Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Microstory 672: Find the Ring of Migration

A Continent Rises From the Ocean

Over the course of these taikon, a few bits of information have come to light. Previously, we believed Eido Feivel to have very little to do with founding of our galaxy. As it turns out, he had everything to do with it. Much like the First Ring, the Ring of Migration was a powerful piece of technology that scientists have never been able to study. We had heard of it as Sacred Savior, Sotiren Zahir wrote on it in the Book of Light. He never did say, however, who wore the Ring. He, in fact, never once mentioned that anyone wore it at all. It was always just assumed that he was the one, though no one had any recollection of seeing him with it, in addition to the First Ring. Through the discovery of historical documents we did not know existed, we learned that it was Eido Feivel who wore the Ring of Migration. It was an immense source of power, capable of summoning hordes of people without them realizing it. After we fled from our communist ancestors, we were waylaid on Earth. There we built secret hidden cities so that we would not disturb the development of native Earthans. This is a literally universal law that even we are bound to follow. Though we were all searching for a home, some of our population at the time had decided that Earth was good enough. There was already a secret immigrant civilization that had been established centuries ago. Some of our people figured that, if the Atlantians could do it, why couldn’t we? Our numbers were far too high to remain out of view of the Earthans forever, so we had to go. But still…they resisted. What Feivel was able to do while wielding his ring was attract all soon-to-be Fosteans onto the exodus ships, bring them through the red simplex dimension, and land them on the staging worlds. We had no idea he had done this, instead assuming that true believers had somehow managed to convince everyone that they all needed to leave. In retrospect, this made more logical sense, because as mentioned, so many of people were on Earth. The logistics of this endeavor could only be surrendered to the strength of the Light. In modern day, researchers learned that Feivel had grown ashamed of his hand in essentially mind-controlling unwillful migrants. Out of defiance, he threw the ring into the water of a then completely random planet. It would later be settled as Jerebelle, with one of its oceans named Eylon. When the new continent rose from the sea, it brought up with it Feivel’s ring. One of the seagoers who had managed to survival the upheaval happened it upon it as he was searching for his emergency provisions. He contacted Greenleaf, the luxury liner, and requested transport to Narvali. The Ring of Migration now belonged to new eido, Agantai Bauriter, who was still in the middle of negotiations with the Dodulkori.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Microstory 671: A Continent Rises From the Ocean

While the luxury ship called Greenleaf was scanning the remnants of Delena and Steroline for survivors, they received a new set of E285FF distress calls. These ones were coming from Doppel a, which was the first in the binary Doppel system. Greenleaf made a quick jump to the orbit of Jerebelle, the stars single populated planet, to find it in the midst of fulfilling yet another taikon. A massive tremor was shaking the lands of all five continents presently on the surface of the orbital, all in preparation for the ascension of a sixth, which was foretold in the Book of Light. The Eylon Ocean took up the majority of the southeastern tetrasphere of Jerebelle, with almost no dry islands. This was the source of the disturbance, and the Lightseeing passengers and crew of the Greenleaf knew exactly what was happening. Seeing an opportunity to make a little extra cash, the crew began to evacuate as many sea vessels from the Eylon Ocean as possible, starting with the most expensive. Though they understood what was happening to Jerebelle, they didn’t know who would be able to survive, if anyone. Before the Greenleaf could rescue everyone, the lands of a new continent began to rise from the under the ocean, and take its place on the surface. A few vessels that hadn’t evacuate actually did survive this sudden arrival, but mostly only the ones who happened to have been floating over prairies and plains. Others were struck by mountaintops, trees, and other topographical obstructions. In a matter of hours, the flood waters had receded, leaving Jerebelle with new chances for housing and development. The ones who had been there when it happened, including the ones transported to the luxury liner, were given initial control of the continent. In honor of their rescuers, they named it Greenleaf. Scientists still aren’t sure exactly what caused the Nation of Greenleaf to come out of the water, proving that even in our advanced age, there is still a little room for a few miracles from the Light of Prosperity.

Find the Ring of Migration

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: July 30, 1818

Click here for the previous installment...
Click here for the 2017 table of contents.

Everyone was all smiles at breakfast when they awoke in 2145. The only person not smiling was Mario Matic, who no longer existed. Mateo’s once-mother, Aura wasn’t able to see the wedding, but at least his once-father did. He had always been more committed to developing a relationship with the son he barely ever knew, and couldn’t remember. There was a chance that Arcadia would take give them a break for a honeymoon, but they weren’t all that upset when they discovered this to not be true. Their chances hadn’t been that high.
After everyone was finished with their meal, Dar’cy, who was growing up so incredibly fast, stepped away from the group and started talking in monotone. “Mario Matic was also known as The Kingmaker. Like his sister, he would travel the world, saving people’s lives. But he wasn’t doing it in just a general sense. It was his job to ensure that certain future leaders and significant historical figures survived to realize their greatness. You wouldn’t believe how many times a president, or a politically-driven rapper, or an actual king was in danger of dying—or giving up on their dreams—before they could do anything with their lives. You will be adopting some of his responsibilities for the next three days. You’ll be given no instructions for any one of them, but I will allow you to dress for the occasion. Please proceed to the costume shop once you have finished cleaning up camp.
“What kind of clothing is this?” Mateo asked as he was deciding what to wear. He had to choose from a loose white button-up shirt and a different loose white button-up shirt.
“Looks like nineteenth century,” Lincoln said, admiring a black top hat.
“Lots of patches,” Darko pointed out.
Mateo put on one of the shirts, along with denim pants with braces. He topped it off with a straw hat. The ladies, Serif and Leona were wearing long dresses with long sleeves, and bonnets.
Dar’cy peaked her head in the temporary shop. “Lemme know when you’re ready.”
They found themselves standing on the edge of a field, next to a wooden building with a tall stone foundation. Horses were walking slowly around this large turny thing, being led by their owners. A young boy was walking up with his own horse, followed by a man who must have been his father.
“No one seems to have noticed our arrival,” Leona said with relief.
“Abraham!” one of the men called over to the boy. “You’ve come!”
“As always,” little Abraham replied.
The group of outsiders approached awkwardly, obviously unsure of what they were doing, or how to hold themselves.
“Can I help you, friends?” one of the men asked.
“We’re visitors,” Rutherford told him, “from New York. We would just like to watch.”
“Feel free to help,” the boy’s apparent father said, “we could always use it.”
“Don’t be rude, Turnham.” He approached the time travelers, took off his hat, and showed his hand. “Mornin’, I’m Noah Gordon. This here mill’s mine.”
“Pleasure to meet you,” Serif replied with a slight curtsy.
Mateo didn’t know what kind of names existed back whenever this was, so he tried to alter them. “I’m Matthew, this is my wife...Leona. My brother, Darrell; and our neighbors, Lincoln and Sarah.”
“Lincoln?” Noah asked, surprised.
“What?” the little boy asked while waiting his turn at the horsey turny machine.
“His first name is Lincoln?”
“Uhhh...” Mateo had no idea what to say to that.
“It’s a family name,” Rutherford said, shaking Noah’s hand. This was an excuse that apparently solved all problems anyone had with someone else’s name.
“Abraham, this man shares your name, but as his given name!”
“Oh, okay!” Abraham said.
“Holy shit, that’s Abraham Lincoln,” Mateo whispered to Leona.
“Perhaps you should just call me by my last name, Rutherford.”
“Sounds good, Rutherford,” Noah said. “Stay as long as you’d like. Let me know if you’re thirsty.”
“We’re fine, thank you,” Serif answered.
The travelers moved a little closer so they could watch Abraham-frickin-Lincoln. He was uncomfortable with this, as anyone would be. He would grow up to be one of the most famous and influential U.S. presidents in history, but today, he was just a nine-year-old farm boy. When Arcadia said that Mario was the Kingmaker, she really meant it. What was going to happen today? Mateo asked the others whether they had any idea, but they didn’t. The majority of their knowledge on his history involved him freeing the slaves, and getting shot at the theatre.
Young Abraham Lincoln wanted to hurry this along, probably so he could get away from the creepers staring at him. “My dog could eat the meal as fast as the mill can grind it!” he yelled up to the people ahead, like a soccer mom at the post office. The travelers giggled at his impatience, while everyone else just didn’t care. They spent a long time there before it was Abraham’s turn to hitch his horse to the turny thingymabob. If only Samsonite were here to explain this to them, or Téa, who had grown up around this time in a past life.
Finally it was Abraham’s turn. He hitched his horse up and tried getting it to move the machine. “Git up, you ol’ hussy!” he yelled at it, desperate to prove that his impatience was not unfounded, and that he was better at this than the others. “Git up, you ol’ hussy! Git up—!”
The ol’ hussy took his words to be mightily insulting, and decided that she didn’t have to put up with it. She lifted her hind leg and struck Abraham in his head. He fell backwards to the ground, and did not move. Oh my God, he was going to die. The man who ended the Civil War was going to die on Mateo’s watch, and it would be all his fault.
Noah ran over and tried to wake Abraham up, but wasn’t able to. “Go get his father, Turnham,” he ordered to the man who had come with Abraham. “Go get Thomas.” He lifted the bloodied boy in his arms, and started walking away.
“How far is his house?” Mateo asked.
“‘Bout two miles,” Turnham answered.
“Darko, do you think you could...?” he turned around to ask his brother for help, but Darko was already running over to the horse. He placed his hand on the horse’s rope, and disappeared. It must have been nice to have his powers back.
Just after he was gone, Darko reappeared, coming down the road in a horse-drawn wagon. Another man was at his side, holding the reigns. Darko then took those reigns so the man could jump out and run over to his son. Darko had gone back in time to when the horse’s rope was still at home. He then somehow figured out how to coordinate it so Abraham’s father would show up just at the right time. None of the natives understood what had happened, but were also too preoccupied to question it at the moment. Darko, having just now learned how to drive one of these things, kept control of the horse so Abraham’s father could keep his son comfortable in his arms. He was still trying to wake him up as they drove off. The rest of the time travelers followed on foot.
By the time they reached the Lincoln log cabin, they expected him to be fully awake and recovering, but he was still unconscious. His father was convinced that he was already dead, and it didn’t look like he was going to make it. Darko pulled them to the side and said that he still felt a pulse, but that it was very faint. “There’s nothing we can do. Not here. Not without a doctor, and supplies. So I’m leaving.”
“Where will you go?” Serif asked.
“If Baxter isn’t coming to help us, then I’m going to find the only other doctor I trust. Leona, I’m going to need my bell.”
“You’re what?” Mateo asked.
“His bell,” Leona said, taking from her pocket what Mateo only knew as part of one of those things that doctors used to listen to heartbeats. It was the special object that Darko had given her so that she would never forget him.
After taking it from her, Darko approached Abraham’s father. “Thomas, I’m going to save your son, but in order to do that, you’re going to have to leave the room.”
Already having learned to trust him, Thomas Lincoln left the cabin and closed the door. Darko slipped off Abraham’s shoes, then took him by the shoulder, and disappeared. They both reappeared seconds later. “He’s gonna be fine,” Darko said, now holding Abraham’s shoes. “He just needs time.”
“How did you find his childhood shoes in the future?” Leona asked.
“I can help with that.” Thomas came back into the cabin, but was holding himself differently, not at all concerned with his son’s health.
“Thank you, Quivira,” Darko said to Thomas. “You know where to hide them.”
Before Thomas could leave once more, little Abraham started shaking in the bed. “You ol’ hussy!” he suddenly yelled. He then plopped back down and gathered himself.
As Lincoln was keeping his namesake company, Mateo pulled Darko to the side and asked what was happening. He had gotten better this weird time travel stuff, but this was confusing him so much.
“Abraham was dying, and nothing in present day could help him, so I had to take him to the future. I know a doctor, Mallory who spends her time treating human victims of time travel. I don’t mean like how Meliora helped Rutherford with his time sickness, I mean people who get hurt because time travelers arrive and start changing things. I used the stethoscope to get back to her, which she gave to me years ago for this very purpose. She treated him in the 21st century, and then I used Abraham's shoes to get back here.”
“And where did you get his shoes?”
“Doctor Hammer works with this reality’s version of Gilbert Boyce, Quivira. She’s sort of the quantum leaper of the real world. She possesses other people the past, and helps others. She jumped into Thomas so she could hide her son’s shoes in a safe place. I then retrieved them in the future, and used them to come back here. It’s all very complicated, I know.”
Mateo watched from the other side of the room as Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln Rutherford were taking turns spinning the latter’s top hat on their fingers. “But bottom line is that he’s gonna be okay.”
“If the future tells us anything, then not really. But he’ll live until he’s meant to die. And before you ask, he never woke up. The Runners don’t have an 1810s isolation room, but he didn’t see anything anyway. He has no idea what we are.”
“Maybe we can jump to the 1860s and save his life again.”
“I doubt it,” Leona said. “We should go. I think our job is done.”
“Rutherford!” Mateo called. “We’re leaving.”
Before getting out of the bed, Rutherford placed the hat on Abraham’s head and flicked it so it wouldn’t cover his eyes. “Looks good on you.”
“Can I keep it?”
“That there hat is yourn,” Rutherford answered.
Many believed Abraham Lincoln to have owned many hats, but a choosing one named The Weaver ultimately imbued the one that Rutherford had given him with the power to transform into slightly different styles. It was really all the same hat that he wore his entire life, and he even had it with him at the moment of his death a half century later.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Disappearance of Rothko Ladhiffe: Chapter Five

Click here for the entire story.
Click here for the previous installment...

I use the flashlight to explore the cave, but find nothing but a few strange rock formations, including one that looks like an altar. An ancient culture may have used it for human sacrifices, but for now, it’s mine. I need to take a nap and recharge myself, so I climb up on it, and drift away. Rock is generally really uncomfortable to be on, but right now, it feels like heaven.
I wake up later and realize that I’m also extremely hungry. I even say it loud, forgetting for a second that I am alone, and have been for most of my life. As I’m heading back to where I first came in, I pass the rock formation where I found what I’ve now decided to call the Rothko Torch, submerged in water. The water is gone, replaced by a plate of bread and crackers. I hesitantly lower my hand into the basin and gently touch the bread with my fingers. It’s not a hologram. I touch it again. It feels like regular bread. “Is someone here?” I ask, spinning around in case somebody shows up.
I don’t expect anyone to answer. For some reason, the plate of food magically appearing out of nowhere is a more logical explanation than that someone, out of the kindness of their heart, just snuck in and placed it here for me. As it turns out, I’m half right. “I’m here,” comes a voice.
I spin again and settle on a rock formation that looks like a doorway that leads nowhere. A woman is standing at the fake entrance, hands resting in front of her, and smiling. “Who are you?” I ask.
“Hello,” she says, like an automated phone attendant. “My name is Porter. The Constructor, The Weaver, and I collaborated on this place as a refuge for the needy. It is a prototype, however...a proof of concept, as it were. Congratulations, you have been chosen as a beta tester for the program. Here you will find anything you need. If you would like something, within reason, simply request it out loud. We’re not mind readers, you know,” she adds with a smirk. “If the program is successful, we will be creating more—more advanced—places like this. Go ahead and try it out. Ask for anything.”
“I would like Rothko Ladhiffe.”
“I’m sorry, that item is not in my inventory.”
“Please send me Escher Bradley.”
“I’m sorry, that item is not in my inventory,” she repeats.
I walk over and try to nudge her on the shoulder, sure that my hand will pass right through.
But she isn’t a hologram either. “Please respect my personal space. We’ll all get along better if we’re civil.”
I nudge her again.
“Please respect my personal space.”
So she’s physically here, but she’s not real. They somehow figured out how to record her saying various things, which can be activated upon command. It reminds me of some MS-DOS text games I used to play on the computer. You can’t speak to them like a normal person, only responding when you type commands the right way. Porter is clearly a more advanced version of this, but you still can’t break her worldview by teaching her something she didn’t know when she was built. She knows what she knows, and that’s it. I try to replicate one of the features that not all of them had. “Porter, list of commands.”
“I’m sorry, I cannot do that. If you would like the user manual, however, I can provide that.”
“User manual, please.”
“Item is waiting for you in the item basin.”
I go back over and retrieve a book that’s only about a hundred pages long. As advanced as this system is, I expect it to be as tall as a skyscraper, or something. I guess I’ve gotten lucky. I start flipping through the pages, and testing a few of the features. “Porter, play music.”
“Which piece?”
“Dealer’s choice.” Entry of the Gods Into Valhalla starts playing, and I can’t figure out where the speakers are. It must just be coming from the aether itself. “Lower volume, please. Shuffle Wagner continuously please.” I return to the manual, which tells me that the items I request can come from anywhere in the world; from any time in history; past, present, or future. “Porter, give me the first model of television ever built.”
“The history of television sets, is a complicated one. Exactly what qualifies as a television set varies when considering modern standards—”
“Give me a TV from 1947.” It appears. “Give me a TV from 2017,” I choose, remembering the future book I read in the library above. I expect to see a flatscreen TV, but instead it’s curved inwards. I don’t get why anyone would want that. “Porter, does this function?”
“It does, yes.”
“If I turn it on, will it show me a broadcast from today, or from 2017?”
“Which would you like?”
I smile at the notion of being able to do practically anything, but I don’t actually turn on the TV, because that’s not what I’m doing here. “I would like to speak with the real Porter.”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible.”
“She’s dead?”
“Dead...alive...time. Everything never will be and always was.”
“How cheerful,” I respond to the sudden quasiphilosophical musing. “Is there anyone I can speak to? This Constructor, or the Weaver?”
Porter stands frozen for a few strange moments. “I could potentially contact the Weaver.”
“Okay, do that.”
She tilts her head to the other side. “Placing call.”
A different woman starts to climb out of the item basin, even though it’s not deep enough for someone to fit. She looks around. “I’d forgotten about this place.” She looks at a watch on her wrist. “August 24, 2000. Porter, let’s see that GameCube that they announce today.” She looks back and takes a gaming console I’ve never seen before out of the basin. “Still works.” She outstretches her hand. “Hello, my name is the Weaver. How did you find this place? It was buried.”
“With a book, and this,” I say to her, taking what I’ve now decided to call the Escher Knob from my bag.”
Her eyes widen and she reaches for it. I try to pull it away, but realize she’s my best source of answers. “A new thing,” she says happily. “Porter, I need my continuum resonance imaging machine.” While still examining the Escher Knob, she reaches into the basin and takes out a wand-looking thing, which she waves around the knob. “Porter, project the image on this anachronism.”
The television flips on, showing a photograph of the knob. The Weaver is able to rotate and flip it at will just be dragging her fingers across the screen. She then pulls it apart to show a cross section. “Just as I suspected.”
“This shape here is called the cylicone; a cone inside of a cylinder, with lots of other design quirks. I invented it. It allows any dipshit to turn an ordinary object into something that can manipulate time. My biggest regret is letting the instructions for this thing get out into the world. I’m sure if we took a look at that flashlight, we’d find a cylicone.”
“These two things are the only evidence I have that two people who went missing even ever existed.”
She shakes her head, “I’m not going to take them away. That’s not my right. I am going to ask you to be careful, though.”
“I can do that, if you can tell me where they are.”
“I don’t know, but you won’t find answers here. This was a failed experiment. Our testers started asking for more and more extravagant things, and we soon learned that no one deserved to live like this. This is what we in the business call Springfield Y2K. It can’t be stopped. The city is dying, and the only thing you can control is whether you’re in it when it’s totally gone.”
“I can evacuate everyone left.”
“Can you?”
No, probably not.
She went on, “the people you’re looking for are gone, and from what we know of the future, they don’t come back. Best move on with your life. I’ll allow you to stay here, if you want. You seem like good people. Just know that the biggest problem our testers had over the years...was loneliness.” She opened her shirt to reveal a weird robotic vest thing with buttons on it. “See you in 2016.” Then she pressed one of the buttons and disappeared.
He did see her again sixteen years later, after all of Springfield was gone.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Microstory 670: Unpredicted Devastating Solar Flare

Remake the Club of Death

Like so many other things, many of the issues that plagued us in the past are exactly that, in the past. We don’t worry about hurricanes ravaging our homes, or energy crises, or sex robots being hacked to murder their owners. Included in this list are celestial phenomena, notably solar flares. Most people around the universe haven’t dealt much with devastating solar flares. They’ve happened on occasion, and have caused some minor disturbances, like malfunctioning electronics, but they’re not usually all that bad. Even for the ones that do happen, we’ve developed technology to predict them. Every solar orbital, satellite, and space vessel comes equipped with the necessary sensors; even the least advanced ones. We can’t predict them years, or even weeks off, but we can generally see them coming with enough time to engage countermeasures. Something was different in a little remote star system in the Casini cluster. Suddenly, completely without any warning, something known as a superflare erupted from a star called Doppel b. Within minutes, the flare had a disastrous effect on the two habitable planets in the system, Delena and Steroline. This caused the majority of both planets to go completely dark. They had no way of communicating with each other, let alone someone at an interstellar distance. They spent the better part of three days working tirelessly to reconstruct their communication capabilities, only to learn that the superflare was accompanied by a coronal mass ejection, which was in the middle of sending a stream of deadly plasma towards the planets. The inhabitants released multiple E285FF wide-spectrum distress beacons, but they were all too late. A nearby luxury ship arrived just in time to watch Delena and Steroline become consumed by Doppel b’s fire. Everyone died instantly, leading a few believers in the Light to question why the Sacred Savior spoke of the solar flare, when really it was the CME that they should have been worried about.

A Continent Rises From the Ocean

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Microstory 669: Remake the Club of Death

The Arkeizen Culling

As the moment, there are hundreds of billions of people in this galaxy, but when our civilization first began, there were far fewer. Still, that’s a lot of people to keep track of. Since our whole reason for leaving our ancestors was to be independent and free, we didn’t exactly have any methods of monitoring all of our planets’ respective citizens, and still don’t. With all these people living separately, doing separate things, we don’t know for sure, but supposedly we know who committed the first murder here. It was carried out by a man named Giacomo. Again, the veracity of these claims remain in question, for we don’t even know what planet this occurred on, or who he killed. All we know is what he used; something now known as the Club of Death. The Club of Death seemed to be an ordinary wooden club, but the truth behind it came out soon after the murder. Through mysterious means, this club was completely indestructible. Obviously experts attempted to study this instrument, only to come up with no reasonable explanation for its strength. Mystical explanations have been offered, including that the Light of Truth protected it from any and all attacks. Upon learning this, Sotiren sought out Giacomo, and quickly recruited him to be one of his eidos. Though Eido Giacomo took a vow of nonviolence, and never killed a single person since that first murder, he continued to carry the Club with him at all times. We will discuss his reasons for this once his replacement has been chosen.
A few years following Giacomo’s beginning as an eido, survivors of his first kill executed their revenge plan. They stole the Club of Death from him, and jettisoned it into a star. This may or may not have destroyed the club, but regardless of whether it remained intact, it was forever irretrievable. The Sacred Savior wrote in the Book of Light that the Club of Death would have to remade, and so an interstellar contest began, led and judged by none other than Vilis Samuels, before his first excursion to Lactea. As technologically advanced as we have become, most could not succeed in this endeavor. No matter what you try, wood is just too weak, and though other ingredients could be added to the instrument, it was required to be made primarily of wood. Vilis found a way to destroy every entry, every single time. Then something unexpected happened, as one should come to expect when predicting the nature of these taikon. Another murder was committed in Fostea, just one of many, but this one was special. It was perpetrated using a wooden staff that happened to be lying around. What they discovered was that this was the Unbreaking Branch, an artifact of lore from thousands of years ago on our origin world with similar physical properties to the Club of Death. Though it wasn’t technically remade during the taikon, it was rediscovered, something that no one was even trying to do. Taikon verifiers accepted this as a loophole, and the Unbreaking Branch was kept in a safe place in order to be given to Eido Giacomo’s replacement.

Unpredicted Devastating Solar Flare

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Microstory 668: The Arkeizen Culling

A Weak Man Made Strong

In response to a group of irritants who came to our galaxy, looking to stir up trouble, the leaders of the Central Worlds decided to dole out some punishment. These people consider themselves to be noble freedom fighters, so harming them physically would do us no good. Their message could get back to their compatriots in Lactea, and then we could be in the midst of an intergalactic war. We certainly wouldn’t want to martyr them, and only act to further their cause. One weakness they did have, however, was for the Arkeizen thralls. Arkeizens survived on Earth longer than they should have, but their evolution was stunted. Someone—we’re not sure who—must have taken pity upon them, and placed them in a paradise. This prevented them from developing any survival strategies to pass down through the bloodlines. Their only use is to serve others, so that’s exactly what we gave them. We brought them to our worlds, and they have lived in peace with us ever since, working on our farms, and in our factories. We have our jobs, and they have theirs. They provide for us, so who would want to take that away from them? This is best for all of us. The Lactean irritants think that the thralls should have to fend for themselves, but they’ve not stopped to think about what that would do to everyone. If suddenly every thrall lost the protection of their respective jarl, they would be lost. They don’t have any skills besides what their jarls taught them for the tasks required. They don’t have any money, so they couldn’t contribute positively to the economy, which wouldn’t really matter, because the market would crash in a single day, sending the galaxy spiraling towards utter chaos. Our culture is built on the backs of these Arkeizen, and though they may not be capable of complex language, we know that they are grateful to us for this honor. In order to protect us from this devastation, the Central Worlds took it upon themselves to teach the Lactean irritants a lesson by decimating the Arkeizen population. This was a significant blow to our economy, yes, but it was nothing compared to what would have happened had the irritants had their way. This happened long before the taikon began, so it shouldn’t have qualified for them, but we honestly didn’t want to have to do that again, at least not until the Arkeizen numbers could be replenished. A council of Highlightseers began to meet shortly after the taikon began in order to discuss whether an exception could be made to the rule of order. Since being resurrected, Sacred Savior, Sotiren Zahir has been trying to stay out of the taikon himself, so as to not influence them too greatly. Nevertheless, he made an appearance at one of council’s meetings when he was nearby for a meet-and-greet with Vilis Samuels. After long discussions, he agreed to allow this single exception, and the Arkeizen decimation took its place in history as the earliest taikon event chronologically.

Remake the Club of Death

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Microstory 667: A Weak Man Made Strong

Dawning of the Merciful Warriors

Vilis Samuels was bullied as a child. He struggled in most of his classes, but had a fascination with history of the old world. He wasn’t the only one. We’re all very sad to say, but over the years, some of us have longed for the days when we were under the rule of the dirty communists. These defectors believe the communists to be all about equality and contentment, when really, they’re all about control. Of course these twisted thoughts would make people like Vilis outsiders wherever they went in the galaxy. Many succumb to their bad thoughts, and end up trying to return from whence we came. Vilis never likely gave up his childhood fantasies, but he did grow up to use his love of Lactea in the best way he could find, which was to help covertly keep track of their movements. What some people may not know is that, in order to maintain our secrecy against the Lacteans, we have to know what they’ve been up to. One of the longest-lasting organizations has been secretly returning to the old world, and reporting back. Vilis does not go on these missions, for it would be too dangerous to let him anywhere near people he may yet admire. It’s his responsibility to handle the reports from the agents in the field, making sure they’re filed correctly, and escalating any issues that may threaten our people. He is really just a clerk, and has never made much of an impression on anyone else. Upon watching the bulletin from the new Warriors of Mercy, however, he suddenly felt a surge of energy. This new power was physical, yes, with his muscles far exceeding the strength he had ever had before, but it was also more. Vilis became confident and self-assured, no longer allowing anyone to talk down to him. He demanded a promotion to field agent, which his superiors were helpless to decline. He’s lost his love of Lactea, and is shaping up to be one of the best intelligence agents the galaxy has ever seen. Only time will tell what comes of Vilis Samuels, but one thing we know from him, is that he never wants to be that same weak man he was before.

The Arkeizen Culling