Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Microstory 1152: Micro

Valentine Avalon Duval hated her real name. First of all, people would constantly tease her about being named after a holiday. Some more thoughtful people would assume she was named after the martyr, which was probably true, but they were no less impolite about it. Plus, all three of her names contained the string val, which her parents must have thought was pretty cute. The worst part came when kids started going to health class, and realized that her initials were VD. Many other people experienced this issue—even more had similar problems—but that didn’t make it any easier for her. Sensing her disdain, her parents started calling her Micro. She was a rather small child, and more importantly, she liked to sing, so it was more about her vocal interests. As she grew older, she began to find joy in computers, particularly in doing things she wasn’t supposed to be doing. If there was no easy way to find information, that was the kind of information she wanted. She chose Micro as her online alias, but of course, everyone assumed this referred to microchip, or perhaps a certain ubiquitous technology company. To combat this, she would embed a small microphone symbol in her work as her signature. The more she learned, the more people she met in the underworld, and the more people she met, the more dangerous her life became. She was never evil, but she certainly took her exploits too far. She would frequently use her skills to expose corporate corruption, but she wouldn’t steal any money, or hold their data for ransom, and she would never put individuals at risk. In her mind, people had the right to be safe, but not necessarily the right any and all information. She wanted to know all the things herself, but she didn’t usually reveal people’s secrets, unless those secrets put innocent people in danger. It was her achievements, and moral code, that drew the attention of Countervail. Here she was able to protect the rights and privacy of the average U.S. citizen, and make sure the government wasn’t overstepping their bounds. She would later to be read into the world of salmon and choosers, so she could help in even more ways. In earlier days, a time traveler was free to move about the world as needed. As long as they sufficiently blended in, there was little danger of getting caught. They could always escape pretty easily, unless the powers that be didn’t want that to happen. As technology progressed, however, anonymity grew more difficult, even for temporal manipulators. She helped cover up any inconsistencies. Rumors would always pervade the global consciousness, and she never had the power to stop that, but at least she would get rid of any proof that these people existed. All this work came to a head when she was abruptly taken from her world, and relocated to another.

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