Second Last Week

Part 40 of my third global warming science fiction novel “Last Week”. Link to Part 1: “Back To Paradise Era”.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17 2023 1:47 P.M.

“I need to tell you the truth,” Satoshi said.

They had finished their lunch, which had been another excellent choice from the Paradise Era, the best era in history to live as a human being. After drinking a cup of coffee, and just before they were ready to get up and leave the restaurant, that he hesitatingly made that remark. He didn’t seem comfortable with the situation.

“What? You have been lying to me, your Princess? I thought you knew how to treat Royalty.” Angel frowned.

“I’m sorry. I really am. But I thought it was in your best interest not to know. I did it for you, not in my own interest.”

“I’ll never understand this 21st Century World stuff. How can everyone lie so much all the time? Why don’t you have the Fifth Commandment? It sure takes some getting used to,” Angel said. “Okay, come clean now. What is it that you haven’t told me? You are married, or something?”

“No. It’s not that. It’s just that I know something else about your mission. And the time machine. And when you will cease to exist as Princess Angel. I saw it with the Glaring Glasses.”

“What? You know what’s happening? Tell me. I need to know,” Angel said.

“It’s very simple. After the first week was over, you had exactly one week more. You are in your last week as Princess Angel. And you have only four days left. Princess Angel will be gone by Tuesday morning. This time for good.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Angel said, in a rather loud voice. She didn’t appreciate at all being kept out of the loop.

“Again, it was in your own interest. I saw how you feared disappearing the first time around. I thought it would be easier on you if it just happened. One evening you go to bed, minding your own business, and the next morning you just don’t wake up. That’s the ideal death most of us would like to experience. But if you know that you won’t wake up the next morning, you’ll worry, and be afraid. Again, I saw you the first time,” Satoshi explained.

“So why did you change your mind?”

“I don’t really like lying. It’s hard for me. Especially with you. Even if it is for your own good. And I thought it was not fair. If you really will disappear, you should at least know how much time you have left. Most people don’t know, or don’t care, so they waste a lot of time. You don’t have a lot of time to waste. You have only one last week, and almost half of it is over already.”

“You bastard,” Angel shouted. “Don’t you ever lie to me again!”

“I’m sorry,” Satoshi said. “I really am. Do you want me to leave?”

“Actually, yes, that’s what I feel like. But there’s no time for fighting. We need to get that global warming mission done fast,” Angel said, calming down a little. “How do you know that’s true? I mean, we have clear proof that I’m from the 24th Century. The Glaring Glasses. What proof is there that I’ll be gone by Tuesday morning? Why should I believe you? It wasn’t true the first time around.”

“I saw it when I looked into your mind with the Glaring Glasses. You know it as well, but the memory has been blocked from your own view. I don’t understand this stuff very well either. It’s quite extraordinary. But that’s what I saw. It may be wrong, of course.”

“I sure hope it is wrong. I kind of like living in this era. It’s called Paradise Era for a reason.”

“Do you want to disclose this to the World?” Satoshi asked.

“I’m not sure about that,” Angel said. “I still look stupid for telling them I’d be dead by now. It would probably look even worse if I tried that again. No one would believe me.”

“I guess you’re right. I wouldn’t believe it either, if I hadn’t seen it with the Glaring Glasses. There was no mistaking it. That’s exactly what was hidden in your subconscious mind.”

“But that could just as easily be only some kind of dream or other. The only thing I know for sure is that I am Princess Angel from the 24th Century, on a suicide mission to have fun in the Paradise Era and save the World from global warming and Moros 27. There can be no doubt about that. My subconscious mind may have told you that I have only four days left, but I don’t really believe it. I am most certainly not going to announce this in public. I would look completely ridiculous.”

“You may be right, of course,” Satoshi said. “Actually, I sure hope you’re right. I don’t like the idea of having you disappear from my life. Again. It was hard enough the first time around, if you want to hear the truth. I wasn’t even able to call a hooker as you suggested.”

“Okay. So, we’re not going to announce this. But here’s a different idea.”

“What?”

“Let’s just announce another time limit. Tuesday morning next week. I won’t tell anyone that I’ll be gone then, but I’ll tell them that we’ll have Buy & Hoard up and running by that time, which will be the end of that little global warming problem. What do you think?”

“I like the idea. I never understood your crazy optimism. But I think that either Buy & Hoard will work, in which case it will be clear to anyone very quickly that it does, or it won’t and the planet will get fried by the double whammy of global warming and Moros 27. We should be able to tell within a couple of days,” Satoshi said.

“Okay. Let’s offer a little challenge to John Baker. I’ll bet him that he will agree to stop production at the Canadian Tar Sands before Tuesday morning. If I lose the bet, I’ll pay him four dollars.”

“He didn’t impress me as someone interested in gambling.”

“Never mind. I’ll just challenge him anyway. It will be fun getting him to obey my order in those couple of days,” Angel said.

She went to her blog and posted the challenge.

Link to part 41: Cinderella in Reverse

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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