Dark Days Are Coming
They called it a massacre. They called it a mistake, a lapse in judgment. They'll start a war to hide and deny their responsibility. This is a dark day, and one they sought to rectify through a mere festival. Every year there's an eclipse. The placement of the warmoon ensures it. Unity is a symbol, and that symbol cuts both ways. What stood as proof of our perseverance now marked a moment when we, as a species, were truly divided. The Elders called it Remembrance, a day to remember and celebrate the sacrifice of 75 young men and women who answered the call of duty, by force I might add, and perished. They fought a foe they knew nothing about in a place only a select few were able to navigate.
Days after the wayfarers returned, the Elders proclaimed their sacrifice a victory. Their lives were to be celebrated. They were declared heroes. In the town square of Autumn now stands a memorial, the names of those lost etched into a granite slab. Remembrance was meant to be a festival surrounding this monument. Days after the wayfarers emerged, the government of Safeharbor held a festival in their honor, a festival that was to be repeated every year during the eclipse of unity. There would be games, speeches, and merchants would all come to sell their wares. They would hold a moment of silence before the monument, followed by a recitation of each name.
Those in charge sit in ivory towers. They sit in isolation. They fail to truly understand the lives of those below. We were mourning and they turned it into a celebration. We felt pain. We felt lost. We felt betrayed. Many viewed the monument as an offensive gesture. It spat in the face of their sacrifice. When they set up the stalls and rehearsed the speeches, the people of Safeharbor couldn't bear to watch. Everything was in place, every moment carefully planned. On the day of the festival's debut… no one even showed up.
"How many?" Miranda asked. The general looked up from his desk, saw her with her arms crossed, scowling and judging as she always did. "Excuse me?" "How many died in the last two weeks?" The general sighed. "One hundred and thirteen wayfarers went in. 75 are dead or MIA." Her eyes went wide. "You're kidding. In two weeks we lost nearly a fifth of all wayfarers in service? Do you know how big of a deal that is?" The general held out a hand. "You saw the same reports I did. It was out of my hands. I was following orders." "And now the spike in energy is gone. They just want everything to go back to normal?" The general nodded. "I'm afraid so. We weren't prepared for-" Miranda slammed her hand on the desk. She shouted to be heard, "Exactly. Doesn't that seem off to you? How were our best and brightest bested?" The general shrugged in reply. Miranda shook her head. "Unbelievable. You best be careful, Baket. This won't go unanswered." "They wouldn't dare." "Oh really? Why is that?" She asked. "Between the army and the navy, they don't have a chance." Miranda scoffed, turning away only to turn back as she realized how right he was. "Makes sense. I guess I'll start preparing myself. Lots of families to notify, you understand." The general nodded and gave another sigh. "More than you know."