Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Microstory 1687: Licensed Genies Only

There are many differences between a spirit, a witch, and a mutant. A spirit uses their soul to develop special abilities, a witch uses their mind, and a mutant uses their body. But it goes deeper than that. Witches use something called Craft (they don’t call it witchcraft), and while there is more often than not a biological component, it is usually a learned skill. The temporal manipulators in Salmonverse are a major exception to this, as they seem to have some kind of innate understanding of their own respective abilities, but for the most part, it takes work. Mutants obviously have some kind of genetic difference that allows them to do whatever they do, or even hinders them in some way. While their mutations aren’t always beneficial to them, they do generally figure out how to express them through survival instincts, because it’s rooted in that part of their neural makeup. Spirits, on the other hand, don’t have to learn anything. They don’t have to be changed, or be descended from those who were changed. It’s just something they are; or rather, it’s something that we are. We’re born knowing that we’re different, and also how we’re different. There’s sometimes a learning curve, but we typically grow up with a fairly high understanding of ourselves. We know what we can do, and we have a pretty good idea of what we intend to accomplish with our gifts. Some are good, some bad, but none is lost. The Genies in Genieverse were the same way, except pretty much all of them wanted to help people with their spirit abilities. Of course, as we know, they totally fail to live up to their own expectations, but this story isn’t about that. It’s about how they came together to organize, and how any recalcitrant ones were left with no choice.

For reasons I’ve not bothered to figure out, the population of this version of planet Earth was only at about a billion when personal computers and cell phones became ubiquitous. This is unusual. Even with heavy religious influence, the global population should be beginning to see a much steeper increase by this time. They kept changing their calendar, so I’m not sure what year it would be comparatively, though, so it’s hard to gauge what’s different, and what’s on track. Still, at this point in history, Genies were starting to feel like they needed to do more to help. They numbered about a thousand when a few of them got together first. They wanted to start a local organization, which would service people hoping to be granted wishes. They were the ones who came up with the majority of the rules and procedures that would end up becoming the norm. Up until this moment, Genies operated individually, and granted wishes very rarely. It’s unclear how they chose their clients, but they included some of the most powerful people in history. A few other Genies caught wind of what this small group was planning, and wanted in on the action. They had some ideas on how to improve the system. Genies just kept showing up, and wanting to make sure the system operated smoothly. Some fought against it. This was the way they had done things their entire lives, as had their predecessors, and they didn’t think there was any need to change things now. Unfortunately for them, once word got out to the general population that Genies were real, there was no way to grant wishes without being part of the association. Even without an understanding of how Genies worked, people were suspicious of anyone who wasn’t considered licensed. Each Genie was ultimately responsible for about a million people, which was just one more reason why this was all such a bad idea.

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