Thursday, October 22, 2020

Microstory 1479: Social Harmony

In the late 2170s, the first generation of Durune born post-Deathspring was coming of age. Many of these adults-in-training were paramounts, with some of them even having no lineage that could be traced back to the mages. It would seem that time powers were becoming less hereditary than they once were, and a lot of people attributed this shift to the Deathspring, or rather to the fact that Durus was no longer on a collision course towards Earth. They were finally becoming their own civilization, free from many of the horrors and burdens of the time before. A sort of religious movement was forming, founded upon the idea that the paramounts were part of some grand design. They didn’t claim to know what this presumably conscious entity would be, or where it was, but they could see patterns. There were paramounts who were helping build the outposts, and ones who were securing society through law enforcement. Some were making transportation faster and more convenient, while others were designing therapeutic pocket dimensions, or treating patients using psychic connections. The seers were protecting the future, while the retrocognitives were teaching students about their past. Some were born with the rare ability to alter the aging process, which would ultimately create a population boom, because death was no longer such an inescapable certainty. Everyone had a place, and it sometimes felt like they were placed there on purpose. They weren’t religious zealots yet, but they did have their spiritual beliefs, and for some, it kept them going. There were those who were concerned that this could lead to class warfare. They wanted to make sure that the paramounts weren’t treated as gods, and that they weren’t raised to believe they were superior. In order for this to go smoothly, they had to work together, and everyone had to believe that everyone else mattered, because they did.

In the early 2180s, this generation was starting to take ownership over the future of Durus. They were born without their ancestors’ prejudices, and bad blood. They could see that they had to become a single population, with the goal of doing what was best for the world, even if they disagreed about what that meant. Being a paramount became a huge responsibility, and while it opened up certain career opportunities, it also closed some off. It might seem like this would discourage feelings of equality, but there were other issues to consider. Sometimes a paramount’s powers gave them an unfair advantage in the workplace. If one could read minds, for instance, they would always be one step ahead of the competition, or they could otherwise violate people’s privacy. Their potential for job promotion was hazy and difficult, but if no one kept them in check, then their influence over others could grow out of control. If a mindreader were to be a therapist, it would make it harder for a patient to reveal their secrets on their own time, and could make them feel uncomfortable, or prejudged. On the other side, some of the more dangerous jobs were being left to the paramounts, who were often better equipped to protect themselves. When one could teleport off of a cliff at a moment’s notice, it seemed a little irrational to make anyone else go up there. This would stop being a problem in the future, with developing technologies, but for now, this was the way things were. And it was pretty good, considering how problematic things had been before. They called it the social harmony, and even though the Durune had more tribulations ahead of them, they would at least be mostly taking them on together. Not everyone wanted that, but their time would come later, and they would get what they deserved.

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