Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Diary 2

There was a saying that originated on the original timeline: If you want something done right, you must do it yourself.

Or something like that.

For Judith and I this was something of a working honeymoon.  Our first stop was London to negotiate directly with several departments of the Imperial Government.  An advantage of have several working spacecraft is that we could fly directly to the Imperial capital instead of having to take the boat. Another advantage was that as long as the spacecraft were still functioning we could place satellites in orbit.

For the Royal Navy we had built three communications satellites which we placed equidistantly in geosynchronous orbit.  Given the still primitive state of technology, even with our assistance, they were massive structures using redundant vacuum tubes systems and powered by a thorium based thermoisotope generator. This was somewhat in line with Arthur C. Clarke’s original paper on the concept in the original 1945 paper.  Although he did envision a fully manned space station where the crew would rebuild and replace the tubes as needed.

Of course we had to also built the ground stations and the communications suites for the RN task force flagships.  Although we strongly suggested redundancy with commo suites installed in all capital ships and cruisers, the Navy brass and their pet politicians wanted to keep costs down.

Obviously I don’t agree nor does Mr. Churchill.  It may take actual operational experience to persuade them to change their alleged minds.

As part of the trip we made a stop in Geneva, Switzerland.  We both traveled on British diplomatic passports.  If anyone asked about our odd accents our answer was usually to say we’re from Canada.  Believe it or not some Europeans are not aware that Canada exists.

We ended up at the Grand Hotel.  It was nothing like the place described in the song by Deep Purple.  But then few people at the present time have ever heard the song.

In the morning I met with the advance team.  Their mission was to keep a watch on a certain Russian emigre.  One who escaped the alleged net for revolutionaries by the Imperial Russian government.  Even though we did provide a warning based on the history recorded on the shipboard database the downtime Russians were apparently loathe to take advice from any atheist.  Even a time traveling atheist from the future.

Their minister in London actually acted as if we were the problem.   As a result the tree worst Bolsheviks escaped the net when it was finally cast.

If you want something done right, do it yourself.

According to the advance team the subject would be sitting on a park bunch at a certain time of the day.  I was there that I would meet him.

I was dressed in normal downtime attire for a tourist. When I walked up to him.  I then spoke.

“Tovarish Lenin?”

He looked up and replied.


It was at this point that I reached for the pistol in the holster under the left shoulder.  I brought the sights into line on his forehead and pulled the trigger.

The Gauss Pistol does not have the report of a normal firearm.  There was a supersonic crack as the round traversed the space to his head. 

A blood colored hole appeared on his forehead.  He then fell forward.  Lenin was dead.

I immediately replaced the weapon in its holster and walked away. The four millimeter pistol round was irreplaceable.  But given the immense crimes he would have brought about without our intervention it was worth it.

We did design a silenced weapon that used downtime technology.  A single shot pistol with an integral silencer.  But I didn’t want the risk of carrying the scent of cordite with me after performing the action.

Trotsky and Stalin remained on the list.  Yes, there was a discussion about eliminating Hitler.  But if we can prevent the coming world war this may prevent his rise to power.

Or it may not.  We have established surveillance on him.

Monday, May 12, 2014

There Is Judith

This an alternate history piece where the point of departure is the appearance of a starship from the future. The accidental time travelers have no way to return home and thus must make do in the time they are in.

The basis of this piece was a dream I had featuring a the girl and in some industrial site.

There is Judith.

Judith is young woman with short blonde hair who’s in charge of the power plant at Port Stanley.  The plant has a thorium pebble core reactor and provides steam for running the generators and in turn for heating the town.  And we need the generators on the ground.  Even though we do test runs on the fusion power plant on the Endeavor and even take her up for a flight on occasion, we are dependent on ground power most of the time.

Judith was a girl we found in an American orphanage when we arrived on Earth about fourteen years ago.  She quickly  apprenticed with our engineering crew as they were building the power station for Port Stanley.  There were some idiots who objected to her being on the crew.  They were very quickly placed on the next boat back to London.  Port Stanley is our home now and we do everything our way.

Of course when the American authorities found out about how we did things our way they stopped allowing us to recruit people from their orphanages.  Any American who wants to join us has to go to our London office as an adult and sign up there.  And we found that adults are not as able to adapt to our way of life as orphan children are.  The British authorities do object to our ways but still allow us to recruit from their orphanages.  A deal is a deal. 

There are gentlemen who come to Port Stanley to learn about our technology -- or at least the tech that we allow the downtime people to learn.  Judith is now one of the instructors on nuclear fission technology.  But on occasion there is a moron who objects to receiving instruction from a woman.  We usually put his ass back on the boat to London.

By present Terrestrial standards Judith is considered to be a loose woman.  She begins by keeping her hair is a comfortable short style.  On duty at the power station she wears working men’s clothes with a white lab coat.  Off duty she dresses as a normal young Freyan woman.  Apart from her clearly American accent she is effectively indistinguishable from the rest of us.

Her attitude towards sexuality is effectively indistinguishable too.

We were both in attendance at an anniversary party for our landfall and I  was clearly stunned when she came onto me.

“Are you clean?”  She asked me.

I was initially dumbfounded.

“What?”  I replied.

She repeated the question with an explanation.

“Are you clean?  Do you have one of those awful sexually transmitted diseases the ship’s medics are always concerned about?”

Yes, of course I’m clean.”  I said.  “I came to Earth on the Endeavor, remember?”

Yes,” she said, “I just wanted to be sure.”

I nodded.

“I don’t blame you.”  I said.  “Are you coming on to me?”

“Yes, you don’t mind, do you?”

“Not at all.”  I replied.

Yes, we got it on that night.  And we’ve been in a standing relationship since.

Live with it.