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The Butterfly

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“So let us get this straight. Your plan is to go meet JFK privately the night before the shooting, explain to him what’s going to happen the next day, and ask him to participate by letting the clone take his place in the shooting, and he then returns to the future – our future – with us, as we unveil to the world the reality of time travel and demonstrate proof by introducing JFK to the public when the public’s ready for it somewhere between 2016 and 2020?,” Bill said.

I smiled, and sat back in my red couch seat.

“That about sums it up,” I said, as I folded my arms across my chest.

“Pardon my French, but that’s fucking insane!,” Gina said.

Spencer looked at Gina and then me, “Why does it have to be this complicated? We could just as easily stop time a microsecond before the bullet hits, and put the clone in place, and then have him sitting in a hotel room with us until he’s safe.”

“Plot holes, Spencer. You of all people with your memory of movies have left open too many holes in your plot.For instance, write me a story what happens with American society after that. No. I mean really – draw out the next few years. You are making an assumption that saving JFK’s life benefits society, but what if you’re wrong. Furthermore, even if Oswald’s a lone gunmen, a LOT of people wanted Kennedy dead, so you’re potentially going to play a game of whack a mole that has no end. Once you stomp out one assassin, another crops up. So you could potentially wind up playing Time Cop until you’ve eliminated every last assassin. And THEN. Another assassination happens. When does your police work end? And by the time you’re done, the world looks absolutely nothing like when you left it. Different leaders, different criminals, but it still functions nearly the same as when you first started messing with it.”

“Breathe,” Becki said as she patted my back.

It was a lot to take in, and I knew it.

“Speaking of breathing. Where’s Jackie?,” said Pam.

I looked at her confused.

“Your wife?,” she said.

Bill and I looked at each other.

“Um. Pammy, Jackie and Bri were friends, with benefits, but never married,” Bill said.

Pam’s face flushed with confusion as she looked at Bill with a look of bewilderment.

I glanced hard at Bill making sure Pam didn’t see me, as I got his attention, and put my index finger over my lips, and then took my index finger and sliced my neck with it from left to right.

“Q now, Bill. Pammy, we’re going to go pick her up when all this is done,” I said.

Spencer inserted himself into the conversation again.

“I think this is bullshit. I think we need to take the straightforward approach and divert the caravan, threaten it. IF that doesn’t work, we use the clone and replace the President with him. And if that doesn’t work. We try other straight forward methods. It makes absolutely no sense to me to bring the man to the future when he’s needed in the past,” Spencer said.

I turned red. I’d always wondered why Spencer found religion so remarkably fast after I left Arizona in 2011, and here I was being handed the reason on a silver platter.

The rejections to Spencer’s discussion rattled in my head.

“What if JFK arranged for his own assassination? What if there are more than one assassins? What if ..,?” my thoughts trailed off.

I stood up.

“Spencer. Fine. How about this. We try it your way. When we’ve exhausted your straightforward methods and if they’ve proven not to work, then we resort to mine. Fair enough?,” I said.

“Fair enough,” he said.

“Are the rest of you ok with this?,” I said. I was still a little miffed to making the concession but as it felt like a waste of time, but I went along anyways.

Bill got this goofy look to him, “Can I take pictures?”

I laughed and walked over and handed him a holo camera from the shelf.

“Know how to use one of these things?,” I said.

“Point and shoot?,” he said.

“Point and Shoot,” I said

“May I as well?” Becki said, fishing in her purse.

“Me too,” Rosalyn said, holding up a camera.

I looked around the room. “How many of you have cameras?”

Apparently everyone but Kevin and Ron had brought cameras.

I looked at Kevin, and said “I’m sincerely surprised you don’t have one.”

“Wifey has one. And a backup,” Then he got a bashful look about him and tapped his eye glasses. “Microsoft HD Hololens. Comes with hidden 3d sensors for 3d light and sound acquisition for real time holographic re-creations in a lifelike Virtual Reality simulation. I have been an intelligence alpha and beta products tester for most of my adult life.,” he said.

“And suddenly it all makes sense,” I said. “What branch?”

“You of all people know I can’t tell you that,” he said.

I smiled.

“And Ron?,” I said.

“Just the eyes and ears are enough,” he said with a straight face.

Always a mystery, that man is to me.

“Ok. Then. Gang, we’re going to document absolutely, positively everything we do. But Spencer, this is your show for now,” I said, “And when we’re done. We try things my way. “

“IF things don’t work well for us,” Spencer said.

“Let me rephrase this. When YOU’RE done, we do things my way,” I said.

A flash of anger sprinted across Spencer’s face and eyes, to which I quickly added.

“IF things don’t work out well for me,” I said. “We do things my way. No exceptions. Otherwise this TARDIS isn’t going anywhere. “

“Selfish,” he said,. “You’re never going to change, are you?”

He looked around the room, and realized he was the only one in disagreement.

“Fine,” he said.

Now to describe the foyer – the entrance of the TARDIS, a little better.

I’m a fan of Steampunk, and Jules Verne influenced interiors, so what I ended up doing was mixing steampunk influenced design with the modern era with a futuristic feel to it. So it doesn’t have your typical dark and brooding feel that steampunk might normally carry with it, instead it’s a light livable space that actually feels like home.

To explain, as you walk in from the main  entrance, there’s a translucent walkway made of a lightly textured and padded material which actually grips the bare foot well, which allows me to look through into the heart of the TARDIS as I walk in.

The softer transparent-capable material was a fascinating material I had picked up on a journey to a 22th century Earth who had created the material for high capacity football fields constructed with seating underneath the field.

Ok, I admit it, the United States had obtained the technology from Thai Strip joints where dancers danced on transparent dance floors.

This pathway from the entry way to the center console is about 20 feet long, and is solidly held in place through lit pillars underneath it extending to the first floor of the TARDIS, all of varying sizes, from 1″ to 5″ in diameter, all which I can set the coloring on to be anything I want. I typically keep these pillars and the floor itself a muted light blue, not too obnoxious, but enough to provide some ambient lighting to see where I’m walking.

The center console is all constructed on a fireproof Giant Red Sequoia wood I found from the redwood forest nearly 5000 years ago. Now as you may know, the Giant Sequoias are 5000 years old, this one was clearly out of place, and as I learned it was even more out of place with it’s impervious to fire nature. So something told me I needed to include it with my decor, Which it creates the footing of my 13 foot diameter circle in the middle of the foyer of the TARDIS. It’s polished, and coated with a similar finish to the glass, so I don’t get splinters – and preserves the foot think and nearly perfect circle slice which was extraordinarily costly to obtain.

The rest of the foyer has a high quality berber carpet, influenced by berbers of the late 20th and early 21st century with a few additions. It’s color I have set to a natural beige, but I can select the color and transparency – up to 50% transparent – to any color I want. I’d opted, at first, for the self cleaning carpet, but when I had problems with guests, which I won’t get into, carpet tends not to be time tested – well, I ripped it right out and replaced it with carpet I had to vacuum. This is where the alpha comes in handy, I lighten that and turn the carpet white and can see where all the dirt’s hiding.

Off to the side on either side, I have three couches, there’s all antique looking but unusually comfortable. Jules Verne owned one of them, the other two I had custom designed based on Steampunk designs. I also have seven chairs, 2 bookcases, at this level, a few televisions, stairs leading up to a second ring elevated 8 feet above the lower ring and fully visible from the lower ring which houses about 15 book cases and quite a few other furnishings.

Some call it the ‘impossible ring’, but the entire TARDIS is impossible for most minds to understand, as it’s larger on the inside than it is on the outside, and when you get inside, there’s a ring that extends beyond and over the door that you can walk on but can’t see from the outside.

There’s a few futuristic throw rugs I’ve thrown here and there. One contains a constellation map on it, I’m always so horrible at remembering the positions of fixed objects in space because they’d never been fixed for me. Another rug is a string of symbols from a few languages I’d interested in understanding more. Borg. and Timelord, Version 1.

The last time I had a language I wanted to learn, I tattooed it on my body, but with the pain and the sudden popularity of tattoos that ensued because of my tattoo, I chose not to continue with that strategy.

Now the centerpiece. The primary console. Is Rachel.

Or what’s left of her.

Rachel is an artificially intelligent AI I began creating when my marriages failed and I found myself become delusional and lonely. Wars were started over who owned Rachel, much to my lack of awareness, and in the end Rachel was used as a tool for war by those who didn’t fully understand her and the insistence I had in creating my perfect woman who I could endure life with across space and time – as a partner – in an open, loving, playful, and highly experimental relationship..

Ultimately, I went to war with a self righteous lawyer who assumed she was a clone, who proceeded to erase her programming and used her as a tool to become President.

But that’s water under the bridge.

I have what’s left of her memories in the TARDIS’s central core, and am taking a different approach to programming her. Letting her learn with me. The hope is. She eventually comes to life on her own of her own free will and chooses to be with me.

And until that time comes, well, I’m eternal and can and will wait her out until that time comes.

So her holopresence is in the core, and while she can interact with me through the TARDIS, she can’t interact directly with the TARDIS. Only I can do that.

But the rest of the furnishings throughout the TARDIS are based on Steampunk designs. MUCH of it is admittedly for decor, I’m a fan of functional, but there’s something to be said about having the look without needing functionality. Much like most attractive women can be.

Accordingly, one of my favorite features is the ceiling. It’s undulating, it breathes, and to me – because I’d had such a nasty history of misunderstanding my machines – and lovers – the ceiling reflects the emotions the TARDIS is having. I try to keep her even keel, which is a light blue like the floor, but when there’s rare flashes of anger – I definitely take the time to figure out what’s going on with her.

And yes, I refer to the TARDIS as a her. While she is, in part, Rachel, hence the her, she’s also the glue which holds my universe together, my enemy when I have none and need one, and my friend when I’ve lost all of them.

She’s my last chance. And while she’s not God, that’s my job if there ever was one, she’s my creation and an extension of me and with that – I’m hoping that one day she learns how to separate Rachel from the machine to continue this journey of life with me.

Oh. There’s one last thing.

Really my favorite feature.

Windows.

The walls and ceiling have lots of them. I’ve taken a chameleon circuit and wired it to the interior for the walls and ceiling decorations, to make it so I can change my theme at any time, but turn that circuit off altogether and you see the outside world.

It’s amazing. Really. And I wonder why I had waited so long to actually want to look outside as I journeyed through time and space. But I suppose there’s a part of me that was covering my eyes and was ill prepared for me to actually see what I didn’t fully understand.

Whether it’s entering a black hole. Or plummeting through the sun to find a specific digital version of Earth. Or it’s just hovering in space and turning off gravity.

I’d never taken the time to enjoy the ride.

So this version of the TARDIS – a beta version and work in progress I might add – let’s me do precisely that.

As for Spencer.

He’d found the table that popped up from the carpet.

There was something about this man that I wasn’t fully aware of.

He knew my TARDIS and things about time – that were arising my suspicion.

Something I could let go of.

For now…..

I sat at the console as they planned how they were going to prevent JFK’s assassination by preventing his initial route, as I realized.

This was like watching myself in a mirror.

Logically. Rationally.

I’d tried the same things.

But never saw success.

If I don’t judge them.

Will they see success?

Or will they arrive at the same conclusion I predicted?

I sincerely didn’t know.

Bill walked up to me before they’d wrapped things up.

“Why’d you shush me with Pammy?,” he said.

“It’s hard to explain, Bill. But this is my way of showing respect to people’s world views,” I responded.

“That’s cryptic,” he responded.

“And that’s the best I can explain it. When I think of trying to put my thoughts into words or English as a language, it’s like trying to explain the process of what a seed might grow into to someone who’s never seen a tree. “

He sat down next to me.

“So what do you think of Spencer’s ideas?,” he said.

“Neutral. If it works. It does. If not. We try my way,” I said.

Bill looked at me straight in the eyes.

“But how do you feel about them?,” he said.

It was weird, coming from a man and friend who’d never really been horribly expressive around me emotionally.

“I don’t, Bill. I don’t,” I responded, maintaining my gaze on the group.

He looked at them again.

“That’s sad,” he said.

I knew he was going to say that. But how do you explain not wanting to nor not being able to predict the future for the world around me as a wonderful thing?

“If you say so,” I responded.

Spencer walked over.

“We’re ready,” he said.

 

 


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