|lol:> Upholding good through the ages|
Though it may take time, good always prevails, but the triumph of the people of the world has not come without assistance. They have been aided throughout the centuries by an unlikely group of time travelers who always manage to show up at the right place and at the right time to thwart nefarious forces. Transported by Herbert G. Wells and his Time Machine, this gaggle of inventors, scientists, and notable personalities from across time battle malevolence for the good of humankind.
This particular day finds the time-traveling team waiting for their overheated Time Machine to cool off in the parking lot of a coffee cafe. As large clouds of steam billow and belch outside and gawkers and law enforcement look on, we find this band of heroes sitting inside with chairs drawn around, reminiscing about their past exploits.
Among others, these noted personalities include Benjamin Franklin, inventor extraordinaire; Galileo Galilei, the eminent astronomer; and the Earl of Sandwich, an eccentric inventor of the culinary arts.
"It started when I observed puffs of smoke from the red planet," Galileo said.
"Did you have the lens cap on again?" asked Thomas Edison, dipping a chocolate-covered biscotti into his latte.
"I tell you, I did not." Galileo replied, although the audience murmured with doubt. "I knew this phenomenon was unnatural and could only signify one thing -- invasion. I roused Herb and alerted him of our impending doom."
"With such a menace hurtling towards earth, I knew that I had to call upon the best and brightest mind to assist us." Wells said. "Unfortunately, he was not available, so I had to make a stop in Colonial America and get Ben."
Nikola Tesla laughed and snorted from the audience.
"Always the comedian," Franklin said. "At least I remember to wear my pants."
A shocked Tesla shrieked and quickly excused himself.
"What happened?" Guglielmo Marconi asked. "How did you repel the invaders?"
Franklin set his Cafe Mocha down, wiped his mouth on a napkin made of recycled paper, and stood up to address the team.
"Until they arrived, we could only speculate what their presence would bring." Franklin said. "Did they come in peace? Was the Earth just a quick pit stop for snacks before their hyperjump to another galaxy? Or was there a more sinister motive to their visit? Would they bring new technologies to amaze and delight us, or would they instead bring doom and the stink of garlic?"
"They arrived with much fanfare and banners," Franklin continued, "And they brought baubles, all right. Pens, t-shirts, yo-yos that glow in the dark, calculators -- though they used Reverse Polish Notation -- and more. They brought technology too that they said would change our lives. They called it the .mars initiative, and we were fascinated and amazed."
"Oh, they lured all of us with their slick interfaces, easy upgrades, and promise of interconnectivity -- but once I created a prototype, I could easily see that it was all homogeneous. You could only use Martian apps, standards, and class interfaces."
"Insidious," Marconi said.
"Take off your sunglasses!" Edison yelled from the audience.
Franklin ignored him and continued. "If we had embraced their technology, we would have been locked into a closed standard. When the Jovians visited Earth in the 21st century, we would have been unable to engage in trade with them. We would have been reduced to using puppets to converse with them. I ask you: How much business can you conduct with a sock over your hand?"
"They were persistent." Franklin said. "They would not take no for an answer. They were bent on dominating our computing infrastructure and locking us out of the open standards that would keep our solar system free and prosperous."
"How did you defeat them?" Marconi asked.
"I sneezed on them, and they began to drop like flies." Franklin replied. "The rest of them high-tailed it back to Mars to hide in their caves, brood about their lost opportunities, and waste hours trying to assemble the 3D puzzles we sent them home with. Of course ... it would have been easier if we had given them all the pieces."
"You da man," Thomas Edison applauded and was joined by the rest of the group.
"It's true," Franklin said sitting down. "It's what I do."
Suddenly, the Earl of Sandwich stood on his chair.
"Today, we will have spicy sausage on freshly baked brioche topped with thinly-sliced marinated cucumbers," he proclaimed. "And the mustard ... will be honey Dijon!"
There was a long, uncomfortable silence before Franklin leaned over to Wells.
"Who invited him to the party?" Franklin whispered.
"A man's gotta eat," Wells replied.