Monday, June 3, 2019

Microstory 1116: Uma Kulkarni

The world was a terrible place when Uma Kulkarni was born, but she would live long enough to see its salvation. She grew up with her family on Durus, which was a rogue planet that was hurtling towards Earth at the time. A group of people with special time powers attempted to avert this disaster, but they were unable to. Society continued after that, though in a severely deteriorated state. They blamed all of their problems on women, and eventually settled on what would retroactively be called a phallocracy, or in more positive terms, the First Republic. While it was in place, it was just called the Republic, to distinguish it from previous forms of government, like the despotocratic Smithtatorship, and the Mage Protectorate. Over the years, the reality about what had happened in history gave way to fear and paranoia. Books were not outright burned or outlawed, but they were gradually removed from view. The men in control knew that they would lose that control if the true accounts of history were publicly shunned. In order to keep people from even considering the possibility that their civilization was built on lies, they would have to quietly pretend that they were not lies. Uma’s family considered themselves to be the Stewards of Truth. They maintained a secret library collection of their own, and passed the forbidden knowledge down the generations, knowing that one day, someone would be in a position to use it. Men and women alike in the Kulkarni bloodline kept the faith, and worked hard at creating a resistance force known as the thicket. They weren’t only there to protect the inherent rights of women, but also to keep looking for a way to avoid the planet’s ultimate collision with Earth. As far as that bloodline went, it was Uma who was around when they finally met the woman who would both save them from this fate, and usher in a new era of equality. Hokusai Gimura arrived in a very small ship to look for her daughter. She was able to use this ship, in conjunction with a very powerful temporal object, to adjust the planet’s movement through space, and steer it away from Earth’s path. She couldn’t do this alone, however. Uma’s brother worked for the power grid, so she conscripted him to divert all power to the ship. Their heroics and defiance led them to assuming a number of leadership roles as the world attempted to move on from its troubled past. Uma helped facilitate transitions to the Provisional Government, and the Salmon Battalion Military State. She retired from service many years later, after working as the first Education Administrator in the Democratic Republic.

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