[LNH2] Ultimate Ninja 2020 #3

Martin Phipps phippsmartin at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 27 18:03:02 PDT 2004

                      Ultimate Ninja 2020 #3
                          The Retcon Effect

  >>What's up?<<
  "I did it!"
  "I've done it?"
  >>What have you done?<<
  "The time portation device.  I wanted to tell
someone right away.  I've done it!"
  >>Right.  Look, Jerry, if you've _really_ discovered
a way to travel through time then why didn't you
travel back in time and tell me yesterday evening
_before_ I went to bed?<<  Kenny hung up the phone.

  Jerry Michaels laughed.  Kenny was right.  With the
time portation device he could send messages back in
time.  He should also be able to receive signals from
the future.
  That was the one thing he hadn't quite figured out
how to do: when he tried peering into the near future,
say a few minutes into the future, he would get a
blurry image which he could eventually enhance into a
sharp image of something that had only just happened
but if he tried peering into the future only a few
days away the images would be completely
indecipherable, as if the future even a few days from
now was completely undetermined.
  Jerry knew that this was not how time worked.
Logically, if time travel was possible then the future
must already exist.  After all, if he could travel
back in time into the past then what would stop
someone from the future from travelling back in time
to the present?  But if the future hadn't happened yet
then where was this person coming from?
  Of course, he realised that if the future had
already happened then does that mean it couldn't be
changed?  It occured to him just then and there that
if the future was determined and unchangable then
being able to see into the future would not be very
useful anyway: you would know, for example, that your
business was going to fail but you still wouldn't be
able to prevent it from happening.
  Somehow he had to present his employers with a
future that was both visible and malleable but he was
starting to worry that this was indeed impossible.
But what about the past?  If he could travel back into
the past, couldn't he make changes to the past that
would then cause things to be different in the here
and now?  If he could prove that the time portation
device could be used this way then perhaps Mr. Bossman
would be satisfied.
  The key, Jerry decided, would be to go far enough
back in time so as to have maximum impact on the
future.  If he were to go back in time and tell
Jonathan Connery to invest in Gill Bate's Mirco$lave
start up then wouldn't Jonathan Connery have become
twice as rich and powerful, turning Conspiracy
Corporation into twice as big a company, dwarfing
rivals like Weinstein Enterprises and
  Jerry activated the machine.  He set the time for
the early eighties and the location as Jonathan
Connery's home in Net.Zealand!
  "Who are you?" Jonathan Connery asked, looking up
from his desk.
  "It doesn't matter who I am! What matters is that I
am from the future!"
  "Oh really!"
  "Mark my words, Jonathan Connery!  If you want
Conspiracy Corporation to succeed you will invest
everything in Micro$lave right away!"  Jerry
disappeared and reappeared in his present, anxious to
see how things had changed.
  He used the time portation device to scan the past
and see how he had changed things.  He noted with
curiosity that when a change is made to the past, it
takes a while for the changes to catch up with the
present: in this case, he saw Jonathan Connery
investing all his money in Micro$lave.  To do this, he
had to buy up a lot of Micro$lave stock.  However, in
order for these shares to be made available, he had to
convince some influencial investors to give up thier
shares.  Confidence in Micro$lave went through the
floor and Micro$lave went out of business before Gill
Bates even had a chance to put out his software
revolutionising the PC industry!  Jonathan Connery
was ruined!  If he didn't act quickly then Conspiracy
Corporation would cease to exist and he would be out
of a job!
  Jerry Michaels activated the machine again.  He
reset the time for the moment after he had disappeared
from in front of Jonathan Connery.
  "Um, I'm back."
  "Don't bother investing in Micro$lave.  In fact, be
careful with your high tech investments because the
high tech stocks are going to get over priced and a
lot of people are going to lose money because of
  "Okay, thanks."
  Jerry Michaels returned to the present and quickly
checked the machine to see what was different this
time.  Jonathan Connery had taken his advice to heart
but he had gone a bit too far!  When given the chance,
Jonathan Connery chose never to invest in new
technology and conspiracy corporation became a company
specialising in perfumes and de-ordorants.  If Jerry
Michaels didn't act quickly, he would still be out of
a job.
  Jerry decided to activate the machine one more time,
setting the time once more to the moment after he had
left the previous time.
  "Look, nevermind, okay?  I'm not an economist!  I'm
just an engineer!  Don't take any business advice from
me, okay?"
  "I'll see if I can't get someone from our time,
someone who knows what he's doing, to give you useful
advice."  Jerry returned to his present once more.

  "Okay," Ultimate Ninja said to his students.  "I
want you both to give me forty sit ups!"
  Penultimate Ninja and aLLiterative Lad laid down on
the Peril Room floor and did as their master asked.
  "One.  Two." Penultimate Ninja said.
  "... Four, Five..."
  "Three.  Four.  Five.  Six."
  "... Fourteen, Fifteen..."
  "Seven.  Eight.  Nine.  Ten."
  "... twenty-Four, twenty-Five..."
  "Eleven.  Twelve.  Thirteen.  Forteen."
  "... thirty-Four, thirty-Five..."
  "Fifteen.  Sixteen.  Seventeen.  Eighteen."
  "... Forty!  Finished!"
  "Nineteen.  Twenty.  Twenty-one.  Twenty-two."
  "Master, May i do More?"
  "Twenty-three.  Twenty-four.  Twenty-five.
  "Let's wait for Penultimate Ninja to finish."
  "Twenty-seven.  Twenty-eight.  Twenty-nine.
  "It's the polite thing to do."
  "Thirty-one.  Thirty-two.  Thirty-three."
  "That's it.  Keep going."
  "Thirty-four.  Thirty-five.  Thirty-six."
  "Just four more!"
  "Thirty-seven.  Thirty-eight.  Thirty-nine."
  "Come on!  One more!"
  "Alright!  You can both take a break!"
  "Yay!  Yippee!  Yahoo!"  aLLiterative Lad left to go
to the bathroom.
  Penultimate Ninja was panting heavily.  He shook his
head.  "How?  Where does he get all that energy?"
  Ultimate Ninja shrugged his shoulders.  "Perhaps
from eating fruit loops every morning."
  "Should I eat fruit loops for breakfast too?"
  "I wouldn't recommend it."
  Penultimate Ninja sighed.  "I'm failing you aren't
I?  I promised that I would try harder but..."
  "You are trying harder.  I can tell."
  "So why aren't I getting any better?"
  "These things take time.  Before, you were so
convinced of your own prowess that you hardly ever
listened to me, so confident were you of your natural
  "But now?"
  "Now with aLLiterative Lad here you have doubts.
You see a boy much younger than yourself who already
seems to have the skills necessary to become a ninja
and you wonder if you aren't already too old to
  "Am I?"
  "No.  You both have natural talent.  Perhaps you
should have started training with me at a younger age,
except I was always too busy leading the LNH.  The
fault would then lie with me, not you."
  "You don't really believe that though, do you?"
  "Not entirely, no.  But it is too late to change
what has already passed.  The important thing is that
you are putting more effort in now.  You are setting
goals for yourself, which is good, but..."
  "You should focus not on aLLiterative Lad's
abilities but on your own.  He may always be the more
skilled fighter.  You may simply need to accept that."
  "But then I will never be the Ultimate Ninja if
there is one more skilled than I!  There can only be
one Ultimate Ninja!"
  "True, but aLLiterative Lad may one day decide that
being a ninja is not for him.  When he gets older, he
may find he has other interests."
  "In the meantime, I don't want to see any more of
this petty jealousy!"
  Penultimate Ninja nodded.  "You're right.  I am
being silly."
  aLLiterative Lad came back from the bathroom.  "i
have Returned!  i am Rested and Ready!"
  "Alright.  Give me another forty sit ups!"

  "So that's the situation," Jerry Michaels said in
summary at the meeting with Mr. Bossman and Mr.
Underling.  "I recommend that we find someone with a
strong knowledge of the 80s economy who can provide
Jonathon Connelly with the information he needs.
Thank you."
  "Explain to us again why you couldn't help Mr.
Connery yourself?" Mr. Underling asked.
  "I already told you.  Every time I changed the past,
I only made things worse!"
  "Thank you," Mr. Bossman said.  "We will discuss
this matter in private.  You may go back to work.
We'll contact you if we've made any decision."
  Jerry Michael's left the board room and headed back
to his lab.  He was curious as to what his bosses were
saying about him.  Once in his lab, he activated the
time portation device and set the location to the
board room and time to a few minutes ago, specifically
the time right after he had left the room.
  >>This isn't working out,<< Mr. Underling said.
  >>No, it isn't,<< Mr. Bossman said.
  >>We invested a lot of money into this project and
we're not seeing results!<<
  >>I'm afraid I have to agree with you.<<
  >>I think we need to cut our losses.<<
  >>That may be for the best.<<
  >>We would have to get rid of Mr. Michaels.<<
  >>Fire him?  But he knows too much about how the
company works.<<
  >>I was thinking we might find a way to deal with
him permanently, so he wouldn't be able to work for
anybody else.<<
  Mr. Bossman nodded.  >>Alright.  Do it.<<
  Jerry Michael's eyes widdened.  He couldn't believe
what he was seeing and hearing.
  "They're... they're going to have me killed!"

NEXT: The Majority Report

Jerry Michaels, Kenny, Mr. Bossman, Mr. Underling,
Penultimate Ninja and aLLiterative Lad created by me.

Jonathan Connery and Conspiracy Corporation created by
Jessica Ihimaera-Smiler.

Weinstein Enterprises and the Time Portation Device
created by Jesse Willey.

Ultimate Ninja created by Raymond "wReam" Bingham


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