Taps for Earthlings, Part 3

Elena
Hello, Clark.
Me
Aren’t you glad to see me? I’ve spent weeks searching, just thinking that I’ve got to find you!
Elena
Well sure I’m glad to see you, hon, but I can’t waste any time. This work is so important!
Me
I want to talk to you without that con artist with the white robes.
Elena
Isn’t he wonderful? Molatta. Aren’t they all wonderful? Regular scientists devoting their whole lives to this terrific cause!
Me
What’s so wonderful about it? When it’s completed they could let the earth go boom,and it wouldn’t mean a thing to them!
Elena
Everybody wiped out? Gee, wouldn’t that make you feel simply awful?
Me
I wouldn’t feel a thing. I am worried, though, but it’s about us, baby. Who cares about the rest of the world doing a disappearing act some day?
Elena
I do, and so do they. They aren’t selfish like some people I could mention!
Me
Selfish?
Elena
You’re almost done here right?
Me
I am, but Elena, listen! I am selfish because I’ve got a wife and I’m nuts about her, and I want her back. What about your vows?
Elena
I have to help out on this project; it’s the least I can do for history.
Me
History? What did history ever do for us? Go turn in your time card, baby.  Tell them you got a date with me back on earth.
Elena
No! This is my job as much as the others! They don’t ever keep anybody here against their will. I’m staying because I want to, sweetie.
Me
What?
Elena
Honey, excuse me, I’ve got to get back. I’m teaching them the soft shoe now.
Alien Two
You satisfied, now, Mr. Locke?
Me
Listen, take away your prediction of doom and this racket folds like a cheap umbrella.
Alien Two
OK, I wish we could retract it, but it is a genuine prediction.
Me
You’re knocking yourself out because your guess is we’re going to commit planetary suicide.
Alien Two
Is there any doubt of it? Do you honestly believe a world holocaust can be averted?
Me
I think it can be stopped, yes. Between these catatonics and me, we could change it.
Alien Two
Tell me what you’re suggesting.
Me
I notice you’ve got people from all over the world here. They get along fine because they have a vital job.
Alien Two
Certainly, but…
Me
So they don’t have time to hate each other. Well, it could be like that back on earth.
Alien Two
Mr. Locke, we have experimented in the manner you suggest. But a human psychological mechanism defeated us.
Me
Yeah? What was that?
Alien Two
Protective amnesia. They completely and absolutely forgot everything they’d learned here.
Me
Well, what are the odds on me remembering?
Alien Two
Well, you are our first volunteer.
Me
Look, I’ll give you a deal. You let me out and maybe I’ll be the first case that didn’t get amnesia, and I can tell the world of this. I am a writer…
Alien Two
Harmless enough idea.
Me
Sure, I’ll come back! If I fail, you can pick me up any time you want. But if I make headway you gotta let Elena go too.
Alien Two
That’s a reasonable proposition. We will lift our control and if you can arouse a measurable opposition to human racial suicide…
Me
I’m just the boy that can.
Alien Two
Measurable, mind you! Then we will agree to release your wife and revise our policy completely.
Me
I awoke back on Earth, up at Glendale. It took me about two weeks to convince them that I was all right again. But I had to convince the world that they were throwing the ultimate World Series.
Boss Tunney
We know that you wrote some stuff on that topic, and I had to print something, but I thought you was jokin’ with that stuff.
Me
No! I started to write it all out in my tip sheet, in and around the player rankings. You did publish it, though.
Boss Tunney
In future I need more rankings and less aliens. But I kept it in the paper, just for human interest.
Me
Thanks! You may be saving the world, Boss. Then I ran into Sam.
Sam
My boy! How anxious we were about you! Reading your stuff…
Me
Why?
Sam
I remember I first said you were looking fit.
Me
Yeah, and I said “Thanks, wish I could say the same about you, and the rest of the world.”
Sam
Again, no need to worry about us, we’ll muddle along somehow.
Me
Oh you think so, huh?
Sam
I’m glad to see you’ve got your tip sheet going again. As long as my ‘Sam Yankees’ win, who cares what happens to anything else!
Me
Gosh, has nobody listened to me?

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