[A portion of the novel A Young Man From Mars, currently being re-written and somewhat available elsewhere in this ethereal site]
Recalling any given lecture I am impressed by the fact that Professor Tripp himself was not nearly as kind as his classroom manner allowed. The record of his first talk concerning the Collapse is a good example:
Looking back at the first part of the Twenty-first Century, it is difficult to feel pity. With three thousand years of human history, of ‘blood sweat and tears,’ and more, of creation and joy, tossed away, and the history of countless billions of human lives destroyed, carelessly. All pity must be reserved for those they desecrated. Certainly some compassion must be felt for the children. They alone might deserve that. But for their parents, and the rest, there can only be disgust. And as those children who survived reached maturity and took possession of their own lives, those who followed the same bloody rites as their parents, in retrospect, lost any claim of innocence. Worse. They made of their very births a sacrilege. An especial disdain must be held for those who saw the horror about them, knew it for what it was, and out of cowardice did not rise up against it. Thankfully, revulsion leaves no stomach for hate, else we might consume ourselves in the very heat of hell the people of that time made for themselves. Though mercy, even of thought, is impossible given the ruthless brutality they showed toward the rest of mankind.
Question: were there no innocents?
Yes. Too few. But the greater answer is in the question itself. When in history could such a thing be asked, or even considered? There have always been demons, but always there were those who stood against such evil. Always, before, until that time.
Question: was not that time merely the maleficent and inevitable bane of the Twentieth Century, played out in the next without reference to any false calendar?
No! Emphatically not. Good men and true stood against the evils of that previous century. They had won great victories at terrible cost, only to be betrayed by their children and grandchildren who preferred comfort and convenience and pleasure over all other values. One might make the case that in the struggle against evil, the parents lost some necessary time to instruct their children in the ways and arts of humankind. Perhaps. But after more than two hundred centuries, might they have thought the greater effort was at least manifest if not secure? Might they have believed it most vital just then to take the time to put an end to the fiends still among them?
Question: Isn’t it true that the parents of that previous time taught malignant falsehoods that festered amongst their own children and brought about the holocaust to follow?
Yes. Certainly. But the true was offered to them as well. Isn’t that always the test of humanity. And that they believed the false instead of the true is only further testimony against them. Life itself is the final school. Should they not be judged for their choices?
Question: What of the few, those who did oppose—the remnant who chose the good of life over the bad. Are we damning them with all the others, simply because they lost their fight?
No. Never. We are here now because of them. They knew their plight, yet took to the ramparts willingly, aware of their fate. Our joy is theirs to share. The future was always theirs and knowing that, they could see beyond their own loss to the time to come. They looked to us then and watch us even now.