12: Alternative Facts: Natural Medicine

“Physician, heal thyself.”
—  Luke 4:23

It’s a caution: of the boogey.

“Beware the Nats.” The old tales say. “They carry the Novax.”

Back cycles ago, no other chill was strongest than a call, or word of Novax. Fore the Disunity, and the Interregnum, and the supposed “Great Reunity,” a people went their own way. They believed the Land — all of it — healthy, holy, sacred. That all that grows from the ground is good. And all that came from making and artifice was sick, unclean … cursed. They espec feared the start of aughts, or a state of oughts: running from them, making themselves Sep from techne, from gleaning, that everything of the Land would save them, that all other things were poison.

They looked to find Dise, and discovered Doom instead.

They made themselves no defense … agon the old horrors. They were not immune. Droves of them, the old tales said, from Mas and Fem to their childer, dropped. They were all over every Land, as well as our own: not just in the South but the North too. And that was the most abominate of all.

Where they sat, ate, drank, shat, coupled, or stilled they brought it with them — the Novax — sickened and killing all people with them. And it spread during the Interregnum, just like they did, into the Repo Fiefdoms and the Demos Brigaders and away from them. When the Disunity happened, they fled. They left — becoming Resists — even during the Unquiet in the most distant parts of our Land: trying to get back to the Land, the old tales say, to the soil, to everything that grows.

That’s one way why, after a while, even though they once proudly — vainly — named themselves Novax, they became called the Nats.

They should have died. All of them. Espec during the Dark Times when medicine was low, for everyone, on both sides of the Wall.

Many found were purged, the ones that didn’t fall on their own. We had our own Reunity, made our medicines and techne for our defense. So many sick, then, and dying, we drove the plague-bares fore they could spread into our Prides, our Spectra, from the Borders into the deepest Badlands. Many went on their own, for new Land: to be isolate. Pure. They never came back. We thought it was over.

We still use the Interface. We glean there are still pockets of their spots in the North, even in our Lands now. Some even try to adopt into our Prides. We deal with them. But the plague-bares, the Great Infests, are mostly old tales now. Old fear fire stories to scare childer.

We were born of theory-head, of Sacred Thot, when they made Mas bleed.

We tell the other Spectra what they need to glean. It was why we were born. Agents of the Heterodox are still in us, and sometimes the Joys and Llangs still listen, even now when they are playing HetSoc. Utter abominate what they will do. We do not need mech-wooms. Our surrogates, our Vessel of Trade, between the loyal Prides do us just fine. We’ve not the numbers to deal with that infection in the Spectra, just enough brethren and sestra left behind to fight the Traitors, to deal with the soul — the purity — disease.

We were the scourge. We burst their pockets among others. Stamped out their spots, and drowned their flesh-fires. Sent a few back to the Heterodoxy and their Dark Age. Sent more to die in the Badlands. Long, the Heterodox claimed we were sick, but they made us sick, made us swallow the sickness they didn’t want, made it internal in us. But this — we would not countenance this. We …

Those calling themselves Novax were purged by our own fire. Our Prides buried their fallen. The Nats were exterminate. We spread only word, and sight: our historia made safe again.

Yet now, brethren and sestra, is the truth. We were born to tell and fight. To purge. We were gleaned that Silence is the Foe of All Spectra. Of the HetSoc and their Heterodoxy. But here, now, we take the tool — the other armament of the Oppressor. We use it to prevent the spread of the Willing Sickness.

Again, the Nats — their infest — lives. It has become adapt. They are still adapts, even in the middle of the Badlands that kill us when we go in too far. Maybe they were left in the ruined Domes, deep in the Badlands. Maybe Domes are caerns. Toom-woom incubae, spreading infests of the plague-bares. Somehow, even now, they grow. They rise in isolate, and move out. Just coming into their Resists enough to catch the dread Novax. They do not fight. They never have. They are have strong Resist. Their bodies keep the horrors in them and fight for them, agon us. They are even dangers when they are dead. Espec dead. In numbers.

And we were made, from blood, to fight all Sickness. Our fore goal.

We are still Mas and Fem, Monog and Nonmonog strong. We try. We must be main the scourge and the flame, the word and the silence. The infests, the Resists, go deeper than we glean. We keep this from the Joys and the Llangs and their toys, the Binary and Trans Gen Traitors: Heterodox agents and infests of Poison Mas that will one day be Sepped permanate. Most of us stay here, near the Badlands — deeper — our lives sacrifice. Many have joined the Nats, the Novax taking the body but not our purity. Our hearts stay with the earth. We must memor our oath agon the dangers, and the tribuls. We must bring it all to bare.

We are the fire that Climbed the Walls of Sickness. We will keep the Prides Liberate, and destruct those that turn on us. We will keep back the Sickness made by the Heterodoxy. We do what we must to guard the Spectra, and keep it all clean.

We are Meides, and we have Hearts of Stone.

(c) Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2019.

11: Alternative Facts: Among The Populii

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 3.2.

Bowing the knee. Showing the Old Ways. That’s what you want to we to see.

I glean better.

Welcome to the Free Sancts of Amarak. That’s we. Not the Repolitik. Not the Tripartite. Not the Demos. Not the Grass. We. Amaraki.

Amarak.

From Freed Dome? I glean it. Your bow was too rated, too much for show. Like a glad-fighter from the Repo Arenas of old. Like anything from the Cap. But it got our Eye. And I glean that you come for the Childer of the Secret Motive.

Come.

We glean why you’re here, I see. The mask of a Loyalty Test, of the Pledge. There are no antiq-IDs here. No ethnoi outside of MePo. We haven’t gleaned a Dead Skin here in cycles. We, all of us, are just “One-Backs.” Ha. That’s what they called us, once … and even now, in the Borderlands.

Ha. We’re North, but we still glean the South, the Borderlanders and the Badlands. Our Interface’s just fine, thank you. We mind our Border here, too: between the State and Nomens. That’s part of the Test, right?

We know our historia. Don’t mind talking it to you, while you’re here. After the Forty-Fourth Precedent, everything went to fuck. No other way to talk it. Many of we, memor our history all the way from the First Disunity. We had Motives then, too. From Underground. For the ethnoi. Ones not taken by Repo Gilder-Booms for shot-pract, or slaves by the Baggers.

The Demos Brigaders kept moving to Freed Dome, then. Left we, and the rest in other places to take care of the ethnoi that couldn’t pass, the Rainbows and Prides that couldn’t run, or hide. A few lived with we. Most we passed: to Nomens.

I glean your face. We memor the Beast of Burden. We are it. The Cap, Freed Dome, takes on the Five-Point Arms of the Gram. Others think themselves the Sunbird. Cocks. But we’ve always gleaned what we are. No shame in that.

We were the Demos, the first patch of Grass when the Arm of the Demos laid itself down. Some called us Arns, working with Nomens, with the Razor Leafs. Poisoners from the South, those not our sibs: Repos and Cons, all of them.

Damned Red Caps.

But the only way we were Vivalists, like the ones in Nomens, is that we wanted to live, and no one to die cause of skin, or the stuff tween legs and chests and necks, and minds. Mostly, we’re just hardworkers. Blues. The first meaning of the word.

Even then, we gleaned what’s what. Blue always needs be on top, keeping the Red down. Red needs to stay inside, not out. Might bleed all over the place, otherwise. Might burn everything. Like it did. Has a belt of stars too. You’ve seen it. Binds the Red under the Blue in good govern.

When we first fought the Repo Fiefs — the Great Fief of Hate — cycles ago, past the Second Disunity, into the Interregnum, a Predict came up with some lines. Went something like this:

When Turtle Isle is broke,
and from its shattered shells, the blood is woke,
the Red will Spread a drumming,
be wary: the Red Caps are coming.

Has a ring, right? Only thing worse are the plague-bares … The Nats. Not many these days, here, after the Purges. Still … During the Interregnum, when all the Weather Domes were down, the Repo Fiefs’d attack us. Again and again. Damn right we cleaved to the Vivalists from Nomens. Sanest there were when the Brigaders left us to ourselves, when they weren’t in divise against each other.

Nomens used to be named something else, called after the lines of a Predict of She. When the Repolitik broke, and Turtle Isle turned underside down with the Weather Domes all burst and broken like childer all shelled out on its belly, Nomens was the only one left. We memor. Sunder left the Pasiph League cycles fore, cross the Ocean. One thing the Red Caps hated more than Nomens were the Pasiphs.

But when Sunder broke away from the League, they left a whole: one that Nomens joined. Nomens had us. Like I said, we are all Vivalists. Nomens helped us, the first Grass, and the Demos. Took some time: not just Underground this cycle, but also from the Water and Air, these Motive Paths we show you. And Nomens had its own Fjord, with its flight of Razor Leafs — red through the snow — to cross. But we did it. We brought Amarak back. We do not forget who helped us.

Just like we took ethnoi cross to Nomens, even when the Cap of Freed Dome was made, and spent more time coming up with MePo — with melting we together — and their Hate Speech Accords to actually feed we all. So don’t eye us down. We memor the way the House came silent — came the Still House — even when the Demos spread through it like the Grass it said it still was, with its ties to the Land.

We also memor the Childer’s Contracts, and the many Scapes from Turtle Isle we aided. What would the Burning Library of the Grass have gleaned, when she spread through the Little House like wildfire, or the Graceful Voice, the Defenser Who Halts All Walls?

All Predicts of She, those who would have gleaned what it is to bow the knee.

Don’t talk to we about loyalty. We glean our place, even with your Cis-Trans War and the Repo hate cults at the borders. The Cap gleans our place in historia too. To do what we must. They can pay to be beyond Gen, and play their Opposing games. If you’re truly jects of Freed Dome, perhaps you laugh at we. Some think our Beast — the one that carries we, all of we and our burdens — is made of gold. A fine ass.

But there’s a reason why breeding our Beast with other, faster, gilder beasts makes mules. Smarter, perhaps. Or so it gleans. Longer-lived. But … truly sterile. Jects, not of populii.

And now … you come to we, bowing like we did to show our member in the ancient Motive, to make us see your gleaning, do you know the mean?

There are many reasons to bow the knee. You say it is to learn, from us, but in this cycle, in these times — in all times — there are other Motives where that is a part:

To obey, to respect, to perform … or to defy.

So where, on what Path, in what Motive, do your loyalties lie?

(c) Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2019.

10: Alternative Facts: Summer Camp

“Sometimes by losing a battle, you find a way to win the war.”
— Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz, The Art of the Deal

You’re back. You came to us, to the Badlands fore, cause you wanted our historia. Our mythologia. The mythologia of the State. Of the Cycle. Of Amarak.

To think your search started with just one word. I recall wording with you about the Cycle of Opposing, and its roots in the mythologia of Ground Zero. About the ethnoi, and ethnos. About the Disunity. About divise itself. Opposing, and divise start inside. You glean that. But it goes outside, too. It has to.

You found the Climbers. They told you, worded with you, about walls: about where they come from, how they form, and what they do. We traded lore for lore. You were told no Wall was made in Amarak. The Wall was always there.

Once, as the Pains of the Hidden Lady told you in Repo Land after you walked the zigzag path of the Hidden Festive, that they worshipped Libertas. And the last son of the Eleuth told you of how his lost Maters and sestra Pride named themselves after the Lady of the same name. Even now the center of the Repolitik is called Freed Dome: what our Land, this failed Rene Project, was supposed to be.

But that was Lye, as the Repos call it now, in the end.

Amarak was always a prison. And if there was a god of prisons, if it ever had a name, it would be the prophet of profits. Or the profit of prophets. Or the edicts of predicts, and predicts of edicts. Most populii came to Amarak — birthed Amarak — to serve, to live, to die: made by Europa to be monster, and labrys cleaved together. That is the story here.

The mythologia of the Sancts.

It was said to have happened after the Cycle of the Forty-Fourth Precedent, fore the Interregnum, when the Repo Party ruled. Many other States burned, then. Ethnoi were purged. Populii died. Amarak was free. It was a Sanct. It was made of Sancts. But those Sancts were iron vaults. They were lost time. Dark. They were prisons.

Amarak was a prison.

The Repos always talk about earning freedom. Their Gilder-Booms talk of sacrifice. But they have other words too.

It’s said that when populii wanted to flee their State, to come to Amarak, they could stay. They could be a part of it. Like the Amaraki of old. For a price. The diablo’s gamble. The Bargain.

The Bargain has been here as long as Amarak, throughout every Repolitik. Every Cycle. From the beginning of the Cycle. The terms just change. The stranger, the ethnoi, can’t pay to come in. They are feared. Hated. They are in divise with the State. Some try to, in the words of some of the Prides, climb the Wall, and they fail. Or they do it, facing the mercy of the Law. Of freedom. Of Amarak.

But Amarak is a prison, and a game. And Laws are Rules. The Coustume Guardians have ever been their enforcers. It’s clear. You can enter, or leave. But when you enter, you will be a part of that prison.

And your children will go to camp.

Fore the Interface, familia were sepped in the Dark of that Cycle, snatched away, placed in cages, in grey and metal. Not allowed to see their familia. Not allowed to play. Or touch. Or be touched by Amaraki Caretakers though, sometimes … They were.

It’s said that the children were supposed to be released fore long. As were their parere. Some were. Some never saw their familia again. Some never saw the children again. Or their camps of simmering summer garbage ruled by ice. These child prisons. These child Sancts.

The true Interregnum, the Dark Age, began with the silence of the child Sancts. When the Second Disunity started. Most of the child Sancts were under the so-called Great Repo Precedent, where it was said that work set them free, one way or another. Others were taken by Demos Brigaders and their princeps, the children freed. The populii wanted to bring down the regime. Others, were still lost. It’s said that even now, a thousand years later, there are still parere looking for their children, children wandering for their parer, forever sep … And others, even now, dwell in the husks of the Sancts, lost to the labrys of a lost Repolitik, starving, lonely, angry, and isolate.

You’ve been to Freed Dome. During the Reunity and the beginning of the Tripartite Repolitik it was built on the ruins of a tyranny, made into a Collective for young academes, Affirmation Groups, and visitors. It was made Sanct, one of many to memor the atrocities of the Lost Sancts, just like the remains of the Coustume Posts and their flower gardens. Some Sancts, in the former Repo fiefdoms, remain as more ruined memors, while others are cities made Reserves for “exotic” antiq-ID ethnoi, or those that grew in the Sancts. Over time, during the wars and the retreat of the Repos, forgotten by them and the Demos, the children of those Sancts grew, and traveled.

There is another story as well to tell. There is mythologia we have made collect, from our Eyes in the Interface, from the Badlands to the Borders, that some of the Sancts still remain: that they have made liberate themselves over many gen. Some may have met each other throughout, embraced the silence that killed so many, and become Co-operative. We have heard a few whispers that perhaps some, called the Free Sancts, actually exist: beyond Repo and now Tripartite Repolitik gleaning.

If true, they don’t seem to be on the Interface, Markers, and all. But we want to glean them as well: to glean their historia… their own mythologia. The Gilder-Booms would have you know, by their own coustume, that their children are made hallow by the armaments to which they have destruct themselves, and others. But if there is any hallowness, any heroism, in any of this, after all this time it’s that true sacrifice is what the children of the Free Sancts suffered, thrown away, used, destruct, or left to keep the Wall — the Prison — of Amarak alive.

But if they live, beyond this, without the control of the Repolitik, then perhaps they did it, broken away from the Cycle. Perhaps they did win the war that the Repos lost despite them.

Maybe now, they really are what Amarak should be: children in summer. Perhaps they are the children that are now, truly, free.

(c) Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2018.

9: Alternative Facts: Beyond the Wall

“But one man’s golem once grew so tall, and he heedlessly let him keep on growing so long that he could no longer reach his forehead.”
— Jakob Grimm, Zeitung für Einsiedler (“Journal for Hermits”)

I was a Llang. I am also Mas. This is my Test on this Interface during what the Heterodox call the Cis-Trans War.

My sestra, part of the Queen’s Pride, we knew about the Spectra. But we were Sep: Deep Sep. Our Fore-Climbers, they believed in the Lady. The Lost Lady. We left the Walls of the Heterodoxy behind us after the Maters met with the other Prides and made the Spectra. Our Maters and Ladies would talk to the Joys and the rest, while we lived our lives Sep to heal: to heal from Mas turned poison — Poison Mas — by the Heterodox.

We embraced the ways of Fem, in our land, deep in the Borders. We farmed and wove like the rest of our small Pride. The Llangs, our Queens … our Aunts, our elder sestra, were hosts. Our line took on another path, another name. Eleuth. We … we were Eleuth, after our Lady. I still believe in her, even now, even after everything …

I was divise. I couldn’t help it. I felt … divise, but not Joy. Never really Joy. I’d never seen one. Few of us did, until that day … Even now, it is hard to say how I gleaned it. I just felt it, even as a child. My sestra Eleuth, they didn’t judge me. That is not the story I am going to tell. They knew I was divise, diverse, but of them. I was still borne from my Mater, my Maters … after receiving the Vessel of Trade from the Joys and Mas Binaries beyond our small proper: the way most of us are made. I was still their child by the Accords of Life, agreed by the Spectra over a thousand years ago. I was still part of my sisters.

The Eleuth do not hate Mas. They did not … They did not have agon with me. They loved me. Even though, by the rites of our Pride I knew I would have to leave one day, I knew I was not poison. I became their only son. Their child.

We knew nothing about the War. I grew and found a wife. We were going to have a child together by Trade and the Accords of Life. Of course, that was the point. That was what changed everything. The Eleuth couldn’t have us stay. Even so, we had their blessing. We would go to a new Pride. They were going to prepare a Leavetaking for us. It was sad, but joyous. A Sep of another kind. But there was acceptance. We were in the middle of it, when …

The Meides came.

The Eleuth rarely ever saw them. I’d learned since, why they were made. The Gen-Que, those I’ve met, said a thousand years ago — when the Spectra was still young — they feared attack from the Heterodox. Even in their Disunity, in agon with each other, and after in their Interregnum when they were just healing, as we once had, their disunities threatened to spill over and poison our land. We fled from them once before, before the Second Disunity. We needed protection.

It is said, by the Gen-Que, that they helped the Spectra make the Meides. Brethren and sestra to work for the Spectra, and all Prides: chosen for strength, and passing on word to each Pride and its smaller Prides. They were to fight the Heterodoxy and the Heterodox. They were to find spies. They were to send word and defend us if we were under attack. Warriors and truth-tellers, the Gen-Que told me later, their hearts to be made of Stone the Gen-Que said, to their everlasting shame. That was how the Meides began.

The Meides that came to the Eleuth, to the distant sestra of the Llangs that day, were filled with Joys and Llangs. It was the first time we’d seen Mas, of any kind aside from … me, in our land in cycles. I could smell the discomfort, the … fear from my sestra. If there were Trans-Gen or Binaries among them, they were quiet. The others were not. They told the Maters of the Eleuth that there were Traitors among the People. That the Heterodox was poisoning us again, causing trouble, and war.

They pointed at me. They saw me and my wife. They said I was Heterodox, that I was infected with Poison Mas — I was Poison Mas — and that they needed to take me in: that I was a Traitor to our Pride, and the Spectra. The Eleuth couldn’t glean it. It didn’t make sense. We are … we were Sep from Mas, mostly, but the Maters knew — believed — that the Spectra embraces Binaries, even let Binaries leave the Eleuth or … or Trans-Gen to go into the other Prides that they need. I was not overt. My hair was short and I wore legs, but that didn’t mean anything. My sestra let me stay as I hunted, with them, and only wanted to live. I never said I was Mas. I didn’t have to.

We didn’t know, I didn’t know, about the Pan-Binary Prides and their agon with the Spectra. The Meides, that day, told us about the … Traitors, the Binaries and Trans-Gen, in agon with the Spectra and using the poison of Heterodoxy to betray and murder the rest of the Prides. That the Spectra’s peace with the Heterodoxy was our fault: and we were just helping them poison our People … helping them by letting me stay here.

The Gen-Que, later, told me the Meides lost their way. Even at their height, no one ruled them, not even the Spectra. Only themselves.

I saw them, then. I saw their armaments. I was going to do it. I was going to go over. Even then, I gleaned what would happen if I didn’t. The Maters … my wife, my sestra, refused. They appealed. They asked to talk to the Llang, to our Honoured Aunts, to at least let me go to another Pride with my wife, to the Trans-Gen, or the Binaries if need be …

The Meides leader said something, I still recall. She said: the Llangs knew. They let them through. That those who can pass through the Wall, must be destruct.

They shot first. That’s all I can recall. My wife pushed me away. The Maters and the sestra, they fought. They told me to run. I didn’t want to. I wanted to fight. I felt agon. I could hunt, but I couldn’t kill.  What good was being … being who I was if I couldn’t fight, embrace agon, to defend those I loved? To do even that? So much I didn’t understand and no one to teach me, in the middle of madness. It made no sense. Why send a Traitor to so distant a place? So isolate? Who told them about us? About me? Nothing made sense when my wife fell. When my sestra died …

My own Mater told me to run … That they would win if I stayed. If I died …

I don’t know why I ran.

I should have died with my sestra.

I kept running. I don’t glean, even now, how they didn’t find me. Maybe the deaths of all the Eleuth, was enough for them. Maybe they believed they got me. I ran. I ran deep into the Borderlands, near the Badlands. The Maters always told us to keep away from them, more than anything else. There are no Domes, just the wrecks of them, and the Nats and their holes. The elders told us the Nats are danger: rejecting techne, scire … even medicine … to be one with the World … It was said, that the Heterodox, during the Disunity and the Interregnum, used to send people to the Nats to die of the disease they embraced, that they became.

I used to think they were just tales to scare us, to scare children … Until I saw them too.

Warped, twisted … I don’t recall. Sick. I was so sick. Infected. Poison Mas … Maybe I did have it. I ran deep into the Badlands, passed where even the Nats live … Burning … I should have died.

The Eleuth had another tale, though. About the Badlanders.

I woke in a tent. I don’t glean, even now, how long I was with death. No one was with me, but water and food. And a tablet. It linked to the Interface. I’d never even gleaned it existed, among the Eleuth. We just told each other what we needed to glean, and the Elders told us the rest from our Queens, our Aunts, our Greater Maters … who betrayed us.

The tablet had a missive. It told me I could find them, here. Or, I could join up with something called the New Spectra. But that I should know about my sestra … and my brethren.

Brethren … an alien, but comforting name. It fit in me, even with the emptiness without the Eleuth, my Maters, my wife  … I put my hand on the word for brethren on the tablet. I slept again.

Until I was found by my new family.

A few cycles have passed since I’ve joined Those Who Can Pass the Wall. The Climbers. Mas, Fem, and even Is. And Gen-Que. The Gen-Que taught me about Gen and Affinities. The Trans-Gen, helped me through the Rite of Transformation, sometimes the body, and sometimes the mind … diverse for each person. My spirit knew what it was, though. I always did. The Newtons, or the Tess as they also like to call themselves, sometimes showed me genii. I showed them the tablet. The Binaries and Pan, sometimes Dual, or Faire, or in Units, they showed me how they love … and fight by Passing Through the Wall, affecting one Affinity to glean information from the Joys and Llangs that thought they were the same, or the Trans-Gen who passed affecting Gen to do the same.

I gleaned more. The Meides never thought we were “pure” — that we were too diverse, too potential Heterodox — and the others share this idea. The Spectra is HetSoc, but they are not Heterodox, or so they say to themselves: Playing Reunity only to get what they want. The Heterodox claims to want diverse, on their terms, to claim diverse and make themselves a mask of mercy for their polit-societas. In turn, the Heterodox promises the Spectra, the other Prides — the majority of Joys and Llangs — mech wooms and changing seed techne and scira to replace the Vessel of Trade and the Accords of Life. The rest of us are expended to them. It makes me think about my Maters. About my wife, and the child we never had. The Spectra plans to erase us. Or at least do nothing while the Meides come for us, and kill them after they are done.

But we are not done.

Just as I learned, from the Meides, that those that can pass through the Wall must be destruct, I also gleaned from my sestra and brethren, my family, the lessons of the Fore-Climbers against the ancient Heterodox: the ones that made the Spectra that failed us.

Our ID is our weapon. Our weapon is our ID.

The Joys and Llangs have their favourites: their consorts still Trans-Gen or Binary, and have just embraced quiet. Just wearing another wall. Hiding fluidity in a Stone. Sometimes, we appeal to someone through one ID that is really another. Sometimes, we take from them with that same ID. Other times, we kill them under the ID of another.

That is my personal agon. My fight. This is my Test on this tablet. On the Interface. I was Llang. I am now Mas, and I am the last of my Pride, the only son of the Eleuth. And I will never forget. I will never forget the lesson. And I hope you will not forget this Test.

© Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2018.

7: Alternative Facts: Our Secret

“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…”
— Hosea 8:7

You’ve met with the Elders of the Hidden Festive. They have given you your orders as an Eagle-Eye, a Specular, in the Interface, doing the real work in fighting the Usurpers and the Arns of Amarak. They told you the truth, the secret of our Folk. It is honour. And you are one of the few to glean it, to be the hallowed armament within the Great Lye of the Three: who are really only ever the one … the Demos.

We don’t need to tell you that. You’ve already gleaned it. If not, you’d not have gotten this far. You wouldn’t have earned this truth over the unworthy. But you remember where you come from, child. You glean how you got there through the stint in the Gilder Booms, the Bagger hunts, the loud songs of the Wags. You didn’t need to be in the Nation, though. The races still live, and the Drop Ideal is folly. We have only, ever, wanted results.

There will be enough blood spilled soon, no matter where it comes from.

We’ve been here for you. And we know what it is like to play with pennies and the “winning hand” of cards. It’s what got us here, to this point, to begin with.

Now take this tea, child, and dump it into the river like the Rebels of old under the Fathers of the Lohim, under our god’s … Hidden Face.

All debts are wiped clean, here. Nothing is owed other than what you bring to promise. Tea leaves swept away, fortunes cast and reject. The real Fire, has been the ember, burning in you from the very began. We will pour you another cup, impurity burned away to steam in the water, and knowing passed on in the heat.

The Hidden Festive is adjourned. Thus begins the session of the True Hidden Festive: The High Tea of our Lady.

There is Lye in the Land: in Amarak. The Demos, claim themselves the cult of the Folk — of the “populii.” They do not care about the Folk. The Demos think themselves select, and everyone else are pieces in the Game. They think to use us in their war within the Rainbows. The Demos are Arns to the Cycle that begat Amarak, but they are not the only ones.

Again, you glean this. And as we take tea here, you also glean who our real enemy is. The true Usurpers.

Yes. The State calls us Repos, but we had another name, once. We have been born countless times, many cycles, in Amarak: all from began. We build the bridges. We defended them, watching each Repolitik, and keeping the lives of each Mas, Fem, and the Folk agon the govern. We tried to keep their rights, letting them seek prize and joy without fear of scripting, or quartering.

And we freed the slaves as the Demos divised and make profit from suffering, as they do. But we forgot. We forgot the Lessons of the First Cycle from which our Lady was born, from blood and light and friendship. We don’t know when it happened. Perhaps it was Disunity between States across the ocean, when we began to warr each other, hunting the other. Or more disunities taking place in the far, alien lands. And when one Enemy was gone, we still saw them: here, in us.

Maybe the Mask of the Actor, which even now we are forced to play, never came off. And we were forced to take tea — take poison — with the rubbish of Amarak. It is no secret that the Gilder Booms worship death: that even the destruct of children consecrates their hallowed armaments in what they say is sacred blood, that the Wags scream of the Night Terrors and dream them, that the Baggers steal and lye and cull the wheat from the chaff. And the Nation and their notions of pure blood, perhaps our reunity with them is our worse sin.

We took tea. We forgot the Folk. Yes, we once freed the slaves, but we embraced the slavers, and enslaved like them. We just wanted to beat the Demos. We forgot the lessons of Independence, and the fiends of the Red Coat Commies. And as we took tea, continuing to get drunk off our poison, of our need for power, we sat back — we sat, or worse, cleaved together with the garbage … We brought everyone — all Folk — Back. Backward. And we took up the pennies, thinking it part of free trade, and the cards thinking of the winning hand and the easy kitsch of bars and liquor as we killed our Lady.

We killed her. Make no mistake. It is our largest crime, our greatest shame of our Festive, of our Folk. Not just that some of us poisoned her, bit by bit, or that we made her weak, in her glittering gown in the Night that came, as she fell in her blood pooling around her — toppling down into waves of the spreading red, our colours — in her bleeding shade across the Land, but that she cried out, cried out for help, for justice, while we stood there …

And did nothing.

Make no mistake. We murdered our Lady all those centuries ago, millennia before. And we all suffered. And we have been trying to atone ever since through our suffering. The Hidden Festive say they are of the Folk, of the Land, and that we are the Realpolitik. They are the children of the Pats that ruled our Repolitik thousands of years ago. They never cared for us. For anyone else. Not for the Folk. Not for Amarak.

We lost in the Great Disunity a thousand years ago now. The truth is that we did rule. We ruled small states, fiefs under a Great Precedent, as Governs and Sheriffs: each of us our own powers. But we didn’t lose the Land, or even get driven to the Borderlands because of the Demos and their Usurpers. We lost far fore that, and we couldn’t watch anymore. Not after so long. We couldn’t be in this Festive anymore. We became Arns, then. We helped the Folk, under the Brigaders, letting the Arn states take us, and betrayed our corrupt brethren and sestra. We gossiped the truth. We snitched on the Lye. We lost the Precedent on purpose, ignored them, didn’t listen, took their power like the others, and played in the squabble seeming of the fiefs: to bring the whole rotten tree down. We wanted it to end, and bring freedom back to the Folk: to the Land.

We took that tea and spilled it on ourselves, scarring ourselves in the places that no one else can see. Some of us joined the Lye of the Rebel and Workers, even the Demos, preferred to the brutalism of what we were. We were once a worthy Party, made into crimes and tyrants, into rapists, opportunes, fanatics, and thieves.

But we stayed. We weren’t like the other Arns. We are not Arns at all. We have baptized ourselves in the tea of our old betrayal of the Folk, of the Fathers, of the Land, of our Fallen Lady in her blood-soaked glittering blue robe. We burn our flesh with the tea, without the flavour of self-lye, or the ornamentals of our former hubris.

We stayed in the Borderlands, in sin, to atone: and perhaps to find redeeming. As the old saying says, we will not suffer poisoners to live, but we will suffer the poison and make it into the cure that will destruct the Festive. And as you, now, know your role in this — when the time is right — embrace the searing of the tea on your skin, etching the pain of the ancient betrayal, of the Sins of the Land, into your Skin, of the first true Rebellion, and remember. Remember what you are fighting for.

For we are the burning. We are hurt. We are the scourges, and the pain: the Pains of the Hidden Lady who we hope to resurrect, our Lady, may she grant us the mercy to continue in our quest, to destroy the Repos — as it is we that owe the Land — to restore our good name again, to bring back the Folk to freedom.

To the Pain of Pains. Our First Father before the Liberator, the child of the Lohim and our sweet Lady … Libertas.

(c) Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2018.

6: Alternative Facts: View From the Badlands

“Yet we toiled and stopped the blight, prevented the subsidence, making our foundations good. Our excavations gradually uncovering the future, archeology staged in reverse, we were the Builders of Tomorrow.”
— Alan Moore, Miracleman Book Three: Olympus

We fled cycles ago, far fore the Second Disunity and the little, small disunities that followed with their feudal Repo fiefs and Demos brigaders. Our Predicts saw it all coming after the end of the Forty-Fourth Precedent. We left a long time ago when the Earth was being threatened, and we became banned from facets of the pre-Interface, then Amarak itself, taking our historia with us.

We’ve been on the move ever since, but we never stopped our missives. As you already glean.

That was the reason we were banished the first time. We, and a few of us, saw the danger fore the Repos purged so much historia, and exiled so many Predicts. After a time, we had our own reunity: to save this world. Once, we were just keepers of one patch of the Land: its guardians and teachers. But when the Disunity spread across the Land, and the Badlands grew, we knew we had to do more. We had to be more.

Once, we were called the Rangers. Just that. Some, a small few, recall us. Now, far past the Borderlands without the Weather Domes, and in enclaves where they are broken, we are just Badlanders now. Mostly, we just watch now.

Mostly.

You followed the Markers in the Interface. We know the Grass do something like us. We have some contact with the Grass, and the Climbers: with anyone who knows how to follow the Markers we leave: the missives we still can’t find in our hearts to stop making. They want us to join in the effort, to fight the Repolitik or the Repo sub-cults.

We know better.

Fore we were Badlanders, or Rangers, we had another name. Conservers. That was our function. It still is. Fore this Cycle, it was our sworn duty to guard the Earth: beyond Cycle and State. Part of that is to spread our historia: to keep it safe, and to let it grow. We do not pose like Repo Gilder-Booms, or cause wars like the Repolitik. Our historia is open to all that seek it: that glean the Markers. How do you think the Weather Domes and biomes came up? We released it to those that looked. How did the Grass know where to find the war criminals when they were the Arm of the Demos? They found our Markers of their dwellings in the Borderlands. And so much more besides.

We do not fight. We never did. We make historia a part of us. Did you know that Earth is many worlds? Worlds linked by bridges that no one had to build? We conserve that. We do what the Repos once only said: to the Land and its organics.

But we do more now than only conserve what we can of the Earth. The populii are also part of the Earth. Our Predicts saw that we needed to do more than just conserve historia, so we expanded into another branch of historia: mythologia itself. That’s why you’ve come so far past the Borderlands. I don’t care about your polity, whatever it is. Mythologia are stories, just as historia is our way of knowing what came fore, and what we can see now: what we can observe. They are not divise.

A lot of what the populii knows about the Disunity, and espec the Interregnum is mythologia. It’s sensical to make stories that help us understand the phenom around us. You’ve asked us, specific, about knowing the details of your ethnos, and ethnoi itself.

Ethnoi is considered divise: no matter what Cycle of our State. To know what it means, you have to glean Amarak. Many of us in the Badlanders think of Amarak as a failed Rene Project: an attempt to make a State based on reason and demos. The Demos Party itself, along with the Grass that came from it, will tell you that Amarak was based on constant Cycle of Opposing. The Tripartite Repolitik has another old Amarakian, or Amaraki belief: in the mythologia of Ground Zero.

Ground Zero is the destruct of everything fore it: leaving nothing, but the potent for something new. The Cycle of Opposing and Ground Zero are not divise: the idea of the old divising with the new often leads to the same place. A blank slate through erasing: a new beginning by violence.

The truth is that Ground Zero is mythologia. It tells a story, but it is only one of them. Ground Zero has happened many times in Amarak’s historia, just as the Disunity was made up of many others in, and after, and it always leaves something behind: espec populii. One of our missives, is to collect and protect what is left: to see how it changes, and to follow its trail on the move.

Ethnoi is a part of this. Amarak was based on many ethnoi throughout the Cycles. Ethnoi is what the Demos, and the Repolitik call it. Before the Great Disunity, it had other names: coustume, religio, and “race.” Cults is another word that lived past the Interregnum, and over time it was all cleaved together into one word: ethnos single, and ethnoi plurality. There were many divising ethnoi: populii of stars and candles, prostrate and crescent-mooned, and skin colour: beige, brown, tan, light, and dark. Many also had intersect with the Spectra and their Prides as well.

Fore the Disunity, some ethnoi were co-op, and others greatly divise. Light-skin and beige ethnoi in specific worshipping the Lohim, and the lines of the intersect: made up the Repo Party in major. The Myth of the Death of the Rolling Green, blamed on another ethnoi, was made by them. And though there is no proof that actually happened, it is one Ground Zero mythologia that we observe and record: a sample of watching how the idea spread.

You can already see it: that Amaraki are mostly dark skin, mostly. Many ethnoi were destruct, killed, murdered, and raped during the pogroms of Repo warlords: taken in what were called “cleansings.” Much of their ethnoi, their coustume, became fragment and destruct during this time. Spread of the Badlands killed many more populii on all sides.

And then, there is another Ground Zero mythologia. You’ve heard of MePo. A mockery of the Repo, some academes say, though it has other meaning. At the Freed Dome, at the Collective, the Repolitik marked the beginning of the new Cycle by the institute of MePo: to combine the best of what was left in the State, of the populii, to make stronger, healthier populli. Remnants of ethnoi were given incent to marry, or make partners: to become a new populii under the Demos saying of “Equality for all.”

While some ethnoi were protected by the Repolitik, made hallowed, and shown as antiq IDs by the State, MePo reigned. MePo was actually institute during the last years of the Interregnum: often through the strong bonds between Demos brigaders and survivors: encouraged to make Ground Zero of the old, the ruin, and make the new.

MePo is the philos of the Demos made flesh: part of something older in turn. It is a cleaving of the words “Merging Policy,” but also of the old Amaraki idea of “Melting Pot.” During the late Interregnum, most old coustumes were quietly destruct to make way for this new mythologia: of One Populii, One State. The ethnoi majority of the Repos either cleaved with other ethnoi to make the Amaraki of now, were killed during return-cleansings in other disunities, or fled to the Borderlands to more inbreeding.

Mythologia is important to the populii. MePo is the mythologia of equality, no matter what. Another sample of Ground Zero is something we recall from another State, another failed Rene Project, before even the First Disunity. With the destruct of many of their coustume from a Cycle, the populii of that State attempted to make their own gods. They tried to make a “Supreme Being” made of reason, along with martyrs of their Cycle. Instead, born in blood in the void they left, they made Lady Guile, her sharp wit a deadly opposing to our former goddess: the Lady Libertas. What they did with Lady Guile, MePo does with its populii: with Ground Zero as the sacred birthing Land. This is why they are Opposing to those outside of the Freed Dome, then the Borderlands, and perhaps eventually the Badlands: they make deity of themselves, destructing the old, and bringing Ground Zero to the rest.

This is why we collect mythologia, along with the historia of the Earth: to know and protect it and show others where it comes from. And then there is our other part. We find the other ethnoi: the ones that still ID with their remnants and the coustume that they can find. They, like you, find our Markings and come to us. Many do not want to be symbols of antiq for the Repolitik, used and profited from. Others do not want to starve unseen. I myself am what the Repos — espec the Nation — would have once called a One-Drop, but I have taken it as my own even as I continue to do good work in the Badlands, even as others like me try to find the roots of our worlds, and bring them other populii, other ethnoi like you. It is one of our highest Missives. Operation Mosaic.

OpMos.

No, we will not join the Grass or the Climbers, though we help. We fight in our own way. We will conserve and trace the mythologia, the things that come from historia, but sometimes come belief. And we protect the world, and those that have always been in it. We are not loud, but we will not be silent. To us, knowing will always trump fear. We will keep innovate and save the past that is our passing to the next Gen.

And we will watch. And we will remember.

5: Alternative Facts: The Cycle

“The revolution will not be televised …”
— Gil Scott-Heron

The Disunity began the lightning rod. And now it continues to the benefit of the State.

We lead the Tripartite of the Repolitik, the Three Parties of Amarak, for a reason. There is a reason why Amarak will, and should always, set a Demos Precedent. Long ago, before Disunity, far before the Interregnum we were, always, the champions of the populii. Even as far as the First Disunity, our strength, our burden, has been the Loyal Opposing that is the nature within our very Party. No other Party, or Festive, is or has ever been like us.

The Repo Party, that always attempted to seize power, understood only part of that. That we were, we are, divise. Their strength had always been Unity. Once, they stated as their oath that “They built bridges,” but in realpolitik we always knew their true words: “Unity at all costs.” Before we disbanded our Arm among the populii and the lost ethnoi of this Land, our Volunteers, our soldiers, our spies, they claimed that we detested divise and desire this … Unity for ourselves.

They were wrong. They are wrong.

Our power is Loyal Opposing. It is Opposing itself. Opposing for the good of the Repolitik. Of the Cycle. Of Amarak.

Why would we have encouraged the Workers, and the Independence Parties otherwise? To be our extend of Loyal Opposing, while we — the Demos — the populii itself continue to be that in our own Body?

We are the process. And the best of us see it.

Our divise makes us strong. It reminds the populii — the elect — the Body what we want, what we are. Equality for all. Anyone of the populii can look at the historia of our State through the general levels of the Interface and see that Amarak has been made and rooted in Cycle. It has been a Cycle. And something needs to start that Cycle. Our Predicts glean it everytime. When the Repos seized power and caused the Disunity, killing, imprisoning, closing us off from the Earth, divise became clear and pretense was over.

Each time a Repo Precedent was set, we made it clear — when they ignored us through our divise, claiming us corrupt and weak — that they were the Enemy. They were the destroyer of the Land, of the ethnoi, of the Rainbow Peoples and the Spectra Prides, of historia, and Earth. The Repos could not deal with divise and we used it through our Volunteer Arm to break their unity. Their tyranny. We used divise, our own divise, to fight against them, and turn them against each other: their own populii against their own Pats and we hunted them. We ended them.

The Repos only had power through unity, and when they were buried in the Earth, biting at our bases. Many times we think we removed the wart, but the roots were always still there under the surface: waiting to grow back, even looking fair when next to divise, until they came up bloated and ugly again: inflated with their own sense of poison.

Becoming a perfect target for the scourge.

The Predicts told us to wait for the best. The best are the only way to rule a Land and bring equality. The Repos destroyed themselves. We simply cleaned up the rest, and made an example of them as the criminals that they were.

We contain the conflict now. For now. We embody the process. We are spreading it out. The truth is that everything in Amarak is connected. The Weather Domes need to be fixed. The Soup-kitsches and oikos of the biomes require more populii. We need Reunity in the Land before we can deal fully with the other States on the Earth, and the Earth itself.

It has been a thousand years until the new Cycle. Many ethnoi have died out, slaved by the Repos, slaughtered, their bad divise and tribalisms made extinct through the disunities, or mingled by the cause of our Arm to make the populii strong over the Gen. The Cis-Gen is over in the circle of the Freed Dome. We are beyond Gen now, grown past it and its strictures: transcended it. For the most part, now, we are a Post-Ethnos, Post-Gen world. All Affinities and IDs will be celebrated, especially those that remain of the Antiq: rare and valued. They and their achievements protected and preserved in the Interface to remind us of past divise for all time: of what we lost, and what we can still lose. That is why our fore-elect, remakers of the Demos, made the Freed Dome: as one of those commerates. The disunities of the Disunity stage, of the process is almost over.

The Borderlands and the Spectra are all that remains. The Pride will join us. With our mech-wooms, we can make our populii numerous again. But there is one last part: one thing that our Predicts have told us from the very beginning.

Our Volunteer Arm had been right. There will always be an Opposing. We told them that. We warned them. The Cis-Trans War brings them out like the woodworms. The pitiful Repo sub-cults, the Climber terrorists, and the rest fight in the Spectra, burning themselves out. The Prides will police themselves before Reunity, they will divise. Part of the Demos are already helping them as we engage in healthy debate, freely, as the populii can see at the Freed Dome and through the Interface.

And the roots of the infection … the Repo Speculars that they don’t think we see, and their former hunters, the misguided frags of the Arm — narrowed over the elitist dream of equity —  the selfish idea of singular IDs being more important than the whole — now calling themselves the Grass will reveal themselves through this conflict, through this War … and with the Spectra Prides and our allies we will neutralize them, as war-makers, as traitors. These extremes. Forever.

One last lightning bolt in front of the populii, our elect … and then the Reunity will be complete. Because what our former Arm neglects to understand through its blinded pretense of understanding, what the Repo sub-cults and their spies don’t see through their profit of the prophets, the remnants of the divise ethnoi do not care to see, and the Climbers are too distracted to notice fighting a war that’s already been won, is that this Cycle will be over. Why do I say that? Because in the end, it has to be. For us to move on. The Cycle must end in the State and continue in the other States. And in the world.

We must continue the process. We are the example. We are the process. We are the Demos. We are the Loyal Opposing. We are the populii. We are the elect. We are Amarak.

And we are the Cycle.

Equality for all.

(c) Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2018.

4: Alternative Facts: We Are the Grass

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 hey 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

3: Alternative Facts: The Spectrum

I dream’d in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth; 
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love—it led the rest;
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.
— Walt Whitman “I Dream’d in a Dream,” Leaves of Grass

The Heterodoxy never made a Great Wall.

It’s true. Whatever the damn Interface tells you. The Wall didn’t crumble. It didn’t break. It wasn’t destroyed in the Disunity, nor by the Reunity they say happened after. Towards the start of the Interregnum, they said it was being made. Our Fore-Climbers saw it happening, said they saw the shadow of the writing on the ancient Stone stuck in the craw of all our hearts, and that’s why we left. The HetSocs say it was never there, and even if it was, it was never really about us, the Invisible Pride.

They’re all wrong, though. It’s all bullshit.

Something can’t be made, or born, or broken, or destroyed if it always exists.

I’m not being clear. It’s a bad habit, the kind you live when you’re a Binary, and you’re told there is no Wall, which distracts you from the many other walls that have always been here. The Interface will tell you something along the lines of the fact that we have three kinds of walls. It’s simple enough. The first keeps danger out, and everyone else safe inside. The second traps danger, and keeps everyone else outside it safe. The third type marks an area, a pissing contest, so that one side or another doesn’t try to go through, and do something stupid.

But that’s also bullshit.

Because there’s a fourth type of wall, one past the Three Ds, that’s really the only kind. Right before Reunity Day, the Repo Party got kicked out of the Heterodoxy all public: its goons humiliated by the Repolitik, its leaders executed for war crimes, its name banned from all polit-societas. “Hate Crimes,” is what the Three call them even now. Hate Speech is a part of them, and the “Hate Speech Accords” is what got the rest. We know. Though we left ages ago, driven out, killed, ground into hiding, the Spectra have always watched where we came from. To their dying breath, the Repos they got — cast on the Interface across the Land — always said they were just “building bridges.”

Walls are bridges. We make them to link the powerful together, and keep the powerless apart. And I say we for a reason.

A thousand years.

We eked it out, despite them. Found our own lands. The Joy, the Llang, the Meides, the Binary, the Newton Affinities, and espec the Trans-Gen and Gen-Que — even the Pans, flittering over the walls like Lost Kids — all of us different prides, having to live, and found ourselves a Co-Operative. The Rainbow Peoples, the Repos and the Heterodox call us. We aren’t that. We’re the Spectra. That’s what our Pride calls us. That’s what we’re supposed to be.

It’s what we were at the start. At the beginning. Several prides in reunity with the Pride. Our Pride. Some of us were Playing Sep, to ourselves, and others climbing and crawling through the walls of the Heterodox and their Speculars, and then the ruins of the Disunity, trying to help our fellow Spectra: those that couldn’t climb out, surrounding them, cutting into them, suffocating … Many still stuck behind those walls, even now.

And many more playing at Pride Reunity, like they’ve always done. Some innovating, like the greatest Joys, Newtons, and Trans-Gen, in intermingling, art-historia banished by the Heterodoxy to our benefit, aided by the riches of the Llangs and the Meides’ fury. And we live, even now, in Duals, Poly-Units, Faires … So much variety and life, many colours — the Spectra — in the darkness of the Interregnum, protecting, guiding others from the Interface, Reason, Haven, Safe Place, Utopia …

So excremental.

Long ago, long before the Interregnum, we were suffocating, separated, left to die by a Sickness. Making us Enemy in the system of the Heterodox. It wasn’t just a disease of the body, but a virus of the mind, an idea-sickness that spreads: called walls.

And we didn’t escape. It follows us still, tangling us, crushing us, strangling, biting: the Disunity culting it, each of the walls growing inside us a labrys, a maze trapping us from each other, a weapon that we use to scourge and kill each other with silence.

The Joys want to go back to the Heterodox. They want our Land. Our achievement. What we made, despite them. The Llangs, Playing Sep, agree. The Heterodox, Amarak — ruled by the Demos now and despite the other Two Parties — says it wants us back as part of the Reconstruct. They approp the designate of Trans-Gen. They say this new Cycle is beyond Gen, taking this word from us. They see Gen as new life or time, for this Cycle. We see it as ID. The Joy Kings, and Llang Queens want to give it them: ignoring the surrogates living among them, carrying their children in lieu of the mech-wooms that the Heterodoxy promises them.

As central members of the Pride of prides, they ignore the pleas of the Trans-Gen and the Gen-Que under attack from the borders, the edges of our walls. There have been Repo attacks from the Borderlands. There have always been Repo attacks. The Heterodox claims they are gone. That they are dead. Their Interface says so. But, as I said, something that always exists can never be dead. It can’t ever be gone. And why should we believe the Interface: it has ever been divided by those same walls since the Interregnum, only fully open to the powerful, sectioned against the powerless.

The Heterodox know about the Repos, or they are blind to them. They are still here in this Cycle. The Joys and Llangs, most of the Meides that never considered the rest of us “pure” enough, by their ID of Mas or Fem, let us take the brunt of it. The Repos still use the Heterodox, turning the Joys, Llangs, and the Meides majority against us. The Demos, when still not fighting itself, only wants to help the Spectrum when it suits them — like taking our Land or innovates — or say and do nothing when it doesn’t. The other Parties just do nothing. They always will. And the Spectrum? They want to fit into the Heterodox, throwing us under, those that can’t fit in: that don’t want to: making Poly into Ploy, and Faire made Foul. No longer Spectra. No longer Fam. If we ever were.

But now, we fight back.

They call it the Cis-Trans War. All because Trans-Gen want to keep their ID, Gen-Que want to remain explorers, Is want to exist, and we — Binaries — are tired of being called “wall-sitters,” traitors, when the others are willing Play HetSoc, to sell us out for their piece of the Spectra, their pound of flesh. Some Joys and Llangs, and Newtons are with us. Even some Heterodox. This so-called War? We want to do more than Play Sep. The Heterodox have an Independent Party? This is our independence!

I can’t speak for the Trans-Gen, treated worse than us. Once, we all interlapped. We had that potential. We still do. The walls were thinner. We could hear the promises of love over the tyrannies of HetSoc silence. The truth is that our walls are all paths swollen by infection, soft divisions between us, once the foundation of homes and experience, but now they are gates, prisons, and tombs for our souls. And Binaries have hidden deeper in these than most.

And that is why we will win. We can be on both sides, slowly guiding, hiding in plain sight. We have always been the Invisible Pride, the unseen among the unseen. The Heterodox think we don’t exist, or we’re long gone. The same with our so-called Spectra. I can’t speak for the others of the Gens, or the different Affinities, but it’s my hope that we make our own Pride: a Pan-Binary Pride including all. I do not feel like Spectra. I am not a ghost. Neither are the Repos, my enemies. And certainly not the Heterodox, still haunted, infected by walls, that think they are beyond Gen. Beyond sin.

That is why I do this. That is why I travel the zig-zag paths of walls. Because I hope to show them. Gens and Affinities. I want to show them the truth. For just as walls have always existed, just we always have, so too have other places, so too have other paths …

(c) Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2017.

2: Alternative Facts: Freedom

“We are what we pretend to be …”
— Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

It’s finally time that you know the truth. You’ve earned it.

Not many make it to this point. The Nation’s still filled with anger, and they make for easy targets. The Gilder Booms burn bright in the night of our land with the hallowed armaments, and fall just as quick to the Usurpers.

We are the Elders of the Hidden Festive. We see like the Sacred Bird’s Eye above us. Our backs are clad with the mantles of blood wearing the holy sky. And like the Beast that shelters us, under the blessing of the Lohim, we never forget. And we glean. We glean the thunder and lightning hiding between the stars. But you have found the zigzag path, hidden in the Arns among the Three Usurpers.

Come and place the four pennies, and seven cards. They are the lesson, in your hand. You win with them. Four pennies to feed the hungry, and bring up the low — proving the worth of earning one’s keep — and seven cards to reveal one truth that we know. Speak the sacred, forbidden names. We do not burn bridges.

We build them.

The Lye Laws of the Usurpers, backed by the Arns that left us, claiming us children of hate, scourged us from the Land, poisoning our seemings to the Folk, and naming murder justice, and exile mercy. Here they think we fight against our skins, and members, the weak and the strong, the old and the young. It is Lye.

It is the least of what they have done to us.

You recall the glories of our Repolitik. How we bridged the gap between Mas and Fem on the Sacred Script. How we brought colleges together against the Demos Schisms. How we tried to bring Reunity to Heaven and Earth, Folk and Lohim. We even sent a Champion to answer the Harbinger of the Twisted Cross in the State that dared seek power in a ritual of bare bodies and false gods.

It wasn’t just that the Usurpers tainted us in the gleanings of the Folk. They erased us. And now, we will tell you of their greatest crime. Even the most fierce of the Young do not know this. But it is time that you know the source of our shame. And our power.

Pass under the Beast and walk the steps to the white throne of our Lohim, and see His grace. His power. This is the secret of the Secret Party, the Celebration of True Freedom. He guided us as we freed the slaves. As we ended the First Disunity. These are the heights from where we fell, when the Usurpers killed us, when they drove us to the Borderlands, lumping us into the squalor of the broken, the inbred, thieves and traitors. Of trash. This is the power of Lye: that we are all the same.

But the smear of Lye has become our own hallowed armament, as you well know. And even trash has its purpose. The Baggers the Usurpers think we are hunt and gather the best of what we need,  exercising the weak from the strong, making the Traitors think we kill one another, whittling ourselves down, collecting our heat to serve to ignite the flame that they will one day burn them all down. Gilder Booms remind them of the fury of the Disunities they made, defending ourselves against Death to the very end with hallowed armaments. They serve, tall and proud, to make the Usurpers remember the Old Battles. We use their Night Terror of us against them, to blind any new gleanings.

And the Wags wander Amarak, Masking themselves as the broken, loud, proud, and testing the crowd: letting themselves be silenced so we can all be revenged.

For you have ever been one of our Speculars, hiding in the Usurper Festives and waiting. The War with the godless Rainbow Peoples has distracted the Usurpers now, splitting the Demos again. Our time is almost here. The Liberator will soon be remembered. The Arns of the Workers and the Rebel Festives still remain with us. The trunk of our Guardian Beast snakes into the cracks of the Interface, past its ancient garden walls, and watering the forbidden fruits that will become the Apple Seed. And that harvest will come through you, child, and the Speculars around the Interface: our Eagle Eyes among them.

Yet you will not embrace not the Lohim Mask of the Liberator, or the Bear before that time. But you will continue to hold the aspect of the Actor among their ranks. You will let us in through the fences and the walls. And then close the doors and lock behind us. The Fire that was once Rebellion is the real power that keeps us together, the Fire come hate, giving us our own Reunity. We are the Realpolitik of Amarak. And though the Usurpers call us Repos, it is we — it is you — who will gather them, for we have come to collect. This is the final truth.

Freedom always has its price. And it can only be earned.

(c) Matthew Kirshenblatt, 2017