UP THE LADDER
Here is my newest Mammaloids story. It starts in 3014 in the original mammaloid timeline.
Shifan-1054-Castor was the one who invented the means of stabilizing wormholes
into the past. Whereas before, they only lasted a millisecond or so before,
just long enough to transport a colony into the past, now they could be held
open indefinitely, and multiplied. The mammaloids of Mars projected a wormhole
towards 1850, where they could intervene in history and save Earth from the
Burning of 2168...and also have a new Solar System to colonize, as all the stars
within 20 parsecs of Sol have been colonized or have colonies enroute.
Because of a "friction effect", the wormhole arrived in 1941. The Martian mammaloids
had descended from the mammaloids of Earth, who had survived the Koŝmarego by
being helped by humans who risked their lives. But Shifan broadcast his discovery
to the whole system, and mammaloids in the Belt, descended from the lunar mammaloids
and less friendly to humanity, also opened wormholes to 1941. A war for the Past
was about to begin.
Howard Fisher rode the self-piloted space craft into the wormhole. It was only one of
several wormholes that led to 1942, but it was the first one, nearly a year old.
Howard was one of the Thousand Eldest, the oldest people in 3014, out of a
population of over a quintillion mammaloids (now including small numbers,
barely billions, of non-mammalian uplifts). He was one of the hundred billion
humans, as were all the Thousand, since mammaloids did not exist when he was
born on a Date Which Will Live in Infamy...it was the stress and shock of that
day that sent his mother into two-week-premature labor. He vaguely remembered
V-E Day (or was it V-J Day)...or maybe he just confabulated the memories from
pictures and stories. He was the first cryonics patient to be preserved by the
Fast Freeze method in 2021, and hence the first to be successfully suspended.
He had starved himself to death to be suspended, to avoid an autopsy and to be
suspended immediately, after his diagnosis of Alzheimer's. He had been revived
in 2094, again the first, and just had time to escape from America before the
Theocracy took over.
It was because of his age that he was chosen for this mission...the planners
hoped his memories would make it easier to fit into the wartime America and
find some way to contact the authorities. Earth had been intensly surveyed by
synsect probes, but there was no replacement for actual feet-on-the-ground.
And the world situation called for a gentle touch...not just coming in like
gangbusters. Indeed, when the wormhole arrived 91 years late, it was almost
decided to try again. The tempofriction that had caused the miss was unexpected...
it was interesting to think that the 300-odd mammaloid space settlements which
had gone a millennium or more into the past would end up decades after their target.
The ship entered the wormhole and, in an eyeblink he was in 1942's opening
of the wormhole, which had been moved behind the Moon.
Howard piloted the vehicle down to Earth and landed it in a deep gully outside of
Albuquerque. He had lived in that city as a child and a young man, when it was
somewhat larger than its 1942 self, but he expected to be able to find his way.
He activated the phased array optics coating of the vessel so it seemed to
almost disappear, and lifted the suitcase sized nanofab, which was disquised
as a suitcase, left and started walking toward the town. He could go miles,
even in the desert heat, for his body had been modified with implants and
medical nanobots to be stronger and more durable than an unmodified human.
He reached the library about noon. He entered and asked the librarian where
the local newspapers were. Finding them, he put the nanofab suitcase down
and started searching for homes for rent. A home would be preferable to an
apartment, since his plan to reach the POTUS would get a little dramatic
at some point.
Finding one which was fairly close, Howard picked up his "suitcase" and
proceeded toward the address. Reaching the destination, he rang the bell
and waited for a reply. A middle-aged woman came to answer the door.
"Hello. I am seeking the house for rent. I have just gotten into town on
the bus and am seeking to settle down."
"How old are you?"
"I am 25 years old." This was how old he looked, although it was off by
more than ten centuries.
"Why aren't you off in the war?"
"I have a heart condition...4F I'm afraid."
"One hundred dollars for the first two months rent, then forty a month thereafter."
"I have the money right here in my wallet." said Howard, and he produced it.
The money was counterfeit, of course, but being nanofabbed, no test in 1942
could detect it. In fact, Howard did not know if there was a test in 3015 that
would detect it. So he handed over the five twenties, and showed the landlady,
Miss Lindsey, his identification (also counterfeit). Howard kept careful tract
of who he spent this money on, as he planned to reimburse them when this was over.
The house turned out to be the one next door. Miss Lindsey was an oncoming spinster,
and had moved into the house next door to her parents when she became of age
and became a telephone operator. When her parents died within a year of each other,
she inherited the house and decided to get a steady income from it.
Howard entered the house and placed the nanofab on the floor.
He opened it up and nanofabbed two twenty dollar bills. These bills were special...
instead of having randomly assigned serial numbers, their serial numbers were identical.
Then he checked the phone book and nanofabbed a letter envelope, complete with a
contemporary postage stamp and the address of the local police station.
He also had the device print out the following letter:
To whom it may concern:
My friend Howard Fisher has just moved back into the city of Albuquerque.
We knew each other back in grade school, but he moved out of the state for
High School and College. He says he has a perfect scam...that he can
counterfeit money that the banks and government cannot tell apart from real money.
He gave me these two bills as examples, and to pay for a few favors I did for
him when he moved in. But my conscience is bothering me. I decided to turn these
over to you. Please do not let him know how you caught on to him, I am afraid
of what he might do. He has moved into 2662 Lincoln Avenue.
Then Howard put the bills and note into the envelope, and went out to hunt a mailbox.
Howard spent the rest of the day after mailing the letter filling the house with
utility fog. Ten or twelve centimeters of the fog would stop any handgun bullet
of this era. The nanofab nearly used up its supply of elements doing this, but
it was important to fortify the house before the authorities could arrive.
He could get more elements from soil, wood and a few rocks.
In fact, he went out and got some branches and plant matter to nanofab into
dull but nutritious and long-lasting food. He would eat at a restaurant tonight,
but he wanted to stay indoors tomorrow, when he figured the cops would get here.
And in fact, the following evening, just when he was thinking it would be
the day after when they came, there was a banging on the door. "OPEN UP IN THE NAME OF
Howard went over to the door and opened it, but stood back from it a pace or so.
"Are you Howard Fisher?" demanded one of the three men in suits standing there.
"Yes, I am."
Howard happily moved aside, as the three men attempted to enter the house.
The first one bounced off the utility fog. The second barged after him,
and also bounced off, in his case falling to the ground on his gluteus maximus
and hollering a phrase he certainly did not learn in school. The third pulled
out a gun and pointed it at Howard. "LET US IN NOW!"
The gun fired. Then it fired five times in rapid succession.
Howard stood there a moment while the third man held the empty gun in his hand,
still pointed at Howard. Then Howard reached out and grabbed the gun out of his hand.
"You do not seem responsible enough to use this." Then he plucked the bullets
out of the air and handed them over. "But here are your bullets back."
The man looked at the bullets in his hand, then at Howard, back and forth several times.
Then he said "Hey, give that back! That's government property!"
"As I said, you do not seem responsible enough to handle a gun. But this should
pay for it." and handed over a bag with four rocks in it.
The bag would probably pay for quite a few guns, since the rocks, previously
nanofabbed, consisted of a diamond, an emerald, a sapphire and a ruby,
all flawless and perfectly faceted, and each 500 carats.
Then Howard closed the door.
Howard lived normally the following day, going out to a restaurant, buying papers and
listening to his nanofabbed radio and comparing the news to the records in his computer
(disquised normally as a handkerchief). The weather had diverged months ago,
about a month after the wormhole was opened, along with sports scores. By now, details
of headline news were altering...different ships being sunk and such. The Martian
mammaloids would have trouble stopping World War Two even if history was not veering,
weakening their foreknowledge. And the Belter mammaloids had established several
bases on 1942 Mars as well, further complicating things. It was hard to know what the
Belters planned, except that they were descendants of the less human friendly
mammaloids of the 22nd Century.
The next day dawned. What was taking so long? The jewels and testimony of the three
officers should be enough to get someone higher in the hierarchy here by now.
Howard was reluctant to leave the little house, because someone might arrive
while he was gone. And so he was there near sunset, when there was a knock on the door...
a much more polite knock than the one a couple days ago. Harry went to the door
and opened it. There were four men there, three with uniforms of officers and one
dressed in a suit. That man said "Are you Howard Fisher?"
"Yes, I am."
"I am Henry Morgenthau, Jr., the Secretary of the Treasury. You have a lot of
explaining to do."
"That is precisely what I came here to do. I will explain to you, and then to your boss
FDR. It is quite important that I do."
"Where did you get those banknotes and gemstones?"
"I made them in my nanofab...that big box over there."
"That would take an hour or so. But I can demonstrate that I am not your ordinary
counterfeiter with this." and Howard removed his "handkerchief" and put it on the table.
He unfolded it, pressed a corner and the sheet turned black. A small bright dot
appeared and expanded ito a looming sun. A spot appeared on that sun and grew into a
landscape of rock, with the sun filling a quarter of the sky
"This is Alpha Centauri Bb, a planet 25 million million miles from the Solar System.
Computer, show my DNA helix." A strange twisted stairway of little colored balls
replaced the strange world and began rotating in place.
"There. Do you have any such devices in 1942?"
Henry Morgenthau, Jr. took the strange device from Howard's hands. He turned it
around and folded it over, seeing how the helix of balls continued to turn in spite of
the distortion. "You're from outer space!"
"I have been in space, and actually came here in a spaceship, but I am not
primarily a space traveler. I am a time traveler."
"A time traveler?" Henry Morgenthau, Jr. shook his head.
"I am here from the year 3015. A war is starting there, and both sides have come here,
to your war-torn 1942, as the US and Japanese Navies might come to a small
South Pacific island with a pair of feuding tribes."
"A war? What kind of war?"
"There was a war in the Teens of the next century...a Third World War.
The American side created human-animal hybrids to fight as slave soldiers,
then after the war was won to be slaves in America. But at the end of the
century, the country underwent a sort of revolution, and religious extremists took over.
They looked on the hybrids, called mammaloids, as abominations and tried to
exterminate them. There was a war between humans and mammaloids, which Humanity lost...
hard. In the 2160s there was another, far bigger war, which Humanity also lost...
much harder. The Earth was laid waste and poisoned, barren as the Moon, and the
only human survivors were those who had fled far underground. A few centuries later
the mammaloids returned from space to Earth and tried to restore it. The humans
came out of their underground cities and tried to live with them, but there were
"For example, mammaloids cannot tolerate alcohol. It is highly toxic to their brains...
even a glass of wine or beer will kill them or at least leave them comatose for life.
Some humans poisoned a few mammaloids with Mickeys and the mammaloids outlawed
alcohol on Earth...with no more success than Prohibition in your time or the
War on Drugs in your children's lifetime. So huge numbers of humans were imprisoned
for bootlegging or moonshining."
"They were imprisoned? And you couldn't do anything about it?"
"Mr. Morgenthau, they grew their population to enormous levels. In 3015, there are
literally quintillions of mammaloids, of all species, living in giant cities in
space that they built out of the disassembled planet Venus. Humanity is a tiny
minority, and half the mammaloids want to kill it off completely. The other half
want to live in a world of thousands of species of peoples, with humanity
just one of them. These are the two factions which are going to war uptime,
and who are taking their fight back here."
"And there is nothing we can do about this?"
"What I am here to do is take the message to your government and alert them to
what is happening. Then together maybe we can do something."
Howard walked into the Oval Office and said "Greeting, Mr. President.
I have something to show you." and pulled his foldable computer out of his pocket.
DRIZZLE DRAZZLE DRUZZLE DROME
TIME FOR THIS ONE TO COME HOME