Sisterhood Of The Smoker Babes, Part 8

(by, 06 March 2010)

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Writers Note---Those that enjoy a good science fiction story know that they
need to suspend their beliefs of the real world and allow for the possibility
of things that are out of the ordinary. You will need to do that when you
read this story. With that being said, while the science fiction stuff is
mostly a product of my imagination, many of the smoking scenes are in fact
based on real encounters and sightings that I've experienced throughout
my life. Some have been modified to fit the context of the story but others
remain mostly intact as they actually occurred. Lastly, when reading this I
suggest that you pay attention to the timeline as it is critical to how
you'll draw your conclusions over the story's ending. My email address is if you wish to discuss or comment on the story.
I hope you have as much fun reading this as I did writing it.


CHAPTER 8 - JULY 19, 1976 - Mission accomplished and a life altering decision
presents itself.

    I think the most surprising thing about the Jamie mission was the date
itself. I injected Jamie with the serum while she slept on a lounge chair on
her porch and was out of there in like thirty seconds. What I realized was
how close this was to the date when as a kid I saw her smoking with her
friend at my brother's baseball game. Even as a kid, I marveled at how openly
she flaunted her cigarette smoking in front of all those adults.  Granted,
back in the mid-seventies teenagers did smoke more openly than they do now.
It wasn't uncommon to see groups of teens walking down the street with
cigarettes protruding through their fingers, or a group of kids hanging out
and smoking in the parking lot of the local beach. But this was different.
The kids who hung out and smoked during the seventies were doing it probably
to fit in and be part of the crowd; indeed smoking with a pack of friends
with a car radio blasting songs by the Eagles, The Rolling Stones and Led
Zeppelin was a rite of passage for teenagers of this era. 

    But the Jamie encounter was different. Looking back in hindsight she was
showing off, enjoying tremendously the looks of disapproval that the parents
were sending her way. I can only imagine her spunky entertaining response had
any of the parents voiced their disapproval to her that day.  As I prepared
for my first solo time travel jump I realized one fact that I long took as
truth wasn't actually the case. I'd always assumed that Jamie had been
smoking for awhile based on her smoking style and the way she carried herself
with a cigarette. But based on the date I injected her with the GS4268
formula she'd actually only been smoking for three weeks when I'd encountered
her on that grassy hill at the baseball game. 

    As I'd already mentioned, Jamie's actual injection was fairly easy,
complicated only by one minor hitch. I experienced first hand that the Trav's
lack of precision was a real issue when my jump landed me in Jamie's
neighbor's fenced in yard with a large German Sheppard growling at me.
Fortunately I had taken on the form of my fifteen year old self and was able
to run fast enough and jump the fence quickly. I hoped at some point they'd
fix this glitch, who knows what kind of future precarious positions the Trav
was going to put me in. 

    Since the Jamie mission was over in a matter of minutes, I had some extra
time and decided to take a nostalgic look around the town I grew up in. It
was amazing how much had changed in thirty five years and yet how much stayed
the same. Restaurants and stores from my childhood that had long disappeared
were still thriving in 1976 and it amazed me how much open space still
existed; not yet supplanted by the large supermarkets and condominiums that
would be erected over the next three decades. One thing that immediately
stuck out was the automobiles. I'd forgotten how big they were back then.
Plymouths and Chevrolet's were all over the streets and I even saw a '68 Red
Mustang speed down the main drag. Up until now these were all distant
memories but in 1976 they were the norm. I went to the house I grew up in and
saw my parents and brother as their much younger selves. I was going to stop
in but something made me stop. Even though I was in my fifteen year old body
I was genuinely worried that my fifty year old self might disturb something.
So I watched from a distance for a few minutes and moved on. 

    I decided to take a walk to the beach behind our high school where my
friends and I spent many summers hanging out. Talk about walking into a time
capsule! Teenagers, many of whom I knew back in the day were clustered around
each other in groups. As I started walking the beach I heard the Doobie
Brothers' "Listen to the Music" blaring on one car radio and Led Zeppelin's'
"Stairway to Heaven" on another. Some of the kids were dressed in bathing
suits and some were dressed in the gaudish flashy clothing that was typical
at the beginning of the disco era. I'd forgotten how hideous the clothing was
back then. 

    I talked to a few people including my best friend Billy who I'd been
friends with since grade school. I was initially worried that I'd forgotten
those long ago details of our lives and would say something that wouldn't
make sense in the context of our 1976 life but was pleasantly surprised how
even the smallest of details came back to me as we discussed a visit to the
local amusement park that had happened the night before. 

    Overall, it was good experience reliving those days for a few hours but I
looked at my watch and realized it was time to go back. I took one more look
at 1976 and felt for the Trav in my pocket. And then while taking my last
look around the beach as I was beginning to punch my return trip to 2011 I
saw something that changed everything. In fact what I saw was directly
responsible for me going on a rogue mission that would unleash a series of
events that would permanently alter everything as I once knew it. 

    Standing not more than ten feet away from me with a group of other kids
leaning against the car was fifteen year old Erin Williams. Erin was in the
middle of dragging from a brown cork cigarette while hanging all over some
guy I hated in high school named Mitch Aguilar. I'd forgotten how long her
hair was in our early high school years. Her blond hair ran most of the way
down her back, nearly touching her ass. She wore a hippy style psychedelic
head band. Erin wasn't a druggie or anything during our high school time.
Though she drank at parties and maybe smoked a little pot, she wasn't a total
burnout like a number of our classmates back then, even though some of her
fashion choices might have given some the impression she was. 

    I didn't care about Mitch at the moment. I was focused on Erin and
watching Erin drag profusely on her cigarette for the next five minutes while
flirting with Mitch made something abundantly clear. My second mission with
Cameron, while I was still in the training program, had been a huge success. 

    And then I suddenly had an idea. I knew if I did this it would piss off
Cray. But I didn't care, I knew it would be worth it in the end. I reached
into my pocket again for the Trav and punched a new date that didn't end with
2011. I watched Erin inhale one more drag full of carcinogens and then
pressed the button and I was gone. 

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