Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Microstory 657: Water of Death

A not insignificant theme in the Book of Light is water. And death. Water is essential to all organic life, and it’s the first thing any living creature seeks out when it moves somewhere new. Death has historically been the inevitable conclusion to life. We fear it, prepare for it, and impose it upon others. It is only natural that these two things would be brought together for one taikon. As with many other prophecies in the taikon series, we figured this would be one of the more metaphorical kind. The exact language used certainly leads to this determination. What we didn’t know was exactly how it would turn out, and how many lives would be claimed as a result. The more important question was, of course, who would suffer for it? As we’ve seen with earlier taikon, there seems to be some kind of new force; borne from, and bound to, Lightseed faith. Whatever it is, it can spread itself across the entire galaxy, inflicting its wrath against anyone and everyone simultaneously. Since these sort of things—explained tentatively as a strange form of quantum entanglement—first began, people have decided to name it simply The Darkness. It’s not a particularly original moniker, but it works for our purposes. This mysterious Darkness has fallen upon us again, using its power to rob us of what was very likely every single water source in Fostea. This remained the dynamic throughout the duration of only a single day, but its effects will be felt to eternity. The human body can survive for weeks without water, months if it’s been upgraded. Likewise, animals and plantlife have more often than not proven themselves to be sturdy enough to withstand this deficit for phenomenally long periods of time. A single day of no water doesn’t sound like much, in the grand scheme of things. The problem was that the Darkness did not simply remove access to water, but it turned it poisonous. Those who attempted to drink on this day were met with a terrible, bitter taste. It was so unbearable that most people spit it out immediately, but the inexplicable sickness that it caused had already done its damage. For days following the water’s return to normalcy, victims remained completely hydrophobic. The mere thought of water would cause them to panic, cough uncontrollably, and sometimes even resort to suicide. The only ones safe from this catastrophe were upgraded people, and artificial beings, of which our galaxy contains relatively few. About a week later, everyone inflicted by this could go on with their lives, if they happened to survive, but they would never be the same.

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