Chapter 2 – Reaction
Janithillon and Magdalene, along with the away team delegation from the Earth Mission ship, were still in New York for their second day of heavy press and media meetings, which were being held at Madison Square Garden, the biggest venue the city could arrange.
There were around 10,000 media people and public guests in the vast stadium, all trying to ask questions and take pictures as TV camera crews whirled around everywhere and a huge team of boom-mike operators were running around trying to get a microphone into the face of a would-be questioner.
TV broadcasting schedules around the world had been completely binned ever since the UN summit and there seemed little chance of them returning to normal whilst the insatiable media frenzy continued and viewing audiences had little interest in watching anything else.
Behind where they sat or stood on the stage, there was a huge video wall and from time to time, news channels were conferencing in heads of state, high ranking officials and the occasional celebrity, all of whom had an unquenchable thirst for information and answers to their unending list of questions.
The previous night they had taken off in the Lander with the crew and returned to the Mother ship, just so they could get some uninterrupted rest along with some peace and quiet from the maddening crowd.
As they all boarded the Lander, the whole area around them, including the night sky was lit up with an array of huge carbon arc searchlights, which when coupled with the TV lighting, camera flash lights and a cascade of mobile phone flashes, it was akin to a Hollywood celebrity gala.
The journey up to the mother ship was swift and effortless and later when they were sat in the galley, Magdalene was the first to voice her concerns over the scene of their departure, “It was so disturbing to see all those people straining and pleading with outstretched arms from behind the crowd barriers, shouting and screaming for us to take them with us? It’s as if they’re desperate to leave their own world and escape the clutches of whatever existence they live in right now”.
Janithillon nodded and was about to speak but it was Auralek who responded first saying “Yes it was a strange sight to behold, but then we take the movement between planets and different galaxies so liberally, whereas many of these humans seem so anxious and eager to begin a new life somewhere else. Are we looking to help them achieve that on Xethenia or perhaps with another off-world colony?”
Janithillon joined in taking both points on board as he said “Well we would very much like to take occasional groups of humans to visit Xethenia, but we can only really do that once we know that stability has been restored in our own society, otherwise it could be highly dangerous. Having said that, then I think we have a moral obligation to provide a focus for hope, aspiration and beneficial development for the whole planet, so maybe we ought to consider doing that sooner rather than later when the supply missions kick in? What do you think my love?”
Magdalene pondered briefly before responding with “Yes, yes I agree we do indeed have a moral obligation, but I for one would like to see some noticeable commitment from these world leaders and moreover the wrestling of power and control away from some pretty disgusting, evil and ruthless people in this world. Then I think we can start to make progress on your ideals of planetary union”.
“Admittedly I agree with you, but there’s nothing wrong in sowing the seeds at this early stage of the process, even though I know there’s a lot to sort out. From the little I’ve seen and read about the hordes of terrorist groups on this planet, then maybe we should start there first, as it’s a known fact that monetary manipulators fund these activists to help steer world opinion in their favour. What do you think Commander?”
Auralek stroked his chin and raised his eyebrows as he replied “Well you both know more on this thorny subject than I do for sure, but if you both feel that this race of people deserve and need our help, then we’ve got to root out the problems which currently exist. Otherwise we will end up achieving nothing in return for helping them with these life changing gifts that you’re proposing to bequeath to the planet”.
Magdalene quickly nodded in agreement and with a rather anxious tone in her voice, she said “Exactly, that is my concern! This whole planet is controlled, manipulated and frankly deceived, by a relatively small group of obscenely wealthy people, who are so removed from everyday normality, they have no consideration over what happens to the wider population at large and will go to any length to maintain that control. They have carefully crafted and layered society so deeply and so diversely, it’s no wonder that elected governance around the world fails to achieve anything. They are just so weighed down by a manifestation of issues which blinds them from the reality of what is causing all their problems in the first place”.
Janithillon rested his hand on Magdalene’s and she looked him in the eye as he spoke softly ‘Look I know it’s all frustrating and you above anyone must know, as you’ve lived amongst them for two thousand of their years, but if we’re to succeed with dismantling the scourge of the PiruNostram on Xethenia, then I would like to think we can learn a lot from what we need to do by helping the people here on Earth”.
Auralek continued with his thoughts saying “I suppose the difference here is that we’re dealing with a race of mortals, who unlike the PiruNostram, could easily be coerced into accepting what we need them to do using fairly conventional weaponry and …”.
But he was cut short by another emotive outburst from Magdalene as she said ‘Commander, we cannot go around blasting away opposition to our ideals whilst we try to help this fragile existence to see the error of their ways. They’ve suffered for generations at the hands of dictators and ruthless tyrants, which let’s face it, we helped to cultivate”. She shot an awkward look at Janithillon before continuing, “And I’m not going to take up that mantle by carrying on where others have left off. Besides, as we know, a lot of the problems are caused by corruption, war and religion. Attributes which certainly didn’t emanate from Xethenia”. As she finished she whispered ‘sorry’ to Janithillon as she sat back and exhaled a deep breath.
Janithillon nodded in acceptance saying ‘Look we all know the history here and what’s done can’t be undone. We just need to help and sort it all out, but I do agree in some way with the Commander inasmuch as these terrorist groups will need reigning in. This is why I suggested that we start with them, whilst mediating and brokering the way forward with the world leaders at the next UN summit meeting in two weeks’ time as agreed”.
Now it was Magdalene who was nodding with an acknowledged acceptance of the point being made, saying “If terrorist groups and drug cartels alike can’t be reasoned with, then I accept that we will need to go in hard to deal with them. In some cases the former may have some sort of political or humanitarian agenda and I believe they should be given a platform to air their views, so that the world can achieve a greater understanding of their cause. But as for the latter, then I have witnessed nothing put immense pain and suffering, both in individual terms as well as the impact on society as a whole, so I agree with you, let’s wade in and sort that out with every means at our disposal. Over to you Commander”.
But before he could reply, Janithillon broke in saying “Hey what are you saying? That we just walk into some drug dealers’ palace and ask them to be nice just because we’re here?” He laughed at this point ahead of saying, “Do you really think they’re going to take any notice of what we say?”
Magdalene rose up with a riposte “It’s not necessarily down to what we say. It’s moreover what we’re going to do about the situation. Look we have the means of establishing a number of important things about these major operators; such as where they are, where their money is and where the drug supply is coming from. I’ve never really understood why humans choose to take drugs and I can’t share the heightened emotional experience, because the uniform* prevents me from taking anything. However, the point I made earlier is that these gangs who control it all are just so evil. They don’t have any conscience over what happens to anyone that gets caught up in this vile trade, be they pushers or users alike. So yes I am suggesting that we just walk in and offer them the chance to step away from it all or face the consequences, plain and simple”.
(* The uniform is the name given to the transparent, organic existential skin, which through natural evolution, has been derived from an indigenous planetary substance known as Synexillum. It is this bonded co-existence which has enabled the Xethantian bio-chemistry to become immortal)
“OK I hear you, but what’s the alternative? How can you get them to just step away? My concern is I can’t get involved in that kind of operation because I’m more than sure it’ll get weapons hot in there and I’m likely to get seriously injured or worse still, killed. I know we’ve got the OLR units (Organ & Limb Reconstruction) on board which might help compliment what I’m capable of healing by myself, but nothing can help with a fatality. If you’re going to do this then you can only take Xethantian crew with you”.
“Yes of course I appreciate and respect that. With all that we’ve gone through with Nemesis, I’m not going to expose you to any further risk. Besides I think you can begin the process of mediation with world governments, whilst I and our on-board PPF (Planetary Protectorate Force) team pay a visit to see a few of these inhumane thugs. As for getting them to step away, then it’ll be in exchange for their own pitiful lives”.
“Well let’s not get bogged down too much with this, as we’re duty bound to head back to Xethenia as soon as practically possible. The legacy of Nemesis will still resonate deep into the hearts of the PiruNostram and besides we haven’t even started on working with the Apostophet to broker the way forward to embrace our proposal to offer an amnesty in exchange for peace”.
“Well they know as much as they need to right now about our situation. Besides, Principal Mayan had been working very closely with my Mother, for hundreds of orbinars to try and educate and reintegrate PiruNostram gangs and their supporters back into mainstream life on Xethenia, so they’ll have an experienced head start on what needs to be done”.
“OK well let’s make a start. You pick your favourite Mexican drug baron and I’ll bang the heads of the Russian President with his stablemate from the US together, when I catch up with them at the forthcoming UN meeting planned for next week”.
“I want to be there just for the start of the summit Janithillon and then I will leave with a team of PPF in one of the Lander’s. I suggest you keep close with the Commander in the other. I can’t risk anything happening to you”.
Back on the ground, Grant and many of his fellow heads of state were returning to their respective countries in order to consult with their advisors, business leaders and of course, the public at large.
They needed to appeal for calm amid the panic on the stock market, the panic on the streets and the uncertainty of what was to come next.
All available media space was filled with government and commercial pleas for calm and an overwhelming appeal for people to avoid panic buying of food and water supplies and to resist the temptation to withdraw money.
They were also being encouraged to go about their lives as normally as they could whilst being assured that any crimes such as looting, personal violence and property theft would be dealt with by the army without any restraint.
Most regions in countries around the world were reaching the stage where they would have to consider deploying a state of martial law, such was the scale of social upheaval amid the reaction to the news that not only was humanity no longer alone in the universe, it had thus far led a very scarily inhumane existence.
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