Friday, August 25, 2017

Microstory 655: Beginning of the Famine

The Sacred Light is an unforgiving power. Many people flock to our religion in hopes of finding security and serenity. And it’s true that the warmth of the Light can bring peace to all who let it shine upon their souls. But it can also be dangerous, violent, and hurtful. Lightseers, and Fosteans as a whole, have a long history of being history of being persecuted and mistreated. We’ve talked a lot about the dirty communists who once plagued our leadership, but what we’ve not explained is that our past is what defines us. We could not be as powerful and self-assured today had we not suffered and struggled. During one of our holiest of observances, we recognize the battles our ancestors had to go through; clawing their way from the darkness. We call it Dimbaz, and it is during a period of three days that we remember their sacrifices by emulating them. We purposefully hide our eyes from sources of light that are too intense, generally by wearing masks, visors, or other headgear. We also practice a level of fasting, where some will keep themselves from food the entire time, while others will merely eat sparingly. This year’s Dimbaz fatefully fell just after the Week in One Day taikon series, and during the fulfillment of the fifty-fourth taikon. Fittingly, Sotiren Zahir foretold that soon the galaxy would find itself in the middle of a great famine. This was hard to believe seeing as food is such an easy commodity to come by. No one lives on any orbital without preexisting, or terraformed, life. We’ve advanced food science to the point of being able to manufacture nutrients from almost nothing, so there isn’t any logical reason that we would have to experience a famine. Sure, there are parts of the galaxy where people live on less, and certain peoples don’t work hard enough to earn a decent amount of sustenance, but these are isolated cases. Even if there were some kind of famine, surely it would affect only the sinners, and our rivals. We believe in the Light, and all its glory. Surely we would be protected. But we weren’t. What occurred next was no simple food shortage. It wasn’t just that we weren’t growing or processing food at a reasonable rate, or suffered a blight that somehow managed to spread between the stars. Food just started spoiling too quickly. We eventually found an explanation for this horrific turn of events, but knowing the science behind it did nothing to detract from the fact that it happened. As terrible as it was, it was a necessary step towards the next chapter of the story of the taikon.

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