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An excerpt from an address to the high council of the Qui Err Assembly by Annex Iota Pretense, reconstituted leader of her people..

I have heard the murmurs, and I have seen the images. They’re calling their bandits heroes. The bored rich like Joan-bee. Invaders like Templeton’s Faire. Soldiers like Echo Reverie.

Do not misunderstand. We are the heroes of this story.

Their talking heads will tell you that history is more complicated than that. That everyone is complicit in some misdeed. That by our own logic, what we call ours was the planet’s first. That we are colonizers, too.

But do not misunderstand. We are Qui Err Vi Qi-Em, The Soil With Memory.

Their petty historians hold matchsticks and think they wield the sun. Their propagandists will take our pain and twist it into lessons for their children, our struggle into entertainment for paying customers. They will turn sites of violence into souvenir shops, and in their little voices demand from us personalized baubles.

Do not misunderstand.

They will ask you to give them a name like ours. They will ask to touch your bone and branch. They will, with no understanding of their sacrilege, call all this curiosity. They will call themselves “friends of the people.”

Do not misunderstand.

That touch is colony ship. Their interest in our ways is not curiosity, it is a hanging rope not yet taut: a whip, a lasso, a noose.

Do not misunderstand.

We do not have friends among them. We have only those who deign to speak to us. The so-called Free States walk on our bodies, toes mingling in soil, without sending so much as a delegation to meet with us. Even the Hegemony, which recognizes our sovereignty, does so as an addendum at best.

Do not misunderstand.

We are not a appendix. We are the body itself.

This week on Twilight Mirage: This Year of Ours: The Muscle

Wish I was there, wish we'd grown up on the same advice
And our time was right

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Episodes
"The Final Eight Divines" · "The Beloved Dust" · "The Last Divine" · "The Planet of Quire" · "Birds of Prey" · "The Sunlight of Knowing" · "We Want You To Come Home" · "Second Street Drifting" · "We are the River, And it is the Sea" · "The Sound of Strings" · "Looking To Land" · "What We're Capable Of" · "The Promise of Presence" · "An Instinct Without A Word" · "The Value of Distance" · "A Life and A History" · "An Approximation of a Connection" · "Like Falling Leaves" · "The Sun Pales to Its Brightness" · "A Single Moment, Caught" · "Bits Left Behind" · "One's Own Right" · "godspeed, glory Pt. 1" · "godspeed, glory Pt. 2" · "godspeed, glory Pt. 3" · "The Miracle of the Mirage: The Dragon" · "The Miracle of the Mirage: The Heist" · "The Miracle of the Mirage: The Siege" · "This Year of Ours: The Scoundrel" · "This Year of Ours: The Pilot" · "This Year of Ours: The Muscle" · "This Year of Ours: The Mechanic" · "This Year of Ours: The Stitch" · "This Year of Ours: The Speaker" · "This Year of Ours: The Mystic" · "This Year of Ours: The Notion" · "Every Bad Idea" · "Along A Route" · "The Good Decision" · "Staying Neutral" · "Like What We Used To Do" · "No Value in a Closed Door" · "Look the Other Way" · "The Center of the Storm" · "The Pathways in the Woods" · "Downtime on Gift-3" · "Every Time We Leave, It Changes" · "Uncontrolled Fires" · "This Place Pushes Back" · "Bona Fide, Good Faith" · "A Very Old Mistake" · "Open As Possible" · "The Second Miracle" · "Our Flaws in a Vacuum, or the Promise We Made To Each Other" · "Downtime on Skein" · "The Vault of Anticipation Pt.1" · "The Vault of Anticipation Pt.2"