Timefiction

Time Travel Logs

1954 Part 9

Chapter 9.

The next day, President Eisenhower, Allen Dulles, and John Foster Dulles, were in the meeting room, looking very serious.

Allen Dulles started, “Your friend in China, the one who turns them capitalist, Teng Hsiao Ping. It looks like he has been killed.

Leonid Brezhnev is about to be named ambassador to Afghanistan.
Boris Yeltsin has been put in charge of ensuring the quality of Vodka production.
Yuri Andropov has been put in charge of a workplace sobriety campaign.”

Bob Thomas said, “The Soviet changes would be historical jokes. Khrushchev actually, post-Beria, started the trend of letting purged leaders retire or be transferred to low level non political jobs. These would be jokes only understood by time travelers.

Leonid Brezhnev’s biggest disaster was invading and getting bogged down in Afghanistan. Boris Yeltsin was known to be an alcoholic. Yuri Andropov tried to crack down on Soviet alcoholism during his brief time in office.

I wonder if he’d name Mikhail Gorbachev to be in charge of nuclear reactor safety, since Chernobyl blowing up happened on his watch.”

Allen Dulles, asked, “Chernobyl?”

Bob Thomas answered, “A nuclear power plant that melted and sent huge quantities of radioactive material in the air. Actually there was something similar in northern England, Sellafield in a couple of years, but on a smaller scale. The US actually had many small accidents over the next decades. One in July 1956 in Bayside, New York was not even reported to the people living near it. It was a fire that dispersed nuclear materials being prepared there.
Also in July 1956, a B-47 crashes in Britain, but the conventional explosives didn’t explode. Those warheads really need to be redesigned to assume that aircraft crashes will happen during peacetime.”

John Foster Dulles, said “Let’s get back to other time travelers. What do we know?”

Bob Thomas said, “Probably the Soviets wouldn’t have told China about Deng Xiao Ping. I would guess at least one in Britain, the Soviet Union, and China. The Soviets and Chinese have not been trying to hide what they know. Probably they didn’t consider that there would be other time travelers. It looks like Britain is already changing policies.”

John Foster Dulles asked, “What do we do about it?”

Bob Thomas said, “Maybe have a summit meeting. Noone seems to be interested in repeating history the same way. Certainly the US and Britain should cooperate.”

At the next meeting, Allen Dulles, said, “We are going to prepare for the summit with Churchill now. You are going to Washington. You’ll have briefing materials about recent talks with the British.”

John Foster Dulles said, “Winston Churchill said wants to meet with, the same people you wanted to meet with. He is bringing Anthony Eden, the British counterpart to myself, John Sinclair, counterpart to Allen Dulles, and Bruce James, who he described as a special adviser with some very sensitive information, which we assume is your counterpart.”

Two days later, Bob Thomas was in the White House. He didn’t recognize John Sinclair, or Bruce James. Anthony Eden, looked very dignified. Winston Churchill seemed noticeably aged from the World War Two period from which he had seen pictures and film of him.

Winston Churchill addressed President Eisenhower, “It has been said that old soldiers fade away, but actually little bits of fat float around in our bloodstreams and take away a bit of our minds or energy. I am told aspirin helps, but I was already taking aspirin regularly. I was surprised to hear that daily alcohol intake is helpful, but alas I was already partaking of it. The medical advances might help a young man such as yourself, but not me, in my condition. I shall retire in April, same as last time. Different from last time, is that I will not leave Sir Anthony Eden a disaster in Egypt causing his resignation soon after becoming Prime Minister.”

Anthony Eden interrupted, “I have not as yet received such an honor”.

Winston Churchill continued, “Mister Anthony Eden, shall inherit a clean slate. The difficult decisions will be made on my watch. Similarly you should not leave Jack Kennedy, or whoever the next President happens to be, a disaster in Cuba, which, in the American way, caused Allen Dulles, not Jack Kennedy to resign.”

President Eisenhower said, “We last met less than a month ago, but it seems like 54 years. Rest assured we will make some different decisions this time. We will hash out what to do about Egypt right now, and not split the bridge between our nations over it.

One thing I want to ask our two strange visitors, is are they playing a cosmic joke on us, or are they brainwashed themselves by something or someone with superior technology than us.”

Bob Thomas said, “There is certainly nothing in my knowledge or memory to support that. However, the inexplicable nature of time travel, and at least 4 of us appearing around the same time, and each in a position to change history, does imply an intention. I think we are who we think we are, but as to who or what brought us here and why, that is unknown.”

Bruce James said, “I must concur with my American colleague. While the two of us might apparently be working for good, I don’t think our counterpart in China has achieved good aims, intentionally or not. It almost has the look of a contest being set up between the two sides of the Cold War.”

Winston Churchill interrupted, “We will perhaps never know why we have our new friends from the future. Nevertheless we must make use of their knowledge, especially as the other side in this Cold War have their own.
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. We will do far more than defeat Communism, a task we would have accomplished in the next decades anyway, but create a brighter future than the 2008 I have been hearing about.”

John Foster Dulles said, “Our American time traveller, Mr. Thomas, said that I made a great mistake in trying to win over Nasser to the anti-communist cause. Mr. James, do you agree with this assessment?”

Bruce James answered, “I undoubtedly do, sir. Furthermore the Egyptians are not really swayed by the pro and anti communist arguments of the Cold War, since they believe neither. They can be bought though, and in my history it took until Sadat became ruler of Egypt through natural causes, and a rather hefty price for Egypt to become a Western ally.”

Winston Churchill said, “We were considering President Naguib as the man who might have a lower price. Still the price will be steep, both in blood and in money. We considered Anwar Sadat, but conclude he could not be bought, but only do what he considers to be in the best interest of Egypt, and wouldn’t consider what we propose to be in their best interests.

We will assist Naguib, who is the President, but mostly in name only, to rid himself of Nasser, as step one. Step two the British Empire, the United States, and Egypt sign a trade treaty favorable to Egypt, and include a perpetual lease on canal bases, and US assistance to build the Aswan dam, and continual aid after that, but much lower than what was needed in our friend’s 1977.”

President Eisenhower said, “I was actually thinking along the same lines. We will work out the details at a lower level, and I will have to get congressional approval for it. Obviously future history cannot be the basis to get that approval. Also, it must be done in a way that does not have the United States support colonialism.”

Churchill said, “The US will have its chance to oppose colonialism when the Panamanians start agitating for a return of the Canal zone in 10 years or so. Meanwhile, we are going to change what happens to our Empire. We have no desire to create failed states, kleptocracies, and endless coups and civil wars. In Africa we might be considering organizing along tribal lines, amongst a larger federation that has ties to the United Kingdom. We have very few years to accomplish this before the momentum for full independence becomes irresistible.”

Churchill continued, “To continue on to other topics. We must continue a working group of future knowledge even after we leave the scene.”

Eisenhower said, “Our working group, will bring in Nixon if he should become President. Mr. Thomas has asked us not to include him. Anyone elected President will be brought in during the transition period.”

Churchill said, “I quite agree. If Labour should win the general election in 1955, I think they’ll have to be briefed. We do need a future generation of leaders also. On the advice of Mr. James, I am going to bring in Margaret Thatcher., a 28 year old barrister. She did very well in running in a safe Labour seat. In the other future, her rise to power was delayed for years by not being given a safe Conservative seat in 1955. I will let him explain why I would want to bring her into the working group.”

Bruce James said, “I had often idly speculated, which of the various leaders of the UK would meet with the approval of Sir Winston Churchill. Of all of the leaders from the 1960’s to 2008, there was only one that I thought would meet with his approval, Margaret Thatcher.”

Bob Thomas interrupted, “I had thought the same thing.  I even once said in 2008, that something has gone dreadfully wrong with the British and that they don’t make them like Winston Churchill anymore, with the possible exception of Margaret Thatcher.”

Churchill said, “Thank you for your complements. Clearly I am not going to have the time of the ability to improve the nature of Britishness in future decades. That is why I want future leaders thinking about that challenge. Speaking of future decades, I understand that I am to linger on for a decade after another stroke that renders me useless in public life. Mr. Thomas, do you have anything more useful than take an aspirin to advise?”

Bob Thomas said, “There were scientific blood thinners, and might even exist now. Aspirin is a lesser and cruder one. The key to their use is constant monitoring of the blood clotting levels and fine tuning of the doses. However, it must be realized that strokes are not only caused by clots, but also by cerebral bleeding from excessively thin blood. I don’t know the medical details, but only the advice given to the public, and those are control high blood pressure. Besides medicines, reducing salt and other sodium intake sharply helps some but not all people reduce blood pressure. So does relaxing. Prevent diabetes. I think the glucose level monitoring can be done now to check if that condition exists. Prevent smoking. Treat atrial fibrillation. I would think a competent doctor of 1954 could detect the condition by listening. However I don’t know how it is treated. Not to be overweight, and to exercise aerobically maybe 5 times a week. Lower cholesterol through drastic dietary changes.”

Story: 1954: Part 10

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