Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Microstory 1223: Lanolin Foley

Until it found its home star to orbit, there was never a time when the planet of Durus was not at war. It was at war when the first of the Springfielders arrived on the Deathfall, and had to battle frightening temporal monsters. It was at war when the Mage Protectorate formed, and started enforcing boundaries against these monsters. It was at war again after those monsters were finally defeated, and a new threat rose to power. In the hunt for votes, a group of small men grew bold, and started making complaints about the women of history. They didn’t start out explicitly stating that women were inferior, but they certainly catered to a demographic that already believed that. They just kept adding more and more outrageous statements to their repertoire, and increasing their numbers, until there was no hope in reasoning with them. They played on the worst fears of some of the least decent people in the world, and that was enough to make dramatic and terrible changes. The war continued as the rebellion against this tyranny did everything it could to put a stop to it. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of places to hide on Durus. Sure, only a tiny fraction of the surface was settled, but that was for a very good reason. There was only a single source of water, in a region known as Watershed. It never stopped raining, and it was extremely difficult to get to. A system of pipes had to be constructed to accommodate the population beyond its original several hundred, because there was almost no land within kilometers of the area. The rebels had to find somewhere else to live, and set up a convoluted system of water theft just to survive. They chose a region called the thicket, which was what they themselves came to be called. There was plantlife for minimal cover, which survived on what little moisture the wind carried over to it, but none of it was edible, and conditions were terrible. The Thicket spent so much time just making sure their people didn’t die that they didn’t have any time to actually fight against their oppressors. Lanolin Foley wanted to do things differently. She never planned on becoming the leader, but she knew she could do it when the responsibility fell to her. The cause was important, to her, and to the world at large. This was her chance to effect change in a way her predecessors never could. Though she retained the name, she moved their operations out of the thicket, and into the city. The government hadn’t been spending many resources catching them when they weren’t really doing anything except barely scraping by, and when Lanolin reintegrated the rebels into society, the government still didn’t do anything, because they did not know about it. Gradually, things began to get better. It was easier to find sympathizers than The Thicket ever knew. They had spent so much time in isolation that they didn’t realize things had already been changing, at least for the general population. With help, Lanolin ushered in a new era, and paved the way for people like Ludvig to keep the torches burning, and find peace on Durus.

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