Thursday, July 1, 2021

Microstory 1659: Self-Sabotage

I told you about how the people in Area Doubleuniverse primarily use their alternate realities to protect witnesses. Seemingly unrelated to the fact that this universe possess thousands of concurrent realities, there’s a lot of crime on this version of Earth. It’s just rampant and no one really knows why. I mean, they don’t have access to other universes, so they don’t know it’s abnormal, but from my perspective, as I watch history unfold, I can’t explain how it happened. I can say that the prevention of crime is neither a priority, nor technically possible. It’s not illegal to plan a crime, and a lot of things you or I might consider crimes are not actually illegal until certain things take place as a result. For instance, it’s perfectly fine to grow or manufacture recreational drugs. It only becomes a problem once someone tries to sell it, or use it. If the authorities discovered the location of a drug plant, they wouldn’t be able to do anything about it, and in fact, they wouldn’t be allowed to surveil the people working there, waiting for them to commit a crime later. Surveillance just isn’t a thing there. Furthermore, physical evidence alone is not usually enough to convict someone of a crime. They rely much more heavily on witness testimony, so the human element is far more important, and that makes it much more dangerous to be a witness. That’s why the Alternate Reality Witness Protection Program exists. Instead of trying to keep witnesses away from the criminals who would have them killed to prevent them from testifying, they just relocate that witness to a reality where the criminal doesn’t exist at all. This is an extremely delicate dance, and there is pretty much no room for error. For the most part, the people in charge of the program know what they’re doing, and they don’t make mistakes. But of course, it wouldn’t be a story if it never happened. Knowing which parallel reality to relocate a witness takes a lot of data, so they can make sure the criminal they’re hiding from doesn’t have an alternate who may want to harm them as well. It would probably be okay most of the time, because even if the criminal did exist, they probably didn’t commit the same crime, or weren’t going up against the same witness. This is what happened once, when a woman named Azalea found herself face to face with the man she was trying to avoid at all costs. Fortunately for her, the alternate version of this man was not the same one she knew in her reality. He wasn’t that bad of a guy, and even wanted to help. This particular case came with all sorts of errors, which resulted in the original criminal figuring out where Azalea was. After breaking out of jail, he snuck into Area W, and traveled through a portal, to search for the one woman who could send him to prison forever. His alternate self, meanwhile, didn’t want this to happen, so he vowed to protect her. But would he be able to do what needed to be done to keep his promise?

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