|Go Ask Alice Part Three of Reboot
Author: Takano-Isorokyu PM
At one point or another, everyone has wished, "Gee, I wish I could go back and do it over, knowing what I know now." Steve Stewart has that chance. He went from being an old man in 2012 America - to being a child in 1963 Japan. It is now 1966, and Steve is making his way through a world he barely remembers.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Humor - Chapters: 11 - Words: 38,925 - Reviews: 29 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 23 - Updated: 09-30-12 - Published: 08-25-12 - id: 3053414
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Ok some things before we get started – this is part three of a series – if you are jumping in here – well, I try to get you caught up, but then again, you might want to go back and see the earlier parts of this tale;
Part 1 is called "Reboot" – Jan 29 1963 through March of 1964.
Part 2 is called "When the Going gets Weird, the Weird get going" March 1964 to Oct 31 1965.
And – down the road – we have Part (x) of the series – "Here we go again" – Oct 31, 1971 – when Mikey-chan meets Mongo.
First, credit this idea to this thread – Habbakuk and "you at 13 with an iPad" . ?t=225330
Or www DOT alternatehistory DOT ?t=225330
Second, this is a continuation of "Reboot" which is at
or at fiction under the title "Reboot" as
www. fictionpress story / story_ ? storyid= 3000217& chapter=1
or if you want to see the writing process in action, at a fairly decent author's workshop, go to counter-factual . net
counter-factual upload / showthread . php ? t=14062
You will have to register, but it is free- and if you are willing to learn to write science fiction – and take your lumps doing it! – I can recommend no better place! – but be warned! – lurk a while before you post, OK? These folks do not suffer fools gladly.
"When the Going get's Weird" can be found at :
or www . fictionpress story / story _preview . php ? storyid = 3045602 & chapter=1
or – for a lot of commentary, go to counter-factual . net
counter-factual upload / showthread . php ? t= 15990
This is a work of fiction and is copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.
/|\Chapter 01 Mikey-Chan
1 November 1965, Fussa Japan
"One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you, don't do anything at all…" – "White Rabbit", Jefferson Airplane
I was sitting in my new study, listening to Jefferson Airplane, as the sun came up over the rooftops of Fussa.
The apartment building was mostly one and two bedroom apartments. Japanese concepts of space are a bit smaller than American ones. With my little brother Michael here, I now was in an apartment at the end of the building – actually, a two bedroom apartment. I had my own place, admittedly, only at the other end of the hallway from my parents – but it was also another recognition of the fact that, in one sense, I was older than they were.
Yeah. I was STILL after almost three years, coming to grips with that idea. On January 29th, 2012, on my 55th birthday, I went to sleep.
I woke up, in Fussa Japan, on January 29th, 1963.
I mean, I was in my six-year-old-body. But I had my 55 year old memories.
I mean, have you ever considered what that would be LIKE?
Everybody has wished that wish; "I wish I could go back to THEN, know what I know NOW."
Well, Ok, except for Bob Seeger – "I wish I didn't know now, what I didn't know then."
But – I was in 1963, as a six year old. I mean – can you stop the Kennedy Assassination?
Think about it – as a six year old, how do I get from Japan to Dallas? Not like I can ask my parents for airfare, or even hop a train.
I DID have an edge – well, two edges. Maybe three.
You see – I've got an open mind. I'd been reading Science fiction since I was six years old or so. So – time travel? Once I got my mind around the fact I was here, and in an alternate universe – I was Golden.
Secondly, I'd done a lot of things. I mean, my dad was one of those "do it yourself, use it up, wear it out, fix it up or do without." Kind of guys. Money was tight, so I learned to fix stuff and do stuff at an early age – and I kept right on learning.
Electricity, electronics, mechanics, gun smithing, explosives, medicine? – yep.
Independent Duty Medical Technician as Navy Corpsman – I did minor surgery, removed bullets, delivered babies, all sorts of things when an MD was unavailable – and all before I was 22.
Worked my way through college as a machinist in a gun factory –got an Engineering degree. Aircraft maintenance in the Air Force means munitions maintenance – and I got tapped for the "Special weapons" course. In the Air Force, "Special weapons" means those things that make the really big booms and the funny shaped clouds. And "Aircraft Maintenance" also means those big fire sticks that go up to orbit.
So, yes, I'm one of the few people I know that has harnessed a mule and plowed a field – not as a re-enactor, but because that was what Grampa told me to do…and I've also worked on nuclear weapons and space craft.
Got a Master's in Management – and then life got real weird for several years, while I did things that are blocked off in my records as "data masked" – if you've got the right security clearances, you can see those parts. Suffice it to say, I have given classified briefings to both President Bushes as well as President Clinton.
And, at that point, I retired from the Air Force and did the "troops-to-teachers" thing and started teaching Science in inner-city schools.
And suddenly, I wake up one morning – and I'm here. In 19-freaking-63.
Oh, you ask, what's that third thing?
Yes, that is the REALLY odd thing. Even odder than being dropped back here.
I have an iPad.
With an internet connection to 2012, well, now, it is to the First of November, 2014. I can't send an email, I can only browse the web, and download files to the extent of my RAM – and I apparently had an unlimited account at the iTunes store.
I didn't have a recharger – which took me a few months to fix. Five minutes to download the specs for building my own recharger, then three months to get the stuff to build it.
I guard it like Gold – more than gold. It is my ticket to prosperity here.
I've already used it to download files from the future, and build items that would not be built for years or decades. With some astute finagling – and the luck of a Guardian Angel – more like a whole Squadron of them! – I have gotten some very big allies.
I've also made some very big enemies.
Although, I look in the mirror, and grunt, "So what else is new?"
One of my family jokes, in that other time line the "OTL" – was the movie "Monte Python and the Holy Grail". In the last ten minutes, they find out that the Holy Grail is at Castle AARRGGHH.
The family in-joke, is that, if you watch the movie, the Castle they use in the film? - Is Castle Stewart. That one always tickled my father – you see, ask any of our supervisors, you'd get the same response – "Stewart? – AARRGGHH!"
I'm sure the writers at Monte Python must have known our relatives.
I was continuing in that tradition that morning. You see, both the KGB and the CIA had me under surveillance. In order to make things easier for them, I had moved to this apartment on the end, where they had a straight shot into my windows with their parabolic microphones and cameras.
I had no intentions of making life easy for them, not at all.
They still had not figured out that I had them bugged already – I had listening devices in their apartments, and wiretaps on their phones – so I knew what they knew about me. They didn't know what I knew about them.
I had already worked with the CIA in the Nineties. I was hard pressed to decide who was dumber, the sixties versions or the nineties versions. But the Sixties versions were definitely less tech-savvy.
I heard the coffee pot going, so I let it perk for a minute, then I shut it off. I grabbed a mug of coffee and went out to the balcony to greet the dawn.
As I shaded my eyes to look at the rising sun, I could see glints of light from camera lenses in both the CIA and KGB apartments.
I thought about the Barret Sniper rifle I was building in the machine shop, and the anti-reflective coatings we were experimenting with for the optics.
An American smile, with my teeth showing.
I went back into the apartment. I had a nice stereo system – actually, it was the best stereo system I had ever owned in my life, including my first life. My parents had always been audiophiles, but we had never been able to afford much.
And – somehow, there had always been more important things to spend money on then sound systems. Well, here-and-now, I decided, I darned well wanted a good sound system!
Oh, it wasn't an obnoxious sound system. It could be, but, I just liked good sound. Loud? Not really.
But I haunted record stores, and bought a lot of stuff from the Sam Goody catalog – and I downloaded some stuff from my iPad to my reel-to-reel tape deck. I suppose, there would probably be an analyst at McLean, VA – or at Moscow Center – Lefortovo, maybe? – that would be puzzling over Jimmy Buffet or, say, Jefferson Airplane. Billy Joel and Barry Manilow, and for that matter, Harry Chapin all sounded like back-ground music, just an example of my strange eclectic music tastes.
I did play a lot of Jazz – John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis had already put out a lot of records. I played a lot of Rock – everything the Beatles and the Beach Boys had released was out.
I already had a reminder to make sure to get tickets for the Beatles Concert at the Budokan, on June 30, 1966. They had not released the date yet, but I wanted to make sure I would get a seat.
I didn't care if I had to shoot it out with the KGB and the CIA both. I did intend to go to at least one Beatles concert, this time around. And maybe get a T-shirt for Mike. He'd become a Beatles fan, in the Eighties.
But in the here-and-now, I intended to enjoy life, this time around.
Dad came in a little while later. "Headed over to the hospital to see your mom and the little guy. Want to go?"
"Sure." I said, smiling. "Let me get this put away."
"Looking good." He said, looking at my drawings for a heavier casting on the upper receiver for the Barret. Our first try had been a bit weak. I wanted it to be light enough to carry, but strong enough to take the pressure of the .50 BMG round. The specifications I had been able to access on the web had not told me what steel to use, so I had need to experiment a bit.
I had gotten the Air Force SPs to use the Model 70 in 30/06 in the sniper/counter-sniper role in Viet Nam. The whole idea of Concrete watch towers – the sort we used in Iraq and Afghanistan – had taken some persuasion.
But the results – in reducing the sniping incidents on the flight lines of the US bases in Viet Nam, had convinced them.
As a result, the Army and the Marine Corps had decided to revisit the idea of dedicated scout-sniper teams. I had been asked to contribute, but all I had really done was to point them at Major Jim Land – who had literally, already written the book. My input was to work on Night vision devices and the Barret.
I had looked at going straight to the .338 Lapua, but the problems inherent in the brass hull looked to be insurmountable with 1965 technology. I had copied down the data, and my plan was to pass this information to my contact at NSA. They could figure out how to get the right ammunition made.
At the same time, I was working on suppressor systems. The folks at "Sons of Guns" and their suppressors – had made a big impression on me. It was a lot different than the current mode of thought in weapons design, and I intended to run with it.
But – right now, I needed to be a big brother. Mikey-chan was going to grow up in an entirely different situation than that other Mike had grown up in.
And I resolved to be a hell of a lot better big brother to him, this time around, than I had been the first time.
I marveled at the tiny bundle that he was. Seven pounds, nine ounces.
His size 14 boots weighed more than that, in 2012.
Dad was holding him awhile, and then he asked if I wanted to hold him. "Sure" I said.
He fussed a second, and then he opened his eyes wide and stared at me. I mean, it was eerie.
For a second, I wanted to ask, "Bro – Mongo? Are you in there?"
I mean, how bad would THAT be? Being six going on fifty five was bad enough. To be a newborn with the memories of an adult?
Oh my god, that would be frustrating.
Then he closed his eyes and started to suck his thumb.
I stuck around the hospital awhile, and then Hiro-san and I went back to the house. Not like I really needed to be there, and when I'm not working there, I hate hospitals.
So, I went back and worked on the Barrett some more.
I'll admit, I was a little annoyed at myself that day. Pissed off, even.
You see, I had received a copy of H. Beam Piper's Collected Short Stories – and I realized I had missed a prime chance to save the poor guy's life.
You've probably never heard of him, but he wrote a string of really good science fiction stories in the late forties and fifties. Then – he made a really stupid choice in getting married – I could relate to that! – And was broke. He committed suicide on November 8, 1964.
The sad thing was, if he had held out another few days, he had a check for several thousand dollars coming – but his agent had a heart attack and died, so the check did not get mailed until after Piper committed suicide.
I could have figured out some way to get him some cash to tide him over, give him some story to allow him to save face until his check came – but I had forgotten. Hell, I could have stopped on my way back from getting kidnapped and saved him.
And – for the love of Pete! – I was living one of his storylines!- How could I forget him?
But – I had.
I resolved to start checking the "Events of 19x" Almanac on the web, to see what things I should be watching for.
Looking at the "Events of 1966" in Wikipedia just sort of pissed me off some more. The Palomares crash on January 17 – that one, I could work on. Those stinking CHROME DOME missions, HARD HEAD and BUGGY RIDE were just too dangerous to do at normal DEFCON levels. At FADEOUT, DOUBLE TAKE or ROUNDHOUSE, running around with live nuclear weapons seemed really, really stupid to me.
The fact that we had gone twelve years – from 1960 to 1972 – with only three major accidents – Yuba City, Palomares, and Thule, was utterly amazing. After 1972, we had only done strip alert with the Bombers, with 30% of the fleet ready to launch with 10 minutes, and only launching some of the bombers at FAST PACE or SNAP COUNT.
But – I copied the information down on the Palomares crash in great detail. It really wasn't an unusual situation. It was unusual in that it should not have happened. 1030 AM on a clear day, no turbulence, visibility great, no communications problems noted.
I figured I would give it all to General Preston, and let him feed it through the grapevine to SAC. Hopefully, somebody important would do SOMETHING about it. I also gave him the Thule info about the HARD HEAD missions – the ones that SAC didn't feel Defense Secretary McNamara "needed to know about".
General Preston looked at me when he read the report. "So – you remembered all this. The dates, the aircraft tail numbers, the names of the crew, the times?"
I looked squarely at him. "It takes a lot of concentration and meditation to recall all the details." I said. "but – General. I was IN SAC. If somebody came up to me with some crazy thing like this, I'd be giving them the horselaugh, too."
I waved my hand at the sheets in his hand. "But – check those tail numbers, Sir. That bomber is probably at Shadey Jake – Seymour Johnson, that is, getting ready to deploy right now. That Stratopig (the nickname for the KC-135A tanker) is based at Morón Air Base. Easy enough to check on the planes and those crews.
He looked at the sheets I had typed as if they were a rattlesnake. "What do you expect me to do, Steve?" he said. "If I go to CINCSAC and say, "Hey, John, listen one of your B-52G is going to screw up a refueling over Spain in about 6 weeks or so, and drop four special weapons on the Spanish countryside?" – he's going to look at me like I'm nuts."
I spread my hands. "At least, sir, you know General Ryan. Hell, what would I say to him? He'd have me arrested." I shook my head. "And after it happens, probably try to get me on espionage charges."
"Right" said General Preston. "This is a hell of a pickle you've given me." He looked at the sheets morosely. "I'll what I can do."
'Fair enough, sir."
I mean, OK. The CHROME DOME missions – flying 12 B-52s, armed with nuclear weapons, constantly on patrol – to prevent a Soviet sneak attack was expensive. Secretary of Defense McNamara was opposed to them, simply because of the expense. They cost something like $123 Million a year in 1965 dollars.
General Preston's mode of attack was to use the Operation Risk Management approach – not only was flying the Chrome Dome Mission expensive in Direct Costs – in terms of fuel and manpower – but in indirect costs – as in wear-and-tear to the airplanes, increased demand for spare parts.
Then, we put together a hypothetical scenario of "what would happen in a purely theoretical crash off the Spanish coast" – with three bombs on land, and one in a deep ocean trench. I used the actual ships used in the recovery, and applied the costing methods of the Office of Budget and Management.
The recovery costs worked out to well over $10 Billion in 1966 dollars…and that tied in with the (still classified) $5 billion dollars for the Yuba City cleanup.
We did some finagling to make it look like a RAND Study that had been mistakenly sent to Fifth Air Force in a Classified Documents pouch.
There was a quiet hurricane in Washington when Director Savage took the report to Secretary McNamara. Nothing really noticeable to the average man in the street, but the consternation at RAND was considerable when they said "No, it's not our study."
Secretary McNamara asked "Are these numbers correct?"
And they had to say, "Well…yes."
The Mishap mission was flown under intense scrutiny, with an Instructor Pilot Lieutenant Colonel Stanley Spencer, replacing Major Messinger as Pilot. The mission flew without mishap, and the CHROME DOME missions ended in March 1966. The HARD HEAD Missions ended in July 1966.
I was less sanguine about the Beaumont children disappearance on January 26, 1966. An entire family – three children, taken by a blond man on a summer day at the beach. Never to be seen again.
I mean, to send them a letter, saying, "You need to watch out for these guys, they might possibly be thinking about abducting some children." – in those simpler days of 1966, you'd be considered a lunatic. Even today, they'd spend more time investigating you, than they would the suspects, or protecting the victims.
But – I gave it a shot, anyway, copying out the information on the children, and the possible suspects, as much information as I could find on the web, and sending it off to the Adelaide Police Department.
I tried to cover my tracks as much as possible using a rented typewriter, Japanese paper, and mailing it from a Japanese Post Office.
It worked partially – in that the Beaumont Children were not kidnapped. However, a month later, a different group of children, the Harris', were kidnapped, in almost the same manner, from a different beach.
I later learned that the Adelaide Police had acted on the tips I had given them, increasing Police Patrols, and checking on the names. Apparently, somebody had been scared off, if not captured.
In the case of mass-murderer Richard Speck, the Chicago Police totally blew off the letter I sent to them, as a "Japanese Psychic nut-case."
It became a well-known joke around the department, until the night of July 13th, when a zealous young patrolman stopped by the townhouse in the Jeffery Manor neighborhood of Chicago. He shot and killed Speck, who had broken in and already had tied up several of the nurses.
After that one, the story of the "mysterious unknown Japanese Psychic" hit the airwaves.
Then, somebody at the Adelaide Police Department leaked the story about the Beaumont children and the letter they had gotten.
It DID kind of tee me off, when several charlatans stepped forward, claiming to be the "Japanese Psychic".
And, of course, General Preston smiled when he told me that Secretary McNamara had looked at him and asked HIM if he was the Psychic.
Quote a few years after that, a retired CIA agent leaked the fact that a letter from somebody in Japan had foiled an assassination plot against President Kennedy.
Which spawned a whole cottage industry of people looking for Zen masters and the mysterious oriental methods to see the future.
Oddly enough, none of the "In search of" sort of folks ever came near Ookami…
I guess we weren't "mysterious" enough.
Baby sitting for my little brother was quite enjoyable. Some people did remark on the fact that I didn't seem to have the problems most older brothers had – but once again…I was already a father, and a grandfather.
Being a big brother again? Pretty cool.
In the meantime, I was working with the JGSDF – the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force. The Splatball training for the room clearing – and in particular, "my" scientific techniques for building clearance – had stirred their interest.
There is not a lot of crime in Japan, but many times, the JGSDF would double up in what would be a SWAT – Special Weapons and Tactics Team in the US, to assist the Japanese Police. So, the applications of the Room Clearing techniques to Police work were fairly clear.
The Barret took awhile to iron out the kinks. Getting an accurate .50BMG sniper rifle in semi-automatic was tough. I did step back and build a good bolt action .50 BMG with a Bull barrel. Those were handed off to another shop and the Marines and the Army snapped them up.
The semi-automatic took a bit longer to work out, and really, was just not needed for Viet Nam, as it turned out. The M-26 bolt action .50 was good enough for the Viet Nam conflict, and soldiered on for another 25 years in US Service. It is still found all over the world.
One of my major fears, often expressed to Mr. Matsushita and his fellow Kanban members, was that the assistance to Viet Nam would turn into exploitation.
I told them a story my grandfather had told me, about the General Store in Lyndonville. The Storekeeper had loaned a man $100 one time. The fellow couldn't repay him, so he paid a dollar a week in interest. And he paid a dollar a week in interest, for twenty years, until he came up with the $100 to pay off the debt.
"The moral being, I said, the man paid over $1000 to service a $100 debt – and was happy to do so. But to ask for the $100 right away, would have reduced the long term profit."
Mr Nakamura looked at me and inclined his head in respect. "Stewart-sama. Your story indicates wisdom far beyond your years." He looked at the others. "An astute observation of human nature, and one that we should remember, Gentlemen."
I was embarrassed. "I do not mean to tell you your business, good sirs – but long term profit can be very good here, if we are willing to overlook the short term."
They chuckled. "The results are above expectations, Stewart-san. Everything proceeds as well as you suggested or better." Said Mr. Matsushita. "The Viets are working hard, and the ruling families are falling into line quite nicely now."
"How about the Chaebol?" I asked. The South Korean Chaebol – the business leaders – the equivalent of the Kanban – were interested in expanding to Viet Nam.
"Daewoo and Hyundai will be opening plants soon in Viet Nam" said Mr. Tanaka of Nissan Motors. "Everything is proceeding well."
Things were proceeding well. There had been some big battles in the Ia Drang Valley – Hal Moore and his 7th Cavalry had gone in at LZ X-Ray. It had been every bit as bloody as the original battle in OTL – but the Ghost Cats had dropped flares in the night and laid down cover fire, guided by microwave illuminators.
The thing was, the infiltration routes had been cut. This time, a presence was maintained in the Ia Drang, along with the Au Shau Valley, to block the infiltration routes. The CIA and their Nung Mercenaries, got their word to either pick their targets better, or cease operations.
Some of the CIA paramilitary units –ahem- wanted to argue. I think the euphemism is "terminated with extreme prejudice" More often, it was just their leadership. Those Viet Cong Snipers and their Soviet-made Dragunov SVDs were phenomenal, just phenomenal, you know?
There was some scratching of heads – especially among the PAVN leadership, and the Soviets, when they learned of this, since, many of the sniper kills were in areas that where the Dragunov-equipped snipers had not reached yet…
Of course, more than a few of the PAVN and NLF Sniper teams went missing in the jungles of South Viet Nam…their deaths neither reported by the ARVN or US Forces…just…missing.
For a culture that puts as much store by proper burial as the Vietnamese, this was even more disturbing than death in battle.
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