The CinCPac War

Background

To understand the nature of the CinCPac War, one must first understand the nature of the spirit world's military forces. First discard all notions of golden streets and angels strumming harps. The Vikings were closer than they realized with their idea of Valhalla. For those whose life was the military, the afterworld is a continuation of their military activites in life.

The spirit world is divided into two sets of armed forces, the White and the Black. In each there are three branches, Army, Navy and Air Force. Each of these is headed a famous leader.

Under each leader are various forces, led by other top commanders of history. Most of these leaders bear titles that they became famous under in life.

However trouble comes in when two or more officers regard themselves as having equally good claims to a given title. Generally the branch commander adjudicates disputes to make sure that all capable commanding officers have commands suitable to their abilities.

The Disputed Command

In the case of the title of CinCPac (Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet), things didn't work out so well. In 1966 Chester Nimitz died and raised his flag on the Eternal Waters under that title. Two years later, Husband Kimmel also arrived. With some help from Isaac Kidd of Battleship Division One, he ousted Richmond Kelly Turner from U.S.S. Pennsylvania and raised his own flag using the same title, on the grounds that he had been treated unjustly in WWII and deserved to hold the title in the afterlife as compensation. Nimitz responded quickly and decisively, but found that his rival was prepared for it. A fierce battle quickly broke out, leading a number of American admirals and subordinate officers to pick sides. The conflict was soon called the CinCPac War, over the title in dispute.

Eventually the Commander of the White Fleet stepped in and demanded an accounting of the situation. Admiral Lord Nelson, deeply moved by Kimmel's presentation of evidence regarding malfeasance on the part of the Roosevelt Administration, decided not to order the Kentuckian to haul down his flag and relinquish U.S.S. Pennsylvania , from which he had displaced the rotten-tempered Admiral "Terrible" Turner. However he could not justify stripping Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz of the title of CinCPac, much as Admiral Kimmel had an equal right to bear it. So he decided to allow both men to bear the title.

Thus it appeared the CinCPac War was settled. In fact, it proved to be only the first round. Displeased at what he regarded as an usurpation of authority on the part of Nelson, President Roosevelt decided to step in and demand that Nimitz be given the title entirely. When ComWhiteFleet refused to reverse his judgement to please a dead president, Roosevelt ordered Nimitz to oust HEK and make himself the sole CinCPac. This led to a renewing of open hostilities until Nelson once again put a stop to it.

The peace only lasted as long as Roosevelt left Nimitz alone, however. This pattern prevailed for some years of hostilities being started, then suppressed, then restarted, until someone began talking about the "on-again, off-again CinCPac War."

The Dirty Tricks

Recently that pattern changed, as Roosevelt recognized the futility of simply ordering Nimitz to flout the standing orders of ComWhiteFleet. He decided that a more subtle approach was called for. Taking a page from "Tricky Dick" Nixon, he decided on an "end run" around the prohibition against open conflict. This involved a nested set of schemes to distract a number of the principals while his people would attempt to force changes in the structure of the White Fleet.

One of these dirty tricks involved an attempt to distract HEK so that he would not notice that his own interests were under siege until it was too late. Since HEK had become my spirit guide and was helping me through wone of the most difficult parts of my life, they decided that this relationship would be a perfect target.

At that time I was involved in a particularly difficult and frustrating struggle to get into an anthology that I desperately wanted to be in. This was part of an even more large-scale struggle to prove that my writing was really work and not just a little hobby for my spare time. I had sent several stories to the editor of this anthology. Each time he turned them down, although with encouraging comments. He claimed that he really wanted to buy one of my stories, yet he kept finding things to dislike about everything I sent him. Finally he expressed interest in one story, after so many disappointments. However he wanted some relatively minor changes in it.

Here was where Roosevelt's people struck. At the time none of us suspected just what they were doing, and only later would it be unravelled by one of HEK's aides. In effect they imposed a false time track over the true one, a false reality in which I would be denied the fruits of my labor and cruelly shut out of the anthology I'd worked so hard to get in, while several of my closest friends would get in and I would have to watch them enjoy what had been torn from my grasp.

In the true reality I got the provisional acceptance, immediately set about getting the necessary revisions done and sent in, received my final acceptance and had my story printed in that anthology. I have been able to see visions of a copy open to the first page of my story, with the beautiful ink-wash illustration of the central characters' faces arranged around the opening text.

The false reality which they imposed involved the provisional acceptance becoming lost through the chaos surrounding the failure of my old computer and the difficulties of my move to Illinois State University. At the same time the editor's records of the provisional acceptance became lost so that he did not attempt to follow up when he didn't hear from me.

It almost worked. Roosevelt's people did their dirty deeds well enough that it appeared that this was the result of carelessness on my part -- that I had lost the provision acceptance and failed to take the initiative at the proper time, so the opportunity slipped away from me and was rightly given to another. That was what Roosevelt wanted everyone, mortal and spirit alike, to regard as the true and proper reality. At first Lord Nelson even called HEK to task for his work on my behalf, believing that HEK was using his influence improperly to extricate me from a situation I deserved to be in. When HEK tried to defend his actions, ComWhiteFleet responded, "That's just war."

Luckily for my cause, Roosevelt's cronies didn't cover their tracks perfectly. Their tamperings left marks which could be followed by those who knew how to look. Edwin Layton, HEK's intelligence officer, investigated some of the anomalies where remnants of the true time track remained after the imposition of the false one. In time he uncovered the extent of the scheming and made it plain just what all was going on. Following this trail, he was able to reconstruct Roosevelt's entire scheme and lay the evidence before Nelson, who finally relented and recognized that all of us had indeed been done a serious wrong.

However by that time so much damage had already been done that putting things to rights would be far more difficult. It would also have to involve co-operation from the mortal realm. This meant that I would have to present my case as best I could to those who had the power to restore what had been taken from me -- to get my story back into the anthology as it was supposed to have been, and as I have seen it in visions.

Unfortunately several of the mortals involved apparently felt threatened by the suggestion that things were not as they believed, and found it more convenient to accuse me of being a liar. Most importantly, the editor involved found it intolerable to believe that malicious spirits could tamper with his very memories, and concluded that the false reality was the true one and the true one was nothing more than a fabrication. Since he was in a position of power and had the ability to make things really rough for me, I was pretty much forced to retire from the field of battle, although I did not resign my claim to the rightness of my cause. Because of the sensitive political nature of this matter, I cannot name the names of any of the mortals involved in the matter.

As a small consolation, Lord Nelson was able to authorize a corrected version of the anthology, containing my story with the illustrations just as they should have been and I've seen in my visions, to be printed in the spirit world. However I am not able to list this in my "official" professional credits, although his Lordship arranged so that the corrected version would be henceforth the real version and the mortal, incorrect, version would be rendered unreal. Thus I cannot reap any benefits of it so long as I remain in the mortal realm and the false reality continues to cover the true one.

The Ongoing Stuggle

Since then I have continued to search for some other way to vindicate myself and restore the true time line. The most frustrating thing has been that as long as the false reality continues to be imposed upon the true one, things continue to race down the wrong time track, and that track is diverging more and more from the right one that is created by the true reality.

People have the attitude that one single story is no great loss, and that I should just accept the reality that Roosevelt's cronies created as the right and proper reality and go on with my life. What they fail to understand is that Roosevelt's manipulations didn't just rob me of one particular sale, but of all the sales that grew out of that one.

In the true reality, where my story appeared as it was supposed to, it opened the door to many others, both from that editor and from others. That anthology qualified as a professional sale for SFWA membership criteria, and having that credit to my name caused other editors to consider my work more seriously, and thus purchase it instead of giving it little more than a glance before rejecting it. Those sales then led to other sales, with a snowballing effect as my reputation built.

So Roosevelt's tampering did not just rob me of one sale, of the appearance of one story in one anthology. Instead it robbed me of precious years of career development. I have had to struggle in obscurity and poverty when I was supposed to be reaping my first real successes. And thus with every passing month, each day even, the problem of putting things to rights becomes that much more difficult. No longer is it a matter of just one opportunity lost, but many that must be restored if the true reality is ever to be returned to its rightful position.

Worse yet, the danger is still not over. I consider it a safe bet to anticipate that the CinCPac War will continue in new forms in the future, and that therefore it is in my best interests to remain wary of future attacks. Lord Nelson has made it quite plain that he regards me as being a combatant in this conflict, and that he will not come to my aid again if I find myself under attack.

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