Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Microstory 1452: Nevertheless, They Persisted

After the haemophilia virus wiped out all of the men and boys trying to live in Ladytown, the women were devastated. They knew that this was no accident. Haemophilia was a genetic disorder, and did not spread like a contagion. Sure, it was possible that the rogue planet of Durus came with diseases that didn’t exist on Earth, but there was no logical reason for it to spread at this point in history. This whole area had been dug and altered to make way for the old town of Hidden Depths, as well as the irrigation system. It was just far too unlikely that they somehow managed to unlock something now. The Trojan horse woman disappeared shortly after the virus ran its course, so obviously they suspected her to have been involved, but they possessed no evidence, let alone proof. The Aljabaran government got away with it, but that didn’t mean the survivors were just going to roll over and let this destroy their way of life. The Republicans weren’t going to win, no matter what they did. They wanted the women to come crawling back to Aljabara, and not because of any particular affinity for them—in fact, the government considered them damaged goods by now—but hopefully the act would solidify the Republic’s hold on the city, possibly forever. The Ladytowners couldn’t let that happen, and they were willing to go to war if they had to. The tragedy galvanized them into action. They were content to just stay on the other side of Watershed, and leave Aljabara be, but if a plague was their first attempt to end them, what would be their second? They had to be prepared for everything. They started to come up with new responsibilities for the townsfolk, even though they were already stretched thin with their labor force. 

Some were tasked with dressing themselves up like men, making the rough journey across the thicket to Aljabara, and infiltrating the city. They weren’t there to make trouble, or sabotage the government; they just needed resources. In particular, they needed books. The one male survivor of the virus was still in his mother’s stasis bubble, and in order to save him, they needed to understand what exactly was wrong with him, and how his symptoms could be treated. Perhaps they would even be able to cure him one day. While the infiltrators were stealing information, and handing it off to the scholars, the rest were leveling up. They forged weapons, and trained in combat, and studied wars of the past. Everyone had to contribute to the lasting prosperity of the town itself, as well as future war effort. Unfortunately, as always, research was no comparison to practical experience. They needed someone who knew how to fight. Now, the reason none of them knew was not because women weren’t capable of being warriors, but because these women were never allowed. They went to school as children, just like the men, but they learned very different things, and military tactics simply wasn’t on the list for them. Fortunately, they weren’t completely alone. A man by the name of Fulcrum Nielsen was sympathetic to their cause. He wasn’t raised to be misogynistic, and he wasn’t raising his own son to be that way either. He was a well-trained martial artist, because he was completely free to learn whatever he wanted. He was also a teleporter. He had to be able to see where he was going, but it only took a few jumps for him to reach Ladytown during his off hours, where he would help the women learn what they needed to protect themselves. For years, the oblivious government left them alone, content in their belief that there was nothing that Ladytown could do but wait to die out. Little did they know...

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