Tla’al listened to the Earther’s plight. She almost felt pity, until she remembered her earliest childhood memory of her village being sacked by Earthers. “What comes around goes around,” she said to the Earther. “Same happened to me, when I was a child, to my village… this time by Earthers against us. Except unlike us to you, they didn’t keep the survivors alive. My parents never had the chance to plea with their captors for their lives. They were tortured for fun and then were burned alive. I hear my kin’s screams for mercy, their cries in agony, every time I close my eyes. <pause> You don’t get to plead innocence against our people. If you have anger against your own people for isolating you, take it out on them. Build your villages closer to theirs… steal their food sources…reject trade with them…raid their villages in the night and burn them alive. Leave us be.”
"So, what I am hearing is that because you blame all Earthers for what some did to you you are justified in killing and destroying our homes? That makes you a racist now doesn’t it. No one in this town harmed you, yet you blame us for these actions? I never harmed anyone, this town is full of civilians who would run away from even seeing one of your kind. This race war of yours now damns us, you are truly a stunning example of why our people fear and hate your kind. You are truly monsters
I was born here, so was everyone here, where should we go? We barely scrape by even with food deliveries, we steal nothing from you, everything is imported this town doesn’t take a single thing from anyone except from Dunesphere. You are harming us despite the fact that this villiage doesn’t actually harm you." If you hate the Church of One attack their castles and towers. Instead you attack villiages of people who have done nothing to you. You are cowards and beasts. Fight the ones who actually attack you not the ones who just live nearby."
“Remind me, Earther, Dunesphere was the same Earther colony that ruled Brez 2,000 years ago? The same Dunesphere that slaughtered our people for two thousand years? The same colony that rules this town?”
The pit mongrel youths in their shining armor waited to hear the Mayors reply.
Kaka whispered “Makka’na, this is better than the stories told by the Elder.”
"Shh,"she replied trying to pay attention to what the Brezans and the Mayor discussed. Her own people didn’t have political discourse like this.
Mayor Gottschalk looked surprised, “Well, my mastery of Goblin Lands history is well, non existent outside this town, in fact everyone from this town pretty much knows only a few generations of history from their own families. So unless you believe that this is a town of immortals who have lived for 2,000 years why the hell would you believe that we had anything to do with what other people did 2,000 years ago! I couldn’t care less about 2,000 years ago, i care about NOW! I care about people who had their family members gunned down because you believe that a group of villagers in an isolated village are responsible for actions done thousands of years ago! Are you insane? What is wrong with you?
Yes we are a colony of Dunesphere, no one who lives here, (besides maybe the Paladins, cannot speak for them) has ever been to Dunesphere. Our lives revolve around basic survival, trying to keep our families alive and stay out of the way of others and trying not to be slaughtered by self righteous bigots like you who cannot tell one earther from another. You have a problem with Dunesphere? Then fight with them and get the fuck out of my town!” Mayor Gottschalk was shaking with anger by this time.
Lokyi gives an exasperated sigh at the building friction and his inability to flag down a tribe member to interpret for him. Instead, he leaves his jaw hanging open at the end of his sigh, showing that his tongue is missing and squats down to draw on the ground.
He draws a rough map of the west side of the continent with the colonial boarder drawn in. Below the boarder, he sketches human and Ol’gog stick figures with weapons and frowning faces. He draws downward lines to smaller stick figures with weapons and sad faces and then another set of downward lines. Then he erases all the stick figures and redraws some but with humans above the boarder and O’gogs below and everyone is smiling.
About this time, Lokyi spies Hob’og walking near by and waves him over. Lokyi begins gesturing in a broken sign language and Hob’og translates, “If the town is here, Paladins will be here. Church wants humans alive and everybody else dead. We can take you to the boarder and give you some supplies or… wait up! I’m not saying that! Gul’al will skin us both!” Lokyi punches Hob’og in the face and then Hob’og continues while holding his bloody nose. “Or you can sever ties with colonies join the tribe.”
The olgog smiled at her allies and spoke in Olgog, “I was trying to get there. All these Earthers ever want to do is call you an evil demon and accuse you of murder.” She looked at the mayor, back in Earther, “My Earther, again, is not strong. Sorry. Wasn’t asking you about history, was asking if you were members of the same tribe. If you are the same tribe, then until peace is declared between our people, there will be war. However, my friends gave you an offer. If you are truly different from your kind in Dunesphere, who raid us and kill us, and if you truly want to live in peace in these lands you have a choice. Join us. Otherwise, go back to your lands. We will not have Earthers who stand against us in our lands.”
Tla’al then walks over to her translator, asking for an update while the Earthers responded. She then says, in Olgog, to Gul’als group, “Since we’re making decisions, what about the grey fur?”
“Stand against you? what is the definition of that? Existing? Breathing? You are a thug and a racist, this is our home. This is all we have ever known, now you demand that we leave for the crime of being born here? Your hypocrite! You do to us what you claim was done to you, what makes you different from the ones you hate?”
Turning to the other Olgogs Mayor Gottschalk says “So you give us the option of either being seen being escorted where Dunesphere? We would all be dead before we got even halfway there, there are thousands of Church soldiers between there and here and hundreds of thousands of soldiers there. We would be slaughtered if we are seen traveling with you, you would die too. The second choice? Join your tribe? The fact i am speaking to you is an act of desperation, you come into our homes, kill our people, lock us up, call us murderers and then say join you? To what end? To help you do this to other innocent people who have committed the horrible crime of being born in these lands? What makes you any better then the ones you hate? Why should we help you slaughter people who have done nothing to us?”
Lokyi faces Tla’al and signs while Hob’og translates in Olgog, “I don’t have a fight with the grey fur. Let him make his own way.” Patiently, Lokyi turns to the mayor, “Olgogs do bad stuff, Church does bad stuff. Fighting is all bad stuff. What is your vision for your town?”
Tla’al says to Lokyi, in Olgog, “We’re wasting our time with the Earthers. I tried being nice… doesn’t work. We get captured, we don’t get a chance to talk. They get captured… they want to call us racist if we give them food and water. They are gor… we are gor. Gor matters, not race.”
Mayor Gottschalk turns to Lokyi and Hab’og “My vision for my town is what it has always been. Live our lives and ignore all of the fighting. We scrape by because we are surrounded by threats, we face threats from your people by existing, we face threats from the lack of resources. We make ourselves small as to not attract the attention of the Church more then we have to. We believe in God and his plan, however we aren’t fighters, we live our lives, pay our taxes to the Church and try our best to stay out of everyone’s way.
That is apparently not good enough for SOME PEOPLE, who hate us because we come from a particular country and lack fur.”
“That fits if Church wins fight with Ol’gogs. What’s your vision if Ol’gogs leave you alone and win against the Church?”
"That depends on what you mean by winning? Does winning mean driving them all out of this territory? Does that mean invading Dunesphere itself and wiping all of them out? If you manage to drive them out of this area they will return. If you plan on invading their home then most likely the ones you send will die. What you face here is but a tiny fraction of their strength, they do not take you seriously yet. If you somehow manage to wipe out all of the Earthers in Dunesphere the rest of the colonies will fear you. They will all unite against you and that will make the threat of Dunesphere seem like nothing.
So it really depends on what you consider a victory? A peace treaty? Wiping out their forces? What do you want and what are you willing to do to get it?"
Tla’al lost patience… lack of maturity does that to a young olgog. “Mayor, you win. We’re racists. We hate your kind. Happy? Our people are at war. Have been since pretty much you Earthers invaded this planet. We attacked your village because we know the stronger a village is, the more likely your armies and their war machines will use it to attack us. Experience has shown us that. Look at Jamestown, we attacked, they survived, they used it to launch machines against us and kill us all. That is the nature of being gor, enemies as you people call it. What you seem to be ignoring is that you’re trapped, surrounded by Olgog, and are not dead yet. We talking to you. We haven’t defiled your dead bodies or whatever you think we do to you. If you’re going to sit there and be angry the whole time when we’re trying to find a way to keep you alive, then you’re wasting our time.” She paused, her chest heaving in frustration, “victory means peace. Don’t presume it means killing you all. Pretend there’s peace… what she wants to know is what you would want to do if there were peace. And so help me if you answer by saying something like ‘use your skins as coats’ this conversation is over.”
Kaka said, “See! I told you Hugor don’t even understand that they are attacking us.
They too stupid to know anything. He mayor he rule this town. He doesn’t see the trenches and earthworks.
He doesn’t see he is sitting in a warzone before we even arrived here.
If he didn’t want fight he would have gotten up and left. Mayor have two feet he can walk? Why he no walk before day of battle?”
"Because he likes the benefit of being an overseer among slaves?"said Makka’na, “He is like Gorkaog when Elder catches him doing something wrong. He hide behind the innocence of others.”
Babi yaal had some of the tribe with him. They had heard their were captured earthers left at simonsburg. He wondered if the copter creww they had left to find ther way home were in their number. The Vampyrs fed on the captured earther’s fear. The Mayor’s emotions may have run hot but the rest of the captives were still afraid. “There be another way.” Babi volunteered. “We take da earthers off yo hands. We be done with dis arguing and you go back to building da city.”
Urik listened to the exchange between the Ka Gor and shook his head. He walked toward them and pulled his cigar from his mouth.
“Walk away before the day of battle? Is that what Ka Gor do when someone comes to take something from them? You run and hide? No you fight for whats yours! Don’t condemn anyone, even a Church of Oner for that.” He pointed at the Mayor and gathered villagers “They kill us we kill them. We’ve been killing each other for two thousand years. Some days the people who get hurt have it coming some days they don’t. Today? Today we came into a nothing little town to take it over and kill anyone who tried to stop us. That sound heroic or rightoues to you? Don’t lie to yourselves this is a dirty war and its only going to get worse.” Urik replaced his cigar and looked at Tla’al. “So like I said before this is your show. Are we killing them or letting them go? We let them go I’ll even seen them to the colonies. If we’re killing them,” he grabbed the grenade launchers pistol grip and leveled the weapon at the captives. “It really don’t matter to me.”
Tla’al was surprised that so many interjected so suddenly. She looked over at the Earthers, unsure of what their reactions would be to the current events, turned to Urik and said in Earther, “please lower your weapon…for now at least.” She was calmer now that things escalated. She looked back then looked back at the Mayor, “Waiting for an answer.”
Urik shrugged and let the launcher drop and hang from its sling. He crossed his arms and regarded the Mayor.
During Tla’al’s outburst, Lokyi’s eyes narrowed and a quiet gruff sound rumbled from his throat. After everyone was quiet and waiting for the mayor, he deliberately relaxed and fixed the drawing of the continent to have a human in Duneshpere holding a cross and something like a federation logo by a human just north of the colonial boarder. He added frowning faces and overlapping spears to two Ol’gog figures. Next was a smiling human in Ol’gog territory holding nothing and he pointed to the empty human hand.
Hob’og slowly slid over to Tla’al and whispered, “Treating Lokyi like he can’t talk is like treating a chief like they can’t fight.” Before stepping back towards Lokyi, Hob’og opens his hand, bloody from holding his nose, in testimony.