Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Microstory 1127: Jörm Kovac

While much of Durune history is notable for its unending supply of inequality and death, there was a peaceful period that lasted for sixty years. The time monsters still existed, but they were mostly limited to the lifeless sections of the world. The human towns were protected by a group of people known as the mages. It was considered to be one of the highest honors, but Jörm Kovac was never interested in it. Some people looked down upon him for this, but most realized that only certain candidates were chosen anyway, and it wasn’t the most unreasonable position to just pull oneself out of the running. His main concern was water. The only place where it rained was a relatively small section of the planet that its new inhabitants referred to as Watershed. Here, it never stopped raining. It wasn’t supported by a water cycle, like on most planets, however. It took its rain from some other place—most likely Earth—and any excess seeped into the ever-forming water table. The ground directly underneath Watershed, and the surrounding areas, was hopelessly muddy, and unsuited for development. Disparate towns were constructed in areas nearby, but there were other geological impediments that made Watershed difficult to access. Therefore, irrigation was key. In the olden days, water was carted manually by people who were essentially slaves to the Smithtatorship, but when the source mages formed the Protectorate, they commissioned the construction of a vast network of pipes and sewageways. They were trying to recreate the kind of world that much of Earth was living in, which was where Durus’ first inhabitants were from. It was Jörm’s job to maintain this water network, making sure heavy metals and toxic chemicals weren’t leaching into the system, and that the pipes were holding pressure standards. He loved his job, and his wife, Sadie, but the only thing missing in his life was a child. She felt the same way, but they were both unable to have children. Unlike Earth, there was no foster care system on Durus. There were more hopeful parents than there were unhomed children, which meant there was a waitlist for adoption. It wasn’t a particularly long list, as the majority of people who wanted kids, had them, but there were also not a lot of kids in need. One day, a seer came to them. This seer was not the best of his kind. He could sense the future more than he could actually see it, so he generally didn’t know what was truly going to happen. He did get the feeling that something important was waiting for the Kovacs in the middle of an area of land that was not arable, but also not dead, called the thickets. This was an extremely large area, but the seer had a pretty good idea where the two of them were meant to go, and they were only searching for a few hours. Finally, they discovered exactly what they were looking for all along; a baby, who required care. They chose to tell no one. This was a gift in their eyes, but if anyone knew their child was the Durune version of Moses or Superman, there’s no telling how they would react. It’s better to ask for forgiveness later, than permission now. What they didn’t realize at the time was that their daughter was not abandoned by her birth parents, but left specifically for the Kovac to find, and she would grow up to one day serve an important role in the war against the monsters.

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