During the Anarchy and the splintering of the Old Empire, the rugged and reliable Westchester repeaters had been the weapons of choice for many of the combatants in the bitter internecine combat that had followed. Easily repaired and operable with low-pressure handloaded rounds or high-pressure military grade cartridges, a Westchester was often one’s best bet to remain armed as supply chains and distribution networks collapsed. Through guile, adroit manipulation, and outright force, the Westchester plants were able to remain open; accepting payment only in precious metal or barter, profits were staggering.

Inspired by an old legend of a long-demolished edifice, the heir of the Westchester Repeating Arms company commissioned a mansion designed to protect him from the vengeful specters of those killed by his family’s guns. He had it built on a vein of wild magic near the primary Westchester factory in New Attica and employed every type of shaman, conjurer, hedge knacker, and cantrip-spinner to enchant it. None can say if he succeeded; he was killed by a falling beam three days after moving in, and the company was dispersed among shareholders.

But it remains a tourist attraction to this day thanks to the many oddities its location and enchantments conferred. And none is so popular among visitors as the Timearrow Window.

Due to its location and the way the light hits it, the Window is more like a mirror than anything, and everything reflected therein is cast through a curious filter of time reversal. People appear younger (or absent), technology is replaced with an earlier equivalent, writing replaced with earlier drafts or editions. The New Attica Marshals are known to occasionally use the Window to check to see whether documents or evidence have been tampered with, and tourists generally react with glee to seeing their younger selves in the glass.

One bright April morning, a student from the New Attica Athenaeum visited the Westchester House and the Timearrow Window. She carried with her a copy of New Attica Order Number One, as all students were all but required to do. It was New Attica’s founding document, issued by General Rynearson during the initial stages of the Anarchy, laying out the Attican government of “military-guided democracy” in response to the wholesale slaughter of the Southrons that the populace had engaged in. It cast the government, which had now lasted over 100 years, as an unfortunate and temporary necessity in the face of the Old Empire’s inability to protect the Southrons against the depredations of an angry and xenophobic populace.

The student opened her copy of Order Number One into the Window on a lark and took a photograph of it with her cell phone. Much later, she mirrored the text on her computer, and to her surprise saw an earlier version of the Order–perhaps the original version–mirrored therein.

Instruct your units to continue the execution of Southrons. Do so in civilian garb using non-military weapons. The seizure of power cannot proceed until they are all but eliminated; this will destroy them as a source of possible opposition while allowing us to cast ourselves as protectors rather than usurpers. Don’t fail me in this or I’ll have you up against a wall along with them.

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