Friday, August 28, 2020

Microstory 1440: The War Begins

Seers on Durus didn’t tell everyone, or even anyone, everything that they knew. They had to be smart about what information they let get out. If, for instance, one told their neighbor that they were going to run into a door today, the neighbor would go outside, and try to avoid doors for twenty-four hours. Then seven hours later, a construction worker walks by with a door, and accidentally hits him with it when he turns around.  The seer actually exacerbated the problem by saying something. The victim would have been much better off hearing that they should be careful, or to wear a helmet. That did not explain, however, why it was that no one seemed to know that the Mage Protectorate was destined to fall. The final battles of the war with the monsters began in 2090, and ended in less than a month, and it all started when an unexpected visitor appeared shortly after the Mage Selection Games. He was definitely not human, but nothing like what they had seen before. He was white, and tall, and fierce-looking. Speedstrikers looked just like you would think an unstoppable killer alien would. Mirror monsters looked like, well, mirrors. All the other types had been cataloged and classified, and nothing new had ever appeared since those very early days after Springfield fell into the Deathfall portal. So what was this thing here? It seemed intelligent, just like the verters, and it didn’t take long before his true nature was fully understood. Based on some things that the verters had said over the years, people always suspected that time monsters were only temporal glitches, and that real, intelligent, and independent monsters were the ones who were actually trying to step through the portal. This pretty much proved it. He was the real deal, and all the things that had come through before were quite accurately mistakes. There was something wrong with the portal, which this new monster explained led him here from his home universe of Ansutah. No one else ever survived the trip intact, so even if it turned out to be possible to travel back through the ring, it had never happened before. So the other monsters never knew the portal wasn’t working, which meant nothing could warn them to stop trying.

This monster, who called himself a Maramon, was a one in a million success story. He didn’t make it through the ring whole because of anything he did, but because the chances that it would happen at least once were not zero. They were low, but not impossible. He told them that time wasn’t passing the same way for his people on the other side. While the monsters had been arriving for decades, he had only waited a couple hours for his turn to step through. Time probably wasn’t moving at a different rate on his homeworld, though. They were probably just being spit out at random intervals. Hell, it could even be that every glitch that had shown up before him had actually come from a Maramon who tried to cross over sometime after him. There was no way to know, but that wasn’t the point here. All this time, the humans on this planet had been fighting an enemy that mostly didn’t know they were enemies. They weren’t actively trying to hurt the humans. They were most likely just moving along the surface on instinct, attracted to the presence of other moving creatures, and destroying them incidentally, rather than deliberately. If it was possible for a Maramon to cross over without being turned into an abomination, then a real war might start. This new enemy was free-thinking, and capable of forming motivations. They were a huge threat. Though he was the only monster who had ever kept his faculties during the trip, there was no proof it wouldn’t happen again, and he was making no attempt to quell their fears that he really was an enemy. He made his motives remarkably clear; that he wanted to kill all the humans too, and that he would be doing it on purpose. At first, they figured they could contain him before he could cause any trouble, but he easily escaped, and he used his intelligence to control the glitches all by himself. Things were only going to get worse from here as the War for Durus began.

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