I promise I will move on to more personally relevant things tomorrow, but the recent changes in how New Haven--sorry, just Haven now (hopefully the last name change, it's getting hard to remember them)--have been taken up by the Union as a whole. The votes were not overwhelming but the majorities were solid. As a...nation? I don't know what to call us, really, but at any rate as a large group of communities we have made it policy to take in those UAS members who wish to avoid war. It may seem like bad policy to allow people into our homes that want to remain neutral, but in good conscience we cannot ask them to fight their brothers and sisters if they aren't even willing to fight us. That shows moral fiber, I think.
Because of these changes, I have been asked to write another message directly to the UAS, and today is the day. Back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow (the one where I talk about dead people and cheeseburgers and the giant, fussy black guy who keeps doing more than his fair share of the work here in the office.)
To the UAS:
I will not attempt to appeal to the better angels of your nature through flowery prose or even lies. I am not speaking to the leadership of your community with this message, though I am sure they will read and distort it. It is clear to us now that much like the previous decade when leaders got themselves embroiled in conflicts they thought they understood but clearly didn't--think other wars that turned out to be totally unnecessary and so costly it makes you sick--the people in charge there have managed to sink in over their heads. Many of them were elected officials, cabinet appointees, even a few governors and a bunch of state lawmakers. I know that trying to convince a politician that his or her decision was the wrong one is akin to herding cats; a nearly impossible time-waster.
This message is for the rest of you. I hope that the bilingual among you will read it to your new friends from south of the border who may not read or speak English so that they too can understand it.
I believe you are good people. I think that many of you are frightened and maladjusted to the strange world you were exposed to when the supplies in your bunkers ran so low you had to leave them. Many of us have said negative things in the past about that, but the truth is that I don't know a single survivor out here who would have turned down the offer of safety, regular meals, medical care, and all the other guarantees you folks had in those bunkers.
It's not just me I'm speaking for, here. We as a small nation of people understand how difficult this is for you. We understand the struggle, the fear, the pain of loss. We know that these feelings are real and powerful, and that your leadership is doing what all politicians since the dawn of time have done: using them to manipulate you.
Oh, you might say, interrupting me. Are you trying to say our leaders are lying about the terrible acts committed by the Union?
No, I'm not. We have made mistakes, gone too far. One of the most haunting memories I have, one that I've written about and referenced many times, is from very early in The Fall. Patrick and I burned a group of marauders alive in their sleep because they were killing small groups of travelers to steal their supplies, and because they were keeping the women as sex slaves. Morally what we did was right, as far as I'm concerned, but that doesn't mean the act doesn't keep me awake some nights even now.
We have been vicious and brutal and murderous when we felt it was necessary. We killed a lot of innocent people along with the Hunters last year. We now believe fully that they were a part of your group, and even though what we did was the only way we knew of to prevent them from destroying more communities, we recognize that realistically our action against them--their total destruction--was what started the conflict between our two groups.
I believe you are good people in a bad situation. I'm sure that much of what is said about my side of this conflict is factually true, but context is also important. We do not kill people because we enjoy it, though if any of you read this blog you know sometimes even the best people can slip into that madness. All we desire is a peaceful life. The appeal I want to make to you isn't that you defect to our side, though you are welcome. It is that you refuse to fight a war that is utterly without purpose.
You don't need our land, you have more of your own than you can even patrol. You don't need our infrastructure. Yours is better than ours. We have no desire to take what is yours, and no need to travel across the land you've made your own. The borders we have are sufficient for us. Leave us in peace and enjoy peace yourselves.
You know what is happening out west. You see how hard people are willing to fight to protect what they've built and the people they love. I make this plea to you not out of cowardice or unwillingness to do my duty, but because I genuinely want to avoid the body count on both sides that will inevitably follow. Do your own thing, let us do ours, and let the politicians wallow in their own ineffectual policies. They can't and won't fight this war without you. You are their army, and you can choose peace. You can walk away safe and live a life unburdened by fear of me and mine.
We have a common enemy in the undead. That should be more than sufficient reason to turn your attention to your own people. All the Union wants is to be left alone and allowed to travel to our western allies, who also just want peace. Give us that, stay out of further conflict with us, and everyone walks away happy.
We will fight. We will be vicious and brutal and without mercy. If our homes and loved ones are threatened, there are no tactics we will not undertake to stop you. This is not a threat, please understand me. I am telling you this precisely because the majority of us want to avoid that. These are not actions we want to perform.
But we will if we have to. We won't fire the first shot, but we will do whatever it takes to win the fight. Please, please, don't make that necessary.
Think about it. Spread the word.