The monitors show me all I need to see: the citizens of this planet barking hate face-to-face like dogs on opposites sides of a fence; dark secrets enacted behind closed doors that shatter souls of innocents; kings racing to manufacture better ways to slaughter thousands and hold their enemies hostage. It is an ugly view.
Beneath the monitor is a switch. It is shiny with unuse, golden, revered. Feared. Even by me. I have flipped it only once, long ago, in the roots of memory.
Perhaps it is time to flip it again. My finger hovers. Why do I hesitate?
Life was evergreen and unchanging in Colonnade. The province was self-sufficient and outside influences largely redundant. The inhabitants found comfort in periodic rumblings from beyond the ramparts. They worshiped the magnificent illuminations surrounding them, particularly those radiating from the wondrous Great Wall. All these things freely given at the Season of Resetting.
But there were tales of fearful times, both in the past and yet to come, when the reassuring reverberations would abruptly cease; when the mystical melodies, so constant and soothing, would be replaced by jarring sirens and the Great Wall would flash its blinding prophecy of doom...