Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Microstory 1228: Baudin Murdoch

Though he erred on the side of decent, Baudin Murdoch was a fairly neutral choosing one. His greater power afforded him immense respect amongst his colleagues. People tended to be nice to him for fear of retribution, even though he didn’t have a history of exacting revenge on others. He belonged to an extremely rare class of temporal manipulators known as builders, and the other two were related to each other. As far as time powers went, theirs was perhaps the most convoluted and hard to explain. Want to turn invisible? Well, bending light itself is impossible, but you can only trick people into seeing what’s behind you, rather than you, so that’s the workaround. More interested in traveling to other star systems? That’s also a rare ability, but at least it’s just teleportation with extreme range. These things don’t require much thought. A sufficiently-abled user only need think about what they want as an end result, and if they’re capable enough, it will happen. Building, on the other hand, requires assembling objects that would never go together naturally, and a deeper thought process. Each piece needs to be considered individually, and as a whole, so that all of them together will ultimately form the desired structure. Not everyone with this power would be able to use it with such precision and skill, and in fact, Baudin wasn’t ever even the best. When The Rogue took over Baudin’s body, he could do what Baudin could, but not nearly as well. It took him years to build Sanctuary, whereas it would have taken Baudin a couple days, on his best week. √Čtude Einarsson was also never as good as him, or the best ever, her mother, but that was okay, because she wielded plenty of power beyond that. Also known as The Constructor, Baudin hailed from a very old timeline, surviving into each newly created reality using protective temporal objects. He treated his ability like a business, though he never demanded payment for his services. He almost always held meetings, consulted with other professionals, drew up contracts, and did just about everything else a normal builder would do to get the job done right. He didn’t actually love the construction itself, though. It was boring, and required too much attention. Unlike Andromeda, whose work could be completed in minutes, he did still need a little bit of time to finish. So he came up with an alternative.

Inspired by the automation movement in the human realm in the 20th and 21st centuries, Baudin created a tool that could channel his power, and build the structures he wanted without him being around the entire time. Unfortunately, a tool like this came with a literal sacrifice. He commissioned the help of a woman named The Weaver. She could normally invent objects using regular parts, made of metal and plastic, but in this case, she was unable to replicate Baudin’s power with tech. The only way to do it was for him to provide a significant specimen for her to work with. He chose to use the largest bone in his body: the femur. And thus the bone stake was created. Those who knew about it called him foolish or insane, but they weren’t taking into account future medical technology. It was no big deal for him to replace his own leg with a prosthetic if it meant his job would be easier, and indeed it was. As a bonus, the bone stake could interface with computers—generally his trusty tablet—and essentially grow a building using a model designed in software, by him, or even someone else. Once the design was set, and the bone stake in place at the construction site, Baudin could leave, and do whatever it was he truly wanted. He could feel it doing its thing remotely, and he was still limited to the same point in time while it was operational, but it didn’t drain him of his energy in the way using his power had before, and it left him more time to meet with clients, or design new projects. He was an important man, known for having been at least partially responsible for a number of important buildings used by salmon and choosers alike, throughout all of time and space.

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