Part 36 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15 2023 1:47 P.M.
“That was great.”
“It sure was.”
“Welcome back from the dead. Do you like being alive?”
“I certainly do. A girl could get used to this,” Angel said.
They got up and into the shower. Then they dressed and sat down in the living room. Satoshi had ordered pizza for lunch. It would arrive in about half an hour.
“I just realized how we could find out what the hell happened,” Satoshi said.
“How is that?”
“It’s somewhat of a risk, though. Would you be ready to take some risks?”
“I sure am. I want to know what’s going on. I feel like a complete fraud right now,” Angel said.
“The solution is simple. I would use the Glaring Glasses in mind-reading mode on you. Last time I did that I didn’t have root access. So maybe I didn’t see everything. Maybe they shielded a part of you from my view. But now I’m in charge. So they should give me the whole story. In other words, if the answer is buried somewhere in your unconscious mind, I could find it just by using the Glaring Glasses. Do you want me to try?”
“I’m not sure. You may find some things you don’t like. And you might see things that will change your feelings about me. I’d hate to see that happen.”
“As I said, there is some risk. We may not like the answer. Do you prefer to stay ignorant? I won’t force it on you in any way,” Satoshi said.
“No. Let’s go ahead. I don’t know if I’m a Princess from the 24th Century. But I’m no coward.”
“Okay. Let’s do this.”
Satoshi activated the Glaring Glasses and put them in mind-reading mode. Again he was overwhelmed by a torrent of facts and feelings. It took him a couple of moments to get orientated. Then he understood three facts and three strong emotions.
Angel was no Princess from the 24th Century. She was really a common girl called Thusnelda Sneeze, just as it said in the fake Hong Kong passport he had bought for her on instructions from Khalmorot. She was born and raised in this World, just like anyone else alive right now. She was a sales clerk in a book store and an avid reader of science fiction.
She did not play the part of the Princess consciously. She herself thought it was quite true. Khalmorot had hypnotized her, given her a complete new identity, with fake memories about her life in the 24th Century, about her family and friends and lovers, and her experiences in the society of that World. And he had arranged for the arrival scene at the New York Stock Exchange to look like someone arriving from another time, by making her invisible before leading her under the balcony. The good news was that there never was any danger of appearing in a space already occupied by someone in the present time.
And she would not know about that for another week. She would think that she was a Princess for one last week, and once she woke up next Tuesday, the truth would come back to her.
Right now, as a Princess, she was completely secure in her love affair with Satoshi. She thought that it was a great honor for him that she gave herself to him, and there was no way he could walk away from her love, which was deep and real. But that security would be gone next Tuesday.
Right now, as a Princess, she was completely secure in her confidence about the mission. She still thought it would be extremely easy to get global warming and the Moros 27 asteroid problem solved. Her mission could not possibly fail. Again, that security would be gone next Tuesday.
And, finally, she still was worried about Nathaniel Glyde, the Emperor who didn’t exist but whom she thought was her father. And about her teacher Zyana Zack, and the rest of her family and friends, and her lovers in the 24th Century. She hated the thought that by succeeding in her mission she would kill them all.
Satoshi shut the Glaring Glasses down.
“So, did you learn anything new?”
“I sure did. These Glaring Glasses have extraordinary power. I saw much more than the last time when I didn’t have root access.”
“What did you see? Am I really a Princess from the 24th Century?”
“You sure are. I looked into the deepest layers of your soul. I know now,” Satoshi lied. It was very easy for him to lie convincingly about that point, since he only said what Angel believed anyway. “You are my pretty Princess Angel. I’m so glad I looked.”
He gave Angel another gentle kiss.
“Anything else? Anything that would have disturbed you?”
“Yes. I found that you quite correctly think it is a great honor for me that you chose to give me the gift of your love. You know you’re a Princess, so a common guy like me is really not worthy. You’re right of course. But I’ll do the best I can, under the circumstances.”
“You do that,” Angel said, smiling.
“I also saw that you’re completely confident in the mission. You still think that it will be very easy to do.”
“Well, I’m right about that of course. Can there be any doubt?”
“I guess you are. I sure hope you are. Someone needs to finally do something about this global warming crisis. And I think we at least have a fair chance that this Buy&Hoard idea will actually work,” Satoshi said.
“Yes. You still are worried about Nathaniel Glyde, your father, and all the other people in the 24th Century. I’m sorry, Angel. I really am. But you chose to do this. You always knew that success with your mission would kill them all.”
“Yes. I knew. But I still hate the fact. There’s nothing I could do about it, though. Even if I tried, I couldn’t stop the solution any more. And I won’t try. I’ve got some more time, and I will help you get the mission done. Do you have any idea how long my extension time will be?”
“No,” Satoshi lied again. He knew exactly that she had one extra last week as Princess Angel. “There was nothing. No hint whatsoever.”
“So what now? Shall we go back to that World-saving business tomorrow?” Angel said.
“Tomorrow? You are taking the afternoon off from the mission?”
“Of course I am. I just came back from the dead, remember? I shouldn’t be here anyway, and I don’t have a deadline anymore. There’s no need to hurry.”
Link to part 37: John Baker on the Solar Cross