Room For Tomorrow
2020 FAPA President’s Book Awards Winner – Science Fiction (Bronze)
Parker Parrish is a 40ish LA attorney, bored with the direction that her career has taken. Trained in environmental law, but seduced into corporate law, she is now in a family law practice and is frustrated. By her career and frustrated by a haunting recurring dream that has her unable to open a darkened doorway in a mysterious passageway.
Taking a mental health day, she meets a kindred performance sports car enthusiast on the LA freeway. She share’s her story, and her new acquaintance, Carl Reyes accompanies her on a quest to find out why she appears to be repeating a Sunday. A Sunday she has proof was not hallucinatory, because she has returned with an artifact from that previous Sunday. They find the small farmhouse overlooking the Central Valley, and the darkened doorway. Through it, they discover the CalStation; a time portal constructed by the 22nd Century that survived the nuclear holocaust of 2150.
It’s inhabitants, from three generations after the ‘Last Day;’ are mining future tech from a cloud storage facility in a war blasted ruin of the future city of Neenach, California. The environment found on the other side of the time station is hot, toxic, and still mildly radioactive. They are gathering tech to help reboot civilization that can no longer produce the drugs, cures, and life-enabling tech whose manufacturing sites are inhospitable or destroyed.
Parker and Carl are enlisted by one of the three CalStation time travelers to help jump-start battery and other tech research in the 21st C. They set up Room for Tomorrow, a new environmental PAC and research arm to get future tech into the present at all reasonable speed. Carl Reyes’ credential as a high-end corporate security specialist gives him access to the often illegal cayman bank accounts of many of the world’s worst environmental players.
One of these players hires Odie Peck, a security expert with enough ability to find Carl’s carefully hidden activities. He is hired to ‘eliminate’ the problem. Three attempts on the lives of Parker and Carl are disguised as terrorist operations but are traced back to Peck’s operatives.
While becoming aware that Room for Tomorrow’s agents might be stealing from his accounts, a principal of Abadon Industries is invited to a funders roundtable by Parker Parrish. His visit, confrontational at first, is diffused as he is made aware perhaps knowledge that he has secreted away, millions in unreported income and other assets might be leaked to the wrong federal agencies.
He is intrigued, by the success of Room for Tomorrow’s socio-political success as well as the soundness of Parker’s straight-up investment proposals. Wind farms, powerline corridors, flood control projects. He is induced to visit the CalStation for the coup-de-gras, a short walk out the back door of CalStation finally convinces him of the reality of a dying planet overcome by human exploitation.
But Odie Peck is still active, determined to make good his promise to ‘eliminate’ the problem. The final confrontation is fatal for some of our actors, but can the limited time-stream capability of the CalStation change the past as well as the Future?