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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Microstory 1212: Faustus Lambert

When the Deathspring came for a seemingly random scattering of Earthan residents, most were unhappy about it, but not as unhappy as one might assume. While the magic portal seemed to take people at random, it often took multiple people within a community sphere; as if it were being controlled by some kind of intelligence. Entire families were swept up, even if they happened to be standing nowhere near one another. The worst losses the refugees felt were the people they loved, but many of their loved ones were taken along with them, so it could have been far worse. This was why—despite how difficult life was on Durus—not everyone lobbied to be transported back to Earth when the opportunity arose. Only a couple hundred people expressed interest in making the journey, and out of those, only about half had come in the Deathspring. The rest were born on Durus, and just didn’t want to live there anymore. Faustus Lambert did not fall into either of these groups. He saw the arrival of the interstellar vessel, The Elizabeth Warren as a means of furthering his own agenda, but its flight plan didn’t matter much to him. He was an entitled prick, to be quite crude, but appropriate and accurate. Durus, Earth; he could live anywhere, as long as there were those who would give him what he wanted most, which was attention. Under the guise of being an advocate for his people, he orchestrated a violent attack on the of the Warren, and demanded they let them tag along as passengers. The truth was, however, that their feelings and desires were of little consequence to him. They were just tools. Faustus didn’t care who his people were. They could be puppy-kickers, Nazis, or serial killers. He just wanted to lead. More to the point, he wanted people to follow him—not because he thought he knew best, but because it made him feel relevant.

Faustus lived a rather comfortable life from the very beginning. He was born male, so he had that going for him. He outright rejected the idea that women were systematically treated unequally, while simultaneously treating women poorly. His beliefs were no less true anywhere than they were on Durus during its phallocratic era. He wasn’t a violent rapist, but unfortunately, that was more problematic in its own way. Had he committed even one assault, it would have at least been possible to arrest him, but he just continued with his life, never breaking the law, but never following the spirit of the law either. He abused his girlfriends psychologically, but too subtly for them to prove anything, even to themselves. He cheated on his partners frequently, and while he didn’t ever do anything with a minor, he sure did like them young. He had an unwritten rule that he couldn’t date anyone over the age of 20. This lasted until he was 35, and could no longer “score” so young, so he raised his limit to 25, but only because he had to. When the public learned that the only ship on the planet capable of transporting more than one person was scheduled to leave within a matter of months, Faustus took his shot to get those precious followers. He quickly changed his tune on a number of sociopolitical causes; pretending to champion women’s rights and Earthan refugee living conditions. Anytime anyone brought up his history of bigotry and misogyny, he simply denied their allegations. Anytime anyone presented proof that he was lying, he doubled down, and claimed that it was nothing more than fake news. Faustus took control of the movement that was trying to get to Earth, and nobody felt like they could fight him on the matter. His new people thought he could get them on that ship, and if that meant they were following a dishonest clown to do it, then so be it. In the end, the majority of the people who wanted to go were allowed in, but all the violent people—the ones who took the crew hostage—were completely excluded, including Faustus himself. He was finally sent to prison for his proven crimes, and this was where he died, alone and unremembered.

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