Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Microstory 702: Open the Book of Anseluka

The Book of Anseluka. It is a mysterious tome that has been kept locked in the Sacred Savior’s original office for centuries. We have always known that it existed, but have never seen it, and do not know what it says. In the hiding place of the Ring of Expansion, a team found with it a note from Sotiren himself. In it, he briefly explains that the Ring cannot be used, which would be fine with us, because we believe we can win this war without it. Frighteningly, however, it also says that we must now finally open the Book of Anseluka, which could say anything. The code to open Zahir’s safe was written on the back of the note. Once that safe was opened, we found another note, instructing us to read the introductory passage of the book out loud on the same frequency the Grandmother in the Moon used. When asked about this, the resurrected Sacred Savior grew quiet, and said only that what must be done, must be done. So we did as we were told, and read from the Book of Anseluka, for all to hear.

If you are reading this after the realization of the 121st taikon then congratulations! You have accomplished the impossible. Your lives will be filled with success and peace. No blasphemer will speak lies of you, no enemy will tear you down, no invader will breach your borders. You may burn this book without reading further, and forget that it ever existed. If you are reading this before the realization of the hundredth taikon, please close it immediately. It is not yet time. If, on the third hand, you were instructed to read this based on the outcome of the hundred and first taikon, then I apologize immensely. Every taikon in the Book of Light from here on out will be impossible to attain. They will be forever out of your reach. If you have not yet found a way to make peace with your enemies, you will still have the chance to redeem yourselves, but the state of the galaxy will have to change dramatically. This short book outlines the requirements for a new set of the remaining nineteen taikon, ones which you have never heard before. To be clear, this is not punishment, but a new path, and a new way towards everlasting peace. Your next step is to publish this book for all to read, and follow if they wish. After that, you may continue with the taikon as organically as you were (hopefully) doing with the preceding taikon.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Microstory 701: Find the Ring of Expansion

The First Ring, the Ring of Migration, and the Ring of Expansion were all hypothetically based on the same technology. We don’t know exactly what technology that is, or where it came from, but many believe them to have originated in another universe—this theory motivated only by the fact that they are so inexplicable. These three rings all do similar things, but differently so, and for different purposes. The First Ring is capable of summoning massive numbers of people to one place by some kind of instant transportation method we do not use for anything else. There is no evidence that it uses the simplex dimensions to accomplish this, but instead resembles data collected from ancient time travel experiments. The Ring of Migration can summon people as well, but does so in a more traditional sense. Instead of teleporting them, it merely attracts them to a single point, and lets them find their own way there. The Ring of Expansion, on the other hand, is more similar to the first. It behaves similarly to technology used millennia ago in the old worlds by tangent species of humans. At the time, one particular world had been cleansed of life, while higher dimensions that could be accessed from it were teeming with it. In order to repopulate the planet, they switched on a machine that we’ve never been able to recover, which consolidated everyone to mithgarther. Again, we’re not sure how they were able to do this, or why, but we know they did not use the Ring of Expansion. Some hypothesize that the Ring of Expansion was modeled upon this native technology, providing evidence against the possibility that any of the rings derive from some foreign universe. The Ring of Expansion is considered the most dangerous of all, because while the others are designed for one’s own people, this is designed for enemies. We have spent years fighting the Thuriamen, and though we’ve maintained a decent opposition to them, the war has stagnated. We are more technologically advanced, and we have more dedicated warriors on our side, but they still have the numbers. In all this time, teams were being sent to search for the Ring of Expansion, which promised the end to all this fighting. No one alive knew where it was, but the Book of Light strong implies that it was hidden in a hole of a dead moon. After years of hunting, we finally found it on an unnamed moon...orbiting an unnamed planet...orbiting an unnamed star. We were excited to finally be able to destroy the Amadesin remnant once and for all, but the Ring came with a note written in Sotiren Zahir’s handwriting.

Never shall this ring be used, against the Thuriamen, or anyone else. If ever it is, all taikon will be negated, and the universe will be plunged into eternal darkness you will never escape. If the Ring of Expansion is found after the end of The Light Wars, you may proceed with the taikon as they are written in the Book of Light. If, however, the war rages on, you must instead open the Book of Anseluka, and follow its instructions.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Advancement of Mateo Matic: August 5, 2151

Real!Mateo, the one that belonged to this reality—even though technically no Mateo belonged here—didn’t have to spend much time with his alternate self in 2150. Arcadia kept Alt!Mateo there really only long enough for them to exchange awkward pleasantries. The most meaningful thing they said to each other was when one mentioned Leona’s Time Traveling Rule Number Four. The other then responded with its verbiage, “avoid alternate versions of yourself.” It was interesting that a different Leona had not only come up with the same list, but in apparently the same order. Later on, Real!Mateo couldn’t remember which one of them had said which, and it caused a massive existential crisis in which he questioned whether he truly was the Real Mateo in any scenario.
He said nothing of this to Leona and Serif, instead wanting only to spend quality time with them before they had to return to Tribulation Island and await their disappearance. The last conversation they had was in the literal eleventh hour. The two women were arguing about whether they were going recite the final words of TV characters who disappeared from The Vampire Diaries, or the one from Teen Wolf. Serif argued that the former made the most sense since there were two of them. Then Leona made a good point that the latter was more relevant to their situation, because the people they left behind wouldn’t remember them. In the end, time was coming at them too fast. In a panic, Leona said dramatically, “Talyn...”
Serif joined in for the rest, and they simultaneously said in mild Australian accents... “Starburst.”

And just like that, nearly a third of their remaining group was ripped from time. Lincoln, Darko, Marcy, and Dar’cy were his only friends left, and though only Mateo could remember the others, they could all feel an emptiness. The remainders could sense the deep sense of loss unlike anything he had expressed with the other disappearances, and were sympathetic. Dar’cy, who was too old to be called little anymore, was particularly difficult to see, though. She was about the same age Leona was when they first met, and looked a little bit like her. Or maybe that was his mind playing tricks on him, seeing resemblance where there was none.
“What do you want to do?” his brother asked patiently.
“I just wanna go to sleep,” Mateo answered.
“Okay. The privacy hut is all ready for you, with a few new amenities.”
“No. I don’t wanna be alone.”
Late in the morning, Mateo woke up late and then went off to gather firewood. There were plenty of trees in the area, so that was more of an unspoken code that you didn’t want to be disturbed. He started wandering through the jungle, not really thinking about anything. He just forced himself to hyperfocus on every step, and on taking note of every leaf and blade of grass that met his eyes. Before he knew it, he had stumbled upon the Colosseum replica, which had totally held up, even after all this time. Lit—teenage Dar’cy, his niece was in the middle of the grounds, practicing some sort of martials arts by herself.
“How much did you see?” she asked upon realizing he was watching.
They started walking towards each other. “I just came up. Why?”
“My mother would go ape shit if she knew I was doing this.”
“I was to understand she never got angry.”
“You haven’t seen her around my boyfriend.”
“Who’s your...Lincoln?” He was the only man on the island she wasn’t related to.
“What? No. It was a Dardieti boy. The relationship didn’t last long, of course.”
He nodded. “Right. Sorry.” After they started to walk out of the stadium, he restarted the conversation, “so your father’s teaching you the trade?”
“Yeah, in secret.”
“Isn’t martial arts all zen and stuff, like your mother?”
She squinted at the sun, stretching her lips like a smile, but not. “It teaches patience, and discipline. It teaches other things too, though, which mom does not appreciate.”
“Kind of an odd couple, those two, eh?”
Now she did smile. “No, they’re perfect for each other. And also just perfect.”
“Treasure them. They could be gone someday.”
“You mean, like, in a few days.”
“Yes,” he answered solemnly. “I believe they’ll be next. Maybe just him, I don’t have all the answers.”
“And me?”
“I’ve been told that you’re exempt.”
“That’s nice,” she said sarcastically.
“Listen, Dar’cy, I’m glad I ran into you.”
Mateo took out his mother’s rosary and fidgeted with it. “My mother gave this to me when she left, in the other reality. Besides some clothes that I’m not wearing anymore, and lost track of, it’s the only thing I know of that originates in a different reality.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I’m not sure how your father’s ability works, but I want you to have this...in case. You may be able to go back there, and it might be safer.”
“Why would I go back there? How could I go there, to a different reality?”
“I don’t know, maybe you can’t, but it’s not a bad escape plan. I’ve just learned that returning to collapsed realities is, in some way, possible. Maybe you could thread it, and do the same.”
“What makes you think I have my father’s time power?”
“You’re a Matic. We all have something. I’ve never met one who doesn’t.”
“You should keep it,” Dar’cy asked.
“Power or not, it’s a gift. I’ve missed every single one of your birthdays, and this is all I have.”
She tightened her grip on the rosary. “Thank you. And you’re right. I do have my father’s powers.”
Before he could react to what Dar’cy had just revealed to him, Mateo was suddenly standing in the middle of a highway bridge. Two cars were behind him, along with most everybody else. Marcy was sitting in one of the cars, while Dar’cy was sitting in another. Lincoln had landed several hundred yards away, and had to make the jog up to them. Darko was nowhere to be seen, nor was anyone else in the world. They could see buildings and parking lots, but no sign of life. It was the middle of the day, someone should be around. Arcadia walked up in a ponytail, wearing a tight and sexy outfit, including very short shorts. “That did not go as planned,” she lamented, pinching the bridge of her nose.
“What happened?”
“You were in a race, and Darko cheated,” Arcadia explained. “While he’s on Tribulation Island, I can stop him from using his powers, but whenever we go anywhere else, he regains access to them. And he used them to rig the competition, which I did not foresee. So here we are, back at it again for a second attempt. Your brother’s been excluded this time around, obviously. Just in case he Bill and Ted’s this shit in the future, everything in this mirror dimension originated here. He has absolutely no way of getting in, and you have no way of getting out until you finish the race.”
“Who are we racing?” Mateo asked.
“Glad you asked.” She snapped her fingers, causing Alt!Mateo to appear next to her.
“Him?” Real!Mateo questions. “I’m racing myself?”
“The ultimate challenge,” she said simply.
“Don’t we both want the same thing?”
“I told you that these expiations would be extremely dangerous,” Arcadia began. “Only one of you can win. The Mateo from this reality will get Serif and Leona back at the end of all this if he wins. If the visiting Mateo wins, however, he gets to stay, and must choose which of the two ladies he’d like to bring back.”
“I don’t really know either of them,” Alt!Mateo said.
“Then your decision shouldn’t matter. What does matter is that this isn’t really about Leona, or Serif. It’s about you two. The loser has to go back to the other reality, at the moment just before Reaver kills you. I only need one of you, and honestly, I don’t care which one anymore.”
“This is sick,” Real!Mateo argued.
“This! Is! Sparta!”
Alt!Mateo rolled his eyes. “Really?”
She laughed. “No, but...this! Is! Delaware! And that! Is! New Jersey!” she shouted, pointing down the bridge. You have to get over this bridge, and then pass under the Broadway Bridge, which is the finish line. Yes, Alt!Mateo, this is a reenactment of your screw up when you killed Alt!Leona. This is not a happy challenge.”
“Why are the other three here?” Real!Mateo asked.
“Incentive,” she answered. “I need to send one of you to the other reality, and I need one to stay here, so if you were thinking about knocking the competition into the wall, think again. I can’t have either of you dying.”
“I would never try that anyway,” Real!Mateo said.
“Nor would I.” Despite him being the competition, Real!Mateo had to remember that his alternate self was still him, and would still share his values. It was easy to think of him as evil, and an intruder, but he wasn’t. He was just as much of a pawn.
“Still, I’d like to be safe,” Arcadia said dismissively. “Real!Mateo, you’ll be driving Dar’cy, because I know you well enough to know you wouldn’t hurt Marcy. Alt!Mateo may need a few extra feels to do the right thing, so I’m betting he’s less likely to hurt his innocent niece.”
“What about me?” Lincoln piped up.
“Oh.” Arcadia looked at him with exaggerated disgust. “You’re still here? You can sit on the bench, like the weakest guy on the Survivor tribe with too many players.”
“You can still back out of this,” Real!Mateo let Arcadia know.
“Thanks for the advice. Get in the goddamn car.”
“I wanna switch,” Dar’cy divulged. “I don’t know the other Mateo, but I know I can’t trust this loser.” She spoke in such an entitled millennial tone; it made him cringe, and almost want to tear up.
“Yikes,” Arcadia said. “Fine by me, I suppose.”
“Dar’cy,” Real!Mateo begged, “what are you doing?”
“Whatever,” Dar’cy spat back, completely unlike her. Though, to be fair, he’d only known her for a couple weeks, and she had just recently grown into her rebellious teen years. Regardless, he couldn’t argue, and neither could her mother. They all stepped into their respective cars and waited for Arcadia to drop the flag.
“Live your life a...two-point-one-six miles at a time. Nailed it.” After a dramatic pause, she lifted her handkerchief into the air, and dropped it onto the pavement.
Tires squealed and smoke billowed. They shot down the road, and since they were both essentially the same person, neither one was able to significantly overtake the other. They were going extremely fast, though. With no turns or obstacles, they didn’t have to worry about downshifting. Just tack up, and let it fly. Again, though, neither had an advantage over the other. It was going to be a tie, except that Dar’cy was rolling down her window, which was creating more drag for Alt!Mateo’s car.
“What are you doing!” he cried.
Ignoring him, Dar’cy signaled for Real!Mateo to drop his window too, which he did. “I wish we coulda had more time together. You woulda been a great uncle!”
“Dar’cy, what’s going on!” he called out to her, battling the wind.
“Thanks for the gift!” she yelled back, letting the rosary hang from her fist so he could see it. “I love it!”
“Dar’cy? What are you doing with that?”
“I love you, mom!” she said finally. “Tell dad the same!”
“Honey! What are you saying?”
“We’re almost there! We can’t risk it! Goodbye!”
They could see her reach up with her other hand and take hold of Alt!Mateo’s shoulder. He was indeed pulling ahead of them, more determined than Real!Mateo to evade his fate.
“Dar’cy! Don’t!”
He couldn’t stop her, though. She closed her eyes, and threaded the rosary back to some point in the past, in the previous reality, taking Alt!Mateo with her.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Departure of Hokusai Gimura: Chapter One

The first thing I do after secretly leaving Analion Tower—which is in about the same state it was in the other reality—is return to the bus station and retrieve the money that The Repairman procured for me. The one benefit of living in that corrupted reality Yatchiko created was that I was a whole person, with an identity, and resources. I even had a girlfriend with immense time powers whose help I could use right now, but I have no idea how to contact her. Her phone number no longer works, which I discovered after borrowing a phone from a kind stranger. I still have my phone with me, but it only works with public WiFi, because my original wireless carrier has never heard of me. The only thing I was able to keep with me from the corrupted reality was my face. Melantha—or Meliora, as it were—used to give me deaging therapy, which somehow transferred over to the true reality.
After resting for a night in a seedy motel, I walk to a seedy car dealership, where they don’t ask many questions, and buy a crappy car. I drive the crappy car to the crappy part of the city where people do whatever they can just to get by. I’ve retained my memories of being a Kansas City police officer, and a corporate fraud investigator, in the corrupted reality. While most of that never actually happened, I still have knowledge of how this city works. When you’re a cop looking for really bad people, sometimes you have to let the not so terribly bad people keep living their lives, and doing their jobs. I never really had a problem with that since I don’t agree with every law anyway. I struck a deal with a couple who specialize in generating false identities for people. As my confidential informants, they would keep their ears to the ground for any nefarious activity. In return, I would let them keep helping people escape their old lives. Most of their clients were abused wives, and street gang members who wanted to get out of the life. They charged a lot less for their services than they could, and never helped violent criminals evade the law. All I can hope is they still exist in this reality.
“You smell like a cop,” the cliché of a freelance security guard says when I try to enter the forger couple’s den.
“I was a cop, and I left this operation running because I appreciated what they were doing. It was my job to stop gang violence, and they contributed to that cause. I don’t think they ever knew about me, but I wanted to extend my gratitude...and ask for a favor.”
He lifts his head to alter his perception of me.
I take a thousand dollars out of my pocket. “I just wanna talk. You can pat me down, if you want.”
“That won’t be necessary,” says someone from a dark corner. A young man steps into the light and offers me his hand. “Nice to meet you, detective. My parents spoke highly of you.”
“They did?” That’s impossible, I never actually worked for the KCPD, at least not as a detective.
“Yes, of course. In the corrupted reality, that is,” he says. “Follow me.” He turns around and walks back into the darkness.
As I’m following, his personal guard casually plucks the cash from my hand, which is fine.
“Who are you?” I ask him once we’re in his office. “How do you know about the corrupted reality? Do you remember it?”
He points to a mirror on the other side of the room. “That allows me to speak with my dead parents. Yesterday, they start talking about contradictions in their own memories, acting like they’ve lived lives that never happened. I figured it out.”
“You have a Mirror of Erised?” I ask, referring to an object in the Harry Potter franchise.
He grins. “Where do you think Rowling got the idea?”
“So you know who I am?” I ask, getting the subject back on track.
“Detective Kallias Bran, not really. Was the corruption centered on you?”
“It was.”
He nods. “But you broke through it?”
Trusting him, I take the Incorruptible Astrolabe from my bag and show it to him.
He dons a pair of his own steampunk goggles, and adjusts the magnifiers. “Very interesting. Got anything else?”
“Yeah, I do,” I say, guarded. “Questions.”
“That’s all right, I’m not in the business of stealing from people.”
“What are you in the business of?”
He takes a breath. “My name is The Forger. I help time travelers assimilate into their new environments.”
“You’re a time traveler?”
“I’ve traveled, but by aid of others . I can’t do it myself, this is my time period.”
“So you can help me create an identity.”
“You had an identity during the corruption, but now now?”
“The reality was created in order to give me that identity, which was stolen from me when my city disappeared from time.”
He’s taken aback by this. “A whole city?”
“Gradually. Eventually.”
“Holy shit, I need to talk to The Historian about that.”
“First, could you make me a real boy?”
Still preoccupied with the mystery of Springfield, Kansas, he steps over to the multi-function printer and punches a few buttons. It starts spitting papers out of one tray, and then a full passport from the booklet tray. He then moves over to the ATM. “Are you staying in 2017?”
“Yes, but I don’t need any money. The Repairman took care of that for me.”
“Oh, you met him? Kind of a weirdo, right?”
“He’s good people, though.” He pushes a few ATM buttons. A few cards fall out, which he hands to me. “He always hands out cash, so you’ll need at least one bank account, and a line of credit.”
I take the cards from him, which are completely blank, except for the chip, and the magnetic bar. “Which bank?”
“You choose. “The cards will fill in themselves once you decide which issuers they’re from. I recommend staying away from Gregorios, though. They’re even more corrupt than regular banks.”
“Ah, man, this is amazing. Thank you for all you’re help. How much do I owe you?”
He laughs and taps on the ATM a few times. “I don’t need your money. Just tell me what kind of life you would have led had you not lived in this mysteriously disappearing city. The documents that printed were just the initial ones. You’ll still need a history.”
I sit down with him and discuss what I’ve been though. I make a few things up, but most of it is just my real past, conflated to Kansas City, instead of Springfield. He prints out two copies of each document, and keeps virtual copies in a magical network that apparently disseminates them to time and space. He’s not just giving me papers to show people as needed. He’s actually somehow rewriting history to reflect my presence in it. I ask him whether he’s met Yatchiko Ishimaru, who could do something similar, but he just says he stays away from all those people, as most salmon and choosers do. Whatever those are. The Children of Springfield, as I’ve decided to call them, are a special class of temporal manipulators that no one wants to talk about, according to the Forger.
He collates all the documents, handing one set to me in a manilla folder, and placing the other in a large envelope. He then steps over to a mailbox, opens it once before closing it, then lifts the red signal flag. He stands there for a few moments, playing with his phone, while I review my new information.
There’s a knock on the bathroom door, through which a twentysomething guy walks when the Forger announces that it’s open. He’s wearing traditional courier garb, complete with shorts, and a flimsy hat. I can see burn scars peaking out on the side of his face. “Detective!” he cries upon seeing me.
“Do I know you?” I ask. He does look familiar, but I can’t quite recall.
“Ennis. Ennis Patton. You helped me and my family move.”
I look at my folder. “Wow, these papers work fast.”
“What?” Ennis asks. “This was years ago, in Springfield.”
“You remember Springfield?” I ask, surprised.
“Yeah, I’m from there. Born and raised, like you. Though...I suppose not anymore.”
“You’re a time traveler,” I guess. That must be why he remembers a city that no longer exists.
He smiles proudly. “The Courier, at your service.” He flicks the brim of his hat. I never got a chance to thank you. You got us out. Had we stayed in our neighborhood one more day, we’d have been toast.”
That’s it. I used to go around finding ways of moving people out of the houses that were about to be swallowed up by the ravages of broken time. I do remember him now. “Ennis Patton. You were the one...” I trail off, not wanting to be insensitive.
“Who got blown up in that package bomb?” he finished my sentence. “That was me.”
“They could never explain that, how three houses in a row exploded at once. That’s not how blast radii work, but I guess it had to do with time travel.”
He nods. “That’s exactly right.”
“I’m sorry you had to go through that.”
“Don’t be. That block disappeared soon thereafter. It was another several years before our new street went with it. I don’t think we would have believed you had that package not blown up. It was after that that I started having some weird time experiences, like the Purple Rose Lane pocket dimension. And now my parents are safe in Wichita, and I have a job that I love.”
“Speaking of your job,” the Forger jumps in, “I need you to get the Detective’s new documents to The Archivist so he can update his file.”
“I have a file?” I ask.
“Everybody has a file,” Ennis explains. He takes my identity package from the Forger and stuffs them into his delivery bag.
“Well, I’m glad things ended up okay,” I say to him. “It still shouldn’t have been so...painful.”
“These scars haven’t exactly been a hit with the ladies and gentlemen,” Ennis says, lifting his shirt to reveal them to be much worse on his back, “but they’re mine now, and I accept that.”
“Still,” the Forger begins, “Doctor Hammer could probably do something about them.”
“Thanks,” Ennis says. “I’ll consider it. Right now, though, I have deliveries to make. It was nice seeing you again, Detective Bran.” He tips his hat and turns to leave back through the bathroom door.
“You as well,” I say before he vanishes.
“Well, you’re all set up,” the Forger says with finality. “Unless there’s anything else I can do for you.”
“No, you’ve been a great help.” I take the Astrolabe back out of my bag and set it on his table. “Put this somewhere safe for me. You’re obviously familiar with the time traveler underground. I wouldn’t know the first thing about hiding a magical object, and I certainly don’t want to keep looking at it.”
“Will do,” he says quietly.
I exit to use my identity to buy a really nice condo at the Ponce de Leon through my new bank accounts. There’s no reason I can’t be comfortable while I’m looking for where Hokusai ran off to.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Microstory 700: A World Reseeded With Life

The Thuriamen tried to ruin the Fostean spirit by destroying one of our most precious planets, Poreia by using its own sun against it. Not only did they fail, but they only ended up intensifying our determination. Military service is not mandatory, nor have we ever considered the possibility of such a thing. For as much as we employ the Earthan method, we will never require people to fight for any cause they don’t believe in, or even do believe in, but don’t wish to fight for. That is a personal decision that no one has the right to impose on anyone else. Sadly, this can have the added effect of lowering our ability to contend with our enemies. The Thuriamen have a service policy allowing conscription anyone...of any age...for any duration...with no compensation. We could never do this to our own people, but we’re finding that we don’t need to. Since this horrendous and uncalled for attack on an innocent planet, the Pangalactic Fleet has seen an unprecedented increase in volunteers. So many people have been moved to fight for their worlds that we’ve had to build new ships just to accommodate them all. Our ratio against our enemies is still lower than we would like, but we have something they never could. We believe. We love our galaxy, our culture, and justice. Though the Thuriamen leaders may think God is on their side, what we fight for is greater than any false god: each other. The total inclusivity, and immoral obligation, of the Thuriamen approach to conscription may give them a hefty number of warm bodies, but they have very few dedicated warriors. Most of their soldiers are only there because it’s compulsory, not because they want to be, or because they think it’s the right thing to do. Our intel even shows strong evidence that the majority of their population has grown up so sheltered and limited, that they have no clue what it is they’re even doing. We know that there are no suns in the dimensions they live in, but there also aren’t even windows on their battleships, so when they are ordered to fire weapons, they can’t see what their guns are trained on. Hell, they may not even know that they’re firing weapons, or understand what weapons are in the first place. We are currently working on a way to convert some of the more unmotivated soldiers onto our side, either by having them fight for us, or defect to our citizenry, and begin learning the truth about the universe. We will win this war, no matter how long it takes, and once we do, the Light of Truth and Love will shine upon our faces once more.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Microstory 699: The Light Wars Destroy a World

With the stars slowly learning how to shine upon us once more, vibrant lifestyles are returning to the galaxy. New plants are growing, and genetically engineered animals are returning to their habitats. We are not yet at 100% realization of our potential, but we are getting there. Unfortunately, our war with the Thuriamen is still going strong. And while our resources are bouncing back quickly, we are still struggling to maintain a significant military force. For the most part, battles have been fought in our enemy’s territory, and we’ve even been able to secure some regions of one dimension that once belonged to them. They have managed to cross the dimensional brink several times, however, and threatened the lives of our citizens. Thankfully, they’ve abandoned Earth, so we’ve not again had to protect the veiled Earthans from learning the secret to our presence. Our enemies have instead chosen to focus on destroying everything they can find in Fostea. In one such instance, they managed to enter our borders completely undetected, using a tactic in a complex dimension that we could not have predicted. This technique is generally impractical, because it takes so long to accomplish, but we should not have underestimated their capacity for patience. When Sotiren predicted in the taikon passages that a world would be destroyed by light, we naturally believed this would happen to one of the less important ones. Our hubris prevented us from seeing that our faith is in the middle of being tested, and we will not get off that easy. While many stars in the galaxy remain shrouded—for the solution is a long process—many still have already been fixed. Of course we began to rebuild with the central worlds, never dreaming that this would later be used against us. When the small infiltration fleet fell into our dimension, they immediately headed for Eksterodos, the star at the center of the system that holds Merek, Poreia, and Mortire. Using technology we’ve never seen before, the Thuriamen concentrated and focused the sun’s powerful rays in one direction, which destroyed the central world of Poreia in a matter of minutes. A contingency in training on a moon of Mortire sprang into action, returning the favor to the Thuriamen, obliterating their ships before they could repeat the process for the other two planets. Fostea was placed on high alert, which allowed contingencies to annihilate enemy ships before they could do the same to other planets, but the damage to the first could not be changed. Nevertheless, our enemies will not win, for though everyone living on the planet is dead, the orbital itself remains, and Poreia will live again.