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Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Microstory 1967: Recognizing the Signs

Generated by Google Workspace Labs text-to-image AI software
Reese: You two set up the computers. Sasho, follow me. I need you for something. Grab that bag. No, not that one. Yes, that one. Sachs, you know which case to grab. *leaves*
Ophelia: What do you think they’re talking about up there?
Micro: Leonard knows. Don’t ya, Leonard?
Leonard: Not sure, but that was obviously a rifle case, so my guess is that they’re going to start teaching Sasho how to spot through a scope.
Ophelia: That makes sense.
Micro: You ever shot anyone in your universe, Leo? Can I call you Leo?
Leonard: Leo is fine, yeah. And yes, I have had to fire my weapon before.
Micro: One of your parolees?
Leonard: No, this was something else.
Ophelia: What did you mean, in your universe? Are you just referring to the world of law enforcement, or am I missing something?
Leonard: Uhh...
Micro: Oh, we’re not from this universe. Like, literally. I’m from Salmonverse, and I don’t think his has a name.
Ophelia: I was not aware of this.
Leonard: We didn’t tell anyone, Micro. We especially didn’t tell anyone about you, since the government already knows about me, and we can still protect you from them.
Micro: *shrugging* I don’t need to be protected. I can take care of myself. I don’t see what the big deal is. We came through Westfall, which is the least jarring way to travel. Now, if I were from Linseverse, then you would really have something to question, because then your hacker would be a talking dinosaur—
Ophelia: Is that real, or are you joking?
Leonard: She’s joking.
Micro: No, they’re real. Troodons evolved human-comparable intelligence after not being wiped out in an extinction level event, like what happened in our three respective versions of Earth. I’ve never been there, but it’s in the multiversal historical record.
Leonard: How much do you know about all this? Have you met the Superintendent?
Ophelia: Who’s the Superintendent?
Micro: *laughing* No. Ophelia, the Superintendent knows a lot about the bulkverse, because his spirit possesses psychic abilities that allow him to witness hyperdimensionally remote events, which he uses to write stories that no one reads. But he’s not the only one with such knowledge, Leonard. One day, you’ll meet others.
Leonard: You said that there was no hope that I would get back home.
Micro: I meant that there was no reason to fixate on the possibility. Don’t waste your time in pursuit of it. But once you fall into the secret underbelly of reality, it’s pretty much impossible to crawl out of it, and leave it behind. You’ll cross paths with someone new, and your conditions will change again. Ophelia will probably meet someone else too, if she hasn’t already, but she just won’t realize it. You’ll learn to recognize the signs.
Leonard: Hmm. Well, Ophelia, I hope you can keep a secret. This is sensitive stuff.
Ophelia: I promise to say nothing. As long as you teach me to recognize the signs too.

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