Saturday, May 12, 2012
Who Killed Iron Joe? Part 3: Moon of the Snowblind
My story really begins as a little orphan girl. When I say that my parents were killed by the Danab, I don’t want you to begin assuming once again that I’m inadvertently admitting guilt while otherwise adamantly denying the murder of Iron Joe. It certainly didn’t help me like his kind.
It also didn’t help that the people who took me in were in a constant struggle with the Danab, who patronizingly took them as retainers, benevolently and sarcastically offering protection and mutually beneficial trading rights and defense against whoever might come to our world and try to take it from us. The family who took me in had their own proud traditions and expectations from life, and basically wanted to be left alone to live it. If that had been possible, maybe a lot of things would be different today.
I grew up with Magnum and Stringfellow for older brothers, and they immediately took me under their wing and taught me everything they knew, how to survive and thrive, and how to look at the world for what it could do for me, and what I could do for it in return. All in all, I would call it pretty normal by any standards until I reached the age of responsibility, and had to begin defining my life by the associations I made, rather than more innocently believing that everything was carefree. I began to recognize, for instance, that my brothers weren’t so happy with the way things were. Stringfellow was charismatic and well-loved, while Magnum was an agitant, always spoiling for trouble, with his brother constantly being called upon to clean up his messes. I had never realized how difficult that could be. I was blinded by affection.
Magnum’s struggles painted him into many corners, and Stringfellow talked about how would come to a bad end, and even I started believing it, until he turned a new corner, and became almost a new man. People began to say how he had been inspired by the spirits, and he never discouraged that kind of talk, at least not in the beginning. He became suddenly very humble, almost the complete opposite of what he had once been, but anyone paying attention would have recognized that he attacked his new religion the same way he had the old one, with aggressive belief in his own convictions. There was a lot of talk about how exactly he’d reached this point, but I guess I never cared to speculate.
Anyway, he got quite a few people to take him seriously, until the day he led a pilgrimage to what he called a new home and a new beginning, and what became known as Magnumtown. One way or another, if you have a place named after you, you must be doing something right.
This might have itself been perfectly fine, but the Danab, as usual, soon took an interest. It’s where I live today, and the very place Iron Joe was appointed governor. As you can see, if the Danab had simply left us alone, none of this would have happened in the first place. Magnum simply wanted to give us a new start, away from the conflicts of the past, and while it was like that for a while, the conflicts came back into the present, and became worse. He believed that by embracing the old ways, my adopted people could find new peace and prosperity.
Well, now Iron Joe is dead and it’s not very likely that peace is going to be the main result.
Stringfellow visits me daily, and Magnum only occasionally is with him. I love both of my brothers, my friends, and know that Magnum is busy. He receives many visitors, and his position affords him many opportunities to provide new suggestions for the improvement of our people, even if my current circumstances have made it difficult. I wonder if he doesn’t visit me in prison so much because he blames me for making his efforts more difficult, and when I do, I don’t feel quite as defiant. I feel a little ashamed, actually, even if I know I didn’t do it. I made it easy for the Danab to blame me. That is my failing, and I don’t blame Magnum for distancing himself from it.