Friday, June 1, 2012

Brief History of Kotini - Part 4

Age of the Second City
The survivors of the First Scattering began joining together, building families and helping each other. They eventually chose the top of a large hill as a site for their new city. The flood waters were unlikely to reach that high. Nobody could agree on a name and so we stuck to calling it the Second City.  Beorn and I traveled the edges of the mountains and through the South Valley Flood Plains searching for any other survivors and inviting them to join the rest of the people in founding the Second City.

During the early years of the Second City and its founding, Beorn and I mostly traveled. Searching for survivors and patrolling to ensure the devil fish would not try to take advantage of the people while they tried to rebuild a sense of community. We helped a little with preparing the ground, but that was about it. The survivors saw to the rest - and a wonderful city they built.

The top of the hill was carved into a bowl sort of shape in order for high walls to be built all around the city. A few large drains ensured that the city would not fill with water in case of storms or floods. A series of cleverly placed wells had been dug and supplied the entire city with water. Parks and green places had been planted and open gathering places built. The original haphazard wooden houses were eventually replaced with stone and steel structures with glass in every surface. If asked to describe the Second City in a few words, I would say glass, steel and technology. It was an age of sky scrapers and vehicles that ran on tracks, powered by electricity.

The inhabitants of the Second City wanted to emulate their forefathers and the greatness of the Old City, rebuilding all the technology and gadgets they could remember. They had to relearn some aspects of physics, engineering and chemistry again, but they soon began pushing the known boundaries in these areas too. The one area they dared not touch was bioengineering, although over time, the memory of the devil fish seemed to fade.

One cycle of the Great Storms came and went. The city withstood the floods. It was after this time that Beorn and I rejoined the people of the Second City. We had been keeping watch from a distance living amongst the small scattered tribes of Rockmen we discovered still living in the mountains. When we saw that the devil fish had not made a peep, we felt it was safe enough to rejoin the community and on our journey, met with a beautiful lady called Venus. The story Venus told us was that she was the last survivor of her family who had been living in some mountain caves after a fever struck them all down. She traveled with us to the Second City and was invited to stay. There she made good trade in tea and assisting in research within the areas of pharmaceutical science and chemistry.

There was a severe famine in the year 332 after the founding of the Second City, resulting in an explosion of research in preserving food or growing genetically modified foods that could last for indefinite periods of time. The early stages of making food molecule by molecule began around this time, as well as study into stubborn plant strains that would provide us with food no matter what. Beorn and I became accepted within the circles of professionals. Beorn became known among the engineers, while I made a name for myself amongst the science community. Venus was already famous for her input in a variety of areas.

By the year 365 of the Second City, expeditions were being sent into the mountains to find the Old City. It was around this time that crime and violence rates in the city shot up, although nobody knows why.  Beorn and I also began to have petty fights - mostly over who did more work or was more respected by the people. We used Venus as our mediator, but things got nasty enough that we were given a Mayor's warning and told to either patch things up or leave. Beorn and I made a pact - we would not fight or discuss the touchy topics.

Due to the crime and violence, some scientists were studying ways to hopefully make people more peaceful. The results went in extremes: no effect, violence and insanity or total loss of motivation for life. These studies were eventually banned when the effects of a certain type of technology resulted in half the city becoming violently insane and mass mobbing in the streets until the effects wore off. This technology was sealed in a green box with multiple countermeasures in the hopes that one day the scientists would be able to figure out what they had done wrong. Many of us had been all for destroying it altogether, but the lead scientist for this project had too many high-up connections.

The question of the possibility of flight and the study of aerodynamics was fast becoming a popular trend among the people when the Great Storms struck again. This time with the devil fish in their wake. They had found us.

As you know, the Second City was destroyed. Beorn and I had argued while the devil fish were pumping their young up through the wells and blocking up the drains. We had not helped dig any new drains and had not been around to help in the defenses during the fiercest fights. Instead, we sneaked away in the hopes of poisoning the water's source to kill the flood of devil fish before it got worse, ended up fighting and splitting up. Beorn managed to place one barrel of cyanide properly, before getting attacked and driven away by the devil fish. I was captured.

The devil fish kept me as a prisoner 2 long, dark weeks, before Beorn rescued me. By the time we returned to the Second City, the Great Storms were almost over and we managed to rally those left in the city with the will to do so, to give one last battle, so that the remainder could escape. Beorn and I were the only ones left standing that last battle. When the storms ended, we sealed up the city and joined the Second Scattering.

It had been our fault so many had died. If we had not argued, more people would have lived. It was then we decided that people were much better off without us. They did much better on their own than when they relied on us to help save them. As such, Beorn and I drained our memories and put ourselves in a coma.

All in all, the Age of the Second City lasted roughly 387 years, give or take 5 years. Their technology never surpassed or even got even close to that of the Old City. Their population reached 4 million at the height of the Age, but had dropped in the last few years to approximately 2.7 million.

Next time, I talk about the Second Scattering and the Third Settlement.
I'll try be good and give it to you sooner rather than later.