"Call me Winter, oh beautiful Diva 1705"
"I find it logical, orderly, and convenient to refer to humans by their last names...and you're 50.26 seconds late"
"Hey...I had to get my style just right"
Winter, a sixth generation Italian/American, pointed to his dark brunette hair that was perfectly in place and parted just off and left from center while he took a seat in the spacious Female Self Image Intervention Division office in the Quanta Building. Seated to his left was the bald with a goatee Latino with the distinctly Anglo-Saxon name Dru Berger. To his direct right sat the afro sporting, Nubian descended Barney Hill; and standing further right was the tall crew-cut blond Drew Humbolt.
"Well since the four of you gentlemen are finally together, I'll commence the mission briefing..so close your eyes please..." -all four men did as requested; and in each of their minds, they 'saw' their Division Head – the Intermediate Angel (I-Angel for short): Diva 1705 – unfurl a Mission Scroll before them on an individual basis- "...this is Samantha Maynard..." -on the blank scroll, pictures of the person in question's full front and side profiles appeared- "...this is as she was in A.D. 2002...as you can see, she is far from an optimal weight to height proportionality..." -and indeed the five foot, three inch 18 year old with long sandy-blond hair was about 100 lbs overweight- "...now this is her at 25 years, 6 months, and 5 days..." -two more full frontal and side pictures emerged below the original two, and the changes were like night and day. Her puffy round face turned into one that was slightly angular with high cheek bones; and with the excess mass gone, her green eyes protruded somewhat. Body-wise it was easy to tell that she was a fitness fanatic. Every lean muscle was so well toned that the phrase 'lean, mean, fighting machine' could be aptly applied to her...but it was because she looked like the epitome of a strong woman (physically AND mentally) and not because she looked manly whatsoever. With a tiny waist and generous curves, Samantha had turned from a pear-shaped 194 lb teen into a gorgeous 107 lb young woman- "...she at this time in her life is a Nutritionist and so-called Celebrity Chef who travels the world and advises developing Nations and poorer ethnic groups within developed Nations on how best to use the foodstuffs available to them in order to achieve the maximum benefit of such items for those specific populations...in particular at this time, she will meet the ruler of the Central African Unified States after her and her group, Foodinistas, are arrested on suspicion of fomenting revolution among the North Congolese people. The North Congolese are a sub-population within the CAUS who have suffered prejudice from the Government since radical elements among said people have been agitating to drag the whole of the Nation to invade and absorb the South Congo Republic...Miss Maynard through her charm, determination, and in no small amount her beauty convinces the ruler of the CAUS, General Agu, to pursue diplomacy with the SCR after he has her and her group set free and then sees them in action...eventually this leads to friendly enough relations to where Congolese in both countries can freely travel for business purposes or to see loved-ones..." -a vision appeared to each male of a calm sight of people going about their daily business in the dirt streets of a village in the South Congo. Suddenly, after a flash of bright white light, the scene changed to one of fierce combat in the same location. After a few seconds of watching gun battles and even hand-to-hand struggles, there was another flash and the pleasant conversations, laughing, and loud haggling around the merchant stands returned- "...approximately twenty-four hours before now a major Cause/Effect Disruption was beginning to emerge in the history of the CAUS and the SCR...33 minutes previous to the time when this meeting was supposed to start, a Decision Error that caused the C/ED was traced back to Miss Maynard when her age is 18 years, 2 months, 2 weeks, and 1 day, with a margin of two days preceding or after...it seems that within that window of time, the young Miss Maynard gave up on her desire to become a chef, the end result of which will be a devastating war which involves the whole of Africa..and it all starts with angry and disenfranchised North Congolese militants pouring into the South Congo Republic...now as you know, it is on the eighth day that all cause and effect alterations become permanent...you will be given three hours after this briefing concludes to read over and discuss the mission and it's details that will all be on your personal Quantum Communicators...you also will be given appropriate clothing, identification cards, and currency for the particular setting...after the three hours preparatory time has concluded, you will be interjected into the time-coordinate, thus giving you an abundance of time to assess Miss Maynard and lead her away from her incorrect decision...you may open your eyes now"
All four men opened their eyes to find Diva 1705 gone from the room. On the I-Angel's desk were four piles of clothes - shoes and belts included - and on top of the piles were colored smart-phone shaped and sized devices. They were the Quantum Communicators and each had a color that indicated it's operator (black for Dru, red for Drew, navy blue for Barney, and white for Winter). Also on the piles were faux-leather wallets. Winter was the first to grab his and look inside
"Hmmmm...a driver's license...credit card...and oh yeah!..three hundred dollars in cash!...looks like the party's on in a little less than three hours boys!"
"Take this seriously man..this is our first mission after like forever of being in training and a whole continent is counting on us"
"Loosen up Drew H...the ladies don't like uptightness in a man"
"Both of you stop bickering and read over the mission" -said Barney not even bothering to look at the two he was addressing.
All eyes were on their Q-pads (as was the name given to the Quantum Communicators by the four males) from that point on, and for several minutes there was complete silence until Dru voiced his thoughts aloud
"So I see that we have to go to some bumpkin ass high school in the boonies of middle America just so we can convince this girl to not give up on being a fancy cook"
"Chef Dru B...a cook slops down greasy meals at chain restaurants and little grub-and-gos' while a chef is the equivalent of an artist with food who makes the world a better place...taste-wise"
"Whatever...whoever makes it, it all ends-up going out the same hole that everyone has...and for your information WinTURD Greene, my parents ran one of those little 'grub-and-gos' and I'd take their food over any fancy five star restaurant's any day!"
"Is that so Dru boo boo"
"Your bickering is starting to piss me off!...now listen brown Dru..you need to get in the frame of mind of understanding this girl's dream of becoming a chef because I'm assuming that we'll have to provide all the support in that dream that she'll need...and Winter..anybody who makes good meals for even just themselves is a food artist"
A brief period of silence followed Barney's admonition...which was broken by Winter
"Yeah, I got ya B"
"Same here...black Barney..." -the object of the seeming snub gave a sinister look at Dru, who raised his hands and continued with- "...hey..if I gotta be brown Dru then you can be black Barney...otherwise you can call me and white Drew by our last names or do what Winter does"
Barney held his evil-eyed look on Dru for a second more and then turned to look at the clothes he would be wearing before saying
"I'm getting dressed"