md_donighal: (Divis Mal)
[personal profile] md_donighal
My stars and garters, I have been neglecting these questions, haven't I?

Describe the best 24 hours you ever had

Probably the time I persuaded dear Jeremiah to come with me to Ibiza. For one glorious day, the most aberrated of novas were the majority, unashamed of their tentacles and colored skin. For 1436.0667 minutes, it seemed the One Race was fulfilling its evolutionary destiny. For 86164 seconds (the actual length of a sidereal day), it looked to me like I was doing the right thing.

Who would you like to see get their final comeuppance? Who is it and just what would you do with them?

The person (and I use the word loosely) whom I would most like to see get her final comeuppance already got it, though I didn't get to see it. From what I heard, however, it was everything I could wish.

(I say "already got" although this happened in the 2040s of my own timeline. Remember that I traveled to this point on this timeline — this when, as one of my newest friends would put it — from what I estimate to have been 2122.)

Her real name doesn't matter. She was born in 1939, got her bachelor's degree at 15, and two doctorates (in political science and psychology) at 21. (Her doctoral dissertation was on "The Complex Interplay of Government, Media Representation of Government and the Observing Human Mind".) The Æon Society put her through college, so they were probably disappointed when, instead of coming directly to work for them as they requested, she spent five years with the NSA and roughly three decades drifting through the corporate world. (Unless, of course, she was networking for Æon in secret.)

Be that as it may, in 1998, Æon started up Project Utopia, to make novas the indentured servants of the baselines, building a "better world" (as defined by Æon) whether they wanted to or not. Within days of Utopia's debut, she signed on with its Internal Affairs division. She proposed Utopia's dirty-tricks department, Project Proteus, and was placed at its head under the only name we need to use for her — Director Thetis.

Like a lot of people in Æon after I left and Max dropped out, she had a poorly defined sense of the distinction between the good of humanity, the good of Æon and the good of herself. This was exacerbated by Proteus being even further into the shadows than Æon. At least people knew Æon existed and was associated with Project Utopia. Project Proteus got its start in 1999, but nobody outside it even heard the name (at least, nobody who lived to repeat it) until 2008.

In 2015, after the disastrous failure of a stratagem I later learned was known internally as "The Oswald Gambit" (which also unfolded in Ibiza, as irony would have it), Thetis was removed from her position at the head of Project Proteus and seconded to the staff of the Bahrain Rashoud facility. When "Allah's Legion" (who had been a Teragen faction known as the Companions of Allah) took over Bahrain in 2046, Thetis was not among the assets Proteus managed to extract.

I'm told they subjected her to a number of the experimental procedures Proteus doctors had performed on tainted novas. In particular, they took the top off her skull to look at the area where a Mazarin-Rashoud node would form in a nova.

To their surprise, they found one — only first-instar, and showing no signs that any quantum energies had ever been directed (as distinct from merely passing) through it, but present nonetheless. Moreover, they found, in the course of her vivisection, that the rest of her brain, and the rest of her body, seemed to have been altered by quantum use, even though there was no other sign she'd ever channeled quantum energy.

Back in the days of Dr. Primoris, people such as her were the only extant eximorphs. Max called them recipients of dynamic Inspiration; I was the one who called it superhuman Inspiration. Because those changes tended to manifest as enhanced strength and stamina, their recipients were referred to as stalwarts, even though it didn't fit them all (just as not all "mesmerists" had powers of mind control and not all "daredevils" were two-fisted laughers in the Face of Danger™). Reaching into mythology to find terms that better encompassed their full range of abilities, that younger Michael Donighal identified his fellow stalwarts as the gods of the Inspiration Age.

But there were demons as well as gods. And the line between them was, and is, only obvious from the outside. No doubt I have some comeuppance of my own coming...What do you have to be thankful for?

Milliways. I believe it was the bar at the end of the universe that drew me off my intended course, brought me to a world without novas, a world where I could learn to be human again. Certainly, I've made a great many friends at Milliways that I doubt I could have met anywhere else — Raphael, Angelo, Moiraine Sedai, the Flash, Ms. White, Strong Bad... most of them unusual in one way or another. It's a place where I can "be myself", whoever that is anymore. A place to retreat from the pressures of pretending to be just a human, and a place with people who've promised to do something about it if I become anything less.

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October 2011

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