Have you ever had a moment which felt so exceedingly dreamlike, you pinched yourself like they did in the movies to try to figure out if it was real or you were in a dream?
Our first efforts at trying to save JFK failed miserably.
The first efforts revolved around trying numerous methods to divert the caravan.
First, the entire group – myself included – dressed up as clowns with President masks and tried blocking off Houston and Main Street right before the motorcade reached the plaza area. The hope was he’d turn right back around.
The results were less than friendly. We were assaulted by the police. Billy clubs and all. I escaped, fortunately, but a couple of the others were detained and thrown in jail – with a few black eyes and bruises to show for it, where we were reminded at how much more physically aggressive and abusive the police force was back then.
It took about two seconds to get them out, the TARDIS’s new pause time feature which doesn’t stop time, but pauses it and lets me enjoy the moment.
While natural physics such as gravity and momentum may be paused – I’ve used it to watch bullets fly and hummingbirds frozen in mid air, the nifty part of this feature is – I can still interact with the world.
Sure, I’ve used it to remove clothes and have had sex with a few women like that.
Naw. I just paused time, had my way, then resumed it without the woman being any the wiser.
But additionally. in a situation like this, it becomes quite useful in obtaining keys to a cell, unlocking that cell, selectively resuming time for the friends I am breaking out of jail, closing the cell, leaving the police with nothing but theories and finger pointing as to why there’s an empty cell.
No matter. It was a wonderful lesson for Spencer and violence and the Machiavellian ways of recent history and just how far America had come in an incredibly short amount of time, despite having such strong support for firearms.
He even said to me something afterwards:
“I don’t understand how America could have such strong support for the ownership of firearms, yet show such restraint in the usage of them considering where we’d come from historically,” he said.
This was a tell if there ever was one. What it meant, I wasn’t quite sure of yet.
“Ownership of a firearm is less about violence and more about freedom of choice I figure, “ I said.
“I suppose,” he said, as he winced and put his hand to his black eye.
“Took quite the beating there,” I said.
“It could have been worse. I’m glad we didn’t bring fake firearms to try to scare them away like I first thought we should,” he said.
“In any time period with a President nearby you’d be on a firing range if you tried that,” I said.
Jeff came over. “Joe and Amy Shay. Las Vegas. I figure some of this has to do with you, so if we bring them along for the next attempts, that can’t hurt”
I didn’t like the idea of putting Joe and Amy in harms way, and wasn’t prepared to introduce them to the time travel yet, but also knew I had to at some time.
“What do you have in mind?,” I said.
They’d expanded the table which now resembled a battlefield map.
“Who taught you how to do that?,” I said.
“You taught us all about computers, Bri,” Spencer said, ” so in a way you did. Jeff figured out the room reconfiguration commands though. “
I was impressed.
The table was now 15′ by 9′, with a high resolution holoscene with the detailed route JFK took to the plaza.
“Jesus,” I said, “who did the holocapture, it’s lifelike!”
“That would be me,” said Kevin, “Hololens gathered everything. “
“You must have walked the streets for hours,” I responded.
“I did,” said Kevin. “Dallas And I’ll have you know the burgers are pretty good!,” as he patted his overly fed belly.
Becki heard, she’d been chatting with the girls on the couch and chairs.
“We can’t stay here that much longer, Q, he’ll get fatter than he already is,” she said.
“Thank you, Wifey, I love you too!,” he said.
“Did you figure out timelining?,” I said.
They all looked at me with a blank stare.
“Sounds like it might be useful”, Ron said, “what is it?”
I leaned over and pressed a button on the side. “Ok here, where he’s shot, this is what we can refer to as t equals zero, like a countdown, t zero for short. The last time we marked as precisely 12:31:23.314159 was his official time of death. The prior timeline we marked it at 12:31:02.21780. So we had a deviance. A delay. Which is GOOD. We know we can alter the event, but this is also BAD at the same time, as the event we saw matched my timeline.”
“Yeah, Pammy’s having a tough time with the mental conflict over there, not sure which one is accurate, especially since you discussed your memories of the route before we did what we did,” said Bill
Spencer then added, “Yeah, there’s something I don’t understand, which is why do you remember a different history than us?”
I responded honestly. “Being completely sincere, I don’t know. I think that’s something you’re all going to have to figure out without me one of these days.”
Spencer looked dejected. It was odd.
I looked back at the table as Ron, Spencer, Bill, Jeff looked on.
“So we have timeline 2. Our first attempt at diversion which ended up harshly. but we have a VERY well documented route now. We know President Kennedy spent the night at Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. We have complete documentation on who was with him and where they went,” I said as I scratched my chin.
“What?” Jeff said.
“I have an idea,” I said.
About then, Becki had walked over with Rosalyn, as they looked at Bill when Rosalyn said “I’m not sure if she’s going to be able to handle more of this.”
Kevin shook his head, “Not good. Not good at all.”
I felt like I was missing something.
“Am I missing something?,” I said.
Kevin turned quickly to me “What was your idea?”
I felt shut down, but let it slide. Something was up between them. I wasn’t sure what yet.
“Yeah. First. I was sincere when I said we need to exhaust Spencer’s possibilities. And if any others of you have simple ideas to save him in this time period, let’s try them out. No matter how wild,”
Spencer looked at me and patted me on the back, “Aww thanks buddy”
“But after we’ve tried everything. We revise this plan accordingly. The day before he visits the Texas, U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. We manipulate time leading up to that event to create a top secret black budget project which he’ll want to look at. This project’s secrecy will be so secret, any non military escorts who are not directly associated to the project – which conveniently will include only us – will be allowed to see it. “
“That would take so much time to set up, “ Spencer said.
“And who will let someone who just popped on the base that type of access to the President no matter how high they’re cleared?,” Bill added.
“I”m not talking an overnight sleep over,” I said.
“Embedded,” Ron said.
“Like a tumah,” Spencer said in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice.
“It’s not a tumah,” Kevin said in a voice that barely resembled anything Arnold might ever say. A voice actor he was most certainly not.
I chuckled. “Yep.”
“And then what?,” Pam said, she’d been listening in on all of it, “And then what, you talk him to death?”
“No, Pam, I show him the TARDIS and then tell him history as I have come to know it. I explain everything that I know and have seen, and then I ask him one simple question: Do you want to stay here or come with me to the future which lets me preserve my past.”
“So you let everyone think he’s died just to preserve your history?,” Spencer said.
“That’s one way to look it it,” I said “Another way is – I potentially save a President’s life that history had written off.”.
“Selfish pig,” Pam said.
“Asshole more like it,” said Gina.
“Ladies, what’s with the hate?,” Jeff said, “He’s clearly interested in the same outcome.”
“Yeah, but why does he have to make it all about him..,” Gina said.
I started to say something, but Kevin cut me short.
“Well, he did invent the TARDIS, so that does give him some liberty,” Kevin said.
I was going to say nearly the same thing, as I was about to add “You all wouldn’t be here right now had it not been for me,” but then I bit my tongue, I had no way of proving or disproving that and knew it.
“What? It looks like you wanted to say something,” Pam said.
“That’s a last ditch plan anyways. And yes, it does revolve around me because, well, I don’t know what our mutual future holds as we try other things,”. I said.
There was silence.
“Joe and Amy,” Ron said.
“Let’s figure out the next plan, where they fit, and from there we ease them into this all,” I said.
“And Jackie?,” Pam said.
I glanced at Bill, unable to figure out Pam’s weird obsession with Jackie.
“Jackie … Hey Pam, Where did Jackie and I get married?,” I said.
“The helicopter in Las Vegas, duhh, didn’t you go up with her and Joe and Amy while flying above Las Vegas and not tell anyone about it until after you’d done it?,” she said.
I reeled. She was indeed seeing a separate timeline, as I had gotten married to Amy int he helicopter and had secretly fallen for Jackie shortly before meeting Amy, and had wished – the whole time that it was Jackie and I getting married instead of Amy and I. The marriage lasted a year, one of the worst decisions of my life.
Pam seemed ready.
“Pam, I fell in love with Jaclyn (Jackie) Killeen from the moment I met her right after getting out of the military in 2003. In 2005, I flew Jackie out to Arizona with out mutual friend I knew in the military Jocelyn Hilliard, where we went to Rocky Pointe Mexico for spring break weekend. There, Jackie hooked up with a threesome with Jocelyn’s friend and her boyfriend who’d flown into town on their own, separately. Jackie – heck – no woman would have anything to do with me on that trip, which led to a great deal of me getting lonely when I came back to Arizona. We had a couple other trips like this – Jackie and Amy, Jackie and Andrea – where each time – Jackie wound up hooking up with someone else and not me. Eventually, I gave up, and was dating online when I met a woman named Amy Newton on eharmony.com. We were married within a few months of us meeting.”
“In a helicopter. In Vegas. “
“Oh shit” she said with her mouth open. “This is like us influencing JFK’s motorcade being diverted, which matched your history, isn’t it?”
“Exactly,” I said. She was getting it. I didn’t know why this felt so important, but it did.
“So who’s Rachel then?,” said Kevin.
“Ok,. right about the time my marriage with Amy started to fall apart, I met another woman who – it’s like time stopped when I first laid eyes on her in class at University of Phoenix in our first class together. I’d already been having a hard time with Amy and was considering giving up on the marriage six months in. So when Rachel entered my life, a married woman who was like a goddess to me, and then sat next to me in class, it was like we had created our own gravity together.,” I said.
Spencer sighed and mumbled “Can you give us the abridged version?”
I shot him a glance. If I could explain to him how important the touchy feely things were to me to get across to the women, I would have, but in that moment I didn’t have the glance sufficed.
“Now one day, we were in a partnered meeting with a woman who was doing absolutely nothing to contribute to our team, when Rachel went off the chain angry on the woman. It was so completely out of character for someone with her appearance to me, the passion and emotion, that I was completely taken by surprise. I thought – in that moment – could have sworn that Rachel was gonna deck the woman. It was weird. But in stark contrast to Amy’s lack of emotion – a problem I had with her general lack of interest in life, let alone my life and our life, Rachel was a breath of fresh air. And me. I was – in a role I enjoyed. Calming her the fuck down and keeping her in check. I enjoyed it.”
“So at the same time, Jackie’s telling me she’s planning on moving to Phoenix from Tampa, which was wholly unexpected, so I go from feeling totally rejected to finding two amazing women who seem so far outta my league it’s ridiculous that I’m interested in. Amy and I divorce, things quickly heat up with Rachel and I – despite her being married and having the perfect life with a prominent lawyer in Phoenix – a man by the name of Chris Gooch, and as that relationship has a meltdown, Jackie and I have sex for the first time. It was weird. Dreamlike. And felt like I wasn’t there. Hard to explain but it just didn’t feel real.”
Spencer chimed in again. “Ok. we get it.”
This time, Pam shot Spencer a glare, as all the women said in unison “SHUT UP, SPENCER!”
He smirked a smirk only Spencer can smirk, and turned around towards the couch and went and sat down as I continued.
“Well over the next few years, I met Kena Patel, a woman from India who I cared for and enjoyed and loved, but I can’t say I was in love with her. I offered to get married to her to help her get citizenship, but she refused. Jackie and I spent a good deal of time together, mostly doing cocaine together, binge drinking and smoking, and just bullshitting about life, the universe, and everything. With Jackie, I felt like I had a partner and longed for her to be my lover, and when we finally hooked up again a few years later – it was – well – I loved it. But it was over by then, “ I said.
“What do you mean, over?”, Gina said.
“Well, we’d been spending less time together, and I’d also been spending time with Kena at the same time. I enjoyed both, for different reasons, sexually and conversationally, Jackie was freaking amazing, but for relaxing and just hanging out seeing a movie, Kena was so much more fun. Rachel was the class and sophistication that none of the women I’d ever been with had, which altogether had me constantly pulled intellectually and emotionally and ‘choosing one’. I didn’t want to. Heck, I even told Ron and Bill in 1996 i wanted a harem, and these wonderful women would have been pivotal in that,” I said.
Spencer raised his voice “And you wonder why the women call you a pig.”
The women said nothing though.
“It was a dream, and an unfulfilled one at that.”
“And see where it left you. Broke. and Alone,” he said.
The women still said nothing.
“In any case. I dreamed of marrying Jackie. But no, not in my reality did that ever happen. We barely hooked up, and I sincerely doubt she even cares, let alone fondly remembers it. And Rachel, she told me the last time we talked that ‘You’re reality and mine are clearly different’, and she made it clear she didn’t want to talk to me again. “
“Oh woe is me,” Spencer said.
Gina went up to him and socked him in the arm, somewhat playfully.
“Enough of this. Can we focus on the next plan?,” he said as he got up and walked to the table.
“Shall we try my plan now?” Ron said.
Ron commanded attention and I was the only one known for smart ass remarks to him, but this time, I was sincerely interested in what he had for a plan as was everyone else.
“First, finish up the timelining. I would like to see how this is done,” he said.
Without hesitating, I reached over the table and placed my palm at eye level with my palm face down.
“Countdown Timeline,” I said.
Under my hand a clear holographic image appeared, a double columned spreadsheet with one column “T”, and the other “Event” appeared.
“Add a column named Resource,” I said.
Another column appeared to the right of the existing columns as the 2d spreadsheet expanded in width slightly to accommodate the new column.
I pointed to the location where JFK was shot on the map on the table, “T 0”. They’d already keyed in the date and time previously, as a non-localized female voice said “T zero, occuring at twelve thirty one central time, would you like more precision Q?,” she asked.
“Yes, please, twenty three seconds seconds, and three one four one five nine milliseconds.”
“Is the accuracy necessary?,” Ron said.
“It will be,” I said, without explaining further, “at the very least three decimal places, but I’d suggest going six or more if possible.”
“Geek talk turns me on, you know,” Becki said.
“I won’t tell Kevin if you don’t,” I told Becki and winked.
“Retain event details?,” the disembodied female voice said.
“Yes. please read them,” I said.
“Initial JFK shot,” the voice said.
“Short and simple,” I said.
“No resources?,” the voice said.
The line on the spreadsheet flashed as the line was added.
I tapped the entry as it hovered. A solid red line drew out from the left of the row then downwards at a 90 degree angle, then straight down to the map location which connected to a translucent red sphere.
“Once I establish a primary point of the countdown, I then establish way points. Please add a way point of Friday, November 22, 1963, at 11:38 a.m central standard time, when JFK, his wife Jacqueline, and the rest of the presidential entourage arrive at Love Field in northwest Dallas aboard Air Force One after a very short flight from nearby Carswell Air Force Base,” I said.
To this, a point was added on the spreadsheet on the line below.
“Groovy, It automatically calculated the t!,” Kevin said.
Over the next course of half an hour, we documented a point by point journey that the motorcade had that morning. Everyone was suddenly concerned with unknown and unexpected influences in time, so their primary goal was to ‘save him’ the day of the event.
Ron’s plan was one such plan.
“Ron, your turn,” I said.
“Ok…. It’s simple, really. We disable Air Force One at Love field. We prevent the flight from arriving on time.”
While I was convinced they were going to get a first hand lesson in time’s quasi-malleable nature and how it would simply bounce back and generate a new route and history to ensure the event still happened despite subtly different details, I held back any objections and maintained my best straight face.
I sincerely wanted to see what happened next.
Debbie asked “So… what are your thoughts on this?”
“Does it matter what he thinks?” Spencer said.
“Spencer, why do you have to be such a dick to him?,” Pam said.
He didn’t say anything.
She looked at me, “Well?”
“I’m staying out of this. I’m here to help, so if I found obvious holes that weren’t dependent on my controversial perceptions of time, I’d let you know.,” I said.
“Fair enough,” said Kevin.
“Thumbs up or down if it’s a go. We only move forward if it’s 100% unanimous, “ I said.
“So much for a democracy,” Spencer said.
I put hand out over the table with my thumb up, ignoring the ass-iduous remarks.
Ron quickly followed, and fortunately, this time it was easy, as everyone agreed.
It was 100% unanimous.
But as we learned that evening.
Disabling a plane is surprisingly easy.
But making sure it stays disabled when an aircraft mechanic and well trained pilot are on staff isn’t.
But it did give me the idea to limit the risk by introducing the clone at the airfield should JFK agree to the situation I approached him with at the medical air force base, which would give him time to mull over the decision overnight, rather than have to commit to it right then and there.
I didn’t tell the others my plan was still forming.
But then again, a part of me knew I’d be the only person at the table when that plan came to fruition.