#24 - Written by the Victors

DreamWidth Mirror
Mood: morose
Location: at our desk, always.
Music: Phant Solo I-III / Taishi

Is there a major event in the history of your source that you remember and/or feel strongly about? Were you there to see and be a part of it, or did the impact of it on your source world make a difference in your fictomere's life long after it happened?
01/03/2022. total words: 1393

   :This is not an easy essay to write. I don't think it will be very long, truth be told, unlike the others I do my best to ignore everything to do with the Holy War. Albafica tries not to let it bother him, tries to just be a Spectre and let being a Saint go. Lugonis walked away from all of it, knowing he's more tethered to the roses than to the sea. Southern Star.... is Southern Star about it.:
   :I am Celestial Burning Star Libra Dohko from Garuda Division, the Justice Scales, and I am one of four Gold Saints who survived the Holy War of 1745. I am one of two who survived as a Spectre, and furthermore, I am the one who walked away. But I hold a claim not even Shion or Mavros or Elcid could claim, and in that I am alone. I am the one who aided both armies in the Holy War of 1985. I am the only one who remained both Spectre and Saint.:
   :So... here is not a story of war. Here's a story of what comes after.:

   :Here's the problem with war, or at least, one of many many problems. When it ends, there's no real victory. Just ashes. Just ashes and corpses to bury and sins you didn't want to have on your hands. There's this prevalent idea that wars end in a final stand, one last great battle and one last sacrifice and then it's over. Maybe for those who sacrificed themselves. The rest of us just have to live with the scars and the agony and picking up the pieces.:
   :Kagaho and Leona both died nearer to the end of the Holy War. We'd lost Southern Star at that point, he'd gone down three-on-one, God Cloths against Divine Surplice and his loss shattered the resolve of half the Meikai. Yes, he was insane and broken and I was already resigned to him not surviving - there was no way he could, if we lost, and to everyone's surprise but me that's exactly what happened when we arrived here - but everyone had seemingly expected him to live to the final battle. And then he didn't, and with his loss, everything started going downhill fast.:
   :My children were five months old, and my sister wouldn't watch them without at least either me or Kagaho there. One of us had to be home at all times, and I would have been more upset with her about it if I didn't perfectly understand her motivations. She wanted us home because she couldn't bet on us returning if we went. Considering my sister controls time when she has the energy to do so, I think she wanted to face the future about as much as we did, which was not at all.:
   :But Virgo Asmita was on the front lines and he'd made it clear he was taking this fight to the Meikai. Cancer Sage was encouraging him, offering him drops of Athena's blood until he could stand to drink vials of it without throwing up. I was a spy. I wanted to keep people alive, and I didn't want to condemn everyone to death, but I was a spy. I got out of the Golden Round as soon as I could and I reported back.:
   :He cut through our lines like they were butter. But that wasn't his goal, just to cause as much senseless destruction as possible. He got through maybe two thirds of our defenses, and when it seemed like we might beat him, like we might be able to take Asmita permanently out of the fight, he teleported out. Just in time for us to see Scorpio Kardia, fresh and insane and ready for battle, just behind him.:
   :He killed a half-dozen Spectres before we were able to force him to retreat. Leona died taking a blow. A week later, he came back, and when Kardia threw Kagaho and I into the stratosphere, Kagaho sacrificed himself to save me.:
   :I think he was betting on the phoenix regeneration. I don't know. I can't force myself to ask, because if I do then we'll both start crying and maybe never stop, and I don't want to see him cry ever again, least of all be the cause of it.:

   :What I'm saying is that with Kagaho gone, we lost Sui to the Vault. Ivy and I took our children and we did the only thing we could think of to do. We ran like hell all the way to Lushan, and after begging the rest of the Taonia for help, we hid in a cabin nobody remembered among the mountains. If we'd stayed with the Spectres, I would have died, and Ivy would have been forced to raise the trio alone. I couldn't ask that of her. I couldn't ask her to lose everything - the friends she'd came to us with, the friends she'd made since, the family she'd built - so I could fight in a war we were going to lose.:
   :There was nothing left for us in the Meikai, so we ran to Lushan, and Roshi gave us sanctum. I was hoping the Spectres wouldn't know we'd gone until the dust settled. It was a week before Mandrake Fyodor knocked on our door, Surplice nowhere to be seen, with his and Leona's six-month daughter Story in his arms.:
   :He had one eye and wounds that were halfway to being infected, and Story looked like she'd gone beyond crying into not knowing what to do anymore, which on a six-month wolf is especially painful. I couldn't have turned him away. Ivy couldn't, either. We put them in the kitchen and got Story some food and goat's milk and started tending to Fyodor's wounds. He'd left his humanity and his Spectrity behind in the Meikai, and if he died, he didn't know who would still be alive to take care of his daughter.:
   :Neither of us asked him to go back to the Meikai. But he slept with us, Ivy between us in one bed because the cabin wasn't big enough another, we'd barely gotten the children settled in, and we didn't go back.:
   :We heard about Hades Alone betraying the Meikai from one of the other Taonia. Seigneur Libra murmured that he'd done it to save Lord Hades. My faithful Surplice and Cloth stayed with me, and neither asked to leave or to return to the war. I didn't have to be laughing to be broken, and they knew that. They also knew I would have died before surrendering my family to the battlefield.:
   :After the war ended, we gained some visitors, of a sort. They never stayed long. Some new Spectres, fresh to their apprenticeships and rebuilding the Meikai off pictures and blueprints and descriptions and no memory of what it had looked like before. Some new Saints, who had heard from Shion that I could help them in their training, if they brought some snacks and didn't stay long.:
   :No Saint nor Spectre that I'd known during the Holy War came to visit. I think they knew they wouldn't be welcome. I think they knew as well as I did why I had to keep my distance, but hadn't given up either of my armours and vanished off the face of the planet like Manigoldo did. But they left me alone, for the most part, and I left them alone.:
   :Shiryu and Shunrei are a different story, for another time. The next Holy War is again a different story, and almost as messy, and no one had known how it was going to end save maybe Aiacos. But we lived. We lived, and my children grew up and so did Story, and Fyodor's wounds faded to scars, and when the time came to tear down the veil Athena had thrown up to stop Spectres from coming back, I volunteered.:
   :Kagaho came home with me that day. To Lushan, and to the Meikai. Even if I walked away from home, it was good to be there again, as a visitor. Until we came here, we were still living in Lushan.:
   :War sucks. And the after is almost as bad, because the after is the consequences of all your actions. But we keep moving. We keep flying. We have no other choice.: