All Tomorrows' Yesterdays
By Stewart Wilson
Five minutes from now, Mathieu Lundquist is going to shoot a man. Ten minutes from now, the gun will be handed off to a patsy. Two days from now, the patsy will be arrested for the murder of a crazed old man in a flat in N'Djamena. Lundquist will never see this happen. He will be half a world away, sipping vodka in Siberia. The man he shot would have died anyway in a month. In that time, he would have spent every waking moment writing, setting out guidelines for a new society, one where avarice and greed are placed second to helping people get along with people, rewarding people that deserve to be rewarded through their own efforts. It would be a brilliant work. Upon his death, it would have been sent to the Times in London, Pravda in Moscow, and the New York Times. Copies would have arrived at universities in Oxford, Yale, Johannesburg, Beijing, and Brasilia. Encoded within the document would have been a particularly virulent meme, causing the ideas on the pages to spread like wildfire throughout the world. Not a religious change, just a sweeping feeling of "We can be better than we are."
Lundquist knows all of what would have happened had he not shot the man. He receives visions of the future, messages that an external agent sends to him. They detail the changes that will happen, and what will cause these changes. The visions do not want these changes. At least, that's what Lundquist believes. Like the people he kills he is a Tomorrowman, a person blessed with a detached retina in his mind's eye. Whilst others of his kind strive to bring about the futures they perceive, he works to stop them. Nobody knows why, least of all his victims. Least of all him.
The world's governments like Mathieu. The British Parliament was the first one to work out what he was doing, the Government Statistical Service working on information received from MI-6 and Interpol. It took them fifteen years, but the projections in their Section 7 finally showed that the probability tree of future developments was shedding branches. The ones collapsing were always extreme possibilities, never small changes. The radical and the unexpected were being deleted, and eventually they realised who was responsible. So, they are sure to deposit a stipend of a few thousand pounds a year into his bank account. Enough to keep him in guns, and not enough that the taxpayer would notice. The Americans were the next ones to find out. Neither Yeltsin nor Putin approved of his actions, and they eventually contributed to the American rise as the solo superpower.
The world is shaped by Tomorrowmen. They are the ones that lead us towards new ways of thinking, helping to make us better than we were. Each is the start of a revolution. Lundquist is the end of all revolutions. He is the world staying as it is, barely changing because that is stable, safe, all we know how to be. He would rather have us remain in the dirt that we know than striving for the stars.
And the world's leaders love him for it.