Thursday, August 15, 2019

Microstory 1169: Ambrosios

Thousands of years ago, there lived a man named Ambrosios. Not much is known about who he was when he was first born, or even whether he had time powers. If so, he had long since forgotten them, in favor of the only thing he seemed to care about. Some people are born with slowed aging, or don’t age at all once they reach some arbitrary ceiling. Others can reverse their own aging, or otherwise renew themselves. Full immortality, however, is so rare that only one person is known for sure to have it naturally. Meliora Rutherford Delaney-Reaver has pretty much every power, and there’s no reason to believe that anything can kill her. In order for anyone else to reach this level of immortality, however, they must drink the immortality waters. This sounds easy enough, but of course, the drinking is only the final task. First, you must procure the ingredients. You must find them in the right order, and you must do so quickly enough for them to do you any good. Like regular water, immortality water goes stale after a certain period of time, and loses its power to grant whatever component of the recipe that it was meant to when it was still good. Unless contaminated, it will most likely still be good enough to drink, but it will no longer help in your quest to never die, and if you still wish for the cure to death, you will have to start this quest all over again. The ingredients can be found all across time and space. Each one is easy enough to get to, but getting to all of them in the right amount of time, and drinking them in the right order, is harder than you might think. There are ways to preserve the water before it loses potency, and this can give you more time, but few people have access to the right resources. After all, the first trick is knowing exactly where each water source is, which ingredient it is, and how much to mix. Ambrosios managed to complete every task; an impressive feat for someone born so early in the timeline. People who had powers back then struggled with it, because their grasp of the concept of a timeline itself was difficult for them to manage. His efforts were not without their consequences, however. His success changed him in ways he never could have foretold. If he was being honest with himself, his immortality wasn’t what made him so misanthropic. He always kind of had an issue caring about other people. What it did do to him, however, was make him incredibly paranoid. And that would only get worse. He alienated all of his friends in the obsession with discovering the water, and hurt what few remained by his side in his final triumph. He then became convinced that there was a way to undo his immortality, and that people would be seeking it. To him, everyone was an enemy, so he isolated himself completely. Whenever there was even a hint that anyone else was around, he would pack up his belongings, and quickly escape somewhere else, even if it was really just a false alarm. He lost touch with reality, and started making up stories about the universe. By the time he was finally killed—by his own irrational actions, by the way—nothing he said made any sense, and he died alone.

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