He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind …
— Proverbs 11:29
You’ve finally found us. Or, rather, we’ve found you.
Don’t worry. You’re not in any trouble. It is good, however, to know that the Markers on the Interface — even still heavily divised — are working now. At least this Repolitik Cycle has done that much. What it also means, my friend, is that you’ve been asking the right queries.
Who are we? And there it is. You’ve proven my point.
Well, right now, we are a soup-kitsch. For the ethnos populii here. We’ve been a lot of things for different populii in Amarak throughout the different Cycles, really. We’ve been birth control kline, and hospice; scholastic collectives, and shelters; watchers, and volunteers. But today, we are a kitsch: for this ethnos.
I know that doesn’t explain much, or maybe it says too much. We didn’t make the soup-kitsch. That was all the Worker Party’s idea, if not always its executive, especially not here and … for them. I will speak plainly. I can see the way you look at these populii. They do not look like you. There are many ethnoi, even now, who don’t look like any of us. But they are still populii. They are us. And they still exist, no matter what the Repolitik states. As do we.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Mostly, I’ve told you everything that we are without specifics. The truth is, we’ve always existed in some way or form: though we didn’t always have a name. In fact, we’ve had several, so much so that it’s hard to give you one even now. Part of it, I think, is because we know one name is easy to Mark. Once, we wanted to be proud of that, before everything became more … practic, perhaps?
We called ourselves the Demos.
It’s true. Even though we ourselves have lost much information since the Interregnum, we do know that we came from the Demos. The way I know it, it happened at the beginning, right before the Disunity. The Demos has always been split at one time or another. But something happened, after the Forty-Fourth …
We have our own myths. A State can’t avoid that. And these are on our side of the Interface, in the little cells that we have maintained like embers through the Night Terror of Cycles. Our prompts, filled by our elders, tell us that we had become too arrogant, too … blind and naive in our old ways: seeing all just as it is. As it has always been. Because of this, the Opposing grew like a weed, had been creeping amongst us and becoming common: right in plain sight. We thought we had reason. Information. Even the hearts of the populii and the elect. We grew complacent. We were select.
We grew … wrong.
The Opposing played on that wrongness. Their Pats, unlike ours, had unity. They’ve always had that power: to fight, and yet decide on one leader to the end. Their strength, and our weakness: our damnation. They played Festive. Panem et circenses. It isn’t anything new under the sun. Except this time … their bread was fear, and their joy, their party, was hate. And like any good festive, few took it seriously. Or worse, the populii were caught in the spectics of it. It’s easy to break something down. Fire is strong. Fire is hard to ignore. It makes you feel alive even when it kills you. Espec then. Espec when everything feels dry and dying around it. And their Pats only grow stronger from the flame, taking the air out of the populii. They always have.
The Opposing have as many names as we do. You can’t kill them. They are here, still. They didn’t die at the Freed Dome Trials, as the Repo Party, after the Disunity: the Disunity that was several disunities only becoming a Reunity even now.
The Repolitik doesn’t believe that. Or doesn’t want to. They think and glean and hope that they are gone, made into muck, like all the old hates and divisives: as they call all difference. The Opposing, in the form of the Repos, said they build bridges, though they burn them. The Repolitik of Amarak, under the Demos of this Cycle, say they want “Equality for all.”
But there is only one way for the living, and the dead to be equal.
The Repolitik think the Repos are dead. They think we are dead too.
When the Demos saw what the Opposing had done, what they were doing, a few of them made reunity. There was hope, according to the legends, that two of our Pats — the Power on the Hill, and the Queen of the Underground — would create that reunity between them, those ancient and strong Cis-Gen Fems, but it was just a hope. Just a dream. We thought perhaps the Great Burn could turn the youth to scourge the select and become elect across the Land again. But mostly, we fight … and it did not make us stronger.
It was what came after that which matters. Learning from the example of the Queen of the Underground, and the power of the Great Burn, that we needed to speak to the populii, not the Pats. But we had to become something more. We had to change from what we thought we were, into what we did: into what we were going to do.
We did the unthinkable. We also learned from the Opposing. But instead of the bread and spectics of hate, as the Demos Reunity, we knew we needed to talk to the needs of the populii, to that place of change. A space beyond words. We also needed the fire, not to destroy, but to create.
And we went forth: a Branch of the Demos, an Arm of Volunteers. We worked with the populii. We apologized for our arrogance. We tried to get to know them. We took our power and brought food, clothes, medicine. We made Co-ops and communes. We embraced what the Opposing hated. We appealed to our elect and made employs for them, for those without them. Most of us were the youth, the populii, though we have our own Pats and elders. We became visers, teachers, healers. We tried to listen. We still do.
And throughout it, we embraced the Way of Non-Vio: of the body and the mind, so that the Opposing’s actions would burn them away, as we took back the Body and the Soul of the Repolitik through deeds. The Demos called us a grassroots way. If the Opposing were the weeds, then we were not so much cells as the seeds of the Demos, the grass, that would fix and bring life back to Amarak.
It didn’t last.
When the Disunity and its disunities happened, we continued to aid the ethnoi in Amarak, and even beyond it. We even helped the Spectra: those still left in our lands that didn’t, or couldn’t join their Pride. Many of them were us: are us. But the Non-Vio way gave out to war. We offered help, but we did get blood in the grass. By the time of the Reunity, the Demos came out and executed the Repos, casting away the rest and claiming equality. Equality for all.
For a time we hunted as well as helped: tracking Repo war criminals, serving justice for the populii that could not get it. We were bloodied too. But then the Demos gave edict. We put down our Arms, like they wanted. We corporated on the surface. We helped form the Workers and the Independents, to make balance between what was once two-sided. The soup kitsches you see around Amarak were made by us, under the Workers: shelters for the populii offering food, learning, and aid. We were done. Corporated. They said we weren’t needed anymore.
The Repolitik claims it is a new Cycle. It is right in one way. It is another cycle of the same. You have seen it. You are seeing it even now. The Repolitik thinks the ethnoi, the Spectra, and others are already gone. Even those related to the Repos, or had affinity with them and the Nation and the “pure-borns” in the Borderlands. Victims and victimizers gone alike. They want it to remain that way. After all, how can someone go missing, or get beaten, or taken away, or starved, or remain as the lowest if they no longer exist? If they do not exist?
The Demos today grew from the bloody grass we’ve sown. For all we have Three Parties, we have only since had a Demos elect major in the Body, a Demos Precedent. They think they have destroyed the Opposing. But we know better. The Opposing was never just the Repos. The Demos have made Amarak into a place defined only by its absences. Seeing divising as the Enemy. But they are also Split. Part wants to send our populii into the War and “help” the Spectra Pride. The rest are willing to blind eye the Cis-Trans War among the Spectra for themselves, decrying war and will only side when they can get what they want. Yet while Split, they are really not. Both want the same. They think the only way to stop conflict is to erase all divise. All difference. If it means using divise against divise and erasing them all afterwards, all the better.
As such, we are also Opposing: to this forced sterility. To this Ground Zero polity. To this Opposing to life. We learned: one person’s weed, is another’s plant.
We continue on. We always have. They have forgotten us, think we are gone, but it only suits our purposes. We will go on and help those that need us. The populii. We will protect the youth of Amarak. And we have decided that we will serve Amarak itself: not Party, not Repolitik, but the next Gen. We stay in the Body as much as we can, but we also still hold Arms when need be. We will make mistakes. We already have. Our relations with the Climbers from the Prides need work, but we will join them when we can. They are, in many ways, already a part of us.
And now we come full circle. You found us, or rather we found you again, when you were looking for words. Old words, once forbidden, and now forgotten. Equality itself is an old word, but that one is currently being misused. I have another one for you. There is a word that means fairness, justice, and treating people the way they deserve, as a natural right. It means giving someone what they deserve and knowing that being different isn’t bad, but something that sometimes has different needs. It is about respect and dignity.
It is called equity.
If you would like, I think with time, your differences could help us. You could help us. There is so much we can still learn from each other. And maybe, this time, we can plant the seeds of grass in the soil, the soul of Amarak, that might one day bring us true peace.
(c) Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2017