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The Sassquatch's Lair

July 31, 2006

The rapid transit capsule sped through the grounds of the Institute. A procession of microhabitats was observed by the two scientists. Both were very proud of the work that the Institute had done to restore the environment. Greg turned toward his boss and said.

“Do you think that Dr. Osbourne has good news for us? I doubt that we can maintain our funding. Especial-ly with that old fuss-budget of Plucket around. A lot more interest in time travel is shown by other branches of the World Scientific Commission. I don’t understand how they could have appointed somebody who does not like to save species, as the head of the world’s largest ecological organisation.”

“You know politicians, they always want one of their own in power. It is much easier to control us that way.”

“Why can’t nobody see that we have only the good of this world as our goal?”

“Amen.”

Both men looked at the rapidly growing buildings ahead of them. They were approaching the Institute for Advanced Physics, a massive complex of large concrete structures studded by a jungle of antennae, dishes, stacks, power feeds and collectors. Their capsule smoothly slowed down and entered the administration building. They were greeted by Phil Redbird, one of Dr. Osbourne’s lab technicians.

“Good morning, gentlemen.” The large Amerindian said. “Dr. Osbourne instructed me to meet you and es-cort you to the conference room personally.”

“Hello Phil. How is the good Doctor?”

“The good Doctor is doing fine, Dr. Livingston. Even though Mr. Plucket is in a rotten mood, as usual. He never likes to part with any of his precious budget. Especially if it is going to a competing Institute.”

Bill turned toward Greg. He said. “You were right. Old fuss-budget is here and there is trouble.”

Greg silently shrugged his shoulders. They silently followed Phil to the conference room. All three were admitted by an efficient looking secretary. The young man lead them to their seat and quietly exited the room. Bill looked around the room.

Behind the long conference table, a holowall displayed the likeness of an antique super-collider. The other walls were a grim institutional green. He observed the people seated around the table. He grudgingly acknowledged the presence of the elegantly dressed Robert F. Plucket. With all the bad feelings between the two men, Bill had to agree that Plucket cut a dashing figure. The highly intelligent man, Harvard educated, from a wealthy society family did not look his fifty plus years and was the most eligible bachelor on the West coast. No wonder a gangling bachelor like himself resented the man so much.

Next to Plucket, was seated Alfred “Rudder” Rudigast and his first officer Gina Lesage. The congenial man was the time capsule’s test pilot. Bill waved his hand in his direction and said.

“Hi Rudder…, how’s the wife and kids?”

“Very good, Bill. Amanda is still upset about you missing her birthday dinner, I hope you will be able to join us soon. How about this coming Saturday?”

“This sounds fine. I will be there at 8 o’clock.”

After this exchange of pleasantries, Bill noticed that Dr. Osbourne was staring directly at him. Bill blushed immediately. Sheila Osbourne was a stunning redhead in her mid-thirties, with all the right curves in the right places. Bill had a crush on her since the first time they had met, six months ago, to coordinate the “whale” project. Before he had met her, he never had been tongue tied in front any woman. His sudden shyness made him the butt of many jokes around the office.

The young woman’s face brightened when she noticed his embarrassment. She said to him in a sultry voice.

“Good morning Dr. Livingston. I am very glad to see you.” She emphasized the last word and noticed that it had the anticipated effect. Bill blushed even more. She liked the tall boyish man very much, but she was waiting for him to make his own move. She had been hurt before and did not want to speculate about his real feelings toward her. She doubted that he knew about them himself. She did not want to rush him too much for fear of loosing him.

At the other end of the table Robert Plucket cleared his throat. He said in his elegant voice.

“I am glad that all of you are present. The decision about further projects utilizing Dr. Osbourne’s time travel technology, in conjunction with the Women’s Institute as been taken by the World Parliament’s Commission on Scientific Research. No further funds will be allocated, as the resurrection of extinct species is not a priority goal when there are many species that still need to be protected from extinction in the present time. This decision is fi-nal.”

A long silence greeted this statement. The assembled scientists looked at each others still stunned by the news. Suddenly Bill Livingston’s face reddened in anger. He stood up straight unraveling his long, thin body. He looked straight into Bob Plucket’s eyes and said, barely controlling his rage.

“You never wanted to give us a chance. Most species on the verge of extinction can be easily saved by our method, often at a lesser cost than by traditional ones. I demand that the Institute reconsider its position. If not, I will be forced to resign from by post.”

Robert Plucket calmly stood up and took his briefcase from the floor beside him. While still looking straight into Bill’s eyes, he said in a monotone voice.

“Then I accept your verbal resignation. Please vacate your office and leave your cardkey at the front desk by next Monday. Your last wages will be credited to your account.” He briefly looked around the room and continued. “This will be all.”

The distinguished man exited silently from the room while the group of scientists assembled around a flab-bergasted Bill. They all wanted to comfort him.

Bill was too stunned to realize that he had just destroyed his career with his sudden outburst. He did not even hear the rumble of the voices from the people trying to soothe him. He finally came back to reality and looked around him in astonishment. With his voice still shaking from his anger, he said.

“Don’t worry, I was planning to quit anyway. I never could work for that man. Now, I will be able to ac-complish my lifetime goal. With my severance pay I will be able to buy myself a motorsailer and travel around the world.”

Grabbing him by the elbow, Greg dragged him away from the group. He said in a hushed tone.

“Don’t worry, I will help you to get your job back. When you calm down, you should go and see Plucket. I am sure he will agree to take you back. I will tell him a good word on your behalf in the meantime.”

“I will be fine. I need a rest anyway. I have not taken a holiday in over seven years. I will go home now.”

As he was walking towards the conference room’s door, Bill was accosted by Sheila. She put her hand on his arm and gently squeezed it. She timidly smiled. She leaned forward toward him. She stood on tiptoes to whisper in his ear. In the process her breasts brushed his upper arm. Bill felt embarrassed by her closeness. She said breathlessly.

“Dear Bill, I feel sorry for you. Please meet me at home after work, tonight. I have a proposition for you. I hope that you will consider it. Here is my address.”

She slipped a hastily folded piece of paper into his hand. She kissed him lightly on the cheek and left the room holding back some tears with difficulty. Bill looked at her leave with a new fondness in his heart. He said goodbye to the group and left the room whistling softly.

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From 1990: A Time Conundrum

The Sass

July 30, 2006

At the request of some of you I have just posted the pictures that are on the site’s banner on a page that is accessible from the Blog menu at the top right of the blog. They are in the link called ‘Banner Pictures’ for a lack of a more obvious name.

The Sass

July 29, 2006

Bill Livingston was a happy man. He had just successfully supervised a massive project that resuscitated the extinct humpback whales species. He had dealt with the constant interference and opposition of Bob Plucket the head of WOMEN (World Organisation for the Management of Ecological Niches). That man and the mostly conservative elements that ruled the ecological group -which was a joint effort of the EEC (European Economic Community), UAO (United Americas and Oceania), MESA (Middle-Eastern States Association), FEEC (Far-Eastern Economic Community), and the OAC (Organisation of African Countries) under the jurisdiction of the World Parliament- had tried to deny the massive funds that permitted the use of new time travel technology to go back about forty years and capture two breeding pairs of humpbacks.

On this beautiful early spring day, Bill did not worry too much about past problems. He concentrated on the future. With the new technology available to him, he would be able to reconstruct much of the ecological niches and species that were destroyed in the last hundred years. Before a more enlightened political climate permitted saving the environment on a more global scale.

He just wished that scientists, like himself, would not suffer the constant interference of politicians like Plucket who did not understand that every species and microhabitat had the right to be saved. They always argued that if all species were saved there would be no mechanism by which evolution could work to adapt species to new environments. They could not envision his conception of a perfect balance between Man and nature.

As Bill was ruminating, his eyes slowly took in the glorious scenery that unfolded behind the thick glass of his office’s window. The early morning sun created some long shadows on the WOMEN’s Institute grounds. Far away over the horizon, the glitter of the sun reflecting on the landlocked sea, where they were breeding the whales, caught his attention. It reminded him of his youth in New England, where his grandfather taught him to sail, in the old fashion way, aboard his motorsailer. During those months spent at sea, his interest for the conservation of the marine habitat grew to the point of determining his future path. Now as head of Marine Ecology for the WOMEN’s Institute he could fulfill his lifetime goal of restoring the world to its previous glory. More species would be saved and the world would be better for it.

The chimes of the comlink, on his desk, interrupted his train of thoughts. The basso voice of Greg Fleming, his second in command, erupted anxiously when he acknowledged the transmission.

“Bill…! If you are coming to the meeting with Dr. Osbourne, you’re already late. I will wait for you in my office for five more minutes. If you are not here by then, I will go alone.”

“Don’t worry Greg I will be there. I only have to put on a tie and comb my hair.”

“Are you still trying to impress the good doctor?”

Ignoring the question Bill replied. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

He unfolded his lanky frame from his easy chair and fetched a necktie from his locker. While he was tying his knot he gazed at his image reflected in the mirror. His mop of unruly red hair looked like an abandoned field in need of mowing. His wide set eyes and narrow mouth made his face look unbalanced. His rumpled brown, baggy suit hung on his shoulders like a coat on a hanger. Although he was in his mid-forties he looked at least twenty years younger, a family trait. His mother was in her early seventies but did not look much older than fifty.

With a mischievous grin on his face he passed, with great difficulty, a comb through his hair. The end result was not evident. Bill exited his office and locked the door behind himself. He took the long glass passageway that would take him to the adjacent building across a catwalk hanging fifty stories high, over the Institute’s grounds. He always suffered from a touch of vertigo when he used the narrow walkway. Today was no different.

He soon reached Greg’s office, where the small-statured man was impatiently pacing the floor. He always reminded Bill of a miniature version of a traditional banker, dressed in his neat blue pinstripe suit. His deep voice contrasted sharply with his four foot ten height. People meeting him for the first time, always had to suppress their laughter when they heard him talk. As usual, when he was under pressure, Greg was in a bad mood. He gruffly mumbled under his breath.

“Here we are, late again for an important meeting. This man is the oldest teenager that I have ever known. He his totally unreliable.” As if not noticing Bill entering the room, he continued. “He might be my boss but he has no reasons to make me look bad in front of others.”

“Don’t worry…” Bill said. “…Dr. Osbourne will not be mad at you. A specialist in time travel will not mind a little lost time. We can always get it back later if we need it.”

Greg gave a murderous look to his boss and followed him to the elevator. The two men entered the glass cubicle and the pneumatic system quickly whisked them deep underground. They each stood silently looking at the scenery during the short trip. Bill was used to his friend’s outbursts. He knew very well that everything would be back to normal in a few minutes.

They were greeted by the joyful voice of Marjorie, the building’s transportation dispatcher.

“Drs. Fleming and Livingston where may I have the pleasure to transport you.”

Before Bill could reply with one of his usual puns, Greg said rapidly. “We are in a hurry. We had to be at the Institute for Advanced Physics, ten minutes ago.”

The young woman replied. “You can take capsule number four. It has just been overhauled, it will get you there the quickest. Dr. Livingston…, I presume that you are the one that is late, as usual. You should stop daydreaming. A man in your position should not waste his time like that. ”

Grabbing his confrere by the sleeve, Greg dragged him to the waiting capsule before Bill could reply. He shouted over his shoulder, his voice making the windows tremble.

“That is what I always tell him. But this big kid does not want to listen to me. I am so misunderstood.”

Marjorie looked on, as the two men entered the capsule. When the door closed and the capsule silently sped away, she shook her head and a smile crossed her face. There went two of the most respected scientists at the Institute, and they were always acting like Mutt and Jeff.

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From 1990: A Time Conundrum

The Sass

July 30, 2006

Above is the first of 7 posts that comprise a short story I wrote over 16 years ago. I have not really read it since then, and I will be discovering it with you all. I have just read and posted the first part, without editing it, and the rest will follow every few days. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I have been rediscovering it.

The Sass

July 29, 2006

I have just spent a few hour creating a quick theme for the blog and also posting some copyright notices for the material, and contact information. This is a work in progress, so I hope that you enjoy the new look of the ‘Lair’. Please let me know if you like the new look, and if you have any suggestions to enhance it and for content.

The Sass

July 21, 2006

Some of you asked me why I spell Sassquatch with two S’s instead of the proper single S. The main reason is that when people started to call me Sassquatch a long time ago, I was not aware of the proper spelling, and I started using it this way. I also always was under the impression that I was a very Sassy Sassquatch, so I thought that the spelling was appropriate, as I normally contracted Sassquatch to Sassy a lot in using the name. The third reason, relating to the domain name, is that the proper spelling was already taken, but in any case I was interested in the Sassy spelling not the boring old one. Now you have it, the story of why I spell Sassquatch with two S’s.

The Sass

July 18, 2006

It is night and I am alone sitting on a rock surrounded by water. The moon is big, full, shiny and lights the world around me with an unreal aura of serenity. The air is warm and slightly moist; the only sound heard is when I take a breath full of this warm balmy air. I am alone and proud of being here, I am man in communion with nature. I close my eyes and listen to the silence of the night. Far, far away I hear a wolf calling, he is there and I am here. I try to reach to him and find his purpose; he too is the master of the night. I open my eyes and look to the sky. The Milky Way looks as if someone had shaken in a long arcing motion, a paintbrush laden with milk at a black velvet ceiling. I hear the flutter of a bat passing behind me, endlessly searching for whatever a bat searches in the night. I close my eyes, again, trying to get in touch with myself. As my thoughts drift in the night, time passes by in a flash. The air feels warmer and damp when I come back to reality. I open my eyes. It is still dark, but I can catch a glimpse of shimmering orange light on the eastern horizon. Before long, wispy tendrils of fog rises form the calm surface of the water and mate together to form big banks of cottony softness. I am alone with a sleeping nature awaiting its arousal to consciousness. I can feel the dampness of the fog entering my lungs, and can taste its sweet aroma. I pick up the faint sound of a beaver swimming to its daily chores. Finally nature starts to wake up. As if it is a signal the blood curling laughter of an Oldsquaw is heard. From that moment on, nature’s awakening speeds up languorously like someone stretching to activate its circulation. First the enchanting songs of small birds, closely followed by the patter and chatter of squirrels running in the trees. I am surrounded by a universe of pearly white fog, boxed-in with my thoughts. The temperature is slowly rising, as are my hopes for a glorious day. The sun is illuminating the fog from above, and humidity starts to rise from the surface of the water surrounding me. It is warm and comfortable. The fog as a life of its own and shines with an incandescent whiteness as it slowly starts to rise above the surface of the water. I feel like I am flying down through a big white cloud on the wings of my imagination. I am coming back to reality as the first beautiful, bright, yellow, hot sunray hits me square in the face. I drink in its energy like a thirsty man in a desert drinks water after reaching an oasis. I am now confident in life, I am alone and happy in communion with nature. I want to shout at the top of my lungs that I am Primeval Man, the King of the Creation. I am full of energy and feel that I could reach to the sun with my hands.

Suddenly the illusion is shattered; I hear a dog barking and a voice. I am not alone. I have to go back to a world where you have to be what people want you to be, instead of what you really are. Why? I was alone and King of the Creation, now I am just an ordinary man!

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

From: May 7, 1980

The Sass

July 9, 2006

Greetings to all that ended up here on your cyberescapades. We are in the process of building this new home for the Sassquatch, his mate, and his friends. We have not started decorating yet so it is still in basic WordPress Blue. In the coming week we will start adding content and make the place a bit more cozy for out guests. In the meantime make yourself comfortable and don’t be affraid, at least I do not bite too hard if you ask gently!

The Sass