Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another Step Back

Another alternate history story:

Wednesday September 17, 1975
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The new student looked around the second floor classroom before he sat down at an empty desk. For most of the school day the room would be used for science classes at 7th grade level. But at this very moment in the morning it was the home room for a group of 9th grade students at the Sheridan Junior High School in Northeast Minneapolis. The fact was that he and the crew of the Falcon should not be stuck back in the late 20th Century. How they came to be here at this moment was a story in itself. And this was a story that could not be told, at least to any civilian presently on the ground.

The other students in the room stared at him as if he were an alien from another planet. He could only ignore them--so he did.

The home room teacher then stood up and spoke.

"Today we have a new student," he said, "Evelyn Boatman."

Boatman stood up. At this point he only appeared to be a few months past 14 years standard years old. In his haircut and attire he was very conservatively dressed compared to the other boys at the time. The hair was cut within the standards for the United States Air Force or of the NASA Astronaut Corps. His suit was also very conservative compared to what the other boys were wearing in the classroom. For today he chose to wear a dark blue Nehru pattern suit with a plain white shirt.

"Thank you, sir." He replied.

He made no effort to hide the fact that his voice was that of a man with two centuries of life experience. The concept of Recorporation, the technological replication of Reincarnation, was effectively unknown to the common American culture at this time. And frankly he had a difficult time explaining it to President Ford at their initial meeting at Edwards Air Force Base upon their arrival on the Earth.

Perhaps Ford was actually the mental blank slate that most of the historians who covered the period made him out to be.

The teacher spoke again.

"Could you tell us where you are from?"

Boatman had expected this question and he wasn't at all happy to answer it.

"I really couldn't." he replied, "It would be completely beyond belief and for all practical purposes I may as well be from another planet."

The original incarnation of Evelyn Boatman was born on the Jovian satellite of Ganymede in the Standard Year 2112 of the original timeline. But to actually say so would blow his cover as a mere student in an American junior high school.

And--of course--no one on the ground here and now would believe him as well.

Evelyn then sat down. The home room teacher was left speechless for a moment before moving onto the next item of classroom business.

Even though the home room teacher was speaking he was not the center of attention in the room. Boatman could clearly see that the students were now looking at him as if he were in actual fact an alien from another planet.

So what?

But there was one girl who caught his attention with blond hair and blue eyes. In his opinion if she wasn't dressed and made up like a Hennepin Avenue hooker she would actually be pretty.

But then her name suddenly came into his mind like the blow to the head inflicted by John Cleese in the Fish Slapping Dance.

Stephanie Cook.

The mental image that came with the name was not that of the tarted up teenage girl, but of a very conservative white haired matron proudly standing by her very successful son. On the original timeline Stephanie Cook had become pregnant at the age of 14. The event had completely wrecked the original plans for her life. As a result of the pregnancy she dropped the nonsense she had practiced and cleaned up her life. And once her son was born she dedicated herself to raising him to be a fully intelligent and productive man.

On the original timeline John Cook would become the founder of Cook Industries. In the initial generation the firm would build the original chain of solar power satellites that orbited and powered the Earth. By the early 22nd Century the firm, which was still family owned, would be mining the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn for Helium-3 as fuel for fusion reactors.

And John's descendants in the 22nd Century were Ed and Dave Cook, who were the best friends of Boatman's original incarnation. They would personally fund the fleet of sublight starships that would take Humans to Alpha Centauri.

The fact that Stephanie Cook would be present was not a factor in Boatman's decision to attend this institution. There were two other students in attendance at Sheridan Junior High. And those students would become two of the founders of the political entity that emerged from the wreckage of the United States after The Reformation and The Final War.

The Federation was the polity that would politically unite and rebuild the Earth. It would then go on to colonize Mars along with the rest of the Solar System.

The fact was that having accepted the notion of hiding in plain sight Boatman could have chosen any place in the United States to conceal himself from hostile prying minds. But it was in this school that the history of Humanity was being made. And he wanted to be certain that it would still be made right.

Once the daily business was completed the students were released to go to their first class of the morning. As he stepped out of the classroom into the hall Boatman heard a girl speak to him.

"Uh, Evelyn?"

He turned around, it was Stephanie.

"Yes?" He said.

"I was wondering if we could..."

"I'm sorry Miss," he said politely, "but I didn't get your name."

She was a bit stunned. But she did respond.

"Stephanie...Stephanie Cook."

He nodded before replying, and then made no effort to hide the fact that his voice was that of an adult guardian speaking to a child.

"Stephanie, if you want to get together later on there is something you will need to understand--and I don't know how to put this in a nice way--but you look like a common prostitute."

She was shocked.


"I'm sorry to have to say this, but while you may be trying to appear mature you are in fact strongly resembling a Hennepin Avenue hooker, or worse, one of those working down on Lake Street."

Before moving in Boatman had done his research on the areas of the city to be avoided.

Stephanie was beginning to appear deflated but Boatman continued.

"Stephanie, you are a naturally beautiful young woman and you simply don't need to tart up. The boys who are impressed by it are losers and simply not worth the pain you will experience with them. Just be yourself, then the good men--the truly intelligent young men--will naturally come to you."

Stephanie then broke the deflation of her face with a slight smile.

"Stephanie, there is much more that I can say on this, but it will have to wait until later, okay?"


With that it was time for the first class of the new day.

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