General Fiction posted February 21, 2024

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time changes everything and...

Everything Changes Time

by jim vecchio

Ever since I first saw the movie, “The Mummy”, I have wanted to be an archaeologist.

That is all I daydreamed throughout my school years. Having been tossed from home to home, I’ve had more than my share of daydreaming time.

Then came my first and only love, Rochelle. My dream now included travelling with her, hand in hand, to exotic locations throughout the world.

We both made it to the same Ivy League School and it looked for all the world that my dreams were about to come to fruition.

But, the world has a way of changing. It did for me that morning, I got a knock on my door. A man in a slightly oversized sweat suit bearing the letter of our college walked in, without invitation.

“Don’t let the clothes fool you!” he said. “They’re just to make me inconspicuous.”

“Are you sure you got the right room?” I asked.

“You this?” he countered.

He handed me a file which contained all my personal information, my elementary and high school classes, teachers, and comments, and my proposed college curriculum.

“Yeah, that’s me.”

He tore up the file. “Not anymore it is!” he said.

I must have looked very befuddled.

“Now follow me,” he said, “And I’ll tell you who you really are!”

I followed him down the hall to a large mural hanging on the wall. He brushed his palm against it, and there was a tiny chime. Then we turned down another hall until we reached a large portrait of a nineteenth century gentleman, someone who supposedly gave a large amount of funding to the school.

He placed his palm upon the gentleman’s breast pocket and a symbol appeared on the painting. It resembled a Masonic symbol, but instead of a “G”, it had a “P”.

A beam of light shot from the painting, pointing down a third hallway.“This is where I say, “Good Night!”, he said, “I am the only one in this school allowed to know the exact location!”

He poured a bit of some kind of oil on a handkerchief and put it to my nose.

When I awoke, I found myself in a small sealed, concrete chamber with ten other classmen.

“Gentlemen,” the man said, “As I have individually forgotten your names, your histories, now you must do the same.  You are all now officially numbers. Numbers in the Plasmatori Del Destino. The Shapers of Destiny. As for myself, you can call me Two. And, don’t ask me who One is. Just that he’s the One with all the power!”

“And now, your first lesson now begins!”, he continued, “As you’ve undoubtedly noticed by your individual files, you have been carefully scrutinized throughout your lives. Some of you have no families, some are estranged, and some are just plain all alone. That’s a Big Plus to our consortium. None of you have any lasting ties. Some of you have begun relationships (he gave me a hard stare!) and some of you just don’t plain care. Now, that’s the attitude we like! Because, should any of you breathe a word of this to anyone close, well…Let’s just say, end any relationship now or we’ll assure you of a no expenses- barred burial!”

I nervously coughed.

“But,”the man said, in a lighter tone, “Let’s keep this on a manageable, friendly basis. All our members have carte blanche in this world! You want a new car? You got it! You need some mad money? Tell us, you’ll get it! We take good care of our people!

Then he gave me another hard look and addressed the assembly.

“This class is being curtailed for the day. You have a homework assignment. Those of you who have any understanding or relationship with females or any distant relatives, must sever them at once. No one is to know of our little group. You do right by us, we’ll do right by you! But, there is no hope for anyone here who talks!”

He thought for a second and said, “And discard any Bibles you may have in your possession!-Now, I’ll lead you out, one by one, the same way you came in, and be awake tomorrow at 7a.m. We’ll have a very important lesson!”

Rochelle had been waiting for me to call. How can I tell the woman I once told would always live in my heart that she must remain separate from that heart?  How far did the Plasmatori’s influence stretch? Could they hear the very words on my phone? If I told her the truth, would they kill her, as well?

Almost hoping she wouldn’t answer, I phoned.

I was torn inside. What could I tell her?

She answered on the second ring.


“Rochelle, it’s me…”

“Great, I’ve got some plans for us! My family…”

“That’s what I’m calling about…”

“Well, when can you make it?”

“Look, Rochelle, something’s come up…”

“Another girl?”

“Nothing like that. Something life changing. That’s all I can say. I’ve been offered something I can’t refuse.”


“So, I can’t see you for a while, Rochelle. When…If…it’s possible, I’ll phone as soon as I can…”

“Don’t bother!”


-Homework assignment completed!

The following day, when we were assembled in that mysterious room, Two began his lecture.

“None of you were chosen purely at random. I thank you all for your excellent completion of your homework assignments!”

He hesitated, then continued, “All of you have enrolled in this prestigious institute seeking a career in archaeology. I have news for you! Forget your anthropology, history, geography! Throw those textbooks away!”

Two handed us each a list of course assignments. They were top-heavy with offerings such as Art History 101, Sculpture, and Implementation and Usage of 3D Duplicating Devices.

“These are your new assignments. Now get down to the Co-Op, and pick up the textbooks. This is just one more strategy of seeing who can keep his mouth shut.”

He smiled. “Before you go, here is an important lesson for you to remember. At present, there are 7600 archaeologists in the world. Your number eleven students. The Plasmatori  is comprised of 300 individuals. There are currently 9 vacancies. You see? We can’t count on all of you to button your lips! Should that happen…We have our ways of Damage Control! Tomorrow, you begin your first official foray into the World of the Plasmatori!”

I was into it so deeply now, all I could do was to surrender to the routine that following day, and wake up in the roomful of the chosen.

Two began his spiel. “I’ll betcha you’re sick already of this greeting and farewell routine. I’ve got news for you! Make it through one year of expected behavior and you will be given the secret of the Plasmatori and be able to come and go as you please! Only those who have proven themselves will be shown the way!"

Two faced us ,broadly smiling.  “All of you-Forget all those silly notions you’ve built up in your heads about archaeology! That stuff’s a lot of hard work! Long days laboring in a hot sun or hostile climate. And many days, nothing is found. That is, nothing, unless we tell them where to look!”

He looked so pleased with himself! “Ah! But a discovery! It can give voice to those ordinary garlic eaters who never would make their names known in any other way! But the real reason for the Plasmatori?-  Interpretations of past materials can often be misused. These can promote specific political or social agendas…to illustrate predetermined narratives. The Plasmatori, knowing this, uses the past archaeological findings to promote the agenda we profess!”

There was a flurry of questions.

“Are you stating that we manipulate the findings of archeologists?”

“I’m saying we manufacture the findings of the archaeologists!”

“What about museums? The Museum of Natural History?

“What about the Egyptian mummies?”

“What about Carbon 14?”

Two replied, “I’ll answer it all, one at a time, gentlemen! First, The Plasmatori has been here for close to 2,000 years. We’ve had a long time to work on these things. Yes, even the mummies. We’ve had some expert workmen in our society! As for Carbon 14, well, that’s a pretty big hunk of bologna we cooked up! We tell the garlic eaters the ratio of carbon 12 is compared to carbon 14 in a sample to that of a living organism to determine age. What malarkey! Yet, the public eats it up!”

One last question:

“Sir, why the edict about no Bibles?”

He looked straight into the student’s eye and said. “That is the subject of tomorrow’s lesson!”

I had a restless night, but was ready for the following day’s lesson. I wanted to know all the secrets of the Plasmatori.The student who had inquired about the Bible was not seen again.

“Gentlemen.” Two began, “Today, I reveal to you the need for our organization. You see, we exist because Jesus Christ is real. We banded together following Christ’s death and resurrection. At first, we promoted His teachings. Then, it became clear to us that, for the sin of killing God, Mankind harbored unbearable guilt. It was too terrific a strain on the Human Race. It became abundantly clear that, rather than magnify the image of a God man killed, we should band together to debunk the image.”

“How do archaeologists fit into this?” one student asked.

Two responded, If we continually plant over this entire earth, in underground chambers, by dry sea beds, on top of mountains, the record of evolution, we instill the idea that man descended from past animal life and the notion of Creationism is stymied. Ergo, God is minimized, and Man lives on as the supreme evolutionary figure!”

“What about the Dead Sea Scrolls?”

“Ah! That was the masterpiece of one of our most talented members!”

After the class had digested those remarks, Two continued, “Now, if you haven’t already, forget
that silly notion of being an archaeologist! From this moment on, you will be considered to be
artchaeologists! Your job will be to create and distribute various constructed fossilizations to every point of the world. Then we will choose when and who will discover them, and therefore perpetuate the notion that God has had no hand in designing the human race. It’s all chance, through evolution! That's our message!

One student asked, “But, what of the fossil records we’ve known for years?”

Two responded, “As I said, we’ve been around since the time of Christ. None of those records were ever authentic. They were all of our making!”

“So, you’re saying there is no true fossil record, anywhere on earth”

“Not unless we put it there! And we can really make it look authentic!”

One student bravely asked, “Don’t you think, in today’s world, men can stand just knowing the truth?

“No, no!” Two replied, “The God-followers have already been persecuted through the ages. When the garlic eaters discover they were right, the weight of guilt would be too much to bear! Can you imagine the impact of a world-wide religious war?!”

And so began my membership in the Plasmatori. Through the years, many fellow members disappeared, their names and memories forever blotted from this world.

I held my peace. I threw out all my writing paper and writing implements from my dorm. I couldn’t resist transcribing my memories of these years. But, there is one place they cannot go. That’s where I still retain my past recollections. They still haven’t found a way to get into my brain. I must forever hold onto the memories, to always remember who I truly am. Was.

In the meantime, I have a bit of fun, creating new discoveries for the so-called professionals to find. I was the brains behind the Spinobrachiosaur. I have seen all the great locales in this world, where I displayed my handiworks. The Plasmatori, I must admit, have been quite good to me. I have risen through the ranks, to Number 30.

I get plenty of money. Other perks to fill up my spare time.

The only thing I don’t have is…funny…I forget her name!

Fantasy Writing Contest contest entry


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