Sunday, November 16, 2014

Step Back - Part 35

Friday October 17, 1969

Evelyn Boatman was sitting back at the work station in his quarters and had just finished updating the report on the visit of the Soviet delegation when there was an old fashioned knock on his cabin door.

“Come in!” He shouted.

The door opened and Judith Grant stepped in. As a proper gentleman Evelyn stood up.

“Is there a problem?” He said.

“I’m not sure,” she replied, “maybe.”

Evelyn made the gesture to Judith to take a seat near the work station in his cabin. Once they were seated he then asked the next question.

“So what happened?”

“I just finished reading Time Enough For Love by Robert Heinlein.”

Oh bugger. He thought. Of course when jumping to a conclusion I can be wrong.

“And?” He said.

“And I read the part of it titled The Tale Of The Adopted Daughter.”

He nodded.

Of course being right isn’t always a good thing, either.
He thought.

“And what conclusion did you come to?”

“That I may have a problem.” She said.

Evelyn nodded and then asked the next question.

“Which is?”

“I want to be with you.” She said. “I want to marry you and live with you.”

He thought for a moment before responding.

“Apart from the issue of maturity I really can’t think of a reason to say no.”

She blinked. He continued his answer.

“Obviously no rational man will take advantage of a child, but once you’ve hit adulthood there shouldn’t be a problem. Do you understand?

“I think I do.” Judith replied. “I basically have to grow up?”

“On the psychological level, yes.” He said.

She nodded and then her face brightened.

“Yes.” She said.

“Was there anything else?” Evelyn asked.

“Um, no.” She said.

With the end of the discussion Judith would return to her cabin and Evelyn went directly to see Alice about the issue.

At Baikonur both Gorbachev and Leonov would go through a long debriefing on the mission. More than once the KGB Colonel had to suggest to a party member sitting in on the session that he should take a break. Three times he had to make the suggestion to a member more than once.

When Gorbachev mentioned that Boatman had dismissed Lenin as a psychopath the senior party member lit up and had to be physically removed from the room.

With the party man removed the Colonel shook his head.

“And how are we to do our jobs?” He said. “Our mission is to discover and record the facts but we are not to actually pass them on to our superiors?. And Boatman is not unique in this respect, when Lenin’s behavior is described to someone in the medical field without mentioning any clue as to his identity the doctor always comes to the conclusion that he is a psychopath. Every single time!”

Gorbachev was completely speechless at this point.

Aboard the Eagle Evelyn and Alice were having a discussion.

“So basically,” said Alice, “you just told her to grow up?”


“And that’s all? No other grounds for rejection?”

“Why should there be?’

Alice was struck speechless.

Evelyn continued.

“Judith has essentially embraced reason and apart from the maturity issue why should I reject her? And in the intervening time she could find someone else to marry.”

“Not bloody likely.” Alice replied. “She won’t be looking for someone else, and neither will you. Face it Dad, you have this thing about diving in and solving problems, and this one just screamed and leaped at you.”

Evelyn knew that was an old science fiction metaphor but he couldn’t recall from what work.

Alice now continued.

“I remember the arrival of the Integral. And I remember how you and mom responded when I...”

Alice couldn’t continue, Evelyn spoke up.

“When you had no idea how to live a real human life and assumed that nothing would have changed once you were on the ground at Eden. The first lecture to correct that error was a long one.”

“The whole process of correcting the damage was a long one.” Alice replied. “You and Mom had a lot of work to do on it.”

Evelyn could only nod in response.

“So what now?” He said.

“Well, it’s a bit early to send out the wedding invitations.” Alice replied.

“Yes, but it shouldn’t be too much trouble, we’ll be inviting Rand, the Heinleins, the Azimovs, Arthur Clarke and whoever he’s partnered with...”

“Dad, this will be the biggest social event of the century.”

“No it won’t, this will not be major event like a royal wedding.”

“No, I suppose not.” Said Alice.

And then she had another thought.

“And speaking of an actual royal wedding, can we warn Diana Spencer about what happened to her counterpart on the original timeline?”

“Sure, she clearly doesn’t deserve to be hooked up with that inbred moron the Prince of Wales.” Said Evelyn. “I wrote the letter warning LRH about that dickhead Miscavage, and you can write the letter to Diana about that dickhead Prince Charles and his mistress, what was her name?”

“Camilla. Yes I think it was Camilla.” Said Alice. “Okay, I’ll do that.”

It was time for lunch.

The Boatman’s had stepped right up behind Judith Grant in the mess line. And then Evelyn had a thought.

And no, it didn’t hurt.

He spoke to her.



Evelyn stepped up, took her in his arms, and kissed her. It was a deep and very adult kiss. And Judith felt like she was melting in his arms.

And when he stopped he spoke again.

“The answer is yes, I wanted to be clear on that.”

Suddenly everyone on the mess deck stood up and applauded. Edit/Delete Message

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