He watched the shuttle leave with some trepidation . Dumped on a planet at the behest of the powers that be he soon found himself in the company of other capsuleers chosen to attend this summit. A day to explore before they were to begin deliberations and they wandered about this land that only two of them had visitied before. Food was found, significant sites pointed out. They all laughed as Mike walked into the center of a thoroughfare to capture a specific image.
The meetings were not without their difficulties, technical and otherwise. Remote communications were iffy and some of the distant observers were unable to participate at the level everyone had hoped. The chairs swiftly became uncomfortable for pilots used to floating in goo but they pressed on. (On the last day the Rote Capelle representative ‘appropriated a better seat’ from the sessions moderator, slyly.)
Wealth in space did not translate once on th planet and that actually became a topic of discussion, now and then. Mike wondered if this isolation of the pilots from their own environment was a subtle dig or just an added level of security. The organization that hosted them was actually bigger than he expected and very welcoming. There were pilots Mike had known for years who now were part of it and greeted him like a lost brother.
His fellow councillors were a mixed lot and meeting them in this new way was a game in and of itself as they slipped into their roles so smoothly or added another layer of complexity. The elder statesman was the target of many a dig from all around him, whether it be for his oft repeated pronouncment of how perfect was the enemy of the good or being asked when he would start the campaign for the next council. The young one who had run on the basis of representing new pilots showed a depth of experience that made the others listen when she spoke.
The representative of the wormholes was patient yet persistent in making sure that his people were not overlooked when sweepng statements were made. The syndicated writer still managed to keep up with reports to the public while Mike would just go to his quarters to drink wine and then collapse. The richest member of the council was less active in the proceedings than Mike had expected but everytime he spoke it was with gravity and thought and to the point.
The member from the nationalistic groups was always passionate when he was making a point choosing each word with care. Mike watched and voiced his own opinions often feeling like the least experienced in the group yet they would yield the floor to him when he chose to speak.
The most amazing thing about the entire process was the civility. Even when there were disagreements and there WERE disagreements, they were expressed respectfully and with care to make sure both sides were allowed their opinion. Their moderator agreed that this council was different from the ones that had come before, in a very good way.
There were times when they were frustrated not sure their objections were being understood or finding that they were arguing with the wrong person. There were moments of shock and wonder as they looked at technology still to come. It was work, make no mistake about that. Mike had heard the naysayers proclaim this as a free trip and little substance. On the last day, wiped mentally and physically from the tasks and work he had done he shook his head and realized that the wiser ones had been the people who said they would not run for an election because that much work shouldn’t be done for free. They were closer to the mark than anybody else.
The candidates had discussed the next election amongst themselves and that had been a time Mike kept quiet and to the back. He had yet to decide if he would have a chance in another election and whether he would be able to do as much work as he had done this time, or more. Continuity of the council would help it strengthen and grow more roots. He boarded the shuttle back for home space still not sure of his own heart. But he was glad to be going home.
Just one . . . like Soylent green, the council was made of people and so is ccp. There is no shadowy cartel, no cabal. People. Since being elected it has been hammered home again and again that I am not good at the game at all. People on the other hand . . .
fly it like you won it while I fly home