Part 32 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 2023 10:14 A.M.
“So, she’s dead now.”
“That depends. If she was telling the truth earlier, yes, she’s dead.”
“The whole story is completely ridiculous. Just another publicity stunt by the environmental terrorists.”
“Of course. There is no such thing as time travel. There can’t be.”
“It may still be effective. I hear the access numbers to her blog are way up. That idea of a dying message does have some entertainment value.”
“Can we turn that around? Use the idea for our side of the message?”
“I guess we could. Have Prince Alberto from the 24th Century show up. He’s her older brother, the Crown Prince next in line of succession. Have him apologize for the stupid hoax his little sister has pulled off.”
“Interesting idea. I’ll give it to one of our advertising agencies. We want the whole planet to laugh at the idea of the Princess from the 24th Century.”
“But then, maybe we don’t want to get any extra attention for them. If we react to the story with a clever advertising campaign, the story just gets bigger. It’s still an interesting idea to turn this around. Maybe we’ll do it later, once everybody has forgotten about their little hoax.”
John Baker had set up a meeting with Senator Nutt in her office. He wanted to discuss the Princess hoax, as he called it. There still was not much damage to his public relations effort, but the hoax was gaining some traction on the Internet. He wanted to shut it down before it became a problem.
“So, if she’s not dead, do you think we’ll hear from her again?” Senator Nutt asked.
“I don’t think so. It would make her look rather silly, publishing a dramatic dying message and then popping up again the next day. This was a one-time stunt. We could probably just ignore it and wait until people forget about it. Attention spans are short, and there are always some new stories.”
“Anyway, there seems to be nothing much we could do about it, except wait and see if she shows up again, one way or another.”
“There is one hint, though,” John Baker said. “That last blog post addressing Theo Birnbaum.”
“What does that tell us?”
“She said that there will be a chance to inspect the Glaring Glasses, and she asked Birnbaum for his cooperation. Probably her driver or whoever that other guy was now has them. This will of course be a public event, so we’ll get a chance to track him. I’d like to talk to him, ask him what he knows about this pretty Princess from the 24th Century,” John Baker explained.
“Have you chosen an expert for our side?”
“Yes. I think Professor Harvel will do. My staff has contacted him, and he would be interested in looking at the device. For a fee, of course.”
“The problem is, Angel is out of the game now. I can’t just contact her over her blog or Twitter feed. She’s supposed to be dead. I’d look rather stupid trying to contact a dead person,” Senator Nutt said.
“Yes. I have to admit it. You might look stupid. But there’s an easy solution to that.”
“What is it?”
“Actually, there are two solutions. For one, you can just contact her without attaching your name. Have one of your staffers do an anonymous comment on the blog that can’t be traced to you. Then you can always deny having contacted her, if that becomes necessary. And you could actually do it completely in the open, if you just challenge her story. Remember, that idea of her disappearing in a week as a side effect of time travel is ludicrous to begin with. You won’t look stupid at all if you challenge it,” John Baker explained.
“Interesting,” Senator Nutt said. “Mind if I do this right now?”
Senator Nutt pointed her browser to Angel’s blog and entered a comment:
“Hi. I hope you have slept well tonight, Princess Angel from the 24th Century. If you are still among us, I would like to inform you that I have changed my mind. Of course if your little story is true you have died today, but you can probably return from the dead easily, with all those super powers you have.
“I have found an expert that would be ready to look at your Glaring Glasses device and expose your fraudulent claims. Please contact my office to arrange a date and time to do so.”
She looked at John Baker.
“That would do just fine,” he said.
Senator Nutt posted the comment. It would be interesting to see if there was any reaction to it.
“How about that idea of stopping production from the Canadian tar sands from tomorrow on?” Senator Nutt asked.
“After all the trouble I had getting the Keystone pipeline approved?”
“These environmental terrorists obviously have no idea what they are talking about,” Senator Nutt said. “But I do have some fond memories of that fight.”
“Yes. It was quite a lot of fun seeing the environmental terrorists squeal once I got the pipeline built. They actually thought they had a chance in that fight.”
“Should I put out some kind of press release answering these last blog posts from our pretty Princess?” Senator Nutt said.
“I’m not sure that would be helpful. We don’t want to call any extra attention to this story. It already got too much play. Let’s just wait and see for a couple of days. Maybe Alexandrina will post about it. She posts so much each day, she can’t easily ignore the story. It does get her some readers, I guess. But you should just ignore the Princess for now.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Senator Nutt said. “I’ll let you know if there is any reaction to my comment about inspecting the Glaring Glasses.”
“See you later then,” John Baker said. “By the time of our next round of golf this whole story will be history. No one is going to care once a bit of time has passed.”
Link to part 33: Prof. Neidensteiner Examines the Glaring Glasses