It's finished now, finally. An end to the sad tale of the jeweled Weapons. It was
There's no victory in it, really. Or rather, no celebration, nothing to really cheer over.....just the ability to lean back and let the tension out with a sigh.
Avilina left a message with Jessie for me--about what happened after I left. She could've called me directly, but I'm glad for the message regardless.
I suppose they'll bury the core of the Diamond Weapon, or however they interred the cockpits of the others. The Weapons themselves are too large for a ceremony like that, but the fact they're dismantled and studied by Ironworks isn't exactly something bards would sing about.
Still, it's the reality of the situation, and I'm no different--crafting pieces into weapons myself. But having the Weapons simply dismantled as the end of their story is too sad--salt in the wound of their deaths.
Taking the end of their stories into my own hands is probably selfish of me, but....with the Empire still in the future's crosshairs, I'd like to fire back with the cruelties they committed. A metaphorical bullet with their name on it, if you will.
Otherwise....I'm still surprised how Gaius could both raise such good kids and simultaneously be so bad with younglings. They're not in the Empire, though, and have other adults to look up to, so I'm not worried about them sharing the same fate.
On the topic of the Empire, it....was almost a real country, I think. Despite its founding, despite its corruption, despite the twisted views it fostered. On paper, and through the eyes of people like Gaius, it's almost idealistic in goal.
I mean, setting aside the warmongering--objectively bad--it would be a meritocracy determined to erase primals. War would take lives of both conquered and conquering, but after that....the tales of how Gaius treated people in the new territories--without regard for birthplace or bloodline--makes it seem like post-war life would be feasible.
But even the "ideal" Empire has a critical drawback--the systematic scrubbing of culture along with religion. Water would have more flavor than the end result. Change that, though--make an Empire that provides for the people so well that Primals aren't needed--and it's not the worst idea I've heard to counter Tempering.
Doma and Ala Mhigo, of course, are the reality--of the corruption, of bleeding the land and people dry. The blatant discrimination, the mistreatment....the list of reasons to oppose the Empire is more than I can cram in here.
In a way, Gaius still fights for an Empire--his Empire. A world where people don't need to fear primals. A world where hard work is rewarded. A world where everyone's lives are enhanced by the abundance of magitek and other sciences. All respectable ideas, objectively.
But that Empire doesn't exist. He understands that now--it's how he can fight the Empire without really changing his ideals--but it still fuels him. If nothing else, I think it's safe to say he'll be one of the bigger thorns in the Empire's side sooner rather than later.