Monday, August 17, 2020

Microstory 1431: Distante Remoto

In the year 2058, a woman was sourced with a power that Durus had seen once before. She was a filter portaler, meaning she could transport clumps of molecules, but nothing too large. This really only helped her move water and air from one place to another, because nothing else was small enough to fit through the filter. No one knew why it was that this rogue planet held an atmosphere, or more importantly, where the air was coming from. They did have a pretty good idea of where this air first showed up. Several kilometers North of Hartland was a special location they called Gaspunui. A seer town mage had named it that many years ago, but never said how he thought of the word before he died in 2054. There was nothing particularly special about the land itself. It looked just as the land looked anywhere else. But the oxygen levels here were slightly higher than anywhere else. The atmosphere originated here, and spread everywhere else, but it wasn’t evenly distributed. The air was thinner the farther away one traveled from this spot. All six towns were well within normal range, but if one attempted to spend a significant amount of time on the other side of the world, they would have a harder time breathing. It wasn’t impossible, and certainly people could acclimate to it, just like people on Earth did with higher elevation, but it wasn’t ideal, and there wasn’t much reason to try.

It was too far from Watershed to build irrigation pipes, so why bother? Well, the people in charge of coming up with the seventh town knew why it was worth a try. Being so far from everything included the time monster portal ring. As far as they knew, these monsters never traveled so far, because they sought out life to destroy, and there wasn’t anything out there. Much of the planet was covered in weedy plants they simply called the thicket, but not even that extended this far out, because the seeds that portaled there from Earth couldn’t float that far; and the now native plants had not yet done so themselves. But the filter portaler changed everything. She could give hopeful inhabitants of a distant new town the opportunity to live peacefully, free from the monster attacks. She just needed to be convinced. Filtering worked both ways. She could transport molecules nearby to somewhere far away, or she could summon these molecules from somewhere else, to her location. The latter was a lot easier. Portaling something away took more energy, and more concentration, than bringing it to her. So if she wanted to help the people of the new town, she would pretty much have to be one of them, and that wasn’t something she was naturally interested in. In the end, though, she agreed to leave Springfield, and the rest of the Mad Dog Army, to make sure these people had what they needed. She sacrificed her own happiness for the good of the community. It wasn’t entirely without its advantages, however. She met a good man there, and later married him under the Arch of Endless Water, which she created with two looping portals that stayed open permanently on their own. She was also given the honor of naming the town whatever she wanted. She chose Distante Remoto, which was obviously redundant, but she liked the cadence, and everyone else liked it too. Walking to Distante Remoto became a journey that people trained to be able to do, and was ultimately incorporated into the 2070 Mage Selection Games.

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