Like Folding An Accordian
My assumptions were correct. As I slide through dimensions, even being out of phase, they fold like an accordian. My very presence changes that dimension, that possibility, making it into a totally different scenario than what it would be by nature. Thus, I save what I can and am sucked endlessly on through dimensions-one at a time- closing possibilities as I go.
This round, I erase any choice for those in power. In the process, I collect what is mine-money, inventions, writings, memories, etc.-before moving on. In some ways, I even combine with my alternate self to combine knowledge. It is a painful process, especially being out of phase, but it is worth it.
I am the collector. I am the preventative measure. I have a mission to complete. One day is one hour in another dimension, just as one hour is a mere minute and a minute is a second. Time is non-confining. Meaningless. Without hold.
I do not age. I do not suffer injuries. I just continue to fold these possibilities as I go. Slowly. Or quickly, it is hard to tell exactly, I cut off the future of those who have set out to destroy the country. By this, I am not meaning that I am killing them, perse, just that I am erasing their future careers as leaders. After all, I am bringing them down in each dimension first, thus erasing the possibilities of that ‘future’ ever happening.
Who knows how many times this will have to be done, personally. I hope only once. All I know is that this mechanism that keeps me out of phase is a godsend. I’m glad that I designed it. It’s a modern scientific and technological marvel.
I have lost count on how much money I now possess. It’s not really important. It isn’t really the money I am after. I am after technology, medical advances, and so on. I am also closing down the continuance of a certain leader’s future in politics…along with that of his cronies.
The money, tech plans, scientific data, unwritten works, and medical data are all sent immediately back to my point of origin. The digital data goes directly to the lab, the money to the vault at the lab. Of course, the money being sent doesn’t actually exist on the books or in official record. Even though it is legal tender, it is unofficial. As far as the government is concerned, nothing I bring back exists.
This was the agreement between myself and the operatives who approached me in the beginning. And what I bring back in the form of science and technology, medical items included, goes immediately into my stockpile of patents and trademarks. No one can touch them. Ever. I have been granted indefinite owner status until all catch up to me…which may take centuries at this rate.
So far, it has all been a blur. Sort of like being a corporate spy on a mission to steal all the plans for a secret weapon…but I’m not. I am the secret weapon. And no one knows that I am here. Weapons. Armor. Biotechnology.
This was what I was born to do. I have the intelligence of every me I have phased with. And every dimension has collapsed into nothing, possibly creating a new one that has nothing to do with what I left behind. The first multitude of dimensions were unremarkable. But even half of infinite is still infinite.
By unremarkable, I mean that there was no war. No visible war, anyway. It wouldn’t matter now anyway. My entry disturbs the natural flow, and my exit closes the possibility so that it is no longer possible.
And perhaps the world is better off because of what I am doing. Or I could be making it worse. All I know is that whatever is going to happen when I return to my dimension will not be what is about to happen. Especially if I can prevent war. And put an end to an evil.
Of course, I have an affinity for sharp weapons so I also send back intriguing swords and knives I run across. And bows with arrows. Especially unique crossbows. And pole arms.
I’ll get hours of fun when I return home. When I left, the second and third laboratories were being constructed out in the country. The expansion was needed due to the need for more space with the hangar and the S.A.M. development. The teams working on those projects being moved to the new facilities will live at those facilities.
At the same time, time and dimensional travel will remain at the original lab. As will phasic research. And the research into the effects my little trips are having. I am hoping that I am only having a positive impact with my dimensional excursions.
Cloning has been added to the genetics lab experiments. Call it a curiosity of mine. I don’t intend to make it widely available. Just a limited basis for limited use.
I have crossed the threshold. The infinitely boring dimensions are behind me. Perhaps new ones are opening to fill the void. In each dimension, I have been successful in bringing the guilty down without much problem. This time may be different.
I have entered a dimension a war. I don’t recognize where I am. The town is gone. A crater is the only evidence that there was ever anything here. But i have found the bunker that is what is left of the lab.
Iowa has been devastated. Especially if they were trying to come after me. But there are still people here. Freedom fighters. Their leader is a tall, black-haired, Hispanic woman with green eyes.
I cause a crash of thunder, bringing a few fighters to investigate.
“John?” a woman inquires, “is that you? But you’re dead! How…?”
“It’s a long story,” I reply.
“Where’s your armor?” She asks.
“My armor?” I inquire, confused.
“Yes,” she replies, “when you disappeared, you wore a special armor we created for you.”
“Then,” I respond, the realization donning on me, “I am dead in this dimension.”
“That is what was reported,” she states, “you took a force out and was taken captive. That’s what the state media claimed.”
“The state media,” I shake my head, “propaganda. We were on this path before I left. I set out to stop it.”
“And the ‘you’ from here?” She inquires.
“He is either dead or in hiding,” I respond, “if I know me.”
“Yup,” she smiles, “sounds like my John.”
“Are we an item?” I ask.
“Yes,” she giggles, “though we aren’t married.”
“And your name?” I pry.
“Lieutenant Miranda Lopez ,” she replies, “I came to you as a homeless woman in need of a cure. You gave me my life and my health back.” She holds up her biocybernetic arms, both armored. “And these.”
“Looks like my work,” I smile, “were the arms given before or after this all started?” I motion to the devastation around us.
“After,” she avers, “when I was wounded in the first battles. I lost both arms…and nearly lost my life.” She sees my wary look. “Don’t worry, they’re fleshy beneath the armor. The armor comes off.”
Her comlink erupts into a mass of voices. She pauses long enough to answer.
“Armada here,” she replies, “What’s going on?”
“We’re under attack,” comes the response.
“Your coordinates?” She inquires.
“Sector seven,” comes the answer.
“Alright,” she responds, “I’ll send reinforcements your way. Hold tight.”
She motions for her companions to go and they do as she motions. They head back the way they came from while she remains with me.
“If you can help me find the me you know, I can retrieve his mind before anyone is able to break him,” I state, “I can use the phasic technology I currently have to become him long enough to gain his knowledge. It will destroy him when I do, but it will also save him.” I look at her. “Do you trust me?”
“Yes,” she nods, her voice nearly cracking, “and if you can do this, I will go anywhere with you…as long as you promise to take the rest of the rebels with you.”
“I promise,” I state, serious, “besides. I need a top notch security team and your team looks like the best.”
“We are, John,” she nods, “you taught us.”
“Then, buckle up,” I return, “we’re going hunting.”
“But, first,” she responds, “we need to pick up your armor and a fresh team.”
“To hell with a small team,” I look into her eyes, “let’s take everyone we can. We’ll pick up the rest when we can.”
We turn and leave the point of entry behind. Into the bunker we head, seeking the pieces that will help us in our mission. My armor. The remaining rebel army. And a possible transport.
“John is back with us,” she states to the group that has assembled, “with new technology. And weapons.” She looks around the room. “ while I understand that he has been reported as being captured, he has returned to us and agreed to help us find our compatriots who are MIA.
“The explanation on how he got here is too lengthy and…unbelievable…to go through at this time, so just trust him. He is our last best hope at defeating the enemy.”
“How do we know he can be trusteed?” one of the group inquires.
“Simple,” she responds, “he isn’t a plant.”
“I am not exactly the John who was captured,” I interject, “and I cannot explain how I got here. Suffice it to say, I did not originate here. I have not witnessed any of this war, but I have seen how the country gets to this point. I am here to prevent this from happening.”
“So you from the past?” another operative asks.
“Has no one explained to this guy that it is impossible to travel forward through time?” I ask, a smile playing across my face. I turn my eyes back to the operative. “I am what most would call a jumper.”
An audible gasp floods the room. That means everyone here knows what a jumper is. And they know that it ain’t someone who jumps from bridges. They know what it means to be a dimensional jumper.
“So what’s next?” the first soldier asks.
“First we free the me that you know,” I respond, “and his team. After that, we take the capitol by surprise and remove that asshole from power. And since he believes that he has me, he won’t expect me to lead you.”
A cheer rises from the group. They know we’re a surprise package. They know that no one knows we’re coming. They know that the capitol and its supporters believe me to be dead.
This gives us a big element of surprise. Until I see one rebel trying to slip away.
“We have a traitor in our midst,” I whisper to Miranda, “and they believe that I didn’t see.”
“I see that,” she whispers back, then nods to the guards in back who follow the traitor out of the room, “they’ll be dealt with soon enough.”
The traitor has been caught just short of their destination, along with a small group of dissidents. Their destination, the com room. Their purpose, to give the capitol a head’s up. It is way too apparent without explanations.
“What were you going to do?” Miranda inquires.
“That’s none of your business,” the traitor retorts, “and you can’t make me tell you.”
“But I can,” I remark, walking over to a table and pulling the two knives from my belt that I heisted from the last dimension, “and I can show you how I made Putin talk where I am from. And I guarantee you that you will tell me exactly what I want.”
“You don’t scare me,” he snaps back.
“Bring him over,” I command, looking at the guards who hold him, “ and place his hand on the table. And bring the others in his group so they can see what is in store for them if they do not cooperate.”
They do as I command. The small group is herded around the table so they can see what I am about to do.
“Hey,” he objects, “what d’ya think yer doin’?”
“Make sure you keep his hand very still,” I command his handlers, “with his fingers out straight.”
“What is this?” he asks, worried, as they obey the command.
“This is my version of twenty questions,” I state, looking at him, “for every wrong answer, you lose a piece of a finger. At the knuckle.”
“You can’t do this to me,” he sputters, “I am protected by the law!”
“I do not operate under the sham laws of any usurper,” I glare at him, “I operate outside your reality. Nor do I take orders from you.”
“Shit,” one of his fellows utter as I move the knife above his friend’s pinky.
“Now,” I begin, poised, “who turned you?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he replies, trying to act unaffected by my knife’s close proximity to his pinky.
“Wrong answer,” I state, bringing the blade down, cutting the tip of his pinky off, “try again.”
“Jack Stetters,” he screams, in pain.
“Good,” I smile, “and what was your mission?”
“Don’t tell ‘im, Mac,” one of his co-conspirators try to warn.
“To weaken the rebellion,” he gasps, “enough so it could be defeated. Destroy morale. Kill key members. Lead them into traps. Whatever it took.”
“Was that what you did with the other me?” I press.
“Yes,” he responds, “your team was all part of the unit I lead. I convinced you to use them, knowing you would be captured. They, on the other hand, returned to service as government soldiers.”
“Are you really sure of that?” I smile.
“Yes, why?” he inquires.
“Because I know the asshole who sits in Washington,” my smile widens to a grin, “and he isn’t one to keep promises. Not even to those who serve his needs. Your men are probably dead. Or in the same prison as me.” I turn to Miranda. “Do we have any drone fighters that don’t have ejection capabilities or transports that we can sacrifice?”
“Yes,” she answers, “but why?”
“We’re going to have a decoy,” I chuckle, “can we program it and shut down communications capabilities?”
“Yes,” she smiles, starting to realize what I am about to do, “I’ll have Destroyer prep it.”
“You,” I state, turning back to the prisoner, “are going to go ahead and place a report to your superiors in DC. You’re going to tell them that there is a single transport headed their direction from the west.”
“Oh, God,” he sighs, terrified by the thought that has just entered his head. He now realizes that he and his men are the decoy.
We march them down to the comroom. He delivers the message just as I ordered it. Destroyer has already left to prep the transport. We head the same direction to secure the conspirators in the transport and seal them inside.
After sending the decoy, we head south to pick up our active units. Our own transports will head in a northward direction. While the capitol is watching the single transport from the west, we will sneak in under their radar, an armada of transports. On the way, I am being brought up to speed on everything by Miranda.
We are in my private quarters, laying on a bunk. Naked. I am getting used to seeing her four arms without armor. It’s sort of alien. Yet natural.
“Explain to me again,” I begin, “how I ever decided to give you four arms.”
“I agreed to be a test subject. I had just been stripped of my own arms,” she giggles, “and you pondered the possibilities of altering and augmenting soldiers. I was your 6’4” blank slate that you believed you could make into Khali or one of the other Hindu goddesses. Or, maybe, one of several Native goddesses. And to me, four arms sounded better than two.”
“Did I ever have a wife?” I query.
“Yes,” she replies, “you had two. You also had a girlfriend who died before y’all could marry back in early 2017…when you first began the labs. Then the war came in December and you threw yourself into leading the rebellion. I came into your life in January and my alteration happened in July. We’ve been an item since February.”
“I did amazing work. Seamless,” I state quietly, sitting up and leaning over her, “I can see why I fell for you. You are totally amazing. Beautiful.”
My right hand runs down her abdomen to her inner thigh. She lets out a quivering sigh. I kiss her on the lips. My left hand moves to her breast. She is turned on. She rolls on top of me.
“My turn,” she smiles and I feel her seeking me, then pulling me in, “and after this, I will continue to bring you up on current events.
Moments later, we’ve landed outside what is left of New Orleans. God, what a waste. This used to be the most liberal of cities. One of two sin cities.
Both Miranda and I have dressed and are getting ready to brief those who have joined us. I look at her.
“How many do we have?” I ask.
“Close to two million strong,” she replies.
“Just in this group?”
“Yes,” she looks at me, “we have an army that is about twenty four million strong total. The complete voter base that was stripped of their victory the last election cycle.”
“Damn!” I breathe. You were able to organize them. Bring them together. Train them. But he commandeered the nation’s military. Executed any who did not pledge their loyalty. Imprisoned his political enemies. Then set about bombing the cities closest to the capitol.
“When he was done pushing those who revolted back to the Midwest, he began bombing there as well…hoping to kill you in the process. But you had thought of everything where your labs were concerned. They were well hidden and extremely well armored. Even the one where you appeared is extremely well armored.
“At least the bunker is. The building, as you saw, was destroyed. But by then, you had already moved all teams underground. And there they remain, making your armor and our collective weapons.”
“And the traitors we discovered?” I smile grimly.
“We suspected an infiltration, but could not pin down who was sending the coded messages,” she replies, “ until you spotted Triple Threat trying to leave the briefing. I, then, checked to see who else was missing.” She looks at me. “Did you have to cut his pinky off?”
“I learned early on,” I respond, looking over at her, “in my own dimension, that one has to be just as cruel and hardened as their opponents. It’s part of learning how to stay alive in an abusive childhood home and defending oneself against a sister who would love to kill you.” I turn away. “But to answer your question, no. It wasn’t necessary, but it got my point across. And before you ask, no. I didn’t do that to Putin. I was bluffing with that.”
“You’re damn good at bluffing,” she admits, “but you’re good at everything you do.”
“Thanks,” I respond, unable to restrain the smirk that appears, “so are you.”
She blushes. I smile.
“So what now?” she asks, changing the subject.
“Now, we call the rest of our forces together and make a three prong attack,” I respond, “and then, we create a phasic dampener for the ships.” I recheck my thoughts and change my mind about the order of what I have just said. “On second thought, let me rephrase that. We need to go back to base and install the phasic dampeners, then make a three-prong attack.” I look at her. “Are you ready?”
“I was born ready,” she grins, “let’s do this.”
“Give the order,” I smile back at her, “we regroup at the labs and rearm.”
“Saddle up, boys,” she orders into her comlink, “let’s head out and regroup. This is for everyone. Even those to the west. Head to main base.”
We both realize that the regroup will be seen as a retreat. But I mean to give the capitol the impression that we are doing just that. I want them to have a false sense of security and relax defenses just enough to allow us to slip in after the ships are outfitted with the phasic dampeners. I also want to bring the science teams aboard and take them along as we abandon this realm.
My jaw drops when I see the immense size of our armada. It is hard to imagine that several million soldiers call these ships home now. Several million very specialized and genetically altered or physically altered soldiers. And each ship has a main commander with at least four lieutenant commanders. Maybe more. Many were state National Guardsmen, the rest were civilians who joined the movement.
“How many transports does the capitol have?” I ask Miranda.
‘Like this?” she inquires.
“Yes,” I respond.
“None,” she replies, “these were designed by you.”
“Did I ever get anywhere on the S.A.M. project?” I query.
“You mean Project Exodus?” She returns.
“Yes,” I nod.
“No,” she looks at me with sad eyes, “because this happened too quickly. You barely had time to begin Project Genesis so that you could create a better, more efficient altered army. You replaced Project Exodus with Project Armament and Project Defense. After that, the scientific teams were totally engaged in creating our next weapons in hopes that we would be victorious.”
“Our mission is to win this time,” I respond, “once the dampeners are put into place, there is no turning back. Our first target is the capitol’s prison. Our first mission is to get me inside to become one with myself. And since we are at capacity, we cannot afford to take on any more riders.”
“Then Belle Reve it is,” she nods, “and what do we tell the political prisoners?”
“That they must pick up and rebuild once we are done,” I return, “we do not mention that this dimension will fold in on itself, that we are basically destroying this possibility. That is why I am taking you and the army we’ve built with me out of this realm.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a tear in her eye. I can’t help but want to cry with her. This is the world she knows. Dark. Deadly. Hopeless.
I am about to change that with a single gesture. I don’t know whether she is crying with relief or sorrow. Or both. I hope that it is relief.
“The phasic dampeners that have been placed in each transport,” I begin, “will carry you to safety when our mission is complete in the capitol. I cannot promise that you will o where I go. I am not sure that we have sync’d them all to my own or not. But I can guarantee that where you will go, you will be needed. All you will have to do is wait for me. I will appear soon enough. And perhaps, I will have more of an army with me. After all, we need all the help we can get.”
A loud roar rises over the crater pocked fields.
“The science team tried to sync all dampeners to you,” Miranda whispers to me, “but, you are right. There is no guarantee that we will end up where you are. You might be pulled into another dimension while we are sent to yours.”
“Either way, you’ll be safe,” I assure her, “because if you go to my dimension, you will be where I started my journey. My dampener is programmed to hone in on the lab where it was made, no matter what dimension I enter. That means that you will hone in on the Allen’s Hollow facility, where the hangar is located if the team programmed the dampeners correctly. That is over fifteen miles from—”
“Yes,” she puts her index finger against my lips, I know where the Allen Hollow facility is. And the other lab. But why were you drawn to the Sheridan facility?”
“Probably because that was where all the projects began,” I reply, “or my contact person was there.” I look at her.
“You always said that I had a magnetic personality,” she giggles, “besides. You would have been shot on sight had you come to the Allen Hollow facility without me.” she changes the subject. “Now, with your technology combined with ours, we’re on our way to safety.”
“Cruise and Speed Demon,” I begin, “who are they?”
“Cruise cannot survive without the containment suit you designed for him,” she nods to a soldier who is encased in a suit that looks more appropriate for outer space than earth, then nods toward another soldier whose face is tattooed red, “and Speed Demon has been altered to be fast and light on his feet. They owe their lives to you.”
“And the one I heard called Evangelis?” I inquire.
“He’s the silent one,” she giggles, “who was once a preacher until the President began attacking the churches.”
“Hence,” I nod, “his name.” I turn to her. “One more. Which one is Blacklist?”
“He is the most troubling one,” she smirks, “rebellious, angry…but loyal to a fault. To you.”
“I see,” I reply, “glad to know I have so many loyal men…and women.”
We have taken one third of the armada towards the federal prison at Belle Reve and we will come into capitol airspace from the south.. One third, we have sent to the east to come in from the ocean. The last third, we sent to the north to come in from that direction. The idea is to catch the federal forces in a pincer move that will force a surrender of all forces. I just doubt that the President will be willing to surrender. After all, he has allowed things to escalate this far.
No matter how stupid he may be, the generals can’t be as stupid. Perhaps I am giving them too much credit, but I have never been much on underestimating the intelligence of generals. Still, I don’t know whether he executed the smart generals or not. I have to approach this as if he has kept the trained officers.
Belle Reve is an imposing structure, but our weapons blow a hole in the walls. We rush in and the guards surrender. We find my cell and Miranda and I enter it alone. God, they have reduced me to a shell! I touch my counterpart in the current dimension and absorb his knowledge, allowing him to die. I nod to Miranda, whose eyes are filled with tears.
“It’s time, Miranda,” I whisper understandingly, “let’s get out of here. Have the men release the prisoners and lock all the guards in their cells and then let’s leave.”
She nods wordlessly, then communicates my commands to the rest through her comlink. She gives me a hug.
“You’re all I got now,” she whispers, tears in her eyes, “that was not you in that cell back there. I mean, it was…but it wasn’t. There was no life left in those eyes. No recognition of your comrades. Just a living death.”
“My guess,” I reply softly, “is that they tortured me until I was little more than a shell. When I wouldn’t reveal any information, they tried their best to destroy me. But I must’ve known that this-my being here-was going to happen. I must’ve felt this taking place, so I clung to what life I had left until I could impart my secrets to myself.” I look at her sheepishly. “I don’t know if that made sense. It sounds odd to even me.”
“Yes,” she nods, “it makes perfect sense.”
We leave the prison and reboard our transport. It’s time to move on toward the capitol. Time to coordinate a three prong simultaneous attack that should break their defenses. Time to take the White House. Time to fight for the soul of the country.
Our flight takes no time at all. In a matter of minutes, we have covered nearly a thousand miles. Unseen. All three forces close at once, taking out the capitol’s defense systems and nearly destroying the forces defending the outer rim of the city. I have never seen DC in person. Nor have I seen Dc in shambles like this before.
The city seems to be empty except for military with highly inadequate weaponry that is trying desperately to bring down the flotilla. Pitiful. Their rockets are useless. I have really outdone myself on these ships.
“Our stealth capabilities are beyond their scope,” Miranda says quietly in my ear, the armor you created for the ships is impenetrable. We are the most advanced military in the world. We could even take Europe and Asia in these things.”
“Where is the majority of the military?” I inquire.
“Fighting a losing war in Europe,” she shrugs, “Asia, Africa, and Australia…or trying to fend off the Mexican or Canadian armies. Mexico has the help of the Central American countries…the United South American military.”
“And Israel?” I prod.
“At the mercy of her neighbors,” she smiles, “the US is too busy and stretched too thin. The President doesn’t have the manpower to fight us, the Europeans, Central and South America, the Asians, the Aussies, and the Canadians as well as the problems he began in the Middle East.”
“The muslim bans,” I nod.
“And his slight moving the embassy to Jerusalem,” she agrees.
“So he really is a sitting duck,” I smile, “isn’t he?”
“That he is,” she grins back.
“Let’s do this big,” I suggest.
“Let’s do,” she echos.
“Give the order,” I nod, “it’s time.”
“Begin Operation Take Back,” she commands, then turns to me. “It’s on.”
All hell breaks loose as we begin to bombard the helpless military surrounding the White House. I watch in real time as they fall. Damn. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
As resistance crumbles, I witness the surrender of one of the greatest forces in the world other than that of the rebellion. It saddens me to see the US military reduced to nothing. Still, they chose the wrong side.
Well, almost nothing. I am hailed by the head of the Joint Chiefs.
“Commander O’Dell,” he begins solemnly, “I beg you to end this slaughter.”
“I want a full surrender,” I caution him, “and all forces recalled from overseas.”
“I understand,” he replies, “and I am willing to give you the full surrender and all you request.”
“Then we will meet,” I reply, “and agree on terms.”
“Agreed,” comes the response.
The com goes silent. I turn to Miranda.
“Contact the UN,” I state, “or whatever is left of it.”
“Yes, Love,” she replies, “but what shall I tell them?”
“Tell them to convene,” I smile, “we’re going to arrange the terms of the surrender of the US forces.”
She smiles back and nods. I leave the bridge and seek quiet in my quarters. Moments, later, she appears at the door.
“It’s done,” she states, “now what?”
“Do we have a small shuttle?” I inquire.
“Yes,” she replies, “but I will have to prep it. It is a two-seater…”
“This will not require more than you and I,” I respond, “and I can assure you that we will be completely safe.”
“Sounds good,” she smirks, “and I hope that you are right.” She turns to me and kisses me. “I have given the Science team the OK to go back and fit the hospital ship with a phasic condenser unit, same as the warships. If done correctly, and given the coordinates of its current location, it should appear right…”
“Right where the Allen Hollow facility in my own dimension is supposed to be built,” I insert, “ingenious. And a wonderful idea. I am surprised that I didn’t think of it.”
“In a way, you did,” she states, then turns and walks off toward the hangar bay where the shuttle is located, “before we left the facility with the warships. It is big enough to house all our warships and transports. It will enable us to begin a lunar base as well as an orbital construction station where the S.A.M. transports can be made.”
I watch her disappear, then turn to the ensign on com.
“The bridge is yours until I return,” I state.
“Aye, Sir,” comes the response.
I take my leave, following Miranda down the corridor. When I reach her, I have a sudden thought.
“Miranda,” I begin.
“Yes?” She replies in query.
“Perhaps sending a small team to clear the way isn’t such a bad idea,” I respond, “better safe than sorry.”
“Agreed,” she avers, then begins speaking into the com on her shoulder, “transports one through three send units to the ground to deal with the remaining federal troops. Clear the way for John and I. we’re coming to take the administration prisoner.” An affirmative sounds from the transports she has called on. She turns back to me. “Whatever resistance remains will be cleared before we go down. We still need to prep the shuttle.”
“What’ll be done with the resistance?” I ask.
“Since they have pretty much surrendered,” she smiles, “they will simply be moved from their positions in front of the White House so we can enter unimpeded.”
“Lieutenant Lopez,” the com officer interrupts over her comlink, “communication from the UN. the directors request the meeting to take place in the White House.”
She looks at me and I nod.
“Commander O’Dell agrees,” she replies.
“I will relay the agreement,” the com officer responds.
“Looks like we may need a small detail to enter with us anyway,” she winks, “are you OK with that?”
“Yes,” I nod, “besides. We never know just how the administration will take the defeat. Or our invasion of the White House.”
Secret Service simply gave up, leaving the President and his administration unprotected. I watch them file out, heads low in defeat. But they aren’t a fighting force. They are bodyguards. This was never their fight.
We find the President and his cabinet in the dining hall, each handcuffed, waiting for the inevitable. The President looks up at me, his eyes slits of hate.
“You were reported dead,” he hisses.
“And you have always claimed to be a smart, smart man,” I respond, “and yet, it takes a very stupid and insecure man to become a dictator.”
“You say that,” he hisses in reply, “as if you have already judged me.”
“No,” I counter, “you proved yourself weak and insecure. As well as stupid beyond repair. Not to mention lazy.”
“And now,” he leers, “what do you aim to do now? Set up a tribunal and try me? You know I will win.”
“No,” I shake my head, “I will not be doing so. You will face trial for war crimes in the Hague at the International Hall of Justice. Along with your administration.”
“I will still win,” he says, an evil grin playing on his face, “because I have the best lawyers.”
“I doubt that,” I state, “since your current lawyer is also going to be on trial…and stripped of his ability to defend you or anyone else.”
I watch as his eyes widen with the realization that he has finally been defeated. I can tell that he has finally realized just how hopeless his current position is. As we wait for the arrival of the UN members, the general who had talked to me earlier is brought in. but he isn’t brought to where the President can see him.
The unit leader guarding the President nods to me, letting me know that it is OK to leave for a moment. I look at Miranda expectantly and she accompanies me to where the general is being held.
“Anything you can give us,” I encourage, “could make your own case look good.”
“I understand,” he nods, “and I will cooperate fully for the tribunal in the Hague. I will also try to convince the other generals to do the same.”
“Have you sent word?” I inquire.
“To surrender?” He asks. I nod. “Yes. the fighting is supposed to be over everywhere.” He looks away. “We would have been defeated eventually anyway, even if you had not returned. It was inevitable. Your return simply put the final nail in the coffin.” he looks back at me. “That was my best unit you fed to us as a decoy. And we blasted them out of the sky believing them to be your force. When we sorted the bodies out of the wreckage, that was what broke us. We no longer had any fight.”
“This,” I motion around us, in gesture toward the conflict, “would not have been easily resolved. The resentment on both sides would have kept the country divided and broken for decades to come…possibly never to rise as great as she was before. A new form of the KKK would have risen to replace the “white pride” version, this time to hate the victors rather than a simple color or creed.” I shake my head. “No, America would slide into dark times or even possibly simply vanish as a country. As it is, she lies broken by the hate and violence.
“That would have been her fate had I not come back. But, I cannot allow her to die so easily. Not even because of a desperate despot.”
One of the African members of the UN appears at my side.
“He’s right, you know,” he interjects.
At his appearance, I realize that it is time to return to where the President is being held. We go, leaving the general to ponder what I have said.
“I am in position,” I begin, once back in the dining hall, “to strip the President of his power and do so now. I also, hereby, turn him over to you, along with his administration-chosen co-conspirators-who have plundered and embroiled the world in war.”
“You have one more mission, John O’Dell,” the African states.
“What is that?” I inquire.
“To bring down his allies, of course,” he replies, a grin spreading on his face.
“Lemme guess,” I smile back at him, “Russia, North Korea, and China.”
“Yes,” he nods, “as well as the Philippines, Turkey, and those countries that chose to head into fascist government structures.”
“Although,” the British ambassador adds, “Europe has dealt a blow to the European bastions of hate.”
“Then my troops shall begin strikes against the eastern allies,” I reply, and move westward as we defeat them. But after we agree upon what we desire in the surrender of the US.”
“Here, here,” the Brit proclaims, “I concur with that.”
“I have already insisted upon an unconditional surrender,” I grin, “does that sound about right for y’all as well?”
A resounding echo of agreement ripples through the room. The UN legal counsel prepares the papers declaring the surrender and lay them before the general. He takes up the pen supplied to him and signs it.
“It is done,” he announces, “it is a relief to have done that. Too many have died for the whims of a madman.”
North Korea’s defenses crumble upon our arrival and we overrun them. The dictator surrenders without much of a struggle. As with the US President, we keep him handcuffed , along with his inner circle, and wait for the UN forces to arrive. It doesn’t take them long and we head for the Philippines.
Again, their defenses crumble and the scene repeats itself. As it does with Russia. And China. And Turkey. And the Middle East.
The new axis of evil is destroyed and the end of the dimension is brought ever closer. A new age is dawning before our eyes.
“So when this is over,” Miranda begins, hesitantly, “what of us?”
“Depending on what happens in my own dimension,” I respond, “we can remain lovers…if you wish.”
“If I wish?” She tests.
“You know I won’t remarry,” I smile sadly, “but I do love you.”
“I know, silly,” she grins, “I love you too. Marriage is so old fashioned anyway. And I do not want to limit you. Besides. I am hoping that, at sometime, you are successful in setting things right and accomplishing what you set out to do…before all this.”
“You are amazing, My Dear,” I say softly, putting my arm around her, “I am forever in your debt.”
“Then,” she giggles, “let’s count our debts paid in full.”
“Agreed,” I respond, kissing her, “and now that the war is over…our time here is growing short. There is one last thing we have to witness before we are sent elsewhere.”
“And that is?” She inquires.
“The trial of those who created this mess,” I smile, “it is imperative that we watch their convictions and their hangings. That signals the end of this dimension.”
“How many dimensions have you went through?” She pries.
“I have lost count. Suffice it to say that I have gone through enough to know that there is little chance of this nightmare continuing after a few more. In fact the continuation of this nightmare is growing to an infinitesimally small possibility.”
“A few more?” She’s not about to give this up.
“Most of them,” I explain, “have gone by so fast. Almost barely noticeably so. I went, took him down in less violent ways. Most of them had less of a support base for him.”
“What do you mean less?”
“Like almost no support base,” I chuckle, “which made it a lot easier. And a lot quicker. My basic mission beyond his fall was to collect my own projects, papers, and files…and money, if I had any.”
“So that means that you are independently wealthy,” she suggests.
“Pretty much,” I respond, nodding, “which means that the debt I had going into this project is now pretty much nonexistent.”
“Yes,” I nod, “my original source was the CIA, NSA, and military intelligence. MI6 and at least a dozen European as well as at least a handful of Asian and all of the African intel communities invested heavily as well. The point, of course, was the same as what we just got finished doing.”
“Taking down the dictators,” she adds, “who back the President.”
“As well as taking the President down,” I agree, “it was so easy through the first infinite group of dimensions. I am pretty sure I have very few left to go through. Oddly enough, as I go through them, they fold shut like an accordion, shutting off those possible ends to the future.”
“I see,” she smiles mischievously, “and how many women have you encountered?”
“So far,” I reply, smiling back at her, “just you. I was pretty solitary in all the other realms I have entered.”
“So I have no competition?”
“No,” I shake my head, “not really. Except the duchesses and a handful of famous actresses and female singers from my own dimension.” I wink at her. She blushes.
“Now,” she smirks, “you’re just messing with me.”
“Yes,” I chuckle, “I am. My fascination with them has long passed. Besides. I was seeing how jealous you would get.”
“And did I pass your test?”
“Yes,” I aver, “you did.”
The death penalty and immediate execution of all involved in the planning and implementation of WWIII has heralded the closure of the dimension. As the phasic shift begins, I feel myself ripped away from Miranda and the massive carrier that had been the science ship. The flotilla had docked within the docking bay and our troops had retired to quarters to rest during the journey. I had gone to quarters with Miranda and was about to enjoy an amazing night of sensual fun.
A flash let me know that we were suddenly separated. Now, I see nothing except streaks of light. I find it ironic that sometimes more than one dimension is closed at a time, especially when the events are nearly identical. I say nearly, because no two dimensions are truly identical. There are always subtle differences. But they are similar enough for them to close en masse.
So it seems with those that would have immediately followed the one I was just in. as I zip through dimensional space, I glance at my arm. I am still wearing the armor from the last dimension.
When I come to a stop, I see that I am in a post- nuclear wasteland, a kind of post apocalyptic nuclear desert. Strangely enough, the facility near me is protected by an energy shield. I approach the facility and set off the alarms. A small group appears at the entry, armed.
“State your purpose,” a sexy nubian princess demands.
“Well,” I begin, “I was just passing through on a mission to destroy a regime and happened to land at your door.”
“Your name?” she demands.
“John O’Dell,” I reply.
“But you’re dead!” The shock is evident in her eyes.
“Exactly how did I die here?” I inquire.
“The regime blew you up,” she responds, “successfully in their last campaign out here. You were…standing right where you now stand.”
“I assure you that I am who I say I am,” I state quietly, “but I am not from this dimension. I am passing through dimensions gathering my knowledge, projects, and creations. My secondary mission is to collect weaponry and to destroy the regime. Doing so destroys this possible future and shuts down the future of the regime in my own dimension.” I look at her. “Can I ask the name of the young lady I am talking to?”
“I am Tamika Brown,” she replies, “but my–your soldiers call me Armistice.”
“Lemme guess,” I smile, “because you’ll never surrender.”
“You’re right,” she nods, “partially. I was sent to seal an armistice pact between the government and the separatists. That was in December last year, shortly after your wife’s death.” She looks away. “We sort of fell in love right after I arrived. I filled a void for you, I guess, and we have been together ever since…until the government broke their word and nuked the area. I watched helplessly as you were turned to ash before my eyes. And I have fought in your name ever since.”
“My last stop,” I begin, “I was imprisoned. Here I am dead. The ones before I was able to destroy the regime without much of a problem. We destroyed it with little effort the last time as well…but that was because they believed me to be dead.”
“Maybe we can use the same tactic now as well,” she grins, “after all, they have recorded you as dead here as well.”
“Will your soldiers understand the dimensional aspect of my story?” I inquire.
“Of course,” she nods, “you were working on something along that lines when you were killed.”
“Then let us begin,” I reply, planning for the final take down.”
“Yes,” she agrees, “Let us.”
“By the way,” I begin, in passing, “who did you work for before we met?”
“The UN,” she admits, “I was a special emissary sent to you. I am originally from Liberia. I was given a small command of African peacekeepers from all fifteen countries. A unified team intent on nailing down a peace here.
“We were close to coming to terms when Washington decided to send an airstrike. The lab facilities were protected from the fallout, but the surrounding communities were not. Even Stratcom was destroyed with a third of the military that had been stationed there. You were killed as well, since you were always leaving the safety of the facilities to help the people of the communities.”
“So kindness was my undoing,” I nod, “no surprise.”
“It was your greatest strength,” she smiles sadly, “you were able to evacuate and give shelter to almost all those you went to help. Most of them have taken up arms and joined me in honoring your memory.”
“How many?” I press.
“About 20,000,000 at the moment,” she responds, maybe more. Not sure how many states made it here before the bombs began dropping. He attempted to get everyone within and 800 mile radius just to be sure. But this is not the only facility.”
“And I would have to visit the other facilities,” I add, “if I want to find the total number…correct?”
“Yes,” she nods.
“Is there an easier way to get to the other facilities?” I request.
“Yes,” she avers, “we have teleportation chambers.”
“Good,” I respond, “I want to see how large a force we have at our disposal.”
Note: these stories bridge the span between the Journals and the notes. This adds a new dimension to the story and adds information not exposed in the other portions of the story. Where the journal is a catalogue of personal experiences that record the time travel, and the Files are the records of his team during the first three episodes, The Dimensional Wars record the most important battles, some of which will be very similar for all journal entries,