Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Microstory 1417: Power Vacuum

Shortly after Hogarth and Hilde returned to the timestream in 2021, Smith was found missing. Many blamed the two of them for his disappearance, but most credited them for it. They didn’t like living under Smith’s rule, and they wanted to start fresh. Of course, it could not be that easy. Smith’s power didn’t come from within. He only stayed on top because he made friends with the right people. No one was a better friend to him than a man by the name of Kosta Montero. Smith and Kosta didn’t agree with each other on every idea in the beginning, but their differences quickly melted away. Kosta became fiercely loyal to Smith, and even saved his life a time or two. He was undeniably second-in-command, so when Smith was no longer around to lead them, he figured he better step up. He used up a great deal of resources looking for his former boss, though. It wasn’t like he had been waiting for his chance to take the main seat, and the only reason he was trying to take over now, was because he didn’t think anyone else would be capable of—or even interested in—honoring Smith’s vision for a better Springfield. Unfortunately for him, many of Smith’s other followers were not so loyal, and one by one, they relented to opposing forces. A small war broke out, which ultimately resulted in no victor. Councilwoman Hardt’s supporter, Mia Padmore had a lot of people on her side, but by no means half. There were a lot of other people who threw their hats in the ring, while some reluctant natural leaders had their hats thrown for them. Hogarth, for one, had a following that formed when she wasn’t even there. They wanted her to lead them, for they believed she could use her technology to protect the town without utilizing the Baby Barrier.

The violence wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but the whole population could sense that it was about to get worse, so a group of families put a stop to it. More specifically, the families of the special time children got together, and sort of forced everyone into a new plan. They decided there would be no more rulers. Law would revert back to how it was before the Deathfall portal swallowed up the town. It was illegal to hurt people, or steal from them, or otherwise cause harm to society. That was pretty simple, and there wasn’t any reason to do things much differently. The Baby Barrier would remain, until such time that a technological solution to keep the time monsters away arose. Other than that, it was kind of every family for itself. Everyone who wanted food from the community garden had to support the garden, or some related endeavor, such as transporting water from Watershed. Anyone who wanted any other resource would have to pay for it, in some reasonable way. It was not chaos, but it was also not about constant government oversight. People in a normal small town peacefully went about their days without worrying whether things were going to work out on a grand scale. They didn’t have to worry about survival. The source mage families figured that was the kind of life they ought to be striving for, and letting the maintenance of all that happen in the background. Everyone had a job, and everyone had what they needed. Their initial plan worked out well in the beginning, but it ran into some issues later on, as enforcing these policies became difficult without a formal police contenginency. It continued to evolve over the next decade, until the source mages felt old enough to form something more substantial.

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