Friday, October 9, 2015

Microstory 165: Ling Guo

Ling Guo was born in a region of China where a lot of different dialects converged. Even though most of the dialects were mutually unintelligible—that is, a speaker of one will not understand another—Ling was able to understand all of them. Her family was surprised by this, but assumed her to simply be smarter than most people, and that her exposure to the variety at any early age was responsible. And they were right about that, just not to the right degree. When she was about ten years old, a couple of Swedish backpackers came by, clearly in trouble. They were sick and hungry and thirsty. Though these signs were obvious, and her community was able to provide them with help, they were still trying to convey something important and urgent. After only several minutes of hearing them speak, Ling could suddenly get by on the basics of Swedish. They were astonished and grateful to be able to describe to them what the snake that bit one of them looked like. She translated the information to the neighborhood doctor who provided them with the antivenom, and saved their lives. Her parents drove her to the nearest big city the next day. They found a group of Hungarian tourists, and sort of shadowed them for the next hour. By the time the tourists left on their bus, Ling could speak Hungarian fluently. The be-all, end-all of organizations, the Confederacy had strict employment requirements, and so Ling’s parents spent all of their money to get her into a private boarding school so that she could have the best education possible. She was a successful and happy student, and the Confederacy was more than glad to hire her. She ultimately transferred to the world headquarters in Hudson, Usonia to work in the Interpretation and Translation department. Only her supervisor and a few of her coworkers knew about her condition at first, and only a select few of those understood that it was superhuman. But slowly, word spread, and she became the best kept secret of The Confederacy. She met a couple of other anomalies in person; namely Denton and Dathan, but she also stumbled upon evidence of Sandro, Máire, and Seoc. One night, Milo Chombers found himself unwillingly teleported to the Confederacy Building, and ended up introducing her to Bellevue, but she chose to remain at her post for the time being. It was not until Bellevue decided to reveal themselves to the world that she left Hudson so that she could support the new organization with public relations.

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