Thursday, November 12, 2020

Microstory 1494: Shutting the Stable Door

The evidence was piling up that there was nothing the Durune could do to stave off their eventual total loss of temporal energy. By 2230, most people with powers had already lost them, and the rest could only use them sporadically and unpredictably. Time tech wasn’t reliable enough to be worth it either. There was no more teleportation, no more filter portaling, no more transdimensional living spaces. Aljabara was the only city on the planet that had built enough regular renewable energy to continue operating sans temporal manipulation. It was looking like a world without time powers was where they were headed, so everyone had to once again consolidate into one place. The outposts and distant settlements were entirely abandoned as everyone literally converged upon the Capital. They weren’t all crammed together, however. The most efficient living spaces available today were constructed underground. They were protected from the elements, easier to keep warm, and residents were able to spread out more without wasting energy, or taking as many resources as would be required for the same real estate above ground. Technology wasn’t nearly as advanced as it was on Earth right now, but engineers had learned enough to build these connected bunkers. They didn’t know what was going to happen to the world, but it was the best way to survive a number of disaster scenarios. Wind. Wind was their best friend, because without sun, without geothermal power, without fusion, without crazy temporal energy—wind would remain a constant. If they didn’t have wind anymore, it was because they didn’t have a planet, and there wasn’t really anything they could do about that anyway, because they weren’t anywhere near advanced enough to build exodus ships. They would just die, and that would be it. A normal fledgling world would be okay without any energy, but those all had host stars, and were at a quite minimal threat of losing them. At this point, there were one and a half million people, so the only way they were going to make it is if they fixed anything and everything that was wrong with their planet. People were still dying; their agelessness having long been stolen from them, presumably by the suns of 70 Ophiuchi. They still weren’t sure whether real sunlight was detrimental to their way of life, or if there was something particular about these stars. It didn’t really matter in the end, of course. They had no way of moving off to another star system, and even if they could, they weren’t confident about being able to survive the trip, even with their trusty wind turbines. A lot of things were capable of wiping them out while they were here, but it would be so much worse in interstellar space. At least they were still able to utilize solar panels while they were orbiting Ophiuchi A, which they had since named Calluna. Things were getting really rough, and everyone was making sacrifices. They would be nowhere, however, without the hard work of their ancestors, who fought for equality and justice. Without them, they would still probably be suffering the same problems, but they would not be armed with the tools necessary to combat them. They were a unified peoples now, and that was going to get them through this, even if it wouldn’t be very easy.

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