Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Microstory 1453: Last Man in Ladytown

It took eight years for the smartest women in Ladytown to figure out how to save young Cletus Márton’s life, which was about as long as it took the Aljabaran scientists to synthesize the haemophilia virus in the first place. They brought him out of stasis, and started treating the infection. It cleared up right away, but now he had haemophilia itself, so he had to receive further treatment to stay alive. He spent the rest of his life with the disease, but he was also well cared for, and only partially because he had a job to do. Since he was the last man in Ladytown, it would eventually turn into a ghost town, once the last remaining girls grew up, and either died off as well, or just moved to Aljabara. The city wasn’t letting anyone else immigrate there, so if they wanted to keep the dream alive, Cletus was their last hope. Before they revived him, a group of the townsfolk built a luxurious house for him, and provided him with constant medical attention, and just about anything he could ever want. Each month, he would meet a new partner, and attempt to impregnate her with a child, so they could restart the population. He was fortunately not the only participant, or everyone in the next generation would have to choose between full and half-siblings. Two paternal bloodlines wasn’t the most genetically healthy, but it was better than one, and really all they had available. Fulcrum Nielsen, the man who helped train the Ladytowners in combat skills, had a son who was coming of age, and he wanted to contribute to the cause as well. Anchor Nielsen was not a fighter, but he was empathetic, caring, and fully against the misogynistic government. Fulcrum raised him to be open-minded, but he probably would have come to the same conclusions about social justice on his own eventually. It was wrong what the Republicans were doing, and he wanted to help. If that meant having a bunch of children with strangers, then so be it. For a few years, Cletus and Anchor did their civic duty, which may sound like a big win, but neither of them would have been interested in sleeping with that many different people if they didn’t need to do it to save the human race. They were both extremely monogamous, and hoped they would one day be able to settle down with just the one partner, and be happy. They persevered, though, and did what they could to protect Ladytown. The government was enraged when they found out that their plan to destroy them had failed. They knew that at least two men were involved, but they assumed they had somehow survived the virus, and had no idea that Anchor had had anything to do with it. He went on to continue pushing boundaries, expressing outcry, and changing minds. His work was instrumental in ultimately ending the phallocratic republic, though it would not happen for a very long time, and he didn’t do it alone. Meanwhile, once his paternal duties were complete, Cletus went on to live a very simple life in Ladytown. Though being there was itself an affront to the Republic’s values, he didn’t actively work against them, like most people around him did. He helped the effort further when he could, but he had already done so much that no one expected him to do anything more.

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