When the going gets weird, the weird get going.

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Ok two things before we get started

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

?t=14062

or at fiction under the title "Reboot" as

story/story_ ?storyid=3000217&chapter=1

www. fictionpress story / story_ ? storyid= 3000217& chapter=1

The third part - "Go Ask Alice" – covers November 1965 to January of 1968

An unnamed fourth book (at least) will probably cover 1968 through November of 1971

And a Fifth book – "Here We go Again" – is covering November 1971 through 1974 – and the arrival of the personality of Michael Stalker, from 2015 to merge with Mikey-chan.

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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.

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0330, March 15, 1965 Kanto Plains Training Area, Republic of Japan

Lance Corporal Thomas Sykes was shivering as he moved along the marshy bank of the stream. He had never realized that Japan would be this damn cold. Private Himes and PFC Billings were behind him. Billings, a Florida boy, was damn near in hypothermia.

"Billings, stop mumbling, dammit!" hissed Sykes.

"S-s-s-sorry, Corp, I'm just about turning-g-g-g into a d-d-d-amn icic-c-c-le." Answered Billings.

I decided to put them out of their misery.

The paintball air hissed three times, striking all three Marines with perfect headshots.

"Dead you are, now, Marines. Go in and warm yourselves." I said.

"Aw, f**K" said LCPL Sykes.

I stood up from my hasty scrape and let the brush and mud fall away from my poncho. "Cold am I also." I nodded to Camp Kitchener – the temporary exercise site. "Let us go in and see how the other teams are doing."

Private Himes looked at me in amazement. "Damn, Sensei Takano, we walked right past you without seeing you."

Sykes growled, "If this was Viet Nam, I can guaran-f**king-tee you, Victor Charlie would not be using one of these paint ball guns."

I nodded. "Truth"

"Damn good invention." He said. "Sure as hell puts a bit of realism in the exercises, at least for the close quarters work."

"Train as you will fight, Lance corporal." I said. "That is the wisdom of Musashi and the Book of Five Rings. Practice and train as realistically as possible, so that it is the enemy who dies."

"Damn straight, Mr. Takano, damn straight." Said Sykes.

/|\

We got into the exercise site, where many of the night actions were complete. Some had achieved their objectives, some had failed.

It was the first time we had tried training with paintball guns, but it seemed to be a success. There was certainly a degree of realism that had been lacking with firing blanks.

My father was in the back of the tent, sipping coffee. "How'd it go, boy?"

"Pretty good." I said. "Felt good to be playing OPFOR again."

He looked at me. "You took down three fire teams tonight – nine Marines – by stealth."

"Yep." I said, sipping my coffee. "Pretty decent night."

"You know." He said. "A kid your age should be asleep this time of night, not sneaking around in the dark and –hell – teaching Marines about stealth tactics."

"That's one way to look at it." I said. "Look at it another way, a guy my age should be asleep, if his arthritis isn't keeping him awake."

"Yeah." He said. "I keep forgetting that part."

/|\

Colonel Hastings rapped on the podium. "Ok, let's do the Hotwash, then we can all hit the showers and get some sleep."

I can't claim the credit for instituting the Hotwash reporting procedure, or the After-Action Report, with the Lessons Learned Reporting format, but the Army and Marines really took to it.

It was – like the idea of the Paintball gun – a "forehead slap, duh!" idea. Formatting it in a standard way made it easy to write, easy to read, easy to pass on to other units.

At the end of the meeting, he made mention of the JSDF – Japan Self Defense Force Personnel – that had acted as Opposing Force for the Exercise. The Americans applauded, and the Japanese bowed.

Afterward, he came up to me as we were getting ready to leave. "Mr Takano, Mr. Stewart, once again, I'd really like to say how much I appreciate your help with this. These paintball guns are a great training aid."

I smiled. "Oh, I think they will be very popular eventually."

"I'm thinking that a lot of these kids that want to play soldier back home, might want to try their hand at this stuff." Said my dad. "We're thinking of trying to market them for Christmas Next year."

The colonel looked surprised and thoughtful. "That sounds interesting. My boys might like these, come to think of it."

I laughed politely. "Keep you in mind, we will, Colonel-sama." I put my hands together and bowed.

/|\

We got into the Toyota and headed for home. Takahasi had the heater going full blast, and I took my wet boots off and let my feet dry.

"Father of all, it is good to be warm again." I exclaimed. "I'd forgotten how cold the Kanto Plains Maneuver area can get in March. Sheesh!"

I let the seat recline, "and I can stop talking like Master Yoda and start speaking decent English again." I blew my breath out gustily. "I suppose, playing the role of Kenichi Takano works when I'm dealing with Americans, but it does get tiresome."

/\

I fell asleep for awhile on the ride back to the house.

It sometimes gets hard for me to keep straight who and where – and for that matter – when – I am.

For the first 55 years of my life, I lived through sequential, linear time like everybody else.

Then, on my 55th birthday, January 29th, 2012, I went to sleep.

When I woke, I was in my Six year old body, and it was January 29th, 1963. I had all the memories of being six year old – duplicate memories of both of the time tracks that I had lived in those first six years – well, not duplicates – because those lives were quite a bit different.

My first trip through life on the Original Time Line- the OTL, from 1957 to 2012, was very different from this second trip. The altered time line, the ATL had been changed – well, from the death of my Paternal Grandfather in 1944. In the OTL, he had survived the accident. In this timeline, he had died of infection. Here, my father had followed a different life path. Along the way, he had, essentially, been disowned by his relatives.

My mother's life had been –as far as I could tell – much the same as it had originally been, up until marrying my father. For reasons I had yet to determine, for some reason, we did not speak to my Japanese relatives.

So, in this timeline, my parents were, effectively, orphans.

Not that, in my father's case, I really missed that. With the exception of my Grandparents, the rest of the Stewart family? – well, in their case, their was no "fun" in "dysfunctional".

No big loss, so far as I was concerned.

On the Japanese side. Well.

I was becoming concerned. Japanese Culture is still based in large part, on Family Connections, as well as ability…and, as I recalled, her family seemed to have some shadowy connections to some high levels of power.

In this life, I had still been born in Japan, but instead of staying here for two years and then going to Alabama, we had gone to Germany for three years and then returned to Japan in January of 1963.

In this timeline, I had been a fairly normal child until my sixth birthday.

After January 29th, 1963?

Well, this world was a whole lot different from my first trip through – and getting more and more different.

/|\

I suppose, I might have gone insane, or been upset – but I read a lot of Science fiction, I read of lot of science. The notion of time as a discontinuous, non-linear stream – well, it wasn't all that strange.

What was that movie, "The Time-Traveler's Wife"? – the one where the guy just sort of flips in and out of the time stream – or hey – the TV show -"Dr. Who" – where you might live your life in a straight line, but at any given point, the Doctor – the last of the Time Lords - may have already known you for years, but you run into him later, and that version of him had not met you yet.

So, the fact that I had bounced off the groove, and skipped back along my timeline, was…OK.

When the going gets weird, the weird get going.

I'd had some pretty strange days in my life. Just some more of the same.

And – hell – this life seemed a lot more positive than my first one.

Just wished I had a TARDIS handy, you know?

Or, hell, a Sonic screwdriver.

Although, I shouldn't gripe. I did have a pretty good Ace in the Hole.

An iPad.

And it – somehow- had a connection to the Internet of – 2013. I could not send an email. I could, however, access any data available on the World Wide Web.

I think – that the folks close to me probably suspected something like that.

I had been data mining the future. Looking for plausible technology, breakthroughs that were possible, but just had not been thought of yet – and getting them to market.

In my first life, I was an Engineer, and not just a "book-learning" type. I had worked my way through school as a machinist, so I could run a lathe or a drill press, mill, grind, or bend. I knew what could be done with materials in a practical fashion.

So – I could identify the practical stuff, that which could be done – and that translated to money, and power.

There might be folks that would try to get at my power directly – to take it away from me. But 55 years of living in the School of Hard Knocks had taught me some Life Lessons.

I had a pretty good support net. People who had a vested interest in making sure the Goose kept laying those Golden Eggs.

Comments always welcome