A LITERARY SERIAL BY SAAB LOFTON

Timothy Caughman 1951 - 2017

JUMP TO EPISODE:

One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six through Twenty-Two ($20 for unlimited access!)


Introduction: Solar Warrior's Revenge

"Last summer at NW SolarFest [2017], we met Saab Lofton, an author and social justice activist, who approached us with an interesting idea: Creating a literary serial wrapped around a solar-based character. Starting this week, we're going to be sharing a new episode, once a week, so stay tuned."

—Stu Frothingham, formerly with Artisan Electric

… for one brief, shining moment, Camelot, but then

"Our marketing team, including myself, has really loved Solar Warrior and what it brings to our company and society at large. We feel your writing is so important for readers, but with our drastically decreased budget, we are having trouble affording anything outside of basic advertising ... We will also do what we can to make sure Solar Warrior and you as an author/activist get as much exposure as possible. We're really proud of the work you have produced and feel extremely honored to have been part of it. Thank you."

—Artisan Electric, March 10th, 2018

… fair enough. Shit happens. At least I proved myself as a storyteller, once again, beyond any snark of a doubt … Unfortunately, despite the promise Artisan Electric made to get me "as much exposure as possible," what did I hear — over and over, in one form or another — for months ..?

"Hi Saab, I am very busy at work today, but would love to talk via phone. I am available to phone tomorrow, but not today. Let me know a good time for you."

until finally

"After speaking with the managers, we've decided to permanently delete the Solar Warrior content from our site."

—Artisan Electric, September 4th, 2018

… and when I demanded an explanation …

"[Nikki Bain's] comments were concerning to me because she was very uncomfortable with you and not because of the color of your skin. She was super excited about Solar Warrior when she hired on and was eager to help when I left, but it sounds like you escalated with her at some point. I'm not sure what was said, heard, etc [HE doesN'T EVEN KNOW AND I BET SHE doesN'T EITHER], but I've observed you get frustrated and escalate on a few occasions, so I can understand why she felt uncomfortable. I've felt uncomfortable with your escalations. That type of escalation pushes people away regardless of the color of their skin."

—Stu Frothingham, formerly with Artisan Electric

… first, this ain't Artisan Electric's first rodeo …

"Artisan Electric, the solar-energy company that employs the driver who allegedly made the slur, said he’s been suspended as the company investigates."

The Seattle Times, December 2nd, 2016

… second, the only "escalation" I can imagine would've been when I called Bain from the hospital while in pain (as a result of a lifetime of typing, far more so than my white counterparts, my right shoulder flared up horribly in early 2018) — could she have been that petty; could she have actually faulted me for momentarily raising my voice while I felt like absolute Hell ..? Given the history of this country; from Rosewood, Florida to the modern phenomenon of white women constantly calling the police on black people for the most trivial of rationales, it's far more likely than not …

"The social structure has always demanded that we put white people at ease."

—from the book, Reel to Real, by bell hooks

"A white woman called the cops on a group of black people barbecuing in an Oakland park. Not long after, another white woman called the cops on a black girl selling water on the sidewalk in San Francisco … When questioned, the women argued that the matter had nothing to do with race. Yet, their insistence upon police intervention in minor affairs amounts to more than a simple case of tattle-taling — it's putting black lives at risk. White women have weaponized their fear and discomfort in otherwise peaceful situations for centuries. An examination of their role in enforcing racial segregation and the lies some women spin to maintain innocence while controlling black movement has become increasingly urgent … The knee-jerk reactions of the white women in these examples to meddle in the lives of these innocent black people demonstrate a reliance upon the power of the state to carry out that which they cannot — to effectively 'control' people who are not like them. We need to realize that white feminine fear does not produce innocuous behavior, but a kind of harassment that often leads to racial trauma. If we are ever going to meaningfully address racial injustice in this country, we must unpack the power of this fear and understand how it is inextricably linked to discrimination, police brutality and other forms of racial terrorism. For it is through someone’s baseless apprehension that people like myself are only a phone call away from being exterminated."

Morgan Jerkins, Rolling Stone Magazine, July 17th, 2018

… control, eh ..?

"Spike Lee also demonstrates white women's investment in upholding white supremacy ... 53 percent of white women voters pulled the lever for Donald Trump ... as Melissa Harris-Perry wrote in Elle, history has proven that, for the majority of white women, 'gender politics is a secondary game, NOT the main show' ... Lee reminds us NOT to forget the white woman who have caused, supported, committed or stood by as systematic and individual racial violence, in many forms, persists. It's also a message for the pussy-hat wearing, safety-pin donning white woman who have spent more time fretting over manners [BIN-fucking-GO!] than unarmed black people shot by the police or brown immigrant children separated from their parents at the border."

Rachel Leah, Salon, August 11th, 2018

… fretting over manners, eh ..?

"Why do they accuse us Bush [OR TRUMP] critics of being 'bitter and angry,' as though our lack of complacency is some sort of character flaw? Their implication is that being bitter and angry is just so unladylike. Do they imagine we're all at some 19th-century lawn party? That perhaps we're throwing an unseemly fit because a croquet ball went off in the wrong direction?"

—Beth Quinn (a WHITE woman) of the Times-Herald Record in Middletown, New York, August 28th, 2006

evidently, toxic femininity is just as dangerous (especially to black men) as toxic masculinity …

"It's been hard to ignore the mounting evidence — the friends who were pushed out of jobs ... even if they were eminently overqualified ... Most of all, it's the small moments of discrimination that are so insidious, they’re hard to pinpoint. In my career, I've been excluded from key projects that were given to white women ... often made fun of and called 'defensive' and 'difficult to work with' by white men and women."

Ruchika Tulshyan, The Seattle Times, September 20th, 2018

… and yet, my "mounting evidence" will probably be ignored — given the extent that white Americans irrationally fear (to the point of criminal insanity, in some cases) being surrounded by their tan/brown skinned counterparts, anger is a CONstant CONcern. However, in a world where we're literally one degree away from the planet overheating past the point of no return, are a white woman's feelings really worth more than the promotion of eco-friendly literature ..?!

"Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence — is tiring and saddening and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we're tone-policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any [ethnic] argument in America is the 'Angry Black Person' ... they are 'just being overly sensitive' or 'too emotional' or 'playing the race card' ... The entire discussion of [ethnicity] in America centers around the protection of white feelings. Ask any black person and they’ll tell you the same thing. The reality of thousands of innocent people raped, shot, imprisoned and systematically disenfranchised are less important than ... a single white person ... This is the country we live in: Millions of black lives are valued less than a single white person’s hurt feelings."

John Metta, The Huffington Post, July 15th, 2016

"[Dylann] Roof is that colonizer. White women are his land. His land is a she. His relationship to this country and the white women in it is the same: both belong to white men like him. In his mind, apparently, black people are the interlopers, the rapists, the plunderers of his natural resources, female and otherwise. It’s a twisted but not an unusual way to think about the world ... Historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall describes Ames's work as a 'revolt against chivalry.' Ames understood that all oppression is interconnected ... Roof's act was racist, yes, but his racism was built upon colonialism and sexism. Our hierarchies interconnect, interweaving, providing each other with support. I am a white woman. I am NOT yours to protect. NO more murder in my name."

Lisa Wade, an assistant professor of sociology at Occidental College, The Washington Post, June 21st, 2015

... AND YET ...

Wikipedia: Stabbing of Timothy Caughman

Law & Crime: James Harris Jackson convicted of murder and terrorism

"In an exclusive jailhouse interview with The News last week, [white supremacist AND MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER James Harris] Jackson said he imagined the bloodshed [as in, the MURDER of 66 year old Timothy Caughman] would deter white women from interr[ethnic] relationships. 'Well, if that guy feels so strongly about it, maybe I shouldn’t do it,' he said, imagining how he wanted a white woman to think of his savagery."

The New York Daily News, April 5th, 2017

B E C A U S E

"We stand against the one-world government, against the coming world of anti-Christ, which is a one-world system of blending ... So we say, OK if they're going to blend this world and inter[ETHNIC] marriage is a very definite sort of blending, we said, 'let's put this policy in here.'"

Bob Jones III (president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina), during his retarded interview with CNN's Larry King, March 3rd, 2000

"The point of segregation was to keep black southerners in their separate and inferior places. To do that, the state had to be able to tell who was who. In order to do that, like had to marry like. For more than 300 years, state legislatures wrote laws that defined whiteness for the purpose of marriage. Depending on the state and the decade, people who were more than half black, or a fourth black, or an eighth black, or one-sixteenth black, or even one-thirty-second black, could not marry anyone defined at law as white. These laws were the lodestar of segregation, because without controls on sex, [ethnic] classification became impossibly complicated. Inter[ethnic] sex — what white southerners called miscegenation — undercut all forms of segregation based on genealogy."

historian Jane Dailey, from PBS' American Experience: The Murder of Emmitt Till

"As long as white women remained a racially pure source of production, the racist society could continue."

—Gloria Steinem, during her 2002 speech at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

"If present immigration trends and falling white birth rates continue unabated, the end result will be total extinction for all whites on Earth within two hundred years. As a result, Captain Kirk will never be born — at least, not the Captain Kirk we're all familiar with."

—white supremacist author, Ward Kendall, from his article, "Why There May Never Be a Captain Kirk"

"Star Trek should have begun to use more and more members of 'minorities,' NOT less. Despite the fact that most of the world's technology is presently dominated by white- skinned Human beings, it will NOT always remain so. The stars and the planets will NOT be colonized by the Ku Klux Klan."

—David Gerrold (the author who created those ravenous Tribbles), from the 1973 book, The World of Star Trek

"Most men in this world are colored. A faith in Humanity, therefore, a belief in the gradual growth and perfectibility of men [i.e., the very basis of Gene Roddenberry's utopian series Star Trek] must, if honest, be primarily a belief in colored men."

—W.E.B. DuBois, 1938

… which brings me to Solar Warrior itself — the starring characters are named after Timothy Caughman and James Harris Jackson (if anything, the two of them form a sort of a Holmes/Moriarty, Batman/Joker connection in my narrative) and it's set in a future where tan/brown-skinned Humans vastly outnumber whites — I love my job

… but as important as homage to this victim of a hate crime is, so too is the environment, so I ask again: In a world where we're literally one degree away from the planet overheating past the point of no return, are a white woman's feelings really worth more than the promotion of eco-friendly literature?! In conclusion …

NEELIX: The Trabe were widely admired ... No one really knew about the Kazon and how they were being treated.
JANEWAY: Why not? Holding another culture in virtual slavery isn't the kind of thing that could go unnoticed.
NEELIX: You have to understand. The Trabe were rich and powerful. They manipulated information about the conditions on their planet. And no one wanted to risk offending them and losing opportunities for trade.

—from the Star Trek: Voyager episode, "Alliances"

... well, the days of manipulating information, losing opportunities, AND ESPECIALLY, WORRYING ABOUT "OFFENDING" A MOTHERFUCKER ARE FUCKING OVER! As the old expression goes …

"The world of speculative fiction publishing is plagued by 'structural, institutional, personal, universal' racism, according to a new report that found less than 2% of more than 2,000 SF stories published last year were by black writers.The report, published by the magazine, Fireside Fiction, states that just 38 of the 2,039 stories published in 63 magazines in 2015 were by black writers. With the bulk of the industry based in the US, more than half of all speculative fiction publications the report considered did not publish a single original story by a black author. 'The probability that it is random chance that only 1.96% of published writers are black in a country where 13.2% of the population is black is 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000321%,' says the report."

Alison Flood, The Guardian (UK), August 9th, 2016

… denial ain't just a river in Egypt ..!

"A voluntary, free-spirited, open-ended program of procreative racial deconstruction. Everybody just gotta keep fuckin' everybody 'til we're all the same color."

—from the 1998 movie, Bullworth

… so here are all twenty-two episodes of Solar Warrior (uncensored; in their entirety) — and now, on with the show …

The Mighty Saab Lofton
King of the Impossible
January 2019


When a villain from the future alters Earth's past — and accidentally creates legions of monsters in the process — one man became the Human race's last hope. With a solar powered armor that's literally centuries ahead of its time, Timothy Caughman is known to the world as SOLAR WARRIOR !

Episode One

TUCKER: How about war, disease, hunger? Pretty much wiped 'em out in less than two generations. I wouldn't call that small potatoes.
T'POL: It remains to be seen whether Humanity will revert to its baser instincts.

—from the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Broken Bow"

Under purified skies and atop the litter-free streets of a port city entitled New Seattle, an increasingly tremendous assemblage of Humans ranging from beige to brown adorned in garments reminiscent of East Indian tunics congregated around a century old monument for the unveiling of a revolutionary advance. Dozens of citizens amidst the hundreds who gathered there tried to dance in anticipation of the impending ceremony, but being surrounded by rapidly burgeoning crowds made dancing awkward. Even a tad rude. "For frack's sake! That's my foot, you drumpf!" an elderly lady complained in pain.

"All apologies," an adolescent girl who had been wildly flailing about slowed to a halt and strove to restrain herself from then on.

Far closer to the large stage where the avant-garde would be revealed had been several ornery Kindergarteners and their already-weary teacher. "I can't see, Miss Straczynski! Pick me up!" One urchin demanded.

"You know full well you'll be able to see the hologram clearly enough, Eugene," Straczynski's strained patience was apparent in her tone.

Another youngster raised his hand and queried, "Miss Z, are we celebrating the President of a Green Liberation?"

Miss Straczynski groaned in frustration, "you're mixing things up again, Wesley. A member of the Green Party was elected President of North America two hundred years ago and The Liberation was one hundred years ago, but even though today is The Liberation's centennial, that's not quite why we're here ... and don't call me Miss Z!"

Meanwhile, behind the scenes of this anticipated presentation; along a marina where Old Seattle could be seen in the distance across cleansed waters, a handful of brilliant scientists enjoyed a scant juncture of cherished privacy and the illustrious Professor Maria Menounos was one of them. "James, are you certain this solar cell will accumulate enough electrons to ... James Harris Jackson! Please pay attention!"

The professor's wayward apprentice, a platinum blonde James Jackson, honed in on the audience instead of his mentor's experimental generator and nearly sneered at the gathering citizenry. "Yes, absolutely certain," he grunted with a hint of contempt before storming off and isolating himself as much as possible by heading towards the marina's furthest pier.

Lumbering forth with an elephantine stride was a seven foot, five hundred pound golden automaton — or so it seemed, but moments later, a hermetically sealed helmet unlocked and an Afrocentric Adonis was seen underneath ... "Why would Jackson take off like that just as we're about to start? Do you need me to slip out of this and replace him?"

Professor Menounos remembered the vehement and even primitive arguments James Harris Jackson engaged in recently about him being the last of his kind, but she dismissed them under the assumption this was simply a phase her apprentice was passing through. "No, keep the armor on, Tim. I can do this by myself. As they used to say, 'the show must go on.'"

Shortly before the curtains parted, that January weather turned for the worst, which was to be expected in the Pacific Northwest. "Aww, nah!" The lad called Wesley bewailed. "It's getting cloudy! We won't have to go back to school if this is cancelled, will we? I want to go home early if there's a blackout!"

"In the name of Boyega, child!" An exacerbated Kindergarten teacher declared. "Unless every single sunlight collecting satellite falls from the sky, there won't be any blackout!"

"Welcome, everyone, to what you've been waiting for!" Professor Maria Menounos announced even as she noticed how swiftly the heavens became overcast. "We chose the anniversary of The Liberation, because back then, they used to claim space exploration was supposedly escapism; that we didn't deserve to colonize other worlds so long as we polluted this one. Well, the only atrocities these days are in our history books, so I dare say we're finally worthy and ready! Behold, my Nanauatzin Engine, which I named after the most humble of the Aztec gods, who according to myth, sacrificed himself in fire so he could shine upon Earth as the sun! Anyway, these cells turn sunlight into electricity, which ionizes xenon into an exhaust that distorts the space-time continuum and accelerates a starship faster than the speed of light! Instead of taking months to reach Mars, it'll only take minutes! Minutes! The solution to overpopulation is colonization!"

As applause erupted, the slightest of misty precipitation descended and was accompanied by the rumbling of thunder, but the professor ignored this. "But wait! There's more! If you're worried that it'll take a long time to terraform Mars; to create an artificial magnetosphere, raise its temperature, and perform other functions to make it inhabitable, then worry no longer! Allow me to introduce an apprentice of mine, Timothy Caughman ..!"

From the rear of the theater platform came an armored Timothy and the sight of a giant metallic enormity initially startled and even frightened this mostly pacifist citizenry, but that apprehension soon dwindled.

"... technically speaking, Tim is a mechanic and not an astronaut," Menounos elucidated, "but a terraformer wearing this armor can withstand conditions on nearly any planet — and if you kids want to see something really cool ..."

Picking up on his cue, Timothy Caughman ignited a miniature flamethrower which emitted a fifty foot long pillar of fire straight into the air, and once it was safely extinguished, he then demonstrated a limited form of magnetokinesis by compelling a sampling of needles and utensils to literally float.

"... as you can see," the Latina scientist concluded, "the United Nations is doing everything it can to hasten colonization, so be patient and—"

S H T R A - K O W !

A bolt of lightning interrupted the professor, struck her generator, reacted with its gravimetric circuits and inadvertently tore a rupture in the universe itself, which assumed the form of an enormous portal — through it, one could discern scenery from the early 21st century; unregulated industries contaminating the planet, back-to-back traffic, imperialistic disinformation and homeless families huddled in their vehicles shielding themselves from the cold.

"Is it part of the show?" Someone in the audience wondered. "Is it a holographic history lesson?"

"If that's how our ancestors lived," another audience member mentioned, "thank Yahweh I won the sperm lottery and was born when I was! Ugh!"

For his part, James Harris Jackson focused on this scenery's prevalence of Caucasians, such as himself, and almost salivated as he bolted from the waterfront, past a cluster of New Seattle's residents and leapt into the portal's event horizon. "Let's find out if it's an illusion or if it's real ..!"

Subsequent to disappearing inside this portal to yesterday, Professor Maria Menounos screamed to Timothy, "I didn't want to say anything out of respect for confidentiality, but James has a serious problem with being pale in a dark- skinned world! If that is the past, he could easily change history for the worse! You've got to stop him, Tim! Bring his ass back here ..!"

In a single bound, Timothy Caughman went in after Jackson without question or hesitation — armor and all — only for that portal to collapse upon itself no sooner than he entered.

TO BE CONTINUED


When a villain from the future alters Earth's past — and accidentally creates legions of monsters in the process — one man became the Human race's last hope. With a solar powered armor that's literally centuries ahead of its time, Timothy Caughman is known to the world as SOLAR WARRIOR !

Episode Two

PAXTON: Don't you realize that baby is as much a threat to your race as it is to mine?
T'POL: She's NOT a threat.
PAXTON: That child is a cross-breed freak. How many generations before our genome is so diluted that the word Human is nothing more than a footnote in some medical text? The same thing could happen to your people or don't you care about that?
T'POL: Neither of our races are what they were a million years ago nor what they will become in the future. Life. Is. Change.

—from the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Terra Prime"

Tumbling out of a temporal portal, which was the result of an unprecedented accident, James Harris Jackson emerged in the middle of a filthy alleyway where a tatterdemalion with pale skin, blond hair and blue eyes soiled himself while he gulped liquor from a nearly empty bottle. "What the ..? Where did you come from, man?" The tatterdemalion stammered at a stranger who literally appeared out of nowhere. "Or am I finally starting to see things? If I am hallucinating, I've got to remember to ask for this particular brand of booze in the future!"

Curling his upper lip into a sneer, Jackson looked down upon the drunken vagrant and lamented, "ironic you should mention 'the future,' old man — if you only knew how it'll be ruined because Caucasians fell from grace just as you clearly have ..!"

Barely able to walk, the tatterdemalion still managed to at least stand on his own in defiance of James Harris Jackson's insulting accusation. "What's this 'fall from grace' stuff, man? Only reason I'm out here is it's too expensive to live with any dignity, so I figured, to Hell with it!"

"Then to Hell with you and your wasted potential ..." as callously as one would exterminate an insect, Jackson tossed a sunlight-galvanized pyrotechnic (similar to a roadside flare) that's common in his time at the tatterdemalion, but without its safety features activated, so it quickly consumed this homeless Human in flames until only charred embers remained. "... well, if he was an ancestor of mine, I'd have already ceased to exist, but I'm still here, so ... Glad I had my tool kit on me when I jumped through that ..."

Turning around so he could see behind himself, James Harris Jackson noticed the dissipation of that portal between historical periods and inwardly realized he'd be stranded without it.

"... whatever it was," the acutely high tech mechanic with psychotic characteristics remarked, "well, I suppose I should find out exactly when I am."

With a radically leading-edge palmtop computer that Jackson happened to have had on his person during that century-spanning journey, he accessed cyberspace and immediately determined the exact date inhabited by him. "So this is 2016 of all years, eh? And it's January, no less."

Even as his sinister mind began to contemplate the ramifications of time travel (and concoct plots), James Harris Jackson examined the headline of an online journalistic periodical. "Let's see here, 'the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that Iran has adequately dismantled its nuclear weapons program ... the United Nations is expected to lift sanctions' ... atomic energy, indeed! Should I tell them the future is solar? That the United Nations will take control one day and dismantle all nuclear weapons?"

Then Jackson was reminded by an adjacent headline who's been President of the United States during this era and said reminder triggered him. "The mongrel Obama! If only I landed a few years earlier — then again, if I remember my history, maybe it's not too late to change things ..."

Renting an entire auditorium within a massive Freemason temple seemed to have been a waste to time, since only a handful of vapid, disheveled individuals had arrived at an event organized by the xenophobic Sons of Odin, but a fervent reactionary lecturer carried on nevertheless ... "Superman? 'Last survivor of the doomed planet Krypton?' Well, not one but two Jews created that character! A character that was depicted with a beautiful white woman, like my daughter! Oh, I know a Jewish conspiracy when I see one! 'Get the kids used to the idea of aliens and white women bein' together —lovin' each other ..!'"

That motley collection of bigots hissed their disapproval and jeered before the speaker returned to his hatred-filled tirade, "then came integration, and all of a sudden, there were all these movies and TV series and celebrities tellin' us to jump in a big ol' melting pot and forget about your past, your culture, your people! Well, the Sons of Odin won't tolerate it, so join us!" Those jeers soon turned to cheers. "Fantasy or reality, I don't want any kind of alien 'round here! I'm proud to be who and what I am and ain't nothin' wrong with a li'l pride!"

"Well, First Contact hasn't been made by 2216, so there's that at least."

That handful of totalitarians whirled around and turned their attention to the stranger who interrupted a lecture they were irrationally enamored with. "Huh? First what?" A particularly burly teenager adorned in Nazi swastikas rose from his seat and stormed forth as he addressed this uninvited guest with hostility. "Look, we don't want any crazies at our meeting, even if they are white, so just turn around and—"

James Harris Jackson obtained another solar powered flare from his carryall satchel, but instead of overloading as he did in the alleyway (and at that homeless man's expense), the early 23rd century mechanic simply let it burst ever-so-slightly in the face of that hostile adolescent until blindness set in. "Aaarrrrgh ..!"

"He'll be fine, eventually ..." Jackson clinched what was only meant to furnish illumination during an emergency and held it aloft just as a priest would elevate a sacrament against vampires. "... but it could've been a lot worse, so back off!"

After reaching an irate-but-terrified orator, the engineer who had yet to be born demanded, "that means you too, Mister Conspiracy! Go sit down, I have something important to say that I know you'll be interested in ... so this is it? Six? Unless each of you are as strong as Superman, you're definitely going to need my help! My name is James, I am in fact from two hundred years in your future, and believe me, it's nothing like William Luther Pierce's The Turner Diaries — behold ..!"

With a miniature projector retrieved from his satchel, James Harris Jackson displayed several three-dimensional holograms of life in New Seattle and the sight of a predominantly tawny/mahogany citizenry upset or infuriated the smattering of totalitarians. "This is just so ... that can't be ..." One white supremacist rambled in angst.

"And how did, or rather will, this dystopia happen?" Jackson corrected himself before answering his own question. "A welfare state that guarantees every-single- person on the planet an apartment and plenty to eat! Eleven billion people worldwide at last count, because at some point, we stopped counting! Now, I have a plan — if you so-called 'Sons of Odin' want to really make a difference, gather around ..."

Since he entered that century-spanning entrance a dozen seconds after his racist counterpart had, an armored Timothy Caughman emerged nearly a year later, and as a result of this temporal differential, he found himself marooned in a far more precarious America.

"President Trump? No, no, no ... it's supposed to be President Doctor Jill Stein from the Green Party who wins in 2016!" Caughman groaned and ignored the stares his armor understandably garnered as he read a discarded newspaper. "And who the frack is Donald Trump anyway?"

TO BE CONTINUED


When a villain from the future alters Earth's past — and accidentally creates legions of monsters in the process — one man became the Human race's last hope. With a solar powered armor that's literally centuries ahead of its time, Timothy Caughman is known to the world as SOLAR WARRIOR !

Episode Three

MARTIN: There are alternatives to war. We take our case before the king. We plead with him.
LEE: Yes, we tried that.
MARTIN: Well, then we try again and again, if necessary, to avoid a war!

—from the 2000 movie, The Patriot

HELEN: We can change.
KLAATU: You lack the will to change.
PROFESSOR BARNHARDT: It is only on the brink that people find the will to change.

—from the 2008 movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still

Many impressions swam in Timothy Caughman's mind and competed to determine which felt the most overwhelming: Marooning himself in a primitive time period, the disorientation of being enveloped by dystopic scenery that, up until this point, had only been seen by him academically; in historic records or reenactments, but every Kindergartner in the twenty-third century is taught that the 2016 general election was when the Green Party finally won the American presidency, against all odds ...

... so the sight of a completely different (not to mention potentially dangerous) candidate a stone's throw from America's presidential inauguration had to have been more tormenting than anything else. "That worthless bastard!" An alarmed Timothy screamed, which made him stand out on the streets of Old Seattle almost as much as his imposing armor. "James Harris Jackson must be responsible for this!"

By the time Timothy Caughman noticed the sizable audience of stray passerby his startling presence amassed, a policeman approached and sounded anxious, "whatever this is supposed to be, get it out of the way! You're big as Andre the Giant and you're blocking traffic!"

Given that Caughman's exoskeleton was five hundred pounds, it marginally splintered the concrete pavement; enough to leave twenty-inch footprints behind, which angered an already-impatient policeman. "You're going to have to take off that helmet and give me some I.D.," one of Seattle's Finest insisted, "whichever movie studio you work for better damn well pay for all this damage!"

"I.D.? Movie studio?" Timothy stammered, unfamiliar as he was with 21st century terminology.

Assuming Timothy Caughman was either under the influence or merely being snarky, the policeman lost his temper. "Still waiting for you to take off that helmet ..!"

Designed to analyze the environmental conditions of inhospitable/uninhabitable planets, Caughman's terraforming armor warned that the air of this barbaric era was hazardous to his welfare, so he (not-so-)politely declined, "are you joking? According to these readings, all of you should have helmets on!"

"All right, that's it ..." The officer tried to arrest this visitor from the future, but the latter had read far too many horror stories concerning the atrocities of turn-of- the-millennium law enforcement to succumb, let alone surrender his visionary armor to barbarians, so with the slightest ounce of force, he easily cast the policeman aside.

"A suspect in some kind of goddamn Iron Man costume is resisting arrest and he just assaulted me — requesting backup ..!" Were the determinative words broadcast over federal radio, and within thirty seconds, the armored newcomer found himself surrounded by a handful of Seattle's Finest.

"Well, I suppose it's no different than fighting Neanderthals, Emperor Nero or Hitler's Nazis ..." With a shrug, Timothy Caughman began gently swatting patrolmen in a manner similar to Frankenstein's monster warding off torch- wielding villagers.

Then came the firearms, which were aimed at Timothy's shimmering armor, but rather than endangering any nearby citizenry, he magnetically levitated the bullets that had been directed at him — thus preventing them from bouncing off of his chest and accidentally piercing the innocent in the process ...

... so while the constabulary of Old Seattle were mind boggled by how their projectiles were held still, in mid-flight, by a phenomenal technology — only to later collapse harmlessly like droplets of sleet — Caughman jumped like a caricatural kangaroo into the distant horizon ...

... and landed several miles away onto the rooftop of a filthy tenement. "Great, so now I'm a fugitive," Timothy Caughman lamented to himself, "well, at least they never actually saw my face. From what I recall in school, the darker skinned you are, the worse off you'll be."

Whirling around to ensure he was alone, Timothy removed his helmet, but felt congested by airborne pollutants within minutes. "Ugh! Won't be doing that again anytime soon! Ironic that I'm now an alien on my own planet — well, at least Jackson must also be suffering, so maybe that'll make the bastard easier to find ..."

After a year of breathing 21st century air in urban areas out of an irrational desire to appear more virile, an ultramasculine James Harris Jackson eventually became permanently dependent on a bronchial inhaler, which certainly set him apart from the white supremacists he had assembled as his minions. "Anyone ever tell you you sound just like Darth Vader from Star Wars?" A particularly muscular segregationist rhetorically queried during a large gathering organized by the much vaunted Sons of Odin in a nerve center of the Republican Party.

"Either that or an obscene phone caller," another muscle-bound simpleton chimed in, but a malevolent expression on Jackson's countenance silenced this ignoramus soon enough, "uh, I didn't mean anything by that, Mister Jackson, Sir."

"I'm sure ... you didn't ..." An intimidating James Harris Jackson strenuously responded.

Though most were there to celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump, a minority of them had revolution on their so-called minds. "Yeah, well, it's nice that he's about to get sworn in and all, but unless we do something to show him, and the world, that we're dead serious, he'll forget all about us just like every other conservative has."

The 23rd century interloper furrowed his brow and angrily frowned at the minion who challenged him, "listen to me ...very carefully ... I'm from the future ... so I know better ..." he advised with an extremely asthmatic voice "... electing Trump ... is all we need to do ... for now, at least ... anything more ... at this point ... and we risk ... alienating the public!"

"The future — right ..." An unconvinced Son of Odin returned Jackson's frown with one of his own — then he began to abscond ...

... before departing, however, that challenging reactionary; the would-be revolutionary covertly ordered a subordinate to "borrow" solar powered components from James Harris Jackson's handbag without permission ...

... and those components were soon crudely used to augment a homemade bomb (a strontium-90 thermal generator; with the ability to create an incident comparable to Chernobyl), which was smuggled into the Columbia Nuclear Facility near Richland, Washington. "We are the Sons of Odin and we refuse to sit idly by while the globalists swallow whites whole like the Blob from that 1950s horror movie," that racist ominously announced to the masses via cyberspace, "so either Trump declares himself emperor and enacts a final solution or we'll light this nuke up like a Christmas tree! We would rather die than have our distant descendants look like rapper Ice T or singer Mariah Carey!"

Unfortunately, when the renegade Sons of Odin were ignored or filibustered by the authorities — and they tried to power their contraband generator with the ultramodern microelectronics; the small crystals of gallium-selenide stolen from Jackson — a plume of flame consumed them: Fourteen xenophobes and eighty- eight hostages were lost in this incandescent holocaust.

A colossal fireball engulfed all of the Columbia Nuclear Facility and lifted itself towards the troposphere, where it metamorphosed — as a result of the clumsy inclusion of those crystals — into a cosmic anomaly; blindly driven by solar currents with an elemental profile unlike any other ...

... what became deemed by environmentalists in the media as "the Columbia Storm" roamed America's firmament and earned a frightening reputation, for if it lingered over a creature long enough, there was at least a chance that an acceleration — or rather, a bastardization — of evolution would happen.

A fawn, for instance, in the woodlands of Richland, Washington had been innocently gnawing on vegetation when the Columbia Storm meandered like a mist until a gruesome mutation commenced. Hours later, nearby campers were slaughtered by a deer with razor sharp antlers, an extra pair of limbs and molars the size of a saber-toothed tiger's.

Then there was that fleet of white rabbits — liberated by militants for animal rights in order to be spared experimentation by the cosmetic industry — which were immersed in this same miasma ... Upon being granted enhanced speed, not to mention a vampiric craving, they turned on, and then devoured, their vegan/vegetarian liberators.

As benign and innocuous as a common fawn and those bunnies had been, the question soon became, what might transpire if the Columbia Storm ever altered nature's predators ..?

TO BE CONTINUED


When a villain from the future alters Earth's past — and accidentally creates legions of monsters in the process — one man became the Human race's last hope. With a solar powered armor that's literally centuries ahead of its time, Timothy Caughman is known to the world as SOLAR WARRIOR !

Episode Four

THOMAS WAYNE: You know why they attacked you, don't you? They were afraid ... All creatures feel fear.
BRUCE WAYNE: Even the scary ones?
THOMAS WAYNE: Especially the scary ones.

—from the 2005 movie, Batman Begins

SERAPH: I had to be sure ... that you are The One.
NEO: You could have just asked.
SERAPH: No, you do not truly know someone until you fight them.

—from the 2003 movie, The Matrix Reloaded

Mockingly called the President of the Electoral College as a result of his failure to secure the popular vote, Donald Trump predictably reacted to the destruction of a nuclear plant — not to mention the subsequent and unprecedented threat of mutated beasts — by declaring martial law as well as waging war on foreign terrorists despite the established fact that white supremacists were the guilty party behind this atrocity ...

"It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries whose support and finance terror groups like al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people. The Iranian government, for instance, masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy," the more straightforward commentators in broadcasting remarked how hypocritical it had been for an American like Trump to make that claim, "it has turned a wealthy country, with a rich history and culture, into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos. We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities."

... ironically, while the militarization of policemen, the strict limitation of nocturnal movement and the random internment of Muslims cemented Trump's reputation as a despot, the harm caused by him had been countered, even negated, by the extent that monstrous versions of animals lunged upon anyone he commanded more often than not.

An example of how Trump's implementation of fascism was seriously hindered occurred during the purge of an Islamic mosque: Surrounded by angry demonstrations, national guardsmen forced protesters at gunpoint to stand at a distance whenever worshipers were unceremoniously, even violently, escorted into transports bound for prison.

However, an already-formidable-by-nature grizzly bear was altered earlier by the appearance of a certain solar/nuclear-created weather pattern, so after being outrageously empowered by the so-called Columbia Cloud, it staggered out of nearby timberland, on its hindquarters, with a murderous desire to nourish a ravenous hunger.

"Sweet Jesus ..!" A national guardsman invoked a Christian sentiment even as he imprisoned Muslims and became the first to satiate that beast's appetite.

Only considering that soldier to be a mere hors d'oeuvre, the gargantuan bear then devoured another ... and another ... The comrades of those dead soldiers tried to ward it off, but its hide was solid enough to at least tolerate bullets. Meanwhile, the followers of Islam unjustly led out of that temple were hastily liberated and concealed by several radicals during this welcome, if ghastly, complication. "Where will my family go?" A Muslim parent whispered in desperation.

"One thing at a time, dude," an activist quietly stated, "for now, let's just hope 'Yogi Bear' over there keeps these pigs occupied."

Extremely melancholy over the unsettling alterations made to a timeline he recalled learning in school, Timothy Caughman determined it'd be best that he depart the city and retreat to the country for cleaner air to breathe — not to mention the evasion of law enforcement ... From there, the 23rd century tinkerer could better prepare to find and confront a criminally insane James Harris Jackson.

Timothy had remained in his terraforming armor since journeying through history, and as a result, he depleted the scant amount of rations it contained, so replenishing an empty stomach was also an important mandate for him.

Jumping miles at a time, Caughman eventually chanced upon a solitary house nestled amidst forests on the northernmost outskirts of Seattle. He very nearly dared to inquire whether its owner would provide food in exchange for performed chores, but the attempt to make that request was interrupted by a shrill and painful wail for help.

Timothy Caughman soon discovered an individual in an expensive business suit being eviscerated by a mountain lion of gigantic proportions that almost resembled a Human. "Great, my first mutant," he lamented.

A whirlwind of fangs and talons, the aberrant feline pounced from the businessman's remains to an armored stranger who disturbed its dinner.

For a moment, it seemed as if this monster of a cougar would overpower that visitor from the future, but that was only because Timothy demonstrated restraint by waiting for an opportunity to cripple instead of kill the malformed animal.

Once the feline was rendered unconscious, Caughman examined the mauled man and noticed bloodstained credentials indicating this must have been a government agent. "What's someone from 'the National Security Agency' doing all the way out here?" He wondered with concern.

TO BE CONTINUED


When a villain from the future alters Earth's past — and accidentally creates legions of monsters in the process — one man became the Human race's last hope. With a solar powered armor that's literally centuries ahead of its time, Timothy Caughman is known to the world as SOLAR WARRIOR !

Episode Five

"The way the system works, the loner, the dreamer, the crackpot who comes up with some crazy idea that everybody laughs at, that later turns out to revolutionize the world — [s]he's squashed from above before [s]he even gets his[or her] head out of the water because the bureaucrats, they'd rather kill a new idea than let it rock the boat! If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he'd be thrown in jail for sailing a kite without a license ... If big business closes the door on the little guy [or gal] with a new idea, we're not only closing the door on progress, but we're sabotaging everything that we fought for! Everything that the country stands for! And one day we're gonna find ourselves at the bottom of the heap instead of king of the hill, having no idea how we got there."

—from the 1988 movie, Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Timothy Caughman soon noticed that slain agent wasn't the only victim of a monstrously enhanced feline — several other corpses were sprawled along a bloodstained woodland and each one had apparently been a servant of the American Empire ...

... so he understandably assumed that next sound heard by him; that of a shotgun being pumped, was simply another imperialist, but instead, his eyes feasted upon the sight of an absolutely beautiful, slender-yet-shapely blonde lady in her early thirties adorned in snug, timeworn denim. "What the actual Hell are you ..?!" She exclaimed with alarm and a hint of wonder, "Is this what our tax dollars are being wasted on? Solid gold armor? Typical of Trump! Well, unless you want me to find out if it's bulletproof, I highly suggest you get off my property!"

Aside from a chance meeting with the police subsequent to his emergence in the 21st century, Timothy only conversed with himself out of angst, so this was the first conversation he had with a native of this savage era. "I probably shouldn't say this, but since history has already been radically changed … First of all, it's not solid gold; it's mainly a nickel-titanium alloy called nitinol, otherwise, I'd be too heavy to move. Second of all, what are tax dollars? This was built by a labor cooperative of engineers. Finally, if this is your property, I'd like to talk—"

"—talk to this, you crazy bastard ..!" Afraid the armored stranger in her front yard could be a madman, the blonde lady hurled a slug of molten lead from the rifle she nervously wielded – only to see it hover in mid-air at least half a meter before its target was reached … "In the name of Carl Sagan! How did you … How are you able to ..?"

Caughman smiled from underneath an oval helmet while he held a single hand aloft in order to levitate that bullet. "Now Sagan I've heard of! There's a statue of him in New Seattle, but this …" After lowering his arm, the projectile abruptly fell onto an ensanguined lawn. "… this was designed to help create an artificial magnetosphere for Mars so it could be colonized. That's why my suit can manipulate electromagnetic fields — at least to a limited extent … Now are you ready to put that weapon down and listen to reason?"

The lady didn't simply lower her firearm, she let it plummet out of utter astonishment — and then fainted …

… upon awakening minutes later, the blonde had been gently lifted to her feet until she could stand by a seven foot tall, five hundred pound golden giant. "So, are you a robot?"

"I'm Timothy," for a fleeting moment, that helmet unfastened so the countenance of a dark skinned Human could be seen, but then it hastily sealed itself, "I'm from what you'd consider the future, where the air's much better, which is why I prefer to keep this on … Then again, given everything that's happened, I should've ceased to exist by now."

Timothy Caughman reluctantly explained that he originated from an environmentally-versed future and elucidated his desperate pursuit of James Harris Jackson for damaging the timeline by empowering Trump in particular and white supremacists in general.

"Wow … just, wow … Well, I'm Lily Sinclair, and if what you're saying is even partially true, then the government must be after you too … Is that why you killed those men ..?"

Initially bewildered, the time traveler whirled around until he realized Lily had meant the agents who'd been violently rent asunder and even devoured. "Them? No, that mutated cat did it."

Turning Sinclair's attention to the nearly Humanoid feline in the distance that had been unconscious for the longest, he blanched with concern when she naïvely gallivanted in its direction. "Uh, what exactly are you doing ..?"

"I'm petting it," Lily daintily answered, "it's so adorable." ERR-ROWL ..!

A startled Lily Sinclair quickly staggered backwards to avoid being disemboweled by a swipe from the claw of an animal she stimulated. Fortuitously, this beast's legs had been lastingly incapacitated, so it could only slither after her and barely at that.

"Still think it's adorable?" Timothy smirked. "Now that I did do — lucky for you … Listen, aside from rations, I haven't eaten since I went back in time, so is there something I can do for you in exchange for a meal?"

Lily inwardly contemplated the enormous opportunity that presented itself — a gargantuan manservant with fantastic talents — but that handful of lifeless federal employees proved to be very diverting. "Yeah, sure, how good are you at digging graves? Last thing I need is to give those bastards another reason to come after me, so their bodies need to be hid and quick … Say, if you really are from the future, you wouldn't happen to know next week's lottery numbers, would you?"

"Do you mean Shirley Jackson's classic story, The Lottery?" Caughman inquired as he began singlehandedly unearthing large clusters of dirt in a Herculean manner.

Sinclair sighed and rolled her eyes. "Well, at least it's nice to know reading is considered more important than money in the future … Money sure does come in handy in this day and age, though — especially when you're trying to discover renewable sources of power."

The time traveler had rapidly excavated one mass grave for all the government operatives who were eviscerated before responding, "is that why these men came after you? Are you pioneering solar power? That's what this armor of mine runs on."

"Water, actually," Lily revealed, "I'm on the verge of obtaining clean energy by separating hydrogen and oxygen atoms from water molecules. All I need is enough time to discover the frequency that stabilizes my process, so if anything, what I really need is a bodyguard; someone to watch over me while I work. Sooner or later, more 'federales' will come looking for their dead friends and I need to be done by then … So, what do you say, 'Solar Warrior,' will you help ..?"

TO BE CONTINUED


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