Professor Bud Redfield
"This is a history, in that it intends to describe what happened
and suggest why. It is a work of the imagination in that by writing it
I hope to purge the Big U from my system, and with it all my
bitterness and contempt. I may have fooled around with a few facts.
But I served as witness until as close to the end as anyone could
have, and I knew enough of the major actors to learn about what I
didn't witness, and so there is not so much art in this as to make it
irrelevant. What you are about to read is not an aberration: it can
happen in your local university too. The Big U, simply, was a few
years ahead of the rest."
In 1984, Bud Redfield became an Associate Professor of
Remote Sensing (an interdisciplinary field involving geography,
geology and electrical engineering) at the now infamous American
Megaversity. His position as faculty-in-residence, and his
friendship with a unique group of undergraduate outcasts allowed him
to witness the events of that year from an unique prospective.
Bud describes himself as a "tweedy black bachelor" and gives
the impression that he always felt like an outsider at the
megaversity. But, by his own admission, he knew much about the
situation early on, and did nothing to stop it.
During the 1984 fall semester, Bud met Casmir Radon, Sara Jane
Johnson, Hyacynth, Fred Fine, Virgil Gabrielson, and Ephram Klein. To
Casmir, a thirty-year-old junior, Bud was one of few real adults
living among the thousands of college-aged children living in the
plex. To Sara, he was a beacon of normalcy in world gone mad.
Oddballs like Fred Fine, Virgil, and Ephram he
treated like the normal guys that they wanted to be. As the
megaversity descended into chaos as a result of the strike during
the spring semester of 1985, Bud was drawn deeper into the clique.
"As the second semester lurched and staggered onward, I noted
that my friends had a greater tendency to drop by my suite at odd
times, insist they didn't want to bother me and sit around reading old
magazines, examining my plants, leafing through cookbooks and so
on. My suite was not exactly Grandma's house, but it had become
the closest thing they had to a home. After the strike began, I saw
even more of them. Living in the Plex was tolerable when you could
stay busy with school and keep reminding yourself that you were
just a student, but it was a slough of despond when your purpose in
life was to wait for May."
He took part in the forays into the sewer system led by Virgil, and
when the Terrorists and the Stalinist Underground Battalion took over
E and F towers, he was with University President Septimius Severus
Krupp and Administrator of Student Health Services Wilberforce
"Tex" Bracewill when they were caught behind enemy lines and
had to shoot their way back to territories held by the GASF and the administration.
...as they passed, someone on a roof fired off a wild shot in my
direction. A tremendous roar rang up and down the shaft. It came in
three bursts, and not until the third one did I realize it was
machine-gun fire. I had been dimly aware of it—"Oh, that's a
machine gun being fired"—but it was not for a few moments that I
comprehended that machine guns were in use at my institution of higher
Many of Professor Bud's colleagues in the faculty treated the war as
a research opportunity, and others became unhinged by it
(Professor Emeritus Humphrey Batstone Forthcoming IV), but Bud made
the best of it, and tried to help his friends as much as he could.
He showed Professor Forthcoming special kindness in helping him find
safety in the Science Shop, and later going on a quest to help the
poor old man find his lost lecture notes.
Casimir trusted Bud enough to involve him in the plan to evacuate the
megaversity and defeat the Crotbaltislavonians.
Organ music came on...just after
midnight and continued for three
hours. Above, we supposed, the evacuees were being loaded into
ambulances or paddy-wagons, while Army fallout emergency
workers prepared the city for the worst. The Board of Trustees were
departing by helicopter from the top of C Tower, withdrawing to the
HFI Tower a mile away.
"This is really it," said Fred Fine, ready to black
out. "This is the moment of the heroes. The Apocalypse of
Plexor. All will be unMixed in an instant."
"Yep," said Casimir, drawing another card. "I'll see
that, and raise you four chocolate chips."
In the end, it was Bud, Casmir, Fred Fine, and Virgil who drove the
APPASMU down into the sewers to sic a hoard of giant sewer rats on
the Crotbaltislavonian Terrorists. They used Casmir's railgun to
blast through the steel doors that protected the secret nucular waste
disposal facility that was held by the terrorists.
"...most of my time at the Big U was spent observing and talking, and
very little doing, and I may bear some of the blame."
To conclude, we are indebted to Professor Redfield for his history of
the last days of the Big U, but I think he was a lot
responsible for how things turned out than he takes credit for. If
nothing else, his position of authority gave some credibility to
Casmir's plan to end the war. And they certainly did not take him
along in the APPASMU just so that he could be a neutral observer.
In case you didn't figure it out, Professor Bud is a
fictional character from a book.
Professor Bud E2 Writeup, Copyright 2002 Frank Grimes.
This writeup is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5. (For details, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/ ) Alternatively, permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2. (For details, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html)
--Frank Grimes, 2007