Monday, August 31, 2020

Microstory 1441: The War Ends

Twelve years after she was born, Jayde Kovac was ready to take on the world, and prove herself at the fourth Mage Selection Games. Unfortunately, something went screwy with the spacetime continuum, and she was unable to make it to the competition. It would ultimately not matter, however, as she was born with time powers of her own, and never needed one of the source mages to give them to her. Once she learned this about herself, she went on a little adventure. She met friends and enemies, got a more detailed diagnosis about what specific powers she possessed, and unwillingly got proverted. When the source mages first asked the proverters to make them look older, the proverters had some stipulations, and one of these was that every person born like them would also find themselves in their debt. This was one of the reasons the source mages chose to not have children, because they didn’t want to impose that burden on anyone else. Of course, Jayde didn’t know anything about this, but she did go looking for answers about who she was, and where she came from. While she was indisposed, hell broke loose for the rest of the planet. The truth was that this was all a very unlikely coincidence, but it was indeed a coincidence. It just so happened that Jayde manifested her powers as the final battles of the war with the time monsters were beginning. Poorly researched history books would attribute her actions to the influx of enemy activity, but she didn’t have anything to do with it, and without her, the human race on Durus would have surely fallen, and Earth would have gone down next. That didn’t mean she made the best choices. While she looked like an adult, she was still only twelve years old, and could not foresee the consequences of her actions. Still, even though a lot of people got hurt, she did end the war once and for all, and she deserved to be commended for her bravery.

With the intact Maramon as their leader, the monsters came out in full force, and hit the towns hard. He was smart enough to get past their defenses, and go for the weakest points first, instead of just running around aimlessly, as the other monsters usually did. They leveled Forts Salient and Frontline on the first day. Then they went after the other towns, knocking them down pretty much simultaneously, so the humans couldn’t concentrate their forces. Even Hidden Depths wasn’t protected enough to avoid detection. While there had never been more mages alive at the same time before, most of them were either new, or retired. This being just after the Mage Games meant that the newbies didn’t know everything about how the military operated, and they didn’t understand the scope of their abilities yet. Many of the older retirees were called back into action, but they were out of practice, because they never thought they would have to work again. It was up to the recent retirees, from the 2070 Games, to step up, and suffer the majority of the weight of the war, but even they weren’t enough to go against the monsters. Seeing what they believed to be the writing on the wall, the source mages retreated to another dimension. They had already been living there for some time, but now they closed the gates, and kept everybody out. There were enough people inside to restart civilization, but thousands would still die if no one could do anything about it. Enter Jayde Kovac, who ultimately had to realize that she was the only person who could handle this, and she would essentially have to do it alone.

After a failed attempt at being trained by the source mages, including her parents, Jayde was told that she had a very rare power. Like Escher Bradley before her, she was capable of harnessing temporal energy itself. She had many specialized powers of her own, but she could also absorb the energy that other people had, and use it to boost her abilities. This wasn’t, strictly speaking, illegal, but the source mages decided long ago to never allow anyone else to have this ability. They figured the most altruistic of candidates could still be corrupted with this amount of power, and they didn’t want to risk it. Even Madoc Raptis agreed to make sure he never sourced anybody energy absorption. Jayde was the child of two source mages, though, and no one had any control over what powers she ended up with. Nonetheless, this was arguably the best thing that ever happened to them. Seeing no other options, Jayde left the hidden dimension, and returned to normal space. The monsters had defeated all the mages by now, and were primed to go after the rest of the humans if they didn’t agree to serve the Maramon. Fortunately, the one Maramon there didn’t want to kill anyone, because he assumed someone on this planet would be able to repair the portal ring, and bring the rest of his people there. They never found out whether this was true or not, because Jayde didn’t give them a chance. She absorbed the temporal energy from everyone in the whole world. She waited to release this energy until she traveled to the center of the portal ring. The resulting explosion quickly turned into an implosion, and sucked everything in its path into the portal. She effectively switched the portal’s directions, so anyone could travel through it to the monster universe, but none of the monsters would be able to come to Durus. Without the constant energy from the ring, most of the monsters still around were left without any powers. Unfortunately, the same went for all the humans. And thus began the four year period known as the Interstitial Chaos.

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