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Broken Dawn (Aisling and Other Stories)

Rising Sun

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It was when the world fell that the Samurai returned.

In truth, the way of Bushido never really died on the island of Nippon. It lived there in the hearts of men; hibernating, practiced only in word and writ; only occasionally followed more closely through action and deed. In the smaller villages it held sway, while in the large cities of modern Japan it was a tool for sales and tourism. It whispered to those hearts that would hear, and those in the small places—where the wind could still be heard and the air was clean, unsullied by the cities of the modern world—were able to hear its faint voice.

In the great cataclysm, when the cities crumbled to ash, and the unwashed masses—to whom the word “honor” existed only in the dictionary—burned to cinder, those that lived in the quiet places could hear the calling of Bushido all the louder. When the long cold came, and Nippon was covered in ice and snow, those that heard the call tended their families, friends, and sharpened their swords. They pulled out old scrolls of family histories, tokens passed down through the generations, pieces of bamboo armor, ancient clothing, artfully crafted weapons of a like the modern world would never understand.

As the long, cold years went by, the followers of Bushido endured. Many in the small places died of starvation, those that had lived in the big cities were almost entirely wiped out. Those that lived in neighboring villages turned to each other for support, and soon leaders within each community emerged; to a man, followers of the way.

When the ice and snow began to leave Japan (began, for it has still not fully left, hanging firm in the northern regions and mountains—but a cycle of seasons has again returned), and the verdant hills and green places emerged, so did the Samurai. The countryside of Nippon was once again a place of beauty, but also a place of bloodshed. Some factions vied against the other, some formed alliances, still others remained reclusive. However, each encounter was handled with dignity, the defeated committing Seppuku as was proper and honorable.

Among some, it was recognized that an Emperor must be found, to unite the factions and bring peace to the land.

For there was another threat.

Some still did not follow Bushido. They still heard the crowds and noises of their cities, though they had crumbled to dust. For them only might made right. The strongest were fit to rule. They collected their modern trinkets, their guns, their cars—what cars they could still operate--hording petroleum and guarding it jealously. Many of these had survived the cataclysm and still lived, even as the long winter was receding, for they had smelled death on the wind, read the signs in their picture boxes, and had smartly got out of town. Many of these were of organized crime syndicates; cunning and ruthless, knowing to survive was to have the land in their grip. Only the Samurai—and their hope for a united Japan under a god emperor—stood in the way.

As the Long Winter slowly released its grip, Feudal Japan had returned to the world.

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Life , Virtual Life

Comments

    loki2158's Avatar
    Honor - The honorable person is the humble person. Without honor you have no respect and without respect no honor. Honor is like a scar on a tree, in which time only helps to enlarge. To be honorable is to follow the Bushido Code.