Part 19 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 01: “Back To Paradise Era”.
Thursday, February 9, 2023, 3:03 P.M.
While Angel was holding her little meeting at Senator Nutt’s office, the CEO of Non Standard Oil John Baker was watching a live camera feed of the event. There was a hidden camera installed in the conference room for that purpose. This was not the first time John Baker had watched Senator Nutt meeting some people or other. This kind of setup had been very useful before.
He had suggested that Senator Nutt accept Angel’s request for a meeting. He wanted to find out what this business of a time traveling Princess was about. If there was any threat to his communication and lobbying strategy from this new development, he needed to find out early.
Could it be that this time travel story was actually true?
Of course he didn’t believe in time travel. That was impossible to pull off. It would break the chain of cause and effect. Time travel would always change the future by whatever action the time traveler took. Those changes in turn would change the state of the World at the point in time the time traveler departed. There would be two such states. A fork, in the language of open source software development. But there can’t be two states of the World at the same time. There was no way to overcome the contradictions that were necessarily involved in time travel. No amount of future technology development could change that basic fact.
But he believed very much in the ability of the environmental terrorists to come up with a crazy story about a time traveler from the 24th Century and spread all sorts of alarmist garbage with that rhetorical device. It was an effective idea. He had to admit it. So he wanted to see early on how the opposition executed it.
He had also heard from Michael Warden, the staffer at Senator Nutt’s office that had dealt with Angel in the first place. For some reason John Baker could not understand, Warden actually believed this story was true. There were multiple problems with that.
How did this “Angel” character get into the office without an appointment in the first place? They had checked with the security staff, who didn’t remember giving access to anyone at the time.
And how had she pulled off convincing Warden of this crazy story? There must be some rather advanced hypnosis involved. John Baker understood that much. But how was it done? He certainly did not appreciate having some environmental terrorists walk right into Senator Nutt’s office and pulling off this kind of stunt.
There clearly was a need to investigate.
So Senator Nutt canceled the meeting with the lobbyists and agreed to the meeting with Angel. And John Baker listened in on the meeting.
At the age of 55 years, the one thing he had always wanted from life was money. He was smart enough to understand that working for the most profitable company in human history was a good way of achieving that goal.
Since he had started investing in bitcoins a couple of years ago, his most important goal in life was to hold as many bitcoins as there were years in the date. At the present exchange rate, a goal of 2023 bitcoins was around $250 million. He figured that he would get there in a couple of years.
His latest bonus for the fourth quarter of 2022 had been $20 million. Not bad. Not bad at all.
John Baker was smart enough to make it to the top at Non Standard Oil. He was also a hobbyist magician, with a special interest in the fields of hypnosis and mentalism. He was actually rather good at that. He knew exactly what hypnosis could do. And he often used the principles of this ancient art to his advantage, and to the advantage of Non Standard Oil.
So when Angel activated the Glaring Glasses and Alexandrina Heathershaw changed her behavior, he was very interested. He didn’t notice the brief flash of blue light from the Glaring Glasses. But he knew that there was no way this could be done with the hypnotic techniques of the 21st Century. He was an expert.
So he understood that there must be something to these “Glaring Glasses”, as this environmental terrorist had called them. He needed to get his hands on them. He wanted them for himself.
John Baker called his chief of security.
“There are some people meeting Senator Nutt right now. I want a tail on two of them. You know Theo Birnbaum, Roberto Romero, and Alexandrina Heathershaw. I’m not interested in them. I want the other two people followed. A man and a woman. Find out all about them.” He cut the connection.
For the twentieth time that particular day John Baker checked the exchange rate for bitcoins. Should he buy another lot of seven? He always bought seven bitcoins at a time. On one level he knew that there was nothing lucky about the number seven. And that his good fortune depended on delivering value to his shareholders, not on choosing lucky numbers when buying bitcoins. But he still allowed himself this small superstition.
He decided, again, to wait for the market to go down some more. Then he checked btcbalance.net, a website that gave him his bitcoin net worth adding up the coins in all his addresses. He looked approvingly at the result. 1778 bitcoins, $218.694 million. He had already reached the late 18th Century in his little game of catching up with the calendar. Only 250 years left.
He directed his attention back to the live feed. The environmental terrorist was displaying an animation about sea level rise. Not very impressive. That could be easily done with 21st Century technology. He had seen that kind of thing before.
Then he watched Senator Nutt break up the meeting. Damn! His security people would not make it in time to put a tail on these environmental terrorists.
He called his chief of security again, telling him to hurry up.
Link to part 20: Run! RUN! RUN!!