Friday, July 31, 2020

Microstory 1420: Proversion

On March 18, 2029, the first ten of the source mage children were twelve years old. Valda Ramsey was meant to be the oldest, but because of her mother’s time jump before she was born, she was only seven years old. They were starting to feel like it was time for them to take over Springfield and Splitsville. They were each developing powers beyond just being able to repel time monsters, and they figured they were old enough to lead the people of Durus. The problem was, even though everyone loved and respected them, they were still being treated as children. They could protect Springfield, but they were not thought to be fit to make any decisions, and that just wasn’t good enough for them. By then, a catalog of the time monsters was written up. They knew the differences between rothkillers and roiders, bygoners and speedstrikers. Each type had its own special power, and one of them in particular would be useful to them. The verters were the most intelligent monster—or perhaps, really, the only intelligent ones. They could alter the age of a target, in appearance, and to some degree, level of maturity. The children tried to get people to take them seriously for a few weeks, months, but no one was biting, so the verters were their only hope. There was no difference between a proverter and a retroverter. It all depended on which alteration they were using on a subject at any given time. An old person, of course, would only be interested in being young again, and that was the most common desire, so they were generally called retroverters. That was not what the source mage children wanted, or needed. The mages would one day welcome the gift of youth, but for now, it was only holding them back. If they were just a little bit older, they believed people would follow them into a new era. This was what was best for their people, whether they knew it or not. And so, shortly after Valda turned eight in November, most of the children set off to find the proverters in the thicket, to strike a deal with them. Orabela Vinci stayed behind. She did not want her age or appearance to change. She was perfectly happy as she was, and was patient enough to wait for her own natural development. The proverters were glad to give them what they wanted, but warned it would come at a cost. Aging someone took time; up to three weeks, in fact. While they were gone, they would be well taken care of, but Springfield would not be. One of the other kids, who was a few years older than them, had gone with to make sure they all stayed safe. Once the deal was set, they sent Ecrin back to Springfield, so she could warn everyone else to be on alert for monsters for the next three weeks. They were gone a month, and by the time they returned, they found their absence had caused some problems, and people were not happy. They were fully prepared to accept their new leadership, but if they were going to do that, these leaders would be expected to step up, and fix what they had broken. They might have overestimated how easy it would be to be the rulers.

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