Preface: I bear no ill will toward Lombardi and venerate him as all us football heads do. And lot more because he was a Kennedy Democrat. I just picked out an absurdity and started writing. And if I don’t like the south I have that prerogative because I grew up there. I have been living in this hellhole since October and this is the first time I could settle down and see if I will ever write seriously again. Sealed with a Kiss is a pop song from the sixties, one of my favorites. I mention that because it will come up in later chapters.
Coastal Georgia is a horrible place. Or was horrible; these judgements are relative. Before they destroyed most of the world I had been up north. The only reason the south was spared was that it sucked so much it wasn’t worth the warheads; nobody in their right mind wants to live in the south, especially Brunswick, which is the capital of what’s left. You go up as far as Kentucky and you’re pulling enough REMS to kill you in ten minutes.
I was in the resort town of Copper Harbor Michigan when I got the warning the bombs were coming but it was snowing vertically and without the transportation science of this time I would never have made it out. But I did, and the storm threw off the transporter enough to land me, of all places, Selma, Alabama. I was glad of my drawl (and that I was white) because nobody was suspicious of me as I hitchhiked home. But everyone who went to the Baptist Church just knew the south was preserved because of the northern intrusion, whenever it was. 1965? Who cares.
In the summer there’s always a thunderstorm in this place this time of day, and I wished they would wait until things quieted down, but this one is so urgent it wouldn’t wait. I arrived fashionably late and sat down..
Thank you for coming, Colonel Chones, the Marshal and head of the Time Police says with the tone of a martyr. That’s bad. He’s really pissed. He is the spittin image of Stalin or Saddam Hussein, take your pick. No, I like him better with a beard and cigar. Viva Fidel! And if he doesn’t scare you shitless idk why.
Colonel Chones, he says, it would have been helpful if you’d been here ten minutes ago.
What’s the difference? I say calmly.
The fate of the world is at stake
The fate of the world is always at stake and as far as I can see all we’ve done is make it worse.
.The mathist have the solution to changing everything, he intones.
You mean they know how to clean the radiation up?
No, Colonel Chones. A way to go back in time and change an isolated event, a pivotal point in time that led to this destruction.
Marshall, that has never been done because of the quantum tuhrbulence…
They have it this time, Jim, he says like a kid opening a Christmas present.
His use of my first name always frightens me.
So I ask meekly, Sir, what trivial event am I going to change.
Ever hear of the Ice Bowl?
Of course. Worst playing conditions in history. 1967 NFL Championship game in Green Bay.
A bolt of lightning hits near over in the swamp. The lights flicker on and off and on again.
I add, they were behind Dallas by 3 but they went for the touchdown on fourth down and won it.
And what, I ask quietly, and what does it have to do with…
Chones, idk. The mathists are positive. They are sure if Dallas wins there be no nuclear exchange.
Those same geniuses have pounded it into me that doing things like that never work. It’s like trying to sleep with a blanket that’s too small. You cover one part of you, it uncovers the other. Something about asymptotical functions…
I see now he wont be argued out of this. Those mathematicians merely suggested the possibility and he grabbed it and ran with it because he is desperate beyond reason.
I’m a soldier, not a thaumaturge, I say.
A thaumaturge. A miracle worker. Ha, you fascist fuck. I made you look ignorant, for once.
What does the game have to do with this? I ask in confusion.
Dallas must win, he says.
How can we change that? We would need massive infiltration, impersonate an official, bribe or blackmail the players…it would be impossible.
Of course it would be. We don’t need that. The microwormholes will be stable for long enough to do this easily. And it only involves you doing one thing.
Very simple, Chones. On the morning of the game you will knock on Lombardi’s door, take a sawed off shot gun, and blow his head off.