When I came back from Upper Plateau, the Emperor graced me with a new mission. I had to collect the information about the Lejian Mega clans, and their relationship with Martians. I also had to present the information to the wide audience, in a form easy for them to understand. I was supposed to expose the inequality and inspire action.
After a long discussion with Aisha, I have decided to make a documentary series. I have wanted to publish a book, but Aisha told me a better plan. The masses are easier to engage, if you show them visuals.
To kick start my research, I have read the Imperial Encyclopedia for 5 hours every weekday. I read all the articles about 15 great clans of Leji. And I made notes on all of them. I have made a list of clan lords for each of clans and typed a paragraph about each one. I have spent practically all of my time in my office. No one was allowed to disturb me, while I read, and made notes.
The first weekend of the school year I and Layla, went to the Alley of the Presidents, and recorded all of their stories. On Dork 14th, we went to Sakuradzima, and listened to the life story of Ivati Nadzima. We also went to the Foundation Museum and made notes about the founding fathers. A day later I went there again and made notes about the first colonial expedition.
On, Soldar, Din 1st, I have started my research on the Martians. I went to the Foundation museum, they had nothing on the Martian settlers. I went to the National History museum, they only had two dozen artifacts to represent 15 thousand years of Martian presence. Layla told me, if I want to find out more, I have to visit Martian towns.
We have gone to Kivat and went to Arrival Museum. There I learned that first children of Mars came here, during the reign of Rumi Lindar. The cities of Kivat and Gegendorf were founded as exclusively Martian communities during the reign of Darth Nadoma. After leaving the Museum we went to the First Settlers park, where we have recorded the story of the trip from Mars, from the founder of Kivat, Patrick Johnson.
To finish the work on the first film I and Leff have gone to Mars, and spent two months there, visiting museums, historic locations, and listening to statues. After coming back, I put everything together, and showed the film to my family. I wanted to release Guests from Marsimmediately, but Aisha said it would be better to release everything at once.
Next year, I have researched the professional life of Martians on Kadjar. I went to Gegendorf Museum of Martian pride. I saw that Martian settlers, and their descendants, had peculiar social status on Kadjar. They all worked in Medicine and Education, the other fields were closed to them. Kivat and Gegendorf were the only town, where descendants of Martians own stores and work in government, everywhere else they could only be doctors or teachers. Most of Kadjari teachers, college professors, doctors, dentists, and nurses have Martian last names. I had Leff look through the employment records of schools, hospitals and kinder gardens.
It was determined that Martians were locked into comfortable middle-class prison. A Smith or a Johnson would never become a policeman or bureaucrat. A Lindar or Dzimani does not even need a resume to get accepted. That’ s what people told me, both online and in personal conversations. I have checked their data, I have looked at employment rosters of City Halls, and Police departments all over the planet. I have made inquiries to every major clan. And I saw those claims confirmed. There was discrimination on unimaginable scale, and everyone had to face the truth. Thus, A Doctor or Nobody, was created.
While working on the second film, I discovered something huge. There were entire provinces, where no Martians were allowed to settle. They could visit those lands but they could not relocate. Even if people lived on Kadjar for generations, they were considered Martians, they were denied housing just because of their last names.
After hearing that, I have decided to go further. I have visited every province of Kadjar and talked with people of Martian descent. They were present everywhere. Thousands of people in Martian free zones have descended from Martians who married into Terran, Vijer and Lejian clans. I have looked at life stories of thousands of people both living and deceased and saw a clear pattern. A person ceases to be a pariah, if his last name changes. So, the third film was titled,As good as Last Name.
The rest of the month was calm and uneventful. In the morning, I went out into the steppe and collected insects, to give a present to Jafar. In the afternoon, I had dragonball practice with Malik and Rosa. The most important, and most interesting part of the day was the evening. Every evening the elders gathered around and told the stories of their past, their thoughts and beliefs. Many people gathered around to listen. They all formed a circle the elders as they discussed and taught their wisdom. The elders initially shared pleasantries among themselves and then eventually began the story of the night pointing at the fireplace.
“Do you see that log burning?” elder addressed the crowd.
“Yes.” everyone said in unison.
“That is a metaphor for good and evil.” elder began his tale, “The fire being evil, the wood being good. Fire is change that destroys the good wood but in return we are benefited by light, heat and energy to cook and make things: it is irreversible but necessary.” Elder has explained the function of evil. “Eventually, evil causes the demise of us as we run out of well.” I looked into the fire slowly burning through the logs. “But see this. If I were use my laser and make the fire burn through the wood, a part of it would break off and not burn as a result stopping the fire prematurely and ending our benefit from it. If I were to burn the piece of wood with liquid fuel it would burn brighter, hotter and faster but also finish the wood sooner. This teaches you a valuable lesson: too much evil at any one time causes it to die killing everyone with it. It doesn’t matter how much good we have the amount of evil must be managed in order for us to survive.” Elder gave us his wisdom. Everyone nodded in agreement. Everyone except me.
“So, you are saying that good does nothing by itself and depends on evil to provide us with benefits?’’ I questioned his logic. He just called evil absolutely necessary.
“I am saying that both are needed in order for us to benefit, and evil cannot exist without good, and yes, there is a difference between the two as many have wondered before.” Elder replied to me. We looked at each other’s eyes across the flames.
“But doesn’t every action have both good and evil to it? It doesn’t fit the wood – fire analogy there. Unless each action produces both wood and fire.” I pointed out the flaws within his argument. The world is full of dualism, everything is exactly as good, as it is evil.
“Wise! Ultimate word of wisdom: the deeper you dig into the words of wisdom the more you find inaccuracies in them.” Elder agreed with me. “At the end of the day you would have to decide for yourself how far should you dig into the well of wisdom before you are satisfied with what you find and make use of it. Having said that you have proven me right that they must both coexist.” elder told me not to go deep into philosophy. For this subject drives people crazy.
“True, but I may have proven you wrong when it comes to good being by itself like wood without fire, which actually never happens.” I had to make sure that he was mistaken. Good can’t exist without evil.
“Precisely.” all elders said together in agreement.
“That is all for tonight. We are aware that some of you found this debate confusing. You came for a story but encountered a revelation. We would leave it to you to realize what just happened. We would discuss it further tomorrow.” Tribal chief ended the discussion. That was the end of the gathering. People needed time to sleep.
Years 8 and 9 were hard for our expedition, we were travelling through a starless void, the outside view was impenetrable darkness with no visible stars. Sometimes it seemed like we weren’t moving at all. The enemy wasn’t seen anywhere on the horizon, it seemed like they had forgotten us. Everyone had forgotten us, we were stuck in this endless void.
Off course the star map, and ship systems were telling us a different story, we were moving, and moving rather fast. We were actually approaching our destination. I had to remind that to everyone, we weren’t lost, and we weren’t stuck, but it sure seemed that way. If one looked outside, or on our small sector of the map. No stars, no planets, no nothing for hundred million km around us.
This perceived failure, had almost ruined the team from the inside. Rita had panic attacks which lasted for hours, filled with shaking, shivering and swearing out loud. Max tried to dull his feelings with going into VR, once he didn’t come out of the machine for an entire week. We had to take him out by force and spoon fed him, so he didn’t starve. The tools, we had helped us go through it, but they had to be used wisely. And together with optimistic tales. Tias knew what to do, every evening he gathered us around and told us, that we are going to win, that we were going towards our goal, and doing meaningful work to end the war. He made everyone listen to loud uplifting music while piloting. He also made us meditate every night before sleep. This helped, and the team continued to function. There were arguments and fights, but nobody killed anyone or did any injuries. That was kept under control. Minor hysterical outbursts, nothing unexpected, some damaged paintings, one torn up portrait of Dua, and a couple of food fights, nothing more damaging than that. Soon, the despair went away and we were our old optimistic selves.
By the time we reached the Magellan cloud, we were all very mindful people. If, not for that, we could have fallen victim of our psychology. For even Ostartes have feelings, we are not machines. These feelings were expressed, understood, and calmed down. “Tristan Nadoma” exited the void, and got into the Magellan cloud. That was a cause for a celebration. We decorated the ship with ribbons, and sung victory songs. For we won this battle, and almost won the war. We were much closer to Azares than to any other known world. However, we didn’t have very good maps of the Magellan Cloud. Still, I knew we were heading the right way. Azares was almost in our hands. The lizards had to be preparing us a welcome. If they were aware of us coming their way. We were coming to the high negotiations.
After that was done, Dzimanga corporation relinquished its right to govern humanoid towns. Kavu stated that we were able to make our own decisions, he told me that he trusts me and the Diatama community enough, to give up control. He told me, Ria has already granted his approval on this matter.
So, we had our mayor elections in Sakuradzima Nua. I decided to run. I could not tolerate the state of this city anymore. There were too many temporary units, and people grew tired of waiting. I was determined to make it a livable place for everyone. The ugly tents and their inhabitants should be replaced by cozy houses and the pious populace. It should be just like Nathanberg, the best city ever.
The election rules were announced by Envoy Emma on Kavu 25th. Every adult, which meant Zahuris above 110, Goblins above 21, humans and Orks above 22, was given a right to vote. That included the Rimmatian refugees. It didn’t matter to him, that they couldn’t understand a single word out of his speech.
Dua Dzimanga has maintained Kadjari as the only official language of the colony. When the transition started, he signed a law which keeps Kadjari as an official language in every community of Diatama until the elected officials say otherwise. He and Emma did registration of the candidates.
On Kavu 32nd,Bargdar, I came to Dzimanga headquarters and filled out a form. So, did 25 other people. Then we had a fluency in Kadjari test which 9 candidates have failed, of which 5 were Rimmatians. With no Rimmatians in the race, Emma proceeded to administer the Imperial history exam. After that only 8 people remained in the race.
I got my registration, and I had to run my campaign. First things first I needed a slogan.
“How about Mayor of dreams? Or “Let’s build the paradise”?” Jafar has suggested.
“Those have been done to death. I need something fresh.” I was desperate for an idea to walk into my bedroom.
The door opened and Malik walked in. His t-shirt had “Party like a Lindar, Work like a Dzimanga, and rest like a Ross” printed on it. He and Mubarak came to congratulate me with the start of the campaign.
“Malik you are a genius!” I waved my dragon blood mug in the air.
“What did I do?” Malik asked.
“You gave me an idea.” I took a sip of blood. “Build a metropolis, like a Ross, lay on your bed all day, like a Ross,” Live life in comfort, like a Ross”” I chanted.
“Wait, isn’t your last name Lindar.” Malik questioned my strategy.
“Yes, everyone living in this house is Lindar, but Ross is my maiden name.” I defended myself.
“Your maiden name isn’t going on the ballot, is it?” Jafar went hysterical. He jumped onto me and clenched my neck. Malik had Mubarak separate us.
“Don’t worry Jafar. I would stay with you. And no, the Ross won’t be on the ballot.” I consoled my partner. Since he was in distress. “There was no need in attacking me.”
“Ok fine. I just can’t imagine life without you my love.” Jafar can be sweet sometimes.
“Why did you think that using a maiden name was a good idea?” Mubarak asked me. There would a lot of questions, if I did not use my current name. He thought about that.
“I thought it sounded cool in a slogan.” That was my only response.
“The slogan must be part of the strategy, not the entire strategy.” Mubarak shared his wisdom.
“So, what do you want the city to look like?” Malik came up with a good question. He sat down on the floor near the window to hear my answer. So, did Mubarak. Jafar remained on my bed.
I sat up on the bed and rested my spine against the wall.
“I want this new city to look like Nathanberg. It should be filled with monuments, and high-rise buildings. There must be a park along the river, and a mansion district from my house to the north.”
“That’s a place people would want to live in.” Jafar supported my vision.
“This is a platform; one can stand on. That we already have.” Mubarak praised me.
“Is that all we need to win?” I asked him.
“We must make sure everyone knows you. We must also convey our message to the people of the city.” Jafar stated.
“We need you standing on the podium in front of the Dzimanga building.” Mubarak painted the picture of me in the bright blue costume addressing the crowd.
“Well who can write a speech for me.” I asked my supporters.
“I think I can be your speech writer.” Mubarak suggested “But, you have to be involved in producing them. It must be your message, not mine.” Mubarak wanted me to get involved on the speeches. I didn’t want to walk all the way to his new house, so he worked here with me.
“Ok, you are hired.” I got myself a speechwriter. “I also want my face on posters all over the city.” I looked at Malik.
“Ok, that can count as an art and political science credit. I would make a poster, and you would take a look. If you like it, we can get them mass produced.”
“Don’t just grab people around you dear. A campaign run by a household, would make everyone suspicious.” Jafar made a valid point. The campaign must represent the city, not Leya Lindar and his friends.
“Who do you suggest?” I asked him.
“We should cast the net wide and hire someone we didn’t know before.” Jafar stood up and went towards the door.
“Where would we search for that?” I didn’t know a thing about finding employees.
“We could go out and find them on the street. You know, no one can refuse an offer made by your voice.” Jafar suggested a fool proof recruitment strategy.
“How would we pay them?” I didn’t have the income high enough to pay for the campaign. Quite frankly nobody had. “Who would give us the money?” I really needed a sponsor, and I didn’t know how to get one.
“Don’t you have your Dzimanga help card?” Jafar suggested to ask them for help. After all, Dua did tell me, that I could ask them at any time.
“Yeah, I may get some help from them. But would it be against the rules?” I asked my people.
“Is it? It does not seem to contradict the constitution.” Mubarak pointed out. Nothing contradicts the constitution, it is barely half a page long.
“What about the scripture?” I needed to know what the god’s rules are. For they apply everywhere in the Empire.
“The rules of governance prohibit sponsors from giving money to multiple candidates, and they say that sponsors must officially endorse their chosen candidate, and there is a ban on giving candidates policy advice.” Mubarak lectured me on election finance rules.
“Great are there any limits on the amount of money they can give?” I had to stay clear. I didn’t want to ask for too much.
“Well the cost of the municipal campaign must not exceed 400 thousand Kasters, and no sponsor must provide more than 30% of campaign funding. Also, no candidate can get finance from the clan not present in their area.” Mubarak provided important information.
“Ok, Mubarak go write an application to the Dzimanga, asking for 70thousand Kasters.” I tasked my chief assistant with his first mission.
“What’s our total budget?” Mubarak wanted to know how much money I am willing to spend.
“Well, we can invest 8200K from our savings this year. Dzimangas would give 70 thousand, 60 thousand would come from Lindar treasury, 50 thousand from Ross, and 44 thousand from La Vey, plus 35 thousand from Ibaraki. Overall 357 thousand Kasters.” I was willing to pay a lot for the mayor ring. I was willing to do what it takes, as long as I can sleep 12 hours a day. I have listed all the sponsors that I could think of.
Mubarak submitted the budget proposal to review and got an automatic response. That, proposal did not break any rules. And that plan was approved. His next step was to ask the other chosen sponsors for money. They transferred money within a day. They were quite willing to get involved here on Diatama.
Emma Cond’s POV:
In the morning of Kavu 24thI had a meeting in the Dzimanga headquarters. It was so nice from Dua’s part to build the station near my house. I didn’t have to spend 40 minutes walking in the sun. That way I was able to wear my pearl shoes, and not snickers. I also put on my fancy unicorn pants and the blue vest with red shirt.
I exited the teleport station and entered Dua’s office.
“It is the time for the Dzimanga Clan to relinquish all control over the colony’s affairs.” Dua sounded dry and formal, like some clerk over at the council building. He had the look too. Gray suite, green sunglasses, white shirt, and black shoes.
“If that is true than each city must have the elections at once?” I wondered how fast the process must be, for this particular colony.
“The campaigns should start before the 32ndof Kavu.” Dua informed me about his plans for an immediate withdrawal. Well not his plans, the Dzimanga council plans which he has to put into action.
“Do you have the procedures for the registration of the candidates?”
I wanted to know what my role in all of this would be. I had to know the withdrawal procedure, and which role each actor was supposed to play.
“Yes, we would have the managers run the candidate registration.” They got things planned out in the simplest possible way.
“How long should the campaigns be?” I needed to know how long we have to oversee the elections.
“They would last until Gilma 36th, and the mayors must be sworn in the next day, on Sophi 1st.” Dua has planned everything in detail.
“So, only one month.” I thought that the campaign time was very short. Much shorter than the Kadjari federal campaigns. But, possibly normal for the municipal ones.
“Precisely.” Dua stood up and went to fill his cup with water.
“How long would the terms be? Are there any city charters?” I wanted to know how the cities would be run.
Dua drank his water and returned to the table. He didn’t sit down
“Designing such charters would be the first task of newly elected city governments.” Dua gave the cities an opportunity to be truly unique. That kind of autonomy was unthinkable to the technocrats out on Calpurnia. Every town of the Calpuri space was run in exactly the same way.
“The candidates are free to run the cities as they wish, but they must be selected by the Empire officials.” I went to get the drink of water.
“What are the selection criteria we must follow?” Dua’s bright yellow eyes were staring on my brain.
“They were sent to me from the Hall of Humanity.” I pulled the communicator out of my purse and read aloud. “The candidates must be fluent in Common Tongue, they must have the score of at least 85 on the Imperial History exam. They must also be fluent in the language of the constitution, they mean the language in which original constitution and all the prior colonial decrees was written in.”
“In our case they must be fluent in Common Tongue, and Kadjari.”
“I can request the Department of Education to send us Tertiary level fluency tests.” I have had written to every Kadjar federal department, over the course of my career in the Imperial council.
“That should be enough. Are there any additional requirements?” Dua placed his elbows on the table. Somehow, he got the idea, that it’s an interrogation. Freaking Dzimangas!
“They must have no records of illegal or questionable behavior, have a history of prior contributions to the community, and be overall model citizens.” I have summarized four paragraphs of text, in two sentences. We had to make sure that no matter who wins, the Empire would benefit. If we don’t want him to win, we don’t want him to run.
“Ok, I think we won’t have problems finding enough candidates.” Dua
“We would find out tomorrow.” I walked out of his office and went home. I had exam forms to request.
The next day we ran the examinations. At the end of the day 8 candidates were selected for the Sakuradzima Nua mayor election. We also had the same procedures performed in all other humanoid settlements. Next, I had to oversee the elections for the entire planet. My assistant would monitor Sakuradzima Nua, elsewhere the same people would continue looking over elections, as did the candidate registration.
Over all I had to make sure that 460 candidates, in 65 settlements behave themselves and act by the law.
On the first of Patra, when the vacation started. We left the house early in the morning. We were invited to spend a month with the family of Rosa’s boyfriend Ned. He lives in the Herohito province, right in the middle of the steppe. His tribe, Narita, the famous riders, occupies the center of the Upper Plateau.
The Upper Plateau is 9 million square kilometers, housing 18 million nomads and 4 million town folks. A third of the land is no go zone for humans, set aside for wild dragons. To the east are Dzimani Mountains, and beyond them you have Eastern Provinces housing 3 billion people, including a billion islanders. To the north the terrain gets lower and you have the grain country, 20 provinces with 1 billion people. To the west you have coastal plains and Infinite City, and to the south: the highly populated Gur subcontinent with 6 billion people in 22 provinces. The continent with adjacent islands and archipelagos is home to 17 billion people. Total Area is 104 million square kilometers (Continent itself-90.5), out of which humans use, 77 million.
The first thing we saw after arrival to Nord Herohito teleport station, was a giant grass green dragon with three riders. I took a closer look and saw Ned waving at us. We went to greet him and his family. We were in for the suffocating hugs from the nomads. Ned’s mother Erica, was a really strong person. Both of her husbands also had very mighty hands. They guided us to the Dragon station and helped us get onto a huge black dragon.
“You just tell him, you go to the Narita camp and he would bring you there.” Erica told us. “You don’t want to fall from the couch, so everyone has to fasten his seatbelt. Otherwise you are food for the birds.” he warned.
Dad told dragon the destination, and the dragon started running. It run faster, and faster until it gained enough speed to fly. Dragon got into the air and headed straight up. Once at the cruise altitude, dragon flew horizontally.
The entire flight took us 4 hours. I have life streamed the entire flight, to the delight of Jenna, who told me I should make movies. From our couch seat on the broad back of the dragon, I had shown her, a mesmerizing view of this expense. We saw beneath us endless plains, with herds of herbivore dragons eating grass. The herders hovered above them on agile flying lizards. Ours were the kind of dragon for freight and passenger transport. Riding those is much more comfortable then I could have imagined. Only it’s a bit cold up here, in the wind, and with no shielding. And bird flocks fly in all directions. Leff entertained himself by taking pictures of birds, dragons, and the nomad camps below.
“All of that is amazing! I wish, I was there with you,” pause, “But, why can’t you teleport to this place?” Jenna, typed back in Imperiapolis.
“Well, they are nomads, and the camp moves from place to place all the time. So, it’s impossible to build a station there.” I dictated response with my mind.
“What about mobile stations?” Jenna still had questions.
“They take the whole fun out of being a nomad and rob you of this flying experience.” I closed the topic.
“Ah, I get it.” Jenna was satisfied. She learned everything she needed to know.
At 1 pm, we were at the camp, 240 km away from the teleport, and 1200 km away from Nathanberg. At the core of the Kadj Jong (Dragon land) continent. The largest landmass of Kadjar.
When we arrived at the camp we were put into a guest yurt. A yurt is a round wooden structure. First used by sheep herding tribes back on Terra. Originally the outside was covered by sheep wool. Here they use dragon skins.
Inside our yurt we had no furniture, so we used the sleeping bags. The camp had generator working on dragon dung, and a Wi – Fi router in each yurt.
At the dinner, we were comparing and contrasting the cultures of Kadjar and Terra. They turned out to be totally different.
“It is so great that we have crossed our differences and forged our friendship.” I told Jafar, after I got mashed potatoes on my plate.
“There was a great barrier that we had to jump over.” Rosa stated and took a bite of sausage. “Our cultures have nothing in common, except the Empire faith.” She acknowledged.
“What kind of differences are you talking about? Honestly, I know nothing about Terra.” Jafar asked me.
“Let’s start with the obvious. We all remember the day when I and Rosa first came to school. Because, we grew up on Terra, where everyone is raised as girls and boys, we could not expect a situation where we are addressed as males. Everyone on Kadjar is equally masculine, and they know no females.”
“Then we have to address two handsome dragons sitting on this table.” Rosa stood up putting her hands at the shoulders of her companions. “I could not go out with two partners at once when I was Terra. That would be unacceptable to the Terran society, while here it is totally normal. You can have as many as four partners, no one would bat his eye.” Rosa finished and sat back down.
“Well, there is a limitation to that, it is forbidden to go out with persons of different species. Humans date humans, Zahuris date Zahuris.” Jafar set the record clear. She also had a plate cleared.
“Here is another difference between Kadjar and Holy Terra. Only humans can live on Holy Terra. People of other species can’t stay there unless they serve the Emperor.” Dad uttered.
“Meanwhile, here on Kadjar we have entire cities only populated by goblins.” Dereck stated and ate his third sandwich.
“Do goblins celebrate weddings? For the whole time I was here, I have not seen a single wedding.” Mom joined the conversation.
“What is a wedding?” Jafar asked. My eyes climbed to my forehead. How in hell, could they not have weddings?
“That’s when people celebrate the birth of new family.” Mom answered.
“We don’t have that here. If you and your companion move in together you are officially partnered.” Norbert described how Kadjari families are formed.
“In that case, whose last name would my grandchildren get?” Mom raised her concern. She needed to know how last names are determined here on Kadjar.
“That depends on who moves in with whom. If Layla moves in with Dereck, she would join the Durans, and if he moves here, then they would be Beys.” Mr. Lindar explained to her. The same scheme as on Terra. Only you don’t have to change your last name every time you move.
“Duran is not a neighborhood, isn’tit?” Mom needed a little clarification.
“We are the greatest clan of Kadjar and the empire.” Octave took a bite of bread, “Over generations, we have grown from the family of Armand Duran, into the collection of families scattered all across the Empire.” Octave Duran had a glass of water. “As of now, there are 170 million Durans, in millions of households on 1200 worlds.” Octave Duran finished his sandwich.
“What do all these people do?” Malik got curious.
“We are the masters of computer hardware.” Denise replied.
“Do you have a special clan for everything, like we have special neighborhoods?” Malik searched for an analogy.
“Yes, we do. Lindars manage the teleports, Nadomas make service robots, Nadzimas grow timber and turn it into artifacts. Meanwhile Dzimangas rule biotech, Glish control the music, and Faru produce games.” Octave described the duties of a few select clans.
“How large are those other clans?” Mom inquired.
“We Lindars number 144 million.” Norbert took his communicator out of the bag. “There are 138 million living Nadzimas, 66 million Dangans, and 115 million Dzimangas.” Mrs. Lindar answered her question.
“If I join the clan, can I get the profits from their business?” Rosa got her third helping of mashed potatoes. Jafar got her fifth.
“Yes, you can. All adult members of the clan are considered shareholders of clan fortune, if they work for the clan.” Mr. Lindar was done with his mashed potatoes.
“Can you get a job without membership?” I have cleared my plate.
“Non – clan members can be employees but never shareholders. Each clan has to have 5% of its workforce be non – members, no more, no less.” Mr. Lindar allowed such opportunity, for a few people. The rest are stuck within their clan structures or have no jobs at all. When his speech was over, maids showed up to pick up the dishes.
The dinner has ended. Everyone got up and went out of the house. Everyone, except Rosa’s companions. Dad held meetings with Rosa’s companions in his office. First with Rob, and then with Ned.
My sister turns 17 on Dergdar, Clio 10th, and Jafar lost virginity on her 17thbirthday. It is a custom here, to start right after you are allowed to.
When the structure of government was sorted out. I had to take a detailed view of the world outside the presidential palace. It was in the state of total disaster. There were shortages of food and water in most regions of the world. The droughts led to massive migrations, and lots of people lived in the refugee camps. I had the state of Emergency in effect, all over the planet. The humanity was on the verge of collapse and extinction.
There still were entities refusing to recognize my power, and the war has raged on without stopping. My inauguration has also caused a rebellion in hundreds of cities. All of the Balkans, South China, Hawaii, Anatolia, Central America and Khorasan, were outside of my control. Everywhere else, my power flowed from the barrel of guns. People were only obedient as long as they were afraid. And that required constant presence of troops in every single settlement.
Our glorious capital, the city of New Hope, was a giant refugee camp. The Federal Repubic of Earth, nominally the most powerful government in human history, was barely able to keep itself from collapsing. I was desperate, doom and gloom reigned the world. And at this moment assistance came from above.
That night people all over town, were awakened by a loud noise. I jumped out of bed, and went to the balcony. Erica went to the bomb shelter. As did most of everybody. We thought the city to be under attack by some rebel faction. However, it was something game changing.
A spaceship has arrived. It was a Calpuri built Landing Module, a sphere of white metal. It seemed like it could crush, but four legs grew out of it, right as it was landing. I looked up and saw mother ship hovering above. The humans heard the noise and started to run away. Those who remained bore witness to a spectacular event.
Suddenly, there was light it was as though it was midday. The Landing module, turned on the scanner. Then the light was turned off, and the module door was opened. A staircase went down to the sandstone of the square. Out went 7 Ostartes, screaming in the most hideous language. They all wore heavy armor, and helmets with lights on them. They shot laser beams into the sky and threw their blasters onto the ground. The people stopped running and turn to face the newcomers. The first of them took off his helmet, and started to speak:
“I came here from another world, and I demand to speak with the authorities.” He spoke in Unglis. Main rule of communication: always make sure you are understood.
“Who are you stranger?” A police officer demanded stranger to identify himself. As they should be, this brave officer followed the instructions despite all fear.
“I am Tias Dzimanga! The friend of the Galaxy, and Supreme Lord of Leji.” Tias introduced himself in the most arrogant way possible. “Who are you, animal?” The supreme being addressed the inferior species. They viewed the humans like they were looking at dirt.
“I am a human. My name is Armand Duran.” Young man introduced himself.
“You have brave soul. Are you the leader of this land?” Tias Dzimanga seeked a meeting with authorities. He wanted to meet with the leader of our species, or at least a local state president. There had to be a proper government contact.
“No, sir. I am a humble servant of law.” Armand Duran was a modest man. Loyal to his planet and his uniform. People respected that, and he also earned respect from the aliens.
“Could you guide me to the ruler of this planet.” Tias Dzimanga ordered.
The other Ostartes picked up their blasters. They wanted to repel any surprise attack silly natives might launch. But our people were better than that.
“Ok sirs follow me.” Armand Duran guided the aliens to the head of state. The smartest move in his entire career. He would be a hero of humanity till the day he dies.
Soldiers followed them to the Presidential Palace. It was just 50 meters down the street. It was a large building, but not a fancy one, just a brick box. The only solid building in the entire City of New Hope, the biggest building currently standing on planet Earth. Still it’s less than quarter of Pentagon, ruined building on the bottom of the sea. One day we shall return those days of glory. Perhaps that day would bring the chance to do so.
I, stood on the balcony, when Tias came to me. I was woken up, by the commotion going on in the city. So, I had to see the guests by myself. I was in for a great surprise.
Armand pointed to me, when they came up to the building. Alien Lord noticed me and turned on his jet pack. Two seconds later he stood in front of president’s eyes.
“Who are you?” I asked in surprise.
“I am Tias Dzimanga, and I am here to help you. Let’s go inside your barn and have a talk.” Lord Dzimanga established dominance over the situation.
I went inside, and Herohito followed me. Once inside I offered Tias a seat in the armchair. I sat down on the floor, in front of the fireplace. Tias rejected my offer and continued to stand.
“Greetings my interstellar friend.” I remembered my manners and gave a belated greeting. One has to be polite, in order to keep away from conflicts.
“Greetings.”Tias replied and took off his armor. And sat down on the floor. He didn’t want to put himself above the humans, and create any distance between us. He wanted to build a trusting egalitarian relationship. Tias wanted an alliance and not a conquest. I didn’t understand why, he didn’t blast the city upon arrival, and take over the Earth in one day.
“What kind of help can you offer?” I inquired. I was interested in assistance; however, I didn’t know how Tias could help me. We knew nothing of his mission, his origin, and his capabilities. His behavior was hard to understand.
“I will make true your wildest dreams.” Tias Dzimanga gave a promise. He said the most magical words, with the most casual tone of voice. He was sure, that he could do that and more.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked. Tias seemed rather cryptic, and his pompous promises didn’t make sense. I would only believe in his words, after he proves his capabilities.
“I only mean, that all of your problems will be quickly resolved with my humble assistance. I come from galaxy’s most advanced species, and we have found solutions to all the issues you are currently facing. “Tias presented himself as a panacea. I didn’t fully belief, but a desperate man would grasp a cobra to get a chance. And Tias seemed to be a powerful ally, with his spaceship, blasters, and armor suit, he was a force to be reckoned with. Something akin to Batman or Superman of the ancient epics.
“Let’s talk tomorrow. I will have all my cabinet assembled. You bring your people to the table, and we have a detailed discussion. “I wasn’t ready to have policy discussions late at night. I would need more people to make a meeting. With that in mind I wrote texts to all the cabinet members. They should come prepared, so I recapped our meeting with Tias in one short paragraph of text.
“When should I come? Where should I come? Who should I bring?” Tias inquired. He wanted to get into the business talks as soon as possible. He didn’t have much time to waste. He had an agenda and wanted to present it.
“Noon would be perfect. Please come to the Conference Building on the mountain. Bring anyone you deem necessary.” I told him he could bring anyone he wants.
“Ok. I will be there.” Tias pledged to meet me the next day.
He went out of the window and disappeared into the night.