09/01/2005 - "The Assassination" is the sequel to "Andrew's Secret".
Read previous installments at www.ourtowncasper.com.
May 1, 2024
Somewhere in a small Wyoming town called Wagon Wheel three men sit huddled around an old photo album in a nautical style living room.
No one would guess from the scene they create now that they have a responsibility, a secret and a burden.
The truth is, they don't know it themselves, but they are about to find out.
One is a seventy-year-old retired, but world famous doctor named Roy Patterson. He discovered a cure for cancer when his wife was diagnosed. He was asked to move to California to continue research at a renowned science lab, but he turned it down, saying that he had accomplished his purpose. His wife was alive and well and there was no reason to make her move from the hometown that she loved so. He was quoted saying, "I realize now how precious life is and I want to devote my time to my wife — not studies and research."
The next is a fifty-year-old politician named Jonathan Moore. He is the favored republican candidate in the presidential election and his town of origin is Wagon Wheel, Wyoming. He has returned for a visit to his daughter and son-in-law, in whose living room they now sit.
The last is a twenty-three-year-old newlywed. His wife is Anna Moore, his childhood sweetheart. She is now pregnant with a son, who they want to name after his daddy, Elijah Andrew Cohen.
"Isn't it strange how time changes things?" Jonathan said as they leafed through the old album. All three wives had decided to go shopping leaving the three men alone at home. "Remember when this one was taken? At the picnic we had a Redmond park. Elijah, you were just two, Anna was one, and you guys were playing chase with Roy."
"I remember!" the doctor cut in, "I hadn't met Elizabeth yet and I was so lonely back then, living all alone. It made my day when I got to baby-sit, or play with you two."
Elijah leaned over to look at the picture. "I forgot I had that! That's a really special picture, now." he carefully lifted it out of it's protective slipcover, shaking his head with a smile. "It's special, knowing that the two of us are married now, you're married — and world famous, and her daddy is the soon-to-be president of the USA!"
The three laughed as Elijah replaced the picture in the album and they turned the page. On the next page there were no pictures, but three envelopes, one addressed to each of the three men.
"I wonder how these got into my photo album!" Elijah said pulling them out and distributing them.
"Don't act so innocent." Roy laughed. "You've been found out. Stealing mail is a federal offense, you know!"
They all laughed again, but, when they opened the letters, the laughter quickly died down.
The three men sat for hours, reading, musing, and trying to make sense of it all. Each had received a letter in his own handwriting telling the most mind-boggling secret the world would ever know.
The letters explained that Elijah would have, in the future, invented a machine that could change the date. His son (Elijah Jr., who Anna was now carrying) would take it "back in time" on a joy trip, but when he arrived he would land right in front of the car Elijah's parents were driving. They would swerve to the left to avoid hitting him and, consequently get in a head-on crash resulting in death to all involved. When Elijah Jr. saw what had happened, he would go kidnap Elijah, who was three at the time, to make sure he was kept safe. After all, if Elijah died at age three, there would be no more Elijah Jr. either. Elijah Jr. raised Elijah on a farm in the middle of nowhere, giving him another name and identity. They never contacted anyone, but grew their own food, raising their own livestock for meat and cultivating a vegetable garden. Elijah Jr. would continue to try to figure out how to reverse what he'd done . Together, Elijah and Elijah Jr. would figure out how to use the machine, but instead of going back to his own time, Elijah Jr. would maximize on the opportunity to have such a powerful effect on history and send Elijah back to prevent the assassination of Jonathan Moore on Election Day, 2024. Elijah obeyed, but in the process of traveling, he dropped the machine, which, though small, was very heavy, and it hit Lily Ann Moore, Jonathan's wife, in the head, resulting in death. Anna was not born yet and since Lily was the future mother of Anna, Elijah's wife, it caused Anna to have never been born, meaning that Elijah Jr. was never born, meaning Elijah didn't have the "time machine" yet, (the only reason he had it was because his son brought it back. It wouldn't have been invented for years to come).
The letters said this scenario is called an alter-reality. Things that would've happened if Lily really died at that age had now happened. That didn't mean that Elijah Jr. never existed. He did live, he did go back, he did send Elijah back and then he did get "erased". Because there can't be a constant change between alter-realities, after a year passed, Elijah would've forgotten all of that ever happened and the world would go on blissfully in it's ignorance forever, but Elijah managed to build another machine and return to the last few minutes before he had left. Then, he decided not to go, meaning he did not accidentally kill Lily, so she and Elijah Jr. were alive. Then Elijah traveled to the future and prevented himself from inventing the machine, meaning that Elijah Jr. never came back and landed in front of Elijah's parents car, so they didn't die, and Elijah was raised by them. Before a year had passed after that ordeal, Elijah asked Roy and Jonathan to each write a letter to themselves explaining it all so that he could strategically hide them and they could always know the truth – even after a year had passed.
The letter also told about the men in black, who they were, why they existed and the purpose Elijah felt he'd learned through it all.
Elijah and Roy exchanged glances, hoping Jonathan's letter did not include the part about the assassination. No one should know when they're going to die.
Finally, Jonathan broke the silence. "What do you guys think about all this?" he asked.
Each of them wanted to pass it off as just a weird coincidence, but somehow, each one knew it was true. In the vague recesses of their minds, they remembered these pages. It was like a deja vu.
Elijah piped up, "My letter says something about an inter-time communicator buried in my backyard. There's a map to it and instructions on how to make it work. We should dig it up. If it really is true . . . all this stuff . . . then, we'll find it."
The three created a funny scene with their big shovels in Elijah's backyard. He couldn't help wondering what the neighbors thought, but shrugged it off as they continued to treasure hunt. Jonathan's cynical personality wondered if they would really find anything or were just making fools of themselves. Roy was just having fun – as always. Finally, Jonathan struck gold.
"I found something!" he said. He reached into the ground and pulled out a small, steel box with a calculator-shaped object inside.
"So it is true!" Roy said in amazement, taking the electronic piece and turning it over and over in his hand.
"What should we do?" Elijah asked, turning to Jonathan. He had always looked up to his father-in-law for guidance and instruction, now even more so, considering his position.
Jonathan shook his head. "This whole thing's a little too bizarre for my logical mind," he said, "but at least we should try to prevent anything like what the letter described from ever happening again."
"We should come up with a name for ourselves!" the doctor exclaimed.
Jonathan rolled his eyes. Roy Patterson was brilliant and, at times, very wise, but he was also very imaginative and sometimes got carried away in his own little world. His experience with his wife's cancer had taught him to enjoy life and not worry about what others thought, but sometimes he took that to the extreme.
"We could be the Time Police! No, the Time Alliance!" he said enthusiastically.
Jon said, "We could be the rebels. It's not a name . . . it's the truth. You know that if technology like that ever came along we'd be the only ones against it. People are so obsessed with stuff like that these days."
That stopped Roy in his tracks. "We'll be outlaws! Fugitives!" Then, his face lit up. "We should call ourselves the Outlaws of Time!"
"If we must have a name, how about the Reality Rangers?"
Elijah was joking.
Jonathan said, "No, Pro-Reality. We'll be a political group."
"That would make those against us Pro-Time Travel, speaking politically." Elijah smiled.
"Fine, but we're wasting precious time — no pun intended." Jonathan said.
Elijah said, "Let's not make a bigger deal out of this than it is. I mean, it's a really weird story, but it's over now and the "time machine" doesn't even exist anymore. If people start playing around with this stuff, we'll deal with it then."
The others nodded in agreement, not knowing how timely their discovery was. In a small, secluded neighborhood not far from where they now stood a man with red hair appeared to be falling from the sky.
Continued next month...