Wednesday, February 13th 2019
“You got one?” Mike asked as the group gathered around his laptop to see Kenny.
“Yeah, bro,” Kenny replied, his camera shaking as he walked through the hotel hall. “When we landed, I saw a sign that said “Welcome to Minneapolis” and it happened. But I’ve never been here before so I’m like, “That don’t make sense.””
Mike rushed over to the whiteboard and started writing.
“That’s interesting,” Jasmine noted, typing on her laptop.
“You wanna know something even more interesting?” Mary asked.
Mike and Jasmine stopped what they were doing and turned to her.
“I had another one.”
“Really?” Mike grinned.
Harry looked like he was about to sigh, but resisted the urge and the result was him looking like he needed to sneeze.
“Yeah,” Mary continued. “I went for a check up at my eye doctor and I told him he was the only eye doctor I know who doesn’t wear glasses. And he told me that his vision is 20/20. And I felt it when he said 20/20.”
Mike nodded enthusiastically as he turned back to the whiteboard. It had been erased since the last time they’d been in the room so he wrote everything they’d found last time along with this new information. On one side he wrote THE LAST OF US PART II then continued in a circle and wrote FEAR OF GETTING DRAFTED, MINNEAPOLIS, and 2020.
“So Minnesotans are gonna have 20/20 vision?” Harry chuckled. “Good for them.”
Mike stepped back and looked at the board. “This is good. This is good.”
“Yeah,” Kenny agreed. “People are blind here. Everybody looks at me like they’ve never seen a black person before.”
“No,” Mike replied without looking at the screen. “I mean we have a date. Whatever’s gonna happen is gonna be in 2020. And it might be in Minneapolis.”
Jasmine leaned back in her chair. “So a national emergency is gonna happen in Minneapolis that will make Congress reinstate the draft and will feel like a zombie apocalypse?”
“Yo!” Kenny cried. “2020’s about to be wild!”
Mary squinted at the whiteboard as she thought. “What kind of national emergency would do all that?”
Harry finally released the aggravated sigh he’d been holding in. “I think we’re missing the obvious explanation.”
Everyone turned to face him.
“And that is…?” Mike waited.
“The Last of Us comes out in 2020,” Harry answered. “You’re all just projecting your subconscious knowledge onto this. Your brains are creating deja vu’s based on what you already know and you’re seeing connections that you want to see. It’s a classic case of confirmation bias.”
The group was silent for a while.
“Ey yo!” Kenny finally spoke up. “Why you always gotta piss on everybody’s parade, bro?”
“I’m sorry that I rely on facts and you let feelings drive you,” Harry replied coolly.
“No,” Mike shook his head. “You’re missing something. Mary’s the one who got the Last of Us deja vu and the 2020 one. But she’s not a gamer so that game wouldn’t even be in her subconsciousness. And last time none of us even mentioned the release date. So there’s no reason that she would have any of that in her mind.”
“Unless she went home and researched the game,” Harry said matter-of-factly.
“Did you?” Mike asked.
Mary scoffed. “I didn’t even remember what it was called.”
Mike turned back to Harry. “Her brain had no reason to connect those two things. There was nothing in her subconsciousness to create a confirmation bias. So by your own logic, even if all we did was predict the release date of a video game, these deja vu’s just predicted the future.”
There was another silence as the group let that sink in. Mike couldn’t help but smile as he watched the wonder slowly creep on their faces. They were onto something. These deja vu’s really were doing something supernatural. They were on the right track. If they kept going, who knew what they’d discover?
“Not gonna lie,” Kenny said. “That’s pretty dope.”
Harry sighed. “It is rather…hard to explain.”
“That sounds like “I’m impressed” to me!” Kenny laughed.
“I wouldn’t go that far.”
“But Mike is right,” Jasmine said. “We’re onto something.”
“So what do we do?” Mary asked, leaning forward in her seat. “What’s next?”
“Lemme do some digging,” Jasmine suggested, typing away. “I’ll look up what’s been going on in Minneapolis recently.”
“Good idea,” Mike nodded. “Mary, you look up anything you can find about zombies in 2020.”
“Really?” Harry scoffed. “Have fun with that one. I’ll look at the top news stories in the U.S. in 2018.”
“That’s actually…a good idea. Good thinking.”
“And I’m gonna take a dump,” Kenny announced.
The group took about 5 minutes to do their research then started sharing what they found.
“Here’s what happened in Minnesota in 2018,” Jasmine started then began reading off headlines. “Historic blizzard…’Minnesota police refuse to investigate case against Keith Wilson'(he was apparently a Congressman who attacked his girlfriend and the police had a conflict of interest so they passed it off to another department)…’Officer Noor gets charged with murder of unarmed Australian woman Justine Damond’…’Police officers force EMS staff to sedate criminals with date rape drug ketamine, stopping some of their hearts from beating’…’Deputies fatally shoot 16-year-old Minnetonka High student after standoff.’”
“Wow,” Kenny breathed. “And I thought New York cops were bad.”
“Did you just go looking for stories on corrupt police officers in Minneapolis?” Harry narrowed his eyes at Jasmine.
“I promise you those were the top 10 stories from 2018,” she said, putting her hands up in surrender. “You can check my screen if you want.”
Mike paced in front of the whiteboard as he thought. So there had been bad weather and police corruption. Was it possible either of those would be what triggered the national emergency in 2020? “Mary, what’d you find?”
“Honestly,” Mary slapped her lap in defeat. “All I got was the Disney movie.”
Harry laughed. “Guess it’s my turn. Ready for this? Here’s what happened around the country in 2018: ‘California wildfires’…’Colorado man kills pregnant wife and two kids…’Parkland shooting in Florida kills 17 people’…’Aretha Franklin dies’…’11 Jewish people killed in Tree of Life synagogue’…and my personal favorite, ‘Restaurants in Maine give lobsters marijuana before cooking them to ease their pain.’”
“Wow,” Mary whispered. “I forgot all that happened.”
“Hold up,” Kenny cut in. “Did you say those lobsters was gettin’ lit?”
The group shared a laugh, but Mike was busy writing notes on the whiteboard.
“Any of that help, Sherlock?” Harry asked him.
Mike kept scribbling then took a step back. Police corruption. Severe weather. Shootings. Was this what was waiting for them in 2020? How bad could it get to become a national emergency? How could it lead to a military draft? And what would make it feel like a zombie apocalypse? They were missing something.
“Earth to Mike,” Harry called.
Mike turned to the group. “Yeah. There’s some common threads, but it’s hard to predict how it’ll explode into something that brings back the draft.”
“I have a theory!” Kenny shouted and everyone turned to the laptop. “There’s gonna be another Civil War between the north and the south and Minnesota’s gonna start it. They’re gonna lead all the other southern states and come up here and attack us.”
Mike palmed his face. “Bro. Minnesota is in the Midwest.”
Harry looked at his phone. “Well, I’d love to stay and chat, but we’ll have to tackle this on Wednesday’s episode. I’m about to be late for my next class.”
“Same,” Mary and Jasmine said at the same time as they got up.
“Got it,” Mike said, absent-mindedly, already turned back to the whiteboard. The rest of the group left and Kenny hung up. But two days later they were back with two more deja vu’s that cast the future in an even darker light.