Friday, August 2, 2019

Microstory 1160: Athanaric Fury

A long time ago, in a timeline far, far removed from this one, the ubiquity of time travel led to chaos. People who could manipulate time were running around, wreaking havoc throughout the timestream, and no one was powerful enough to stop it...until the gallery dimension was discovered. A group of scientists first came across evidence that this parallel dimension existed in the year 2019, but remember, this was an entirely different reality. They tried to send four volunteers in, but they were unable to make it through. Three died in the attempt. Through further research, they realized that the dimension could only be accessed in one very specific point in time, about nine thousand years ago. A group of 147 traveled back to reach this moment, but overshot by over a hundred years. Since they were from the future, they waited for their time to come in a very well-regulated environment. Their population grew to enormous proportions. When the moment arrived to access this other dimension, there were several thousand of them, who had not interbred with the people of the day. They could not all enter the portal at once without a little help, which was where Athanaric Fury came in. By then, they had discovered a place they would come to know as The Agora. It was a large natural cave found under what would come to be called Easter Island. It was composed of a special type of rock, and inhabited by a special species of glowing worm. Working in harmony, these two things could amplify temporal energy. Athanaric and a man named Baudin Murdoch led the endeavor to carve out an entire amphitheatre here, so that everyone could fit, and then they opened the portal. In one second, everyone inside the Agora was transported to the parallel. But it was lifeless and uniform, so Baudin then used his powers to construct an even larger structure, where they could live.

They called this place The Gallery, and it was here that they took watch over the timestream. Since they were experiencing time from an outsider’s perspective, they could see both the current timeline, and the previous one, though no others. Whenever  a time traveler created a change, they were cognizant of it, and since these changes could cause significant damage to reality, they used their elevated position to protect the future. One of the first things they did was manipulate reality in such a way as to prevent anyone from going back to the same moment they used to enter the dimension, and accessing it themselves. Unfortunately, they did not foresee the problems this might cause. Eventually, most of the workers grew tired of their responsibilities, and an uprising formed. Nearly every single one of them exited the Gallery, and were never able to return, leaving the timestream vulnerable to paradoxes. Believing this might happen, Athanaric built a secret back-up system. He had the ability to create entire living beings out of raw materials, such as clay or stone. These creations will take an incredibly long time to create, and though he intended to build at least 147, he only ended up with three by the time they were needed. They were known as The Prestons, and they did not come with a warranty. Zeferino, Nerakali, and Arcadia were disloyal, self-serving, and highly corruptible. They too rebelled, and before Athanaric could do anything about it, he was kicked out of the Gallery, and stranded on Earth. Only The Curator remained now, but this is not his story. The Gallery was all but useless without Athanaric. It was his ability that gave it power, and it would soon die without him. He had to come up with an alternative, so he put all his might into a new creation, which he called The Mass. It would travel throughout time and space, cleaning up inconsistencies, and altering people’s perceptions. Once he was done, after millennia of work, Athanaric was finally free to retire.

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