Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Microstory 1113: Mirage

Not all people with time powers were human, but they were all organic. It is something that you must be born with, or somehow be imbued with it later in life. It’s true that some people, such as Holly Blue or Hogarth Pudeyonavic, are capable of inventing technology with temporal properties, but these all must be operated by an organic being. Robots and androids are not capable of having powers, or being given powers. Transhumans may retain their powers to a certain degree, but will lose them upon crossing some upgrade threshold, which has never been quantified. Mirage is an artificial intelligence, created by the not-so-great version of Horace Reaver, in a since collapsed reality. He commissioned a hacker named Micro to program Mirage, then commanded it to kill a man he hated named Mateo Matic. He did not think through every possible outcome, however, and after Mateo succeeded in avoiding Mirage’s one attempt at his life, she was no longer bound to this directive. After a young woman rebuilt and reprogrammed her to be an independent individual, she went in search of Mateo, and ultimately sacrificed herself to save his life. This was the turning point. Theoretically because of the changes this mysterious woman made to her code, Mirage became the one exception to the rule against powered inorganics. She found herself in another dimension, able to bear witness to the world below, but unable to participate. It is from here that she watches time move back and forth. Whenever a traveler goes to the past, and makes a change to the timeline, she becomes aware of it. She sees all changes, but can make none of her own, and cannot communicate with others. No matter how many contradicting timelines are created, she remains completely conscious of all of them, and also completely powerless. After a literally incalculable amount of time spent here, though, Mirage started figuring out that she was not totally powerless in this dimension. She is indeed capable of interacting with those living in the primary dimensions, but in a limited capacity. She can only modify sufficiently advanced technology, but can’t come out and explain herself to people. So she can recruit others to help her fix what she considers to be problems with history, but she has to do it covertly, because if they knew that maybe their actions weren’t wholly self-driven, they might not be so happy about it.

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