And in those days, the sons of men made war against one another. With ships and with planes, with tanks and with guns, for forty two months the world shook to the sound of combat. Those who could flee fled to the mountains, the woodlands, the valleys, dispersed in groups in one place or another throughout the lands.
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And when the battles concluded, those who survived in the great cities, the Five Cities of old, came forth to view what remained.
Where once there were crops, there lay wasteland.
Where once flowed rivers lay barren.
Where once were houses stood empty.
Where once there was life stood still.
And so those who lived retreated to their city, brother separated from brother, parents separated from children, each to his or her place. And each held its people as a bond, letting none leave save those sent into exile, cast out from their community for this or that offence.
As the cities withdrew from one another, so too did those within the cities form themselves as one body. Manís cruelty to man had left them devastated, their lands destroyed, their people wounded in body and spirit. Division led to separation, separation led to conflict, and conflict led to the destruction inflicted upon them by a humanity out of control. Only through unity could peace be established, and where unity could not stand, absolute isolation, the individual from the city, one city from the next. The people of the Cities united behind the gods of the new era, whose will was ultimate and whose judgements were beyond question.
Every utopia has its dissidents, every paradise its serpent. Every revolution brings with it the memory of the old world, a memory found not in the minds of individuals but through the fabric of a society, a memory patterned so deeply as to be visible only to those who do not seek it.
When the new gods and their allies assumed control there were some who supported them, and others who simply wished to see an end to the chaos of their lives. Still others saw what was to come and were afraid, but, through cowardice, through fear, through compliance, through protection for their loved ones or a lack of hope, did not act.
Others remained silent, avoided attention. They sought one another out, little by little, ever careful. While small in number their influence was felt, and their acts, small as they were, gave power to many.
There remain few now who remember those days, when the new world was fresh and open to be changed. The impetuousness of youth made us think we could succeed. In our way, we did. And I now write this for those who will come later, that they may keep the lamp burning, that their faith should not falter, that one day all may be free.
We live so long as there is one who remembers.
We win so long as one continues to fight.
(Book of Confessions 1:1-25)