Breaking the Paradigm | Chapter 5 | The Turning Point: Revolt or Conform
The Turning Point: Revolt or Conform

Breaking the Paradigm

Chapter 5

The Turning Point: Revolt or Conform

Chapter 5

The Turning Point: Revolt or Conform

"The system that permits the orchestration, execution, and justification of murder under the guise of 'higher goals' is fundamentally flawed, beyond any hope of reform, and must be dismantled. Demetrius couldn't have acted alone; he'd have to align himself with a cabal of those bigwigs, or at least a subset of them. He'd need a green light from both the military and intelligence communities. They're all in the same sinking ship, and I wouldn't put it past my father to be in the loop.

How did they sanitize this heinous act? In the name of the greater good of the Republic? The people's will? Self-interest? Unlikely. My guess is they were all singing from the same hymn sheet — defending the sacred pillars that underpin our state, our very identity: the Holy Academy!

How did we let ourselves be hoodwinked? When did we cede control of our present and future to these frauds? When did the pursuit of knowledge morph into a straitjacket of dogma and limitations? How did a civilization that once revered Athens and the Republic come to idolize Rome and the Empire for over two millennia? It started in Rome, a trend that endures to this day: the inventor gave way to the engineer; the chronicler was replaced by the historian; the orator was supplanted by the statesman; loyalty overshadowed love; and the State supplanted the homeland. The changes might seem subtle, but the devil's in the details.

The ship has already hit the iceberg; we've degenerated into a collective of spineless conformists, justifying any atrocity under the guise of high-minded ideals. Our rationales are endless, as are our crimes. I'm done making excuses; I want to live by my choices and face the repercussions of my actions."

Radiant, upbeat, captivating, and often humorous—rarely somber—Clio stood, and the room was instantly suffused with her commanding aura.

"What should we do?" Fia posed to Clio, her voice imbued with a trepidation that, given the circumstances, felt wholly appropriate.

"We need a complete system overhaul. I'm not just talking about tweaking a particular aspect like the political architecture of our republic. I'm talking about the entire social fabric, the web of human interactions. We need a ground-up revolution."

You can't revamp the system without first embodying the change you want to see. We can't afford a figurehead, whether formal or informal. We can't make decisions in a vacuum, nor can we shirk responsibility for those choices. In a nutshell, I refuse to be part of any assembly not comprised of autonomous individuals. Slaves are the ones who need leaders, who aim to delegate decision-making to someone more charismatic, authoritative, or appealing. A free person neither needs nor wants a leader and shouldn't aspire to be one. If you're on the same wavelength, we can collaboratively brainstorm our next steps."

To outsiders, these monologues might seem verbose and ostentatious, but believe me, for us, each word was essential, spot-on, and yet utterly spontaneous. To add a dash of gravitas, this oration catalyzed our collective transformation. Just as Clio had undergone a metamorphosis minutes before, so too were Fia and I radically altered.

"What should we do?" Fia asked again. Gone was the timidity in her words, now supplanted by sheer resolve and determination. Here, too, the logic remained intact, as unwavering as it had been when tinged with awe mere moments before.

We argued vehemently, raised our voices, butted heads, found consensus, only to be at loggerheads again. We were profoundly fatigued, yet it was a refreshing kind of exhaustion—an exhaustion that paradoxically invigorated us.

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