11 September 2018

Initial Arrival 28

Day 4
1 October 1956
Yakutsk, Siberia, USSR

On the fourth day, Ivan returned sometime after breakfast. He took over a stool and sat down. Then he took out a notebook and a pen. “I need to take your statement. Can we proceed now?”

Jennifer knew this was going to happen at some point. But she was scared, especially considering that she knew she had to lie, which she didn't want to and didn't think she could, and her understanding of typical police interactions. She felt she should at least try to get more support. “I should have a lawyer present.”

“This doesn't make sense given the current situation. I am the individual who has been assigned to work with you and help you with what you need.”

“Ok. You have been trying to be non-belligerent and patient. It would probably be best to get this over with. It won't get any easier later, and this is the only way for anything decision to be made.”

“You shouldn't be nervous. I am just going to ask routine questions. If you spoke with a lawyer you would need to answer them anyway.”

“That isn't how people work. This discussion will determine my fate. It will be stressful no matter what.” There was a pause in the conversation. Jennifer breathed in and out deeply. She eventually added, “But I am willing to continue.”

06 September 2018

Initial Arrival 27

Day 3
30 September 1956
Yakutsk, Siberia, USSR

The man continued the conversation in a friendly tone. “Do you wish to practice what you will say with me?”

Jennifer was uncomfortable with this suggestion. I know I need to do this. Why does this always feel wrong? “There isn't going to be another opportunity to do this before he interviews me, is there?”

“Probably not.”

Jennifer thought for a bit. “Can we go over what he may ask and what I need to say before we go through the roleplaying?”

“We can do whatever makes you comfortable within our available time.”

They proceeded to go over this for some time. When they were done, the man told Jennifer to open the curtain. Upon doing this, Ivan came to take Jennifer back to her bed. He then left her to her thoughts.

24 August 2018

Initial Arrival 26

Day 3
30 September 1956
Yakutsk, Siberia, USSR

“Well, here men and women are equal. And people have the right to have a job. It is in the constitution.”

“I don't think it is.”

“The Soviet constitution.”

“Oh, right.”

“We are a modern state. We do have a constitution which governs the state. You know this, right?”

“Right, we aren't home. I need to be careful about my expectation of references.” Jennifer turned her mind back into her thoughts, closing her eyes as she continued to explain. “In the US, it is rare for people to acknowledge positive rights as required. Food, housing, health care, … internal inequalities within the system aren't acknowledged in capitalist mentality. But socialist philosophy has commonly showed all the inherent, non-obvious inequalities and power structures. It would make sense to include the positive rights when constructing a communist state.”

Jennifer paused, thought, before she continued, “Well, I guess the concept of a Soviet constitution had been mentioned. I had always been taught that the Soviet Union was a totalitarian state. A dictatorship. There is one person put in charge and he controlled everything. This is how communism is defined in the US. I guess they mentioned a constitution with rights, but … these rights were second to the state's wishes. To state security.”

22 July 2018

Initial Arrival 25

Day 3
30 September 1956
Yakutsk, Siberia, USSR

There was a slight pause before the man responded quietly and calmly, “If you need to lie, you need to accept that you will lie. Presumably the risks are greater if you tell the truth. And they can't tell what you are thinking, they don't know you, they won't immediately figure you out. Don't be too specific, stay as close to the truth as possible, and they will fill in the details for themselves. And tell them what they want to believe. They want to believe you are a spy, so they will believe this even if you can't prove this. So, let us put this together. Why were you in the clearing?”

“I was lost. I heard voices, so I went in that direction, hoping someone could help me.”

“How did you get to the forest?”

“I don't know. There was a wormhole or something. … But I can't tell them that. … I could have gotten there by ground or from the sky. But from the sky I don't have a parachute or a vehicle.”

“If you were lost, it would be unlikely to find the same location. Your gear may just be lost, or taken by criminals. From the ground you would have had to come a long distance unless you had been in this city. An American would be out of place here. You would have needed to be hidden somewhere.”

“An analyst, someone working on signal intelligence maybe.”

“Perhaps. Or you could have been a prisoner of the criminals.”

“I don't know anything about the criminals or any potential American spies here.”

“So, when you fell, you forgot your contact here. ”

Jennifer thought for a bit. “I got into a fight. I was forced out with the wrong gear. Perhaps I was the technician and was either sexually assaulted or disagreed with their politics.”

“You don't think that is too complicated?”

“It is far less complicated, or at least far more believable than me being a spy. I can't do the social stuff, but the numbers I can, so I wouldn't be a spy or a secretary. But there used to be these women who did the calculations. I have been trained in physics, so can do calculations. I don't have a husband so I need a job, but most jobs wouldn't hire women. And I can't deal with the concept of working for a private for profit corporation, so a government job would make sense. … Sexual assault would be common in the 50s since men believe they own womens' bodies. Also, I frequently disagree with Americans on political issues, and there were the communist witch hunts in the 50s. This would explain why I don't know anything and why I don't have the right supplies, as well as why I don't trust the US. Besides, the Soviet authorities would be happy to see someone fleeing from the 'backwards American society.' ”

“You have thought about this before.”

“I disagree with Americans a lot. And I imagine things often.”

07 July 2018

Initial Arrival 24

Day 3
30 September 1956
Yakutsk, Siberia, USSR

There was a pause in the conversation as the man took the time to process this information. He eventually responded, “When I was there in the clearing, I saw the sky open up and you appeared from nowhere. I think that is why those trying to kill me left.” Jen turned to look at him. He continued, “Something unusual definitely happened.”

So there is a consistency. How does this help me?

He did continue, trying to offer her a suggestion, “If you want to hide your origin and ensure your safety, why don't you just say you are a defector.”

“But I am not.”

“Do you not think that an American would defect?”

“I don't have any information I can offer. … And I am not a spy. I don't have the knowledge to appear as a spy. Or the body. This would be obvious. …”

“This doesn't make sense! You need to prove you aren't a spy. Why would you need to prove that you are? The reason you would be in danger from the authorities is because you may be a spy.”

“No, people aren't allowed to enter because they aren't valued. Wanting to migrate isn't reason enough to be allowed. People who then migrate without permission are then undocumented, considered illegal. The US … I guess other countries are kept poor and even destroyed, keeping the workforce subservient. Domestically, unskilled labor by migrants is also temporary. So labor can be exploited. … They may right now not trust my intentions for one reason, but it isn't the only possibility.”

There was a pause before he spoke again. “You want to lie about your origin, but don't want to give false information.”

“I can't tell them about my origin. And, if I lie about important things for them, they will be acting on incorrect information. … I am not the only person involved. This isn't just about protecting me. There are others too.”

“Do you know anything which could be of help but could be explainable by access to classified information?”

“I can't talk about the future! Besides, I haven't memorized all the cold war declassified documents. People don't know everything, they know pieces.” Jennifer put her head down and her hands on her head in frustration.

01 July 2018

Initial Arrival 23

Day 3
30 September 1956
Yakutsk, Siberia, USSR

“But you believe this is real?”

“This is what I remember.”

“Do you think that you are crazy?”

“If I am crazy, or rather if they believe I am crazy, they will lock me up, deny me the right to be a part of society. I won't be allowed to contribute, or possibly be treated like slave labor. I wouldn't be considered human, wouldn't be given control of myself, wouldn't be considered legitimate. And in the 50s, the mentally ill would have been tortured. Mentally and physically.”

“You are overstating things. This isn't what the situation is like. Mental hospitals are there to help those who need it.” What he stated agitated Jennifer as she had been exposed to this type of naiveté before. The man clearly picked up on her discomfort as he continued, “Hey, whatever you believe, you aren't going to be put in this type of situation. ”

Jennifer just shook her her head and put her head down into her hands. She couldn't think of anything in the moment to begin to make him understand, and this wasn't a good time to get into a debate.

12 June 2018

Initial Arrival 22

Day 3
30 September 1956
Yakutsk, Siberia, USSR

Jennifer eventually started to talk again. “I don't know what to tell them … about how I came here and what happened.”

“Why don't you tell them the truth?”

“Because the truth isn't believable. Besides, it is too dangerous. Nobody can know.”

“I don't understand. Are you in trouble?”

“If the date you told me is correct, then I am from the future. Before I came to the clearing it was June 2013.”

The man paused for a little to think about this. He asked, “Do you have anything which could prove this?”

“What! No. And it doesn't matter anyway. I can't be from the future. They can't know this. That it the point.” Jennifer turned away and closed her eyes as she thought about something which occurred to her. “Hmm, well maybe. If you had access to what I had. I had my passport. My passport isn't the new version with a transponder, but it does have a lot of modern security features. Holograms, no foil, I think. Something difficult to forge.”

“Holograms?”

“An image which looks different from different angles. I think it is supposed to mean a three dimensional image encoded on a two dimensional surface. In science fiction, it is a 3D image projected into real space, but in reality they are just flat images designed to look 3D. Or a foil image used to make documents difficult to forge. Other tricks are watermarks – faint images which show up when copied … electronically copied, micro print – very small text, and images which appear under ultraviolet light. I don't know when these were developed.” Jennifer turned back to face the man after explaining.

“What about a transponder?”

“... I am sorry, I can't talk about that.”

“Did you have anything else?”

“I guess my clothes would have been a mix of cotton and spandex. Cotton is old and plant-based, but spandex is synthetic. It is stretchy and makes the clothes slightly stretchy. I think I left everything else in the car. Hopefully that didn't go through time as well.”

“What about what you know of future events.”

“I can't talk about that. Besides, it won't prove anything until it happens. It doesn't matter anyway. You don't need to believe this.”

“Are you afraid of changing the future?”

“This doesn't matter. They can't know I am from the future. Knowledge is power and … it isn't my right to intervene. This doesn't belong to any of us.”

“Fine. Let's assume this is true. How did you get here?”

“I don't know.”

“You don't have a time machine?”

“No. I just was there, then we got lost … now I am here.”