Lans Heltopicans

An excerpt from the fictional tales of Heltopica.

The land of Heltopica is a grand nation in both size and importance. Many look to Heltopica as a land of wonder and achievement. Yet below its gilded surface, lies a not so pleasant facet.

Heltopica is populated by many peoples from varied lands — the Lans are one such group. The ancestors of modern-day Lans were abducted from their homes hundreds of miles across a vast ocean with no hope of return. The kidnappers forced Lans to labor and breed as they did animals of the day. This systematic enslavement occurred for over a century in the land of Heltopica.

The institution of servitude was inscribed into the governance of Heltopica. It became a major source of domestic wealth and a foundation for international trade. Of course, not every inhabitant of Heltopica supported this practice of brutal bondage. And many more residents were oblivious to the barbarism, going about their daily lives unaware of their society’s sordid nature.

Eventually, the idea of enslaving Lans became so distasteful to some, that they demanded an end to the practice. This sentiment grew until an army forced liberation by way of bullet and blood. But of course, how can a people treated as beasts-of-burden integrate into a society that previously held them as chattel? For another century, laws were enacted to ensure Lans understood their substandard place in society.

But even after this era passed, and Lans were declared equal under the law, they were not treated as such by the society that continued to ghettoize them. Economic segregation, lack of educational opportunity, prejudicial treatment, and the selective enforcement of law, ensured that Lans knew they were not welcome as equal members of society.

And yet through all this, Lans remained remarkably patient and forgiving of the nation that enslaved their ancestors and continued the cruelty throughout the centuries. By ignorance or prejudice, the people of Heltopica regularly turn a blind eye to the plight of the Lans. Even when outright targeted and abused, and their cries go unanswered, Lans are denigrated if they dare show any sign of frustration.

The exploitation and subsequent abandonment by society would destroy the spirit of any subjected to such horrors. Yet Lans persist as any persecuted group does in the face of such unending oppression. Knocked down, airways blocked, struggling to survive — yet as they flail and scrape and bite, they are the ones portrayed as savage.

Harassed and provoked, their frustration and unfettered reaction amidst the injustice manifests. The people of Heltopica look on not with sympathy, but contempt. How dare Lans not show unyeilding gratitude for the pittance they’ve been given. Yet in this nation of Heltopica, in this prosperous land, who is it inflicting misery upon the weak, who is it fuming with unwarranted anger, who is it lacking compassion for a people in pain, who is it that makes no amends for wrongs so wicked?

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