(By Guest Author Connor Cleary)
Once there was a town, this town was run by a council of elders. The elders could only achieve a position on the council by gaining the respect of the people. The town lived happily and the people were free, other than the basic rules that any society must live by without destroying itself. Sometimes there would be war with surrounding towns, but this particular town was more powerful than those around it. The people were encouraged to stay inside the town as much as possible for their own protection from surrounding towns.
But there was an incident. A small group from a neighboring town snuck inside the walls and slaughtered a family and then took their own lives in the name of their God. The Town Council immediately set up a line a few hundred feet outside the town with markers and informed the people that they were not allowed to go outside said barrier. They explained to the people that outside this line they could not protect them sufficiently, the town that attacked them worshipped a heathen God, and could not be trusted. It was for the people’s own safety, so they gladly agreed, and thanked the elders for protecting them.
In the name of safety for the people, the Council decreed that anyone who passed beyond the barrier was considered a deserter and would not be allowed back into the town. A group of people were enjoying the surroundings of the town when they saw a batch of wildflowers just beyond the barrier. They passed the markers and picked flowers for some time, until the guardsmen of the town, on their patrol, found them. The people tried to explain that they only went outside the barrier to pick flowers, but were arrested and imprisoned.
The people of the town began to worry that their Council was becoming too unforgiving and not listening to the people. When the issue was brought before the Council, they explained to the people that the imprisoned were heretics and were consorting with those who worshipped the heathen God, and the people thanked the Council for protecting them.
The next day the Council decreed that no one was allowed to go outside the town walls without proper supervision by the Guardsmen. They explained that if there were already heretics inside the town, then they could not risk anyone conspiring with those who worshipped the heathen God. The people were upset, but understood that the Elders were only being cautious, and the people thanked the Council for protecting them.
In the town square the next day, the people who were imprisoned for consorting with those who worship the heathen God were executed. A small group of people protested, and when their cries went unheard they attacked the Guardsmen and were killed as well. After searching their homes, the Guardsmen found evidence that they were also conspiring against the people of the town. The Council told the people that they would be giving the Guardsmen the right to search people’s homes if they were suspected of conspiring against the people, and worshipping the heathen God. The people were appalled; they were upset and brought to the Council the issue. The people stated that their lives were their own, and they wouldn’t allow them to invade their homes. So the Elders explained to the people that when they searched the homes of the heretics, they found plans to destroy the town, and they couldn’t allow the possibility of another group conspiring to destroy the town. The people understood, and thanked the Council for protecting them.
Within the next week, in the name of the people’s safety, they were no longer allowed to lock their doors, or block their windows. Anyone caught speaking badly about the council was immediately taken in for questioning, and his or her home would be searched. The Guardsmen had complete control over the people, and the Council had complete control over the Guardsmen. The people were without rights, without freedom…
..and the people thanked the Council for protecting them.