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Part of USS Edinburgh: Mission 3 – Take These Broken Wings

The Great and the Terrible

Nagasaki, Japan - Hypocenter Park
July 15, 2400 @ 1000 hours
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They stood in the space, observing the maintained memories.  Okada had come to this place each year as a child, then a teenager, and then a young adult.  Each moment to remember a time long ago.  Each time she stood in the space, she found something new to think about or to focus on.  Today, Sadie Fowler stood with her, reading the history from a PADD. 

“455 years ago,” Fowler wondered as she searched the grounds around her, “It’s hard to understand the wars of Old Earth sometimes….but then I look at the things we’ve seen…and the horrors we’ve tried to stop.”  She shook her head, “What are we to think of them?”  Okada turned to her and she explained, “What are we to think of the people who did this?  That…made this site needed.”

Okada thought for a moment, “Had we been alive in those days…what would we have done?”  She slipped the PADD from her friend’s hand and handed it back with a profile, “Mutsuhiro Katsumi.  He was an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army…and in charge of several internment camps.  He was a brutal man by all accounts.”  Okada shook her head, “He was unrepentant.  He hid from prosecution until the charges were dropped…then he returned and became a mildly successful insurance salesman.”  She chuckled, “Of all the things for him to do for the rest of his life – selling insurance for life and property.”

Fowler looked at her friend, “I’m sorry.”

Katsumi grumbled, “So is the rest of the family.  My point is that his children would learn of his atrocities when he died…and they began to search for ways to repent for the acts of one monster in the family tree.  They couldn’t change the horrors he had done…and they couldn’t make it better by revisiting his crimes.  They took our family name and worked to balance out the awful with some good.”  She walked to the center of the memorial, “I’ve studied this time period.  Listened to the recordings…watched the videos.”  She turned to Fowler, “It was a terrible time for my people…for the world.  You hear the stories…you can feel the hurt, the anguish…the pain.”  She caught her emotions before continuing, “And yet…over the next fifty years they shook loose from the  Imperial dogma that had directed them for so long…they began to innovate…to create.” Okada mused, “From such terrible times came something great – the technological wonders that pushed up and into the skies and beyond came from this place…and so many around it.”

Sadie stood beside her friend, “Something for you to consider maybe?  Don’t abandon the dream in the face of the terrible…when something great awaits just beyond?

Okada stared at the memorial and turned around, taking in the various statues, “It’s possible.  I haven’t made up my mind…we still have the rest of the month. Lots of memories still to remember…and lots of thinking still to do.”  They walked through the rest of the park as the afternoon sun passed into evening.