And so they came, from all over New Eden, to the gathering. Such events only happened now and again and they had no official name, no title to go by. You were told that one was on and you brought the oldest, the youngest, those to remember and those to learn. At the door to the hall you were asked to find tables not with your own folks but to spread out. No table was better than the others, no one was ‘above the salt’.
Jake was 15 and had no idea what the hell his grandfather had brought him to. One day he is working the fields and the next they are on a starship flying to some other planet. He KNEW his family did not have the money for the tickets but the old man just smiled, first at Jake and then at the travel agent as tickets were issued. “Sometimes you find a way, boy, other times the way finds you. Keep your ears open and don’t go embarrassing the family by being too noisy . . . or too quiet.”
Boro had brought a two students and shoved then in separate directions. “Meet people, come back to me with stories . . . or do not come back” He then searched the crowd until he found Tanta, standing with some others. He made a beeline for her, noting that her student, Free, watched all who came near her with laser like attention. “Madam, my day, no my year, is complete having had a chance to see you in the flesh again.”
“La, and what would you be knowing about my flesh you old reprobate?” She smiled and stepped in for a hug. “Now we will not be sitting together but we will meet up afterwards?”
Boro opened his arms wide after hugging her. “Not even your student could stop me from that appointment. ”
Mike kept to the sidelines, watching the people and trying to gauge the mood of the room. What he wanted to say would have to be done right and in keeping with the time and place. Too long? too short? Too academic?
A chime and a calm announcement directed the guests to find seats and to try not to sit with people they knew. Too late, it was time.
Wait staff took orders and delivered drinks to all the tables as Mike made his way to the center of the room. “Go ahead, start yer drinking. This may take a bit and refills will happen as needed.” Mike smiled, turning about in place to take in all the guests. “To me fell the task of the History Toast so we might as well get it over with so the important task of food can be gotten to.”
“Now I knows y’all know history but I am asking you to consider it through a different lens. We started New Eden broken, scattered, crashing back into chaos and barbarism. From the ashes of that disaster cam the new Empires. Amarr built theirs upon the church and slavery and the subjugation of the Minmatar. As a result the Minmatar were held back and are now just developing their own laws and ways based upon family and tribal lines. In the meantime the Gallente grew, a democracy and the strongest member of the federation was the Caldari who focused on commerce and power through money. In the end we came to blows and went our own ways, they becoming the State and we the Federation. Each Empire has its own ways of doing things, its own ways of deciding what is right and what is wrong.
Problem is . . . ” Mike paused to take a sip from his own drink. “They kind of forgot the rest of us. Thems as what are in power do not relinquish it easily. Amarr has its own dynasties, as do Minmatar, Caldari and yes, even we ‘free’ Gallente. Oh, the powers that be may squabble between themselves. Some want more power over the common man and others want less but they are pulling on two ends of the rope we is all tied up with. No matter who is winning? We feel the squeeze. But forgetting us does not mean we go away or that we meekly follow the orders of whichever interchangeable boss is in the power seat this year.”
He turned slowly to look around the room meeting eyes and letting the pause grow.
“Not by along shot. This is where you come in. Where WE come in. According to legends Gallente society is based on ancient traditions from Earth. I want to give you six words from that history, three each from two different histories. Carry these words with you and I will have succeeded in my given task.”
He held the glass high and said in a voice that filled the room.
“Liberté, égalité, fraternité
Now, for those of you not knowing other languages. Liberty, equality, brotherhood. We are all free, we are all equal, THEY are not better than you just because they are in power and we are all brethren. To help one of us is to help a family member, something you do, I would hope. The other three words? They be in the common tongue.
We the People
Because that is what it is all about. Us, we the people. They may be elected, appointed by God, inherited the power, or born into the right tribal line but it don’t matter. They rule because in the end WE let them. Until they screw it up. That is where you come in. We the people are the corrective force. We are not organised or even named. We have no leaders, just maybe a few elders whose voices might carry some weight or deserve some respect. But if our leaders go astray? We tug them back into line, one way or another. You are now part of this, there is no oath to swear, no secret handshake to learn. By living in New Eden you are one of us. Hell you even could carry the shame of BEING a politician, we would accept you just the same.
That is it, folks. History Toast can be long and academic or short and to the point. Comes down to the second set of three words, in the end.”
Mike raised his glass and looking up said loudly
“We the People”
after a moment the room followed suit.
Mike sat in an empty chair and looked at people he had never met before. “So, do I order the chicken or the sea bass?”
Madness. I feel like our real world is descending into it. I started writing this while watching the US elections but now it feels like that is almost on a backburner if not wrapped in plastic and tucked away.
Nobody gets to rule unless the people let it happen. Enough revolutions/uprisings of late have shown that to be true.
You count as much as the next person, just don’t stand too close to them.
Health. Mine is in limbo, if you follow my tweets you will know that my cancer may have moved to the lymphatic system . . . I do another test on that next week. This puts me in what they are calling these days an immuno-compromised position. I am playing it safe and keeping fairly home bound with walks along a wide parkway.
I honestly hope that you and yours are healthy and taking the proper steps to stay that way as well.
Madness in maddening times. Keep your sense of humour and of your humanity. Don’t give in to the panic, the cabin fever, the hysteria of the media. Facts, precautions, hope.
But especially the sense of humour. On twitter I got critiqued for a joke I made, today. Of the 12 people who disapproved? 11 of them had pronouns in their bio and none of them were Eve players.
Eve players get me. Well they try anyways.
fly it like you won it