The Rainbow Sphere, Parts I, II & III, may or may not be published at this site. Until that decision is made, please enjoy Part 2 of 3 of a very different Booker T. style series created by one Beauregard T. Stubblefield.
The SynchBoard

 TOM
 Sunday, 20-Jun-1999

      216.88.24.134 writes:

      Walt SIDney, S.M.S. Project Director, TWO TO KNOW

      Dear Sir:

Per your instructions, here is the information re alternate reality author Thomas Eckerd and [The Illinois Book] in  connection with Phase III of S.M.S. Project TWO TO KNOW.

American fantasy author Thomas Eckerd was born in 1839 near Lynchburg, Virginia. He died in Washington D.C. at the age of 71. Eckerd published five acclaimed fantasy books during his career, all centered around the same fictional place of [Mythos -1]. These books were published from 1884 through 1910, and included [omit title] of 1896, one of the best known American fantasies of its day.

 Eckerd completed one known additional novel, written just before the [omit name] series. This was [The Illinois Book], mentioned frequently in the author's notebooks and correspondence as a structurally flawed but nevertheless profound work where 1st was unveiled his true writing self.  However, it was never accepted for publication, partially because of what was considered its over-fantastic nature, along with some overt sex and drug references. Before Eckerd's death, he was attempting to revise the novel. Unfortunately around 1921 the only known manuscript was destroyed in a house fire in Staunton, Virginia.

My research team has pieced together a partial summary of the 1st part of the manuscript as follows:

At the Cairo Arsenal in Illinois in September 1861, Civil War Union general John Pope learns he is to be replaced by future president and then brigadier general Ulysses S. Grant, who has seemingly emerged from nowhere to assume the position. Prompted by subconscious impulses emitting from [insert: extraterrestrial beanstalk], eventually in the form of an A.I. voice, the bitter Pope (a jasper user?) is revealed a specific magical method wherein he can alter history and prevent Grant from taking his position. This could be accomplished by the detachment, in Jasper (time/space), of  Cairo from the southern tip of Illinois, making it a movable island. With this in mind, Pope commissions a canal to be dug at the narrow neck between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers just north of Cairo. This canal is completed just after Grant enters the city, and with this Cairo becomes an island; is separated from Newton time/space and enters Jasper. The A.I. voice tells Pope that, while in Jasper, he can mentally propel the island to St. Louis and deprogram Grant of his need for military fame and glory. At St. Louis, the brainwashed Grant would be conveniently deposited back on his beloved farm Hardscrabble  (where, after all, his heart's desire was all along), and his upshot military career permanently derailed. According to the A.I. voice, Pope would thus retain his Cairo position, and replace Grant as the major catalyst for  Northern victory in the Civil War...and ultimately replace him as influential post-war U.S. president. Cairo city itself would be reattached in the return trip, with no resulting time-loss to its inhabitants in the conversion back from Jasper to Newton.

However, unknown to Pope, the [extraterrestrial beanstalk] has other plans for the Cairo island. At the same time the detached city begins to drift upstream, about 100 miles north at Hannibal, Missouri a similar (smaller) island also detaches from its rooted position in the same Mississippi River and begins heading *downstream.* This is Jackson Island of Mark Twain's TOM SAWYER, which exists concurrently in Jasper. The current occupants of the island, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (Injun Joe?), are amazed to find vegetation and topsoil being removed by the island's increasing speed and resulting wind and waves, revealing what turns out to be its actual nature: an immense submarine piloted by none other than Jules Verne's notorious Captain Nemo.

When reaching St. Louis, this submarine, with all topsiders now safely tucked inside and best of friends with its captain, collides full speed with the anchored Cairo Island. All its seamen are propelled into the receptive mechanical interior of the larger island through a triggered escape hatch. Tragically, Huck Finn dies, but Tom Sawyer miraculously survives with no bodily injuries. Pope, who had just returned from depositing Grant at Hardscrabble, is taken aback  by the hard jolt to the island and the subsequent appearance of Nemo via a secret elevator connecting island interior and surface. Nemo, who is actually the physical manifestation of the [extraterrestrial beanstalk], then reveals, in the A.I. voice Pope is already familiar with, its real mission: the Union would now lose the Civil War because Grant was actually a unique warrior--no one else could really take his place (including Pope). In connection with this, Cairo I. would not be returned to its original position in southern Illinois because it had been fundamentally changed through its collision with Jackson I. Instead its destiny was to float to Chicago up the Illinois River, growing and specializing along the way, to emerge into Lake Michigan as an entirely new type of entity called TOM.

A more detailed attachment will be provided later as research continues to develop. We next plan to focus on the interface of TOM/[The Illinois Book] and the 2049 Indiana Dunes Contact Site, specifically the animation holofilm presented jointly by the International Wizard of Oz Club and Walt Disney Studio Productions at same.

Regards,

[signature]

Beauregard T. Stubblefield, Phase III Project Coordinator, TWO TO KNOW
 

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