Friday, July 17, 2020

Microstory 1410: The Deathfall As Seen On The Surface

Since Savitri’s first trip to Durus, the city of Springfield, Kansas had been slowly crumbling away, into the portal. Almost none of it stayed whole, and no one back on Earth could remember these parts of the city had ever existed. By 2016, it was no larger than a small town, with only around twelve hundred people. Nearly all residents survived the last transition through the portal, which acted to erase the existence of Springfield altogether from the collective consciousness. This process was not instant. By the time all of the last remnants of the town made its way to the rogue planet, days had passed. No one in town realized this, though. There was no good way to record the passage of time on Durus, since there was no sun, and no way to communicate with Earth and match it up. From the perspective of those on the surface, however, they could see this process. Buildings would blink into existence, then blink back out, like a burrowing animal who wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to come all the way out of her hole yet. Even people would appear, and disappear, but they were unmoving, which meant time was all but completely stalled for them. This gave Escher, Rothko, and Hark time to formulate a plan. They were pretty sure they were going to have a huge influx in people after this was all over, because nothing like it had ever happened before. They were aware that Springfield had been slowly shrinking for years, because their respective accounts of its size didn’t quite match up with each other. They couldn’t be certain of this, though, since Escher had only lived there for a matter of hours, and Rothko didn’t have a full grasp of how large it should have been when he was living there, so Hark had little means to compare it. Unlike people back on Earth, however, they did each manage to hold onto their memories as they were when they first left. So when the remnants finally fell all the way through the portal, they already knew that this was all that was left. They weren’t sure what to do about this development, but they figured they ought to keep themselves secret. It looked like a normal town that could use The Trident’s help, but they had been gone from Earth for so long, there was no telling what had changed. No, it was safer to observe the townies from a distance, and keep their guards up. They knew this planet better than anything, since there wasn’t much to do on the daily, but explore, and map out the lands, so it wasn’t hard for them to remain hidden. It did not last forever, though. Shortly thereafter, the Trident was broken, and the Triumvirate was no more, when Hark was flung into the future. Escher and Rothko then found themselves much more involved in Springfield’s goingson than they ever thought they would, and they were not prepared for the social conventions, since they had been so isolated for so long. A new form of government was beginning to take shape, and it was worse than anyone could have predicted.

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