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It was more dangerous because its range was not mere physical distance. In traditional combat, it was often the weapons with the greatest range that won the day. Shorter ranged weapons had to either close the distance quickly to strike, or have enough endurance to survive repeated blows. But today this was something that could cross continents within seconds, all without any formal declarations of war, of hostilities, or declarations of anything at all.

But this went beyond speed and distance. It had a range that could reach across centuries. When first fired long ago, even if they did not strike many targets then, they continue to have the potential to strike many targets today, at times setting off a chain reaction, resulting in a new round of volleys flying into the field.

Given enough usage, it was something that would never again be extinguished, perhaps only mitigated. Often it served as a launching pad for new armies, each taking what parts they wanted, and inventing new versions to suit their needs. Other times the previous volleys were fully replicated in their targets, and faithfully fired again into the battlefield.

Wherever the volleys landed, they had the potential to radiate out again in unpredictable directions, and if the ordinance was crafted carefully enough, each volley had the potential to tear the old world asunder and remake it in a new image. It is impossible to know how long ago the first volleys were fired, how many times they have hopped through time despite seemingly generations of peace, how many times they have been refined in order to make their effect more potent and more dangerous, and how much of our world today owes its origins to those who started the chain of explosions thousands of years ago.

Each of us brings these weapons with us today, often unintentionally picking them up from the most unlikely of sources. In such encounters, even in the absence of conscious conflict, ancient weapons are reforged and remade, sometimes in transformational ways, sometimes in ways barely noticeable, but even the soldiers leaving the peaceful battlefields radiate away with new arsenals to their next battle. And perhaps some of their weapons will return again one day, this time carried by new soldiers.

We may never really know how these volleys travelled through time and space. Perhaps it would be mesmerizing to follow their path, but perhaps that would be a distraction from the very real problems such conflicts and encounters were meant to resolve.

What is it that moves a soldier away from his home and into the world? Perhaps his home was destroyed by an explosion. Perhaps the soldier carries with him an injury he needs to heal. And along that path away from his childhood, what more has he picked up along the way? And what childhood weapons has he abandoned after deciding they were mere toys? The soldier arrives here today, carrying a lifetime of weapons and injuries. The soldier sits among us sharing the war stories of a distant past, and perhaps the soldier will leave, continuing to search for a peace yet to be found.

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