Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Microstory 1438: The Penultimate Towns

Shieldon was the last town they built on Durus that had any special characteristic that could be used to describe it, in contrast to all others. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth towns, which were named Milton, Bristol, and, Tidsdel, respectively, were built in 2084, 2086, and 2088, respectively. These three only had a few years in them before the Mage Protectorate fell—not to the war with the monsters—but the end of the war; the final battle. After Shieldon put up their protective barrier, everyone sort of agreed that there were no more new ideas. Except for Astau, there really weren’t any towns that actually followed the standard model. The source mages envisioned a world where they created a town’s mages, and those mages would protect that town’s borders. The unique ideas to add an extra layer for safety and security all came later, during the planning stages of each. Milton, Bristol, and Tidsdel were made to be simple. They were just places that people could live, and be happy, as they would have on Earth. It would ultimately be a relief that they didn’t waste energy trying to figure out how to make these towns special. Society collapsed into chaos shortly thereafter. Of course, they didn’t know this. They just thought that the world was becoming more normal. If they could make Durus look more like Earth, then that could only be a good thing. This desire spoke to the innate goodness in the Earthan way of life, at least when it was at its best. Almost none of the people alive in the 2080s were also around early enough to recall their world of origin. Only Ecrin was old enough to have been there, but she was very young at the time, so she didn’t know too terribly much about it. Still, they read about it in the books that made it through the Deathfall portal, and even though few were conscious about it, that always seemed like their goal. These three towns were finally it. In fact, people were now starting to believe that these would be some of the last towns ever. Back on Earth, that was how a civilization began. Settlements started out small, and expanded from there. At some point in the future, Durus would probably have a city of its own. Some even believed it was only a matter of time before they figured out how to contact Earth, so people could come and go as they pleased. That would turn humanity into a real interstellar species. Sadly, this was not in the cards for them, or rather, it would not be for a very, very long time.

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