The Yah'kwi'aa Cycle

In western Washington, there is a small logging community named Swisherville. The main employer in town, and it's namesake, is Swisher Industries, formerly Swisher Logging. Swisher Industries has become an international conglomerate, with business concerns focused on timber and paper, but many other industries as well.

The Swisher family still controls the company, and most of the family still lives in or around Swisherville. George Swisher I was the first to come to the Pacific Northwest in the early 19th century. He soon built a lumber mill in the Cascade mountain range, and with the help of forced Indian labor from the nearby Seatco Prison, managed to grow this mill into a profitible company in a short time. Since then, the Swishers have been characterized as having been in the right place at the right time, getting into markets when no one else thought it was a good idea, and leaving them when the pundits that they should stay. In every circumstance, the Swisher intuition was proven correct, and enabled the family to garner vast wealth, both in business holdings, and vast tracts of northwest forests, as well as myriad interests all over the world.


The commuity holds them in high esteem, and naturally seeks to protect them. The Swisher family is a very generous employer (at least locally), sponsering many communitee events, and have erected a civic art center, a vintage movie theater, and many softball fields and playgrounds. The pay at the mill (again locally; internationally is another matter) is higher than any comparable employer, and the mill remains union-free. This is despite the local belief that sort of a strange luck follows the Swishers around. The local police are routinely called out to investigate events at The Big House (the main residence and ranch of the current patriarch Ben Swisher, as well as two dozen other family members). Strange tracks are seen, hikers will report seeing odd events, a few people have gone missing. The Swisher family is typically the ones calling the local constabulary, even though the Sherrif Roger Glerup has seen so many odd things around The Big House, he suspects the family is hiding something. Yet, he remains on good terms with them.

The cause and symptom of the Swisher's strange luck began approximately when George Swisher was building his business with forced Indian labor. Some say that a Klickitat medicine man cursed George Swisher, but the elder Swisher somehow managed to bend the curse to help his line, as the white man has always managed to do against the Indians. The spirits in the woods are just vengeful but impotent creatures waiting for the day that the Indians will once again freely roam the land. Yet, somewhere in a file in a government office, there is the theory of an FBI agent that the strange events surrounding the family come from their interactions with an Asian business interest, Chiang, Lee, and Chang. This is the English language name of the firm; the Chinese name, roughly translated as "The Gang of Time" possibly reveals their connection to an ancient Chinese cult of the same name. This firm has law offices on every contintent, in every major city, and position themselves as architects of the global marketplace. Statistical analysis of their business decisions shows a similar prescience to the Swishers.

Perhaps the truth is more complicated. The Swisher family have some inborn ability to move in time differently than most. There are many dimensions that humanity cannot see, or move in. We tend to think of the spatial dimensions when considering this. But there is more than one temporal dimension as well, and these dimensions are all at right angles to each other. The Swishers can move, in a limited way, at right angles to time. Most of the family is completely unaware of this, using the ability naturally to correct small daily mishaps and poor choices. But these uncoordinated movements can cause large, unpredictable events. Many family members have different memories of the past; these can be small things written off as faulty memory. But these lapses can be much stronger; Jonathon Swisher has no memory of Patrick Swisher, his own nephew, surviving childbirth. So Jonathon has started investigating the darker side of the family history, trying to figure out who Patrick is, and why the rest of the family so readily accepts him.

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