« on: February 13, 2015, 09:30:50 am »
31 October 1920
Mountjoy Jail, Dublin, British Empire
Mrs. Barry looked at the chaplain as she left, puzzled. "Where is Canon Waters?"
The chaplain replied, "He is suddenly ill, ma'am. I will be taking your son's confession."
The chaplain walked in and turned to the guards, "sirs, do you mind?" He pointed to his collar. The guards looked at each other, nodded and walked out of the room.
Kevin started, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned."
"Do you want the good news first, or the bad?"
"Good news first, or bad?"
Kevin thought for a moment. Puzzled, he went along with it. "The bad."
The chaplain spoke:
"Selfishly, I may get in a lot of fucking trouble for this. Supervisors don't like a lot of interfering with the timeline, and Canon Waters is supposed to be here right now. Also, I'm no priest, so I can't absolve you. From my perspective, you're just going to have to deal with whatever guilt you feel until the morning. You know, when it all goes black. I suppose that's a bit of the good news. Happy Halloween."
"Who are you?"
"A time traveler. Sounds mad, I know. I'm not done yet. You won't live to see some amazing shit. You'll never know about the discovery of the basic genetic code for life, or what it's shaped like, how it works, and how future generations will be able to manipulate it. You'll never understand the origin of the universe, or wonder what the hell dark matter is. You'll never see a man stand on the Moon or hear the staticky words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" first hand. You'll never see Earth from afar. You'll never fly across the ocean. You'll never see incredible advances in medicine. You'll never grow old. You'll never be able to have complete access to all documented human knowledge with a few motions of your fingers. And I have the ability to give you all of those things, but if I do, unpredictable changes will occur, so I can only give you the good news and the bad."
"The good news, then."
"You won't live to see the rest of this century. You won't live to see the civil war that immediately follows your country's independence. You won't see the impending global economic collapse, and the rise of fascism. You won't live to see the single most destructive war in human history. You won't live to see atomic weapons used on civilians. You won't see a nail biting standoff that threatens to annihilate humanity itself that lasts for decades. You won't be lulled into a false sense of security with the collapse of the Soviet Union. You'll never live to see humanity survive all of that shit, and still go on to systematically destroy the environment because it's more profitable in the short term. You'll also miss out on hippies, disco, and hair bands, which can go either way depending on your preference. And you get to avoid all of this, and remembered as a hero to your cause. You even get a ballad."
Kevin was silent for several moments.
"Why are you telling me all of this?"
The chaplain himself was silent for a few moments, considering what his motives were. "If I was going to die in the morning, I'd want someone to come back and tell me what was going to happen afterwards, too, in the hopes that everything would turn out fine."
"Is it going to be alright in the end?"
"How should I know? I've never seen the end."
"Will you pray with me, so?"
The chaplain wasn't a religious man in reality, but played the part for the condemned, and crossed himself.