Warren Murphy: Lost Yesterday

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Warren Murphy Lost Yesterday
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    Lost Yesterday
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POWERESSENCE--the answer to all of humanity's questions. POWERESSENCE--the cult that was sweeping the nation under the direction of the filty rich, ex-science-fiction writer Rubin Dolomo and his sex-tiger wife. POWERESSENCE-which now had put the ultimate brainwashing weapon into the hands of its army of followers and sent them forth to win the hearts and destroy the minds of the people. Could Remo and Chiun stop this menace before it turned the President into a gibbering idiot and took over the world? How could they...when it had already turned Remo into a zonked-out zombie lost in his own vanished past...and lured Chiun to shift his allegiance from the forces of good to the poweressence of evil...?

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Lost Yesterday

The Destroyer #65

By Warren Murphy


Richard Sapir


Lost Yesterday, The Destroyer #65

Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir

Copyright © 1986 by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy

Published by Destroyer Books.

All rights reserved.

The Destroyer Series is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. Don't flatter yourself.

For the Wonderful Webbs

of Marlborough Street,

Justin, Brandon, Whitney,

Nancy and Jack

Chapter 1

Mankind had lost its power because it allowed itself to reciprocate negative energy. The only reason anyone had a headache or couldn't lose weight was negative energy. If you knew you wanted to lose weight and knew how to lose weight, then why didn't you lose weight? If you didn't want a headache and you got a headache, then why did you get it? It was your head to control, right?

Wilbur Smot asked these questions earnestly and was earnestly ignored.

“I'm not joining Poweressence, Wilbur,” said the secretary to the chief chemist of Brisbane Pharmaceuticals of Toledo, Ohio. To any unenlightened man, the secretary seemed attractive, but Dr. Wilbur Smot had learned that true attractiveness was harmony with the forces of the universe. Those who resisted could only exude a spiritual homeliness. That was why a Poweressence soul could only be happy with another Poweressence soul.

The secretary's perfect breasts and cupid mouth were only empty temptations unless she had Poweressence. Her sparkling eyes and dimples were really snares. He was attracted to all the wrong things, he had been taught. That was the reason so many marriages failed. People went for the deceptions, not the truths.

The truth was that once Wilbur attained spiritual oneness, he would be able to commune perfectly with another person fortunate enough to be freed from self-destruction by Poweressence. That would be paradise.

Unfortunately, breasts, dimples, and smiles still held their allure for the young chemist. He didn't care that his boss's secretary was still hopelessly caught in the big “No” of the pitiful little planet Earth.

“Wilbur, you'd better stop talking that nirvana stuff. Brisbane Pharmaceuticals is a scientific institution,” she said.

“Scientific as nail polish and headache formulas,” said Wilbur. He was twenty-three years old, presentable in a thin sort of way, almost, but not quite, athletic. Almost, but not quite, dark and handsome. Almost, but not quite, one of the better chemists.

The best thing about being a chemist for Brisbane was that one did not have to be as well-dressed as the salesmen or look as solidly prosperous as the executives. Barring obscene dress, the chemists could wear just about anything that fell out of the closet. Even the lowliest secretary could tell the chemists at a glance. They were the ones who looked comfortable.

Wilbur customarily wore a white shirt and chinos. He ate candy bars and, in those rare moments when he wasn't extolling Poweressence as the salvation of the world, he complained that he wasn't doing important things for mankind through chemistry.

And that was the one freedom Brisbane did not allow its chemists. As the foremost manufacturer of women's hair colorings and over-the-counter symptom suppressants for headaches, sniffles, sleeplessness, and other nuisances of life, Brisbane demanded that its hardworking chemists never doubt the importance of their jobs. They were all in pursuit of scientific excellence. Period.

“Wilbur, don't knock it,” said the secretary with all the ensnarements the negatives of the world could muster.

“It's so,” said Wilbur.

“So what?” said the secretary.

“The truth will set you free,” said Wilbur.

“Well, the truth is that Poweressence is a phony religion run by hucksters who are under indictment. It was made up by some writer who was broke. It's a fraud.”

“You have to say that,” said Wilbur. “Otherwise you couldn't live your miserable little life, knowing you could be freed from your slavery to the negative rejection of all that is positive.”

“If I'm so negative, why do you keep hanging around me?”

“I want to help you.”

“You want to help yourself into my pants.”

“You see? That's the negative way to look at love. Your whole life is devoted to love of the big 'No.'”

With that, Wilbur left, telling himself he was leaving her to mull over his brilliant analysis of her character flaws. What he could not know was that he was really leaving to threaten to return all mankind to the intellectual dark ages. For Wilbur Smot was about to unleash on an unsuspecting world the most dangerous chemical compound ever created, a potion that could rob the human race of its past, and therefore, its future.

In a way, old Hiram Brisbane's “brain regenerator” had already robbed Brisbane Pharmaceuticals of a proud past. Its very existence was a problem because it hinted that the modern pharmaceutical company was founded by a snake-oil salesman. Which it was, much to the chagrin of its public-relations department.

As a teenager, Hiram Brisbane had toured the Midwest with a wagon, two good horses, and case upon case of his father's homemade snake-oil medicine. The snake oil, he said, would cure everything from rheumatism to male impotence. He peddled women's solutions, as well; especially potions reputed to reduce the pains of the “monthlies.” Like most of the tonics of the time, Brisbane's elixir contained a good dose of opium. As a result, his following was very large and extremely loyal.

Brisbane was a natural businessman and before long, he had turned his wagonload of home brew into a pharmaceutical company. He had to give up traveling, of course. He also had to give up his huckster past, which meant giving up his father's snake oil for more refined compounds. Last but not least, he had to give up hawking his potions from a wagon and learn to hawk them in print.

But the one snake-oil throwback old Hiram Brisbane refused to give up on, although he never tried to sell it, was his father's prized “brain regenerator.”

“Indians used to give it to their worst criminals. I thought it was poison. I was a boy at the time, traveling with my father,” old Hiram would say.

“Well, they would single out the most horrible outlaw of their tribe, but they wouldn't hang him by the neck like civilized people. Hell, no. They wouldn't even cut off the balls of a rapist like good Christian folk. They'd just give him a shot of this potion. And you know what happened?” old Hiram would say, waiting for his college-educated chemists to ask, “What?”

“Nothing would happen,” he would answer. “Worst damned criminal in the world would just grin from ear to ear, then wait to be taken back to his teepee. He'd just smile. Now, is that a fitting punishment?”

Old Hiram would shake his head. And he would wait of course for his college-educated chemists to shake their heads also.

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