Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Microstory 1167: The Overseer

Magnolia Quintana belonged to a special class of salmon called shapers, which existed to help create a desirable future on a more long-term basis. They weren’t generally dispatched to save someone from a burning building, or change someone’s mind about an unfortunate choice. Theirs was a slow process; so slow that they often weren’t aware of how they were changing the future. In this way, they were most like humans, except that they experienced nonlinear time. Even amongst these, Magnolia was special. Most were pulled from their lives, and moved to wherever it was the powers that be wanted them to be. Magnolia was provided with a list of missions, full of details, and had the privilege to decide which she acted upon first, and how she handled each one. This list was in constant flux, as much of her work altered the needs of her later work. She sometimes even negated her own actions at one point in time, because it was related to work she later completed in an earlier point in time. People started calling her The Overseer, which was a designation she eventually just had to get used to. Her nickname made her sound like a dictator, when really her job was more about coordination and cooperation. These skills she possessed naturally, which was why she was chosen, instead of any random salmon capable of surviving time travel. Salmon generally work alone, or maybe in teams of one, two, or three. There are a few moments in history, however, when large numbers of them are required to come together, which is where The Overseer comes in. Magnolia was given more information about what needed to be done than most other salmon. Sometimes she was given a list of people she needed to recruit, while other times, the powers that be would merely transport the necessary personnel to the right place. She also acted as a go-between for the choosing ones. Though the choosers technically did not have any obligation to help, the powers were generally pretty good about knowing who they could trust, and who would just ruin it. After a few missions, the powers that be realized that her ability to travel through time was not good enough on its own. She needed to understand who around her possessed the skills she needed to get the job done, so they imbued her with a second power. She could reach across time and space to find someone with a given power, and could find absolutely anyone in the world who existed in her present day. Not all of Magnolia’s missions were military in nature, but they were all huge endeavors that would go unappreciated by the greater human population, yet have profound impacts on all of time.

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