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The Needs Of The Many... MAG
...and Bohemian stopped again, staring at his feet.
"Are you coming or not, Bohe?" Jeri asked impatiently.
Bohe was short for Bohemian, which was exactly what Franklin Morris Petrusion, Jr. was. Only his close friends called him Bohe. The nickname originated late one evening at a nightclub, a place called Back 2 Da 20th Century. Music, alcohol, dancing, it was a great way to spend free time and a terrific place to lose yourself and your life.
There had been one crazed night when FMP, Jr., his girl, and a couple of others had gone to the club and danced the night away (actually not consuming that much alcohol, if you can believe it). His friends were so blown away by his wild and out-of-control dance moves that they called him Bohemian
That was, of course, during a dark time when everyone was looking for an escape into the past, anything to shield them from the horrific turbulence of the present. Now the times had grown uglier, meaner; society was a poisonous vat of criminals and psychopaths. Chaotic governments ran amok every other day. The communists, democrats, fascists, and whatever the name of that fourth group were constantly at war. Nobody wanted to listen anymore and worse, nobody wanted to talk. Blood was spilt on every continent, families massacred, businesses bankrupt, and total anarchy filled the world.
Bohe wished he were back at that dance club all those years ago, but the past was gone and they could never get it back, or could they? It was ridiculous, Bohe told Jeri on numerous occasions, but Jeri wouldn't listen. He was a strong minded, stubborn scientist, if there ever was one.
Bohe paused again to search himself for answers, but all [insane stupid, it will never work, crazy deranged lunatic] was quiet. The answers refused to come, so he had to settle with the preposition that Jeri had posed: could a person travel into the past to help the future?
It was preposterous, crazy, Bohe had said (actually yelled). But naturally, Jeri didn't listen. Instead he traced everything that had been happening, every war, every car bomb explosion, all the government anarchy, etc ...
And just this morning he had told Bohe that he had traced all the conflict to some decisions that were made in the 1960s.
"That's a hundred years ago, Jeri!" Bohe exclaimed, shocked.
Jeri remained calm and passive and spoke in a gentle voice. "Yes, I realize that, but that is the point. I've ran it through the computers many times. 1963 was the exact date, a decision made by the President of the area that used to be the United States of America greatly affects us today. At the time it was small and insignificant, but eventually the hostility grew and progressed and now you have this wonderful world we live in today. Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not as naive to think this will cure all world problems, but I am 100% sure it will stop WW3 and WW4." Bohe was speechless and just shook his head.
Right now he continued shaking his head as Jeri practically dragged him to the machine.
"I just wish I knew we were doing the right thing."
Jeri stopped, signalled the controllers and monitors to delay everything a moment, and told the team to wait a second, and looked at Bohe.
"There are no right and wrong answers, or good or bad, but if there were, I would say we are doing the greater good," Jeri explained.
Bohe sighed. "So that's what we call the greater good these days, huh? Killing someone is the greater good? You know how I know about killing another human being."
"Bohe, listen to me, please, listen. Would you rather have people live in this apocalyptic world of ours where most of the world is starving and suffering in radioactive waste and the others are too busy killing each other? Think of all who have died, think of them."
"I am. Believe me, I am."
"That's why we're doing this - to save them," Jeri said.
Bohe rolled his eyes. "But you don't know this will save them.You are basing all this on hypothetical guesses, and you know it."
"I admit I don't know everything with regards to how the timeline will out, but come on, Bohe, anything is better that this!"
Bohe turned away from him. "I don't know if I want to be a part of this, and don't call me Bohe. Hell, you might end up in 50 million B.C. if you're not careful."
"We could succeed, too, and you know it. You know what I think? I think you're scared, scared of what will happen if we do succeed. More than likely we, you and me, and the project will never exist and you can't accept that. But I can, I have to. I would gladly sacrifice myself to save billions of people."
Jeri stopped talking. Bohe turned back to face him and stared him straight in his eyes.
"Now, you listen to me, Jeri. I will not kill another human being, never. Never again!"
"Bohe, if this works, all the pain, the suffering of our time will have never happened -
"But it will just be replaced by another timeline of trouble and chaos. We might end up worse than this!"
"I won't accept that! It will be better than this. It must!"
After a moment's hesitation, Bohe continued. "So, just by killing one man in the past, the chain of events leading to this miserable world of ours will never happen. Is that the gist of it?"
"Yes," Jeri answered, "because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. What the man in the past doesn't know is that he is responsible - him and his actions."
"I just wish there was another way."
Dr. Jeri Zemor motioned for the team to huddle up. There were four in all.
"Okay, final briefing gentlemen. We arrive at Dallas, Texas roughly 10: 30-11: 00 a.m. We know the exact parade route. All four of us will be positioned around the target area. One should be able to get a clear shot. Now we're all dressed in civilian clothes of the time, so it should be easy to blend in. Furthermore, if anyone is captured by law enforcement you must not under any circumstances reveal where you came from. It will sound absurd to them anyway. Upon completing the mission we will automatically be transported back here."
"If here still exists, that is," Bohe remarked.
"People, this is nothing that we take pleasure in, believe me. I know all of you have suffered innumerable pains and losses, as we all have, and if I did not believe in my mind and in my heart one-hundred percent that what we're about to do will stop the mindless, heartless bloodshed we have endured, then I wouldn't be standing before you today."
Another member of the team, Keam Lamone, raised his hand.
"Yes, Lamone, make it quick."
"Sir, if we have already succeeded in the past, why are we here now? I mean the past can't happen twice, can it?"
"Mr. Lamone raises an intriguing and valid point, one that mankind has tried to answer since we first thought about time travel. And the simple truth is, we don't know. If time flows straight through only once, then the past has come and gone and we have failed, but we are going back to the first time. To the people of 1963 it will be the first time so ... so maybe I better stop talking before I get a headache."
Dr. Zemor paused for a moment and rubbed his forehead.
"We are about to embark on the most exciting and dangerous voyage that humankind as ever tried. Good luck and peace to us all."
And, with that final remark, Dr. Zemor nodded to those in the control room to proceed as he made final adjustments on the read-out. Bohe watched him as he entered their destination date:
November 22, 1963: Dallas, Texas 10: 30 a.m.
"The United States, was it a liveable place, a happy place?" Bohe questioned.
Jeri thought it over for a moment, trying to recall something he had learned a long time ago.
"It was a place where many diverse people lived, a place where men and women could try and work and live their lives in freedom. It was a place of laughter and fun, of good times and bad times. It wasn't perfect, but it was liveable," Jeri put a hand on Bohe's shoulder.
Bohe took a deep breath and replied, "and the man we must kill to save the future, what was his name?"
"He was the President of the United States and ... and his name was John Fitzgerald Kennedy."
Bohe thought about the name, thought about the man's family, if he had one, and tried to put a face to the name, but couldn't.
"I remember now, correct me if I'm wrong, Jeri, but didn't someone try to assassinate him on that date?"
Jeri nodded. "Yes, his name was Oscar or Oswald. It will be a perfect cover for us. After the failed assassination attempt, there were rumors about why someone would try to kill the president. There was always talk about a conspiracy. The timeline will continue as before. Unfortunately this time they will lose a president, but what they don't know is that they will gain a better future."
"We will succeed and we will make the world a better place."
Dr. Jeri Zemor smiled and Franklin Morris Petrusion, Jr., (Bohe, to his friends), returned the smile.
Trying to save an annihilated world of the future, the team leaped into the past and ... 1