Transplanted Life
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I sort of had to meet this girl
I could have happily done without meeting Michelle's old friends and classmates, but I sort of felt I owed it to them. I mean, there they were, just happily living their lives in peace, and then, WHAM!, here comes the FBI, asking if they can look at some of your emails because they've got an interest in any information having to do with Michelle Garber's whereabouts - and this despite the fact that Shelley probably never did anything worse than stealing boyfriends.

Besides, those friends got together and compared notes - Telly's saying that Michelle is living in Boston under another name and acting crazy, while other folks are saying that they're receiving emails from her about living abroad. Some confusion is understandable even without the government getting involved.

At first, Special Agent Jones and the others really didn't want me talking to them at all, which was OK, but pretty soon after they looked at the emails that Monica had forwarded to Telly, the others got organized and asking what this investigation was about. It couldn't be missing persons, because Telly knew where Michelle was, and even with the Patriot Act, the Feds were having a hard time getting warrants to examine computers; their friendly judges weren't going to do this without a crime.

So, I met up with Telly, Carter, and a couple FBI guys to take a trip up to New Hampshire yesterday to talk to Michelle's old friend. Which was... weird. We knocked on the door, and this girl sees me, squeals, and gives me a hug like I'm her long-lost best friend. Then comes the explaining that I'm not her long-lost best friend, that I've got her body, but my mind spent its first thirty years in the skull of that handsome fellow over there. That her friend, or at least the part that remembers her and wears earrings and bought an N Sync CD at some point has been bounced from body to body, spending months in a comatose man before being switched into a teenage goth girl and then lost when that girl went to Europe and came back with someone else inside.

She doesn't believe me, of course, and starts looking around for hidden cameras and the like, but Telly says it looks like it's the truth, that he didn't believe it either, but he's been living in Boston all year and even though "Marti" has been cool to him because being a blood relative does mean something, there's too much that doesn't fit any other way - and the Federal Agents are for real; check the badges, call the Boston Field Office.

She does, it's true, and she faints. She actually faints. Agent Jones has to catch her, set her down on the sofa, and have his partner go get some smelling salts from the car. Then she kind of starts pulling into a ball, not wanting to be near me. Fair reaction, I guess, but it hurts a little. She doesn't have any trouble with Carter, but then, she didn't know Carter 1.0 or Martin 1.0, so she can kind of put the whole mind-switching thing out of her mind when dealing with him. She lets Jones and his partner, who is apparently a computer crime specialist, take a look at her computer, and makes calls to the other people who have been receiving emails, saying to let the Feds look at their machines, and don't make them bring me up to demonstrate why - it's too creepy. As I said, it stings.

We both watch Agent Reis from opposite corners. There's apparently some malware that came with the emails, but that's not suspicious in and of itself - it's not exaclty a high-end ISP she's using. Reis asks if Monica has any old emails from Michelle for comparison, but Monica tells her she doesn't. Jones asks about the information in the emails, and Monica says there are lots of things she doesn't think anybody else knows.

At the end of the day, we don't all hug and go out for dinner together, but everyone seems convinced that these emails are for real

Which is exciting and scary. I've been worried about her, thinking that maybe she was just killed as a loose end or something. It's good to know she's still around. I do worry about what she might think about how I've been living her life, though.

So, Marti, lets say the G-men hunt up this girl (Err, well, at least maybe girl, who knows what body she's in just now) and now she's sitting across the table from you, and says, "I'd like that body back, please." What do you say? Is there a claim there, or do you just say, "Sorry, but I'm kind of using it just now."

Does it matter what the person looks like? Hunky guy? Sexy babe? Elderly troll? I'm guessing I know your answer, but I'm curious as to what you'd do.

- Z
Yes, there's not a lot of legal precedent, here. In the U.S. you can never get good title to a stolen object from a thief, but in some other countries in the world, you can. And that's a matter of stolen goods being sold-- not the case with you. When you get carjacked you're neither offered nor forced to take the carjacker's old car.
I'm not really worrying about that right now. First, it's not as though the tech necessary to switch us is readily available anyway. Second, I don't know where Michelle's head is at in regard to wanting to switch back; assuming we're still talking about her mind in Mikail Korpin's body, she's fast approaching her "second birthday", too. For all I know, Michelle has met a nice girl, plays for the local soccer club, and wouldn't give up the ability to pee standing up for the world

If not... Well, we'd talk. Maybe I'm just being stubborn thinking of myself as a new person who doesn't want to be torn apart and made part of two different new people; Carter seems to be happy thinking of himself as the same guy in his third body. Maybe I need to get with the program, but that's not really where my head is right now.
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