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Living the revolution

Chapter Text

The Second Three Day Strike in Bershort began with the cleaners again. It briefly appeared that it would become a general strike, but swift and well-informed enforcement targetted at the leaders of the strike contained the unrest and restored order.

Laia Asieo Odo and Ketel Evad Boro were among those arrested in the last stand in the old square. Boro pleaded guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence to the offence of revolutional mind, and was jailed for five years, dying of jail fever within two. A customary reverence for the misled soul was held by her former colleagues, with personal readings only from her academic work. Collections of her revolutionary writings remain incomplete, as much is believed to have been destroyed with the Bershort Shared House.

Odo refused to enter a plea or mount a defence. Kieda Ettad issued a statement from underground Movement publishing presses praising her silence as the only correct response to the rotten stench of archism that pervaded the legal system from top to bottom. Taviri Odo Asieo gave a widely circulated speech on Odo's ethics of possession, referring to it as "Odonian", a term adopted by many followers for the Movement as a whole within the year. Odo's later writings commented on neither action, although her Prison Letters carry an emphasis on the dangers of leader-worship among revolutionaries that is lacking in earlier writings.

~*~*~*

In the end it was not Taviri who gave his beloved to the revolution, but Laia who gave hers. Laia was awaiting trial in the north at the time of the Capitol Uprising and it was weeks more before she heard of the four thousand bodies in the quicklime, Taviri and Ettad among them.

The sun rose in the morning, and she found out about even that on their schedule. Grey light and yellow for hours, then the patch of sun on the wall, then gone. She had lost track of the days, dammit, she'd lost track of the days. But did that matter? They sent someone important to tell her he'd died, she guessed. She guessed this smirking man in an ill-fitting prison guard uniform was someone important to them, and she guessed he was happy that Taviri was dead. She guessed he hadn't killed him though, or he would have said, because he would have been happy about that and he didn't seem the type to not share his happiness around.

He made her sick, sick as she sat there and pretended she didn't hear what he said, sick as the real guard spat at her — stupid long-hair slut — sick because no one was happy and no one was human, not her and not them. Sister, they called her, laughing, and it was a mockery. And all she could think of was cancer, the sick cell with the bloated nucleus, taking and taking until the body was killed, and dying with it. Within a week, scribbling in a tiny hand on the paper allotted to her, she had finished the introduction to The Analogy, with its elaborate and provocative images of archism as a systemic disease.

She understood better why Ettad had wanted something else for her: if she had known what it was to lose them, indeed she might have chosen Taviri or Boro or him or their many friends lost in the uprisings that decade over The Analogy and perhaps all that it brought about too. But there was no such choice on offer to her and there never had been, not in her revolution and not in anyone else's. No one had chosen to leave her to her work, so she chose to keep doing it.

~*~*~*

Nine years later Laia Asieo Odo walked free from jail with her head held high, The Analogy already in wide circulation. Shortly thereafter she edited the lengthy volume The Revolutionary Household, primarily composed of writing from the scattered surviving Bershort revolutionaries describing the Shared House model, and extensions and analogies from it to urban and regional collective organising. The Shared House model was later referred to as the Odonian House model in central A-Io due to its association with her and the Movement. In this and other cases, the extent to which Odo sought, or did not sufficiently rupidiate, credit for work that originated with other individuals and collectives, remains in dispute.