Thursday, August 29, 2019

Microstory 1179: The Archivist

Nick Fisherman IV’s name came from Nick Fisherman III, who unwittingly took it from Nick Fisherman II, who adopted it in honor of the original. He didn’t much like the name, or rather he didn’t like that his parents felt they had no choice but to give it to him. He was pretty much always aware that he was a character in a story. That didn’t mean he wasn’t real, but it made him feel like he wasn’t in control of his life, which he wasn’t. For some reason, most people he met just assumed that he was a choosing one, who volunteered to keep track of all the temporal manipulators, and their associates. In reality, he was nothing more than a salmon; bound to his duty. His only escape from this responsibility, he felt, was alcohol. Unfortunately, from his perspective, it took a lot for him to get drunk, and even more for him to wake up hungover. As a salmon, the powers that be protected him from certain threats to his wellbeing, including intoxication. He could do it, but he had to drink a lot more than other people with his metabolism for it to have any effect. When he wasn’t drunk, he actually preferred to be hungover, because focusing on the physical pain distracted from his psychological pain. It was his job to create and manage every file for every individual, and he hated it. It was dismally tedious, and people didn’t take him seriously. He had this idea in his head that they were enamored by The Historian, but the truth was that few cared enough about either of them. For most, history and staffing just weren’t sexy. The Archivist chose to do his work poorly, hoping the powers would get frustrated with him, and replace him with someone else. They never did, though, because as it turned out, his incompetence was quite entertaining. Many problems could be solved with the right intelligence, so if it was too easy to gather this intelligence, then the universe wouldn’t be very interesting. He had no choice but to make the best with what he had, as boring as that was.

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