Welcome to Saturday Morning 4
Skreea entered the hastily doubled up barracks and took a
look at his new bunkmate. The possum looked more like a
rat than he did, and he *was* a rat. "Skreea" he said.
"Flithip" replied the possum, who stood up and limped a
few yards over to give him room.
"Your leg bad?" asked Skreea.
"I was in a battle a couple months ago, just before
the Avalons stopped coming down here. I was the last one
of the squad left and out of ammunition. I played dead
among the bodies while the enemy was doing things to make
sure they were dead and shouting 'Praise the Lord!' and
'Hail Jesus!'" He grimaced and strained in what seemed
to be great pain. "They smashed a rock into my knee. I have
the Memory, so everytime I think about it, I feel it all
over again, just like it was happening all over again...
but that time I did not flinch!"
"Just don't think about it, then" suggested Skreea.
"Just sit on your bunk for five minutes and don't
think about an elephant!" snapped the possum.
"Were you a born aesop, or made?"
"I was made."
"I have heard that made aesops with the Memory can
"Yes, like remembering a dream. A member of the Quilt
of Life found me, and smuggled me here, out of Avalon,
at risk to his life." said Flithip. "And just when we get
them on the ground, we are ordered to cease fire, and then
pulled back twenty miles, just because of some silly
fairy tale about other worlds, and I have three bunkmates
instead of just one!"
"They are not fairy tales. Look into my eyes...I saw a
strange town on the horizon out of my biscopes, from atop
a hill, just before we were pulled back to here."
"Then there are other worlds where everything possible
has happened? One where my leg is normal?"
"Millions where your leg is normal, millions where
you have lived and died a normal possum, and many millions
where you do not even exist at all. In Columbia, where
a week ago was Hispania Minor, there is a human. I heard,
whose family fled from his world's Avalon, called America,
after a war they fought in 1962 with atomcore bombs. He was a
child in 1962 and his family took him south to escape the
bomb's dust, which causes killing sickness and warped births.
He was scarred by the flash of the bomb and flying glass,
so he did not even look like some Aesop, much less a human.
In the world where the United Kingdom came from and replaced
our England, that war was avoided and that human was visiting
on a trip the United Kingdom. They just confirmed that they
have the same handprints. Two people, the same person and
yet as different as can be, both in this new world!"
"Still, they are human, even if they are not Avalon.
How can we trust them?"
"You admit a human risked his life to save yours. Not all
humans are bad."
"Yes, but would you want your sister mated to one?"
Skreea snorted. "Bah, even a human wouldn't say
something *that* stupid! We have killed hundreds of citizens
of this new country by mistake, and I have had enough killing
and more already. Since we made the first move of
violence, we should make the first move of trust."
"I hope we are not giving this Amazon Commonwealth
the rope with which they can hang us with, then."
"Well, it is very difficult to make predictions,
especially about the future." replied Skreea.
"It is very easy to make predictions about the future.
The hard thing is making predictions which are correct!"
Flithip laid back down on the bunk, while Skreea
gazed ot the window at the setting sun. Soon, the other
two occupants of the little room should arrive, and
they would have to work out how to occupy their
quarters without driving each other into lunacy, at least
until someone decided to build more barracks or move
DRIZZLE DRAZZLE DRUZZLE DROME
TIME FOR THIS ONE TO COME HOME