ourselves as responsible for one another. Several decades ago a child went missing. We turned our planet upside down and inside-out looking for her. The woman who was her caretaker at the time the child went missing, is still looking.”
“In our world,” Special Agent Fleishman said, “people go missing every day. Indeed, some of the victims of foul play, like the woman Ralph kidnapped. Others are murdered. Yet, you can account for all of your people except this one child.”
“Yes,” replied Stephen. “We all remember her and honor her memory, but have no clue as to where she went.”
“You don’t have people go missing when they go into jungles, swimming, or mountain climbing?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“Not in the last 500 years or so,” replied Stephen. “People who do things with risk do die, but they are accompanied by others and their bodies are brought back. We don’t discourage risk, we discourage doing risky things by oneself and without safety preoccupations taken. You see, everyone is of value and has something of value to contribute to our collective well being. That is why it was such a shock to all of us when Amanda went missing.”
“This may sound like a strange question, but do you have a belly button?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“I have no idea if we do or not, for I don’t know what a belly button is,” replied Stephen.
Special Agent Fleishman tucked his shirt from his pants and pulled it up so that his midsection was visible and pointed to his belly button. “This is a belly button.”
Stephen shook his head no. “I see what you have, what is its purpose?”
“It is a left over from when we were developing in our mother’s womb,” replied Special Agent Fleishman.
“I am not quite sure of the meaning of what you said, but we do not have belly buttons,” replied Stephen who unzipped his blouse revealing a perfectly smooth, albeit a bit hairy, stomach.
“There is an off chance your missing Amanda ended up in our universe, seven times,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “If you like, I could get her now and we could determine if that is the case.”
“Yes, please, if you could produce her The woman who lost Amanda might be relieved if she were produced,” said Stephen. “So would the rest of us.”
Special Agent Fleishman said, “I’ll be right back.” He vanished, then reappeared in less than a nanosecond. He picked up the empty cups, their saucers, and the spoons and said, “I almost forgot these. I promised I would return them.” He vanished again.
[27th Century] “It would appear we are pivoting into a parallel universe some 20 years from the last time Amanda jumped off a swing in the small park in the 1200 block of Mission Boulevard in the early 21st Century,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “The woman, in the other universe that feels as if she lost her, is still looking for her, twenty years later in her timeline. Would either of the young Amanda’s be willing to meet and comfort the woman and try to explain where she has been?”
Amanda Clarkston looked at her husband Brice who nodded yes, said, “I’ll talk to the girls. I am sure both would be more than willing to meet and talk with the woman.”
“Not both,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “I suspect it is the same woman who what there when all seven of you came across, but she only experienced it once. Something about our universes banging together at the same time over there but at twenty years intervals over here.”
[In the Other Universe] “Stephen, may I introduce Amanda. Amanda, this is Stephen.” said Special Agent Fleishman.
Amanda held out her hand to shake hands and Special Agent Fleishman took it and said, “Stephen, in our universe, this is a customary way of greeting.”
Stephen smiled and reached out with his right hand. Amanda grasped his hand and said, “I am pleased to meet you, Stephen.”
After a short pause, Stephen said, “I am pleased to meet you Amanda.” Stephen then looked at his hand and side, “Interesting. I do believe it makes a better first connection when we touch like that. I think we have some discussions to have about a new formality.”
“Special Agent Fleishman tells me that the woman who was taking car of me, a mommy, is still looking for me. Would it be possible to see her and let her know that I am O.K.?” asked Amanda.
“I have already sent for her,” replied Stephen.
“While we wait for her,” said, Special Agent Fleishman, “perhaps you will continue your stories about why you are, to put it delicately, putting away money in our universe?
“Yes,” replied Stephen. “As I was saying a large asteroid will impact our world and cause an extinction level event unless we can head it off. And, as I already said, we are still not advance to the point with our ability to go into space that we can actually forecast that we will be able to change the orbit in time. About 10 years ago, one of our bio-physicists discovered a way to move between parallel universes. Without going into the complexities of parallel universes, your universe is the closest universe to our universe in which we can survive. Your laws of physics are very similar to our laws of physics. Some universes have different laws that make visiting there deadly. We found out the hard way. We lost a few agents before we learned to send biological probes before sending agents. Since your universe was so hospitable, we sent agents to look around. Much to our delight we found it was populated by people much like us. You are more advanced in many ways: space travel, mechanical intelligence and, as I learned today, hot chocolate with marshmallows. But you are less advance than we in your treatment of one another and your characteristic of isolating yourselves from one another. Well, we saw that you have the capabilities in reaching into space that we don’t have and desperately need and wanted to investigate how we could obtain that from you. I took some time by I . . .”
Stephen was interrupted by a woman, “Stephen, you sent for me?
Yes, Marcie,” replied Stephen, “We may have found Amanda in the other universe.”
Even though the Marcie was 20 years older that when Amanda jumped off the swing into another universe, Amanda recognized her and said, “Mommy, I am O.K.”
Marcie’s eyes grew big and tears began to stream from them, “Amanda,” she wailed and she embraced Amanda with a desperation.