Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Microstory 1683: Death Introduced

The battle was over, and the majority of the crew of The Crossover left Providenciaverse to get back to their mission of cataloging the bulkverse. Only 148 Maramon were left to settle on the planet, one of which was the original captain, who was mostly there out of a sense of obligation to them. Still, he did not complain. He continued to lead his people, so that they could thrive on their new world. His last order as captain was to erase all navigational data, so that no one else could return to this place. He didn’t want the leadership back on Ansutah to decide that the deserters needed to be punished in some way. If they ever, ever figured out where Providence was, then they would be able to arrive for extraction immediately. Hell, they could even come at some point earlier in the timeline if they wanted. So the settlers didn’t hold their breaths for long. After a week of no retaliation, they were confident that their location would forever remain a secret. They began to get to work, building infrastructure to make their lives easier, and forming a radical propagation plan to increase their numbers as quickly as possible. In ancient times on Ansutah, Maramon felt compelled to have many children. This powerful instinct had to be quelled once the people realized that their universe was not vast enough to accommodate infinite expansion. Such population control was no longer necessary—not here—and they had no intention of taking that for granted. Despite being left there with no advanced technology, the settlers developed fairly rapidly. However, their choice to stay was not without cost. They were born and bred to be immortal, but those rules did not apply in every universe. Here, they would age. Here, they would die.

It was a pretty hard thing to digest, the fact that a universe was capable of not only having different proper physics, but that it could somehow transform a lifeform on an organic level. Their ancient texts spoke of death in the early days of their homeworld, but for most of history, the idea was more academic. Only recently was it reintroduced to them in full force when they discovered the limited scope of their universe. Even then, they remained ageless, and really only died due to the resource wars. It broke their hearts to learn that this was just the way they would live from now on, just like the way humans evolved naturally. And if they were no better than humans, as they had been taught their entire lives, what other lies did they believe about life, the bulkverse, and everything? Fortunately, their new state of being did not cause them to resort to something irreversible, like war. Not long afterwards, the original settlers all died out anyway, leaving their descendants to move on without them, having never experienced the immortal lifestyles of their forebears. They continued to progress, just as any moderately peaceful civilization will, while always keeping the environment in mind. The settlers had dedicated themselves to not teaching their young ones too much about where they ultimately came from. If the species was going to survive, they would have to think that the way things were was the way things had always been. Some stories held on better than others, but overall, the society that formed over the centuries was normal. Some people were bad, some were good. They tried to do the right thing, and made mistakes. They explored the solar system, and sent probes and colonists to the nearest stars in the neighborhood. Their Maramon brethren never did come back, for any reason, but the Ochivari did come, and that’s when things got interesting.

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