“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” Alan Watts, Writer
Jack P Rocket-Man Chronicle, REV.16.
Jack P Rocket-Man is FICTION. No warranties expressed or implied.
REM: Triskaidekaphobia: the fear of the number 13. The Toronado Motor Inn at Skyhaven in 2002, that family, the two missing children, they had signed in on the register as occupying Unit 13. How’s that connect with Year 2103, and the Four Visitors?
JPRM: That had me worried. We need to back up just a little. My Engineering partner Gregory Johnstone had something to do with it. Most likely unwittingly, or by chance, or both. The Visitors — as well as myself — had concluded that Johnstone was firmly embedded in another world…. The past. A One-Trick Pony. Liaison.
Back in August, 2001 Johnstone and I had found some part-time work for the Santa Clara, California place. Basic Engineering, Electro-Mechanical Packaging, Electronic Hardware, Firmware, Software.
The Santa Clara Clients gave the two of us some very unconventional “Cognitive Ability Tests,” CATs. They were searching for talents and tendencies outside the mainstream.
True, The Visitors made a beeline for the Toronado Motor Inn. But, other than propelling me forward one century in time, to our Earth on the edge of annihilation, the rest could be coincidence, conjecture, and context.
Then it occurred to me: (1) The Visitors may have a strategic reason for the location. It offered a superior vantage point on the Atlantic, Parrot Cove, and the Shoals Islands. (2) I had never mentioned to them the story of missing children at Unit 13, it was very possible the paranormal was not of interest to The Visitors. I wished.
I had verified the Toronado Story, the missing children wasn’t urban legend. I had some connections with the various Security and LEO people at the THT Airport, but they said there was no mention of E.T.s in that 2002 incident. Also, no Aliens in the police reports, no Google Search, no YouTube Videos.
So therefore no E.T. Visitors. Right?
Just like in my daily walks in the twenty-first century, the “Skyhaven Shoal Project, 23 Condominiums…” was still standing. I had never seen it from the inside until that moment in 2102. The Four Visitors and I had walked, it was less than a mile; except in 2002 there wasn’t a tunnel beneath Route US-1A.
I wondered if the Visitor’s underground passage — it resembled very much a subway system, except clean — had trolleys too. Back in 2003, Great Parrot Avenue had been intact, with all the seven-figure homes, the two Bentleys, the multiple Mercedes, batches of BMW’s, and a single extremely unique Bugatti Veyron owned by the equally unusual futurist, posthumanist, genius whose name began with a C.
I recognized the expired Building Permit dated 5/7/2003 that I kept re-reading obsessively on my walks along the ocean back in what I considered “real time.” The permit was still there, except I had never seen it from the inside of the deserted motor inn 98 years in the future!
The Toronado Motor Inn had been a notoriously dirty, unkept, miserable dwelling, subject to Early-AM renovations commonly known in the vernacular as “trashing,” implemented by some of the more boisterous, imaginative clientele, who always visited on short notice, short funds, and consistently celebrated their marginal existence in a heartfelt manner.
That, and the Parsons Family Unit 13 missing children mystery in year 2002 definitively concluded the “Toronado Chapter” of history at 134 Ocean Avenue, Skyhaven NH, USA.
Gracie was obviously aware of my germ-phobia; that mind-reading thing, like my wife Louise is so good at — even though Louise is superficially a “Homo Sapiens Sapiens” like myself, and Gracie is obviously not her twin sister. “The place has been sanitized.“
“Consider this structure a stage-set. We needed the location, and wanted to blend in with the surroundings.” I could understand how four strikingly perfect virtually identical impeccably attired matte-gray pigmented strangers who could communicate without saying a word would attract attention — even with the summer beach crowd.
“We’re here because there remains plus or minus one-percent of the time left to solve the Sun Problem, which began in 2002 but none of you folks, ‘Homo Sapiens Sapiens,’ caught on until a bit later; nearly 2010.”
I experienced a gray rush of terror upon hearing the “plus or minus” tolerance specified by Gracie so casually. In Engineering terms, presumably time-travel was a form of Engineering, the minus factor could be fatal. We could be already dead….
As my Engineering-Pony-Man Gregory would ask: “If minus, yes, than is it, just five (meaning the visitors and me), or the end of the world for all?“
I could see him, Gregory, seated at his battered desk in that pit of an office littered with books, magazines, cat fur, and dust bunnies; back there at the Image Processing Company in the ‘Nineties; calmly speculating would someone come to wake him, dress him, and send him off tomorrow morning — or, would it be an “End-Of-World Holiday?”
Gracie resumed her informative, friendly patter. “Hashima Island: that place in Japan, crumbling, deserted. That’s what happens when there is ‘Life After People‘. It’s not so bad here, though, because the ratio of building construction was limited by the marshland and need for vehicle parking during the summer tourist season.”
Tourists: were we, the Four Visitors and I, tourists? Was there a time-traveler discount at the Toronado, A.K.A. Skyhaven Shoal Condominiums, A.K.A. stage setting for the Twilight Zone?
I was invited to Floor Two by The Visitors. It was by way of their mind-speak, evidently Gracie, the loquacious one, wanted to disassociate herself from that particular communication. I noticed that unlike the Karl-Scenario and the Black-Jet-Narrative on science, contradiction, and conundrums, it was the four of them as one:
Imagine a sand sculpture. Like the festivals they had every August in Skyhaven. The sand there was perfect for assembly. Interstitial Bridges is the proper term for what holds the sand together there. There’s just enough water. Too much and the creation flushes away. While you create it. Too little means dry particles. They don’t stick.
The Toronado is really real. Changed. Altered. That’s all. The particles are held together with a candy shell. The sculptors call it candy shell. You can eat it. It’s not sweet like sugar. It is really white glue. Diluted. Very thin. Come up to Floor Two. Inside the region between Twelve and Fourteen.
Gracie was speaking once more, verbally, not the mind-speak. She sounded very much like Louise when connected to me on a cell-phone. Sweet. Perfect.
But interspersed with Gracie’s words: visions of Angels, Demons, Shamans, and Shapeshifters flashed in rapid intermittent sequences. Why bother with the accursed location?
“For the Chosen One.”