“Your people believe they want us gone. Whatever the reasons, these are palpable intentions. They are inflamed, and need careful tending lest they explode. This would harm them, and you, more than we would feel it in the situations we are already in.” Her voice and manner so sweetly calm. Images merely illustrative, not as inflammatory as what they represent.
This is merely prologue.
Sandwiches and energy drinks are brought in by an aide, for those in the antechamber and the two in the main room. Apparently energy will be needed both for waiting and for negotiations. The aide silently disappears, on to other duties, perhaps speculations.
“Yes, those festering people in the streets, living out their day to days, waiting impatiently for justice, if that is all they think they can get. They don’t know we’re here yet, do they? Under the auspices of their representative in chief, eating sandwiches and leisurely chatting or sitting quietly in an antechamber awaiting the possibility of freedom. Are we your enemies?”
He could feel implicit threat, but softly gloved because this threat could cut both ways. Delicacy in the balance of shifting forces is not a theoretical concept, but obvious sensation. The thorny, twisty problem is clearly delineated.
“If you but think, you know, at this point of our social history our biologies have mixed so that many of our people are not one thing or the other. In the natural course, this will continue. We are not enemies, but kinfolk. We are human beings upon this planet foreign to our origins, but now the only home we know. All of us are aliens together, making this world our home. We are natural allies, tribesmen, sharing our individual wealth of skills and personal resources in common enterprise, as our ancestor colonists meant us to be.”
“That’s all very nice and philosophical.” Jorel has found his voice. “We have an immediate situation to deal with here, as you yourself point out. It certainly isn’t gong to help quell the fears of the masses to tell them you people have infiltrated their very DNA. They won’t know who to trust. That could create widespread panic less controllable than what we have now. What can you tell me, witch, that I can use?”
Outside the window of the Chief Councilor’s chambers, a crowd can be seen slowly gathering, gaining in numbers and loudness, on the street below. They do not appear to be in a mood of celebration. Their voices are angry. Their words indistinct, but their faces look more pinched and resigned then empowered. This is not a crowd expressing healthy anger against injustice, or grievances for which they expect redress. This is the face of a desperate response to long felt helplessness, ill-use, built out of a poverty of trust, foundations crumbling. Caela feels their surging waves of murky emotion. Disgust, fear, raw rage, harsh bitter brittleness, ready to break. What has done this to a people whose legacy was meant to be freedoms and opportunities far beyond what would have been left to them by the human confusion, pollution, insanity their ancestors had thought left behind on Earth?