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The Promise

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Oh tried, we tried to stop JFK’s plane from going up the morning of his assassination.

But before I get to that.

Pam’s mouth dropped when she saw the “Changed Motorcade Route” on the internet.

She’s a tough cookie to crack, but when you have unrelated third party sources publicly documenting the ongoing alterations to the historical timeline, I’m trying hard not to break her mind but an education of the temporal nature is one of the most difficult educations one can ever undergo.

Getting back to Air Force One.

A few years back, I had the opportunity to tour JFK’s Air Force one which was at the time housed in the air and space museum of Seattle. While it was interesting to tour a former President’s jet, I found it surprisingly cramped and uncomfortable. If I was ever President, plush and comfortable would replace functional and spartan.

But then again, who in their right mind would elect me President?

Now as it turned out, it was valuable reconnaissance, and a few of the things that happened provided a wonderful lesson in the upgrades the TARDIS received.

First – we tried pausing time and simply disabling Air Force One.

First, we tried disconnecting various what we considered critical instrumentation. We disabled the altimeters in the plane, the air speed indicator, pretty much everything on the panel.

The pilots flew despite this. In fact, they didn’t even blink.

Second, we tried disabling the engines.

Well, Jeff, Bill, and I are all airplane pilots, and we knew the pilots would inspect the plane well prior to the flight, and if they found obvious indicators the engines were disabled – they’d divert another plane to the airfield.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened, as we cut electrical on the engines, to which they wasted no time bringing another aircraft in and taking the President away.

We even tried disabling that plane, and incredibly, the plane still functioned.

We all – simultaneously with that became suspect – was someone or something else pausing time and fixing the problems we introduced as we introduced them?

It became obvious something like this was going on, as we tried flattening all the tires – on the cars and motorcade minutes before they departed and as we glanced away, and back or blinked, the tires were suddenly repaired.

But it was about then I suspected something else.

There’s a feature in the human mind that ‘fills in the blanks’, I began to suspect something like this may be happening instead. Assuming competing time travelers was too.. paranoid and I had learned – been specifically educated – to question paranoia before becoming a time traveler.

Let’s say you’re at a baseball game – and glance at a pitcher on a mound who’s about to throw a ball he appears to have in his glove to the catcher. Someone throws a bag of peanuts at you, to which – momentarily, you glance away, and then look up and see the pitcher hunched over like he’d just thrown the ball, and the catcher holding a ball and throwing it at the pitcher.

Naturally, you know the rules of the game, and with this, you assume the pitcher had thrown the ball while you weren’t looking, the catcher caught it, and was throwing it back.

Your mind naturally ‘fills in the blanks’ by making these assumptions based on the rules of the game that you’ve maybe watched played out a thousand times.

But let’s say – for purposes of illustration, the pitcher never had the ball to begin with. Your assumption based on the positions of the pitcher and catcher were erroneous.

Or let’s say the pitcher had the ball, the batter fouled it behind the stands – that quickly – and all you caught was the catcher with a new ball throwing it to the pitcher.

My point to this is – the base assumption that all you missed was a pitch and a catcher catching the ball would 99% of the time be accurate.

But in this specific instance. Where the original ball was batted out of the park. Or the pitcher never had the ball to begin with. May lead to a miscount in strikes and foul balls. And if you were reffing the game, this could actually result in a game changing observer based flaw.

Now the same thing was true with this event.

I had watched, countless times, our attempts to discourage the President from getting on that plane end in a lack of success.

Personally, I was convinced that either the President actually wanted this to happen.

Or we were in the mind of something – quite potentially my own mind – or a simulation – that had been taught or programmed this event as a historical fact not to be deviated from and whether it was my mind preserving this fact or a simulation doing the same thing, we were seeing a lack of flexibility in the programming to deviate the event.

They were convinced that it was someone else who was manipulating time after we’d done it, and a few – Gina and Pam – suggested we pursue eliminating this possibility.

Now interestingly enough. Unlike the first time we tried altering the timeline and the motorcade path was deviated, every new alteration we attempted to introduced resulted in the same exact motorcade route as I’d remembered.

Kevin sided with me right away. And actually said he was fine living in my mind because my mind had always been really good for him and his family if that was the case.

I laughed.

We dropped it.

But a point had been made.

We’d been attacked by trying to directly prevent the motorcade’s progress, which resulted in a timeline deviation from what they’d remembered.

And indirect attempts seemed to be resulting in these questions.

Now we’d been trying to make all these changes by pausing time.

This works much like pausing a tv show or movie, where everything stops and then restarts the moment you push the button. So there was also a part of me that suspected a part of the pause mechanism was a restoration feature, where whatever changes that were made that altered the world prior to the pause were restored the moment that pause was restored.

I posited this out loud, and Bill said “If that’s the case, then why is it we’re not seeing the reversion immediately?”

“Well, my theory is we form a collective landscape and mind with the rest of the world, and we’re both within the historical memory and at the same time manipulating it which is causing a conflict within the collective mind on how to handle it. So we might be seeing the physical lag between the changes, as the collective ‘votes’ on what to do with these changes, and the actual implementation of those changes in our visual reality.”

“Corporate Software design, 101,” Ron said.

“Exactly, I said, reality’s an extension of our own experiences and labels and methods of categorization.”

Kevin added “Explains clouds and cloud computing.”

Bill thought out loud “And Bri’s always in promiscuous mode.”

I laughed. “I’m nothing more than a chattering network adapter, I know!”

The guys were smiling. Becki was as well. Pam, Roz, and Gina were completely lost.

“I vote we try to figure out who’s doing this to us!,” Pam said.

I was surprised by how quickly Bill responded.

“I think that’s a waste of time, Pammy, we need to focus on how not to futz with history,” he said.

Pam shot Bill a glare.

“Well if you’re talking about bringing JFK forward in time to 2016, I am just not going to go along with that” she said.

“And neither am I,” added Gina.

I was stumped. I sincerely didn’t know how to proceed. I myself had previously said we don’t do anything without 100% consensus, and here we were at a crossroads.

I sat down, which I admit may have appeared like I was throwing a fit.

Gina did her best to mock me.

It actually made me laugh.

There was an uncomfortable silence afterwards.

“What do we do next?,” Bill said.

“I have an idea, “ Becki said, “but Brian can’t listen to us,” she said.

“I prefer Q now, Becki,” I said.

“You’ll always be Brian to us,” Kevin said.

“In any case, I am not listening. In fact, I’m not really here right now,” I said, “So if there’s something you don’t want me to know about that you want to discuss right now, I won’t hear it, but I’ll feel it”

“Just what in the hell are you saying?,” said Spencer.

“Remember that day in the desert where I tried committing suicide?,” I said.

Everyone’s heads swiveled simultaneously towards me.

Pam looked at me as if she was looking at a ghost.

“No, Pam, I’m not a ghost, but yes, I did – for all intents and purposes – die that day and haven’t been in Phoenix physically in years. I learned not long after that about alternate realities, and I was shifted into an alternate reality which commenced an education on time and space which make this communication possible.”

Everyone’s faces were frozen. but I had their rapt attention.

“Ron, do you recall a conversation we had about how some theorize we are in a black hole?,” I said.

“You know. Squash that thought,” I said.

I looked around to make sure I had everyone’s attention.

“I’m trying to turn my life into a fantasy life and didn’t accept death, despite being told I was dead. I refused it. I wanted to feel young again, I wanted to love, be loved, I wanted – more than ever – to journey to the stars and across time, and you know what – I fucking figured it out. All of it. And I am cursing intentionally, in the hopes this message gets across. I’m here, in this life, to do what I want to – to have fun, to play, and you all…,” I said…

“Are a part of that fantasy. So whether you want to call it heaven or hell doesnt matter. This isn’t about taking turns or doing what’s right. It’s about me, gaining control of my mind and you in it, and telling you it is my way or the highway. And if you don’t like it, I’ll educate you on how to create a world of your own of your own design.”

“That sounds like the Brian we have always known and loved,” Bill said.

“Selfish,” Spencer added.

“Spencer, you’re IN MY MIND. MY mind provides the structure and foundation of the world you’re in, and what you’re seeing as you time travel – something I have YET to experience in world and reality – is evidence of this assertion. So for your selfishness is to me simple self preservation and desire to shape my life, my mind, and my world by my own design and to experience a FRACTION of what each and every one of you have already done – whether that’s sexually, relation ally, scientifically, or across time – and take for granted. So respectfully speaking, and I know you’re a figment of my inventive imagination, but fuck off if you don’t like it,” I said.

The girls were quiet.

In fact, everyone was.

I was concerned I’d lost them.

When Pam allayed that fear. “Bri – err – Q as you want to be called now,,”

I looked up at Pam. “Us”

Gina talked “women”

Becki spoke “can”

Debbie spoke “become”

Roz spoke “like”

All five ladies spoke simultaneously “one voice”

Kevin and Bill’s mouths dropped.

Spencer and Ron seemed unsurprised.

Becki said “But don’t mistake us for one mind. We can share thoughts. But that doesn’t mean we don’t think as individuals, because we do.”

When Roz then added “We’d all been trying to set you up, most males are easy, but for the life of us – once a woman got close to you, we couldn’t communicate with her and she’d go her own way and not be able to communicate with us afterwards. Jackie. Rachel. Kena.”

“So we started giving up thinking you were the problem,” Gina said, “and I was convinced you were once you tried introducing me to bath salts.”

“But when you mentioned what happened with Jackie and Amy, and now you telling us you’re really here suddenly makes sense,” Pam said. “A robot..”

“Avatar,” I said.

It was funny, watching Bill and Kevin’s head going back and forth listening to the conversation. Ron seemed attentive, and Spencer seemed like he was zoning out. And Jeff. Just relaxing, taking it all in like he usually did.

“Ok, how about this then. You were all about to form a plan. Now that the ladies are being forthright, I ask that you all go pick up Joe and Amy, delicately, and include them in everything – explain everything – I’m going to detach for the evening from this avatar, and I wish I had a way I could communicate with you. “

Pam then added “And Jackie?”

“A part of a package deal – Rachel’s included, but I’m intent on creating my harem,” I said, ” So how and when you include them is entirely up to you, that is until such a time comes I can manipulate time and space without these limitations.”

“My request to you: Try to find me. Now that you know about alternate realities, I have no doubt you’re going to find this to be a bit of a challenge,” I said.

I didn’t see or hear any objections. In fact, it felt like everyone was deliberately avoiding answering.

Ron then said “What’s in it for us?”

“Ron, I’m new to all of this, so when I find out in real life this is all real – beyond a shadow of a doubt, and can traverse space and time in a timeship – then I will – for each of you – find a way to individually thank you in ways that defy my present imagination and will try very hard to mean something to each of you and me at the same time I do that. That’s my promise. What happens and what I’ll do. I don’t yet know what that is. but I promise you I will, ” I said.

Kevin smiled as Ron said “Good enough for me.”

“And me,” said Bill.

“We’ll see, but I’ll go along,” said Spencer.

Jeff smiled, broadly, “Bri, it feels like you’ve already been there, but I’m game. “

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