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 2. Plot, Written by Ethereal
Summers Past
 Posted: Jul 11 2015, 07:22 PM
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Plot


Ioana Valley is on the brink of its demise.

Just a tiny village on the coastline, not even featured on a map, Ioana Valley has never been bustling with people. And now the village is a borderline ghost town. Very few wander its cobblestoned streets, and fewer live in the dreary houses. The past decade hasn't been good to the village, and the last few years have seen the village spiral faster and faster in decline. There's no money, no resources, and no reason for people to stay.

On the contrary, Westhaven City has never been more alive.

The pinnacle of urban living, this rapidly-expanding city is just an hour's train journey away from Ioana Valley, and bright lights attract everybody in the nearby vicinity. Buildings grow tall and grand, symbolic of all the city's promises of opportunities, money, and status. The city didn't even exist a decade ago, but the last few years have seen the population triple in size. There's more than enough money and resources, and plenty of reason for people to stay.

But, there's a problem. For both the village, and the city.

Ioana Valley is shrinking, now an empty shell of its former self.

Westhaven City is expanding, new buildings sprouting up every day.

Ioana Valley has a surplus of space, whereas Westhaven is running out of room to sprawl.

The solution ought to have been simple. For more than a year, the city has been proposing that they simply absorb Ioana Valley, bulldozing over the small village that very few would miss. Except, further inquisition revealed this was not possible.

Within the heart of the village lies the town hall. Within the town hall lies the land deeds. Land deeds which are legally-binding, stating that Ioana Valley owns the land it was built on as well as its surrounding wilderness, and no other location can infringe upon that. Westhaven City cannot expand over Ioana Valley, or at least, not without those deeds.

It's not like the city-folk haven't tried to get their hands on the land. Company after company has made an offer to the village, each with a different vision of how they could transform that precious land. Millions and millions of G have been offered to a failing village, enough to reimburse the tens of people living there for their homes and land lost. Yet, the mayor refuses.

Mayor Tobias is stagnant. He turns every offer away, having his secretary dispose of the numerous letters, refusing to hand over the deeds. After all, why should he? This is his village. Before that, it was the village of his ancestors. History has its root deeply ingrained within the soil of which Ioana Valley was founded upon, worth far more than any sum of money. Not only that, Mayor Tobias is accustomed to the quaint charm Ioana Valley has. Times may be progressing faster than ever, technology developing quickly, but Mayor Tobias isn't interested. And neither are his villagers.

Very few villagers remain in the village, but the ones that do have no intentions of leaving any time soon. Their friends and family may very well have took their final Friday train ride to the city, but the remaining residents aren't so eager to abandon their livelihoods. Estate agent after estate agent can knock on their doors, but so long as they have just one G left to their name, hope will remain.

Except, hope is a fragile thing.

The mayor finds himself maintaining a pretence that he will never give up on his village, but his stubbornness is waning.

There's no denying the village is in a dire state, and it's only getting worse. The village funds have long since dried up and there's no money for restoring crucial buildings that have simply been left to crumble. And, although the villagers have turned a blind eye to the recent sale of Sonora Road, everybody knows that whilst it might have been the first place to be sold to the city, it certainly won't be the last.

The future of Ioana Valley looks bleak at best. It's predicted that within the next five years, the village won't exist at all. Blueprints have already been created for expensive holiday homes, ready to be built the moment Ioana Valley finally caves.

But, the villagers refuse to go down without a fight.

On its last legs, Ioana Valley is being re-marketed as the ideal location for young people to live. New families can find a home easily and crime rates are low. Budding entrepreneurs can set up their own business where there's a lack of competition. The truth is being manipulated, just a teensie bit.

The truth? Finding a home is easy because nearly every building in the village is empty, most of them derelict now. Crime rates are low not only because the population is tiny, but because no police force exists to keep crime records.

The truth? Anybody can set up their own business in town, so long as they don't expect to be successful. There's no competition because anybody with a bit of sense knows there's no point investing in a village without a future.

It's cheap, it's sly, and the villagers never claimed to be happy about cheating people into moving to their village. Still, desperate times call for desperate measures.

The question is, will their efforts work?
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