Okay, So I’ve been so inspired by this monument I first saw as a result of the “What Pegman Saw” ( https://whatpegmansaw.com/) writing challenge that I took the initial write and rewrote until I came up with a full scene. I just thought I’d share it with y’all and see how ya’ like it…. (923 words)
Epes struck a chord animating the bronze statues of the war’s heroes and villians. None could visit the temporary holographic museum without being deeply affected. He’d seen to that. It was all part of his much larger plan. He watched, licking his lips as people approached.
Stephen’s statue, his hand on the shoulder of a young Takarna, stood looking into the future, silent. Lady Tamia’s statue stood watching over Sheata as she looked into the past. Between them knelt Dr. Charles ‘Cutter’ Robert Montgomery of Terra Firma, and the first statue to come to life and speak.
Dr. Montgomery spoke of his immigration to Alteria and how he was forced to serve the King, and then his role as ‘Cutter’ in the Relocation Camps. He told , amid tears, of how his wife and son were murdered as he tried to escape into the mountains. Then, he spoke of being forced to dissect and dismember the bodies in the camp. Then, his animated form sank back down to his knees, head bowed.
After him, the young Takarna’s statue began to breathe, turning slightly as she began to speak of how she was ‘relocated’ and then sent before the firing squad. As she spoke of how she was shot, blood bloomed across her shoulder. As shocking as the sight was, she went on to speak of how she was buried alive and how she managed to dig up through the bodies to escape the mass grave. She told of hiding beneath the cabin, and how Cutter had saved her life, only to find herself forced into the role of ‘boiler of the bones’ outside the Cutter’s house. She went on to speak of the Aki uprising that led to the end of the war as a whole. After she spoke, her animated form turned back to look into the future, speaking of the future she hoped would await them on Terra Firma before the animation faded back to bronze.
Tamia’s statue moved then. She looked to each of the other statues and then out to the audience. She began by speaking of her role as a healer and unwitting accomplice to the genetic program’s grand scheme of genocide. She spoke of how the changes had been so subtle that no one seemed to notice until it was too late. She spoke of her forced marriage to the King; the birth and death of her children by his hands; and her eventual internment in the Relocation camp. Hers was a story of sacrifice that saved the lives of millions; yet, it spoke of her deepest regrets and shame in what she’d done for the sake of survival. Slowly, her figure slid back down, placed a hand on Sheata’s shoulder, pointing to the ground.
As the animation of Tamia touched Sheata’s shoulder, her animation came to life. Sheata spoke as one who had been completely unaware of the vast underground facilities and their uses. She spoke as a citizen that did not see her fellow citizens ‘relocated’ or ‘replaced’ with Aki clones. She spoke of her vacations in the Adventure Park as being fun-filled excursions, completely opposite of the Park’s true intentions. She showed the audience the effective front of excellent propaganda and blissful ignorance. She finished by admitting their shame for their lack of knowledge that had destroyed their world before she sank back down to her knees to look at the ground where Lady Tamia pointed.
Lastly, the statue of Stephen inhaled a deep breath and slowly scanned the crowd. He spoke of how he’d first learned of the Enclave and the King’s genetic program, and of how he’d been tricked into participation in the King’s evil plans. He spoke of how he’d gone to Tenagra in hopes of engendering their aid to stop the King. Then, he spoke of the Aki uprising and the civil war that had enveloped Alteria. In the end, he spoke of the precarious peace that now existed and how the memory of the war needed to be preserved in order to assure that a new King with treacherous tendencies would not return to power and destroy their hard won peace. Stephen’s form heaved another deep breath, looked out towards the horizon, and reverted to its solid state.
Epes smiled at the reactions of the Historical Council as they evaluated his efforts. Every single member present had been deeply moved by at least one aspect of his holographic exhibit. Yes, his plan was working very well, indeed.
‘Sirs, there is one other that I have developed that does not have a statue to represent it. It is of T’Zani.’ The name fell like a ton of steel ore into the silent chamber. A collective sigh rippled over the assembled. ‘So, if you’ll forgive, I will present it as it is…’ Epes lowered the lights until the chamber was in total darkness.
The walls around them melted into stone. Slowly, one corpse at a time, a mountain of bones began to form and grow before them. Then, the bones of one skeleton began to come together. The internal organs, the muscles, and flesh populated the spartan bones until the form of T’Zani presented itself. She stood in silence, seeming to make eye contact with each and every person in the chamber before speaking.
‘You… You are responsible.’ T’Zani spoke in and accusatory tone, as she slowly raised her arm and pointed straight ahead. ‘Only you can change the future.’
A second later, she melted back into the mountain of bones.