Big Change, ch. 13: Mitch Lowell [null]

Monitoring: Mitch Lowell [null]
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

7:35 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
3:35 Coordinated Universal Time
Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Rewind—

The old woman and her son have been sitting there in the booth, eating and quietly fuming at each other, since before Mitch had arrived at the diner that morning. They are eating with deliberate movements, as if each bite required consideration before they could progress, lest something important be missed. He isn’t sure if they’re going to a funeral later that day—they are dressed formally, the man in a green suit and his mother or grandmother in white. It would account for the gravity with which they seemed to be approaching their meal, and in retrospect perhaps he had judged too quickly in interpreting their mood as angry. Continue reading

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Big Change, ch. 12: Mary Rucker [null]

Monitoring: Mary Rucker [null]
Langley, Virginia, United States

10:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
15:30 Coordinated Universal Time
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Fast Forward—

Mary Rucker is an operative in disgrace. Had things gone another way, she might have been dismissed entirely from the Central Intelligence Agency eleven years ago. Some days, she thinks that it would have been better if things had gone that way. Officially, nothing had happened and she was found innocent of any wrongdoing. Opinion ranged on whether she had even exhibited a lapse of judgment, and her superiors evidently deemed her capable of working in, and eventually running, a program called LN/PALATINATE. Continue reading

Big Change, ch. 11: Ananya Sharma

Monitoring: Ananya Sharma
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

11:10 p.m. India Standard Time
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
7:40 Coordinated Universal Time
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Rewind—

Brigadier Rao is still and silent behind his desk. The palms of his hands are pressed together in front of him, as if in prayer. His breathing is steady, and he seems to be looking at something a long way off, even though the door to his office is closed. The brigadier is also, and most notably, covered in soda. The same is true of the papers on his desk, some of the floor, and Ananya herself.

She moved away from the desk a couple of minutes ago, but is still reluctant to sit back in her chair. She is, after all, still wet from the soda and it is starting to get sticky. Extending the present mess to one of the brigadier’s chairs will in no way alleviate her nervousness. This situation is, after all, entirely her fault. Continue reading

Big Change, ch. 10: Simon Martin

Monitoring: Simon Martin
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

7:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Friday, January 17th, 2014
00:45 Coordinated Universal Time
Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Fast forward—

Simon had hoped, but not really expected, that it would be easy to find at least one other person like him. There hadn’t been any press conferences, though, so anyone who had powers was clearly smart enough to take at least a couple of weeks to think about whether it would actually be a good idea to blow that lid open. This is a point in everyone’s favor, and a good sign despite how frustrating it is for him right now. Continue reading

Big Change, ch. 9: Yuka Sato

Monitoring: Yuka Sato
Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

4:35 p.m. Japan Standard Time
Monday, January 6th, 2014
7:35 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, January 6th, 2014

Rewind—

Miyoko’s nose isn’t just broken. “Smashed” may be a better description for the state it is in right now. Or “crumpled,” like Miyoko herself, laying on the ground.

“I’m s-s-sorry,” she half-mumbles, half-blubbers. “I won’t, I won’t do it again.”

Yuka turns to Miyoko’s friend and cohort, Honoka, who is still where she was, back against the wall and eyes wide with fear. “Please don’t do this, Yuka. No more,” Honoka begs, but Yuka shakes her head and Honoka shrinks further away. If Honoka is hoping for anyone to save her and Miyoko, then maybe they shouldn’t have followed Yuka down an empty street. Maybe they should have noticed when she stopped crying. Continue reading

Big Change, ch. 8: Hannah Johnson

Monitoring: Hannah Johnson
Plantation, Florida, United States of America

2:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Monday, January 13th, 2014
19:05 Coordinated Universal Time
Monday, January 13th, 2014

Fast forward—

It is warm here, which at this time of year is jarring to her. It is as if she had taken a bus not to any Earthly realm but to some world of perpetual summer, leaving Virginia’s wintry cold in another universe entirely. The sticky, damp air seems to cling to her clothes like sap. Hannah can hardly tell, at this point, where the sweat on her body ends and the humidity around her begins. In her backpack is a change of clothes, a dozen CLIF bars, a recently-emptied water bottle, and twenty dollars in pennies that she got from a bemused teller at Bank of America (to say nothing of the two dollars in quarters that her left pocket holds). Ahead of her is what might be the most important house that she has ever seen. Continue reading

Big Change, ch. 7: Simon Martin

Monitoring: Simon Martin
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2:25 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Thursday, January 1st, 2014
19:25 Coordinated Universal Time
Thursday, January 1st, 2014

Rewind—

Two days ago, Simon would not have been expecting to spend the afternoon of his birthday sitting on a busy sidewalk. It probably isn’t the safest of activities to be passing out for seconds at a time in a place where he might get walked on or robbed, it definitely isn’t a fun way to pass the time, and there would have been absolutely no reason for him to do it in the first place. Things had changed, though, and now it seemed imperative that he learn more about the future, as quickly as he could. Continue reading