Thursday, February 22, 2018

Microstory 784: Mullet

Mullets. What is a mullet? Well, it’s a species of fish; a few different species, actually. It’s a kind of haircut, known as business in the front, and party in the back. But that’s not what we’re talking about. In this case, mullet refers to a kind of time traveler very similar to a salmon. While other time traveler varieties are quantum biologically different than the others, a mullet is really just a special kind salmon that plays by their own rules. First of all, let’s codify the varieties, so you’ll understand how a mullet comes to be. The tippy top are the powers that be, and the choosing ones. Members of the latter have the ability to use their time powers as they please, while the latter have no power of their own, but can control salmon. Chosen ones, which are incredibly rare, are equivalent to salmon, but can be controlled by their respective chooser instead, though it’s unclear to what degree. Lastly, spawn are humans transformed into temporal manipulators by either a salmon, or a chosen one. They’re even rarer, and more mysterious. When Saga Einarsson and Vearden Haywood were first puppeted by the powers that be, they were deemed The Freelancers. This meant, actually that they displayed traits of salmon, but also chosen ones, which allowed them to sort of be passed around on an as-needed basis. But then an incident infused them with powers they were never meant to have. And though most of this power eventually drained from them, they maintained an unexpected level of independence, rendering them the first in a sixth type. Though they could still be called upon to act on the wishes of the powers that be, they could also refuse this request, which no salmon should be able to do. No one knows whether it’s possible to transform oneself from a salmon, to a mullet, and then to a full-fledged choosing one, to be completely free of the whims of the powers that be. But inspired by Saga and Vearden’s marginal success, salmon sure as hell started trying.

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