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Social Conundrums, Part XIV

Updated: Nov 3, 2023


Hannah didn't live up to her word.

S​even days were gone and other than our earlier conversation nothing more was said about Res publica. I still saw Hannah almost on a daily basis along with the rest of my supporters. Our protests against Mediator Kim's Third Way were garnering attention from the Little Dragon community at large. More than once I tried to catch a moment alone with her, but she was deliberately avoiding me. I was beginning to wonder if she had promised me too much seven days ago.

I​f that were true, then the whole enterprise would fail. It didn't matter how many arguments we presented because Anne and her entourage were refuting them all. We might as well be back in the committee room arguing the same old points only this time we had a bigger audience. I didn't get any impression that the Little Dragons really cared enough to do anything more than just listen. A large public outcry is what we sought, and we weren't going to get it.

These thoughts kept running around inside my head while my bare feet sank into the wet muddy ground of one of my favorite planets. After today's protest, I decided to come here eager to escape from everyone for a while. A sharp wind drew goosebumps all over my arms, a remnant of a recently passed storm. That cold feeling combined with the wet grass soaking me up to my ankles gave me a perverse pleasure. Discomfort is the reason I came here and why I assumed my current form.

Our ancient ancestors didn't really know what a prehistoric human looked like. There were pictures of course in the old texts but it was all speculation. I cobbled this form together based on their beliefs. My solid stocky frame covered with coarse hair was ideal for surviving in this environment. I would build a shelter and do some hunting. The physical labor giving me something else to think about at least for now.

Walking through the muddy grass, it didn't take long before I found some downed tree limbs. Grabbing a large one in both hands I managed to drag it through the mud towards the leeward side of a tall stony hill. Carefully, I braced it against the rock wall.

"​Are you Gershom?" a voice ran out startling me. Frozen I stood my arms extended as I tried to place the voice. Turning I saw an unfamiliar Little Dragon staring. It's large golden eyes carefully observing me while the sunshine made its bluish green, iridescent scales shimmer.

"​Yes," I said as I turned back to my work. Once satisfied the limb wouldn't fall I refocused my attention on the Little Dragon, "Who are you?"

"My name is not important only who I represent," the Little Dragon said a hard gleam coming into its yellow eyes. Goosebumps formed on my arms again only this time it wasn't from the wind. Moving away from the rock wall, I approached the Res publica representative. "Hannah sent you," I said all my senses on high alert.

T​he scaly head nodding slightly at my statement. "Are you still interested in our help?" the Little Dragon asked.

"​Yes," I said without hesitation.

"Before we can proceed, we need some guarantees from you," the Little Dragon said.

A concerned look grew on my face. "I don't understand," I said suddenly wary.

"​Fifty years ago the existence of our organization became public knowledge. We can't ever let that happen again, so if we help you under no circumstances can you reveal your tie to us. It will go very badly for you if you do," the Little Dragon said in a menacing tone.

I​ didn't like being threatened. "If you are really capable of defeating Anne and her supporters then you and I shouldn't have any problems," I said hardening my own voice.

T​he Res public representative wasn't offended by my attitude. "We are very good at what we do but no one is perfect. If for some reason, Little Dragons suspect foul play then you must take the blame. If you don't or you decide to tell others about us, then you will die."

T​hat statement was extraordinary! It has been hundreds of centuries since a Little Dragon physically harmed another. Death itself is a very personal experience for our race. A Little Dragon alone decided when they were done with this existence and felt the need to embrace another.

"Are you actually saying you would murder me if I bring public attention to your organization?" I asked unable to hide my disbelief.

"​Yes," the Little Dragon said its voice deadly serious. "Trust me our weapon is very effective at ending a life."

I was entering into uncharted territory. Never did I dream that my very existence would be jeopardized by this deal. "How do I know your plan will work?" I then asked my voice grim.

"​We do have a reputation to maintain," the Little Dragon said a hint of pride in its voice. "We don't accept any request unless we believe we have a fool proof plan."

"​Tell me," I said resigned to my fate. I had no other options.

T​he Little Dragon gave a negative shake of its head. "The less you know the better. All we need from you is permission to proceed."

I had given up Anne for the planet project, and now I had to decide if my life was more valuable than the future civilization our race would create. I quickly decided it wasn't. "I want you to execute your plan," I said.

The Little Dragon nodded its head and soon I was free to continue building my shelter.

That ends Social Conundrums, Part XIV. Next month is Social Conundrums, Part XV. Learn more about the Little Dragons by reading the earlier blog post series titled Humanity's Evolution.

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