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New Moon over Gansu, 2029

Ning was watching his sister, Man-yi dance in her lilting steps among the fireflies, spread like stars over the autumnally dry fields. Her youth was still untouched by the rising conflict. She was young enough to be able to play at being a soldier without the danger of real conscription. The wounded arm still pained him, but in the deep still of the rural night, he was able to forget the horrors behind the gash. He knew how lucky he was. Childhood friends had fallen left and right around him- even though the campaign was undeniably successful, the unit from his village seemed to be under a curse.
The urban rebellion was out of control, and the people of the land, the real Chinese people were taking back what the cities had stolen. Mao had always warned that these undisciplined men, so isolated from true labour would cause trouble. The urban had done so much to drive progress back, to institute feudal society once again, but the mandate of heaven would not allow the greedy to starve the workers any more.
The things from the city were so alien, so unnecessary. The building stretched to the sky, blotting out the stars, the billion voices strong, crying for equal attention. The hundred moons of street lights and neon signs vomited excess, decay, and filth through those cities. But the people's army had marched, the moons had emptied themselves over the last two weeks, and there was the beginning of quiet, society was established again, no dominion was granted for those who sought to expoit.
The rifle was still the weapon of the people. Power still issued from the barrel of the gun, but there was talk of a complete nuclear obliteration of the seemingly inconvertable areas like Hong Kong. The ares which had been too long under the control of barbaric foreigners would need a complete wipe. And more gain for the people because of this- no need to support those who did not support themselves, and the fields would seem to triple in abundance for this alleviated burden.
In the sky, among the pure white lights of heaven, a strange red glow drew Ning's attention. A character flashed in the depths of the void- "天." Ning gaped in awe. Heaven was speaking. Heaven was saying its name. He cried out- "look, Man-yi- do you know what that says?" Another character flashed, and another. The village was stirring behind him, someone cried, "write it down! write it down!"

This is what it said:

In the square of Heaven's Mandate, Tiananmen, forty years ago, we stood and declared that we would not be starved. We would not be oppressed. We would not be beaten. We stood, having devoured with our eyes the food which freedom had given us, and we demanded that we be fed the wholesome things that the rest of the world had been given. We demanded that heaven provide a new way, a path for all people to enrich themselves. But we were beaten. Our voices could not carry our message even as far as the ears of the soldiers. But the ideas lived on within us, and they would not remain quiet. They would not allow us to forget. And now our voices reach all the way across China, over mountains, through valleys, for all to hear, for all to decide. We have lived our lives for this moment of freedom. We have died for it. Many shall die again. But the word is being given, that the people desire freedom, and it is written on Heaven.

The story continued, but Ning could not bring himself to watch it unfold. The voices in the village began arguing, one man tried to take away the pen from the man writing it, another stopped him, the argument was rising into outright violence. What was it that he was fighting for, what any of them were fighting for? The hunger the village had suffered in the drought, would it have been alleviated by a hundred million men, women, boys, and girls lying dead in the streets of the cities? Or just by a simple freedom granted to the village to take the food they produced to use as they needed?
The story was from the city, and had the same alien feel of the city. Looking back up, he saw this time that the letters were emblazoned in blood red, not upon the blackness of sky, but on the hollow space of the new moon. It was the same red that had been used by the riflemen to paint the targets, a laser red. He wanted to know the story, but he had so startled by having first thought that heaven was speaking that knowing that it was the trick of the enemy made him want to shut his eyes. He pinched his scabrous wound to remind himself of the evils that they had done, of the battles he had already won.
But another battle field was unfolding within his own heart. And among the fireflies of the field and sky, shining with an energy all her own, Man-yi danced off kilter and shouted the few characters she knew as they appeared.
"PEOPLE! TODAY! FREEDOM!"