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Aberrant: The Long March - Character Fictons

Mr Fox

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(This takes place after the dinner in NY and before the breakfast on the ship.)

Bradford stepped out into the New York evening once again, a little jarred from his trip aboard a "space ship" with his new associates. He was eager to learn what he could from these people in the future, but he had loose ends to tie up in the here and now.

He walked briskly to the theater and knocked on the office door of Mr. John Carlisle, the owner and manager of the theater.

"Come in!"

Bradford entered the office to usual disarray. Papers were stacked everywhere, piles of newspapers threatened to tip over at any moment, and Mr. Carlisle looked as though he had been dozing before Bradford came in.

"Ah, Bradford. Another killer performance! With the momentum this show has, I think we could run until the end of the year with a packed house."

Bradford cringed. He hated to do this, since Carlisle was such a nice guy, but if he could save the world, Bradford had to take the opportunity.

"Mr. Carlisle, I'm afraid that I am going to have to cancel the rest of my shows. I've been offered a unique opportunity to travel abroad, and I can't continue doing my performances here."

He raised his hand Carlisle.

"Before you say anything, I want to apologize for the last minute nature of this, but I am going to compensate you for the revenue you are bound to lose and then some. My new employers hope that this covers it."

Bradford tossed the bag of gold coins on the desk, some spilling forth.

Mr. Carlisle's eyes widened. "Sure, sure. Take off as much time as you need. You always have a spot at my theater." He then began examining and counting the shiny coins.

"Good night, then, Mr. Carlisle."

Bradford grabbed a pen, a piece of paper, a stamp, and an envelope off his desk. He penned a quick note to his father, explaining that he was going to be traveling to the Orient and Eastern Europe for the next year, performing his act and learning new illusions to improve it. He dropped the letter into a mail box with a twinge of regret. He wished he could have done this in person, but his father was on a business trip in St. Louis for the next 3 weeks, and time was of the essence.

With a sigh, he returned to the ship and waited for the morning meal to commence.

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  • 4 months later...

Morgan had been working tirelessly for the last year to bring about a kinder friendlier Germany and bring it back from the war ravaged mess it was in. So far he'd managed to get the war debt forgiven and a few of the more onorous restrictions removed. With the help of Cody he'd managed to manipulate the opposing party leaders to and get them talking and focused on bringing the country together rather than tearing it apart with divisive politics. The media was also now completely under control of the crew members tasked with it.

His biggest success to date was the Unity party. Made up of what had once been violent opponents they now focused all their efforts on bringing all of Germany together and rebuilding. Their first big gesture was to organize choirs all across the nation and even through Austria. The choirs were practicing inspirational songs and preparing to compete for the honor of being allow to attend and perform at an upcoming national assembly scheduled for the next year. Citizens from every city and hamlet were eagerly joining and practicing. The media was promoting unity and no publication or broadcast was mentioning any hate crimes or other divisive issues. A subtle shift in the media even put negative slants on any racism against the Jews.

There was only one problem. A man. Morgan had heard rumors of a veteran who could be extremely charismatic who had been publishing things that hadn't been approved by the media group. Not that the man had written anything counter to Morgan's own aims for Germany, but he could not allow a dissenting voice at this critical time. Besides, he had yet to find someone to be the new figurehead for the Unity party. Perhaps if this man were as charismatic as reported, he might fit the bill.

With that in mind, he had set up a meeting of the leaders of the new party at the beer garden where it had all started. It was to be a party in celebration of 3 months of working together and to recount all they had done to better the country in so short a time. Morgan made sure this man, Ulric, was on the guest list, and he would be there to witness him in action. To judge him and determine if he could be part of the Plan or would have to be 'adjusted' by Cody. To that end he had asked Cody to be ready if needed, though of course he would not have to be physically present to do what needed to be done.


Having arrived early Morgan made sure to set himself up for the best vantage point. Ulric would be attending as the guest of one of the former party leaders so he would have a good seat and be in the middle of the action and easy to observe.

While he waited for the party to begin he thought back on the event three months earlier that had started it all...

The Unity party was formed by opposition leaders from every major party in Germany. Morgan and Cody had worked hard to make it seem to have just coalesced out of nowhere. Two of the major opposition leaders 'accidentally' bumped into each other in a beer garden, each with a small group of their followers. It almost came to blows but just as it was about to start, a serving woman was got caught up between two of the rivals and was very nearly injured. The two men felt so abashed that they agreed to have a peaceful evening and called that Beer Garden neutral territory. They ended up buying each other rounds and got to talking. As the evening wore on they came to agreement on many points. Over the course of the next couple weeks they continued to meet over beer and invited other leaders to join in on the discussions. The focus remained on what drew them together rather than on what divided them. Their reasoning being that divided they would not accomplish anything, but united they could at least achieve the things that they were in agreement about. As time has passed, they have come to agreement on more and more things and begun to compromise on the smaller points of disagreement. Morgan chuckled to himself thinking back on it. It had been a pain to make everything happen just right and the timing of that barmaid getting in the middle of the fight was particularly tricky. But it had all worked out in the end.

And now he sat waiting for this Ulric wondering if the man might be the one Morgan had been searching for to lead the German peoples for the last year.

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Ulric cut an imposing figure as strode into the beer garden. His clothes were a cut below the normal for the political functionaries in the place. Certainly this man had not arrived here because of financial connections. No, his thread-bare suit spoke for a different kind of man.

Three men came in with him. Together, the four had the cut of military men. Two were the largish type one would expect of brutish enforcers - a sad necessity in German politics this past year. One was blonde and the other black haired - both crew cut. The third man was tall, thin, with eyeglasses and a studious look. His hair was close-cropped and so pale blonde as to look white.

It was obvious to anyone watching them though that Ulric Reikspar was their leader. He had the look of eagles about him and people tended to react to him with a deferrential cast. Instead of eyeing some of the enticing barmaids, Ulric kept his attention focuses on the various party leaders he was here to meet.

It was a testament to his personality that these powerful men met Ulric half way. Firm handshakes were given and backs slapped. Even while he interacted with them and partook of their customs, Ulric was clearly a step beyond the casual politician. He was a step beyond human.

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Morgan view the unknowing subject of tonights meeting with surprise, this guy was clearly a nova or at least a meta-human of some kind. The man exuded a presence that outshone anyone else there. As the evening wore on even the leaders of the various factions of the new Unity party began to defer to and seek this Ulric's opinions. The more Morgan watched the more he was sure this was the man he wanted to be the new face of the Unity party. With him onboard the Unity party would make the old timeline's Nazi's look drab and boring. Over the course of the evening the topics of discussion hit the highlights of everything the Unity party was meant to accomplish. With each point he looked to see Ulric's reaction and was not disappointed. He would be the one.

Once the official meeting was over Morgan sent to Cody over the link, *I'm going to make contact with this Ulric fellow, I'm positive he is either a Nova or some other type meta-human. If I suddenly start behaving differently you'll know why. Keep an eye on me during this conversation.*

With a large stein of beer in hand he made his way over and sat beside Ulric ignoring his companions and offered his hand. "I am Morgan and I would be very interested in talking with you privately about the future of Germany and what role you might play in it."

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"Morgan ... that's an English name - Welsh to be more precise. So tell me Englishman, or are you American, what do you want with me?"

Ulric eyes this strange appraisingly. He didn't belong here, yet somehow didn't look out of place. More over, Ulric had been eyeing the movers and shakers here at the meeting, trying to get a feel for the political currents running beneath the surface. Morgan hadn't appeared once, not even amongst the periphery of the power players yet ...

"How private? A few months ago I was getting my ribs kicked in for my political beliefs, so you might appreciate my wariness. I could arrange a meeting myself, perhaps ... but, I feel you have something different in mind."

Gut check time. It wasn't a matter of trust as much in a sense of destiny. Germany had to move forward and that took risks.

Ulric waved his entourage to wait.

"Lead on," he said in a cool tone.

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Morgan listened and nodded that he was American. Once Ulric finished and asked him to lead on he smiled and pointed to a door. "That is a private dining room, feel welcomed to have your men check out the room if it would make you more comfortable. I understand your reluctance. I've worked very hard to make such boot-to-the-ribs discussions a thing of the past in German politics the last year or so." Morgan waited as two of the men did indeed go into the room for a few seconds checking it out before returning and giving Ulric a slight nod. Once they were standing outside the door Morgan lead the way inside saying as he moved, "I hope you don't have a problem with Americans as a result of the war. There were a great many Americans who wanted to come in on Germany's side before the way. Alas, politics can be ugly, and when the Lusitania was sunk, it gave the war party all the steam it needed to turn the tide against Germany. The world would be a different place had that not happened."

After Ulric had followed into the room Morgan took a seat in a leather chair and motioned for the other man to take the other. On a small table set between the chairs there was a box of expensive cigars to which Morgan motioned with an offering gesture. "I don't like to play games with people, so I'll come right out with it. I along with friends of mine have been guiding events for the last year or so. We've gotten the war debt dismissed already, and have been moving to bring people together for the greater good. The Unity party is my personal pet project. I intend to see Germany rebuilt and all of Europe come together in peace and prosperity, and I mean to do it not in centuries or decades but in less than one decade. Ulric, if we can agree on the outcome, I want you to lead Germany, and eventually all of Europe."

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Germany - all of Europe - it was all almost too much. But for Ulric's quantum fueled intellect, he would have laughed nervously and politely left what could only be a madman.

"I am not alone," he whispered to the fates. In a stronger, clearer voice, Ulric added, "I knew I couldn't be alone like this, though I despaired I was the only German. Am I?"

He waves his hand.

"It doesn't matter. I'm sure I will find them out in time. We are talking about Europe - all of Europe and all in the next decade."

He stood up and paced. An aura of inevitable authority came about him as he talked.

"With the German economy, the British and French colonial empires ... and the American Empire, all we need to worry about is the chaos in China, the Japanese ambitions, and, of course, the Communists in Russia."

He looked into Morgan's eyes,

"Finding the right group to replace the Bolsheviks won't be easy. They have been bleeding themselves of talent since the War ended."

He hesitated for a brief second.

"An independant Ukraine could help ... and the Causcus and Asiatic Republics too. The big thing is that it has to look like an internal split. The imposition of outside force will only make Ivan drag his feet and dig in."

For a brief moment he studied a scar on his hand. When he looked up, his eye were startling bright.

"I imagine you are already working on this. Oh, and I'm in."

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Morgan smiled both outwardly and inwardly. Bulleye!!! This man was indeed a nova.

Morgan stood and walked over to the man and offered his hand again. "Welcome aboard. You have no idea what you've just committed yourself to, but I'm very glad you have decided to join us."

Taking his seat again he grinned and continued, "Let me address your concerns one at a time. First, the Communists have already been dealt with, it is only a matter of time before they disintegrate from within. Once that happens, leaders within the the Soviet party will renounce their former ideals and offer new suggestions, ones that will be more realistic. It may take 15 years but the Soviets will join with the rest of the world in enlightened government."

"Second, eventually all of the world will join together in one government which will grow out of the League of Nations. You may have noticed that he United States has reversed it's position in the last few months and thrown it's full support behind the organization. Key members of every world government are being influenced to support this."

He smiled again at Ulric, "But for Europe it all starts here. Tonight you made the beginnings of the climb to power. Those men out there are the leaders from every major faction in Germany all brought together in one party working together for the benefit of Germany. By the end of the evening every man among them was looking to you for your opinion. If you are up for it I would like to invite you to breakfast with my associates and I in the morning. We've already talked well into the night here, if you don't mind dismissing your friends for the evening, I will take to our headquarters and give you the tour."

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"I'll do it."

At the point of turning away, Ulric adds,

"It wasn't so much a matter of joining as knowing that joining you is a choice I can live with. Once I decided I wasn't alone, I accepted the possibility the Others could be in opposition. I am relieved that isn't the case."

He walked to the door, opened it and cleared his throat.

"Gunther, Verdant. I will join you at headquarters tomorrow. I will be gone until late in the morning."

"Yes Captain," came the reply. Heel's clicked and the three men saluted their leader. If they were curious, they kept those thoughts to themselves."

Ulric turned and came back to Morgan. He was smiling.

"So, how many of us are there? How many have you contacted? How are we different?"

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Morgan smiled and lowered his dark glasses, to show his very unusual nova eyes, black as the darkest night and filled with stars. "All very good questions which we will be more than happy to answer."

Morgan makes a sweeping gesture with his arm and a hole in space opens in the shape of a doorway and about twice as wide. On the other side can be seen a lounge with windows and comfortable chairs and tables. It is dimly lit, but that only emphasizes the windows which look out into a star filled night. Morgan allows the other man to step through first then follows, the warp disappearing behind him.

Once aboard Morgan explains the situation as he gives Ulric a tour of the ship. Noting in particular the view out the window and the Earth rotating below them. As they end up back in the lounge a couple hours later he concludes, "So you can see our position, we want to make this timeline the peaceful and prepared place it can be. With all the mistakes we've seen in other timelines it will be nice to leave knowning that one Earth at least has escaped the pain and devastation. That's of course assuming we will be able to leave someday."

Gesturing at those gathering for breakfast, "It looks like everyone has arrived for breakfast. Let me introduce you."

(Continued in the regular chapter thread.)

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  • 1 month later...

(Grand Hotel New York, 1935)

Joani woke up with a gasp. A feeling of dread climbed up her spine and made her skin itch. After several agitated breaths she calmed down and tried to regain her composure. She looked around, trying to recall what she had dreamed, but it constantly escaped her. It seemed as if the harder she tried to focus the further away her memory slipped.

She stood up and scanned her room. She was in an anonymous hotel room. She opened the drawers, trying to find some personal stuff, but there was nothing. Nothing at all. Her gaze fell on a small mirror which hung directly above a small cupboard. Slowly she walked towards the mirror while images flashed through her mind. She saw herself talking to someone, but his face seemed to stay in the shadows. The man asked her several questions and she remembered how excited she felt when he offered her a movie contract.

“How dumb…” she mumbled to herself. She couldn’t recall being into movies.

Something was terribly wrong and she knew it. She tried to investigate further but was interrupted by someone knocking on the door. First she hesitated unsure if she should answer. A quick scan using her X-ray vision revealed to her who was knocking. She concluded that the concierge didn’t pose any threat to her and opened the door.

“Ms. Walters, there is a phone call for you down at the lobby. The caller wanted to make sure, that you’d answer and asked me kindly to guide you down.”

Walking down her bad feeling about the whole situation got worse but she just couldn’t put her finger on exactly what was wrong.

Might aswell play along until I find out what is going on she thought and picked up the phone.


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"Mrs. Walters? This is Jeffery Wexler, I spoke with you on the phone yesterday... I am here to discuss the movie deal with you. I'm very pleased you've decided to go with 20th Century Fox studios. I've taken the liberty of ordering us a large breakfast in the private dining room, we can do this at our leisure. Oh, I do have all the paperwork with me, we will just need to discuss a few of the fine points of the contract and have you sign."

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"Good, Mr. Wexler. I hope everything will be as I asked you to take into account? And it's Miss Walters", Joani answered trying to ascertain whether this Mr. Wexler was being cool about all or rather nervous. Knowing that he is not an agent of Fox gave her more confidence and she decided to go into the offensive and put some pressure on the issue.

"I suppose you've joined 20th Century Fox just recently? You're name doesn't sound familiar and I can't recall ever hearing from you before. I hope you got what it takes to make this deal..." she grinned wickedly.

"I'll be there in a few." She hung up without giving him any chance to answer.

Whoever this Jeffrey Wexler was, he was just another pawn in a greater game. Maybe she could get an advantage out of the meeting and get some clues as to who was trying to mess with her.

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When Joani comes downstairs she is escorted to the private dining room. Before her is a nova-sized breakfast spread. Whoever these people were they knew a nova appetite.

The man at the table eating a meager portion of the enormous breakfast put down his napkin and stood. "Good morning Miss Walters. I am Jeffery Wexler, I am not really new to Fox, I actually have been with the company since 1923, I try to keep my dealings quite however, it makes things easier for me when negotiating. You might say I'm more of an oversight manager, they only bring me out when a really big deal needs to be made."

<you are aware that he is being evasive and not telling the whole truth, although you don't think he is outright lying.>

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Joani nodded briefly to greet the man. Before she sat down, she scanned him for any signs of weapons or other odd devices using her X-Ray vision.

"So you are not really new to Fox and I'm not really an actress.", Joani revealed. "How far are you willing to go? You obviously seem to know more than meets the eye." she said while she gave a brief look to the more than abundantly arranged breakfast.

"We can either try to dodge eachother verbally until you make an error or I get bored. Or we can cut things down right to why you're really here. You're choice"

I hope you know where you are heading girl she thought to herself and tried to maintain her perfect facade of superiority.

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"I'm here to offer you a movie deal." <again partial truth> Mr. Wexler smiles and motions to his briefcase and the papers inside which is sitting on a nearby table. What follows is a fierce negotiation in which Jeffery Wexler is seriously out maneuvered. After a bit he asks to be excused a moment and steps to the other side of the room apparently to take a moment to think over what they've discussed, but starts talking very quietly to himself.

<you hear the following: "Gentlemen, and beautiful Lorean, I am still meeting with the girl but I have to say, you told me this would be an easy sell and that the girl was not terribly bright. No offense, but what kind of nova crack have you folks been smoking. She's the hardest bargainer I've ever dealt with, I'm going to be lucky to come out of this making any profit. Before I realized what was happening she had me agreeing to giving her all of the merchandising rights, and making this a 3 movie deal." He pauses to let that sink in before continuing in a near breathless pant, "This girl is not only not the dumb blond you guys sent me to deal with, she's some kind of freakin Einstein. What gives?" Then he mutters, "Maybe I'll be lucky and she's just playing with me and won't take the deal.">

He looks up as a waiter walks past to begin clearing up the dishes and he heads back to the table. "I'm sorry for the delay, I just needed a moment. I am prepared to sign the contract if you wish to." He looks decidedly regretful at the papers on the table. "I have to say you are not what I was expecting."

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Joani flies over the contract making sure that all the extras she wanted to have are really included without any loopholes or strange confining conditions.

I must confess, Mr Wexler at least knows his job - still I must find out who these people are he was talking to.

Taking the pen to sign the papers she hesitates and looks him straight in the eyes. "Mr. Wexler, I really appreciated this conversation and only an idiot would not sign this contract, considering all the efforts you've gone through to tend to my desires. Financially I should be set for the rest of my live. But there is still one thing I'd love to know. Who is Lorean?" She keeps her cool facade and smiles a little mischieviously.

(She hasn't signed yet, but will follow through whatever Wexler answers)

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Wexler flinches then speaks, "Uh, Lorean? She is an old friend. May I ask where you heard that name?" He very much is afraid she heard it from his own lips just minutes ago. Darned novas and their unexpected abilities. They didn't tell him she had enhanced perceptions. No wonder she'd been playing him so easily.

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"Well, you've been wise enough to keep the names of the gentlemen to yourself..." she answered while she signed the last page of the contract and folding it into her jackets pocket.

"Nonetheless I'm burning with curiousity who these gentlemen are. I hope you're willing to give me some answers without me having to help you." just as she finished the sentence she jumped up with blinding speed and stood directly behind Mr. Wexler putting her hands gently on his shoulders.

(Hyperspeed activated)

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Wexler sighed, she wasn't just toying with him, she wasn't kidding, she really would be set for life after these movies got filmed. These films would be like Star Wars, they would revolutionize the film industry and the public's expectations for the future, and she was going to reap the lion's share of the profits.

He blinked as Miss Walters suddenly was behind him holding him in the chair and demanding answers. He opened his link and spoke aloud. "Gentlemen, I think we have a problem. Miss Walters is demanding answers that I think only you can provide. I don't think she will take no for an answer either."

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  • 4 weeks later...


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