Monday, May 13, 2019

Microstory 1101: Lihtren Uluru

Lihtren Uluru was born on a planet called Haliavi, which was roughly 63,100 light years away from Earth. Because almost all intelligent life in the galaxy ultimately derives from Earth, this occurred around 70,000 years later than present-day. By then, over half of the Milky Way had been explored, and much of it seeded with new life. This life was largely unaware of its origins, but Lihtren was always a curious fellow. He was able to get his hands on some of the technology that first arrived at his homeworld, from a solar system staging area near Earth, several thousand years ago. It was there that he accessed a database of knowledge from the origin planet, and it is from there that he began a journey. He put himself in a stasis pod on a maximum sublightspeed interstellar spacecraft designed for a crew of a dozen, but he did so alone. He programmed his pod to wake him only once a year—from the ship’s perspective—so he could check on its systems, or if something went wrong. 63,100 years later, he was finally at his destination, on an Earth that no longer harbored advanced life. Over the ages, much had changed about this old world. It hadn’t been abandoned because it was no longer capable of sustaining life, but because his ancestors had simply moved on. The geography had changed as well, but there was at least one constant. A formation called Uluru, which was also known as Ayers Rock, remained standing, just as it was 126,000 years ago. He thought coming here would explain who he was, and what he should do with his life, but he discovered it to be mostly irrelevant. The fact that he shared a name with this surface feature appeared to be entirely a coincidence. He didn’t even speak the same language as the people who named it so long ago. Still, it wasn’t like he could return home. Everyone he ever knew was either long dead, or dramatically transformed by biotechnological upgrades. It wasn’t any more home for him than this place was. And so he became determined to live the rest of his life on top of Uluru. Alone. Fate seemed to have other plans. Through means unknown to him, he ended up traveling hundreds of thousands of years into the past. A woman met him there, who assured him she had nothing to do with his timeslip, but that she knew he would be coming. She provided him with food and drink, and then she walked away, never to be seen again. Lihtren later realized she had given him immortality water, which allowed him to continue living on his rock forever. He found himself in charge of the entire area, and used it to moderate duels for people with other special temporal abilities, who had personal issues against each other. A lot of people know his name, but few know where he comes from. Some of the more curious—or the more prone to studying history—have attempted to pinpoint his origins, not so as to alter them, but just to know. Yet he has never been found. The version of him in the timeline that exists now will not be born for tens of thousands of years. However, it is not only possible, but likely, that enough of the timeline has been changed by now to have eliminated this other potential version from ever existing at all. Lihtren Uluru, a.k.a The Peacemaker, is almost certainly one of a kind.

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