Material Gains For an Alternate Earth
I met with Mr. X under the awning of a street cafe. He arrived 30 minutes late, dressed in a suit jacket and carrying a large attachÈ case. He dropped into the chair and ordered a double latte. By his nervous manner it looked like he was on a serious caffeine jag.
"Sorry I couldn't talk to you before but I think they are on to me. Know it for a fact." He said as he gulped down the coffee and ordered another.
This man believes he has uncovered a conspiracy
"They" is the company known as Global Resources Inc. Headquartered in Atlanta, this Fortune 500 company is known for it's success in the acquisition of rare minerals and fossil fuels. From mining operations in Africa to oil rigs in the North Sea, Global Resources has been very successful in a business that can mean overnight failure if you don't come up with the product. Their chairman, Augustus Greene, has driven the company to new heights in the few years he has been in charge.
"I first figured out something was going on when I was working at a store near Greene's house." Mr. X explained. (He refused to give me his real name.) "He came in one day, right after he had gotten the company, and stood there looking at the soft drinks. Finally he came over and asked me if we had any Coldsum Cola. I told him I had never heard of it and why not just have a Coke. He gave me a funny look but finally got a bottle. When he got outside I saw him take a sip and then look at the bottle like he had never had it before. That's what got me started. I mean who hasn't had a Coke before? Atlanta is the home of Coca Cola. The next time he came into the store I followed him to work and found out who he was."
At this point Mr. X pulled out some xeroxed papers and shoved them toward me.
"Take a look. There was a Coldsum Cola back in the 1900's but they closed down. It wasn't made after 1907. Now why would he have asked for a drink that hasn't been made in 92 years?"
Is this corporate chairman from another world?
Mr. X grabbed the papers back and got different ones out of the attachÈ case. "There's more to it though. Greene was unheard of until 1997. No mention anywhere in any of the big business journals of the time but, boom, on March 15th 1997 the then current chairman of Global has a car accident. Kills him, his whole family. Two days later Mr. Greene comes on the scene and spends millions of dollars in a hostile takeover attempt. No one has ever heard about this guy and all of a sudden he spends more money than you or I would see in a lifetime to take over this failing company."
Mr. X was correct on that point. At that time the company was called Global Oil but it should have been named Global Disaster. It was way into the red by 97. Oil rigs were pumping nothing but air and stock was falling faster than water down the drain.
"But everything started coming up roses as soon as Augustus got on the scene." X said between sips of his fresh coffee. "He redirected the rig 1 mile to the east and had it tap down. Bingo, a huge lake of crude was hit in a week. He used the new profits to branch out and diversify into the diamond mining business. Changed the name of the company to Global Resources and had a mine started in a location that had been tried before with no success. Another bingo, it starts finding diamonds at a higher rate than ever before.
"Now how did Augustus know where to redirect his energies?" Mr. X leaned over the table and spoke in a voice barely above whisper. "It's simple if you can connect it with his love of a cola that never made it past World War One. The man is not from this earth. He's from another one, an exact duplicate and he's in charge of draining off our resources for his world as fast as he can before we suspect anything is up. Now the thing I can't figure out is how he gets all the stuff to his world. Maybe he doesn't take it all. Maybe he just redirects every other barrel of crude to his world so no one gets suspicious. Well too late Mr. High and Mighty Augustus Green. I found out and now you know. I've tried telling other people, newspaper and magazines but they just laugh it off. Hell I think some of them must be in league with him. There's probably alternate earth agents watching us right now."
At this pronouncement Mr. X drained his cup and got up saying that it was time to see the scene of the crime. We used his car, a neatly kept 4 door sedan, to drive the short distance to the offices of Global. Mr. X pointed and repeated some of his earlier comments. I asked if he had pictures of Augustus.
"Yea sure," Mr. X said as he reached into his case and handed me some candid photos and some of the paperwork. "Here, keep some of this stuff and look into it."
"You'll see." And with that he snapped the case closed and left.
So what are the facts? I spent some time double-checking what Mr. X told me and they come back correct.
Augustus Greene: Little is known about Greene until his arrival on the scene in 97. He's 56, single with no relatives that I could find. Lives alone in an affluent suburb of Atlanta. Net worth 340 million according to 98's Fortune 500 list. Greene is now almost the sole shareholder and has never sold any of the stock he first acquired in 97. It was at then when chairman Herbert Smith was killed by a hit and run driver. No suspects have ever been apprehended in the crime.
Coldsum Cola: First marketed in 1904 it was a quick entry into the cola wars of the 1900's. By 1907 the company had gone under and the soda was never sold again. I could find no cola by the name of Coldsum being sold anywhere currently.
Global Resources: Global currently has 4 pumping rigs in the North Atlantic and plans to add a 5th by early 2000. Most oil companies either sell their product outright or handle it all the way until it reaches the consumers gas tank. Global is unique in that it has one plant in New Jersey that handles the product the tankers bring them, refines it and then sells it to gas companies. This means they spend most of their profit in the refining process and lose the benefit of selling it directly to the consumer. Mr. X's notes suggest it is here that most of the crude is siphoned off to the alternate world. Global uses many different gasoline companies as buyers, thus making the ratio of crude to gasoline hard to decipher. How profitable their diamond mine is also hard to fathom since they keep the records of who they sell to undisclosed.
-"Corporate Chairman Killed in Hit and Run" Atlanta Business Journal, March 16th, 1997
-"How the Cola Wars Were Won" Ron Sertham and Tom Hale, Bardow Press, 1998
-1998 Global Resources Corporate Report; Wall Street Investment Reporter; April 3rd, 1999
photo of Mr. X. by Derek Barnes
photo of Augustus Greene by Mr. X.