Friday, November 1, 2019

Microstory 1225: Irving Hummel

Irving Hummel was a reality corruptor, but not an exceptionally good one. His ability to alter reality was fairly limited, and often only significantly impacted his own life. If he wasn’t careful, any changes he made could quite easily revert, and he might not be strong enough to change them back to the way he wanted. He wasn’t that great of a person in general, and the power he wielded only made him worse. He was by no means evil, but he lacked both drive and skill. Ambition wasn’t a problem, but that and drive are not the same concept. He wanted to do great things, and to be recognized for them, but he didn’t want to put in the effort. And so, thanks to his time power, he forced the world to become what he needed in order to realize his dreams. He barely scraped by at the police academy, but he did make it, and he didn’t do anything bad to get there. Unfortunately, he just couldn’t reach any of his goals beyond that. He was stuck as a regular uniformed officer, and it wasn’t looking like things were going to get better, so he changed them. He arbitrarily turned himself into a Sergeant. It was no Lieutenant, or Captain, but it was kind of the best he could muster. You see, the modifications he could make to reality had to have some kind of plausible basis. He couldn’t just make himself king of the world, because no world would accept him as such. He did have the potential to become a sergeant, if only he worked harder at it, but that would always be the best he could do. The problem—though he wasn’t sure he saw it like this—was that his corruptions also had an effect on his personality. He couldn’t just slip his mind into his new life. He had to become the person he would be if he had done it in a more conventional way, and apparently, the more conventional way led him down a somewhat darker path.

Sergeant Hummel was a lot grumpier and harder to get along with than Officer Hummel. He was snarky, and short with people, and constantly pushed them away. Even though he could still remember his life before the corruption, he couldn’t help but adopt this new behavior, and start treating people poorly. There was only one person he knew who could see through him. A colleague of his evidently had his own temporal power. It was immediately clear to Irving that Detective Bran could see the discrepancies between the two conflicting realities. He didn’t want to let on that he was not only fully aware of the changes as well, but that he was responsible for them. Well, he didn’t think he was responsible for all the changes. Bran was regularly concerned about the town literally shrinking in size with no logical explanation, but Irving had no clue what he was talking about, and couldn’t believe that it had anything to do with him. He just kept doing his thing; transforming himself into what he hoped was a better person, eventually faltering, and going back to the way he was, and then trying again once he was strong enough. In the end, none of his efforts mattered. Irving was in the wrong part of town when the phenomenon Bran kept talking about swallowed it up. Presumably because of his own ability, Irving managed to survive the trip through the portal, and landed on a different planet entirely, as one of very few who weren’t torn apart, and scattered throughout time. Now what was he going to do? There was no reality where this dead world wasn’t a terrible place to live.

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