Friday, October 2, 2020

Microstory 1465: Deathspring Forward

Millions, or perhaps billions, of years ago, when an ancient Durus was ejected from its star system, it started flying through interstellar space. Though it initially moved in a fairly straight line, it was consistently being impacted by gravitational perturbations from other systems. This made its journey relatively unpredictable, even if people back then could track its progress throughout the galaxy. In more recent times, the rogue world’s course was adjusted so much that started heading directly towards Sol. Some even claimed that it would one day crash into Earth, but there was no proof of that, because no one possessed the necessary data, or equipment, to study their hypotheses. One of the reasons Earth was so suitable for evolved life was the presence of the gas giants; most notably, Jupiter. It served as the inner planets’ sweeper. Any wayward celestial body that threatened to damage the less massive worlds had more of a chance of being pulled in by Jupiter before they could get there. Of course, it didn’t have every single time—in fact, Earth wouldn’t have a moon if it did—but it happened enough to protect it long enough to promote extended periods of peace. Durus threatened all of that, because no one was sure when exactly it would arrive in the system, or whether the other planets would have enough of an affect on it to keep Earth safe. It was for these reasons that the Aljabaran Republican government denied that there was any danger, even though that didn’t make any sense. While there was a strong chance that Earth would be safe, there was an even stronger chance that there was nothing to keep Durus safe. It was probably going to collide with something, be it Earth, or anything else, and even a small impact from a comet could destroy civilization. Something had to be done about this, which was where Hokusai Gimura came in. She used time technology to steer Durus through the solar system, and avoid impacts from everything in its path, including Earth. Unfortunately, in some ways, it was too little too late, because even though everyone survived, two terrestrial planets brushing up against each other had consequences.

They called it the Deathspring, modeled upon the event that brought the first major population of humans here. But it was not just a seasonal play on words. The Deathfall did happen in autumn, and the Deathspring did happen in spring, but it was more than that. Survivors of the Deathfall reported vertigo, and a feeling of falling into the portal, while the Deathspring survivors were actually flung up into the air, and onto the corresponding world. Earth and Durus exchanged people, objects, buildings, and even some lingering monsters. People with time powers or patterns seemed especially susceptible to this exchange, though no one was safe, and who it happened to proved to ultimately be rather random. Aside from this, there was a lot of other devastation. The event caused quakes on all planets involved—which was all of them, since it happened during a particular celestial event called Syzygy, where all planets were aligned—fires, and other disruptions. Still, despite some backlash from the Republicans, who were trying desperately to hold onto what power they had left, people recognized that Hokusai Gimura just saved billions of lives, including theirs. Now, any normal civilization would have worshiped her as a hero, but done nothing to change whatever system they had in place, or perhaps only done little. But Aljabara had a fixation on gender. Everything they experienced was tinted in either misogyny, or some kind inexplicable example of why women could indeed be trusted. They didn’t do much without considering the ramifications of gender. So when Hokusai, a woman, showed up, and saved two planets with her bare hands, they felt the need to change everything about their way of life. They quickly dismantled the Republic, and prepared to replace it with something else. They didn’t know exactly what that would be, but they knew it needed to be democratic, and inclusive. But first, they formed the provisional government, in order to preserve continuity, and move forward.

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