Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Microstory 1137: Mikilos Sparacello

If you’re living in the 21st century, chances are, you know a criminal. You may even be one. I don’t mean you know a serial killer or rapist, but lots of people have swiped a couple pens from work, or downloaded a movie from an illegal site. If you’re living in the 22nd century, you probably don’t know a criminal, though you may have heard of them. By the time the 23rd century rolls around, though, it’s statistically negligible that you’ve ever been anywhere around a criminal, unless you’re old enough to remember the old ways. Money is gone, poverty is gone. Healthcare is free. Nobody needs to work. If you want to watch a movie, or listen to some music, check the archives; literally everything is on it. There are no competing services, or paywalls. You need a new chair? Stores don’t exist anymore, but there’s a really great inventorium that has all kinds of customizable models, which are manufactured through automation. Equality has become so ubiquitous that the idea of doing something illegal is difficult for most to fathom, because the only crimes that are left in this world are the really bad ones. One of the biggest problems society still faces is mental illness. Any physiological disease has a cure, or at least a treatment. Scientists may not know what it is, but they know there’s an answer. The means of handling a psychological condition is much more complicated. If you manage to diagnose the right illness, is it really an illness? Does the patient want to change? If so, in what way? At what point can you determine that they’re a danger to others, and you have to intervene, whether they want you to or not? How far are you allowed to go in that intervention? Remember, people are a lot harder to kill these days. What with the longevity escape velocity, transhumanistic upgrades, and pervasive surveillance, getting away with a crime, diagnosis or no, is practically impossible. Letting a mentally unstable individual return to their life untreated is easier to justify—or rather, it’s harder to justify not letting them go—when the harm they can inflict upon others is so much less of a concern than it was back in ancient times, like, say 2019. This approach to mental health is not without its risks, but all that surveillance makes privacy a lofty promise that the world leadership would never be able to accommodate, so freedom is that much more important to grant, and fight for.

There was one man who refused treatment for his psychological problems, and went on to attempt to kill another, just to see if he could. His plans were thwarted by the Last Savior of Earth, and he was caught by the authorities, but his legacy lived on beyond the confines of time and space. As the last person to be saved by Étude Einarsson, Mikilos Sparacello was in even more danger than he ever could be at the hands of the sick killer. Time travelers from all over wanted to come and see if they could get close enough to finish the job. It was suddenly brought to the surface just how much violence there was in the time traveler underworld. Seeing that he would never be safe, the planet of Dardius decided to try and rescue Mikilos from the constant onslaught of hopeful assassins. What started out as nothing more than a hotel for humans whose lives had been put in danger by time travelers, had by then grown into a magnificent civilization, with billions of people, spanning all continents of the planet. The reason the wannabe killer chose Mikilos was that he didn’t think anyone would miss him. So when Dardius offered to protect him in a galaxy far, far away, it was an easy decision. He figured he could live anywhere, so he might as well accept. He assumed he would be able to blend into society, and not make any waves, but his fame and popularity followed him across the void, and before he knew it, he was being appointed Vice Patronus over the whole world. He was tasked with fighting the war against the capitalistic Freemarketeers, and maintaining policy when the Patronus, Mateo Matic wasn’t in the timestream. A few years later, when Mateo left the galaxy, and returned to his family, Mikilos had to take a more significant leadership role. When elections rolled around soon thereafter, many wanted him to run for Patronus, but not everyone. And he would have to decide for himself which side he thought had the right idea.

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