Editor’s note. In the summer of 2075, during the production of Daniel Turner’s biography, I had been assured by those who knew the man that I would find unusual things in his personal writings and notes, which were publicly released five years after his death. I had not expected to find evidence to suggest that he and his friend Dale Cromwell were either delusional or, as their diaries suggest, from an alternative universe. Just writing the words “alternative universe” brings all my research work into question. But, I have assembled this article with the intent to – in a short space – give you an idea of how their minds worked during that pivotal 2007 period. Full transcripts of the diaries are, of course, available online. This compact version should give you a glimpse into these fascinating lives that, regardless of your views on them, were doubtless key catalysts of the massive social change that raced through The Protectorate in the previous fifty-five years.
Daniel Turner’s Diary – January 10, 2007
I have been in Toronto since discovering the Cessna wreck at Buttonville. I had thought that I’d go underground to try to find Dale (or somehow prove to myself he didn’t exist) but I have come to the conclusion that I won’t be able to operate this way. It’s like being dropped off in rural China with nothing but a smile and trying to find people.
Also, I am finding that depression is setting in and I have decided to start writing this secret journal just to keep my nut screwed on.
I am also having misgivings about leaving my own frozen body out in the woods for people to eventually find. It strikes me that my life here would be simpler if I didn’t have the fear of the police coming up to me and wondering why they have a corpse in an alien aircraft with my face on it.
January 14, 2007
It was back breaking work (and took three nights) to use a sledge to haul enough gasoline to the crash site. I think I did a bit of overkill getting the fuel out there and dumped over the entire airframe. I also wanted it really, really hot. I didn’t want the local police to be able to figure anything out. Then I cleared brush from around the plane to create a firebreak so that I wouldn’t burn the whole of Buttonville to ashes. As ghoulish as this seems, I took B&W photos of the site, including the corpses. I will have to find a B&W darkroom to rent later to process the pictures. Can’t send those to the local photo shop!
It also worried me that I too would go up in flames. I therefore wore a snowsuit over a sweater and regular clothes. I set up a line of twigs and needles that was sprinkled with gas. I dumped the snowsuit on the wreckage, walked back to the end of the twigs-and-needles fuse and lit it. I ran away and did not have to go back. The fireball was spectacular. I kept a moment of silence and then drove the hell out of there. It was an odd feeling. I had just cremated my original body; I had taken over this universe’s Dan Turner. I couldn’t help but imagine that Dan Turner was dead; his mind and soul gone where we all go when we die. Same with Dale. But now I had to find him to be sure.
January 22, 2007
I promised myself that I was going to write every day, but I could not think of anything since the cremation. I was wandering around a very grey and unexciting copy of Toronto. Like Vancouver, it had all the street names, but none of the style. Possibly worse was the fact that it was culture-free. There were the so-called thralls (slaves) and white people. I was pondering the problem of how to find Dale. I went to bookstores and libraries trying to figure out how I’d search for Dale. Assuming he was here at all, my next assumption was that he’d be in the US or Canada. It turns out that only companies can own slaves (or what they call ‘hold rights of indentured servitude’). Apparently the concept of individual slave owners is archaic. It is doubtful that I will emotionally ever get past this whole slavery thing.
Anyway, there seemed to be no central database that had names of slaves – at least not one accessible to individuals. So this left me needing to set up a company. But what would my company do? While in a bookstore, in front of a magazine rack and I noticed that the titles were all really, really boring. I was used to a blast of beautiful faces and bodies on the covers. The sexiest cover was on a car magazine.
Then it occurred to me. A toned-down version of Hugh Hefner’s concept of Playboy might just work. If there were ever a society with pent-up demand for a brighter, sexier existence, it is this one. Also, this generation is behind the times on the birth control pill and access to safe sex products: these items had only come out in the 90s.
Technically I work for Molson’s, although I was now overdue to return to work. I have a wife, who I don’t really know, who honestly would be fine-looking for the magazine I have in mind. If the publication were to promote a lifestyle that was based on the idea that gentlemen want beautiful woman, fine cars, good booze – and I focus on that – I might be able to find Dale and have some fun in the process. In the end, though, I have to form a company in order to find Dale. It was time to return to Vancouver.
January 25, 2007
Lindsey was not too happy to see me. I felt bad for her because she will never get the response from me that might make her happy. No matter what she felt, I have lost a whole world and my best friend could be a slave somewhere doing god-knows-what.
So I took the offensive and apologized. I said that the coma had messed me up and I wanted to do well by her and that I had a crazy but work-able idea. At that point I gave her the vision of the magazine and that the side-effects of it would be that women would become real women who weren’t just housewives or secretaries, but totally sexy. I was frank with her that I worried that a side-effect of this would be objectification. I was caught off guard when Lindsey said, “And we aren’t objects now? It wasn’t until 1950 that we had the right to vote. We were almost as non-persons as thralls and we were even white and bore the children.”
I said to her that this crazy idea of mine might not work. That it would ruffle feathers, it might just not fly and, if she did not want to be the first Gentlemen’s Monthly Girl, that’s fine.
“As long as I don’t have to wear stuff that makes me look fat,” she said.
January 29, 2007
So, I finished the first day of work at Molson’s. My marketing job is more of a reporting job using what I could have sworn was a mainframe terminal from the 80s. Green screen and all. I remember seeing systems like that at my first job – the IT guys had them for legacy systems. Fortunately, I was able to BS my way through most of the stuff.
I am not planning on staying at the company long. My hope is to find out what the ad buying process is and then hopefully build some contacts so that the first run of the magazine will have some advertisers. Beer and magazines with beautiful women are made for each other.
Setting up Gentlemen’s Monthly Enterprises was fairly straightforward. This society is fairly free enterprise and seems to have not bogged itself down with bureaucracy. The matter that everything is done on paper is getting annoying. I’m an email and online kind of guy. The Internet, if it exists, is still totally controlled by government and/or military.
February 14, 2007
I decided it was time to disclose to Lindsey about the other universe. I was so focused on finding Dale that it was clear to her that I had another agenda. She is enjoying the work on the magazine, despite the controversy. So I took her out to dinner – we can now afford it – and explained it all. I think that the rolls of film and the wallets that I retrieved from the crash site went a long way to convince her.
“When will you abandon the search? How do you know he’s not dead?” she asked.
“You are very kind; you didn’t ask me when I was going to realize I was insane.”
“Insanity is a possibility, for sure,” she said. “But, how in heaven’s name do you forge wallets like these? And what benefit is there to forging the wallet of a thrall?”
“I will keep looking for a couple of years,” I answered, “under the guise of building up the right staff for the magazine. If I don’t have a lead by that point, I’ll have to concede defeat.”
Editor’s note. Many of Mr. Turner’s entries between January and December 2007 involve details of setting up his company which I leave for you to review online. The diary entries clearly show his search for Dale Cromwell was a growing obsession. To get the full impact of this journey, I will now insert entries from Dale Cromwell’s diaries as well as Daniel Turner’s.
Dale Cromwell’s Diary – December 12, 2007
Daniel is making me write. Since there’s no psychological help for people with skin colour like mine in this fucked up world, Daniel said that writing it out was best. At least it gets my brain working …
Where to start? The last year is a blur. Waking in what they laughingly call a hospital for slaves was a shock. They don’t use the word slave – thrall – what the fuck is that? – Anyway, they thought I was crazy. It must have seemed that way given the shit I was saying about having an apartment, living in Toronto, actually not being the property of anyone, let alone General Motors. I had no idea what was going on. The beatings – by black people mostly – taught me to shut up. Then, it was shift after shift of bending the same bit of fucking aluminium over and over. Automation was minimal – it was as if the computer age had got to 1970 and stopped. But why automate when all you have to do is breed slaves? Probably the most disgusting aspect of the situation is the fact that men are studded out to black women who are considered good stock. Most of “my kind” are honestly pretty fucking stupid. Generations of no access to books and education (beyond what was needed for the job.) And, if the companies want, they could breed in and out traits – just like cattle.
I was depressed for months. And now and then I’d let my big mouth blast off. Then the black supervisor would pound the shit out of me for a while and then put me back on the line. Every time they told me this would go on my record. The supervisors said this with grave overtones – which had no meaning to me. I figured later that the more marks in my record I had, the less likely I’d get a turn boinking the slave lady who was breeder of the week. Jesus, what a fucked up system. By the time this was dawning on me, I had figured out there was no way I was in the world I knew. No way. But how? Why? Where was Daniel? I remember the plane. How I let that idiot talk me into flying is beyond me. I was totally shitting myself before that damn storm came up. Then, boom. I wake up in a stinking hospital in Detroit. God.
Daniel showing up was freaky. I was planning to kill myself at this point because the life before me was a horrific vision. Of course, I wanted to take as many of them with me as possible. Regardless, it was only three days ago (feels like a year) I was taken into an office with white people. A couple of white guys in suits sat at a table, with my file, and when the supervisor and I entered, they told us to sit. A few minutes later, Daniel walks in with a six-foot-six black dude who looked meaner than a US Marine on a bad day in Iraq. I was dumbstruck. The GM whites were fawning over Daniel. “Mr. Turner. A great pleasure to meet you. An honour.” Blah blah blah. And Daniel was sucking on an unlit pipe and wearing a blue suede jacket. God, he looked stupid. And then he fucking winked at me and flashed a smile. And I knew it was him, really him. The GM suits were asking him if this was a transaction he really wanted.
“Absolutely,” Daniel said. “The work I need him for is radically different than yours. His record shows he’s not suited here. Might as well make the best use of the resource, eh?”
And then it hit me. Dan was buying “my rights”, a euphemism for becoming my slave owner. “Mr. Dennison”, Daniel said to the 6-6 guy, “could you review the contract please?” The GM suits and my supervisor were looking shocked. I guessed that slaves didn’t read, let alone read contracts. I was keeping my mouth shut tight. Once 6-6 was done, Daniel signed the contracts with a flourish. “Mr. Dennison, please take Mr. Cromwell back to his accommodation, help him gather his belongings and bring him to the limo.”
“Yes Mr. Turner.”
As I walked down the corridor, 6-6 did not talk. Neither did my supervisor. It didn’t take long to pack. I had nothing. And we marched back out the gates of the barracks to a waiting limo. 6-6 opened the door and we stepped in. There was a beautiful white woman sitting beside Daniel. She said, “Is this him?”
Daniel said: “Dale, if I asked you: ‘what happened on 9/11?’ what would you say?”
“Terrorist attack. Twin Towers. George W. Bush. Afghanistan. Bin Laden,” I replied.
Daniel lunged at me and hugged me. The guy started crying. Never thought of him as a crying kind of guy. However, this was an exceptional situation. So much so that I think I fainted in the car; it hit me like a brick that I was finally out of GM.
Daniel Turner’s Diary – December 14, 2007
This is the first chance I’ve had to write since finding Dale. I am really worried about him due to the treatment he suffered.
It’s hard to believe that all that drowning in paper looking for Dale worked. I am still annoyed, despite my success, that data about slaves is kept in individual companies’ files and is only accessible when you try to buy thrall rights. Companies are required to log their slave discipline records. Dale did not disappoint me; he had persistent anti-authority issues on his record.
I do smile at my luck. My search process found Mr. Dennison. His IQ – had I a way to measure it – has got to be around 175. His size makes people think he’s stupid when in fact he’s a genius. I let him loose in my private library, which included history, business and other manner of material and he was like a kid in a candy factory. Anyway, that’s how my contract manager came to be. Dennison was also crucial in finding Dale.
So when we walked into the office and saw Dale, it was as if I no longer felt alone in this world. He validated that I was not insane.
Lindsey and Mr. Dennison were shocked to see me so animated. They knew I was looking for Dale, and I think they thought I was mad. They truly became believers that I was from another world when we found Dale and they realized he was not raised here.
What scared me more was Dale’s condition. He passed out in the limo the day we picked him up. Dennison carried him into the mansion and took him to the guest suite. We tossed blankets over him and left him to sleep. It was a full 24 hours later when Dale emerged. I had been checking on him periodically and decided he needed sleep more than anything else. I heard the shower in the guest suite going. I had left him a note that he could clean up if he liked and change clothes. When he came out of the room he said: “Where the hell are we?” .
“It’s a long story buddy,” I said. “Are you hungry? We could go down to the kitchen and talk.”
I asked Dale what he remembered. His story with the approach to Buttonville was consistent with what I recalled. “My theory is that we fell through a hole and landed in this alternate universe. Kind of Bermuda Triangle-ish,” I said.
In the kitchen I started making a couple of sandwiches and Dale asked, “What’s with the fancy digs?”
I shook my head. “After I landed in this world, I was shocked to find out that slavery existed. I went to the crash site and found our original bodies and the Cessna. I burned it all. I want to be free to find you and I discovered that the only way I could find you was to start a company, because only companies can buy rights. I am sorry it took so long. I just feel sick that I couldn’t find you sooner.”
“I appreciate it,” Dale said. “I was near the end.”
“What’s your company?” Dale asked. I explained the whole Hugh Hefner business model and he questioned my ethics, particularly around the objectification of women. I showed him a copy of the magazine and he realized that it was tamer than the last Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I hadn’t thought the publication would be so popular; clearly there had been pent up demand.
“I have a favour to ask,” I said to Dale. “I am curious to see what you think of what’s happened to history. I have gone over all the history texts I can find and the past seems to match my memory up to the US Civil War, or in this case, the US almost Civil War. Can you look over the texts and let me know what you think?”
Dale Cromwell’s Diary – December 16, 2007
I have spent two days in Daniel’s rather extensive library. I can’t believe how much money he made selling a few editions of his magazine. To call it soft porn would be misleading. It’s so tame that you’d think Maxim was hard core. But this society is so socially conservative, I just can’t imagine how I am going to live here. And there’s not a lot of choice. Part of my mind was hoping for a way back. Not likely. The crash site photos, the complete alien nature of my wallet from my 2006, and the fact that Daniel cremated our bodies don’t leave much doubt that we are here to stay. As I look at my scarred hand that I’m writing with I agree with Daniel: those were our actual bodies he cremated and we are some kind of invaders in the bodies we are using now.
On the history front, I may not have been a history major, but things look totally normal until the US Civil War period and then bam. Off kilter totally. How there can be people with our names and similar bodies seems strange. Apparently Lindsey was an old classmate of Daniel’s in our world. For me, I wouldn’t know if any of my relations exist. The access to records for slaves is nearly zero. It’s freaky that Daniel found me at all. Smart boy I tell you.
I headed into the kitchen and found Daniel and Lindsey having brunch. Daniel has set up this totally different persona that he puts on when he’s outside the mansion. Once back inside, he’s himself again. I think he’s only that way around Lindsey and me. I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat with them.
“Daniel, you are right about this whole world taking a big detour at the time of the US Civil War.”
“What’s making me mental is that we are assuming we are not crazy and that we are in an alternate universe. There’s no way to prove that we not are hallucinating.”
“The fact we are hallucinating the exact same thing makes that argument difficult to sustain.”
“OK, so what’s your theory?”
“Well, I think that it’s totally suspicious that the difference started at the Civil War. To me someone went back in time and messed around.”
“Time travel?! Come on.”
“Think about it. Doesn’t this feel artificial to you? The world is neatly divided up into US controlled-western hemisphere, Japan-controlled Asia, German-controlled Europe, butted up against the still-standing Soviet Union. The wars that did happen were not nuclear (i.e no Hiroshima) and the body counts in each war are less. It’s as if someone traded the lives and freedoms of so-called minorities for relative world peace.”
That’s how I remember the conversation going. Daniel was paranoid that some evil red neck time travellers were using the world as their own social experiment. All this time Lindsey had just been staring at us. How freaky must this be for her?
“So, Lindsey,” I said, “you believe this guy when he says we’re from an alternative universe?”
“Pretty much,” she said. “Maybe his theory is off, but this is not the Dan Turner I knew.”
“What about the coma – couldn’t that have just messed him up?”
“The change is too fundamental. Daniel doesn’t hit. Doesn’t drink. Is respectful of almost everyone.”
“I do too drink,” said Daniel.
“Wine with dinner doesn’t count. When we got home last year from the hospital, you didn’t know we had a drinks cabinet. Besides, what are the chances that an insane coma patient would have been able to find you?” Lindsey pointed at me. “You, who are the least thrall-like thrall I’ve ever seen.”
“Look at the way you are sitting. Casually – like you belong here at the table with white people. Daniel’s asked Dennison to sit with us a hundred times. He can’t do it.”
“He will, eventually,” Daniel said.
“Are you,” I said addressing Lindsey,” comfortable with me sitting here?”
She paused. “Frankly? No. But sometimes, when I see you guys talking, I forget – I forget the fear that’s been hammered into me. And that has, well, a miraculous feeling to it.”
“Wow,” I said. “It’s really that bad. Daniel – do you have a plan? I don’t think your fledgling soft porn industry can be that fulfilling. And I’m stuck; I can’t travel; I’m not even a person for god’s sake.”
“My idea,” said Daniel, “is to start as much non violent social change as we can. I can’t live in this world and (involuntarily) endorse slavery. However, open rebellion in a police state usually leads to a death squad. So, we need to be subtle.”
Daniel Turner’s Diary – December 17, 2007
This may sound weird but I’ve decided to marry Lindsey. Oh sure technically we’re already married, but I’ve fallen in love with her. Last month I fully and completely mourned the loss of Vera. I don’t see any way of finding her. Her parents (in my world) were new Canadians. And even if I did find her, she wouldn’t be her. So when I think of Vera, I imagine that she died when I torched the Cessna.
I’ve been hanging out with Lindsey because she has been incredibly good to me and (I am sad to admit) she a means to two ends. She keeps me legit in this society and frankly, as the first Gentlemen’s Monthly Girl, she is stunning. And she’s really gotten into training the subsequent women who are either models in the magazines or hostesses at the clubs. It’s been truly a lot of fun breaking the rules and taboos here. There are so many to break! Unlike what happened in my world, I am training the women we hire to be as savvy about business (and business men) as possible, plus Mr. Dennison is teaching self defense to the ladies. Somehow he got a hold of martial arts books and created his own course. These girls look so good because they are curvy and strong. Plus if any of these women can’t handle a thrall for a teacher, we let them go; it shows they just don’t get it. I wish I could just free all the slaves (who am I? Moses?) because I find just thinking about it offensive.
Anyway, Lindsey: I will ask her to marry me. I hope she doesn’t think I’m too crazy.
Daniel Turner’s Diary – December 18, 2007
Lindsey said yes (after a lot of laughing and snorting). I had brought with me a choice of five rings to replace the crap one Dan Turner bought her. What a dickhead that guy was. In the end she was touched and confessed that she was worried I’d run off with one of the models. The potential for casual sex is pretty intense in this business, but I was never one for that kind of thing. I never cheated on a girl friend: I kept things fairly serial, mind you; I always had a girlfriend.
Also, she’s the only woman I trust in this world. Dale and I will be brothers forever. He and I are truly stuck with each other the way family members are. Mr. Dennison is the only other person I trust. He is very interested in my views of a free society where people aren’t discriminated against (as much). Although I have to admit that when Dale and I were talking about same-sex marriage, which had been legal in my Canada for a couple of years before we left, I thought Mr. Dennison was going to freak out. His self control, which is considerable, was shaken by the very thought. Both black and white cultures have worked hard to eradicate the gay community (honestly, they still use the word gay to mean happy) so when Dale and I decribed going to Brian and Simon’s wedding (they were work friends) Mr. Dennison thought we were crazy.
But in the end, this helped convince Mr. Dennison to go along with my security plan. He could see why we were at risk from a variety of threats. Many, many people would think Dale and I were beyond being heretical trouble-makers; in this paranoid police state people vanish and we would be first on the list, if we let them.
Dale Cromwell’s Diary – December 19, 2007
I had a long talk with Daniel last night. I laughed when he told me he proposed to Lindsey even though they were married. They are thinking of starting the convention in this society of renewing marriage vows. It’s a good publicity stunt because he’s trying to come across as the guy who breaks the rules but is also about family values.
But the serious part of the conversation turned to what we do in this world. I have to admit that I was surprised that Daniel was so sympathetic to my otherness in this world. Because, back home, I’d have to be a black, gay, Jewish member of Al-Qaeda living in Alabama to get the same sense of otherness I get here. The slaves (thralls, whatever) think I’m some kind of freak and of course the white people wonder why I’m not back in the factory bending bits of fucking aluminium. So, when Daniel said he hated this world because it made him a slave-owner and the whole thought made him sick, we decided that we had to set a goal. Namely we wanted to see the end of slavery before we died. The proviso is that in the process we don’t get killed, which is exactly what would happen if we started marching in the streets. I like Daniel’s more subversive approach.
Editor’s note. During the Christmas period of 2007, there were two entries that seemed to be the peak of the references to Turner and Cromwell being from another world, or another version of our world. Accepting simultaneous dual mental illness is difficult. However, there is no physical evidence to corroborate their stories. Was this some kind of joint practical joke? It is left to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.
Dale Cromwell’s Diary – December 24, 2007
It took me all day to stop shaking. Yesterday I walked into Daniel’s study to find him in conversation with two strangers. I found it odd not to see Dennison. Daniel never had business meetings without him in the room. Plus these guys looked wrong … somehow modern. The suits they were wearing were cut more sharply than the current baggy suits. The younger of the two looked like a secret service agent from my world.
“Ah, Mr. Cromwell. I am Dr. Evans.” When I looked at him, he did look educated. Fifty-ish. Angry behind his eyes. “It’s good to meet you. Mr. Turner has been confirming some suspicions.”
“Who are you?” I was stalling because I was sizing up his partner, who looked more dangerous.
“They’re from the future, Dale. Our future,” said Daniel.
“No way,” I said.
“Yes,” said Evans, “We’re from the early 22nd century. We went back in time for research purposes and created this universe.”
“Right. How’d you do that?”
“It was an accident. We thought we’d be invisible, but instead we became tangible and that created a rupture. Our theory is that alternate realities are created spontaneously: a natural process. Our intervention created this one – artificially.”
“How fucking reckless was that?” I asked.
“Please. This is beyond your primitive understanding. You can go forward in time without damage; you can’t go back. We’ve been skipping ahead every decade or so to see how our adjustments have been taking.”
“But,” said Daniel, “you did choose the Civil War era deliberately, right?”
“Of course. We are historians.”
“So, I conclude that the continuation of slavery, regardless of what name you gave it, was your doing?”
“We concluded that the US Civil War was a major mistake and that the United States would have benefited from a more peaceful resolution. Also the economic benefits of maintaining slavery as long as possible were very compelling. In the world view we felt that Europe, the Russian sphere of influence, the Americas and Asia should be kept separate until such time as they economically, socially and culturally develop mutual tolerance.”
I simply stared at this guy. He was playing Lego with the whole world. It was cold. Totally with no perception of the impact on individuals or groups. Plus, he’s wrong (or lying). How do you develop mutual tolerance in isolation? The people here talk about the Chinese and Japanese with terms so rude I can’t even write them down.
“So how do you explain us?” I didn’t know what else to ask. The enormity of white jerks from the future totally fucking with the universe and creating one just for their own amusement … I shake thinking about it. I don’t know if it made me feel better that Daniel was fairly on the ball about what had happened. Who’d have guessed? So this Dr. Evans mother kept talking:
“You gentlemen are most peculiar. We have observed tears in space-time where artifacts from our original universe came through. We assume this to be a side effect of the rupture we created. But you two are the only people to survive. Well, survived from a psychic perspective; you are occupying other men’s bodies. You know that, don’t you?”
“Of course,” said Daniel. “I cremated our original bodies myself.”
The secret service looking guy – whose name I never found out – was tensing up every second that passed.
“How resourceful,” said Evans. “So I can only surmise the minds that were in the bodies you occupy now are where we all go when we die – wherever that is.”
“What do you want?” said Daniel. “Wait. Let me guess. I can’t imagine you came here out of simple curiosity. Tell me if I’m wrong: you stopped in to check on your little project and found us behaving in a clearly non standard way. And you figure ‘damn, they’re messing with our plan.’ And now you’re here to ask us to stop or else you’ll use your 22nd century mojo on us.”
“We certainly are asking you to stop interfering,” said Evans.
Daniel suddenly slammed his hand three times on his desk. “What about slavery? The Jews? Women? And who knows what other cultures you exterminated in this reality?”
To understand what happened next, you have to realize that Daniel had not told me a lot of stuff. I had no idea how paranoid Daniel was. His office was lined with bookshelves. Dennison had free rein in the study because the guy loves books so much. I thought it visually hilarious when Dennison and four other black dudes (who were around his size) came out from behind the book shelves. It was the classic rotating bookshelf with hidden rooms. The secret service guy took one of our guys down. Broke his neck in a flash. Dennison however was right on top of the secret service guy and the wet crunch was gross, and I think that sound will haunt me forever. The other two guys pinned Evans down, keeping his hands away from his body in case of hidden devices. This was planned. Our guys had rehearsed this.
Daniel’s face was a twisted, angry thing that I’ve never seen before. He kneeled down beside Evans and said, “Mr. Dennison is going to take you now and ask you some questions about history. Good luck.”
Dennison then handcuffed Evans with hands in the back and took him through the rotating shelf door into a part of the mansion I’d never seen. The other two of our guys took the two corpses right after them.
Daniel looked at me. “I think I’m going to be sick.”
“How did you know? You knew,” I said. “You knew so well you planned for them.”
“It was instinct. I just could not believe this Leave-it-to-Beaver world could have been an accident. Not when the changes started at the US Civil War. I also bet their argument of it being an accident was only partly true. I bet they came back to make changes, but didn’t think a new universe would be created.”
“What’s Dennison going to do with them?”
“I’ve asked him to find out some stuff, but in the end, what do you think Dennison would want to do with someone who put people through 200 years of slavery for their own idiotic reasons?”
Daniel Turner’s Diary – December 24, 2007
I told Lindsey what happened in the office. She was sombre. I think there was a glint of amazement that my guesswork on what had happened was so close.
She, Dennison and Dale are the only people I’ll talk to about this. I consider the actions I took with Dr. Evans and his sidekick as self-defence. It was obvious that they wanted to end our lives.
It’s funny/peculiar that I spent a year imagining this Evans guy. Trying to picture this: who would go back in time and mess with things that led to such obviously sick conclusions? Why not try to institutionalize tolerance rather than slavery? Maybe I’m just an optimist. I figure that most groups of people can find common ground and mutual respect. Especially if they agree to look for it.
But Evans was close to what I imagined: an arrogant white guy. But, I suspect that arrogance is the only reason I’m alive. I doubt he thought some primitive 21st century guy could outsmart him. Keeping it simple was the key.
When they showed up with fake ID for what they call Revenue Canada here (i.e. Homeland Revenue – god, no escape from stupid names) I knew it was wrong. This society just does not work at Christmas time. Asking to dismiss Dennison was another giveaway. According to my speculations, they had to be sure we were what they thought. Conversely, once I was sure they were as psycho as I imagined, I signalled Dennison and his crew.
Of course with time travel, anything is possible … are there more of these guys around? Evans was dead by the time Dennison got him to the cell. Seems like he had a suicide capsule. In the end we didn’t learn much. I suspect there’s time travel equipment hidden somewhere. Somehow I doubt we’d find it, even if we looked.
I wish we hadn’t had our own loss of life. I guess I knew they wouldn’t be wandering around the timeline without being able to defend themselves.
I promised Dennison that I would do everything I could to get slavery abolished. I guess I can get on with that with less paranoia. It’ll be a refreshing way to live.
Dale’s pretty spooked by the whole thing. He actually wasn’t supposed to be there. I hadn’t wanted him to see my plan in action, but oddly I think it was best; he knows for sure just how much I hate the situation he’s in due to his skin colour in this world.
Well, I guess I’d better sign off here and get to the Christmas celebrations. Always a party at the Gentlemen’s Monthly Mansion!
Editor’s note. As you can tell, these diary entries indeed make writing a biography complicated. How can a scholar go forward with the supposition that our entire world, as it exists, is the result of 22nd century time travellers? Or that two key figures in our recent history were from an alternative reality? As you read the detailed notes, it’s not as if Turner and Cromwell describe the world they come from as a utopia. But, whether they were delusional or not, it seemed these men tried to take the good from the world in their memories and bind them to the good in our world. Turner and Cromwell were old men when the selling of the rights of thralls was ended. I believe they died happy with their accomplishments.