Joined: Dec 22, 2009
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April 15th, 2015 at 1:16:36 PM permalink
Its been a while since I posted a fiction up. Let me know how you like this one. Will post some links to earlier stories soon. Working on another story called Hard Cache - coming soon.


Stuart Masterton watched the screen from casino security at the Galactic Aces casino, the largest casino in the known galaxy. Christie Christie, the famous model and actress gamboled and frolicked as she gambled and won and gambled and lost. Her voice carried starkly over the raucous screams emanating from the high-stakes audience following her progression--she was renowned for her sultry but raspy voice which was joke fodder for many a Holovid host--It was easy to mimic her voice as evidenced by the many who tried, somewhat like the popularity of Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonators(his films still did well centuries after his death)even today. Now her wins, at one point in the hundreds of thousands of credits had quickly dissipated and she convulsed with seeming abandon at every additional disaster of the dice. The game of Craps was fun and if Mrs. Christie was any evidence of it, it was fun even when losing one's shirt.

Of course, the final tally of her losses, over one million dollars, was not really more than pocket change for the devastatingly beautiful Mrs. Christie. The actress who sported the same first and last name was a galaxy-wide celebrity, her weekly show airing in the prime spot directly following "Are You More Prescient Than A Newcomb Being" which starred the inscrutable alien KetchlKoachl. Stuart smiled at the pleasant memory of when the Newcomb Being had visited his casino and helped save the station.

"Stop oggling her," admonished his security assistant, Jill.

Stuart smiled. "I wasn't even thinking of her at the moment."

"Sure, sure. You're just staring at her image in the screen like you're raping her!"

Stuart shrugged. The visual accuity of imagined frolics with the screen siren wrapping up her sojourn in his casino was delectable, even if it would never go beyond the virtual reality of his mind. "Well, look at her. All men must lust after that face, that body. That golden hair."

"That raspy voice?" Jill said while doing a not so good impersonation of it.

"It's sultry, its sexy and you're Christie Christie voice is sadly lacking in finesse. Anyhow, I'm nothing but professional."

Jill smiled the devil-grin of two men sharing the secret arcane knowledge of unspoken lust both men knew they had an affinity for. "She's getting ready to head to her shuttle. pointed out Jill. "She's late. Should have left two hours ago. And considering her losses at the Craps table, that would have been the wise move."

"Well, when you're Christie Christie, shuttles leave on your schedule. It's a private one, anyhow. It'll wait."

"Still, extra paperwork."

"I'll take care of it. Watch the monitors for me. I'm going to see her off personally."

Jill laughed. "I'm sure you will. Say goodbye to her husband too."

"Asshole," blurted out Stuart as he left the main security control room.

At the shuttle dock for the casino, he greeted Mrs. Christie and her husband, Arthur--if he remembered his name correctly. "Well, Mrs. Christie, I hope you had an excellent time here at the Galactic Aces. You're welcome to our hospitality any time. Please do not hesitate."

"Yes, well, considering you got my million, I would imagine that invitation would be extended," was the delivered retort in a deprecatingly mocking tone.

Stuart was always the professional, although internally he was offended. "It's more than your money that you've graced our humble operation with. Your magnificent poise and beauty has made your stay with us pleasant for all."

Mrs. Christie extended her hand--it seemed right. Stuart grasped her fingers in the characteristic gentlemans dip and kissed the tops of her knuckles. As he rose, he couldn't resist glancing at her husband, Arthur, who smiled knowingly. Stuart could only imagine what being married to one of the most gorgeous women in the galaxy would be like, the constant attention given to her by other men.

"Finally, a gentleman," she opined and Stuart saw her eyes dart to her husband as well. But there was a playfulness behind it, returned by Arthur. Stuart did not exaggerate his chances at wooing this starlet. It was quite clear she was jesting with her husband, throwing him some fodder for jealousy that would be returned in kind by some caustic words and probably a voracious session of love-making afterward. This husband and wife team had notoriously been married since before Mrs. Christie became a celebrity. Arthur had supposedly kept her acting ambitions afloat by supporting them with his menial bagel selling position until she was cast in the role that made her a superstar, "Gorgeous Woman". It wasn't a great movie, he remembered, but she had been discovered and stood out from the pack thanks to that now iconic role.

He said more goodbyes and turned with a surprising spiritual spear through his heart he hadn't felt since his more adventurous youth. By God, that woman was beautiful!

As the private shuttle moved through the airless pathways of space, Arthur Christie looked at his wife who stroked her hair and examined her face incessantly in the huge antique gothic mirror that adorned their bedroom wall. "Well, it was a nice vacation of sorts. Damn, did you see me? I had so much winnings. Why didn't you stop me from giving it all back, dear?"

Arthur smiled. "Can I make you do anything? You've a mind of your own. Especially when gambling."

"Oh, please. You make it sound like I wear the pants in the relationship."

"You don't? I saw you flirting with that security guard."

"Huh! He was chief of security. And my good friend, KetchlKoachl, has nothing but the kindest words for him."

"Yes, and so do you."

"Oh, my poor beautiful pouting jealous husband. If I wasn't checking out my boundless beauty in the mirror right now, I would come over and give you a soothing hug and kiss."

"Hah! Like you ever leave that gloating reflection, my Narcissus."

Christie smirked, her face beaming with mirth--but no sign of wrinkles! "Well, it is so--so special. How can I not stare at it. The whole galaxy does! It's what my celeb dutante is, you know?"

"Celeb dutante? What the fuck is that? I don't think that's the correct usage."

"Never mind. You know what I mean. All my millions are tied up with this visage of Hellenistic beauty. I have an insurance policy on my face, don't I? Not that I could ever live if I was forced to collect on it. I would just die if something happened to it."

"If you keep gambling the way you do, you'll need that payoff."

"Oh, posh. I'm not concerned. I've got plenty, dear. What, are you scared you'll have to go back to selling bagels again?"

She giggled. Arthur opened her purse wide as evidence of his point. "Look in here. What's there? Nothing but more facial make-up. Not a penny. You spent it all at the casino."

"Just disposable cash. I have credit cards. we'll hit the cash machine when we get to Earth. If we weren't late leaving, we could have done it there. And I sure hope there's more in my purse than just my make-up."

"Oh yeah, of course. That damned old-fashioned gunpowder contraption.

"It's called a pistol, my dear poor husband. An expensive working antique Luger .22, respect it and it'll respect you."

"Why do you even carry that? Nobody uses guns anymore."

"We've had this discussion before. It's my Protection. Ever since that bodyguard tried to blackmail us, you know I don't trust them. And I need some protection. A deranged fan of mine might come at me with a knife or something."

"Precisely. Or something--a blastgun? What's your pop shooter going to do then?"

"Well, I don't want to kill anyone, just wound them. Otherwise, I would carry a blastgun too."

"A .22 can do plenty of damage, even if it is a woman's gun. At close range, it's still deadly, I'm sure."

"I trust I'll never find out."

She turned to glare at him, her mesmerizing, blue Cerulean eyes acting like beacons from ten feet away. Arthur stared at them as she seemingly seduced with her lush lips and penetrating eyes. He was speechless against the onslaught of that stare, even after all these years of marriage.

"Come here and fuck me!"

He rose from his reclining position and crossed the room. Lifting her out of her chair, he glided with her thin, buxom frame over to their bed in this private shuttle home and laid her on the cushions, laid himself over her frame. He opened the satin robe she wore, exposing one breast which he fondled and looked hungry for.

"Am I still attractive to you?" she asked.

"Yes," he monosyllably replied, still staring at her breasts.

"My face is over here, dear."

He turned. "Your face is beautiful too."

They laughed together. And then he fucked her.


Ketch sat across from Christie Christie enjoying a dinner prior to the taping of their respective shows. It was not the first time these two unlikely friends had dined out. Although it could be argued Ketch did not enjoy his meal as he never touched the food on his plate. It was human food which he always ordered to be polite. The food edible for a Newcomb Being was not served in traditional human establishments.

"You said hello to my friend, Mr. Masterton, for me?" queried Ketch.

"Yes, I did. Nice guy!"

"He is very good-hearted."

"That didn't stop him from keeping my million dollars but, hey, I didn't expect him to get it back for me."

"That is the nature of gambling. As a Newcomb Being, I do not quite understand it."

"But you still visited the Galactic Aces? You didn't gamble when you went?"

"Yes, I did gamble. But not with money."

Christie stared at Ketch with confusion, then burst out laughing. "Oh, Ketch, that's what I like about you. You're so enigmatic. A hoot."

Ketch did not appear to be moved one way or the other. "I still do not understand human humor, I must admit."

"That's because you're a horse, Mister Ed."

"I do see the resemblance between my race and the animals from your planet you call horses."

"it's a joke! An insult to quiet the air. Earth humor."

Ketch stood impassive, stoic.

"Anyway, I have to get back to my room for make-up. You know it takes over two hours to make me look so pretty. I mean, you would be amazed at all the work that goes into this beautiful face and gorgeous frame. How much make-up do they make you suffer through, Ketch?"

"None, I go on as is. I believe it is because my frame does not need embellishment, unlike some celebrities that need copious amounts of chemical products to transform them into something other than a slug."

Christie's face was horrified, grimacing with insult, and then burst with sudden convulsive laughter. "You do have a sense of humor, Ketch. I knew it, I knew it. We need to get you a comedy show or something. Anyway, I do have to move on, you overgrown pony. So, bye Ketch!"

She rose from her seat and mimicked a touching motion towards the Newcomb Being(no touching was allowed between humans and Newcombers, primarily for health reasons. The Newcombers and humans having different bio systems, they also were prone to carry different forms of bacteria--it was just safer and healthier to avoid body contact between the two species.)

Ketch watched as Christie Christie ran with all speed to her dressing room at the studio.

Christie's husband was there when she arrived. "Where were you? I'm starved."

"You didn't tell me you were coming. I took a meal with Ketch."

Arthur Christie shivered. "Lunch? I can see discoursing with him, but consuming food? I don't know."

"Perfectly fine, dear. If you are hungry, just go get something. I'm going to be here for awhile you know in the make-up chair."

"Alright, I'm gonna go get some dinner. Your make-up sessions are boring. I'll be back in an hour," stated Arthur and quickly left to get some outside chow. Christie went to the door and locked it from the inside. Her make-up woman would knock and she would let her in--Christie was just too paranoid about allowing any door's ingress acessible to a room she presently occupied.

Christie sat in front of the make-up mirror admiring herself. She brushed her long blond hair and stared into her baby blue Cerulean eyes. She loved the word for the shade of blue she was blessed with--Cerulean. It was so...so elegant, she pondered.

Where the hell was that make-up woman? She was late and not for the first time. What was her name, Abigail? Well, Abigail would need to find a new job if this tardy behavior kept up. Arthur had cautioned being easy on her but as a professional Christie needed to be strong. One more time, if the make-up department was late that would be the end of it, regardless of what protection Arthur afforded her. It's not like he's fucking her, thought Christie to herself.

Christie checked the time. Damn, she was gonna miss the taping of her show soon! And if that happened, 'you could forget about simply being fired, Miss Abigail, you would get clocked in the head'. Christie was not one to beat up on people but don't mess with her show and livelihood. That girl was diminutive anyway, thought Christie who stood a good inch and a half taller than her. She would be easy to beat up.

christie stood up to go check on her make-up woman--stopped dead in her tracks--screamed with fright. There standing inside the room not ten feet from her was a blonde-haired, savagely disfigured woman. Both women stood unmoving--eye level. Christie observed terrible scar tissue had caked over wounds that were deep and gouged, a distended fault-line of fissures with gaping chasms interpersed with upheaved mountainous flesh marred the entire face of the woman who stood staring directly at her with deep, seemingly shining Blue Cerulean eyes.

"Who the fuck are you?" questioned Christie, overcoming her initial fear. "How did you get in here? Only my husband and I have the code to this room. Damn, I'll have to have security change the locks in the morning."

The disfigured apparition didn't answer nor move from her frozen spot, although she was clearly all too real. Christie reached for her purse, her Luger .22. "Do not go for the gun," spoke the trespasser and produced Christie's .22 Luger in her hand.

Christie gulped, thought briefly 'what irony, dying by the weapon she kept for her own protection' but then the stranger moved for her to embrace the gun. "Take it. I just wanted to make sure you didn't use it on me," said the woman, gun butt pointing towards Christie in the classic hand-over maneuver. Christie reached slowly for the weapon, wondering what malicious move this intruder would make, but there was none. She relinquished the gun back to Christie who quickly confirmed it was still fully loaded.

Now, she examined this enigma more thoroughly, she could see the woman stood the same height as she, similar blond hair and build--and the same eyes for certain. But her face--it was from some horrorshow, a freak caused by some terrible physical trauma.

"I let myself in, since you are wondering," a smile poked through the scars and vitriol. But it was a twisted gnarled smile that had seen better days. "I know the code."

"How? Who gave it to you?"

"You! You did."

"Nonsense, we've never even seen each other before."

"We have in the mirror."

Christie was quiet. Something was bothering her, the least of which was this woman's presence. Christie began to comprehend, slowly like a dawn risen red and orangish on the horizon.

"I, I, no, it can't be."

"Yes. I am from your future. I am your future. Here is my time-slipper," pointed the woman to the watch on her wrist. "It took me a few years of rehab and searching for a time slipper so that I could return here and warn you of what is to come, of your face becoming disfigured!"

Christie shook her head in horror but the realizaton of the truth was piercing like knives. This woman before her with the visage of terror had her voice. Her sultry, raspy voice that so many people made fun of. That voice never sounded the same to her own ears but she had heard enough people mimic her to know it. "No, it can't be. I refuse to believe you. From the future? My face? NO!"

"You know it to be true. You're nauseous, right?"

And indeed, christie did feel queasy, her stomach roiling with intent to disgorge her contents from her earlier meal with Ketch.

"That's the feeling one gets when they meet themselves, you know that. It's common knowledge."

The disfigured future Mrs. Christie stepped forward with dignity. "You must be strong. I come to tell you. You must be strong and live."

"I can't live with that," shook Christie. "How does it happen? I won't let it come to pass."

"Gale's Law. You know you cannot break Gale's Law. I cannot even tell you how it will happen. For me, this conversation is the past. I held it with myself standing here in your spot. I know everything I say in advance and everything I do not. Trust me, this conversation is indelibly imprinted on my memory, is being indelibly imprinted on yours. You won't forget it easy. You will be disfigured and there is nothing you can do about it. Except be strong. Pull through. Life is more than beauty. It's more than skin. You will become something wonderful. But you must pull through psychologically."

"I can't," growled christie as she groped her beautiful, scar-free face. She quivered all through her bones and frame and nerves with sudden and unequivocal fear.

"Gales law says you must. What has happened in the past cannot be changed and where I come from this is the past. Our meeting was in my past. Your meeting with yourself is in your future. Your accident...is in the very near future--it is imminent."


Christie stormed out the room, past this apparition from the future and down the halls of the Holovid station where she had her award-winning show and stormed headlong into the offices of her comforting boss and Holovision manager, Wendy Wisher.

"Calm down, calm down, sweetie, calm down. There, there!"

The soothing words of reason emanated from Wendy wisher into Christie Christie's ears and registered on her brainpan with alacrity. Christie's breathing slowed, panting wheezes winding down like a buzzsaw with lost power. "Tell me what's happened?" gently nudged Wendy.

After recounting the experience with her future self, Wendy glared at her with doubts over the validity of the whole situation. "Look, dear. Is it possible that you met this person who was your future self? Yes, I suppose. We all know time travel exists but I've never heard of something like this before. We can't just believe the first person who comes along claiming they're from the future, right? There are plenty of crackpots who walk around this city claiming they time-travel and you know well as I do some of the scams in this city that revolve around that."

"Of course, I know, I'm not an idiot. But she was very convincing. She had a time slipper! And the code to my private dressing room! How did she get that, huh? Only me and my husband have that. No one else, I swear."

Wendy nodded, attempting to be the ears and eyes of reason. "Who is your friend here at the station that can really help you, huh?"

Christie looked awkward at her. "I came to you, right?"

"No, I am your friend but that's not what I meant. Who can really help in a situation like this, to see if your future calls for this disfigurement you fear so much?"

Christie's eyes lit up, the tears gleaming with the added light. "Ketch. He can read me."

"Right. And when he says there is nothing to be concerned about, you'll feel better, right?"

Christie thought about it and shook her head. So the two of them marched to the Newcomb Beings private suite which was a permanent fixture at the studio. He answered for them to enter and listened intently, if stoically to their story.

When they were finished, he looked from the one to the other. "You wish me to ping the future of Mrs. Christie?"

"Yes," replied Wendy.

Ketch deliberated silently a moment, then, "This is highly unusual for someone of your species. To wish to know the future of such a horrific event. You are generally not equipped to deal psychologically with the ramifications of such advance knowledge."

"I would want to know if I was developing cancer or Space Croak or something worse and I would have to deal with it then," piped in an anxious Christie. "As my friend, do this for me and as my friend, Ketch, please do not lie to me. Tell me exactly what you see. I'll consider it a betrayal if you lie to make me feel better and then this terrible accident happens anyway."

Wendy stood flabbergasted at those statements. It was, after all, a direct insult to Ketch. Newcombers were known for their overt honesty. She went to speak but Ketch waved her silent.

"I understand your etiquette will be wanting in this situation and as a friend, I swear to you now that I will tell you only what I see and interpret. And also must stress that any ping is only viable to within ninety percent accuracy. I am not definitive in the future of any reading, just confident. Is that satisfactory and understood?"

Christie nodded. "Then, hold still," ordered Ketch.

He looked at her intently. Reading and pinging someones future was not very theatrical. Music and some lighting effects made the whole experience on their gameshow seem special, but here and now it was very mundane. A moment of silence and then Ketch simply stopped glaring so hard at Christie, his frozen frame regaining what slight animation his species normally exhibited.

"Well," shouted an anxious Christie.

"Let him give it in his own time, dear," counseled Wendy. "He needs to interpret the ping, right, Ketch?"

If one could detect nervousness on a Newcomb Being, now was the moment. Christie's eyes expanded as her friend remained somewhat somber. "Well? It's true, isn't it? My face is going to be horribly scarred soon? Any moment?"

Ketch slowly spoke up. "The ping is indeed delivering a ninety percent chance that your face...your face will be horribly mangled in some way imminently. But I counsel caution in this reading..."


The piercing scream certainly had been heard along the corridors of the entire Holovid station. Christie moved to strike Ketch with her fists and arms but the newcomb Being backed up in alarm. Wendy grabbed her, admonishing her quickly, "Christie, you know no contact." Christie shook Wendy off and rushed out of Ketch's suite crying and screaming further, shaking her head at whatever verbal lassoes were strung after her by Wendy and Ketch.

She ran down the halls of the station towards her own dressing room oblivious to everyone, everything. Only her face and her beauty and that horrible image of what she was going to look like soon, imprinted on the contours of her brain. And yes, Gales Law, disturbingly warring in her head for supremacy, arguing that there was no escape from it. There was no breaking Gale's Law.

Wendy apologized to Ketch. "She's distraught or she never would have tried to deem to touch you."

"Of course," agreed Ketch diplomatically. "But, Wendy. There is something else."


"The ping. I have never seen any like it before. I was trying to explain that to her. I am just not sure how to verbalize it."

"Try," commanded Wendy.

"Well, it was...it was what you might interpret as a double echo. Yes, that is it. Like a superimposed image. That is not supposed to happen. One of those images therefore, must be a false echo."

Wendy shook her head in consternation. "I still don't understand. What does that mean?"

"I am having trouble interpreting. Something in her future is creating a false echo. A false echo of her face being disfigured! I believe it means, and this is a difficult interpretation for me, that her disfigurement will be self-fulfilling!"

"You mean..."

"It is happening because of her actions and not in spite of them. Again, it is a strange ping. I really would need more time to analyze it under the circumstances."

The words self-fulfilling kept sloshing around Wendy Wisher's mind. "My God. I don't think we have that kind of time. I have to run, Ketch."

She ran with all haste towards Christie Christie's room.

"OPEN UP, OPEN UP THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW," screamed Wendy. Low-pitched crying from the other side alerted Wendy that it still wasn't too late. She considered having security break the door down, but whatever self-inflicting wounds Christie was contemplating could easily be accomplished while the door was being removed from its hinges.

Luckily, Arthur Christie returned from his dinner then. He ran to the door which Wendy stood in front of and after a moments cajoling for Christie not to do anything rash, he entered the locking codes so the door to their suite opened with a hiss.

All the way on the other side of the room, in front of the mirror stared Christie Christie at her reflection. A mote of light caught off the handle of the Luger .22 that she held in her hands, its muzzle clacking against her teeth.

"Christie, put the gun down," cautiously requested Arthur.

"I love you, Arthur. I really do. You'll be better off not being married to what I'm going to become. I can't live with it and neither should you. But, I'm going to try. I'm going to try to change the future. Gale's law bedamned," she giggled in the face of reality. "Gale's law...beat this."

She poked the gun muzzle between her teeth, faced the gun tube up, bit down and contracted the trigger.

The shot rang out!

Wendy and Arthur, both shocked with tears rushed to her side. Arthur lifted her in his arms. A movement of her face startled him. Her arm lifted of its own accord in some mocking manner of life and death. "She's still alive! Get an ambulance here, now."

Wendy was all over it. Already the paramedics were on the way, summoned on Wendy's portable.

In his loving arms, Christie's scarred face, pockmarked with the fissure of a traveling gunshot wound that spiked across her features, and ricocheted cross her cheekbones, a raised impression of meat and surrounding furrowed chasms looked up into Arthur's loving eyes. Christie was miraculously still conscious. Her two Cerulean Blue eyes, untouched by the Luger's discharge stared at her husband, gleaming. Her mouth, painfully twisted but somehow still workable mouthed something faint.

Arthur bent nearer, lifted Christie closer. And then he heard the slurred words.

"I guess Gale's Law can't be beat! Joke's on me!"


Hours passed in the hospital waiting room where Wendy Wisher and Arthur Christie morosely endured, awaiting any word from the medical staff on the condition of the screen siren. Already, Wendy was aware of reporters that were coagulating outside the hospices doors for a moments leeching interview. But here, in this room of solitude from the outside world, it was mercifully quiet, the regular goings-on of hospital staff and moans of an occasional sick patient the only noise pollutants.

"It was Ketch's fault," murmured Arthur.

"What? How can you say that?"

Arthur looked up, his face displaying red wracked teary eyes. "He reinforced it in her mind. She was willing to cast doubt on this situation until he pinged her, right?"

Wendy slowly nodded. "She implored him to do it, but I suppose. I mean, the combination of meeting her future self and his prediction pretty much solidified what was inevitable. Gale's Law and it's repercussions must have been paramount in her thoughts as well. We can't blame Ketch. After all, it was going to happen no matter what. Doctor Martin Gale would testify to that! There's no beating Gale's Law. It was just a bit of irony the way that it happened, that's all."

Arthur nodded. "You're right, I suppose. I guess there was no avoiding it."

"And I'm hopeful they can still do some repair of her face with modern medical technology. I mean, we know she survives and returns to warn her past self of the wonders of life. That beauty is not skin deep. She will pull through this and perhaps, not so badly deformed as we imagine."

Arthur looked skeptical. "You believe they can fix her face from that trauma? I mean, Christie saw her future self and it caused her to try killing herself, it was so traumatic."

"Yes, but a scratch or a pimple would make her over-dramatize the situation. Maybe it wasn't that bad after all, you know her."

Silence! There just wasn't much to say. And then finally, the attending physician exited the operating room and came towards them.

They both stood up anxious. "How bad is the damage? You think reconstructive surgery might have some ameliorating effect on the injuries to her face?" asked Wendy Wisher.

The doctor glared back uncertain, confused. "Her face?"

"Yes, her face. She is big on her appearance as you can imagine."

The doctor shook his head. "I'm sorry, it's not her face. She passed away on the operating table. I'm sorry."

The news came as a hammer-strike to both Wendy and Arthur. Wendy shook her head with certainty. "No, that's not possible. She has to have survived. She lives a lot longer..."

"No, there is no mistake. Once again, I'm sorry. I know how difficult this is to deal with. We tried everything but there was just too much damage to the skull and facial tissue. She expired a few minutes ago. I'll arrange for a viewing if you wish."


The funeral was quickly organized and took place within twenty four hours according to the Hebrew faith of Mrs. Christie. She had not been religious, but Arthur was insistent they bury her within the tenets of the religion she had forsaken. It was a small ceremony for friends and family, nothing lavish. Arthur pointed out that Jewish burials never were.

Wendy looked around at the small turnout. The sad faces looked away from her. Too many tears. Only KetchlKoachl was absent. Arthur was adamant that it be a human-only ceremony. He still blamed Ketch to some extent and out of respect for Mrs. Christies grieving husband, Ketch had extended his sympathies from his apartment suite, deffering to his wishes.

After the burial, Wendy turned to Arthur. "I'm still so shocked. So, what now? Are you going to stay Shiva?"

"I'm not Jewish," replied Arthur. "But I will leave to mourn in my own way. We had a retreat, a getaway that's secret. Just Christie and I know where it is. A closely guarded refuge for escaping from the papparazzi. I think I'm going to go there. Just for a few days. Some solitude."

Wendy understood. She watched as he entered his Hearse and was driven away.

Wendy Wisher returned to her office at the Holovid station. Ketch gave her a brief visit. He wanted to hear about the ceremony.

"A sad state of affairs!" commented Ketch.

"Yes," agreed Wendy.

"I believe I have a better understanding now, of the false echo I was receiving when I pinged Mrs. Christie. I believe I was the false echo."

Wendy didn't comprehend. "How was it you?"

"I was seeing with ninety percent certainty her disfigurement but it was being influenced by my indulging the information to her. My reading was influencing the percentage of viability per the outcome. Take away my reading and the probability of her disfigurement dropped significantly but my reading was still correct as I was instructed to tell her nothing but what I saw. Hence a weird false echo. In retrospect, I should have refused despite her emotional distress."

"So, her husband was correct? He said you were the indirect cause of all this. You couldn't have foreseen this with all your ages-old experience of pinging the future?" Wendy scolded KetchKoachl.

Ketch remained calm. "Wendy, our ages-old experience has never involved pinging for another sentient species. Our two species are the first time either has encountered intelligent life. As we intermingle our kind together, these types of missteps will occur.

"I did say the incident would seem to be self-fulfilling," continued Ketch. "But that, of course, was in direct conflict with Gale's Law which states that she would have no way of avoiding the incident. That the scarring of her beauty was a past event witnessed by her future self returning to deliver the warning."

"Yes. But I still...I still don't understand. I mean, you're saying she should have lived? She should still be with us? She lives to return from the future, right? How did Gale's Law get broken? I'm confused how that's possible."

"It is not, I assure you," retorted Ketch.

Wendy's speech was amortized. Slowly she stumbled through the verbal sludge of her thoughts. "If it is not possible to break Gale's Law, then how is she dead? I still cannot resolve those dissonant facts."

Ketch sought to clear Wendy's confusion. "The future Mrs. Christie cannot return from the future because the present Mrs. Christie is dead. Since she never returns to warn of her impending doom, Mrs. Christie should still be alive. Clearly the tenets of Gale's Law are at odds here.

Ketch was quiet for another moment as Wendy still looked unresolved. Ketch realized he needed to reinforce the issue. "There is a famous fictional character of your species named Sherlock Holmes. He is noted for stating, "Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

Wendy gloated at him. "I'm familiar with Doyle. That's from the "Sign of the Four," his first Sherlock Holmes novel. But I still don't understand."

"Apply the precept!" Ketch said nothing more, turned and left Wendy's office.


Arthur Christie arrived at his late wife's secret getaway they shared. The door to the bungalow was naturally locked. Only he and Christie knew the code. Arthur punched it in, which caused the metal frame to give way. Arthur entered into the bungalow's living room. The door slammed shut automatically behind him.

"Lights on," he commanded and the voice activated flourescents came on.

In the center of the room, the future Mrs. Christie rose from the sofa where she had been seated. She approached Arthur. He looked into her disfigured face and beautiful blue Cerulean eyes, then gave her a huge hug which was returned in kind. "I thought you would never arrive," she stated.

Arthur took her gently now in his arms. Holding her tightly, he began to dig his fingers into her scars, ripping apart the tender flesh, shredding facial cells with his nails. The future Mrs. Christie screamed with the pain of her flesh being ripped away but allowed the further mangling of her face until finally a more beautiful, smooth, exoderm was revealed.

The last vestige of plasti-flesh removed, Arthur flung it into the garbage and began wiping away the sheen of spirit gum adhesive left behind by the facial appliances. "I was afraid I would have to wear that infernal stuff forever," she quipped in a normal, deep and smooth voice.

Arthur nodded. "The stupid bitch didn't die right away. In fact, I thought the irony was going to be the whole disfigurment would come true and I would have to live with her the rest of my life. Probably searching for a time slipper with the belief it was her destiny to warn her past self."

A tinkling laughter from the future Mrs. Christie. "A fitting punishment, I suppose for you. Hold on, I have to get rid of these damn contacts." She bent over and removed the Cerulean lenses, blinked exposing a set of chestnut brown eyes. "Oh and these damn lifts." Removing her shoes, she took out the plastic foam which had added an inch and a half to her height. she stood in front of Arthur now, shorter, gloating up at him.

"Still, over all, I thought everything went swimmingly," added Arthur. "I told you she would kill herself before living with the possibility of having that horrible face to greet her in the mirror. She was so vapid. And my helping to suggest how dangerous a .22 was helped put the idea of shooting herself at the forefront of her mind."

"Yes, you even were certain she would go to that Newcomb Being for help."

"They were friends, after all. I surmised she would, although he was a bit of a wild card. In the end, he helped speed things up immensely. I wonder if he even realizes how much we used him. The giant fool."

"And now we get everything?"

"Well, except the insurance policies. They have suicide clauses. We won't be able to collect. But that will just strengthen our image, deflect suspicion away from us. 'They didn't kill her for the insurance,' they will say. But don't worry, we have plenty besides. As her husband, I inherit the entire estate. Plenty."

"But you think they will be suspicious? What if they discover what we did?"

"Nonsense. There were witnesses. She committed suicide, right? No question of that. And even if someone did figure out the entire scheme, so what? There is no such thing on the books as Psychological Murder. At best, they could get us on aggravated harrassment. As far as breaking the law goes, a minor charge. She killed herself by her own hands and we cannot be charged with murder so. A few months from now, we announce our intent to marry and you will truly be the future Mrs. Christie. Mrs. Abigail Christie. And you'll never need to apply anyone's make-up ever again!"

"I love you, Arthur," she exclaimed. She raised her arms to entwine around his shoulders.

"OUCH!" he yelped. She pulled away from him. There was a stinging scratch along his arm.

"Oh, sorry my dear. It's this cheap watch. The clasp keeps opening and it scratches."

He yanked it off her wrist, aimed and threw it at the trashbasket, landing it right in. "Bullseye. It's a piece of garbage, anyway."

"I can't believe she thought that cheap trinket was a time slipper!"

Arthur lifted Abigail off her feet and threw her onto the bed at the back of the bungalow.

They laughed together. And then he fucked her.
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
Joined: Dec 1, 2009
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April 16th, 2015 at 11:33:58 AM permalink
Great story as usual.
“Man Babes” #AxelFabulous
Joined: Mar 6, 2011
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April 16th, 2015 at 12:20:55 PM permalink
That is a good story. Every time I thought: I'll just finish this paragraph and move on.... I had to keep reading.

I can't remember the last time I read a complete post that was this long. Good job!
Stupid is a choice
Joined: Dec 22, 2009
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April 16th, 2015 at 12:52:38 PM permalink
Thanks guys, much appreciated
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee

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