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Old December 13 2010, 05:52 AM   #1
Gul Re'jal
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December Challenge - Heritage

Heritage






You must go with me to Lakat, Glinn Jelar said.

Jelar, an architect, ignored his brothers words. Instead, he grabbed his brothers arm and pulled him to the window.

Is this your new Hebitia? he hissed furiously.

He didnt want to look at the burning city himself, so he focused on his twin brothers face.

Glinn Jelar unemotionally looked out the window. We have to be reborn if we are to survive, he answered coldly.

Im not a farmer, but even I know that if you burn land nothing will grow on it later! Jelar shouted and turned away from the window to enter deeper into the room, away from the view.

Oh, youre exaggerating! We dont burn the whole city. If we were, I wouldnt be in this building and neither would you!

No, youre just burning temples. And tell me, how can you know if the fire wouldnt catch the rest of the city, he didnt speak only metaphorically.

What do you want us to do! the glinn lost his patience. When was the last time that a child died in your arms?!

Jelar had nothing to say. He knew his brother was helping in relocating people from most affected regions, but the glinn never told him about children dying in his arms.

Glinn Jelar stared at his twins back for a moment.

Tris, he started, I dont want to argue with you. This is something we have to do. Its not going to be easy, its not going to be nice, for some its going to be really ugly, but it has to be done. Or well all die. Theres not enough food, some parts of the planet are inhabitable and we cant tell when they would be safe again.

Of course you think that the asteroid and the moon were Oralians fault too, Jelar muttered with irony.

Oh, come on! the glinn threw his arms up and then brought them down. His palms slapped armour plates on his hips.

What! What do you expect me to say!

Sit down. The glinns voice was soft and calm.

No.

Sit down. Lets talk.

I have nothing to say to you, Jelar barked.

I think you have a lot to say, you just dont want to listen.

Jelar turned and looked at the glinn. He then went to the only table in the room and sat at it. Speak. The word sounded like a command, not complying.

Glinn Jelar followed his brother and sat too, his brown-and-black armour squeaking quietly.

Tell me, how did you feel when your best friend told you that you surely were an evil person because Oralius was not present in your life? he asked.

Betrayed. Jelars eyes went to his hands; his voice was so quiet when he said that word that the glinn could barely hear him. Glinn Jelars heart achedhe remembered all too well how hurt his brother had been. They had been only eleven years old and hadnt understand much of how the world worked but that they had understood really well. Glinn Jelar had wanted to beat that so-called friend after school but he had decided against it. It would only prove that assholes point of view and his point of view was wrong.

And why did we hide from the other children the fact that we werent going to praying services twice a week, every week? Why did we lie that we were going to another temple?

Because we were afraid to admit that we were not Oralians. You know all that. Jelar didnt raise his head.

This is going to change. Children shouldnt be afraid to admit that they are non-believers. No one is going to judge you based on your going or not going to a temple every naiyat and sapyat. People should be judged by their actions, not by their attendance to a temple.

And what your actions tell about you? Jelar raised his head and looked at the glinn with his big, shiny eyes. One kid was nasty to me years ago and you want to kill them all for that?

Do you really think you were such unique a case? And we dont kill them.

Mhm, Jelars throat emitted. Im sure they appreciate that, he said with irony.

Would you prefer if nothing changed?

No. But I dont like the way you do this. A man from a colony comes and tells you to destroy your soul. And you do it! Why?

Soul? The glinns eye ridges arched a little.

We may not be Oralians, but we still are Hebitians. And their history is also ours. If you burn all books and all historic buildings, all youre going to have is emptiness. Nothing. Vacuum.

We can fill it with new books and new buildings.

You cant go on without a past. We have our rich culture. You are trying to destroy it. To erase it. To undo it. Do you think it would turn back time or send that asteroid away from our moon? It had happened and you cant do anything about it.

I see. So if we dont proceed and dont reform our world, we will stop dying, starving, freezing or overheating. Is that what youre saying?

No.

Good. Because I started to think my own brother is an idiot. He silenced for a moment. We lost our moon. Whats worse, it split after being hit and huge chunks hit us and killed many people. Change in the tilt of our planet brought changes in our climate. That caused melting snow on both poles. And that cause raising see level. And that caused shrinking living space. And that caused...the list goes on and you know it. He took a deep breath. We have to adapt. But they refused to adapt. Some of them claim that it was Oraliuss punishment for existence of people like you and me. He shook his head in disbelief.

They are extremists and you know that. Other factions rejected to accept such an explanation.

But they didnt propose much more than a prayer. We, however, went to the affected areas with food, medicine and help. We help them to move to safer places. For you or me the Great Collision happened twelve years ago. For people living in those regionsyesterday, because for them very little changed since day one. Their guides made a ruling to pray three times a week instead of two. We brought them clean water and blankets.

And thats why you have to set historic buildings on fire?

We have to clean.

Would you also clean Uncle Ratak? Jelar raised his voice.

Glinn Jelar didnt answer.

Look, Zori, I understand we need to do something. I know the last three winters were terrible and we have less and less food. The raise in temperature seems to be permanent and the pollution difficult to fight, but I dont see how rejecting our cultural legacy could help in fixing all that. Who are we going to be when we stop being Hebitians? His face expressed sadness and worry.

Cardassians. The answer was short and firm. Was there pride in the glinns voice or did Jelar imagine that?

He blinked. What?

Assiya gives us light and warmth. Cardiya is no more, destroyed by that asteroid, but it cannot be forgotten. Both stellar bodies were important for this planet and Akleen believes it should be reflected in the planets name. Cardassia. And it makes usthe Cardassians. The Hebitians are dead. Hebitia failed. Cardassia will unify all of our people everywhere and thrive.

Jelar wouldnt admit it to his twin brother but he liked it. He really did. But... Does it mean you have to destroy everything Hebitian?

We need to start from the beginning. To build everything from the scratch. Nothing should link us to this...failure. The glinn waved toward the window and burning city beyond it. Then he looked at his brother and put his hand on Jelars. Tris, you have to support us.

But I dont agree with what youre doing.

You know its for the best.

How could I know? he pulled his hand away from this brothers and put it between his body and upper arm, as if hiding it. First you burn books, then buildings, in the end youll burn people!

How dare you! The glinn started from his chair, knocking it over.

Zori, cant you see? This is wrong.

Glinn Jelar only shook his head. Do you really want guides to keep ruling us? Do you want them to create law that outlaws people who dont share their religion? Do you want us to be governed by people who believe laughter is wrong? Happiness is a sin?

Not all guides are like this, Jelar shook his head. Merely two days ago I talked to one from Nokar. Used to our grim and deadly serious guides I asked her why she was so cheerful. Do you know what shes told me? It was her mission to be cheerful. It was her job. Her duty. How could she support her faction, how could she advise her people, how could she be a guide if she were sad and gloomy.

The glinn gave him a look of disbelief. Seriously? His voice had a high pitch of surprise.

She didnt stop smiling even for a second when we talked.

Glinn Jelar picked the chair up and put it straight, then sat on it. He didnt say anything for a long moment. The minutes dragged and the silence grew heavy. Finally, the glinn started to speak, quietly, his tone of voice pleading. Tris, please go with me to Lakat. We must leave Habarian City and Lakar Prefecture. He used the new name of the administration unit of the province. You must go with me. And you mustnt talk to anyone about your siding with Oralians.

Im not siding with anyone. I try to be neutral.

Youre not from where Im standing.

What kind of philosophy is that? Youre either with us or against us?

We cannot allow any remains of old Hebitia to stay here. It must be eradicated.

Why?

Because we dont want to repeat their mistakes.

And how would you know what those mistakes were if you delete the history from your memory? There would be no examples to learn from.

Glinn Jelar had to admit that his brother had a point. At least we wont prosecute people for not believing in Oralius.

And what will you prosecute people for?

The glinn pursed his lips, then said, You will go with me to Lakat.

And what are we going to do in that village? Theres nothing there.

No, not yet. We need you there, though.

Im an architect, not a farmer.

Lakat may be a mere village, but I proposed you as one of planners in the team of people whose task is to design and build our new capitol there.

Jelar was speechless. Really? he asked quietly.

Really, his twin brother answered with a grin. So now you see that you have to go with me. You must change that village into a city, a beautiful city, where the command would reside, where the central point of our new empire will be.

Jelars eyes brightened and shone with excitement, but then they went to the window and the light in them dimmed. And this?

And this will be buried, forgotten and unimportant.

I cant, he shook his head. I cant. My conscience wouldnt let me sleep.

Tris, please... Glinn Jelar leaned toward his brother over the table, his armour squeaked as it pressed to the edge of the table top. The other twin kept shaking his head. Please, Im begging you. Tears appeared in the glinns eyes. Do it for me. Do it for my conscience.

For your-- Jelar was clearly puzzled. For your conscience? What do you have to do with it?

Just do it for me.

Shaking head again. Jelar expected his brother to get angry, but the glinn was only more worried.

Suddenly the door opened and three armoured men entered. One of them, a glinn, looked at Glinn Jelar.

Did he agree? he asked.

Not yet, but--

The nameless glinn motioned to the other twoboth with a rank of gareshand they approached Jelar and grabbed him by upper arms and forced him to stand up.

No! Glinn Jelar shouted, running to his brother. Let him go! I will convince him. I just need more time.

You ran out of time. He has been expressing anti-revolutionary views. He is too dangerous.

No! Glinn Jelar started toward the glinn but the soldier quickly retrieved his weapon and pointed at Glinn Jelars face.

I hope you are proud of your revolution, Jelar whispered. His twin brother turned to look at him, ignoring the business end of the gun at his face, and opened his mouth to say something but he found no words to say.

Take him, the nameless glinn barked. Jelar didnt resist, he let the soldiers to take him out. Ill be watching you, the glinn said to the other brother and then lowered his weapon. Ill be watching you very carefully.

Glinn Jelar didnt hear him. He listened to the steps of three men on the corridor. He wanted to follow them but his legs were frozen, rooted to the floor. He looked at the window and immediately looked away from it. He knew they would take him to the street and do it there. He would not dare to look at the window now. He would not dare to approach it and look outside, to the street below. He didnt have too. He knew all too well what it would be like. All he had to do was to close his eyes to see it. And he knew it would haunt him for the rest of his life.




The end
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Old December 13 2010, 06:38 AM   #2
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

"Buried, forgotten, and unimportant."

And that's the mindset that begins to adopt betrayal of everything beautiful as a wonderful, honorable value. It's also the mindset of a bigot, which is VERY ironic considering that the way he tells it, he's fighting AGAINST bigots. The enemy isn't Oralians--it's intolerance--and he's already lost his battle.

Heck, I bet you he went in there knowing he was setting up his brother to die, and then started to regret it after the act was done.

Honestly, though...I don't think that the Oralians would've been THAT uncaring about the crisis. I can see extremists making the comments you describe because I have heard such things (and they infuriate me every time). But I don't think that they would simply not bother to even TRY to organize relief, and just not give a damn at all. A badly-organized response, or one where some people are corrupt...that I can see. But total nonresponse when these people DO have modern technology and must know some about how the world works...I just can't accept that.
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Old December 13 2010, 06:50 AM   #3
Gul Re'jal
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post

Heck, I bet you he went in there knowing he was setting up his brother to die, and then started to regret it after the act was done.
If after reading the whole story you look at the first line again--you see that he knew his brother was in danger. He tried to save him. He tried to make Tris go with him, he knew the others were after Tris.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
But total nonresponse when these people DO have modern technology and must know some about how the world works...I just can't accept that.
You must remember the glinn is blind to some things. What he says (and maybe even believes) doesn't have to be the truth. That's how totalitarian propaganda works: they tell you half-truths, lies and completely omit some information that could contradict their half-truths and lies.

Zori "conveniently" forgot that he (and a huge part of the military) has been involved in relief efforts for longer than 1 year. It's just that the last year brought some noticeable change and...here we go with the propaganda again. It's very easy to say "Look, they tried for years, but we finally have it done" about projects that take years to bring fruit.
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Old December 13 2010, 06:58 AM   #4
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

I guess I didn't see either of those things.
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Old December 13 2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

Firstly, might I say that that was a great story. A brief but heartbreaking glimpse into the formation of a dictatorship as told through that oldest of tragedies, the destruction of a family.

(I had a response to the debate but I don't think at the moment that it'll be particularly effective so I'm going to come back with something later. My apologies for that...)
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Old December 20 2010, 09:47 PM   #6
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

That was highly disturbing. And very effective.
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Old December 21 2010, 01:52 PM   #7
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

Mistral wrote: View Post
That was highly disturbing. And very effective.
A very apt description of anything Cardassian...
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Old December 28 2010, 01:48 AM   #8
mirandafave
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

Oh ... chilling. The revolution or the change in government/regime has caused one twin brother to turn his back on the fate of the other. It is chilling and sad to see how duped and brain washed by the propaganda of the Orallian regime here the brother is. He believes in the destruction of the Hebitian remnants that he is making way for the future when all he is doing is eradicating the past and by story's end we see he has also blighted his future life too. Very sad.
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Old December 28 2010, 01:58 AM   #9
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

Um...I don't think the Oralians did the brainwashing here. They were the ones victimized by the brainwashed.
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Old December 28 2010, 05:00 PM   #10
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

A careless mistake on my part - switch the names around and you see what I meant. And any and all those brainwashed are victimised also as seen her with Glinn Jelar. The power of propaganda and subverting faiths/religions/cultures to evil means - there's alot in here for very little space. Well done.
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Old December 30 2010, 02:12 PM   #11
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

I am glad you dropped the previous idea and though of this little tale. Its fantastic and really tragic. It has a certain WW2 dramatic really. People getting influenced and starting to make other peoples ideas there own, which leads to the death of their former "brothers and sisters, friends, collegues, neigbours ...". Very sad (for both the brothers and the generations coming after), but also a very realistic and powerful story.

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Old December 30 2010, 02:53 PM   #12
Gul Re'jal
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

You don't know what could come out from the previous idea. It was supposed to be as tragic a story as this one.
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Old December 30 2010, 03:10 PM   #13
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Re: December Challenge - Heritage

True. But I like this new idea you came up with. If you still write the other idea, maybe I like that one nontheless when seeing it in story, even when I wasnt so fond of it the first time you mentioned it.

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