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Philadelphia, United States of America
December 13th, 1776

 

Thomas Jefferson was hardly a drinker, but after hearing about the future from General Kim the day before, he badly needed a few drinks.

As he sat in a private room in a local house he was renting for his stay during Philadelphia, he took a few sips of scotch from his glass and looked out the window with a troubled expression on his face. In his mind, his thoughts were racing all over the place and caused him to sigh deeply. After all, knowing the future of humanity was both a privilege... and a great burden.

"Six million," Jefferson said softly as he looked at the glass in his hand, "Two World Wars, and an America that was racist and discriminatory for God knows how long."

At first, he didn't want to believe what he was hearing from General Kim. While he knew that the "other" America was a far more different place than the America of now, it was hard to imagine all the blunders he would have made without the Asian man's intervention. Because he didn't do anything about slavery in the other history, America would attempt to rip itself apart and even afterward, would remain a place exclusive to a select few for over a hundred years. He finally understood why General Kim pushed hard for equality and expansion of liberties. In General Kim's world, the lack of equality would cause the United States to fracture and never become the nation he had hoped it to be.

But the more shocking parts were America's general attitude and the two World Wars. Because of his nonaction, America would remain discriminatory and block refugees from arriving on the shores of America. Those refugees would be sent back to this vile "Nazi Germany" nation and be murdered in great numbers. And worst of all, there were Nazis within America at the time and some ideas the Nazis had about racial superiority came directly from the United States. He felt like the blood of those that died in the other world was on his hands. He knew that notion was foolish, as he had died hundreds of years before the rise of the "Nazis," but he allowed the problems of racism and slavery to grow even while he was alive.

Despite all his successes so far, he felt like a failure, a fraud. If General Kim never arrived, he would have made the same mistakes and caused the same amount of distress and death as he did in the other world.

He insisted on reading more books on history from General Kim and the man relented, loaning him several books in regards to American history and the history of the entire world from the 18th century onwards. Needless to say, he stayed up all night reading those books, and what he learned distressed him further.

Humanity was still violent and fractured, even after these "World Wars." America would not become the "land of the free, home of the brave" for the longest time. And America would become a blessing and a curse upon this world.

As he paced in his room nervously, he started to doubt the idea of the American Republic but shook those negative thoughts out of his head just as quickly. Despite the flaws of the Republic in the other world, the United States had proved to do plenty of good as well: the Marshall Plan, Land-Lease during the Second World War, rebuilding entire nations, and turning them into democracies, and so on. Besides, he and his colleagues made plenty of changes to the Constitution, which would hopefully allow America to allow "liberty and justice, for all." And while he was alive, he would do everything he could to help America reach its true potential from the beginning: a land that was accepting and providing for all those that sought life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

While he pondered silently, someone knocked on the front door and Jefferson walked over to let his visitor in. The visitor was a sole Asian man who looked just as distressed as Jefferson, "May I come in, Mr. Jefferson?"

"Please."

General Kim stepped in and looked around the house. His eyes fell on the violin that was resting in Jefferson's living room and he picked it up gently, "May I?"

Jefferson looked surprised, "You play the violin?"

"I dabble," General Kim answered as he played a violin piece that Jefferson had never heard of.

The music was beautiful, yet a bit tragic. Hearing the man play the violin was soothing for his soul and helped Jefferson forget about the horrors of the future, even if it was just for a moment. After ten minutes, the lieutenant general placed down the bow and stopped playing, which earned a round of applause from Jefferson, "May I ask what song that was?"

"Sonata 9 "Kreutzer," written by Beethoven. The author of this piece is currently six at this time."

"Truly?" Jefferson chuckled, "It would be interesting to see him come over to the United States. I believe Napoleon's father had already accepted our offer of paying off his debt in exchange for moving here..."

"Some people are born to achieve greatness regardless of their place of birth, but I do not believe that would be the case for Beethoven. He needs the right influence and training in his life to succeed. However, unlike Beethoven, I believe you are able to achieve great things even though history has changed greatly."

The Virginian looked determined as he stared out the window and looked at the cloudy sky, "I have already decided, General Kim. I will not fail America, not again."

"You didn't fail the United States the first time, Mr. Jefferson."

"Perhaps, but I could've done things so much differently and limited the flaws of our nation the first time around."

General Kim remained silent as Jefferson continued speaking, "I understand the reason for your strong push to change history so much, general. And frankly, I don't blame you. You saw the horrors of the past in your future and decided to change things for the better. Now that I am also aware of what the future has in store for our nation, I will redouble my efforts to improve America and ensure to change the fate of not only this nation but other nations as well. That does mean I may contend against you during the first presidential elections."

"I have no plans of running."

Jefferson smiled, "You say that now, but I believe it is inevitable that you will take the highest office of this land. "Duty calls," does it not?"

General Kim sank into a nearby chair and groaned, "Not you too, Mr. Jefferson."

"Please, call me Thomas," Jefferson finished the rest of the scotch in his cup and sighed, "The First President will either be you, or Washington."

"He does not want to be president either."

"Excellent, the two men we could rely on to be a unifying force for our nation suddenly does not want to become president. Perhaps Franklin will be up for the job after he is finished with "diplomacy" in France," The "future" president dryly stated.

"You will make an excellent president, Mr... Thomas. I have no doubts about it."

The delegate poured himself another glass of scotch, "Let us hope you are right. While you are still here, let us discuss my wife's health for a few moments..."

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About the author

okmangeez

  • United States

Bio: 22-year-old Korean-American (got my American citizenship in 2019!) studying law and history at a UC.

Hobbies are studying politics (Asian and American politics are a specialty of mine), reading about WW2 and ancient Asian history, gaming, surfing the web, sleeping, eating, watching/playing sports, and getting into political arguments.

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