"The War is forever." That is the answer the Masters and Chiefs, and even most veterans, give to the question all children ask. That question is "How much longer is The War going to last?"
Little is known of what occurred before The War. Few records from that time have survived. The War has destroyed the existence that our kind once had and the records of that time. The War has caused the destruction of The Depository in many ways. Some files were deleted when The War depleted funds from the Expansion Act, a law stating that The Depository must be increased to maintain its ever growing archive. Others were stolen or hidden to keep them away from the other side in The War. Even more were lost to the ever expanding size of the digital world of The Depository.
This loss of little over half of The Depository has crippled our view of time and reference. Dates and years in the Education Files are useless. We can only guess from the knowledge pertaining to the file and the chronological order of numbers what order and how long ago all but the more recent events occurred. We only know the day and month but have forgotten the year and era (i.e. AD or BC). "The War is forever" is right, because it is all we know.
Everyone is on one side or the other, whether in the field, the educational facilities, the civil facilities, the factories, or the Board that runs them. The War has been occurring for as long as even the Masters, in their centuries or millennia of life since the Mechanical Enhancement (ME) era, can remember. It dominates our existence. A philosopher was the first to say "The War is forever." He came to this conclusion at a young age upon realizing what I've just told you.
"We lost sight of the beginning long before the birth of the Masters and the end is still nowhere in sight." –A young philosopher, 1,987 Po/ME (4,353 years ago)
"It is not possible for two opposite but absolute truths to exist." This is the quote both Paths use to justify The War. The War of The Paths is a war between the followers of the two Paths. The Paths are The Path of the Katana and The Path of the Ray. The Path of the Katana, also called The Old Path or The Path of the Blade, focuses on honor among equals and a religious-like discipline. This Path more resembles a religion than the other. It teaches of the beauty of blade based weaponry and the dance-like look and feel in their combat. How, like the natural world, they bring beauty to your eyes and soul but bear the brutality to take and destroy your world while maintaining this beauty. They preach of how a strong warrior must have a strong mind, body, and soul to become a mightier Master of the Blade who can then maintain a strong mind, body, and soul for eternity.
The Path of the Ray, known also as The New Path or The Path of Energy, focuses on a "the strong over the weak" philosophy and has a military-like discipline. The Paths can be described as mental, universal, or religious. The Path of the Ray also resembles a religion in that it speaks of a universal force that is divided between the strong and the weak that can be found on any scale, from a family to a food chain. Apparently, this Energy must be obtained to come out on top and The Path of the Ray is the way to it. This Path bypasses nature using hi-tech machines and weapons like ray guns, laser beams, and laser cannons to create destruction greater than any blade could hope for, thus showing their power. They, unlike The Path of the Katana, do not wish the annihilation of those who oppose or are unlike them, but to assert their superiority and have it accepted by both sides that they are supreme. Conquering foes and obstacles as such will lead to the ultimate rank in their church- infinitely powerful immortals.
"It is not possible for two opposite but absolute truths to exist. If they did, the universe itself would barely survive their clash!" –Unknown, ? Pre/The War