Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Microstory 1217: Brian Hiddy

Brian Hiddy was a regular human. He didn’t have any time powers, and he didn’t have any salmon of choosers as friends. He was close with a classmate named Lincoln in a different reality, but the former forged a new path in the new timeline, so Brian never got a chance to know him that well. There are some that say these alternate timelines can impact each other in greater ways than what the time travelers who created them have done. Certain people are known to find each other again, or develop particular skills, even when enough about history has changed to make it unlikely. It’s unclear whether Brian picked up on the idea that there was something missing in his life; that an alternate version of him once helped Lincoln through his temporal troubles. Maybe destiny wanted him part of the world of time travelers, regardless of what role he was playing. Or maybe it’s just a big coincidence. Either way, he found his way into that world on his own. Brian always wanted to be part of something big. He knew that there must be some secret about the universe that few people were aware of. He didn’t see anything weird, or get tipped off in any way. He just sought out the truth. And he found it. He didn’t know exactly what he should be looking for; signs of a hitherto unverified macroorganism roaming the lands of South Los Angeles, aliens in the outfield, werewolves running a blood bank. He looked into nearly everything. He started out by collecting all the articles about absurd claims he could find, and searching for patterns. That didn’t really turn up much, ‘cause people be crazy. He tried to engage in conspiracy theory chat rooms, but it was just as difficult to sift through the crazy, and find the legitimate stories, if they even existed at all. He decided to go old school, spending a lot of time in the library, reading up on all the lore he could find, trying to see if anything stood out. One interesting fact about vampires he noticed was that multiple disparate ancient cultures had made eerily similar claims, suggesting that the species was real, pervasive, and consistent. He had a hard time tracing the mythology together, both to see if the stories had simply been passed from one culture to the next, or to see if they were consistent enough to be real. Again, this labor yielded no fruit. He was about to give up when he came up with another idea. He made himself go crazy.

He made a lot of noise; in public, like on the news when a field reporter was trying to talk about a newly laid pavers at the community college, or the weather. He was spouting all sorts of nonsense about ghosts, interdimensional invaders, and people from the future. That last one got him noticed. People came to his house, asking what he knew, and how he knew it. He had taken some acting classes, especially ones geared towards improvisation, so he did a pretty good job of keeping the lie going, and making it seem like he wasn’t bluffing, which he was. Well, they eventually figured him out, but not before he pressed the little red button on his old phone, which he had set up on the bookcase during the interview. He recorded their whole meeting, and the next day, was able to watch them erase his memories. This was it; his one opportunity. He took a screenshot of the mysterious people, and started hunting for them. He reached out to everyone he knew, trying to get in touch with law enforcement, or the NSA, or anyone with resources. This was how he found a small group of people who had interacted with temporal manipulators, one of which was an agent in the FBI. One of the others had also once seen the people from the screenshot, and together, they figured it all out. Their investigations caused a lot of problems for them, and they wouldn’t end up agreeing with each other, or staying together. Brian sort of broke off on his own, and decided that the best use of his time was to search for people like him. He continued to look through tabloids and conspiracy boards, for anyone claiming to have seen something they couldn’t explain. Once he found someone who fit the description, he would reach out to them, and help them in any way he could, even if that meant stopping them from exposing this truth to others.

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