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After the bloody Final War of 2056–2062 and the pursuant Dark Age which lasted until the early 2120s, when the Greynaut–Teffers effect revolutionized science, humanity began a sharp sprint down a long path of interplanetary, then interstellar travel. Roger Greynaut was hailed as a genius of humankind, willing to look back nearly a century for prewar theories. Greynaut predicted, in accordance with the string theory of so long ago, that thin strings formed the substance of spacetime, and that the same type of force used to create the strings could be used to shape them. When one applied this effect to space travel, Graynaut said, one could make light–years into miles. While scientists, then concerned with the Divine Suns theory of the divinity of matter and the uselessness of its study, at first scoffed at Greynaut, a particularly brave young man, William Teffers, came to the scientific world, claiming he had found the force Greynaut had predicted to exist. Hoping to erase Greynaut’s name, as well as Teffers’, from history and plunge the Greynaut theory into the depths of discredit, scientists frantically reattempted the experiments of Teffers, believing that they would prove Teffers a liar. Unfortunately for the scholars of the Dark Age, the results of the experiments, especially the so–called “Teffers Bend” in which Teffers used the Greynaut force to distort the appearance of various objects, were confirmed again and again. Within the decade, the Greynaut force had been harnessed for a prototype spacecraft; by 2144, the force was already heavily used in government spacecraft, and endeavors by private companies to build vehicles based on the Greynaut force were already well underway.
This leap in science, aided by the global peace brought in by the termination of the Final War, caused an unprecedented interest in space travel. During the ’40s, humanity made it to Earth’s moon, to Mars, and even attempted a mission to Pluto, which failed miserably, cost the lives of twelve up–and–coming astronauts, and did nothing to dampen the general spirit towards space travel. By 2158, and with revolutionary advances in climate control and terraforming, human outposts could be seen on Mercury, Venus, and Pluto, while growing cities were present on the more relatively hospitable climes of the Earth’s Moon and on Mars. As spacecraft grew more and more powerful and efficient, planetary colonization continued exponentially. In the words of His Greatness the Ruler Peter Carneden’s speech in 2172, “…Our craft can now jump to the planets of Proxima Centauri without so much as batting a lash….” Just after the turn of the century in 2204, while on a mission to one of the outer Phirean planets, Janea Wlin became the first human to encounter a space alien, a member of a humanoid race which was, incidentally, also undergoing a period of rapid interstellar expansion. While at first engaging in a peace with the aliens, the Human Empire realized that it had the superior space–navy (due largely to a paranioa of aliens) and proceeded to demolish and enslave the humaniod inhabitants of the planet, whom Humans named the Weakworkers, after their conception of these aliens’ purpose after The Human Imperial Science Department found that these aliens were easily cloned and bred in captivity, and decided that the humanoids were well–suited to enslavement to supplement Humanity’s already massive workforce of robots. By the 2250s, however, the Human Empire began to come upon hard times. Humanity’s sprawling empire, led by the tight grip of His Greatness the Ruler Hermand Ank’tul from Plateu City, planet Earth, receded under the expansion of a smaller but (according to many) better–organized species called the Baleb, as well as from the Alliance, a multispecies state formed from the necessity of protection from utter subjugation by Humanity.
All this information was known well to Miyyus Phtos, a young man of twenty–six years living in Yergnes, planet Mars. This spot put him highly close to the seat of Imperial government, the planet Earth, yet, as a resident of Yergnes, he was spared from slums and Weakworker neighborhoods, which lie in the nearby city of Er’rafk. Miyyus was surrounded by information and by Humanity’s recent history. He had learned it from his parents, again in school, more in college, and was reminded of it each time he activated his Sectrine brainscope, which enabled him to see news reports and fictional shows without the bother of putting his eyes up to a screen. Miyyus’ work was largely done by his personal robot, a useful, if at times bothersome contraption; Miyyus could not afford a Weakworker for his own home, though he would have preferred one over his robot (robotics remained a poorly developed science due to nearly two hundred years of scientific neglect since the early 2000s). However, at the Office of Governmental Internal Processing, where Miyyus worked, he could call upon a Weakworker to aid him, and the Weakworker always surprised him with his knowledge of whatever area Miyyus’ problem lay in.
Miyyus began the commute to his home. As with most cities, the word commute was something of a joke: Miyyus had only to walk a hundred yards or so to reach the Hafinun Square Public Freetube Embarkation stop, wait for three minutes for a capsule to arrive, show his Citizen’s Certification, input his destination, and be swept through a magnetic underground tunnel as the magnets on the capsule adjusted themselves frequently to take Miyyus to the thirteenth floor of 563 Minnow Street, whereupon Miyyus disembarked to find himself at home. The Freetube service was provided gratis to all residents who were citizens of the Human Empire, and since Miyyus met both requirements, he had not to pay a Nurvina.
Once home, Miyyus settled himself upon his simple couch –a fact which he begrudged greatly, wishing he had an automatically movable, hovering Moticouch– and called to his robot to make for him a cup of tea. The robot set off upon his task, tripping rather comically over one of the apartment’s thresholds, and Miyyus resolved to buy a new leg sensor for the android.
At this time, Miyyus’ Automaton Automated House Control System asked if he would like to watch something on his Sectrine and, without waiting for a reply, brought the Sectrine helmet to descend upon Miyyus’ head. All Automatons monitored their subjects’ brains’ responses to their Sectrines and reported the information to the government, who regulated all Sectrine programming. Miyyus rather liked this monitoring, as he knew that his Automaton could always find him whatever program he wanted most to see. At this moment, it was the news, and the Automaton quickly directed the Sectrine to the FIN, the First Imperial News, which was Miyyus’ favorite, as it presented the news in a straightforward manner and always kept a patriotic mood.
“…and this morning, the Human Imperial Navy began its siege of Delurin City from the Alliance. We have suffered only twenty–two casualties since that siege began! Let us all take a moment to admire the courage and strength of our own interstellar Navy.” Miyyus did this.
“In other news, the Martian hover team has once again overcome its rival, the Venus hover team, in three matches at the Universe Games Final. The team members have worked incredibly hard to earn this honor, and deserve recognition. So that we might add to the effort, I give you our correspondent, Michet Olin, who will interview each team member. This is Aninia Gorif, signing off….”
The image shifted to the male correspondent, just as Aninia had promised. Miyyus happened to find this particular correspondent horribly boring and felt he had a tendency to talk a half an hour about what deserved only minutes of reporting. Miyyus sipped his tea which his robot presently brought him, and began to drift into sleep. Sensing this, his Automaton quietly removed the Sectrine helmet from Miyyus’ head as billions of other Automatons in billions of other homes of billions of other FIN watchers did the same.
Miyyus was awakened by a shriek from his Automaton. He was frightened for a moment to see surroundings quite unlike those of his bedroom, then realized that he had fallen asleep while watching his Sectrine and continued his life as normal.
It was 5:40. Miyyus’ job began at 6:00, and he had asked his Automaton to wake him at 5:15 so that he could have ample time to ready himself. However, given the rapid speed and incredible efficiency of the Freetube, Miyyus felt he really did not need forty–five minutes to reach 83 Hafinun Street, the site of his workplace, and thought nothing more of the oddity. Miyyus entered his antibacterial cell, which released a gas which was supposed to kill ninety–nine percent of all pathogens, including viruses, on Miyyus’ person. Regardless of whether it actually worked this well, it was certainly fast: Miyyus found himself out of the cell and out of his door to begin the short walk to the Minnow Public Freetube Embarkation Stop.
Miyyus had arrived at the site of his work: an old government building which towered over all other buildings in the immediate area. Its sixty floors were rumored to be nearly as old as Yergnes itself, as well as to house haunting spirits, but Miyyus believed little of this talk; in fact, he cared little about the building at all, feeling that a building should be a structure designed to do what it did as efficiently as possible, and felt that the one that housed his job was not one such building.
As the Chair of Review in the Finance Department of the Office of Governmental Internal Processing, Miyyus had a highly important job, in his own opinion. While it was true that he typically did little but oversee the Weakworkers, and a few humans, who reviewed financial documents sent from areas all across Mars that pertained to Mars’ government, he had the final word in resolving any dispute between two employees about whether a certain document should be approved and about what changes should be made. Since Miyyus held such an important office, it was natural that others be jealous of his powers and wealth. Many went so far as calling him a bureaucrat with no real job, but Miyyus knew better.
The room in which Miyyus labored was rather spiritless. It had no windows (a good thing, in Miyyus’ mind: nobody wanted the distraction and, besides, the streets onto which the windows would have looked were ugly and bare.) In an attempt to make up for the absence of windows, an ornate fountain in the shape of a fish had been placed in the center of the room, which Miyyus greatly detested: it took up a vast amount of space which could have otherwise been used, and was highly inappropriate to the environment of bleak, white walls, dull hydrogen lamps and gray document–display robots. The building was so old that its central wires were antiquated and thus financial documents approved took a great deal of time to send. The building also swayed with the wind in the most annoying way. Miyyus would have loved to have his job moved to a newer building, but the Martian government, apparently, would not have it.
And so Miyyus lived his way through another uneventful day devoid of even the tiniest disagreement between workers.
I had survived another day at the Finance Department of the O.G.I.P. My days were not filled with danger or action. Quite the opposite. My days were filled with monotony, boredom, and the shouted commands that the despicable humans barked at me. Each day, my tasks were nearly the same, yet different enough that not even the geniuses at Imperial Research had developed a robot to do them. Every minute of each day was spent making subtle changes to financial documents sent in from across Mars, even while all the Humans were away for their meal break. I hoped for nothing more. After all, I was but a Weakworker. What could I expect from my life but misery and mistreatment? All the same, I had a persistent feeling that it did not need to be this way. I was alive; I was flesh and blood as much as any human, and at least their equal in brawn and intelligence. Why, then, did my species live its life behind the glamorous curtains before which Humanity showed off its great accomplishments, toward the completion of which we had worked harder than any human involved?
I had walked several blocks to an arranged meeting place: many of my friends and I had pooled our meager salaries to rent an outmoded hydrogen–powered Autobus. We were Weakworkers, not humans, and as such we were not Imperial citizens; we were prohibited from the Freetube unless we paid a great deal of money which was actually more than my share of the inefficient Autobus; we were prohibited from making our domiciles anywhere excepting special Weakworker Neighborhoods in only certain cities. These neighborhoods tended to be in the worst places where no human wished to live; mine was near a particularly large garbage plant. Though this plant was supposed to be completely unnoticeable, it tended to exude a putrid smell and emit the most awful of squeals, groans and crashes at unpredictable intervals.
Such was the home to which I returned that day. I was greeted by Goorotog, my mother, who worked as a chef at a local restaurant, and by my sister Feyra, who was yet too young for work, but already its prospect hung over her like the sword of Damocles; within two years she would follow her mother to the restaurant.
“Greetings, Nurogi,” said my mother in her usual voice: cheerful, but not ecstatic, “How have you been today?”
“Well enough,” I said, “And you?”
“I have been fine as well,” said Goorotog, “But I would like to know how your labor was.”
“That has been fine as well,” I said. “For a Weakworker,” I added under my breath.
“I worry about you, Nurogi. Just eighteen years old, already working full time. Soon I’ll see your sister gone full–time, too, Nurogi. At thirteen Earth Years of age, she has to work. By the time she’s fifteen, she’ll be gone. Why do you think they make us do this? I should be able to raise my children. Instead, I have to send you out, out to the wild!” My mother began to sob, and I tried to comfort her, but she nudged me away, preferring the comfort of solitude. Somberly, I walked away to find my sister, who was usually far more cheerful. I would have also spoken to my father, but he had yet three more hours to work overseeing robots –often faulty– making appliances at the Device Assembly Workshop.
My sister rose. “Nurogi, you must read this! Hectir Valdip has released yet another work! And still, nobody knows where he is. Nurogi, Hectir is my hero. He really believes that life isn’t fair for us. But unlike some other Weakworkers who keep it to themselves, he’s out to make a change! Read it, Nurogi! Listen to this…”
Though I loved Feyra dearly, I could not help but tune out her words– she was of the sort who continue speaking until they realize nobody is listening; it was impossible with her to be polite and be her audience until she had finished, no matter how much the audience’s interest in the subject matter.
In this case, the interest was very high. Hectir Valdip was perhaps the most wanted Weakworker in history. He constantly published pamphlets and, more recently, an entire book, about the plight of the Weakworker. Personally, I loved his works (though I would have rather read them than have Feyra read her favorite parts to me) but they were banned to all, especially Weakworkers, so I had to confiscate Feyra’s book. I did not want to become like the Weakworkers in the horror stories so often circulated about Weakworkers in possession of banned literature who were simply whisked away by the Silent Enforcement and were never seen again.
I put the book into our rubbish remover, one of the few luxuries to which Weakworkers were entitled, and the book was taken by a powerful vacuum to the nearby garbage plant. I looked around my family’s domicile. Like other Weakworker homes, ours could have only the items prescribed by the Empire. My family owned one small bed (on which members of my family took turns sleeping on a rotating bases), one creaky table on which we both ate and prepared food, one woefully obsolete electric cooker, and the food our wages could buy (in our case, with three people working decent jobs, this was a fair amount of food; other families had only just enough to eat.) There were no dividers but for one privacy wall for our lavatory; we ate and slept in the same room. The room was rather small as well; it was no larger than a Human’s living room. The walls were covered in a tacky, peeling flower–pattern wallpaper; the floor was bare concrete. The roof kept us dry under rainfall but, it seemed, only just so; it looked to me on the verge of leaking.
Fortunately, I had arranged a social meeting with my friends that day, the prospect of which dispelled my gloom. I said a hasty farewell to mother and sister, then prepared for a short walk to the house of the Korozioths, among whom was a friend, Jarig. Another friend, Yuokadi, might meet me there as well, I thought. For one moment, I felt content.
Miyyus Phtos awoke the next morning with an odd feeling. He could not say what type of feeling he had, or why he felt it. He was on the verge of forgetting it altogether, when he realized he had had a dream.
In this dream, he sat in some sort of room. He could not discern the nature of the room, but he could clearly see those inside it. On one side of the room he sat, though curiously, he could see himself as though he were seeing through someone else’s eyes. On the other side of the room was another person – or perhaps a Weakworker – on his feet and with an angry look upon his face. Some time passed; Miyyus observed both he and the other fidgeting, now stretching, now shifting position, and then came a change. Miyyus watched as the other walked across the room toward him, then saw himself rise and walk from the room with the stranger. It was then that the shrill blast from the Automaton had come.
“Odd,” thought Miyyus aloud. He was almost certain he had seen the face of the other party in his dream before, though he could not say who its owner was. Miyyus rose from his bed, scrambling its thick quilt, and called to his robot to fix the covers. Miyyus walked past his lush, purple screen walls, pleasant to the touch with a pattern that could be changed by Miyyus’ Automaton. He entered his antibacterial cell, felt its cleanliness pervade him, changed his clothes, and walked to the street to take the Freetube. Miyyus wished he had a Moticouch like many of his friends and coworkers, as he was reminded by an adBot standing outside the Freetube.
The one event that occurred during the first half of Miyyus’ workday was nothing but annoyance; there was still not the slightest bit to interest him. A human employee had got into a heated argument with a Weakworker over whether the January Spending Index of Mars Metals should have read R^960,823,1205 or R^960,823,1304. Miyyus, though sad to disagree with a human, whom he would have loved to have been in the right, sided with the Weakworker. The Table of Facts, after all, the universal repository used to settle such disputes, claimed the Weakworker had, in fact, the correct total; Mars Metals had spent 96,823,125 Ratis over January. Just as he was through with settling this matter, the workplace Automaton informed everyone present that it was time for Human meal break.
The Weakworker with whom Miyyus had sided stood and discreetly walked to the break room; nobody, he knew, would notice. At the break room, he encountered Miyyus.
“What are you doing here? As a Weakworker, you should be at work; you know you don’t have a meal break! Please leave,” stated a bewildered Miyyus.
“Mr. Phtos,” said the Weakworker, “I would like to thank you for supporting me. I have seen many humans who would side against a Weakworker such as I on mere personal policy. You, however, seem to be an exceptional case. I am very glad that here, you are the one with the final word on any dispute.”
“Yes…” began Miyyus, but before he could even assemble his words (he was, of course, far from used to being treated with thanks by a Weakworker) his addressee had left the room.
The rest of Miyyus’ day passed without further event; he continued to consider the significance of his meeting with the Weakworker. He was sure that the Weakworker’s face was the same that he had seen in his dream. A quick lookup in his Workplace Directory showed the Weakworker’s name to be Nurogi Orau. Miyyus did not recognize this name, and decided to leave the whole issue be and dismiss his dream as nothing but an odd hallucination of the night, one with no significance.
The shock of being defended by a human had been extreme. It had been a reversal of much that I had believed about humankind; I now knew that there were some humans in existence, very few, but still some, who considered Weakworkers the equal of humans in how they deserved to be treated.
The deed of Mr. Phtos was apparently simple, but it had larger implications. For several weeks I had been bullied by the human with whom I had argued, and I hoped greatly for some way to stop him. He had forced me to do a great deal of the work that should have been his and asserted that I was wrong whenever he double–checked my work. Unfortunately, I worried that if I told Mr. Phtos, whom I did not know well, he would join the bullying as well, and my life would be made even more miserable. That day, however, I had resolved to tell Phtos; I knew in this case that I was right; I had consulted my sources and the Table of Facts what seemed like thousands of times. And my bet had been well–placed; my ex–tormentor stayed away from me for the rest of the day and it seemed that he would be my tormentor no longer.
When I arrived at home, it seemed to me that Feyra must have had a personal genie: she had somehow procured another copy of Valdip’s book which, I noted, was entitled The Fire–Time. My mother was away on some errand, one undoubtedly related to her labor, and I did not have the heart to confiscate Feyra’s book. Instead, I asked her to share with me her book and some of the facts about which the book had enlightened her. We sat for what seemed like hours as Feyra recounted as much as she could remember from the book. Once she had finished, I sat upon the bed’s nearly–torn sheets, remembering sadly that my turn to use it had just expired, and began reading the book for myself, a thing which Feyra, surprisingly, actually permitted. Since I usually had to give her a fight to even borrow anything which was hers, this was odd; I realized in an instant of wonder that Feyra truly wanted to share the book’s wisdom, its spirit of rebellion.
The book was truly incredible. Of course, I knew of the horrors in my own life and even in the lives of those I knew, but I soon learned that these troubles – being forced to use obsolete technology, for example, or living in tiny houses – were just a small part of a greater spectrum of experience of Weakworkers across the galaxy. As a race, we were made to dig entire tons of stone and earth with mere spades, to wait upon and entertain the High Ones, and to endure all this with often no pay at all. Weakworkers, I knew, had no citizens’ privileges, but I did not realize that they had few legal rights, and that the few which they had were not rigid by any stretch. I continued to read, to see Hectir Valdip’s argument take shape, and soon I reached the inevitable, yet consequential declaration that I knew must come: Valdip’s book told me that I must rebel as forcibly as necessary, that I must liberate myself and my people from our tragic lifestyles.
But I knew that I could not do this deed alone. And I also knew that to enlist the aid of another Weakworker would be to court danger: Imperial laws against Weakworker conspiracy were highly sharp. Then it came to me: if I could convince a human to join the side of the Weakworkers, it would be greatly to my advantage: the human would be more immune to accusations of treachery, and could use his connections to aid the spread of the word of rebellion. The problem was who to enlist; immediately my mind settled on Miyyus Phtos, though I repeatedly tried to steer my thinking away from him; kind though he seemed, I felt I did not know him well enough to make such an important decision about his character. As I continued to think, however, I realized that I could not remember a single instance of any human doing to me a deed that would compare to Miyyus’.
If, however, Miyyus would be his accomplice, how would he convince Miyyus to join him without he, Nurogi Orau, appearing to be a revolutionary?
Miyyus took the Freetube as he did every day. Today, however, rather than making his trip to his Minnow Road office, he set the transportation capsule’s destination to the Plaza Public Freetube Disembarkation stop and was taken to a huge, bustling square. Miyyus loved the plaza, where he could always find some new trinket to keep him busy until his next Free Day. Today, Miyyus had in mind to buy a leg sensor for his robot, the current model of which was constantly causing his little servant to frequently spill whatever he was bringing to Miyyus. For this item, Miyyus entered the Hyper Store.
The Hyper Store was a store so massive in scale it had its own tunnel transportation system similar to the Freetube; Miyyus needed not make use of this system, as the technology section was the first section one encountered as he or she entered. Miyyus love the Hyper Store, both for its low prices and because of their incredible optimism and patriotism. They constantly kept a board in the store tuned into the FIN news bulletin, which displayed the video and audio information the old–fashioned way, using light and sound emitters to stimulate the viewers’ senses; this method allowed the board to reach multiple viewers easily.
It took Miyyus quite a long time to find the sensor card he was seeking, partially due to his fascination with the FIN bulletin, on which Aninia Gorif declared that the loss of Delurin City was inevitable and was due to no shortcoming on the humans’ part; Miyyus then spent a long time in silent rage over the loss of the city, from which he was distracted by the notion that the city was so far away it had no impact on his life, and by an advertisement for a Moticouch the likes of which were Miyyus’ envy. Here his search for the robot sensor was delayed further; like mad, Miyyus tore to the Hyper Store Tube, took it to the furniture section, and ran through the couches until he found one which he quite liked; however, he found its price much to high and instead opted for another, which cost only R^2395.99 as opposed to R^2449.99. Satisfied, he called a store official through his Personal Message Device, and the official promised it would be delivered to his house. Miyyus then remembered the sensor card, took the Hyper Store Tube to Electronics, and again called a store official who cleared Miyyus to take it home, deactivating the alarm built into the packaging that would have sounded had Miyyus tried to leave with the card. The card cost Miyyus R^476.99.
I had resolved to give Miyyus a note, a large envelope containing a copy of The Fire–Time. This was the only secure way to get information to Miyyus; the electronic media was constantly monitored by the Imperial Security Office. This would have been a simple task had it not been Free Day; I had no guarantee of Miyyus’ location on any such day. As I was not permitted to use to Freetube without a massive fee, I gave up attempting to find Miyyus that day, hoping to catch him while he made his return from his local Worship Garden on the Day of Imperial Devotion.
This I did. Though it cost me 160 Ratis, I took the Freetube to the 93rd Garden on Minnow Street, though it took me some time to find Mr. Phtos’ address as well as the address of the Garden nearest his residence. I gave Miyyus the package I had made, and trusted to the heavens that Miyyus would not turn me in. I rode the Freetube to my domicile, hoping for the electronic message I would receive from Miyyus if he had chosen to work with me (in the note I had given him, I had told Miyyus to send such a message). I had the rest of the day to wait; as I was not an Imperial citizen, I did not need to pay worship to His Greatness the Ruler Hermand Ank’tul on Days of Imperial Devotion.
I did not need to wait long, however. About an hour after I returned home and told Feyra of my plot, a thing about which she was most excited indeed, our home Automaton (like all else in the domicile, an ancient Automaton, but not so outmoded that it could not observe our electronic (though, thankfully, not our physical) actions and report to the government. I answered the message, which Miyyus, of course, kept simple and the least egregious he could.
“Please,” the message read according to the Automaton, “meet me after work at the Minnow Park. I feel we have a great deal to discuss.”
I sent Miyyus a short message in response, hoping that The Fire–Time had put him even more on the side of the Weakworker, then sent a message to the coordinator of my Autobus, telling him that I would not be taking it the next day.
Miyyus was horrified. He knew not what to think. He had received the book from his Weakworker employee; “a gift,” the employee had said. The employee’s intentions soon became evident, however. The book Miyyus had been given was meant as propaganda; however, this was different from Imperial propaganda; this propaganda was pessimistic, it reeked of blood, of torture, of sweat, of a million horrors and was so convincing, from the author’s words at the beginning to the book’s climax prescribing the overthrow of the Empire, that it seemed to upset nearly everything he had believed about Weakworkers at one time.
Miyyus had met the Weakworker – no, Nurogi Orau; he could not continue to put all members of Nurogi’s race off as nameless Weakworkers – at the park as they had agreed. Miyyus had planned to discuss with Nurogi Orau what he had read, but Miyyus realized that once there he was at a loss for words, that his voice was beginning to crack with tears. He said only this pertaining to The Fire–Time: “Is this…is the book…is it all true?” Nurogi responded with a somber nod.
“Very well,” said Miyyus, “We must stop it. Which is why you’ve brought me here in the first place.”
“Yes,” said Nurogi, “That is precisely why we are here. And I will have you know right now, Miyyus, that to stop the torture of the Weakworkers, we cannot work through our civil system. Millions have tried before. No, the solution is, unfortunately, rebellion. Miyyus, this is the one thing nobody has attempted. It is the one resort we have left. Through rebellion, we can overturn not only the spirit of ill deeds to the Weakworker from Humanity, we can also end our apathy.”
“What do you mean by apathy?” asked Miyyus Phtos.
“Don’t you see? Each and every one of us is but a pawn of the Empire. Whether we live in luxury or in rags, our lives are inconsequential. During our lifetimes, the vast Human Empire will shrink, to be sure, as it has, a fortunate thing, too, for the aliens with whom the Empire is fighting were treated more unjustly than the Weakworkers, but nothing else will happen. Our Empire’s discoveries, its imagination, all have come to a halt. We must start them again, or else the galaxy will be doomed to an endless, brutal war when our Empire fails completely.”
Miyyus had only “Yes,” to say.
“Then, to the matter of putting the rebellion into effect, which we must do as quickly as possible. I will work to bring as many of my people as I can to our side.”
“I,” said Miyyus, finally ready to make a statement, “will speak with a coworker, Rothisk Yutof. He has always been a distrustful of the Empire. He was in jail once, in fact, for counter–governmental suspicion. Yutof has a small organization of his own already, though it is one focused on distraction from our lifestyles, not on change. However, if we can bring him to our way of thinking, show him The Fire–Time…”
“Excellent,” said Nurogi Orau, “I must be going now. I must be at my domicile to help my mother clean when she arrives at home. Goodbye.”
Miyyus had not a chance to utter a response; Nurogi Orau walked to the Freetube station; it occurred to Miyyus that he would be paying a huge number of Ratis. Miyyus nearly hit himself over this.
Much to my chagrin, I had no time to spread the rebellion the day I spoke with Miyyus Phtos. I was required at my domicile almost constantly until I could no longer keep my eyes open.
When I arrived at work the next morning, I found that neither Phtos nor, I found, Rathisk Yutof were present. After another day of almost unbearable mistreatment (my tormenting coworker seemed willing to take vengeance upon me since Miyyus was not present). While the absence of Miyyus Phtos, who, I realized after looking through my memory, was one of the most prompt and punctual workers in O.G.I.P., was odd, a truly overturning experience was to come.
I returned home and, as my mother was not yet in the domicile, ordered my Automaton to put on an audio feed from INI, Imperial News Intergalactic, a station a far preferred over FIN.
“Miyyus Phtos and Rothisk Yutof are being held on high suspicion of counter–government plotting. These two individuals had clear plans to destroy our Empire though, fortunately, they had not yet begun to put them into effect. They were found conspiring…”
I turned off the feed, weeping. No doubt these two men, one of whom I had just met, one of whom I knew not at all, would be killed. They had done it for my cause; had it not been for me, they would still have been alive. I felt that it was not something for which I should feel guilt; rather, it inspired me to work harder, to never lose hope of the rebellion which I now almost knew deep within me would come about. I would always remember the two humans who were now about to give their lives for the cause of equality, of rebellion, especially Miyyus, the one human I had know to have any sympathy anywhere within his soul.
I called to Feyra. I told her of what I had done over the past two days. I then made a proposal: “Feyra, feel I need a partner if we are to set right the wrongs of the government. You are one of the people I know best, and are certainly the person best–versed in knowledge of Hectir Valdip’s philosophy. The road will be tough, and we will have no humans to aid us. Feyra, will you take the place of the two humans who will be killed for our cause? Will you come with me as we brave the dangers we shall undoubtedly face, fight the monstrosities which lurk within our society?”
I would have continued, but Feyra already had a response. “Yes, Nurogi. I will go with you. Even if I die, if you die, if we both die, let it not have been so without our telling another of our intentions, that the rebellion might live on after us!”
Then, struck by the same plan as if through a psychic bond, we left our house, both of us silently mouthing “Whillen. Tell Whillen.” We would tell Gregos Willen, a man who already felt angst towards the Empire.
In this way, a great fight began, as a mighty lion does a blind cub. Together, we would destroy the foundations of 23rd century society. We were to become far more than we had ever imagined we might be with nothing but hope and our noble ideals to guide us; though neither of us imagined it to be this way, we would live to see our great plans take true shape and experience our apotheosis.