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Trees and Dark Moons
We knew the end would come eventually, we could feel it in the air. At the Last Dance we danced our hearts out, as if we knew that the times to come would be dark and lacking of dance. Then, the lull before the storm. That one weekend, when we all stayed in our respective places, as a general rule. And then it came. We could feel the difference in the air, that feeling of impending doom. That was the beginning of the end.
The storm grew, through that troubled time, striking a few times, feebly. It did not seem much of a threat. Little did we know that it was biding it’s time before the last big strike.
The day that the world ended, there was a tension in the air. A feud in some of us hung impeding. We were expecting something to befall. We did not expect the something to be so catastrophic. The feud was taken behind closed doors. When it emerged for a brief repast, the signs of distress were apparent. And down it went again. When it emerged for the second and final time, the carnage was terrible. One of our warriors had been gravely injured. Two of us stood by her side as she waited to be carried off. We wept with her and listened as she told of the terrible battle, decided for the adverse from the beginning. And as we stood with the dying warrior, the world came crashing down around our ears.
Who are you when life has given up on you? When the world is no longer a place you want to go on living? Do you give up then? Or do you go on living, hoping for some miracle to make it all right again?
In the assemblages after that, all the speeches she heard seemed to carry the air of the lost warrior. So many times a new bout of tears came to our eyes, and we resolved to banish the foe. We would keep living and avenge the warrior.
The voices implied to us that the warrior had been selfish to die, go away from all this. No, we shouted in our heads it was the bravest thing she could have ever done.
The servants of the Other were now completely over to its side. We watched the process. Then, under the disguise of ones helping, they started away at the resistance. Only a few of us stood realised it while it was happening. The rest wandered around as if nothing had changed. But everything had changed. And we, the remaining forces of the resistance were crumbling. The Other was getting to us. A few of our member talked of leaving. We all understood. We all knew our cause was weak. We all knew our battle was almost certainly lost. We were few against so many. We knew that the battlefield we walked was more dangerous than ever before.
There was one who resisted the Other. He was taken in as a servant to her menace, and brought up to be so. But he did not fall prey to the tricks of the Other. He resisted, and when all hope seemed lost, he stood strong. If only more could have seen it. It would have given us vigour, which we needed in those troubled times. But most were oblivious.
One of our number discussed the theory with us. But though we listened, we did not dwell upon it. We had to work just to survive. How could we spend time thinking about things that may not be true?
We first discovered the mind wiping after an innocent bystander had been killed. The servants of the Other were not complying out of their own free will. They were being forced to. When one who we had always trusted started acting strangely, striking out at our members, we began to feel afraid. And we began to suspect. We started to call out prison the Mindwipe Factory. When we spoke of the Other, we called her Unspeakable.
Conflicts still erupted between those who should have been allies, particularly surrounding the one who we called the Pet of Unspeakable. Tortured we were by her, in the times when we needed most to unite. So to keep up the charade, we went to the Other with our problem. We sent a representative, a good strong warrior with a stubborn streak and a rock solid façade. No one mentioned that the lost warrior had been all this too.
Our representative emerged a time later, terribly wounded. We did our best to heal the hurts inflicted by the Other, and that same day we assembled a party to go face Unspeakable. There were five of us, yet still we were almost unable to escape unscathed from the wrath of the Other.
Oh how we tried, we fought, and in the end what did we get? Nothing. We managed to have two more wounded as well. And the Other barely listened.
We will leave, this is certain. The question is how we will leave. Will we fade out, just another batch of people, in an endless sea? Or will we leave behind something of ourselves? Something that will make it easier for our followers. The last strike in memory of the lost warrior.