Chance favors the prepared mind… Louis Pasteur
I dont have long to wait. Oswald enters the room furtively and looks around. He has a case in his hand and i have to assume that there’s not a guitar inside. I’m ready and step out quietly behind him and break his neck quietly and that is that.
Even though i’m still weak from the cancer treatment i dont have much trouble dragging him behind the book crates. He doesnt weigh very much.
This is an empirical exercise. In history after Oswald fires those shots a Secret Service agent will pull out an AR-15 and look up toward this window and when the driver who also hears the shots will floor the accelerator that will force the agent to pull the trigger involuntarily and kill the president. Whether you believe it really was an accident or a cleverly designed hit is an unknown. Or it will be for a few more minutes. Without the shots from this window there will be no need for the accidental shot and no assassination. Or there will be a shot from a hypothetical shooter from the grassy knoll that will hit Kennedy in the head in front.
There is still plenty of time to see what what will happen, or so i am thinking until i hear someone walk in. I have to control myself. It could be just some poor guy coming in here for some privacy to jack off.
It’s not. It’s Marshall Dillon, head of the Time Police. I hardly recognize him without his Joe Stalin mustache and in jeans and a t-shirt. He walks halfway to the window and stops. Then he says, Colonel Chones, come out. I know you’re here. Do you have a weapon aimed at me?
What do you think, Marshall? I say quietly.
Dillon doesnt jump when he hears my voice. He is very well trained. He says, Then either shoot me right now or come out and talk to me.
I emerge from the stack of book crates and he turns and regards me without expression. Then he says, You have something i want.
You mean the ship, i say.
Goddamn right i mean the ship.
If you try to take it by yourself i’ll destroy it.
You wouldnt dare! Strand yourself in this horrible time.
Try me, i say coldly.
Dillon walks slowly to the open window and sits down. There is no screen and i wonder how safe he feels there where the crime of the Twentieth Century is supposed to happen.
You killed Oswald, didnt you? He says, watching my eyes.
Yeah. So what? You said there were no time paradoxes.
Evidently i spoke too soon. Changing the outcome of a football game prevented WW III. What will this change, good or bad? We just dont know.
If i come back you’ll kill me, i say.
Take that chance, Colonel. Would you rather stay here?
The motorcade is approaching Dealy Plaza right now.
I look at him and he looks at me. And a golden moment of perception transpires. I remember a chemistry final at Georgia Tech. An impossibly complicated problem involving Liter/Mole/Atmosphere/Joules and the Ideal Gas Law. Then in a flash i saw a path thru that wilderness that i knew could not be wrong. I cancelled the units and it worked. All that was left was to do the math.
Louis Pasteur said that chance favors the prepared mind.
And Allah is merciful. Sometimes.
I see a path thru this whole evil dilemma.
I take two quick steps and push Dillon hard and he tumbles out of the sixth floor window and hits the pavement with a smack and all kinds of things start happening. People start running and yelling. I cant risk trying to get back to the ship. I use the emergency transport to bring it right here. When i’m inside i use another emergency control to take me to an empty spot ‘way outside town.
I am very satisfied when i use the the time portal that looks into the future. With Dillon down Kennedy’s motorcade never comes near the book depository and when they find Oswald’s stiff they get very nervous. But at the next campaign stop the same people try again. But this time a snitch inside the Secret Service rats them out and a lot of people get busted. John Kennedy never rides in an open limo again.
The rift between JFK and LBJ will continue to widen until Bobby Kennedy gets the vice presidential nomination at the ’64 convention. That makes it look like a close election but it is not. The Kennedys win in a landslide. JFK was so sick he was almost dead even in Dallas, though no one knew. Less than a month after the inauguration John strokes out and dies and Bobby becomes president. That means even the trifling American prescence in Viet Nam comes home and there is no Viet Nam war. Richard Nixon is never elected president.
Maybe the nicest part is that it makes no difference in my own future, probably because it happened so far back in my past. Our golden age will continue untouched, only without Dillon. So how could me changing one stupid football game have averted WW III ? Dont know. Dont care.
RU ready to go home, Colonel Chones? The contralto computer voice trills at me.
Yes, i say. Begin five second countdown.
The day’s not over yet but i think it’s time for me to retire for life. I shouldnt say Allahu Akbar, but there, i’ve said it.
Be good, boys and girls.