Bryan was picking up an odd cynical tone from Josh, one that surprised him given the heroic stories he had heard of the legendary Phoenix throughout history.
“Is there a problem?” Josh asked, catching Bryan staring at him from the corner of his eye.
Bryan immediately looked down. “No it’s just…since I was a kid I had heard stories about you and, well meeting is just a bit different that’s all.”
“You sound disappointed.”
“I’m not, I’m just…..” Said Bryan and he dropped his head.
Josh sighed, “Do you wanna know why I like coming to these performances?”
Bryan remained silent and looked ahead at the actors on the stage.
“Because when you’ve been around for as long as I have, there’s very little that can impress you. I’ve seen our planet when it flourishing paradise more advanced than Arcadia itself. There was peace and the entire world was connected, we shared our cultures and the strong helped weak. Then I witnessed it changed from rich civilized union to a barren wasteland with each person out only for themselves. It’s a world I’ve spent centuries trying to save and fought to turn my father’s version for a new world into a reality. I’ve been through everything, and I’ve lost everything. And after centuries of trying to save this world, the thing I realized is that life is nothing more than a constant cycle of repeating stories. There’s always a new threat over the horizon or a new civilization is peril. There’s always a new king who declares himself God and a new band of ignorant fools ready to follow him. No matter how many lives are lost and how many sacrifices are made, they’ll always be a more to come.”
Josh then turned straight toward Bryan, staring him straight in the eyes. “Humanity doesn’t learn from its mistakes, people are too arrogant to even listen to the wisdom of the past. Yet the only one who has to suffer from this is me, the so called hero of Arcadia. I am the only one stuck in this constant routine of humanity’s arrogance. People come in, destroy this world even more, then leave while I’m stuck cleaning up the mess. Not even the great Arcadia’s hands are clean in this.”
“And what does this have to do with the play?” Bryan asked.
Josh then turned back toward the stage to watch as the actors began their performance. “Because it’s the one thing that’s new, and a way of inspiration that no one’s to try before. Granted we’ve had art before the world fell but it remained lost for centuries. No one even cared to find it. Until Michelle that is, she saw the impact it had and knew that if anything can change this world, it’s art. Of course I can’t say that for sure, but at least it’s something, and more than I can say for anyone else.”