Thursday, July 16, 2020

Microstory 1409: The Trident

The fourth person to take up permanent residence on the rogue planet of Durus was a man by the name of Paul Harken. He came from family money, which gave him the resources he needed to look for a way to somehow undo his wife’s miscarriage. Due to a bit of time travel he once witnessed, he became obsessed with figuring out how to reverse time, and fix the worst thing that had ever happened to them. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have all the facts, or really the qualifications, for this endeavor. He happened to be living in a very special house; one that was built in the exact same place as another. The First House, as it will come to be known in historical records, served as the gateway to Durus. Savitri lived there with her family, Escher lived next door, and one day explored it, and it was just behind the street where Rothko lived when his adventure began. This house was a focal point of temporal energy, but it was also corrupted, and unreliable. It sometimes existed on Earth, and sometimes Durus, and it was impossible to predict when it would be where. And so something was always destined to happen to Paul, just from living in his new house for long enough. When he became trapped on Durus in 2008, he had mixed feelings. He was relieved that he had never been crazy, and temporal manipulation was a real thing, but heartbroken that he had not actually succeeded in his goals. He didn’t let it get him down, though. He wanted to survive, and there wasn’t much back on Earth that would drive him to try to return. Plus, unlike with his predecessors, his entire house had come through with him, which gave him a nice place to stay protected from the elements. His new friends would appreciate it as well. While the Springfield portal had been taking people over the course of the better part of three decades, the three humans still around were all about the same age, because they had been taken at different stages of their lives. Hark, as he liked to be called, filled Escher and Rothko in on what they had missed since leaving Earth. He spoke of the new technologies, and the political developments. In turn, they taught him how to live on a rogue world, which was becoming increasingly easy, and not just because of Hark’s intact house. When Savitri first arrived, it was all but a barren wasteland. Over time, seeds magically made their way from Earth, and added life. There were still no animals, but there was always plenty to eat. Runoff from Watershed continued to irrigate more than enough farmland to support all three of them. Things were all right. By then, Escher and Rothko’s relationship with Effigy had faded away; not because anyone did anything wrong, but more because they drifted apart, and the humans saw no benefit to sticking with her. So Hark became the third in the new, new Triumvirate, which they colloquially referred to as The Trident, because they were in their twenties, and thought it sounded cool. Their reign lasted for about eight years before the Deathfall suddenly added nearly thirteen hundred people to the world’s population.

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