Can the future be saved by returning a woman to affect the present?
Peter was a perfect gentleman. When he showed up at an all-woman's club unannounced, the defences came up. Mari met him, surrounded by women like herself who battled criminal men daily. There was no longer any need for physical sex, the war between sexes had already been won.
Yet here was a white male in a three-piece suit asking for her help to save humankind.
This one man, who says he is from an alternate universe, wants to recruit a specific martial arts expert with the idea of saving our future by altering the present. Two people taking the balance of future lives into their own hands.
Surprisingly, this is a romance in the making. And a story about enabling religion to save humankind from itself.
"Dark humor. Non-politically correct ideas. Another wild satire from R. L. Saunders - that keeps you wondering..."
"One more C. C. Brower paranormal future history to savor..."
No, I had no physical fear of any man who showed up in front of me.
But his attitude, like the quaint bowler he passed off to our bouncer, was precise and a statement of its own. Old-fashioned. Of a time before the sexes were at war. Before women had won.
"...and civilization became just that, ma'am, an unending civil war." the stranger finished my thought.
"Intriguing, sir. I don't know your name and already you are inside my head, the ultimate hack to privacy," I replied, showing a hint of outrage.
"And you have every reason to be upset, Marigold. My name is Peter. And I am at your service." At that he extended a well-manicured hand, in the quaint, nearly extinct custom of hand-shaking.
I rose and took his hand more out of curiosity, knowing that my thin layer of dermal plasticine protected me from any direct poison, nano-biotic, or bacterial infection. Beside pheronomic door sensors had already passed him while x-ray scanning him against any weapons.
"Welcome, Peter. Call me Mari. You are just the mystery I've been seeking to relieve the tedium around here." I replied. He had a firm grip, one calculated to show respect, as that of an equal, not dominant or afraid.
"Thank you for seeing me without notice." Peter said.
I indicated the other matching overstuffed chair, the two separated by an ornate marble-topped side table between us. And we each sat, crossed our legs and studied the other for a few moments.
"How you understood my thoughts is some parlor trick?" I asked.
"More like being able to recall conversations in retrospect. But you'll realize that soon enough. We've met before," Peter replied.
"Not like Merlin, you are living your life backwards?" I asked.
"More like the vast majority of us are. Like the old phrase, 'those who refuse to study their own history..."
"...are condemned to repeat it.'" I finished.
Shocked to my core, this was the very challenge I was looking for.
"The next question you would then ask yourself is whether you are up to that challenge," Peter said.
"And again, that nasty habit of mind-reading you've been displaying," I replied.
"I'll give you a few seconds to study what you just said." Peter now spoke in terse terms. "Your reply will determine if I leave or stay. I have other appointments with several similarly-qualified women of power and station," Peter said...
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