Monday, July 6, 2020

Microstory 1401: Premature Fledging

In 1980, there lived a little girl in Springfield, Kansas named Savitri. She was only three years old at the time, and just barely starting to become aware of herself as an independent being, who was capable of observing and making judgments about her surroundings, and of maintaining memories of the past. She recognized her family, though she was later unable to recall how many siblings she had, but she was pretty sure the number was higher than zero. She couldn’t remember anyone’s names, or her own surname, for that matter. She was playing in the backyard one day when a random tear in the spacetime continuum swallowed her up, and dropped her onto another world. These sorts of temporal anomalies happen all the time, and all over the place, but rarely are they large and stable enough to allow an object to pass through; let alone an entire person. She would come to discover that she was born with a time power, and actually belonged to a special class within the choosing one subspecies called metachoosers. She could boost the power of anyone else with powers, which some have suggested was what caused the rift in her backyard to be so much more accessible than most. When she first arrived on the dark and lifeless rogue planet of Durus, she brought with her a little bit of breathable air, but this did not last long. Once it was depleted, she spent about thirty seconds unable to breathe until the atmosphere kicked in. She didn’t know where it came from, because she was too young to understand how planets had atmospheres anyway, or what they were made of, but she could finally survive, at least for the moment. In the beginning, she was starving. Never before had she been required to prepare her own food, let alone forage for it in the wilderness of an empty planet. Her instincts sent her underground, where she found moss that experts would later figure survived the void of interstellar space through some kind of natural electrolysis process. Of course, she didn’t know any of that. She just hoped the moss was edible. It was. She spent ten years alone on this world, eventually growing old enough to go out and explore more of the planet. She never really could be sure that she wasn’t simply still on Earth, but in some remote pocket of it. Again, she was too young to understand any of this. She lost most of her language, and had to relearn it when the next unsuspecting child finally showed up in 1990. He was four years younger than her, so while he possessed more social experience, he wasn’t that much more capable of survival. He had it easier, though, because throughout the years before his arrival, the planet became host to more and more life. The atmosphere that spread over the surface brought with it seeds that grew into a thicket. No one would have ever called it lush, but it was alive, and it did help Savitri stay alive along with it. This was only the beginning of her story, though.

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