The Interrogation of Mister Anderson Down

by Eirene Pax

Today we are here to explore the mind of Anderson Down... A man of many talents. This is the interrogation.

A team of men and women bring in a disheveled looking man in shorts and a tee shirt. They sit him down in a chair, then leave. Then out of nowhere, a woman's voice booms....

Woman: Now, Mr. Anderson... you are probably wondering why we brought you here. Are you regretting going down the rabbit hole?

Anderson Down: Ha! a little

Woman: Don't be. We only brought you here for an interrogation, nothing more.

Down: I know nothing, no thing

Woman: First off. You seem to have two personalities. *She turns to the others with her "This guy is a psycho-path!"* One, a simple man who works in communications on the moon Ganymede in Cerebus City. The second, you are a military man screwing up time with your team. Is this correct?

Down: Yes, you have a good picture of me.

Woman: Would you say you feel "content" being a communications officer in Cerebus City?

Down: No, I am content to wander the meat markets on Cerebus City by night, and do my part in the underground. Mainly the meat market though!

Woman: The underground?

Down: Cerebus City resistance to Terran forces that have arrived on the moon, Ganymede- orbiting Jupiter

Woman: Do you know anything of the androids?

Down: I know two names. Does that help?

Woman: Yes.

Down: Have you given me drugs to get the truth?

Woman: What do you think?

Down: Were they good?

Woman: What do you think?

Down: No drugs and only a little truth.

Woman: Then apparently we did not give you any because if we had, you would have said, yes we had.

Down: Anon and Eirene Pax.

*A man whispers to the woman, "he has found you out!"*

Woman: How did you receive this information?

Down: I was doing my regular job at C4 (Cerebus City Communications Cartel) and accidentally stumbled on to a name- Alias.

Woman: Alias, that is not a name. It must be an- alias.

Down: Yes, must be, but that is the name that signs my messages to me. I inappropriately used my position as a utility worker for the express purpose of spying on people.

Woman: Ha! So you admit you are a criminal! Have you met this Alias?

Down: Who are you?

Woman: Never mind that. So you have met this Alias?

Down: Yes, I have. He is a fine man. A real patriot.

Woman: Does he have any "friends"?

Down: Not that I know of, unless you count his live in lover, Sonje. Does she count?

Woman: Yes. We have been reading what you write. In one post you admired Sonje's butt. What did you think of it?

Down: Well, That was a VERY short time. We were in the dark, then when it got light, I had just a blurry glimpse and then I practically fell through the door she opened and there was Alias and another BIG guy. So I didn't look all that much. If you know what I mean. Know what I mean?

Woman: Okay! Let's move on... If you had a time machine as you have in 'About Time' what would you change in your story at 'Cerebus City'?

Down: I would make it very plain, VERY CLEAR, that Cerebus City is on a MOON, and not as planet as some people insist on calling it. (They know who they are.)

Woman: We will put that down on the record. What is 'About Time'? Where did the idea come from?

Down: That's my baby. I have been thinking about this novel for about 2 years. I have made many pages of notes, and even talked to about 30 people before I ever came to Pan, just so that my research would get done. But as you know, I have a difficult time with my memory and I decided that it would take me years. So when I found PanHistoria, I wasn't sure I would like it, because for a person with a poor memory, remembering a persons name is hard enough. Imagine how hard it is when they have 30.

Woman: So, why did you decide on 1300 Native America to visit?

Down: Really? OR as a plot idea?

Woman: Whatever, Mr. Anderson. You decide.

Down: Ok, I am familiar with the area, southwest, and felt like knowing the plants and animals as well as the weather patterns would make an addition to the story that would add more dimension. Plus the fact that I personally feel that the Native Americans got the short end of the stick, then got beat with the other end. I wanted a novel where I could change some of that.

Woman: Why do you feel you need to mess with time?

Down: Not actually need, more like want. I want to mess with it so that I can at least pretend that I did something to make this place better.

Woman: What if it ends up you didn't make it better?

Down: We are about 830 years or so in the past. I only expect to live another 30 or so. I won't know, and therefore it wont concern me. I just want to give the people that follow, a chance.

Woman: Doesn't the past determine the future? What would happen if you had no future to return to?

Down: Well... You would think that the past determines the future. But you must think about it some more. If you go back-

Woman: What if you had never been born!! Well, wait. I guess you must have since I am sitting here talking to you in the present.

Down: -then just the fact that you go back changes something. Because when you do, the future you know is no longer possible. Although the people in the future do not know this, there is actually no way for a "paradox" to happen. It cannot, because it did not. Think of an intersection where one road has two ways to go. This is a simple explanation, but in reality, this road would have an infinite number of possible directions. Ok, here you go to the intersection. As you make the choice to turn, you go in another direction. So after a while there you are, on down the road. (Time is similar to that road.) But you cannot just turn around, you have to jump back. By passing everything between the point and the place you land. Whatever you do than you get there changes everything! So for you, the road does not continue along the path that you thought was the road to the future. It is a road to another possible future. That's it.

Woman: *She turns to the others* Is he still making sense, or should we continue with the next question?

Down: I'm sure the readers don't want to hear more.

Woman: Let him decide.

Down: Next question. But I could go on and on and on and on...

Woman: In a post at "About Time" you call a person 'skinny-butt' repeatedly. Would you say you bring up the rear in your novels?

Down: You know, I never actually thought about that being in my 2 stories. Ha! Makes me wonder. I guess you could say that butts are one of the things in my bag.

Woman: If you could give the world something (advice, money, whatever), what would you give?

Down: I don't know... I think I would like to figure out some way so that instead of housing prisoners, we could invest some of the money to educate and prevent, and make decent jobs for everyone.

Woman: Well, that was my last question. Would you like to say anything else?

Down: Yes, I would like to thank al the little people who made this award for me possible. Thanks, you know who you are.

Woman: Award? Whatever, Mr. Anderson.

Down hears lots of noise like chairs scrapping and mumbled voices.

Down: Hey! You aren't going to just leave me are you? Hello? Hello? Some body?


Pan Historia