Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This is related to my current literary project

On Thursday September 18, 1969, it was time for lunch.

There was a White Castle restaurant on the corner of 4th street and Central Avenue in Minneapolis. It was built at the north end of the parking lot of a strip mall and was one of the prefabricated units in while porcelain and stainless steel that were still in operation on this day. Roughly half an hour after the local noon two men stepped inside. The first was in his early sixties and wore an off the rack grey suit. The second appeared to no older than 14 years old. He wore a custom tailored navy blue suit in the Nehru pattern. The suit jacket was worn loose and unbuttoned with a round silver and glass pin at about the position of the left lapel.

In New York he had been criticized for apparent Third-world style of his choice of attire by a certain little old lady from Leningrad.

“Miss Rand,” he responded with a clearly adult tone of voice, “In spaceflight a necktie is a useless mass and it floats up into the face in free-fall conditions, and I will die before I put on a bow tie.”

The apparently young man also had a short haircut that was more comfortable than fashionable and carried himself as if he were far older.

The apparently younger man spoke to his older companion.

“Do you want anything, John?”

The older man replied with a trace of an educated German accent.

“No sir, go ahead.”

The young man stepped up to the counter and spoke.

“I’ll have four cheeseburgers with catsup and no pickle, fries and a coke please.”

“Yes sir.” The clerk replied.

In the memory of the apparently younger man it had been nearly two centuries since he came to Earth and discovered the White Castle hamburger. He had been born in the primary habitat of Ganymede and had come to Earth for his college education. After the synthetic food he grew up with even the basic slider was a joy to consume.

Even though it was theoretically impossible he and his companions had traveled backwards in time. No one on the crew and science staff aboard the Eagle had any idea how it happened. But now that Evelyn Boatman and his crew were back in 1969 they would have to live with it.

As they waited for the order to come up two Minneapolis Police officers wearing their standard uniform hats entered the restaurant. To John they reminded him of the Secret State Police of the Reich, what was commonly known in his native Germany as the Gestapo. To Boatman they brought forth memories of the stone age sentient reptilian natives of Eden, one of the two habitable planets of the Alpha Centauri system. Vermin who were nearly exterminated by the second wave of Human colonists.

Boatman consciously suppressed the urge to bring out the pistol concealed under his suit jacket.

The senior of the two cops spotted Boatman and spoke.

“Hey kid, why aren’t you in school?”

Boatman turned and calmly replied to the first cop with a clearly adult tone of voice.

“I am not a student.”

John felt it was time for him to speak up to the uniformed thugs.

“Gentlemen, we’re with NASA.”

The second cop turned towards John and growled.

“Shut up!”

The first cop didn’t understand what he saw. What he had identified as the mere teenage boy standing before him should have descended into a visible state of fear. Instead the boy had calmly assumed the position of adult authority.

And even though the boy had a military grade haircut he was still dressed in what the cop had identified as a hippy suit. That made the boy someone he could beat to a pulp without an adverse consequence.

The cop stepped forward and reached to grab the boy with his right hand. He only got off two words before there was a response.

“Listen punk...”

As the cop’s right hand touched the left side on his suit jacket Boatman brought his own right hand down on top of that of the cop. With his left hand he seized the cop’s elbow, spun right with the entire force of his body and pushed forward on the elbow. He could hear the elbow snap. Then with the right hand open he struck the cop with the palm up to the chin of the cop. Boatman could hear the neck of the cop snap.

Boatman then reached back under his jacket drew his pistol and aimed it at the head of the second cop.

The second cop didn’t recognize the weapon as a currently manufactured handgun. He sneered with full rage.

“Use a real gun, punk!”

Boatman pulled the trigger. There was no report of a gunpowder weapon. Only a crack of a projectile moving at slightly above the speed of sound combined with the impact of the projectile upon the head of the thug.

The weapon was manufactured on Zion, the second world colonized in the Alpha Centauri system. It used magnetic force to propel a bullet made of a 2 centimeter core of depleted uranium wrapped in a centimeter sheath of mild steel at slightly above the speed of sound.

The second cop dropped to the floor.

Evelyn Boatman looked up at his companion and spoke.

“Well, that was rude.”

Doctor Johannes Linden reverted to the language of his homeland.

Ja.”

Boatman then looked over to the manager and staff of the White Castle.

“Sorry about the mess,” he said, “I guess we’ll have to skip lunch.”

He then turned back to his companion and spoke.

“Let’s go.”

As then walked back to the rented car Boatman spoke again.

“If I recall correctly there is a Federal building on Third Avenue in downtown, there should be a FBI office there.”

When Central Avenue crossed the Mississippi River it became Third Avenue South. They should find sanctuary from the local cops at the FBI office.

As John pulled the car out of the shopping center’s parking lot Boatman reached into a coat pocket and pulled out a device. He needed to make a call.

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