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Social Conundrums, Part XVI

Updated: Jan 26

It was hard to ignore the logic of Jerome's statement. It sent a chill running up my spine.

The walls began blinking again and this time Ezekiel entered a grave look upon his face. As an elder he had been at my questioning. "New evidence has been brought to light, and it does not reflect favorably on you Anne," he stated.

Jerome turning to face the elder put a protective wing around me. Gently I pushed it away. He wasn't my husband anymore and although I am grateful beyond words that he was here, I didn't want the elders to think I needed him to face their judgment.

"Tell me," I said moving closer to him.

"A written letter was sent to Mediator Kim this morning in which the deceased Little Dragon, Linda Devine, stated that the research paper you submitted a few years ago on 21st Century music contained a falsified document," Ezekiel said his voice heavy. The truth in all aspects of Little Dragon life is to be upheld. Lying on a research paper is serious and could lead to a sentence of rehabilitation.

"According to the letter," Ezekiel continued. "You managed to convince her to lie after initially submitting that paper. Now, because of your growing popularity, she had a change of heart and felt it was only fair that she let the mediator know the truth. But believe it or not that isn’t the worst thing she says about you Anne,” Ezekiel stated. “Linda Devine claims that she informed you of her decision to tell the mediator. Your reaction was to orchestrate last night’s meeting. Her letter gives the distinct impression that she believes you are unpredictable, and she is fearful of what you might do.”

Standing suddenly became very difficult. "But she is lying," I uttered. "There is no truth to her statements. Why would she do that?" I knew I was babbling a bit but thinking straight suddenly became hard.

"Have you investigated her claims?" Jerome asked coming closer to me and this time when he placed his wing around me, I didn't push it away.

"Yes," he said, "We found all the books and documents you used except for one called Newly discovered songs by Evan Thomas."

"How could you not find that one?" I asked dumbstruck. The archaeologist Evan Thomas made a name for himself a few decades ago by finding a treasure trove of ancient writings on our ancestors' planet of origin, Earth. I was fortunate enough to be able to see them. Among them was a collection of unknown songs from the 21st century. "Surely others have used it in their research papers!" I exclaimed. "His findings added to our understanding of Earth’s past."

"I think we have discovered one of the drawbacks for your chosen field Anne," Ezekiel said with a sigh. "Not many Little Dragons study the 21st century and of those who do only a handful decide to write papers on the subject. Yours is the only one citing that document."

"Have you questioned Evan Thomas directly?" Jerome asked. Ezekiel shook his head. "We can't do that because he chose to go onto the next plane of existence nearly a decade ago."

My case was looking grimmer by the minute.

Jerome held me tighter. "There was a group of Little Dragons, who under the right circumstances could make sources of information disappear to discredit another."

My mind raced to understand what he meant, but Ezekiel caught on faster. "Yes, I was thinking that same thing."

The two Little Dragons continued staring at each other in complete understanding, but I was still at a loss. "Res publica remember them?" Jerome gently asked me.

"Yes," I said and knew what they meant. "But they were disbanded 50 years ago, and they didn't kill Little Dragons."

"Or they didn't know how to back then," Ezekiel volunteered. Drawing sharp glances from my former husband, "What do you know?" Jerome asked the elder.

"Nothing substantial, but I attended the Res publica hearings," he said. "They felt absolutely justified for what they did and I got a suspicion then that they would do whatever it took to accomplish their goal," he gave us both sad looks, "I don't think the Little Dragon public at large truly understood how widespread their influence was, and I remember fearing then that there was no way to know for sure if we truly exposed the entire group."

"But why frame me?" I asked a note of desperation in my voice.

“People in Res publica may have favored Gershom’s stance over yours or..” Ezekiel paused a dark look coming into his eyes. “someone on the committee really didn't want the mediation to go forward and contacted them," Ezekiel suggested presenting a much darker scenario. "There were cases where that happened. Either way if it is them, they now have the ability to kill."

"Going back to Anne's situation, how many elders believe she is responsible for the murder?" Jerome questioned.

Ezekiel shook his head. "She is the only suspect and this new evidence proves she has a motive. There is no way she can be released until the culprit is found." Ezekiel then looked squarely at me. "I am sorry Anne."

It wasn't much of a surprise to me, but it did narrow my options. "How can I prove my innocence, if I am stuck here?" I asked them.

"I won't rest until we find the truth," Jerome promised. Ezekiel agreed with his statement. "Stopping the investigation here is irresponsible. I don't believe you did it Anne, and I refuse to just wait until there is another death to prove it."

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

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