Article: 288620 of talk.bizarre From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Soren Ragsdale) Newsgroups: talk.bizarre Subject: cassandra Date: 1 Dec 1996 20:25:22 GMT Organization: Leprechauns for Zeus Lines: 76 Message-ID: <email@example.com> "Hi, Tom? Sure, yeah, it's me. I've been expecting you. Come sit down." "Y'know, it's refreshing to see that even in this era of 'synergistic reporting', some places still print the good stuff. Thanks for the interview - I was hoping for maybe the Times, but anything helps really." "So I guess I should tell you how this got started, and how I got this way. Wasn't the conspiracy that most other people will say - Ron didn't really have a choice. Nancy was all into them psychics, tryin' to get 'em to channel Bonzo and all, and he probably put the money into the program to get her to shut up about it. Enough grad students were wasting their money on 1-900 numbers that the pickins were good for an interested research team." "I bet you're hungry. I'll order you some pancakes - they're great here. "I guess I should stop and tell you about myself for a second. You ever heard of Cassandra? I guess it was a bad move to name the project after her, but it made sense. Even with the gizmos and the doodads it came down to the same thing that she did - asking the gods for prophecy. And that's just what we did." "Oops. They're dropping your pancakes. It'll probably be a few minutes before they can fix some more." "Anyway, the findings were pretty predictable in hindsight. Psychic energies behave pretty much like gravity and electric potentials. The effect of the future is inversely proportional square of its distance from you, mitigated by some constant. Some people might have big constants, and some might have smaller constants, but it basically comes down to what you've got. Most people can feel faint inklings of what's gonna happen, but the future's gotta be almost on top of 'em before it's close enough for them to see. Some people have higher constants and can spot it from further away, but that's pretty rare." "Charlie took off shortly after his tests were completed. We never heard much from him till we saw his mug on the news. After two weeks of luck on the strip they decided it was time to cut their losses, and being able to predict which lake you're going to get dropped into is precious little consolation for some people. Of course his tests were the best. Sure, seeing a half hour into the future is nice, but apart from gambling and seeing whether Seinfeld's going to be worthwhile to watch, what can you do really? It wasn't going to last. If you can see into the next thirty minutes, by the time the past gets here it's absolutely blinding." "Me? Christ. I'm a nervous wreck. Wish I ended up like most of those other people who found out that they couldn't see poot. To quote Steven Wright, I feel like I'm almost about to fall backwards off my chair all the time. I mean, seeing a few seconds into the future is nice. None of those problems associated with being a *real* psychic and all, and at least I showed up as *something*. Haven't spilled a thing since I left the project, and I never miss a second of a show when I'm channel surfing during a commercial break, but apart from that it's annoying. I know when my programs won't compile, but that doesn't help me fix the damn things. The most frustrating eight seconds in the world are the ones between when you realize that you're going to run out of gas, and when you actually do. Specially around other people it's hard. What can you do? Run up to 'em and warn them that their shoelaces are going to come untied really soon? Mention that a crazy driver is coming and they should wait till the next light to cross? If you're lucky they'll just ignore you. If you're not, you might find yourself with a face full of angry ranting guy saying he doesn't like being told what to do. "Cassandra asked for prophecy, and she got it, so long as no one believed her. Us, we all got a bit of it, but we can't actually _use_ it. Most of the time I just wish I didn't know it every time a car was gonna drive through a puddle and splash me. Life is suspense, and spoiling it is just like your know-it-all friend muttering whodunit in a scary movie, ten seconds before it happens." "Pancakes are up. You're gonna love 'em."