Is fate absolute or can it be altered? I wasn’t there, but I had heard a rebroadcast of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s last speech given at the Harrison Mason Temple Church in Memphis in 1968. It always troubled me. There were several lines near the end of that speech that seemed to me to indicate that Martin knew exactly what was going to happen and what the future would hold for the Civil Rights Movement and why.
Here’s an excerpt from ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION:
Vaticinium Ex Eventu
Life must be understood backwards; but… it must be lived forward. ~ Soren Kierkegaard
On this bitterly cold Tuesday in January the dark complexioned young man stood across from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on the west front patio of the capitol building. He placed his hand on an antique Bible extended to him by his wife. “… do solemnly swear … that I will execute…the office of President of the United States faithfully… and will to the best of my ability… preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…” he repeated after Roberts.
Paterman was mining the Council’s postdiction imaging links for potential shifts when his reader hooked the disparate event. He patched the tachyon link’s merb reading to the reductive control node on Jim St. Clair’s imaging portal.
“Did you get that?” Paterman asked.
St. Clair, the Council’s history handler nodded, yes! He flicked at switches and moved adjustment disks to refine the tachyon scanner’s core processor. The processor moved huge petaflops of memory to redirect his imaging search readings to January 2009, and the anomaly that could change the Council’s selected now of 2325.
“God damn! St. Clare shouted. “That’s not supposed to be happening.”
“You want me to grab the event’s precursor link, Jim?”
“Damn right, Charlie,” St. Clair answered. He was agitated. The frown on his face indicated his annoyance and his voice rose in volume as well as pitch. “Who the hell is the savant for that fucking tachyon pod, anyway?”
Paterman pulled up a gork sidebar on his imaging portal and then scrolled down the list. “Got it… names Ben Wilmer,” he replied, “… pod covers the postdiction of Martin Luther King’s events.”
“Damn!” St. Clair sucked in a deep breath. “His only fucking job is to keep King alive.”
St. Clair reset the paradigm mode of his link. He carefully selecting the base of precognition operation taking it back to the antecedent of the January 2009 irregularity. The tachyon movement that sprang from his search combed the historical knowledge base thoroughly for the postdiction modification. It reached out through the merbs hindsight screw holes into the timeline continuum and selected the precursor event in the now of 1968. It allowed St. Clair to view the Ben Wilmer pod’s activities.
“Oh my God!”St. Clair gasped. “He’s screwed up.”
Vaticinium Ex Eventu first appeared in print on the pages of Indiana Science Fiction Anthology 2011 and is currently available in ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION.