Blue light flickered through the inky darkness of the small room. The cheers of thousands reverberated off the walls, nearly drowning the sibilant hiss of the air pumps and quiet chugging of the environmental systems. Light washed over Bill Baxter's craggy features; his eyes burning bright, deep in the shadows.
"This is Game Seven between the Cubs and the A's" the announcer's voice intoned. --Kakowski's on third, Chan's on second and Mbutu's on first with that terrific bunt. The count is oh and two to Grant, Chicago's slugger. Kemmerle goes into the stretch...and Grant fouls it back! Kemmerle wipes his brow and settles down for the sign."
Baxter sat still as a statue. In a ragged whisper, he murmured: "You can do it Grant."
"Well, Bob, these Chicago boys are a real Cinderella story," the announcer droned on. "They have battled back from adversity to become the number one team this year. And then just last week they lost their manager. Oakland had them on the ropes, three games down, and once again they have shown their heart and battled back to this, the seventh game of the World Series. This is the game I came out of retirement to see!"
"They've been close Howard, but they haven't won a Series for the past century. They could do it on this pitch. Kemmerle delivers and it's swung on and missed. The count is two and oh."
"Stroke the ball," Baxter whispered.
"Kemmerle looks Mbutu back to the back, delivers, and Grant connects! The ball is sailing into the gap."
"Go!" Baxter urged, a bit more forcefully.
"The Cubs are finally going to do it, Howard said on the television. "For the first time in a century, the Chicago Cubs are going to win it all! The ball is going to fall fair."
"Kato runs the ball down. He dives but is coming up sho --"The picture dissolved into static as a blinding flash emanated from the screen.
Baxter sighed and pointed a remote control at the VCR. The VCR whirred for a few minutes and clunked to a stop.
"The nukes would have to land just before the Cubbies could win another world series!" the last fan murmured in disgust.
The screen came back to life, and Bob, the announcer, started talking again.
"This is Game Seven of a hard-fought battle between the Cubs and the A's...."