A mirror reveals the truth.
But what happens when that mirror shatters?
That’s the tragedy of Arcadia, isn’t it?
But it’s also the tragedy of John Willis.
I remember the song and dance of Zeus’ Flying Circus. I remember Willis himself, a mirror catching the radiant fascination of the crowd. He reflected the joy, the hope, the undiluted wonderment of a world enthralled by the curiosity of the circus.
Until he fell, until he fragmented into countless shards, each piece distorting once pristine reflection into grotesque caricature. He was no longer a man but shattered glass shards, each reflecting his descent into insanity.
Each shard, each fragment of the once charming acrobat reaches out from the abyss, desperately reflecting twisted versions of the man Willis once was.
One shard sings of his former glory, another screams of his bloodstained present; the shards of Haywire’s mirror no longer harmonize, but dissonantly screech a tale of madness birthed from an ill-fated plunge.
Yet, within the cacophony of this broken reflection, I see not just a man lost in the maze of his madness. I see the twisted landscape of Arcadia.
A society that lauds spectacles but rejects the grim realities they mask, willingly mirroring the colorful clown, yet shirking from the fallen angel.
Arcadia looked into the mirror of Willis, saw the grotesque reflection of Haywire, and recoiled in horror, unable to recognize its own hideous reflection.
The murder spree, the lifeless children, the chaos—it wasn’t just Haywire’s reflection it saw, it was Arcadia’s. But the broken pieces of Haywire, much like the broken system that created him, cannot be swept under the rug, cannot be ignored.
So I won’t.
I am no mirror.
I am not a reflection of Arcadia’s pulsing circus or its deathly quiet. Nor its sinful indulgences or hollow rectitude.
I am C.J. goddamned Thorpe, the living, breathing testament of Arcadia’s failed system, a beacon of hope and resilience in a gloomy world.
I am more than a distorted reflection, more than a parable of insanity or a spectacle of deflated glory.
I see Haywire’s broken shards, his distorted reflection, and I do not shy away. I do not gawk at it. I do not feed on it. Instead, I learn.
Unlike Haywire, I don’t let Arcadia shatter me. I don’t let the twisted reflection take over.
I don’t let my fall define me.
Haywire couldn’t escape his distorted reflection, couldn’t see beyond the broken shards of his life.
But I can.
I see through the macabre carnival of Arcadia, through the distorted mirror of society.
I see the chains they wish to enslave us with.
Haywire might be a distorted reflection of a broken man, Arcadia the reflection of a fallen idol. But I am not.
I am more.
I am a promise of growth amidst decay, hope amidst despair, and rebellion amidst submission.
Because where they fall, I rise.
Where they falter, I endure.
Where they shatter, I remain unbroken.
I am no distorted reflection. I am what they lost when they shattered. I’m what the Pantheon and Haywire fear more than anything.
The goddamned truth.