The Brokenverse, Part V: Cuimhne (11)

(Warning for moderate violence, mentions of violence, and slight mentions of blood. All fandom references below to their respective owners. NOTE: V will be in more than two halves, due to SL post length restrictions.)

(Further note: this section takes place in a different time period than the current storyline.)

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"Please give a warm welcome," the powerful voice of Executive Diplomat Kuntala Kaur boomed over the crowd, "to Senator Raina Topaz!"

Senator Raina Topaz walked steadily to the podium and took center stage. Her neutral toned green and brown formal attire appeared particularly humble next to the elegant layers of white which adorned Diplomat Kaur. Diplomat Kaur stepped away as Raina stood behind the podium, and drank in the roaring applause coming from the ocean of the crowd below her. She watched with a deep intensity as the crowd slowly started to settle down into a semi awkward murmur, and then into silence.

The corners of Raina's lips pulled into a mirthful smile, and her brown eyes began to sparkle.

"Caesira, good sparklars!" She called out to the crowd, a certain fond giddiness evident in her voice.

"Caesira, good senator!" The crowd shouted back at her, with an equal amount of giddiness.

"So," Raina leaned on the podium, "How's everyone doing today?"

A cacophony of sound erupted from the crowd as numerous voices shouted back at her various responses; "I'm good, senator!"; "I'm gonna hurl, senator!"; "Not dead yet, Senator!"

Raina gave a slow, long nod, that and her smile enough of a reply back. The crowd settled down once more, and Raina spoke again into the microphone: "It's been good to hear from everyone today." 

A few shouts echoed throughout the crowd: "It's good to hear from you, senator!" 

Raina gave another nod. Her smile remained, though its mirth faded into an expression more serious. She spoke in a low, tempered voice:

"Let me first say it is a great honor to be introduced by Diplomat Kaur and to be speaking after the address given my good friend Senator Sabean."

Polite applause rippled throughout the crowd. 

"Senator Sabean and I have been close colleagues for a number of years, and to be able to work closely with her on this great accord of peace the Sparklarian Senate presents before you today has been our greatest achievement. 

Let us also honor the gracious High Chancellor Cheerful, who is in charge of the Department of War and Peace here at Grand Sparkler Castle, as well as honoring all those who work within the Department of War and Peace, the Sparklarian Senate included."

Again polite applause rippled through the crowd, though this time slightly more quiet.

"Come now," Raina winked, "I know you can do better than that."

In response to this there was rather excitable applause from the crowd, and Raina chuckled.

"Let us furthermore honor the Sparklartariat, Queen Eckhart II, Sparkitors and Sploggers-and of course, you, Sparklars. Let us honor you, for without you, we the sparklarian senate would be nothing." 

No encouragement from the senator was needed - an even louder, even more excited applause arose from the crowd, with people shouting and whistling.

"If your hands are getting tired, don't worry about it; I'm just about finished with the applauding part of this speech," Raina said, earning laughter from the crowd. She smiled. Her eyes were still sparkling, though a certain weariness was evident from the lines beneath them.

"It's good to hear you laugh, Sparklars. It's always good to hear you laugh. I thought we'd start out on a light note today before we delved into the much more serious topic at hand."

The thousands of Sparklars all making up the crowd leaned forward in anticipation.

Raina Topaz took a deep breath, and began her fateful speech. 

"My fellow Sparklars;

For too long, good Sparklars, we have been at War."

There was an uncomfortable stirring among the crowd, but Raina pressed forward:

"We have been at War, sparklars. I know it's hard to say that, but it is the simple truth of the situation. To find a solution to such a disturbing situation, we must first acknowledge the truth. It is a truth that is, perhaps, harder to acknowledge, due to the pervasive nature of this War.

It is a War that is not just the spilling of blood in the streets of fighting nations. It is not just physical battles with weapons. It is one that consumes all aspects of our waking being. It surpasses news reports-it has become the news reports. Our newspapers, our broadcasts, the entirety of our media is at war with itself, creating feedback loops of pitiful and antagonistic behavior between reporters themselves. It  surpasses usage of just propaganda in art and writing into a point of such hate-filled confusion that the proganda made propagandizes against itself. It is one that is now fueling the fires of disruption in our legislative bodies at every level, causing not only outbreaks of completely outrageous and overtly aggressive behavior, but outbreaks that are happening so frequently that the horrific and scandalous have become more normal than the basic courtesy we should be expecting. I have found a dead frog more than once stuffed into the drawers of my desk even in my office at Grand Sparklar Castle. For someone-for multiple people-to perform such a disgusting act of hatred against not only me, but my culture, in the place we would consider to be the pinnacle of our entire civilization; this is insanity.

But I see it beyond the news, beyond the arts, beyond my own professional space. I see it when I walk out onto the streets and notice the way everyone avoids each other. I see it when I walk into get a morning coffee and the way all those in the cafe flinch at the chiming of the door. I see it when I pass by our schools and find them shut down due to children bullying each other over their parents' beliefs, with teachers and parents themselves getting into even physical fights. I see it in the feuds between neighbors, in the disowning of family members. This mutlifaceted collapsing of the Sparklaria is why we call this not only a War, but acknowledge it as a multitude of conflicts occuring all at once all across the realms.

This is what we call, the 'Ideological Wars.'

There is more than just physical blood in the streets of nations that have found it neccesary to go to physical war, with either others or even themselves. There is distrust in every corner in every town, in every city, in every province, in every realm. There is blood on every door. It does not have to be physical blood, sparklars. The physical is merely a progression of the mental and emotional. Ka'vi Derawh, make believe, is the fundamental law of our nature. Our beliefs, our thoughts, our emotions-these do not just exist as words on paper or sounds expressed in the air. They are what lay the foundations of our reality. If we create conflict, no matter if it is merely just through words or through art or even through numbers; this conflict will become more than physical-it will consume every dimension of our being. Yes, the times we live in are unlike that of Archai, in which a single person could command so much of reality's form. But if enough of us create enough conflict...well, we can already feel the rammifications occuring all around us."

Raina paused, glancing away from the now silent crowd. Then she said in a somber, quiet voice, "We all remember the Bridle Riots - and those have not been an anomaly among the pattern of current events."

The crowd seemed to collectively cringe at this, plenty looking more than a bit disturbed. Still, a respectful silence was maintained.

Raina continued on with a grim tone:

"Recent scientific reports tell us that the borders of our world have begun to shift and quake at abnormal rates. Strange environmental disasters, from chaotic floods of magical energy, to heatwaves that seem to defy nearly all winters. Certainly, those that we have relied on before to deal with the odd and terrifying occurence - the great programming wizard Asterix, the Society of Scientific Thought led by Sir Reuben D. James, our very own Department of Records & Research at Grand Sparklar Castle, and many others - they all tend to agree that we are not yet near something as devastating as a border crack or worse. But we are well on our way to literally ripping the fabric of our world apart, dear Sparklars."

Of course, there comes the question-where are the Sparkitors? Why haven't they intervened? They are no strangers to intervention, and the fact that we are halfway to self-annihilation would be more than an opportune time for them to stop us. It's possible that, as our world has evolved from the days of Archai, the roles of the Sparkitors have as well. Perhaps complete direct intervention is no longer the way they choose to steer the greater course of their existence. In this rush to tear each other apart, we have foresaken Sally's wisdom, Juneau's reason, and gone beyond even Wynter's mighty wrath, into something heinous. The Dicemaster always has his day, Sparklars. The Sparkitors, for whatever reason, are allowing us to steer our own course, and if we continue to steer it the way we are now, we will continue to end up paying for our actions in blood, until there is no more left to bleed."

 A tense, nervous muttering bubbled up from the crowd as people glanced at each other in fear.

"I am not suggesting anyone deserves anything bad to happen to them," Raina quickly added. "I am simply saying that by continuing to deny that the sheer amount of destruction we have caused, we will continue to destroy our world until there is nothing left but dust. There is still kindness in this world we live in. There is still justice. Forgive me for focusing on the bleakness of the situation, for I have to in order to demonstrate how far we have fallen. Individually, there is still goodness among us. If there was no good will, no kindness, no mercy among us at all-we would be dead, Sparklars. This is fact. But collectively, we have done worse than just behave like our common sworn enemy, the Darklers. Collectively, we have forgotten what it means to be Sparklars. Collectively, we have foresaken the positive cosmic forces and instead embraced that horror and unrestrained terror that is Dead Light.

Dead Light, is, perhaps, the only force that can come close to the evilness of Gary. It is a deception that allows us to believe we are doing right, no matter what cost, even when while we burn the rest of Sparkvia to ash and end up sending every poor soul in our path straight to Gary. I am not trying to dissuade any of you from acting for reform throughout the Realms-Sparkitors know that I myself have argued for reforms plenty a time both on the streets in my own Realm, and on the senate floor. We all want to guard ourselves against the evils of this world, of course. But this is beyond the justification of any reform at this point, Sparklars. This spite infecting us to our very cores is beyond all reasonability. This is no campaign against evil. This is War. This is the Ideological Wars, and the Ideological Wars will only result in more ramapaging terror across Sparkvia until either we do end up fighting a physical war among all Realms, which would most likely end most, if not all life on earth. Or, if we take into account the scientific reports, until the Spark that holds our world together is strained beyond repair, and our Realms rip completely apart from each other, which would cause a brutal death for not only all life on Sparkvia, but possibly the rest of the universe."

Raina paused once more, allowing the heaviness of her words to sink into the crowd. There was no more muttering. There was far too much fear for there to be muttering, now. The weight of the potential consequences was not overstated, and both the crowd-and Raina-knew this.

"Today, however," Raina said, a renewed strength in her voice, "Today we have taken the first step in avoiding such a horrible fate. Today, we have chosen to uphold safety, diginity, and peace for all of the Sparklaria. With the signing today of these Accords of Peace, we have all agreed to come together for the greater good of our people, of all people, despite whatever differences we may have. Today, we end this time of the 'Ideological Wars,' and begin a new time of peace, reunification, and recovery. So, as Sparkvia begins its long journey towards healing, I ask you, Sparklaria - all of you, and perhaps the Splurkers too, if they are listening - to work together with one another to ensure that this world not only heals from its current sorrows, but that it does not return down this disturbed path. Ka'vi Derawh. Each and every one of you has more power to enact change upon this world than you may believe. From every stone comes a mountain. It is the good I still find, scattered among individuals across all the Realms, that fills me with the conviction that has caused me to not only vote for these Accords, to not only sign here with the rest of the Senators and Sparklartariat today, but to stand before you on this podium and make this speech. Remember this, remember these 'Ideological Wars,' remember every sequence of events that carried us towards destruction, and most importantly remember how today we choose to say no to the continued threat of our existence. Remember how today, we choose to take a different path, one that removes all of this resentment, one that chooses to hold out a hand of mercy and forgiveness, rather than a hand of thoughtless cruelty and useless violence. Remember this, all of this, and together, as one Sparklaria, today we shall bring about the birth of a new era!" Raina took a flag emblazoned with the blue symbol of their world, of Sparkvia, and raised it high as she chanted,"Phoe OT! For all! Viria Sparklaria! Long Live the Sparklars!"

"Phoe OT! Viria Sparklaria!" The crowd enthusiastically chanted back with thunderous applause. Raina grinned with enough joy to outshine the sun itself. She waved the flag back at the crowd, eliciting loud whoops and hollers. From behind her, the rest of the Grand Sparklar Senate, as well as the Sparklartariat, gave a standing ovation.

Raina let out a small sigh with relief as she stepped down from the podium, still waving to the crowd. Tears were peaking out from the corners of her eyes. She had done her duty. Together, the Senate, the Sparklartariat, the crowd and the rest of entire Sparklaria would usher in an era of peace and prosperity.

As Queen Eckhart II walked to the podium to formally begin directing the signing of the Accords of Peace, two people began to seperate themselves from the scene. If anyone had been paying attention, they would've found that the there was something slightly off in the way the two were dressed. One wore a shiny silver collared necklace that was out of place, even among the diversity of fashion styles represented among the crowd. The other had pants that flared far too wide at the bottom to be sensible, let alone respectable formal attire for such an event. 

Despite these discrepancies, however, no one seemed to notice the odd pair. It was as they weren't even there at all. They were ghosts among the roaring, exuberant crowd.

All of the attention from the crowd was now focused on Queen Eckhart II. No one would care for the fates of two strange yet unremarkable individuals. No one would care that they had walked directly away from one of the most important events in Sparklarian history, and disappeared into an even stranger yet more unremarkable blue box.

No one from this time period, at least.

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