Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.
Day Thirty Nine
The grand old empire to the south of the Lost Quarter, long both our bane and boon is slowly failing as all empires must eventually. It has been happening for a long while, if we are honest, which few are in the face of empire, but now that the grippe reborn has risen the crumbling of its edifices has become too obvious to ignore. It stands on the brink, as the dread lord infiltrates every corner and reveals its rulers for the sham they are.
In the last weeks we have seen militias on the street, incited by the ruling party that desperately seeks to cling to power trying to pressure recalcitrant opposition governors to get in line. The state news parrots the ruling party’s line, spouting conspiracy in place of fact, offering propaganda in the face of death. For now the opposition resists, but how long can hold out when they are reliant on the central government for aid. Already the empire is violence-torn, though it has been less so since quarantine measures were enforced. But that peace cannot be expected to hold with things becoming more unstable by the day.
The ruling party and the elite are largely untouched by the dread lord. They can seal themselves away in their estates for the duration, while they insist that the plebeian class keep the empire running. How long will the lower classes stand for this? They are putting themselves directly in the dread lord’s path, and for what? The ruling party offers them crumbs, demands they sacrifice their lives for the empire, while stating that the empire cannot possibly provide them with a livelihood, let alone protect them from the dread lord. What else is an empire for, if not that?
It is a sad and sorry state of affairs, and many there still seem blind to it. They write and talk as though they do not see the precipice they are standing upon and how steep a fall it will be. Like so many with the grippe upon us, they seem to blithely believe that there is a normal they can return to, that their eminence in the world was a natural state that was owed to them. Even before the dread lord arrived upon these shores that was wishful thinking, but now it has become delusion.
Yet so many cling to that delusion, even scribes who pride themselves on their cynical realism talk as though these are mere partisan skirmishes that need to be approached with a cold neutral eye. Meanwhile people are dying because the institutions that were supposed to be there for them in these times of need have been hollowed out and set to fire.
Those of us in the Lost Quarter like to pretend that such a disintegration is of little consequence to us. It is a southern madness. But the empire’s influence reaches here and its gradual disintegration will touch us as well, as it will everyone. The world cannot be the same after the dread lord has been defeated. It only remains to be seen how it will change.