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Monday, January 9, 2012

Land of the Blind

Land of the Blind

The Council was about to begin, everyone gathered sensed it, yet still not a single conversation floating through the spacious but spartan chamber held even a rumor of why. galactic Councils were called only when there is an immenent threat or the Induction ceremony when a species or planet is welcomed into the Federation. Neither of these scenarios had been reported in over 180 G.C. (Galactic Cycle), and when even though some of the outmost quadrants were still unmapped, it would be a statistical anomoly outside computation for an evolved species to make it's way to the Alpha Quadrant where the Council held it's meetings.

The mood was tense as the multitude of species made their way to their seats, eyeing each other warily. Many of the Council members still remembered being at war with some of the other Council members they now had to co-operate with. Though complicated by their differences, the Council Chamber was equipped with the newest version of the Rosetta V-12, making communication much easier, though it was sometimes disorienting to hear the voice in your mind and watch lips move from such a distance.

There was a general feeling of apprehension among those gathered, as it was all too appearant there would be grave news they were about to receive, so when the chime rang, which was the the signal for the beginning of the Council, every voice halted simultaneously. As well, every body made it's way to it's assigned seat with speed betraying their uneasiness. This would not be good. Silence hung in the space between them as they worried and waited. For many of those gathered this was their first Council, and unaware of what was to be expected, it was easy prey for those that knew what to expect, seeing the lack thereof in their counterparts, calculating. Even those who were fortunate enough to have experienced a Council were nervous of the revelations to come, making it an almost unbearable wait for every species gathered. Granted, the many mechanical species that occupied Council seats had no notion of what it was to be nervous, but to the trained eye, their lack of motion and curiosity generally assosciated with the machinistic races was truly a worrisome sign that some ominous tidings were about to to be revealed.

Jace was one of the few who'd been through a council before, his race being one of the fortunate few wealthy enough to afford time travel. And though representing the mercenary race of the Avebas from Beta 4c quadrant, reknown for their courage in battle despite the general 'traditional' behavior expected of mercenaries, he too was nervous when the sliding door opened. After a few seconds pause, the watery being named Aq stepped through and made his was way, slowly, across the spacious chamber. Warily, Jace watched the agonizingly slow progression of the watery being as it made it's way to the singular seat available at the enormous circular table. The aquatic race of Wvaben from Alpha 1a quadrant were known for their diplomatic neutrality, thus they had been entrusted with the role of gathering the galactic Council. It was their complete lack of emotions that had earned the trust of such a responsible position with the Council, though Jace now questioned that concept when he was quite sure he saw a look of worry cross the creatures aquatic complexion. Aq finally sat, regarding each member in their turn with a look that managed to turn what was a candle fo concern to a bonfire of fear. Then Aq spoke.

"Thank you all for coming on such short notice-" Aq began, pausing as if unsure how to proceed since Law prohibited rehearsed speeches. Jace did his best to hide his nervousness as Aq's silence finally ended. "As many of you are aware, the galactic Council was established after the Border Wars, and since that time, we have guided the peace of this galaxy for over 3,000 Galactic Cycles without more than minor conflicts, which have been subsequently resolved." Not last Cycle's bill, Jace thought to himself in the pause before Aq continued. "further, we have established schools for the young races wishing acceptance into The Federation. As well we have a Declaration of Independence which freed our galaxy from the influence Andromeda Council had imposed, WITHOUT the need of military intervention." Jace knew all this by his Fifth Nameday, as he expected every other race in attendance had, so why the history lesson? As if to answer the unspoke question, a hologram appeared in the center of the enormous table and every single eye, whether it was 1 or 12, trained on it as if a predator was about to leap out at them. A Lauch Pad? Jace exhaled. Had he been holding his breath? There were a thousand built just like it on Jace's home planet, what was the problem? Looking around the table Jace saw a similar reaction among almost all the other races, with only a minority coming to conclusions. One way and the other. Jace had to admit that reading facial expressions of all the alien races was seemingly impossible. His life as a mercenary had taken him over all the quadrants. Even if it was only a small portion of what had been mapped and integrated into the Federation, he could still read enough to get the general mood. Confusion, but Aq continued before Jace could contemplate the ramifications of what he was seeing further. "As many of you know, the Nephilim-" a collective intake of breath from the Council mad Jace feel better about his lack of discipline, but Aq continued as if he hadn't noticed, "-Chose to flood the planet Earth in an attempt to eradicate the interbreeding that occured over the last Galactic Cycle," Every race in the galaxy heard that bedtime story. The Nephilim themselves had almost lost their seat with the Council (If the Council ever took a seat away, they would have) for that corruption. Jace noticed the Nephilim in attendance and their downturned gaze. As it should be, Jace thought to himself. Everyone student in their first year at a Federation school learned that, and Earth was problematic enough to require quarantine, which the Nephilim had disregarded. Gold. Earth was rich in it, and the Nephilim were not the first to imitate Midas. Currently Earth was under quaruntine until their contract could be renegotiated with the Council. Jace himself had a bid in place, and thousands of Marks spent in bribes to see it passed. Interesting. Jace sat a little more upright as Aq continued this time, with the dawn of understanding began to break in his mind. No wonder they called a galactic Council, even emotionless water creatures had to maintain their ships. "It appears that the individual sentenced to be purged, Anakim of the Nephilim, was able to intervene with the completion of the sentence through a human hybrid named Noah-" the many races surrounding the table each made noises that Jace could only interpret as shock, and since the Rosetta V-12 was programmed to project only those voices Aq called upon, it was a strange sound to hear, but even through the language barrier, Jace heard what sounded like shock. The humans had lived? Jace gave a mental pat on the back to Anakim for his chivalry as Aq continued. "This, Noah-" the image hovering over the table changed from the Launch Pad to a human male in his later years, beard and all. Haunting eyes, Jace thought to himself. "-was able to survive the Purge and has since repopulated another area of the planet Earth." A satellite image replaced the image of the human and it zoomed in slowly from outside the blue planet's atmosphere to what looked like a desert, slowly it zoomed into a city, and to the Launch Pad. The noise from those attending was officially competing with Aq voice being projected into his mind. "It seems that the technology for space travel was somehow handed down through the generations and now the Humans are close to completion of their first Launch Pad." as Aq finished the sentence Jace was unsurprised to hear the room explode into noise, with the Rosetta V-12 still on active duty, it was truly noise. The sound was still growing too. Everyone knew the story of the Trial of Anakim, it was a tale mothers spun to put fear and obedience into their children. Of course, Jace knew it was part horror story to protect the smorgisboard of minerals that saturated that planet, held by a race who must be beginning to realize their place in the galaxy to be building a Launch Pad. Still Humans were a worrisome lot prone to self destructive impulsiveness and simultaneously the source of many heroic tales that were whispered among the more rebellious youth. The rule of Law stated no race could be allowed access to interstellar technology until they'd overcome their reptilian nature, even the reptoid looking creatures three seats down from him had proved no exception. There were more than a few races in the galaxy that fit that desription, though not many with a home as mineral rich as Earth. None actually, now that he thought about it. Jace had never visited Earth, though he'd been to the quadrant. It had almost been a Mecca to him, without the religous zeal of course, but nonetheless he still felt a slight pull. As he listened, the overall tone of anger was more and more obvious, as it must have been to an observant creature like Aq, who simply sat there, emotionless as the water that was it's body. Finally, after a long period of noisy and confusing arguement between themselves, the noise began to lower and eyes were starting to turn back towards Aq. Jace could see why the Wvaben from Alpha 1a quadrant had earned such trust among the council, they truly were in control of their emotions, and yet radiated them at the same time. Amazing. When Aq had silence and it's audience return, it continued in the same neutral tone "This council has been convened to decide the Humans fate, as it is not within their knowledge we exist, the Humans cannot be found as Guilty Under Carnal Knowledge, so we must decide as Council how to interpret the Law." This was new. Never before had a council been formed to interpret Law, that was the Court of the Federation's duty and jurisdiction, so why the change in policy? Jace had the feeling this had something to do with the mining contracts. Interesting indeed. "So we call a vote, and we ask all participants of the Council to Judge. We Purge or we Induct, but as Law goes, we cannot give the same sentence twice to a race under quarantine." Jace could see what was happening. These Humans were proving to be a serious disturbance to the galaxy. First the Boder Wars and the eradication of the Atlanteans, which they somehow survived, then the Purge of the Nephilim corruption, now this? Jace frowned when he heard himself speaking "What if we Confuse them?" A simple process for so young a species, and much more lenient than either punishments they'd already suffered. Effective too if you asked anyone on Jace's planet (and you could actually understand them). Even in this room he thought to himself, hoping the psychic beings from Delta 2e quadrant weren't focused on him, or had a sense of humor. Did he just hear laughter?

With every being silent and focused on Aq, the watery being looked at Jace, and said quietly (if you can call the Rosetta V-12 "quiet"), "Continue". Jace swallowed as the pressure of so much attention became focused on him, and obeyed. "Well, my home planet underwent a period of transition into violent tendencies, and if my history serves me well, I remember our trial ended with a sentence to Confusion in the hope we could overcome them by re-learning to communicate." Jace held out his arms, "We learned. Maybe the Humans can too." It was a statement but his tone said he questioned the outcome too. Finally, after the noise level lowered enough, Aq called for the vote in all attempt at ceremonial tradition, even if it was a first.

Unanimous.

For the first time in the galaxy's history, every single race agreed on one thing. "Confuse the humans, let them learn to communicate again. And let us hope this teaches the Humans to overcome their reptilian nature. It is decided." Aq had no need of the Gavel to finalize their decision, nor was Jace surprised when he was chosen as the executive facilitator of the sentence.

As Jace climbed into the cockpit of the Ambassador's craft loaned to him by the Council, he took the Rosetta V-12 chip out of his pocket and fingered it as he smiled. These Humans inspired the strangest behavior out of all of us, or was it just the minerals? Laughing, Jace left the planet on autopilot and after settling his trajectory, sat back, still holding the Rosetta V-12. Jace wondered how long it was going to take the Council to realize it was stolen, and what his sentence was going to be when they did. Oh well, he thought to himself, time to go to the land of the blind and learn how to be king.

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