The Upturn

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There are entities that do not want things to be changed and will go to lengths to have reality stay as it is. It was starting to get kinda lame. After Kinch - a reputable figure in a post-industrial world - gets unceremoniously racked away from ascending into nirvana, absolution, enlightenment, or whatever you ought to call it, the guardian left to keep humans out of the knowledge that might attribute world-changing consequences gets a bit risky in keeping her job secure. Out of habit or boredom, she invites more trouble than asked for and perhaps realizes that changing some nature of the physical rules dictating reality could be useful.

Scifi / Humor
4.5 2 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

There was a point in time when Kinch’s mind hadn’t walloped into a sedentary chestnut, trapped within its vestigial broken interior. It had thrived and proven an exemplary adversary to whomever was fool enough to attempt to debate it. Wise beyond his years, breaking down all that struck him, Kinch could land a verbal uppercut and beat the opponent through their own quickly dilapidating argument.

Yet, what caused that once beautiful specimen of intellect - now sitting stumped at a residential kitchen table and, well, kind of off-putting to say the least - to break off into tiny speckles of residual wit, was anyone’s guess. Folks could only agree that the point had gone and left, taking Kinch’s mind with it.

It just so happened that one day, Kinch, damned out of his mind, meandering with vestibular difficulty, quite accidentally, in fact, barged into Rouge’s sanatorium, cursing at who-knows-what entirely; the honorific in question, apparently, having destroyed the man’s point of reason to such a degree that even his instinctual sensibilities fell out of place from that of reality.

“The antithesis of matter disputes itself!”

“What accounts for that which can be perceived: the lack-there-of?”

- were only a fringe of the convoluted word-miasmas that Kinch, admittedly to himself, had spurted out indignantly to anyone dare approach him. This was not acceptable.

It took Rouge no time at all – her brawn almost counterpart to Kinch’s fervor in mind - to incapacitate him before any other outbursts of, while not threatening; by all standards confusing rhetoric came to entice unneeded speculation among the easily influenced. Thoughts like these, of note, were not in good favor here, but, appropriately welcome for treatment purposes. Rouge was in pleasant faith that Kinch had, almost by divine intervention, fallen into the embrace of her ward, and not some unqualified medical enthusiast’s hullabaloo. There was, of course, a reason why she was chosen as the leading caretaker for these kinds of incidents.

This was the third case in a thousand years – a particularly bad one at that. Over the course of her career, it certainly wouldn’t be the last. The sanatorium no longer existed. Rouge had been a prominent member in her field but that did not mean she had ubiquity over all corners, nooks, and crevices of the world to find and resolve the crazies. But she did, however, have a knack for luring them in on their own volition. One of these was, for a time, her small career in the medical-esque community of the coming industrial era. Time continued to elude those who were, through her instructions, problems in need of a decisive fix. The man having lead himself in her web was no exception.

Kinch was a detriment to what was already a time where this incidental awareness kept occurring more and more frequently. The system in place could simply not function if undesirables were keeling out like an overturned wastebasket on a particularly windy day. Disassembling any and all links to the critical moment of absolution were of utmost importance.

She did what she had to do. Kinch was taken care of, for safety purposes. It was easy back in the day. No need for an excuse as to why a man disappeared all of a sudden; taken by storm or whatever preamble they read to any affiliates or relatives. Kinch stayed with her, and everything was put back in order. Discrepancies were erased, and time carried on, sharing the tale only with itself. And Rouge, of course.

Bursts of exciting status-quo enforcing events aside, Rouge’s life was quite mundane on a day-to-day basis. There really was no reason in hiding about. It was not like these espionage-like activities would come noticed by anyone who wasn’t aware they existed in the first place.

She had a family. She had had many families. So much so that the faces of her loved-ones had all bound into a unitary template of humanity. It was nice to keep an eye on its slight changes on a personal level. Rouge didn’t have to have interpersonal human relationships. She chose to do so because, without them, it would defeat the entirety of having humans kept relatively the same for these few millennia. Might as well offer them some sort of interest.

Why she kept Kinch around was an entirely different subject. First, he was her latest case. And that meant that she had ample time to take care of his situation before any questions would be asked. Second, she enjoyed having him around. Kinch wasn’t the daring man he used to be, but there was something in him still, that made Rouge awfully curious, which, in all extent, she had missed during the stagnant march of the human paradigm.

It wasn’t difficult to include Kinch in her current life. The treatment had worn him down, leaving the old man sedentary and of no threat so long as Rouge was around to enforce it. She decided to adopt him as her old caregiver, now turned receiver. She introduced Kinch to her husband What’s-His-Face and their son Who-Knows-Whatsit lapped at the chance of living with his new elderly grandfather.

Rouge liked to pretend. It was the only thing she could do that made her enjoy her little speck of the universe. Pretending to be part of something fake made her feel like she had the power to change it at her own will. She had power, but in a way, power without the means of choice was no power at all. Something she had resented, quietly and discretely, of not having enough of. Kinch was her way of saying that she had charge to decide upon more than just what was told. But Rouge did not dare step any further.

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