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[Part 1-A]

Time: December 7, 1941

Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bob sometimes needed a break from the Services. He enjoyed the sermons and hymns, but his bladder occassionally came first on Sunday mornings. As it was this Sunday.

The service had been running late today. Although that was to be expected given they were holding a prayer vigil for the war in Europe also, through to midnight on the eighth.

He washed his hands in the warm water as he heard the door open, and he looked up. Standing there was a well dressed man, but wasn't everyone in their Sunday best? The man had brown hair, brown eyes, and a small scar on his cheek. Bob could honestly say he'd never seen him before.

"Hello Bob," said the man, his accent unplaceable, as if he had travelled around so much as to garner a nuetral one.

"Hello," said Bob back, surprised," Who are your stranger?"

"Just a person," the man replied," But there's something that's going to hit the radio soon that might interest you."

"What," asked Bob, internally giving a snort of derision at these charlaton fortune tellers.

"The Japense are bombing Pearl Harbor," said the man turning to leave," The United States of America is going to war."

"Wait," cried Bob, running after the man into the hallway, yet the man seemed to have disappeared.

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[Part 1-B]

Time: August 6, 1945

Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut

"How's the arm Bob," said a familiar looking man, walking up alongside the park bench.

Bob Thompson looked up at the figure, he had seen him once before. It was at church on that fateful Sunday that had gone down in infamy. That scar on the cheek was a reminder of all that had happened since.

"How did you know about the Japs," he asked, voice a hoarse whisper.

"How's the arm Bob," the man repeated, almost as if he was pressed for time. He kept glancing at something in a coat pocket.

Bob Thompson sighed, it was obvious he wouldn't get an answer from this stony faced man," It's...fine."

"Really," asked the man," Considering you've lost most of the muscle from being shot in Germany I'd think it was bad."

"How did you know that," demanded Bob.

"I have my ways," said the man nonchalantly.

"Damn you," said Bob Thompson rising quickly and punching the other man in the jaw. A crack sounded ominously, and the man gingerly touched where he had been struck.

"Fine," said the man," I deserved that. I have some news though..."

"And why should I care," spat Bob angrily.

"The war will be over in days," said the man simply.

"No it won't," said Bob angry and sad at the same time as his head slowly went side to side," It's going to take a ground invasion."

"No it won't," said the man," A new weapon has been unveiled this day. The atomic bomb."

"The what," asked Bob confused. His injury may have sent him home for being unable to fight, but he wasn't just another dumb grunt was he?

"It's a new weapon," said the man," Surely you've heard of what an atom is?"

Bob nodded," We coverred it in college night school."

"The atomic bomb splits atoms, and releases the energy," said the man," this one bomb will devestate the city of Hiroshima any minute."

"So the war will be over," said Bob, looking at the man. If this was true, it would be wonderful news. It would be great news.

Bob began to smile, prompting the man to snap," Why are you smiling?"

Bob once again slipped into confusion and his face contorted," You just said the war's gonna end!"

"To be replaced by a Cold War with the Soviets," said the man," There's going to be an arms race of these new weapons, and a plethora of small wars and intrigue."

Bob held onto the bench with his good arm," So things are going to get bad again?"

The man chuckled, tossing his coat over his shoulder and walking away," If you define bad as living in fear of complete worldwide destruction everyday, then yes. The next few decades are going to suck."

He turned behind a tree as Bob moved to follow, only to find, like at the church, the man had disappeared.

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[Part 1-C]

Time: November 9, 1989

Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut

"You seem to have done well for yourself Bob," said the man, ambling into his yard from the street," A wife, two daughters, three grandchildren..."

The man's voice trailed off as he focussed on the grandson that Bob had been playing blocks with in the chilly winter air.

"You," said Bob, his voice now gruffer than the previous visits," I haven't seen you in forty-four years!"

"Glad to see I was memorable," said the man, his eyes leaving the grandson and travelling back to those of his acquaintance," I take it by now you know why I'm here?"

"Something's happening," replied Bob quizzically. He could care less about history changing events, as long as it didn't harm his family. In the past four decades he had learned that family should come first.

"Can't put anything past you," remarked the man dryly," You remember President Reagan giving a little speech 'Mister Gorbachev tear down this wall!'?"

"Yes," said Bob slowly, an idea of what might be going on dawning upon him. He glanced down at his grandson Bill to see him, ironically, tearing down the block wall they had built together.

"As we speak it's being torn down," said the man," Democracy will soon take deep root. Today is a symbol of the fall of oppression. The Cold War isn't over, but it's drawing to a close."

Bob sat silent on the damp grass, the past four decades of living in fear for his family, was changing? Even a bit for the better?

"Your grandchildren, will not have to live with the fear of the atom bomb like your children did Bob," said the man," Be thankful."

Before Bob could get his grandson off of him, the man had gone around the corner. Bob ceased struggling, and went back to playing with his grandson, a smile on his face. He knew by now that the man had disappeared.

He guided his grandson's hands," No Bill, let's make something other than a wall."

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[Part 1-D]

Time: December 25, 1991

Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut

The sounds of carolers down the street filled the air, and so did the first good snow for Christmas Bob had seen since his childhood in Maine. That was when there was a knock on the door.

Bob moved over to the door, motioning the rest of the relatives to stay at the table and eat Christmas Dinner. He opened the door to see the man that had visitted him so often," Merry Christmas old...acquaintance."

"Merry Christmas to you Bob," said the man, bundled up.

"Would you like to come in," asked Bob, the weather making his old bones feel chilly," We were just having dinner."

"No thank you," said the man," as always I don't intend to stay long."

"A pity," said Bob," no one else seems to believe you exist. They think I'm a crazy old man."

"Far from it," said the man," Unfortunately, the fewer who see me, the better. Have you been following Soviet politics of late?"

"I haven't since the Berlin Wall," said Bob," Family comes first you know."

"Of course," said the man, pursing his lips, willing himself not to shiver in the cold of the flying snow. Bob may have been inside, but he was still on the unscreened porch.

"And what is so earth-shattering," asked Bob.

"Within the past eighty days events have taken place, a coup, the breakaway of Soviet Republics, the banning of the Communist Party...Gorbachev has resigned. There is no more Soviet Union."

Bob was stunned speechless. The Soviet Union had been there his entire life.

"Merry Christmas Bob," said the man, turning and walking into the whirling snow. His retreating form was already nearly impossible to see," America just got one helluva Christmas gift."

Bob watched until he could no longer see the figure, and closed the door. He found himself humming with the nearing carolers and smiling as he announced to his gathered family and friends," There are no more Soviets."

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[Part 1-E]

Time: September 11, 2001

Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut

"Wake up Bob," said the man, sitting in his wife's recliner.

"Wha...what," said Bob, snapping from his restful sleep. At eighty he was still in pretty good shape.

"It's me Bob," said the man.

"You," said Bob. He remembered now, his wife went with one of their daughters and her family on a trip to visit some cousins in Indiana yesterday. That's why no one else had seen the man enter while he slept.

"Yes me," said the man," The Bearer of Bad News this time."

"What now," growled Bob," It's about eight-thirty in the morning!"

"Not a morning person I see," said the man with a dry, almost forced sounding chuckle," I just came to tell you world events are shifting."

"How this time," Bob asked, he had since stopped trying to make sense of it all.

"Terrorists," said the man," Three thousand or so will die today in the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and over a little field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania."

"Why," asked Bob quietly.

"A lot of people are going to ask that," said the man," Holy War. One of our own trained agents named Usama bin Laden is behind it all," said the man, tears stinging his eyes," This event is quite a shifter. At first everyone will remark on how the world changes, and Bush will be called dictator..."

"But...it sounds like...it will change," said Bob, a feeling of dread filling him.

"Yes it will, civil liberties will be repealed, wars waged," said the man," many will call Bush a tyrant, but we didn't get the tyrant until the election of 2012."

Bob looked over, eyes wide," 2012?!"

As if it hadn't been enough to absorb what was happening today, now this man was predicting the far future? What did this guy really know anyhow; he always seemed to know before it happened?

"Do you trust me by now Bob," asked the man softly.

"Yes," said Bob Thompson, his gruff voice cracking.

"Then take my hand," said the man, offering it as he said so.

Bob did timidly and a bright flash filled his existence...

Time: December 31, 2020

Location: Washington D.C.

"Welcome to the future Grandfather," said the man, Bill Thompson.

"Grandfather," asked Bob Thompson, his gruff voice tingly after the flash.

"Yes," said Bill," I'm your grandson...I've been travelling back in time to talk to you, decide if you were ready to see what this nation became after you died..."

Bob couldn't reply, only cry. He had to believe this man...no, he had to believe his grandson," How did you get that scar?"

Bill smiled, hugging his crying grandfather," Suicide bomber exploded outside the Capitol a few years ago. Piece of shrapnel tore my cheek nicely...now, look out the window."

Bill pulled the curtains for his grandfather to see, and Bob dropped to his knees, sobbing harder. Flames licked from half a dozen buildings in view, and smoke rose from countless spots in the cityscape.

Bill's voice grew hard," Welcome dear grandfather, to my America."

[End of Part 1]

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  • 1 month later...

[Part 2-B]

            Date: December 31, 2020

            Time:  11:10PM

            Location:  Washington D.C.

            It had been only moments since he had sent his grandfather back to his own time in a bright flash.  Then came the knock on his door.

            He opened it, allowing Teresa, John, and Chang to enter his apartment, the leaders of the Rebellion were here to play their role in the final ruse.


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