— Savoice Demoy refuting Zona's argument
The food was chopped into little pawns. The table was sitting as the supreme board. The breakfast cafeteria was Reyonis Platura.
Here I am determining what would overturn the entire facility. Dojyu Coffnaigh told me that I would see differently later, but there is nothing that stands out to me. There's Dagra and Koka cleaning the tables. There's the Moderator's sitting over there making their Moderator Breakfast Clique. There's Interpreter Lalsu cutting up his food with his fingers. There's Interpreter Myaari talking to himself in the corner.
As for me, I was sitting here transformed from reality--or what people say is reality. The food was cut into twenty-four, small board pieces fit enough for a game.
"Playing with your food?" Dagra smiled at me.
I kept my focus on the pieces. "Want to play with me?"
She sat down across from me. "What are the rules?"
"Try to figure it out. I'll go first."
I moved the triangle-cut Asalan meat onto a larger lettuce. She moved a tiny pea on top of my meat. I moved the pea to the right of a square-cut piece of meat. She moved another pea on the lettuce beside another piece of meat. I moved the triangle-cut meat on top of another piece of meat. She picked up a piece of meat and set it on top of mine. I pulled the lettuce from where the triange-cut meat used to be, taking it on top of her pea to the right of the square-cut meat. She was hungry, giving the meat another partner to lay on top of. I was not hungry, moving the original triangle-cut meat on top of the two she had in place. She smiled, putting a rice grain beside another stray meat.
"How much more is there to this?" She said.
"Just wait and see," I made another move, as she did also. For a long time, we went back and forth until we fulfilled another amount of turns we just did. Here comes the fun part.
"Here we are now," I said. "We're toward the end of the game."
"This is really confusing..."
"Oh, you'll understand after this part. So, I'm going to ask you a question, and you have to answer it right. If you don't, then I'll ask you another question to redeem yourself. If you don't get that right, either, then you lose. Okay?"
"So, you're asking me questions to see if I get it right."
"Yes--one if you get it right at first."
"Okay. I'm ready."
"Now tell me, Dagra. Where was this pea from the beginning?" I pointed to the pea that was once on top of the triangle-cut Asalan.
"Oh..." She pressed her hands into her cheeks, deep in thought. "I don't remember...."
"Come on, Dagra. Think."
"Uh... there." She pointed to a piece of lettuce."
"No, ma'am. That's wrong. It was here," I pointed to the area it once was. "It was on top of the triangle-cut meat."
"Oh, I'm not too good on memory."
"You should be, Dagra. Now, I have one more question for you to get your spot back. If you do, you can ask me a question. Okay?"
"What was the first move that I made?"
"Mn...oh goodness, this is hard..." She looked into my eyes for help.
I sighed. "If you want me to give you a hint, I will."
"Look here." I pointed to the triangle-cut meat. "Where was this at the beginning?"
"Oh no...I don't remember that, either."
"You have to answer, Dagra."
Her face went pink. "Oh, I'm so stupid... um, was it here?" She pointed in the wrong spot.
"No, no. I moved this piece here where the lettuce used to be under it."
"Oh yeah, and then I put the pea on top of it. That's right..." She smiled. "Well, looks like I lost."
"That's fine, Dagra. I was just seeing if you had a complex memory."
She looked at the ground, leaving. "I guess I don't."
I watched her leave as I took a fork and ate all of my breakfast at once. This was a test of not only memory, but integrity also. Should I had lied where those pieces were, she would have never known. It is important to pay attention to every detail when someone lends it to you. At least she didn't deny that some of the stuff happened when I asked her. I wish she did, though.
Eating with haste, my thoughts rambled about exposing the true state of this corrupt Ovilian Arch of Studies. Let alone, I would need to have this whole conclusion to a standstill. If I just prove that Najarv'sye is denying reality, it would be over, and he would never return.
The piercing of the alarm shrill surfaced the room. So, as obedient, I went to the meeting room. We had never come up with a name still for it as Myaari promised.
"Today, we are going to talk about the Refuge Anthem today," he wrote on the clear board.
"You mean that Anti-Vavy song," Khovab muttered beside me. He was so quiet, that he didn't get that last dock that Myaari forewarned him of getting.
"Hey, Savoice," Lovopian hit me from behind. "Sit beside me."
"Because I want to show you my notes."
I shook my head. "No. Show me after the meeting."
"All or nothing." From there, he continued to listen to Myaari.
I turned back ahead. There had to have been a reason why he would be asking that. Perhaps it is to set me up?
Whatever it is, I will have him in his grasp after today's meeting.
"Hey, Pheru, can you write these lyrics on the board since you wrote them down?" Myaari said.
Interpreter Lalsu walked up to the board. "Yes."
There were the lyrics. All of them were written in Ovilian, a language that I didn't even understand.
"Hey, hey," I said," Can you write that at least in Reyplatal? I can't read Ovilian."
Pheru looked back at me. "Why don't you learn, then? It's not that much different from Reyplatal." He turned around and continued to write.
But, those teeny symbols still didn't ring a bell in my mind. "Reyplatal is the standardized language, so you should probably use it. Not everyone here's from Ovilis, you know."
"Yeah, I can't read that, either," Pulin leaned and squinted his eyes. "Please write that in Reyplatal, so I get some understanding."
"Here, since that Najarv'sye did sing it in Reyplatal, I'll write the translation beside it," Myaari said.
"Oh, thank you," Pulin nodded. I just watched him and slouched over.
So, the two of the magnificent writers wrote the lyrics to the song:
The hollow burdens of sighs our anscestors brought was the perishing doom for oppressors. It was once a restless elation of deemed of hallmark, shifted into a somber grief that needed resistance. Pursued into error, the glimpse of light dimmed among stars. Never has it been a duty to flee its kind, but power does. Holding on to a fragile hand the power deems righteous, never to gain again. Molten blood drips near the flesh, acceptance dims near the false sights. Oh, if only it were different, to view the world anchored in relief.
Such a strange composition that I had ever seen in my life. If I were to get anything from this song, it would be that it's strange.
"Okay," Myaari finished. "So I have an overarching question for you: based on the interpretation of this song, how does the outlook of Ovilis affect how they are affected by the spontaneous reality?"
"May I begin?" Zona knocked on the table.
"Hm... so, don't you all find it strange that this song is sang in a major scale, but they're singing about gloomy things? Remember how it goes?"
"Well," Salmah knocked on the table. "Me being outside of the District for a while, I noticed that most Ovilian songs are this way. They're gloomy, but they musical composition beautiful sing."
"Why is it like that?" Zona said.
"What do you think? It's culture. Maybe it has to do with the Nylan's music making."
Myaari shook his head. "Or, it could be an underlying message that there's still hope."
"Could be," Zona said.
"I'm not a music analyst and stuff," Polly said, "But I noticed that alot in Ovilian songs, too. If you look at the lyrics, it said that it was once ruvilas aman--an emotion of joy. Perhaps the singers of this song still are elated of the discovery of Reyonis Platura, but knew they had a responsibility and stuff."
"'Discovery?'" Khovab crossed his arms. "Hmph."
Then, the room fell on silence, for they were out of options to speak about. Looking around, searching, their eyes made known of their confusion.
"You know, it makes you wonder why the glass girl couldn't sing along with them," I said. "She was saying that she was sullen, but after birth would become clean."
"Oh, yeah," Polly said. "And she was blending the lyrics with this song, too."
"What did she say again, Savoice?" Zona said.
"She was saying that she used to be depressed, but when she's born--I'm guessing again--she would become clean."
"Clean of what?"
"I don't know. But that's what she said. Maybe she means being clean of her condition. I'm just asking why she couldn't sing with the rest of them."
"Well, it is because she's locked singing that," Pheru said.
Lovopian began to shift through his notes.
I said, "Okay, well, then why couldn't the students sing with her to clear confusion?"
"Because the students were focused on obeying the instructor," Polly said. "You don't go past your intentions if Ovilis is doing strange things again."
"But, then right after the instructor was getting frustrated at them, she had a spine going down the side of her face."
"She was punished!" Pulin realized. "Fellows, Ovilis punished her for ignoring her!"
"Hey, hey, stop yelling," Zona rolled his eyes. "Imbecile."
I gave Pulin a good look. "So, you think that Ovilis is punishing? I think that the spontaneous reality is there to purposely breed a people to deny reality. Look at the board. The song says, 'Pursued into error, the glimpse of light dimmed among stars. Never has it been a duty to flee its kind, but power does.' That means that the people were gradually swayed into denial as the spontaneous reality 'pursued'--or sought--that its acknowledgement be ignored. Then, it says that it was never a 'duty' to be forgotten, but because of its powers, it ends up this way."
Pulin grinned with contentment.
Khovab shook his head. "Okay, so, what do you mean by 'ignored'? Who's being ignored?"
"Either it be the 'discoverers' of this planet, or the spontaneous reality itself--such that be a powerful entitiy, it is being ignored by the people. If we just opened our mind more to what we could and couldn't see, we would probably have the answers by now. But, because we accept 'false sights', we will never be redeemed."
"Hm..." Myaari thought. "Are you saying that we are diverging from our origins, so now the origins that we believe may now rely on the 'spontaneous reality?'"
"Well, I was saying that we are ignoring what the origins may be trying to tell us. But, that is a good thought on it, too."
"Hey, hey, the glass girl is not limited to just those words," Lovopian said. "The last, last time that we had a meeting with Najarv'sye, he said that she was chanting something else. I have the notes here. She said, 'I have been sent by the doom of Ovilis, but still in elemental bliss. I never thought that being glass would mean much.' So, I guess her words can vary."
"When did she say that?" Khovab wasn't listening.
"She said that when Najarv'sye was at the Laliphorus Walls, I think."
"Oh. Well, honestly, I just don't want to say that supposedly people above us are downright punishing us," Khovab said. "I think that we put the denial on ourselves, because we want to see differently. There's something that we're always dissatisfied with. In the song, it does say that something was 'pursued', yes, but the end of the song admits that there is a wish of something different."
"Yeah, I think that people have the limitless thought that they can believe what they want," Lovopian said. "So, that means they can go past what they used to believe and contort it."
"No, no," Pulin pointed at Lovopian. "Remember the man that was telling Najar about the possible punishments of Ovilis? Those people want things to change, but they don't take the initiative. So, they suffer for this reason. Remember, fellows, he said that denying salvation is denying reality."
"Yeah, and it kinda goes back to that song," Polly said. "Look, it says, 'Hyra pochas toyu pholob nekaw,' meaning that people hold to what is weak. And, what is weak is going to be something to hold back from salvation."
"But what is the salvation from?" Zona said.
"Hmm...salvation and stuff in Ovilis varies. I just think that it could be salvation from death."
"Well, based on what that glass girl sings all the time, it always has to do with realizing her duty." Lovopian said. "She said that she was sent by the doom of Ovilis, I guess meaning the 'spontaneous reality', and she would realize what she is being a glass girl--becoming clean. Savoice mentioned that she could be trying to clear herself of her condition, that she may be flesh again."
"That's just too confusing." Zona said. "What evidence from the song can you get about this?"
"Well, we know that the song talks about salvation," Myaari said. "The past has a very good deal of influence on how people take their 'salvation' in. Like Savoice said, the people believe in the 'false sights' and end up hurting themselves."
Zona shook his head and concentrated his blinks. "So, are you saying that the glass girl is trying to get back to normal because she wants her past again of being fleshly?"
"Uh, no," Myaari smiled and then sighed. "Well, I am saying that she's trying to get out of the 'false sight' that she's a glass girl."
"Oh wait," I said, "But, wouldn't that be denying reality?"
Everyone gazed at me.
"No, no, no," he frantically corrected himself. "She still acknowledges that she was a glass girl, but she's just trying to get back to normal."
"Now hold on. You said that she was trying to get out of the 'false sight', right? That means that she's acknowledging her glass composition is 'false.'"
"I..." He was without words. "Well, I mean she's trying to get back to normal."
Everyone seemed as if they were listening to their hearts, asking themselves what it meant to them. There was Polly moving his eyes around the room, Lovopian laying his cheek in his hand, Interpreter Lalsu interpreting the board, Pulin dimming his ears, Khovab feeling through his feathers, Salmah shaking his head, Wequt taking notes, Zona squinting the eye he showed, and Myaari standing in the hot room.
As for me, an appreciation of words filled my heart. Surely, now I will be a Higher again.
"Alright," I left the rest to the people to decide. They know now that even the captain can be corrupted.
"Okay, how is that denying reality, though?" Zona was in disbelief. "I mean, he didn't openly say that it didn't happen. And you know what? Najarv'sye could be lying to us." He turned to me.
Even more perfect. Now that they are armed to protect their captain, they will attack Najarv'sye.
"Then why do all this if he lies?" I said. "Would there be a point in relying on a possibly delusional agent from Pantoque? Is there really?"
"It is worth it in the end," Pheru Lalsu said. "Once we get all the information we need and bring it together, we will have a final word to put on the wall."
"What wall?" Polly said.
"Oh, so Pheru does know something about the conclusions and such, too," I said, "something that he wouldn't tell me before."
The no-teller shook his head. "What are you talking about, Savoice?"
"You remember a few days ago in the garden? You remember what I asked you?"
"Let's get back on subject, imbeciles..." Zona mumbled. He elevated his voice. "We're doing this because no one else will. All of these answers are for us because every person here is too cowardice to cross that border and experience Ovilis for ourselves. We just can't do it."
"Well, you were the one that brought up that Najarv'sye could be lying," I said. "Why would you say that and then say we need his information?"
"I would rather take a lie and believe it than stay in Ovilis and tell the truth."
"How ridiculous. That's denying reality, too, dim wit."
"No, it's not!"
"Yes, it is. If you say that I have blue hair and believe it, when it's obviously brown, that is denying reality."
He shook his head. "In Ovilis, anything is possible. If I were Najarv'sye, I would lie to everyone because I just have the power to do it. They are under my control. Would the people truly know if I was lying to them? Most likely not, because they won't even go out there and see for themselves!
"That's what the song was talking about! All people do here is complain about how they can't get a hold of what they believe, so they just create 'false sights' and find something to believe in. Even then, they're still not satisfied, so they'll always imagine a world where there's 'relief'. You think that the people here care if there's a lie? No, because even if they know the truth, they'll want out of it!"
I stood up. "But why would you lie to so many people that want to have peace? Peace, Zona, peace! Ovilis had disrupted so many people that the whole Ovilian government is solving this issue all over it. Ovilis doesn't even have a currency because the place is so unstable. Imagine all of the people that have to live there and all the ignorant children that have to suffer the tragedies of Ovilis. Is it their fault that they have to stay there? Is there going to be any room for all of those people in Salwom or Pertan?"
"Y-Y--." He tried to reply.
"No, no. No, there's not. Those people are still going to suffer living somewhere else, because they've lost so much already. It is not about changing Ovilis; it's about changing the suffering mindsets of the people. You think that just in Ovilis they'll want more and more outside of the truth? Well, dim wit, if you don't know already, those Vavy principles are getting a hold on to so many people that the very origins of ourselves--Ovilian, Salwomese, Pertanese alike--are not real. This is the greatest denial of reality of all!"
"Hey, hey, that's enough," Myaari cut into me. "Sit down, Savoice."
"You'd better sit yourself down," Khovab growled at me. "Those principles are going to help some of the egos people have about themeselves."
I sat down, still ready to finish. "The only ego there is might be just forgetting it. We have forgotten our origins, so now we all bleed."
"Um, so what do we think about the song?" Easing the tension for Myaari had no solution. Everyone was glaring at each other, internally declaring their differences.
Interpreter Lalsu looked at the ground. "The song has a very important role in telling how a creation can become an ail when people see differently about their surroundings."
"Uh, you mean growth," Khovab said. "The song tells about the growth of a people as they gradually pull into delusion."
"Or, maybe there's a punishment involved," Pulin's voice muffled under his laying head.
"Or," Lovopian smirked, "We're just all trying to be clean."
"So, what are we agreeing on?" Myaari stared at the board. "Are we generally saying that despite all of the situations on Ovilis, it is the fault of the people?"
"Put that Ovilis does not change regardless of how people may change," Polly said.
"No, no, Ovilis is not a person," I reinforced. "Why are you guys saying that?"
"That's a good idea, but Savoice is right. Ovilis isn't a person, fellows," Lovopian nodded.
"Well, just say that people in general change as the 'spontaneous reality' stays the same," Interpreter Lalsu said.
I shook my head. "No, no, imbeciles. We need a more general statement that covers the entire thing. This is not answering the question that's on that board. You see the question? It basically says, how are people affected by 'spontaneous reality' in context of the song? Saying that people change is not enough. If this became a law, it'd be too vague."
"Well, Higher Savoice," Lovopian smirked, "Enlighten us. Tell us what the perfect statement is."
"I will. Here, write something like this: 'In consideration to the interpretation of the Refuge Anthem and its usage in the region, we have decided that the past is the ultimate determiner of how people view the 'spontaneous reality'. As the views may be corrupted, it is known that the affects of Ovilis are pressed by acceptance of general truth and revelation.' There."
"That's just too wordy, Savoice," Polly shook his head. "Instead, just say, 'We say that the Refuge Anthem is an expression of corruption in perception that can be redeemed through acceptance of general truth."
"Hm...okay," Mayaari wrote that statement down in green. After that, he turned to us. "Hey, you all, for once I felt that we got something accomplished from this conclusion. Should we submit it to the Finalization Team?"
"What happens when we do that?" I said.
"Well, whenever we submit a conclusion to the Finalization Team, they present it to the Executives that would go on the 'Final Slate of Decision' Wall, which is the establishment of the law. If we were to submit this, though, we would have to assist the Finalization Team with their evidence."
"This doesn't seem thurogh enough to me," Khovab rolled his eyes. "If it were, then we could, but for now it's probably not sufficient."
"You think not?" Myaari gleamed at the board. "I think this would be a good conclusion, because the Refuge Anthem being a part of Ovilian culture sort of proves how the general people think about where they live."
"Don't do it just yet," Zona said. "Let's get all of our conclusions together and debate about which one would be the best one to have the Team present later."
"Okay, okay. That's a good idea. But, let's not wait too long. If we do, we'll fail this entire conclusion. Well, you all are dismissed. Have a good day."
I followed Pulin, Polly, Salmah, and new-member Myaari back to Pulin's room.
"I've got me lots of Asalan meat," Pulin boasted. "You all take as much as you want." He got some meat and took a seat.
As did the other three, they got their food, me being the last follower. Such a good feast was ahead. We ate with hands, with exception to Polly, and talked with knowledge. For much of the time, we did nothing but speak about the newly established conclusion that would possibly change the nature of Ovilis.
Myaari's eyes welled up with tears. "I feel some hope coming on that we may finally solve the problem of Ovilis."
We laughed at the little child because of so, and he seemed a little offended. But, after a while of blatant reconcilation and more joking, he became as one of us older people. He came to understand our idioms and language of humor to the point where he made us laugh for once. Most of all, the meat was at its freshest.
After the feast, I went back to my room with Salmah. We talked about the different Moderators and their many secrets that I had never heard.
"You know that the chameleon moderator was a Dojyu at one time," he said.
"Oh, I knew that. Moderator Fuge told me," I said.
"Well, did you know that he got that scar that's on the side of his cheek from his wife?"
"What? He has a wife?"
"Yeah, but she lives in Salwom. Zona told me that she always thinks that Bvan is going to fall for Moderator Elleai, so she comes to visit at nights and 'reinforces' their marriage."
"Hmph," I chuckled, "Never knew that one. Where do they go?"
"They probably go to a resting inn or someting outside of the facility, but still in the District."
That was not the only thing I learned about the executives. Salmah said that the Ovil got his abilities when he first came to Ovilis, never having them all his life. Cerva Sah, unlike the Ovil, has no abilities at all. Everyone is beginning to think that Moderator Hoberzt is a Vavy Loyalist like Khovab. Moderator Ed-Nonon apparently already knew Dagra since his teen years.
"Well, that's quite a bit," I said. "Did you know that Callinaiva's real name is Tervaiu Docnabe?"
"What? Heard that I never. Why is it like that?"
"Well, apparently, he denied reality at one time when he was an interpreter, and he had everyone to forget his real name because of it." I leaned in closer to him. "But, hey, don't tell anyone about this. I could get in trouble as Moderator Hoberzt who told me would, too."
"You have my word, Savoice."