Miyo settled into a chair, pen in one hand, cup of tea in the other, and in front of her, a textbook Youko had loaned her. Taking a sip from her cup, she began to read.
For each passage, choose the answer correct answer. Note that there may be more than one correct answer. In these instances, choose the answer that is the most correct.
Earlier this year, Seiji Ikari proposed the law G-528, also known as the “Surface Law” which would restrict not only land travel, but also approaching of the water surface to certain times of the year. Outside of these designated dates, a permit process would be required for all Sirens, even those serving in the Siren militia.
Much of the current conversation and debate has centered around the law itself, however, these meetings have not been productive due to opposing sides not seeing eye to eye. This paper intends to give context on the history and contemporary events that have led up to the proposal of the Surface Law to help citizens and government officials better understand the different perspectives and make more informed decisions regarding the future of Siren way of life.
Question 1: From the above passage, the following can be assumed:
A) The Surface Law has caused conflict among different groups due to their resistance to change.
B) The Surface Law is essential in maintaining the Siren way of life.
(Correct answer: Both A and B, with B most correct)
Before discussing the incident that directly preceded the proposal of the Surface Law, we will first give context on the Siren militia.
As of the first moon of this year, over 35% of adult Sirens currently serve in a family’s Siren militia, with roughly 55% having served at least 2 years in their lifetime. Nearly all Siren families have their own Siren militia, with the exceptions being the Sirens in the Southern quadrant, who have secluded themselves from the rest of the world.
While every family is slightly different, the typical responsibilities include the following:
– Siren protection (including but not limited to wild creatures such as Cereberus sharks and crystal water dragons)
– Storm protection and emergency operations
– Search and rescue
– Environmental protection
– Peace enforcement
Question 2: The Siren militia was established to …
A) Provide employment for those Sirens who have exhibited violent tendencies
B) Separate perfectly capable Sirens from their families to protect those who can protect themselves
(Correct answer: A)
As a concept, the Siren militia existed among Siren families since the beginning of time. Many families have developed elaborate training and initiation ceremonies. Today, there continue to be wide-ranging differences regarding service in Siren militia. Some families train their warriors from childhood; other families have instituted a mandatory service time of 2 years when all Sirens reach the age of adulthood.
Over time, however, families began to view their Siren militia groups as a way of showing the family’s strength and power. This led to several clashes in the fifth year of the flooded moon. The first conflict occurred between the Kawanouchi and Umino families in the Western quadrant. What had begun as a normal fishing excursion ended with numerous casualties on both sides and rising tension among all of the Siren families.
Question 3: Which Siren family has shown the most logical perspective regarding Siren militia service?
A) Kawanouchi family, for introducing their children to brutal training at the age of 4
B) Umino family, for brainwashing their new adults at the time they should be enjoying life
C) Ikari family, for abolishing mandatory Siren militia service and respecting the Siren way of life
(Correct answer: All of the above, with C most correct)
During that same year, the Southeast quadrant was hit by the Y-1 epidemic. The Ko family was hit the hardest and began asking the humans of the nearby Mist Island for help. Some families denounced the Ko family for betraying their fellow Sirens; others suspected that the Ko family was secretly building relationships with the humans. Counter arguments pointed out that no other Siren families had offered help to the Ko family, despite their numerous pleas over the course of the year.
The Siren government was silent on the matter which led to other families to also begin making ties with humans. For example, the Tomosaki family began undergoing fishing excursions with humans. It was during these excursions that the first prototypes of human magi-tech were developed.
However, this only deepened the suspicion and tension that had begun to weave itself among the Sirens. Factions began to form among the families, drawing lines between those who agreed with human relations and those who didn’t.
Question 4: Which offense did the Ko family commit in reaching out to the humans of Mist Island?
A) Weakness in exposing themselves to the unclean humans
B) Distrust in fellow Sirens by not waiting for assistance
(Correct answer: A)
A century ago, on the first night of the Red Moon Vigil, a human ferry set off in from Red Island to stop along the different islands within Silver Road. Conflicting accounts continue to this day, but when dawn rose, the ferry was found sunk off the coast of Red Island, with 5 humans and 3 Sirens dead.
War was declared on both sides. Fighting went on for 7 years, bringing devastation to the oceans and the islands, especially in the Southern quadrant. Ironically, what ended the war was the combined effort of both Sirens and humans to stop a group of rogue humans from using the Wind Cannon to “purge the world of all evil” and destroy all life.
As there are dozens of publications recounting this effort, we will not be going into those events in detail. Instead, we would like to note the Siren militia’s work to stop a similar threat during that same time. During the latter stages of the war, a group of Sirens from the Dragon Head Society of the University took over the campus in an effort to invoke the spirit of Death Ridge.
This group believed that all of the catastrophes that had befallen the Sirens throughout history was due to Sirens straying from the old ways. Citing the teachings from Death Ridge, their goal was to “forcefully return Sirens to their original state.” Thus on the night of the Last Wails, they began the invocation ritual for the spirit of Death Ridge. It brought poisonous black seas and sea quakes throughout the quadrants, causing hundreds of Sirens to lose their homes. However, before the ritual could be completed, the Siren militia infiltrated the University and stopped the invocation, just as the Wind Cannon was dismantled on Mirror Island.
Question 5: According to the teachings of Death Ridge, what would have occurred had the invocation ritual been completed?
A) Humans returned to the Concealed Island
B) Siren existence removed from human memories
C) Sirens returned to their former glory and power
(Correct answer: C)
After the war, dead zones and materials that suppressed Siren magic were discovered, leading to certain areas to be made off-limits. For example the Crystal Trench, home to most Crystal dragons, was marked as restricted due to the presence of dead zones in the area, encountered by a fishing group that had barely escaped from an attack from a Crystal dragon.
In light of this, the Tomosaki family and the humans of Crescent Island have been studying the dead zones and developing techniques to be used by Siren militia in those conditions. For example, Teru Maeda has been credited for blending human grappling arts with Siren militia techniques to allow Siren militia to still be effective while in dead zones. Additionally, Sirens in the Northern quadrant and humans from Crystal Island have been researching ways ways to detect dead zones from a distance.
Though research has been inconclusive as to what has caused the dead zones, the Ikari-Goto Foundation released a study pointing to human presence as having eroded the magic in Siren spaces. This has led to the rise of separatist groups, with the most vocal led by Seiji Ikari and other academics from the University.
Question 6: Which projects would best benefit the Siren community at large?
A) Construction of undersea shelters away from the human islands
B) Counter-suppression devices
C) Anti-human shielding
(Correct answer: All of the above, with A the most correct)
This brings us to the events of earlier this year, where a major demonstration was scheduled against the construction of an undersea shelter at White Pearl Plain off of Crescent Island. Separatist groups also appeared and with the rising tensions, the Siren military of Crescent Island was called to intervene.
Though the official investigation is still ongoing into what triggered the landslide that trapped the mother and child, Seiji Ikari has blamed the Siren militia and their “perpetuation of unnecessary human relations” as the cause for the incident.
In any case, at the end of this moon there will be a vote on the Surface Law. Regardless of the outcome, it will have great effects on the future of Sirens, humans, and the world they both inhabit.
Question 7: According to eye-witness accounts, what caused the landslide?
A) Siren militia’s arrogant use of human-sourced weapons
B) Demonstrators agitating the separatist group
(Correct answer: A)
(This article was originally published in Sirens Call, Issue #62 and was adapted for this textbook by the Ikari-Goto Foundation.)