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Friday, November 29, 2019

Microstory 1245: Merton Casey

Different people in the world of salmon and choosers were born with different abilities. Some could teleport, others could jump through time. Some could only see the future, or skip time. No one with any given time power was the only one of their kind, but some powers were rarer than others. One of the most coveted of these was anti-aging capabilities. Immortality on its own was possible to obtain, but a difficult series of tasks lie ahead for anyone willing to try for it. The next best thing to this was playfully called reyoungification, and one of the few people capable of this was named Merton Casey. He could alter anyone’s appearance back to how they were at any desired time of their lives. He also necessarily rejuvenated and healed them of whatever age-related diseases they might have contracted. He could make people young and healthy, but it came at great cost to him. Once people discovered what he could do, they started lining up for his services, and most were completely willing to accept the nature of the procedure. The awkwardness was only temporary, and to them, the benefits were too amazing to pass up. Merton couldn’t just wave his hands in front of his patients, and make them young again. He had to physically manipulate their bodies, all over. He had to smooth out wrinkles, and wipe away hair, and in some cases, shorten body parts. Doing this for anyone made him feel uncomfortable, but it was especially problematic when it was for a woman, which, let’s be honest, they made up the majority of his clients. So every case made his life that much more difficult to continue. Somehow being at least a little attracted to the patient made the whole thing worse; like he was violating them, even though they consented to this. A few didn’t consent, and then nothing happened. The worst of it came when he met a young woman named Paige Turner. She was fourteen years old when an antagonist aged her up to her twenties. Her reasons for doing this were her own, but the bottom line was that this woman never returned to reverse what she had done. After a year in this state, Paige decided she wanted to go back to being fifteen, and Merton was the only one they found who could help her. Unfortunately, he had never been asked to do anything like this before. His other patients wanted to be made young again, but never that young, and they were never meant to be that age in the first place. Paige was really just a child in an adult body, so touching her at all was even more offensive than normal. Fortunately, he was rescued from this job, by a woman who ran a special place that was designed to be a haven for people who had been negatively impacted by time travelers. She made an exception for Merton, and let him live in Sanctuary as well, despite having abilities of his own. He was protected from would-be clients here, and finally free of his trauma, so that he could heal, and move on.

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