SW10: Summer of Discontent #1: 2014

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Sun Aug 14 15:13:59 PDT 2011

Commentator: Wyatt Ferguson.


11 April 2011:

I'd just gotten home from a rather long special mission for the U.S. 
Gov.  (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/britannia_beach.txt )  My 
friend Adu had agreed to escort me to Washington, DC.  We'd made it to 
the Vice-President's ceremonial office, across a street from the White 
House.  A few people were watching:  reporters and protestors as usual.

One of them threw something in front of my feet.  I tripped.

I was elsewhere!  Oh, shit, here I go again.


My brother Calvin was in an off-red car at a curb in front of me.  He 
cranked something below his driver-side window facing me, and it slowly 
came down.  Uh, crank a window down, in the modern age?  And for that 
matter, Calvin park at a curb opposing the flow of traffic?

He pointed at the back seat and said, "Get in!"  Uh, I did.

The streets were nearly deserted.  Calvin drove to the door of a 
shopping mall and said, "Go in!"  So I did.

My cousin Joel was inside.  He said, "Wyatt!  We're meeting this way." 
Uh, whatever.

He led me to the food court.  A bunch of guys were sitting there.  Joel 
said, "Wyatt, welcome to the Rebellion."

"Uh, rebellion?  Against what?"

"We're the only ones left against the crackdown."

Then someone up on the nearest balcony said, "The crackdown is here!" 
It was Charlie Sheen - in a tunic!  Gunmen in helmets and vests were all 
around him.

Joel said, "Sheen!"

I yelled at no one in particular, "What the hell is going on?"

Charlie Sheen answered.  "We're smashing the last bits of the rebellion. 
  *That's* what's going on."

"Whaat?  Oh, and nice tunic, Mr. Sheen."

"Thanks.  No one ever thinks to compliment me on that.  But it's 
*Vice-President* Sheen to you."

Joel shoved a piece of paper at me and said, "Wyatt!  It's up to you to 
save 2014!  Send our message to the past!"

"2014!?  *What* message?"

But Joel threw a hollow crystal globe at my feet.  Like what I'd tripped 
on before I came here!

... Heh.  I'd thought it was a magic thing.  But it was just a smoke 
screen.  Fine.  I ran for the nearest mall service door.  It led to a 
secret corridor to every exit door.  I popped out the far end of the 
mall.  It looked clear.

Instead of just running, I looked at the paper.  It had an address on 
it, and it said, "Calvin will tell you more.".

Fortunately it was a city I know:  Lafayette, Indiana.  I went to 
university in West Lafayette.  So I went to the address.  It was a small 
house.  The door was locked, but I found the spare key inside the screen 
door where I'd have hidden it.  My relatives know something about how I 

I found the kitchen.  It was stocked with chicken broth and Jell-O cups. 
  Survivalist fare.  Okay.  I ate my fill.  Then I found the bed.  I 
dragged the mattress to the basement, because it seemed like a better 
place to hide.  There I just waited for whatever, and organized my thoughts.

Obviously I'd left my world.  It looked like I'd merged with another 
body of mine, via something like Hyper-Body Hyper-Transfer Protocol.  My 
body looked older.  So I guess it really was 2014.

Now, who would send me here?  Probably Satanists.  They'd been awfully 
mad at me, just one day before at Britannia Beach.  And I'd *thrown 
away* all the power I could have used to defend myself from them.   The 
things I do just to be moral...

I read the paper again - front *and* back this time.  On the back it 
said, "Do Not Elect Donald Trump!"  Presumably as U.S. President.  Well, 
duh.  Any nation that would do that, would deserve its fate.

I thought about that old red car.  I guess it might be untraceable by 
2014 standards, hence its attraction.  But is surely looked a lot like 
Mom's old car.

Eventually I slept.


By the time I woke up, the sun was up again.  I wandered up to the 
kitchen.  Calvin was sleeping on the sofa in the living room.  In a 
police uniform.    Sounds like Calvin in any world.  He was a Gov agent 
where I came from... but then, so was I.

There was a knocking on the front door.  The door had a peephole.  It 
was Vesper the Djinn.  I've met Vesper before, and he's usually been bad 
news.  (http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2004/demonseed.htm )

Calvin heard it and said, "Wyatt!  Don't let him in!  Stop him while I 
get out the back door!"

"What?  *You* usually don't run from trouble.  That's *my* job."

"I have to!  The Rebellion depends on me!"

Then Vesper erupted in flame, with wings.

I yelled *again* at no one in particular, "What the hell is going on?"

Calvin said, "Wyatt!  He'll destroy us all!  Just delay him!"  Then he 
ran.  And he left me with a flaming demon at the front door.

But I knew that demon.  He had rules about entering or exiting 
structures.  He'd been devious toward me *many* times, but he'd never 
done me wrong.  So I said, "Vesper.  I will admit you if you promise to 
tell me what the hell is going on."

He said, "Wyatt.  I understand your oath.  I promise by Hell to tell you 

So I opened the door.  Vesper the Djinn came in.  He sat on the sofa, 
and said...  "Wyatt Ferguson.  I have made you a promise, but we will 
observe a ritual.  I will answer twenty questions, one by one.  Answers 
other than Yes or No count double.  Begin."

"Okay...  I gather this is 2014.  Is it a 2014 that's in my future?"

"It could be."

"Oh, you weasel-worder.  I bet you count that as two answers... Let's 
give you an easy one.  Was it truly Charlie Sheen at the mall?"

"Yes, it was."  3.

"Is he really Vice-President of the United States?"

"Yes, he is."  4.

"I suppose I don't have to ask how.  And I've heard who's President.  So 
are you here to destroy this Earth?"

"No..."  5.

"Make It Never Was?"

"Yes."  6.

"Have I met the people who called you to do this?"

"No, you haven't."  7.

"Fine.  I suppose I don't need that detail...  Will other Earths of the 
year 2014 survive?"

"Yes, they will."  8.

"If you don't remove this Earth, what will you do?"

"Stay here until it *is* removed or meets its fate."  10.

"If you *do* remove this Earth, what will you do?"

"My power to remove Earths will be gone." 12.

"Why do you wait to remove this Earth?"

"I require one observer from beyond."  14.

"Would that be me?"

"Yes, it would.  That is your last question."  15.

"The hell it is!  I count fifteen."

"Oh, but you also want to know who sent you here and why.  I counted 
those too."

"Good point.  So, who and why?"

"Black Mages.  Because you captured ultimate power in 2011 - and then 
you *sacrificed* it.  You have now done the most powerful sacrifice in 
over a millennium.  That is why I grant you the judgment power over this 

I *have* acted in judgment upon Earths.  As recently as two days ago. 
At Britannia Beach.  There was I taught a lesson in judgment.  So I 
said, "No!  I do *not* grant permission to remove Earths!  Not even if 
Charlie Sheen is Vice-President!"

"Even if that is *your* future?"

"So let it be.  If we let *that* happen, we deserve it."

"So let it be.  But now you are stranded here.  Do you wish to return to 
the past?"


"I could send you back.  What do you have to offer in return?"

"I still have one question.  As long as we're having sacrifices, I'll 
sacrifice *that*."

"Accepted.  I *thought* you might be needing that."


I was away.  I thought, wherever it was back in 2011, it must be better 
than 2013.

This time, I landed in a wood-paneled bedroom with two beds.  I 
recognized a piece of paper on the wall.  It was someone's face.  The 
only way I recognized it was, I'd drawn it.  It was supposed to be Danny 
Bonaduce.  Back when the Partridge Family was popular.  This was *my* 
old bedroom.  But it was bigger than I remembered.

Calvin came in.  Bigger than I, like always.  But he looked like a 
little boy.

Oh, shit.  I'd returned to the past.  It was even *my* past.  But it 
wasn't 2011.  It was 1971.  The part of the past that just sucked.

Oh, Vesper, you shit.

(to be continued - in http://www.eilertech.com/stories/2011/1971.txt !)


Author's Notes:

Oh, shit.

Boy, it's a good thing I wrote Britannia Beach as a moral story. 
Otherwise I *would* have wiped Vice-President Sheen out.  Now we'll just 
have to live with the possibility of a Trump-Sheen ticket as it arises.

I promise I'll be moving the main universe's story along soon.  But as 
often happens, Wyatt is going off at right angles to it.

Heh, I've once again written Wyatt into a corner.  I *think* he gets out 
of it eventually.  He always has so far.  If not, others will just have 
to carry on in his place.

(signed) Scott Eiler  8{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ ---------

Only their myths concerned peace and contentment, and that in such a
coercive, sullen package it was obvious that the Earth humans resented
the very idea.

- from "Passing" by Elaine Radford, Aboriginal SF, May/June 1987.

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