Thursday, September 3, 2020

Microstory 1444: Aljabara

Of course, there was only one town when Springfield fell through the Deathfall portal, and landed on Durus. Over time, people started spreading out, first to Splitsville, and then Parade, and all the way to the unfinished and unnamed sixteenth town. This was what made the Mage Protectorate prosper. People were able to diversify, and go visit each other across the lands, and learn about each other. A real civilization formed out of the chaos and struggle. After the war with the monsters, this dynamic became more difficult to hold onto. The towns were too far apart. Without any powers, and a severe lack of electricity, all repairs had to be completed by hand. Some towns didn’t even have the right technician for a given job, and it would sometimes take weeks before the right person had the time to make the trip. The time monsters were gone, but the world was not without its perils. One thing they did was keep the thicket from becoming overgrown, simply by trampling over it all the time. They also seemed to have another effect that no one could really explain. Where the seed portal once only ever brought useful or innocuous plants, it now brought them poisonous and thorny plants. It could have been completely unrelated to the monsters, but it didn’t matter, because they were here now, and they made life on this planet that much harder. By 2094, people were starting to realize how impractical it was to maintain the status quo. What would they be able to do about it, though? What they needed was someone with time powers.

While the source mages had a law against mages conceiving children, this was no longer enforceable, so people were doing whatever they wanted. They didn’t think it mattered anyway, because Jayde Kovac had stripped them of their powers. What they didn’t realize was that she never removed any abilities, but the energy it took to manifest them. This energy was always restored for new people (i.e. babies). Toddlers were now running around with powers of their own—albeit weaker than their predecessors—having been born with the energy needed to exhibit them. This gave some people hope for a better future, but it would be awhile before they found the right mage. They couldn’t wait that long, for they needed a solution now, before the human race on this world died out. One child looked to be the most promising. She could extract people from the timeline, and place them anywhere else. She could not change the past, so she would always have to put them back eventually—and sooner, rather than later, because of how taxing this was on her—but they figured this would help them realize their goals. It was difficult explaining to her what they needed, since she was so young, but they were eventually able to direct her to the right man, in the right moment. She plucked Baran Avan out of the timeline, and pulled him up to the future, so he could help them conserve resources. He used his mass teleportation abilities to transport every single still-standing building in every single still-standing town, all into one place. He stacked some on top of each other, so they almost looked like high rises, except not really at all. He might have spent more time curating a real city design, but the timeline extractor wasn’t strong enough for that. Once it was finished, the towns were mashed into one chaotic and moderately unstable city, which they later decided to call Aljabara. The end of the Interstitial Chaos, and the beginning of something much, much worse was near.

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