Disclaimer: Not mine, never has been, never will be, and I'm not making any money for it.

Author's Note: This is my entry into the jossverse_las on LiveJournal, challenge #1. The challenge was "Habits."

Topher Brink had been tinkering with everything he could get his hands on from the moment he could walk. He took his toys apart and combined them to make better toys. But he could never be bothered with Legos. It wasn't worth it if the parts fit together so easily.

When he was seven, his best and only friend, Taylor Henderson, compulsively took pens apart and put them back together. That same year, Topher compulsively took three old computers apart. He fiddled with them until he emerged with a ton of scrap metal and one computer that not only worked, but had a processing speed that wouldn't be available on a standard computer for another ten years.

Some executive from Microsoft had even come to talk to him about it. Topher tried to explain how he thought it was evolution. He didn't have to learn anything about computers because he was born with the knowledge. It was an instinct, like the way a lion always knew how to hunt. The executive didn't understand, even thought it was cute that someone so young knew anything about the evolutionary process, so Topher finally just told him that technology manipulation was his secret mutant power. The executive left after that.

The next executives to approach him were the Rossum people, right after he graduated from M.I.T. They offered him exactly what he wanted: unlimited funds and ample time to play with all the toys he he could imagine. They even gave him the best toy ever: the human brain. After all, it was just a really advanced computer.

So he tinkered and fiddled and played because he couldn't not. He gave the Dollhouse their technology, and every once in a while, he made people's lives better, or so he thought.

Topher couldn't have known that his tinkering would bring an end to civilization.

But he knew that was no excuse.