The Death of Lee Harvey Oswald
by Tony Noland
The noise of the crowd picked up as the first police motorcycles turned the corner. His hands in his lap, Lee Harvey Oswald stroked the smooth walnut stock one last time. His sixth story window was ideally suited to cover the entire area. He resisted the impulse to reposition the extra rounds on the window sill. He hoped the cars would stop in the confusion so he'd have time for the entire clip.
Oswald looked out onto the plaza, his pulse spiking as the moment approached. This wide, manicured greensward... he was suddenly struck by how different it was from the ragged, weed-strewn lots he'd always known. Growing up, moving away, coming back. From this Olympian seat, it all looked so clean, far nicer than his wife's dirty, disappointing hometown.
Even now, when he'd left the worker's false paradise to return to the United States, he didn't want to admit that Dallas could outshine Moscow. He made himself feel a surge of fresh anger at the capitalists. He wondered how many brother workers it took to keep it so trimmed. Even if they were all coloreds or white trash, they were still members of the proletariat and deserved to be liberated from their exploitation.
It wouldn't be long now. Behind the motorcycles came the long police cruisers, sheriffs nosing at the trough of presidential publicity. Behind the cruisers came a black sedan. Behind the sedan was the target.
Oswald lifted the rifle to his shoulder and let his breath in and out slowly, just like he'd been taught at Camp Lejune. He watched the long convertible turn the far corner. He lost it for a moment behind the rise, then it returned to view. It slowed to take the second corner, then slowed more as it approached the underpass. Through a very slight heat shimmer, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's head was centered in the iron sights. Oswald gently squeezed the trigger.
Just beyond the muzzle, directly in the path of the high-velocity copper-jacketed slug, a silvery paraboloid lupped into existence. It hung in the air for 0.03 seconds, long enough to catch the slug and return it into Oswald's face as a blast of shrapnel and gamma rays. Oswald's head snapped backwards, the muscle fibers in his neck contracting hard from the heat shock. His body collapsed, sending the rifle skating across the floor.
In the plaza, Abraham Zapruder's 8mm camera recorded the worried expressions of the President of the United States, the Governor of Texas and their wives as four shouting secret service agents jumped onto the limousine's running boards. The car accelerated and left the plaza without further incident.
"Report, Mr. Tovik."
"Processing, sir. Primary waveform has now re-collapsed, secondary waveforms not yet stabilized."
"Estimated time to full stabilization?"
"It's hard to say, sir. These secondaries are reinforcing each other as they collapse. I'm getting a lot of feedback loops."
"I wanted an estimate, Mr. Tovik, not an excuse."
"Yes, sir. Estimated time to secondary waveform stabilization is 960 seconds."
"Thank you, Mr. Tovik. Relax, kid. I'm aware of the difficulties associated with secondary waveforms; you may revise with further data. Deliver your updated estimate in 840 seconds."
"Yes sir. Thank you, sir."
"Report, Mr. Kholahn. Give me the broad picture from the primaries. The details can wait until the secondaries settle down."
"Yes, sir. The telemetry is almost complete. President Kennedy completed his first term, and was reelected. A major issue in the 1964 campaign was his unwillingness to escalate American presence in Vietnam. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Korea and Indonesia became full satellite nations under China by the time Humphrey was elected president in 1968. His attempts to pursue trilateral detente were ineffective, and relations among all three superpowers soured badly. In the face of the relatively weak United States, the Soviet Union and the Chinese People's Empire consolidated power in Eastern Europe and southeast Asia, respectively. Both nations openly launched orbital nuclear weapons in 1971, targeted against each other and against the United States.
"President Nixon followed suit in 1973, fulfilling his strong anti-Communist campaign. With the landing of Apollo XX in 1979, Nixon claimed the moon as sovereign U.S. territory, escalating tensions worldwide. Shortly after his election in 1980, President Reagan proposed moon-based weaponry as part of a 'Star Wars' weapons platform. During Reagan's second term, the installation and testing of a fusion-pumped gamma ray laser, fired from the Sea of Tranquility, was the trigger point for a preemptive nuclear strike by both the Russians and the Chinese on North America. The United States responded in kind. All three superpowers initiated extensive use of automated neutron bombs from orbit against each other and against sympathizing nations."
"Immediate human death toll estimated at 3.5 billion. As the blanketing of fast neutrons also killed or sterilized most large land-based vertebrates, starvation and disease in the subsequent ecological collapse claimed a further 3 billion over the next 10 years. By 2063, human population was approximately 3 million in scattered pockets worldwide."
"Only three million left alive? A 99.94% death rate in 100 years after intervention?î
"HA! Mr. Kholahn, once Mr. Tovik gets the revised figures on the secondaries, prepare a clean copy of your report and beam it over to Councilor Torrovinol's office by priority carrier. Append the following preface: "Torry: 99.94% - beat that! It's your move, with my compliments! Regards, Charrak."
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