It was a fluke, really. He was taking a drive to blow off steam. Twenty years in at Vector Victor Technologies and some young punk blows in off the street to take up as director of client relations. He was muttering curses about this when the Renaissance Faire signage came into view. Now he was sitting in the front row of a makeshift Elizabethan theater, waiting for a one man show to begin.
"A joyous round of applause for your good servant, Vali the Entertainer!"
Vali rode an exaggerated unicycle onto the stage. He juggled, threw knives at an attractive young woman, and produced a ukelele from behind his back, taking requests from the audience. Vali was equal parts enigma and skilled magician. At the end of the show, attendees tossed cash into a black cap with thanks and praises. George was amazed.
"I ... I would give anything to be you!" George blurted to the performer. He had meant to simply say hello. "Everyone loved you!" Oh no, not again.
"Let us away to the mead tent, good man! The acoustics are far better suited for such praise". With a wink and a smile, Vali clapped George on the back and led him to the mead tent.
Inside, George relayed the story of how he found the Faire. Vali listened like an old friend. When George finished, Vali clapped his hands and roared, "Wench! I require mead!" A voluptuous woman appeared with two brass tipped horns, filled to the brim.
"All that is required, my friend, is to change your name". Vali whispered. "Give it back to the gods!" he chuckled, raising his horn. "To Odin!"
"To Odin!" the Faire goers replied in chorus, each raising a horn or souvenir glass.
"What's your name, friend?" Vali asked. "Tell me who you are".
"George." was the simple reply. "George Carson".
"Drink, friend, and release your earthly burdens!" Vali was laughing so loud now, George could hear little else. He and Vali toasted as if they were shaking hands. Vali took his mead down with an enthusiastic gulp before running about the tent to accost the mead wenches. George was curiously intoxicated, and stumbled his way out without a second thought.
The next morning, a man awoke inside a sensible vehicle. A quick check behind the visor flap revealed a scrap of paper that resembled an I.D.; faded and barely legible. The man squinted at the dilapidated Elizabethan village in front of him and thought he had seen it before, perhaps in a dream …