The conquerors had won easily; they'd taken a city that had rid itself of its gods.
Nobody among the insurgents of the time can remember anymore today what exactly it was that happened at the beginning. As a response, some people tell a some kind of legend, but most just say "everybody is a beginning."
It began in the heart of the metropolises of yesteryear. There, there reigned a sort of frozen agitation, with breaking points where everyone rushed around, preferably on board little metal boxes called "automobiles."
And so it started like that, with a few gatherings without object, silent gatherings of masks on the margins of the general rushing madness.
There was a great idleness among these little groups of masked men all together, playing chess [playing at defeat] and other, more enigmatic games, who carried obscure messages on immobile banners, who distributed petrifying texts without a word; but it was an idleness that was full, inhabited, disturbing, but discreet.
The first of these gatherings had to come about one day. But they proliferated so quickly that their memory was drowned in their numbers. It is claimed that it took place first in Lutèce [formerly known as Paris], one carnival day. And since then the carnival has never ended.
First they sent out the police. But they had to give up pretty quickly; as soon as one of these strange aggregations would disperse, another would form elsewhere. It seemed that they even multiplied with every arrest. It was as if these men had been imperceptibly won over, contaminated, by silence and by the game, by anonymity and idleness.
It was Spring, and there were so many of these gatherings that they started circulating, wandering from place to place, from street to street, from corner to corner. There was a great joy, relaxedness and a curious determination in these wandering processions. A secret convergence seemed to guide them, even. When evening would come, they would amass in silence before the places of power: newspaper headquarters, government buildings, mutinationals, media empires, banks, ministries, police stations, prisons - soon nothing was left out of this quiet encirclement.
A great threat at the same time as a great derision was felt from these mute masked crowds with their gazes fixed on the entrenched conquerors.
And they were not wrong to feel it, because soon it came out that it was the conspiracy of a certain Invisible Committee. There was even talk of a major danger to civilization, democracy, order, and the economy. But in their castles, the conquerors were scared. They felt more and more alone with all their victory. A world that even yesterday had appeared to them as entirely their own, was incomprehensibly escaping their grip, piece by piece.
And so they ended up opening the doors of their castles, thinking that they might appease the unexplainable jacquerie by showing that they had nothing to hide.
But no one entered, except inadvertently,
because the masks emanated a power that was more desirable than the old one.
The conquerors themselves, for their part, must have all suddenly gotten rather world-weary... because no one knows what's become of them.