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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - June 1917

Mr Fox

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June 1917, Harvard University

Max Mercer eagerly moved up the walk heading towards the building where his father held classes. He was a shoe in to get admitted with his father being a tenured professor in physics. Inside he quickly made his way to his father's office and let himself inside. He took in the familiar smell of musty old books and pipe tobacco. It made him smile thinking of all the summers as a child of sitting on his father's knee as the sweet smoke wafted in layers through the room. He had graduated high school with honors and he was more than ready to start college. Sitting here he could almost imagine it, someday being a professor himself.

Last night he had partied pretty hard. Some of his former friends from Chicago had come out with hopes to get into school. There was a rumor going around that being in college would get you passed over for military service and with the war in Europe heating up it was just a matter of time before America was fighting too. Congress had declared war back in January but so far it hadn't meant much except for rumors and the draft. He hadn't worried much over it, life looked bright and his path seemed set and comfortable. So it was no great surprise that he drifted off into a nap on the couch. Along with a keen mind and questioning nature his father had instilled in him an understanding that a nice nap could do wonders for one's outlook. He always kept a couch in his office or just this purpose.

Now and then in his life he had had dreams. Vivid dreams and they always seemed to come true, but so far they had only been about minor things. People who would visit the next day unexpectedly, or finding a dollar coin under a bush on the walk to school, and things like that. Even so he had come to recognize the feel of those dreams. The dream he found himself in was one of those...

He was sitting up from napping on the couch and his father was coming into the room with another man and they were arguing physics. Something about Einstein's field equations about the curvature of spacetime. Time seemed to speed up as if his being in this room was causing the curvature of space time. Being in this room caused all manner of things to spin out of their orbits and go sailing away to their destruction. But just as orbits were effected by things spiraling outward so too were things sent crashing inward. Like the Sun attracting Jupiter and pulling it closer so he saw a man, just a touch older than himself come hurtling toward him, somehow in the dream he knew the man was the son of this professor that his own father was arguing with. The man came hurtling closer and collided with Max creating a titanic explosion that caused the Earth to be consumed in flame.

The fire rose up and obscured his vision and when it receded he could see himself and the other man talking over drinks at a pub near campus where students gathered. They talked and in the dream he understood that they were close friends, but he could see with the clarity of the dream that there was more. The other man felt more than friendship and from that love would be born such hatred that it might well make the Earth burn. With the thought the table in the pub they were sitting around burst into flame and he looked at it seeing it's surface. The table was a map drawn with lines and strange vehicles were gathered on the table to represent armies the way generals did when planning a war. He could see that the vehicles covered countries all over the world. On the map Germany was portrayed in red and black with an odd square cross bent at each corner. A man rose up from the surface of the map and he had a tiny mustache, but in his eyes were fire. His companion at the table climbed up on it and moved to stand next to the fiery German man. They ruled together and the red on the map spread across Europe and Asia, the ocean became blood and the tide washed ashore in America staining it's ground bloody. Not long after all the world was red and in every land hung the sign of the broken square cross. In that red bloodied America there stood camps fenced with barbed wire into which were herded all manner of people. All of some minority or other and into the camps they marched but never out again. Looking again to his drinking companion he saw that the man now stood on the very steps of the White House, but it too was stained red and the steps at his feet glistened wetly, without knowing how he knew the blood on the steps was his own. This man would murder him with his own hands and Max Mercer's blood would be but a drop in the ocean of blood on this man's hands.

He thrashed in his sleep on the couch as his body reacted to terrible imagery his mind was witnessing.

He thought that must be the worst of it. How could it possibly be worse? But it was. As he stared at his blood he could see a reflection in it. The Washington monument but as he watched he realized that it wasn't the Washington monument he was seeing, it was an Egyptian obelisk and he was in the desert. Men in black uniforms with the sign of the broken cross on their arms were digging, or rather forcing other men to dig. They were uncovering a great round stone which had been partially uncovered by the winds of time. The stone fell into a hole in the ground that looked like beautiful silver water, but it wasn't a well, it was a doorway and somehow he knew that great evil would come from it. The black uniformed men dove into the pool but came back out with snakes wrapped around their necks. Snakes began to crawl out of the pool one or two at a time but then in dozens and hundreds and soon the the desert was covered with snakes as far as the eye could see. He knew. He knew with a certainty that the well could never be allowed to fall into the hands of the black uniformed men because while they were evil they were as nothing compared to the evil the snakes would unleash on the world. The red stain men might make on the world could be washed away with time, but this madness that the snakes brought could never be cleansed.

And last of all the dream showed him the man, his drinking companion, the son of the professor that his father argued with standing again on the steps of the White House, but now the White House was overshadowed by a giant golden pyramid which descended from the sky. From the golden pyramid issued a final snake larger and more terrifying than all the others and it slithered up the steps and twined around the leg of his friend and up his body until it finally entered his mouth and disappeared. His friend and murderer looked out over the city of red buildings and monuments and smiled as his eyes lit with an unholy glow from within.

He woke from the dream with a start, he was drenched with sweat and his heart was beating so loud that at first he didn't hear the raised voices approaching from up the hall. It was the beginning of the dream... with a sense of terror and dread his eyes darted about the room for an escape and landed on the open windows behind his fathers desk. Without a glance back he leaped off the couch and ran diving through the window as if pursued by the very devil himself. A devil with glowing eyes.

Max mercer never enrolled in Harvard. He was never seen again by his father or any of his friends.

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