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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Microstory 1168: Valda Ramsey

Hilde Unger was the furthest along in her pregnancy when the town of Springfield, Kansas was forced through the Deathfall portal, and landed on what would come to be known as Durus. Shortly after arriving, she realized the monsters that were attacking the townsfolk were leaving her completely alone. It was as if something was protecting her. A cursory glance made it likely that all sufficiently pregnant women were safe from the monsters. At first, Springfield concluded that these monsters somehow had ethical limits, or at least an instinct to preserve young life. Perhaps they were like the practical fisherman, who throws back the small fish, so he can catch it later once it’s grown. They would come to understand that the children born within the next several months after the event were special. They possessed time powers that provided the town with a means of fighting back. But Hilde was not around for these developments. Following the very first monster attack, she and her new friend, Hogarth separated themselves from the group. Hogarth was the one responsible for shielding Springfield from the portal that, without her intervention, destroyed nearly everything that fell into it. Her job was not over, for she still needed to find a way to send everyone back home. After a brief, but harrowing journey, they found themselves in the company of a man named Paul Harken (a.k.a. Hark), who had survived the trip long ago, and was already living on Durus. He attempted to transport them back to the town, so Hogarth could complete her new machine, but something went wrong, and they ended up about five years in the future. A new society had formed since they were gone, and it was not a good one. It was led by a tyrannical psychopath nicknamed Smith. He saw how special the newborn children were, and manipulated their parents to make sure he was part of their lives. Valda Ramsey, having not yet been born, was able to skip all his manipulations. Though she was now the youngest, she was vital in deprogramming her peers. The more they aged, the clearer it became that they were destined to be the leaders of tomorrow, whether they were qualified for the responsibility, or not. Valda needed to ensure that they would be qualified, and would make ethical decisions. She became a leader of leaders, who kept constant watch over the other source mages, in case they got any bright ideas about returning to the kind of world they were living in during the Smithtatorship. Unfortunately, her legacy would not be a positive one. She would many years later break one of her own people’s cardinal rules. Though her actions would come to be crucial to the survival of the human population on Durus, history would only remember the negative, and she would be blamed for the sacrifices that came with it.

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