Universe Designate CON-5
42 Istarli I.Y. 624.
25 February 2183 AST
28 December 2861 CON-5
The Capital of the Gilean Commonwealth was in full splendor as it's inhabitants commemorated, with celebration and memorial, the twentieth anniversary of the final days of the legendary Siege of Kalunda. The services, linked to the days of the most intense combat, had been culminating to the day's impending services to the successful destruction of the bridges to preserve the northern bank of the city.
It was hours before this, however, in the early dawn light, that a handful of people were standing at the small park upon the southern end of the Trajan Memorial Bridge, which carried Highway ER-12 through the heart of Kalunda and beyond to the bustling tri-city area of Amberville, San Magdalena, and Verdesmarn (formerly Besnit, Tharna, and Ar of the Norman Empire, respectively), where the hereditary Duchess of Henley ruled the former Norman, al-Farani, and Amazonian lands and tributaries, mostly repopulated now by people from across Gilead (initially by Wiccans and other paganists fleeing the Hispanic occupation zones during that most tragic of periods following the fall of the Gilean Confederacy to the intervening powers).
It was a small, modest family. Two boys with their parents, their father a business executive for a fairly wealthy company from the Taloran home universe's Earth. The children looked up and gawked at the life-sized statue of Trajan Osis, carved from fine marble and showing the warrior dressed in the ceremonial leathers and fur-skins of the Clan Smoke Jaguar, with the inscription below reading, "Here Lies Trajan Osis, Savior of Kalunda. He Now Stands In The First Rank Of The ARMY OF GOD."
"He's biiiigggg," the younger son said said, craning his neck. "Was he this big in real life?"
Their mother nodded. "Mommy knew him," she said in a strange accent. "Mommy knew him well."
"How did you know him, Mom?"
Their father looked toward her, smiling at her and touching her cheek as she looked at the statue, tears in her eyes. "He helped your mother years ago, boys. He saved her." Taking her by the hand, he whispered into her ear, softly, saying, "I'm here for you, Juliana, it's okay..."
Holding onto her husband dearly, Juliana wept at memory of her fallen guardian, the man who had pulled her out of a slave cage, who had treated her like a human being when everyone else saw her as a pet for their pleasure, and who had avenged all of the horrors she had suffered when she was young. "I miss him. I wish he could see us."
The two boys watched, in some bewilderment, as their mother cried in the arms of their father, who stared silently at the grand statue. He held Juliana tightly, loving her with every bit of his soul, as he had since he'd first met her. He had heard of the things done to her when she had been a slave. He knew of the whippings, the scorchings, the electrocutions, the terrible rapings and torturings she had endured when she was not much older than their sons.
He thought of the evils that had once been wrought on this planet Gilead. The innocent lives so horribly destroyed, and lost, to the idea that one person could claim another as his or her personal property, to do with as he or she pleased without regard for their "property"'s humanity, even killed without so much as a thought.
He thought of the insane idea that it was okay to tolerate these things, so long as the victims wanted to be victimized - a notion that was insane at it's very core - and even okay for a cabal to deny a people access to basic technology in pursuit of some "purer" form of living.
He thought of the girls like Juliana had been, of boys much like his own, who were torn from their families, collared, leashed, brutalized, and reduced to property, defenseless against the whims of their captors.
And, inevitably, his mind turned from that evil to the good that had risen up against it. To the martyred heroes and heroines that had struggled, for centuries, to end these barbaric practices that had emerged so long after Mankind had risen to the stars in this universe.
The pious, humble nun from Nueva Cartagena who had endured torment and sacrificed her life for the belief that God had made no man or woman a slave.
The farmgirl from New Salem who toppled an empire and who had freed its slaves, as well as the great King she loved, who had turned his kingdom from a city that enslaved its women into a beacon of freedom and civilization, worthy of being the capital of an interstellar state.
The alien princess of the Talorans who had come to this world to learn and who had found herself dealing the deathblow to the system of slavery, and the human woman she had loved so dearly.
The Taloran priestess, with her third eye, who had led men and women into battle against slavery and who had saved so many lives on the strength of her faith.
And last, but certainly not least, the man who's likeness stood in marble grandeur before them, the warrior of a dead culture of warriors who sought his destiny as a warrior and found it, not as a slayer of men (though he did slay very many), but as the protector and avenger of a young and helpless slave-girl, the girl who had grown to womanhood and was now crying in his arms, the mother of his sons.
That day, the celebrations would continue. They would mark the glory that the city of Kalunda enjoyed, a glory won by the sweat and blood and tears of her native sons and daughters so many years ago. A glory won in a great siege, a siege of just a few million persons that won the attention and imaginations of trillions of beings from across the Multiverse, the siege that was the focal point of a war that broke the powers of Slavery and Cruelty on the planet Gilead and ushered in a new age of Liberty for her people. A siege where History had proclaimed a great number of heroes and villains, and which guaranteed that the names Jhayka itl dhin Intuit, Danielle Verdes, Amber d'Kellius, and Trajan Osis would be forever remembered in the hearts of billions.
For 55 Days, a war had been fought for Freedom against the barbarian hordes of Slavery. For 55 Days, thousands upon thousands of brave men and women had fought to save their homes and families. For 55 Days, the city of Kalunda endured in the name of her honor and glory.
And because of those 55 Days, the City of Kalunda and her people would be remembered Forevermore.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia
American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.
Moderator of SDN, Former Spacebattles Super-Mod, Veteran Chatnik