Friday, November 6, 2020

Microstory 1490: Birth of a Big Problem

One of the first things that the people of Durus voted on for the Solar Democratic Republic was what to do about the Time Crevice that Escher Bradley was trapped in for a hundred and eighty years. It was too dangerous to leave lying around, even with guards protecting people from it. There was no reason for something like that to exist, so it was vital that they find some way of getting rid of it. Of course, any attempt at destroying it could have devastating consequences, and completely backfire on whoever was unlucky enough to be assigned the task. If they were going to do this, it would have to be by fighting fire with fire, using paramount powers against it, once and for all. The first thing they needed to do was study it, not only to understand its properties, but also to know its range. Obviously, anyone who walked through it would start experiencing time at a much slower rate, but where exactly did that start, and where did it end? If they dug a tunnel from five meters away, when would it start happening for them too? Was it the rock? Some kind of temporal gas inside the crevice. An invisible man in there who was just controlling the whole thing for kicks and giggles? After all this research, they came up with a few options. There were some paramounts who had the ability to control the flow of time, and could potentially alter it for the Time Crevice. Unfortunately, none of them was successful. They could hold a time lock for a period of realtime, but unless they actively remained there, it would always snap back to the way it was, so that wasn’t a long-term solution. Perhaps they could simply bury it, so that no one could accidentally end up in there anyway. Well, that would take quite a long time, because remember that one second for the crevice was one day everywhere else. It took weeks to make any noticeable progress, and years until completion. Then someone had a bright idea to rid themselves of the problem forever.

A former president of the Democratic Republic suggested that they remove the crevice altogether. There were definitely paramounts powerful enough to rip it out of the ground, and banish it from the surface of the planet, at least when working in tandem. To be safe, they could even remove a kilometer diameter of land along with it, and hey, free crater. The risk was great, but if they could jettison the entire thing into space, they wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. Fixing the time discrepancy or burying the crevice would have been fine to do once they covered the logistics. Something like this, however, couldn’t be decided by just the people involved. All Durune had to have a say in the matter, so they put it on the ballot for the 2205 elections, to make sure everyone had a voice. The great thing about this, which was one of many this democracy enjoyed, was that no one was fighting too hard one way or the other. Everyone could agree that they wanted to do what was best for Durus, and if that meant going back to the drawing board, then that was what they would do. Earthan governments experienced a lot of infighting, but not Durus; not anymore. There was only one side now. The ballot measure passed, not with unanimous votes, but not by a small margin either. The necessary paramounts started working together immediately, to make sure they could perform this amazing feat in one go. They had never apported anything quite this large before, so it was important that they took their time, and got it right. Once they were ready and confident, they got into position, took out the huge chunk of land, and sent it into outerspace, in a fairly random direction. They didn’t come out of it unscathed. A lot of them ended up with psychic nosebleeds, and one developed a chronic migraine condition. She was okay with it, though, because she felt they had saved a lot of lives, or at least a major hassle that might have been. Sadly, they didn’t consider all of the angles, and that chunk of rock would one day come back to bite them in the ass. It wouldn’t be for decades, but it would ultimately change everything about how Durus operated, and potentially destroy all they had worked for since the beginning.

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