Isidor S Lesson

[00:09] <@AdEvaGM> [There was a sharp crack as the whip rent the air.-
[00:16] <@AdEvaGM> [The stuffed dummy, held up on its wooden frame, didn't move an inch. Euphrasie stared for a second- and realised that it'd missed.-
[00:17] <@AdEvaGM> ["D-Damnation." She spat, staring down at the whip angrily. "Why won't it -work-?!"-
[00:19] <@AdEvaGM> ["You're misunderstanding the philosophy of the weapon." Said Isidor, 5 metres behind her on a fold-out chair. One leg was crossed over the other. He wore a simple black turtleneck and white trousers; his ever-present cap was perched upon his head.-
[00:19] <@AdEvaGM> ["Am I?" Asked Euphrasie irritably. "That sounds ridiculous, but continue."-
[00:20] <@AdEvaGM> ["Oh, it is ridiculous, but that doesn't stop it from being true." Said Isidor, smirking. "Take the axe for example. It is an unsubtle tool with an unsubtle purpose. It fells trees, and in time felled man as well. You hold it in your hand, you swing, and you swing, and you swing."-
[00:25] <@AdEvaGM> ["A whip is different. A whip's original, truest purpose was to inflict pain, to force compliance on others via suffering." Said Isidor. "A whip tames; it is not tamed. To wield a whip, you have to find some other means of controlling it. More force won't be enough; force makes it swing, but it doesn't make the point go where you want. You have to learn to wield it the way it -wants- to be wielded." He stood up, and walked over. "Here, give it to me again."-
[00:25] <@AdEvaGM> [Euphrasie shot him a dark look, then held it out to him abruptly.-
[00:34] <@AdEvaGM> ["My thanks." Said Isidor with a smile, taking the whip. He ran a hand down its length. "See this? Reinforced chains made of stainless steel- a modern take on an old principle. The Chinese call this a 'Jiujiebian', a nine-section whip. Handling and control are far more important than strength." He took his hand to the barbed point. "A sharp barb, this, made for slashing, naturally- and able to be electrified, of course. See this? There are marks that there was some impurity- stain on the metal that the fire washed away. In that case, the weapon is quite appropriate to you."-
[00:34] <@AdEvaGM> ["Appropriate? Is this another philosophy thing?"-
[00:35] <@AdEvaGM> ["Hah, no. Rather, this weapon, like you, is elegant, flexible, untameable, surprisingly sharp, yet very stunning." He said silkily.-
[00:35] <@AdEvaGM> ["…" She stared at him flatly for a good minute. "Are you done?"-
[00:35] <@AdEvaGM> ["No." He winked. "Much like you, it has been through a baptism of fire- and come out purified."-
[00:36] <@AdEvaGM> ["… I'm not really sure what you mean-" She lunged for the whip.-
[00:36] <@AdEvaGM> [Isidor danced backwards, keeping it just out of reach. "Ah-ah. Down, grasshopper."-
[00:36] <@AdEvaGM> ["Don't call me that! Give me back my whip!"-
[00:37] <@AdEvaGM> ["Patience." He smirked. "I was -almost- right. There is one detail about this whip that doesn't suit you at all."-
[00:37] <@AdEvaGM> [Euphrasie sighed. "Alright, what?"-
[00:38] <@AdEvaGM> [Isidor held up the barbed head. "This has tasted blood." He stared at her, eye-to-eye. "You haven't killed anyone, have you, Euphrasie?"-
[00:38] <@AdEvaGM> ["… Sergeant Beringer, to you. And no, I haven't." Said Euphrasie, matching his gaze.-
[00:39] <@AdEvaGM> ["And why is that? Are you not a soldier?"-
[00:39] <@AdEvaGM> ["I'm a medic." She replied curtly.-
[00:39] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yet you wear a uniform, and you wear a sidearm."-
[00:40] <@AdEvaGM> ["I-I'm a soldier, yes, that's true, but I am also a medic. I wear the uniform so my allies know who I am, and I wear my sidearm to protect myself in battle." She said, wearily. "Do we have to dwell on this?"-
[00:41] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes." He said seriously. "Because I want you to ask yourself again- are you sure you haven't killed anyone?"-
[00:41] <@AdEvaGM> ["I'm -quite- sure."-
[00:42] <@AdEvaGM> ["I see." He uncoiled the whip, and cracked it- the barb left a rent across the dummy's torso. He handed it back to Euphrasie. "It's a wrist action, and understanding the momentum of the chain. Will you let me show you?"-
[00:42] <@AdEvaGM> ["You just did."-
[00:42] <@AdEvaGM> ["Hands-on, I mean."-
[00:42] <@AdEvaGM> [Euphrasie rolled her eyes. "Fine. Go on."-
[00:42] <@AdEvaGM> ["Many thanks." He smirked, and placed the whip in her hand- which he held. His other hand he placed on her waist.-
[00:42] <@AdEvaGM> ["Is that necessary?"-
[00:43] <@AdEvaGM> ["No, but it makes me happy. Now…" He lifted her hand up- and cracked the whip.-
[00:44] <@AdEvaGM> [Twenty minutes passed of whipcracking- slowly, almost imperceptibly, there was improvement.-
[00:44] <@AdEvaGM> ["I have a question." Said Isidor.-
[00:44] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes?"-
[00:44] <@AdEvaGM> ["What do you think of arms dealers? Those who sell weapons illegally to rebels or rogue states."-
[00:45] <@AdEvaGM> ["They're criminals." Said Euphrasie without pause. "They're fuelling war and death and profiting from it."-
[00:45] <@AdEvaGM> ["Ah, what if they're doing it pro bono, so to speak? Providing weapons because they believe in a cause."-
[00:45] <@AdEvaGM> [Euphrasie shrugged. "Then he's merely fuelling war and death."-
[00:45] <@AdEvaGM> ["And the factories in, say, France or America where he gets those weapons from?"-
[00:46] <@AdEvaGM> ["Well, no." Says Euphrasie. "Those weapons are made for proper use. Defense."-
[00:47] <@AdEvaGM> [Isidor chuckled cynically. "Which is why they're used to invade other countries more often than not. Let us be honest, Sergeant Beringer; if all weapons were made and used purely in defense, there wouldn't be any wars, and thus no need to produce weapons for defense, which means by that logic, weapons are being produced because someone somewhere wants someone else dead."-
[00:47] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes, alright." Said Euphrasie, irritated and flustered. "What's your point?"-
[00:49] <@AdEvaGM> ["Simply put, wars need weapons to be fought, and weapons need wars in order to justify their own existence. In essence, every arms factory ever perpetrates the idea of war simply by existing. Ergo, by your own logic, factories are just as guilty of fuelling war as the arms dealer selling to a warlord."-
[00:49] <@AdEvaGM> ["But that isn't fair." Said Euphrasie. "Not every factory produces weapons for an invader!"-
[00:52] <@AdEvaGM> ["No, but they produce weapons. Think of it like this; say you have two states, an aggressive one and a defensive one. If the aggressive state makes 10 guns, the defensive state also makes 10 guns, which in turn requires the offensive state to make another 10. The pattern continues until one side can produce more guns in any one time than the other. Who knows what happens then? The aggressive state will invade the defensive state if it has the superiority; sometimes, a defensive state will invade the aggressive one just to be safe."-
[00:54] <@AdEvaGM> ["Alright, that's an arms race. I get the concept." Said Euphrasie, annoyed. "So what? If every country decided to stop producing guns tomorrow, how can we trust one or two from using that to take the others by surprise?"-
[00:54] <@AdEvaGM> ["Hah. Fair. Humans are always mistrustful of our own kind- and thus, we won't even assume good faith. We instead build guns." Isidor's brow furrowed. "However, I believe, in that example I gave, both sides are wrong for making guns, even the defensive side."-
[00:55] <@AdEvaGM> ["How? If they're doing it out of defense…"-
[00:56] <@AdEvaGM> ["What is more devastating? A war fought between 20 guns versus 10, or 100,000,000 guns versus 50,000,000? The more guns that are made, the more guns are needed to win. And the more guns that are needed, the more damage that will be caused. In essence, a defensive state will preserve their country more by simply not producing weapons and accepting their fate."-
[00:56] <@AdEvaGM> ["And what if that country wants to wipe the people out?" Asked Euphrasie.-
[00:57] <@AdEvaGM> ["Then those people would have died anyway." Said Isidor. "In which case, the only thing won by resistance is the deaths of many, many people on the other side who needn't have died."-
[00:58] <@AdEvaGM> ["But-" Euphrasie frowned. "You're asking people to simply… Surrender. To not fight, to not resist. Doesn't freedom have any worth to you?"-
[01:02] <@AdEvaGM> ["Of course. Freedom is important to me. But I believe a firm code of ethics is also important. For example, if a person believes that everyone has the right to live, then ultimately they should prefer to die than to kill. Freedom is definitely important, but to me, I would rather die a man whose ethics remained unbroken than a man who broke his rules against killing simply because someone was invading his country."-
[01:02] <@AdEvaGM> ["And if one's ethics allow for killing?"-
[01:03] <@AdEvaGM> ["Then they are not ethics." Said Isidor. "Ethics and freedom are inextricably tied, and the base to -both- is thus: 'A person is not to be harmed'. That is where the line of freedom is ultimately drawn, and that is where ethics is born." Said Isidor. "Everything else is just decoration."-
[01:03] <@AdEvaGM> ["You've had a lot of time to think this through."-
[01:04] <@AdEvaGM> ["I've had a lot of time to think." Said Isidor quietly. "But do you see what I'm saying?"-
[01:04] <@AdEvaGM> ["… I guess. What if it's a person's code of ethics to protect their loved ones, no matter what?"-
[01:05] <@AdEvaGM> ["In that case, killing someone else is justifiable, only if by doing so they can deliver their loved ones to safety. If they know it is fruitless, then surrender or death is preferable."-
[01:05] <@AdEvaGM> [Euphrasie frowned. "I'm not sure it's ethical to ask someone to stand by and let their loved ones die."-
[01:06] <@AdEvaGM> ["It's not ethical to kill another's loved one, either. And nearly everyone is loved." Said Isidor, smiling.-
[01:06] <@AdEvaGM> ["So simply put, what you're saying is that death is wrong."-
[01:06] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes. And that it is -objectively- wrong, which means, simply put, that any act that encourages death is inherently wrong, even if it is to encourage the death of an enemy." Said Isidor.-
[01:07] <@AdEvaGM> ["And what about you? You're a soldier."-
[01:07] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes. I'm an evil man. The world is generally run on evil."-
[01:07] <@AdEvaGM> ["That's a very cynical view."-
[01:08] <@AdEvaGM> ["Oh, I don't know. Personally, I believe it's optimistic. A world run on evil means that our problems stem -from- evil, not from the universe itself. Better to be corrupt in a neutral universe than to be neutral in a corrupt universe. At least you can change something in the first."-
[01:08] <@AdEvaGM> ["…" Euphrasie stared at him. "Where is all this going, anyway?"-
[01:10] <@AdEvaGM> ["Where am I going? Well, back to those factories. What would happen if all the existing factories stopped working?"-
[01:10] <@AdEvaGM> [Euphrasie shrugged. "New ones would be built."-
[01:10] <@AdEvaGM> ["Mmmhm. Now if those two countries- aggressive, defensive- had no guns, and all of their factories stopped, how many guns would be produced until the new factories started?"-
[01:10] <@AdEvaGM> ["… None?"-
[01:12] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes. Exactly. And until those new factories are started, -there is no possibility of a war being fought-. And that's exactly the point. The impetus to start wars all comes down to a weapon, used either to attack or to defend. Remove weapons, and dangerous people become harmless, threatened people become safe. The offensive country cannot wage war, and the defensive country has no reason to produce weapons."-
[01:12] <@AdEvaGM> ["And what happens when those factories start up?"-
[01:12] <@AdEvaGM> ["Weapons are produced, which leads directly to war, which in turn means that factories are a direct cause of war."-
[01:13] <@AdEvaGM> ["But- but it's not just factories. Weapons- to make weapons, there needs to be people who want to use them. At some point there had to be a situation where you had no people with no weapons…"-
[01:13] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes, and until those weapons were made, they had to do boring things like diplomacy or mutual trust."-
[01:13] <@AdEvaGM> ["But- people -want- weapons."-
[01:14] <@AdEvaGM> ["Ah, so you're saying that people are the cause of war?"-
[01:14] <@AdEvaGM> ["I-yes." Muttered Euphrasie.-
[01:14] <@AdEvaGM> ["So the fact that you, a medic, are dedicated to healing people, fighting in wars- does that not mean that you are part of the problem, not the solution?"-
[01:14] <@AdEvaGM> ["…" Euphrasie stared at him.-
[01:14] <@AdEvaGM> ["what was that? I couldn't hear your answer."-
[01:15] <@AdEvaGM> ["I…" She frowned, looking away. "No, it's- it's not true. It's different."-
[01:15] <@AdEvaGM> ["How?"-
[01:15] <@AdEvaGM> ["I don't know how! It just is!"-
[01:15] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes, it is." Said Isidor. "But that won't help you unless you prove it!"-
[01:15] <@AdEvaGM> ["You know the answer. Why won't you tell me?"-
[01:15] <@AdEvaGM> ["It's not my place to control how you think. Only my place to guide you to the truth."-
[01:16] <@AdEvaGM> ["I…" She frowned, thinking.-
[01:16] <@AdEvaGM> ["Are you aware of a man named Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyud?" Asked Isidor casually.-
[01:16] <@AdEvaGM> ["What?" Asked Euphrasie, wrong-footed.-
[01:17] <@AdEvaGM> ["Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyud, known in the west as Saladin, was a Muslim general who-"-
[01:17] <@AdEvaGM> ["Yes, alright, I know who -Saladin- is." Said Euphrasie, flustered once more.-
[01:18] <@AdEvaGM> ["He was considered to be a noble man. He invaded countries, killed people in wars, started them and slew- but his people and his enemies both saw him as 'noble'. Why?"-
[01:18] <@AdEvaGM> ["Because…" Euphrasie frowned. "He was a knight. Chivalrous. He spared people-"-
[01:19] <@AdEvaGM> ["-Yes-." Said Isidor. "He was a warrior who spared people. That's what makes a knight a knight; it's what makes a man noble. To have a person in their mercy and to let them live. That trait is enough to make bitter enemies who hate your culture, your religion, everything about you, declare you -noble-. Why?"-
[01:19] <@AdEvaGM> ["Because it's… An honest gesture. It's a good gesture." Said Euphrasie dubiously.-
[01:21] <@AdEvaGM> ["Exactly. Just as killing is objectively wrong, sparing lives is objectively -right-. Whether you are killing a serial killer or sparing him, it is not who you kill, but the act of killing that is wrong; by the same nature, it is not the act of saving a serial killer that is right, it is the act of -saving-. Life is precious." Said Isidor. "Now. Why is being a medic -different-?"-
[01:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["…" Euphrasie stared at him. "Because I haven't done anything wrong. I've only saved lives, not taken them. It doesn't matter who I save, so long as I save them."-
[01:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["And thus did man discover mercy and love, the traits of salvation." Said Isidor.-
[01:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["…" Euphrasie stared at him, silently, a thoughtful expression in her eyes.-
[01:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["Euphrasie?"-
[01:22] <@AdEvaGM> ["Y… Yes?"-
[01:23] <@AdEvaGM> ["I don't want you to kill with this weapon. I want you to remove that barb. It can stun. That is enough. Otherwise, you will only sully your pure, angelic soul."-
[01:23] <@AdEvaGM> ["…" Euphrasie frowned at him, and looked away- but secretly, her expression softened.-
[01:23] <@AdEvaGM> ["I'll think about it." She said.-
[01:23] <@AdEvaGM> ["Good. All I ask is that you think." Said Isidor. "Now! Let us get back to training…"]

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