Looking Ahead at the Past - Expecting Deus ex Machina
BATTLING CRO-BORG BROTHERS
RealPeople™ Cubicle 23-D
Lost Vegas Sim World
2043 Post Apoc.
"Mom likes me best."
"Not. Ow. Big bully. I-give-I-give. Big bully. I’m telling. MOM!"
RealParent™ Maxine glided through the portal, her arm pads akimbo. Her screen flashed angrily. Mongo, stop hitting your brother. Go to your cave.
"Go interact with your cave-mate, Bev. I mean it, Mongo. Go to your past right now."
"But, Mom. Bev is no fun. She makes me hunt and keep the cave clean."
"You heard me. Or I’ll tell your father."
As Maxine reversed direction to resume monitoring her 'story', End of the Days of Our Lives, her FaceTube came back on: "You can tell by the way I parse my talk, I'm a ladies' clone, no time to squawk..."
The brothers waited till their motherboard had left the day unit and resumed fighting.
MONGO'S CAVE WALL DIARY
Last night, huddled for warmth against Bev, I dreamed a white bird with a long, graceful neck flew straight to me - from a small speck in the blue sky, growing larger until it landed on my shoulder. There it made cooing sounds while it groomed its feathers. I sat still, not wanting to disturb the little miracle. Then it pooped on me.
Flowers smell good, pulled some for Bev. I'm worried about our binary-fission son. He's a terrible hunter and I'm thinking it's likely Melvin is a proto-vegan PETA beta version who thinks his father is a Neanderthal, but really he's a Cro-Magnon. It's your typical father-son millennium gap. And he seems too attached to Bev... at the nipple.
Hot enough? Note to self, invent shoes. Ground hot, rocks and stones burn! Caught a saber-toothed tiger today that was too tired to run, tongue all hanging out.
The leaf color and the sunsets are just so darn pretty. I love this time of year. Note to self: consider building a Rudy Valley theme resort ala West World ... well, when time is right. Long time, maybe....
Time passed. A spot of drool formed at the corner of the Cro-Borg's mouth, ran down his bearded chin and disappeared.
North of Los Angeles - 210 Freeway
When Central Dispatch's Gate bot mistakenly set Mongo down in the middle of present day rush hour instead of his cave home in prehistoric Rudy Valley, traffic was, as usual, gridlocked in all directions; a woman in an SUV was on her cell phone informing her husband that she was running late when suddenly she screamed,
"Jack, I have to hang up. There's a hairy seven foot man banging on my hood. I swear, these squeegee men get crazier every day. Where's a cop when you need one? Omigawd, Harry, he’s HUGE! GET AWAY FROM MY CAR! Jack, he's coming to my window... Ewww what's that SMELL?"
The chip-implanted Cro-Borg, intending only to ask his location in time and space, took umbrage at this rather accurate description of his personal hygiene and signaled his displeasure with the middle finger gesture ubiquitous throughout the known universes.
Diane's shock level trebled as the Null Gate bot analyzed its glitch and abruptly warped Mongo out of L.A., leaving only a bad smell that made Diane roll up her window; next a quick cortex wipe plus zone-out of three other witnesses, leaving the impression she had made the whole thing up to vent her impatience with the traffic,
"Jack, she thought in the next second, will so get it. God, I love that man."
A quick ripple of pleasure through her groin to aid forgetfulness, and the bot's time tweaks were complete.
B.C. (BEFORE CLAPTON)
"This new firewood make cave smell funny. Not funny strange, funny ha-ha. I could eat a dinosaur. I am a dinosaur. A big T. Rex, see my funny little arms?"
The Cro-Magnon steps out of the cave for a look at the star-filled night. "Whoa... it's getting near dawn...
.. duh duh da DUH ...in the sunshine of your... "
Silence stretches on and on. Finally lowering his gaze from the sky, Mongo closes his mouth with an audible clack, and a bone in his neck pops, "... getting near dawn...duh duh da duh."
From inside the cave, comes Bev's sleepy voice. "Mongo, stop singing and come back to bed, it's still dark outside, you could be eaten by something. I'm cold, put another stick on the fire. Does the fire smell funny to you? I'm hungry, are you hungry, MONGOOOOO!"
WE NEED TO TALK
Bev paces cave and glances warily at infant son Melvin, now 16,
so named for loin cloth that constantly rides up in back. Her red eyes show strain of parenting: lack of sleep, pain of nursing, and total lack of diapers. Melvin's refusal to be weaned is turning into big problem. Mongo remains oblivious to son's unresolved Oedipal conflict. Melvin sees no conflict, likes status quo.
"Mongo, Melvin can't be our son. We still not figure out kissing yet. I sleep alone in twin-sized stone bed till you discover bathing. How can he be ours?"
"Mongo not understand confusion over Melvin's strange appearance
and behavior. Is simple matter of binary fission." Mongo's normal blank
expression narrowed into a thousand yard stare. His eyes glazed over and
in a strange voice he recited. ".. is method of asexual reproduction
that involves splitting parent cell into two approximately equal parts."
Bev stared hard at her hirsute misadventurer, "Bev going home to Zuk Zuk. He make me brush after every meal, but him only speak in one voice. This cave not big enough for all of you. Bev never alone with Mongo."
Mongo shuffles shyly through cave fire, singeing hair from feet. Gently taking Bev's crusted hand, he mumbles into his beard, "Zuk Zuk big fool to let Bev get away."
Mongo tensed against the presence, the light blinding him, the voice speaking as if inside him. He shut his eye lids tightly against the brilliance of the penetrating beam. It burned inside his brain. Terror turned his skin cold and clammy while his heart pounded in his chest. His hands locked over his ears to protect against the sound; a futile gesture. Seconds ticked by like hours.
"What?!" he shouted. The spell broken by his motherboard's voice, he morphed back into a present many years from now. He brought his gaze back into focus. Two hours had passed. He rubbed his eyes.
"Dinner! Have you finished your homework?"
"Almost, just a little bit longer."
The light intensified. Against his will, he felt himself losing control, slipping, sliding. He tried to brace himself, but it was hopeless. He surrendered to a power greatly than himself, which so far included everyone.
"Here we go, one more push, PUSH! That's it, gooood."
RealDoctor Brown deftly plucked the child up into his hands, while Nurse4, midwife unit, cut the cord and set the chip implant. The child was already shrieking in dismay at this new cold dry place where breathing required a new skill set.
"Congratulations, RealParent Maxine. It's a boy. And a machine."
Mongo has been in the shop and now sports a new chip implant. This means disk wipes cannot erase or delete him.
Back in the future waits Bev, his mortal cave mate. She is a technophobe, born to tree dwellers, but blessed with aptitude and larger frontal lobes. Bev has decided to go on Mongo's next time-traveling field trip even though she is frightened by the frog eggs in a blender feeling during molecular reintegration.
Over the years since Mongo captured her from a band of wandering Neanderthals, Bev has grown sick and tired of waiting in the cave for Mongo to return with stories of his adventures. This is always followed by the inevitable hair drag into the moonlight or high noon sun without so much as a questioning grunt. However, to make these trips, she will require the same RealPeople™ chip upgrade.
She has decided that if he can make these time hops, so can she.
Bev looked up at the holographic sign at the entrance to Tampa's Time Transit Authority:
DEPARTURES - OLD STONE AGE TO LATE BRONZE AGE
"Mongo, where do you want to go today?"
The Cro-Borg began to speak, then paused before continuing, "Where would YOU like to go today, dear?"
"You are a quick study, you beast. Why did I wait so long to time-travel with you?"
Mongo began to speak, caught himself and stopped. He was doing more catching and stopping these days and far less dragging and pointing.
He missed the old days.
© Mike Whitney 2010
Mike Whitney was born in Chicago. He lives on a hillside in western North Carolina with only implanted memories of how he got there.