It is another dawn, and again, I revel in the sight of the suns rising above the mountains of the west. I stand meditating on the beauty surrounding me, breathing slowly, contemplating my life. I am ready. Tomorrow I will begin. However, I must care for the days labors. I walk to the beginning of the fields, and kneel by the great tree, and prepare for the others' arrival. I scent the newcomers' probing presence approach. They will try again, to make us as they are.
I greet the K'tun-darem, more commonly called enforcers, which are constantly in attendance upon the group of newcomers, to ensure their safety. Yet again, I recieve no response, save a subtle movement of the head. One day, I will find others of their kind who have not had their humor drained, but not today. I finish drawing in power, ready for the work to come.
One of the incessantly probing questioners is the first to approach my door this morning: a bad omen, if ever I've been subject to one. And even worse, its the egg-addled one who calls himself Sutherhill. At least I know the Enforcer which supervises this one. He is one of the few who still have a sense of humor left, despite his training. It nearly compensates for the presence of his companion.
"Good morn, sirs. What can I do for you today?" I greet them in the manner of the newcomers.
To my surprise, I recieve an answer in the fashion of my people. Sutherhill bowed deeply, and intoned the ritual words of a formal greeting: May the life flow always in the house of your clan. Of course, the nest robber could not keep a straight face, or follow the ritual past its beginning. Those words were probably the only ones of our language that he knew. He stuck out his hand in their bizarre gesture of greetinig. "And how are you on this fine day?" Typical arrogance of his species! The tone he used implied that no one could have a differing opinion, or if someone did, that opinion was of no importance.
I take and release the offered hand as quickly as possible, without giving offence, and asked, "Is your group well?" Continuing in the ritual, even if he found it tiresome. Even though I cared not, save the labor that would be forced upon us should ill befall them.
"Indeed they are, my good Ducal. And I see that you, too, are well. Tell me, do you have time to speak with me today?" Unfortunately, I had no real choice, after the orders from the guild masters.
"As time allows, I will converse with you, and assist you as I may." Luckily enough, one of the field hands needed me to repair a focus, necessary for the completion of his days work, and I was able to break off conversation with the human for a short while, at least. A relatively simple task, for one of my experience, and I could not drag it out, though I wished I could, for I dreaded the words which would again lead to the same argument.
As I expected, they came again, may he spend his life in the Caverns of the K'traa for it. "So, why do you not go sell your skills elsewhere? Somewhere more fitting for one of your talent, my friend? I've seen smiths in neighbouring villages, and even in the capital, take hours to repair a focus, while you did it in under 15 minutes. You are much more talented than any of those who call themselves your peers."
"I stay because I was given this task, as you well know." How could I explain my goal in this wilderness to an outsider?
"Why do you obey them? You are one of the most skilled of your guild that I've ever met or heard anyone speak of." As if he was the ultimate authority after only 10 years here. "You should be leading the guild, not stuck in a backwater village like Vun'tan."
"Tell me then, what would I want with the leadership of a guild, with its responsibilities and duties?" The familiar response to a familiar question. "I am content with my work here, amidst friends." I began preparations for the task ahead of me, as my apprentices cared for the needs of my companions in the farming village as best they could.
"You could do so much more, though! Your solutions are just, and are always what's best for those who come to you. You are much better suited to the duties of guild master than those who hold the office now."
"I do not wish for those responsibilities." I began to gather tools, and to prepare the forge for the next day.
"But you have a duty to your peers, and to your people, to help them eliminate the tyranny in the guild! You have a responsibility to help those less talented than yourself." This brought me pause, and I lay aside my preparations, a sure sign of annoyance for me, but he failed to notice.
"They are not tyrants, they wield their power because they are the ones who wanted it. They wished for the duties, and they can have them. I do not want their power."
"I tell you, they are tyrants, and are only after riches." I began to grow angry, he was going even farther than normal, pushing my patience to the limits.
"You do not understand. To my mind, it seems that you refuse to do so. I will tell you only once more, they are not tyrants, and the riches they have are worthless to me."
"But you labor here, unassisted by them. They never send help, or even acknowledge what you've accomplished. You've never known the luxuries they have, you've never-"
"You do not know us, newcomer. Our ways are not yours, and we do not try to impose our manner of life upon you, yet still, your kind refuses to let us live in peace, even after a generation among us."
"but we only want to help you. We want to help you gain freedom, equality-"
"Chaos. We do not need your equality. We do not share your obsession with the stars. You and your prejudiced, insane species will not understand. We want no part of your crusades."
I began to grow angry. "You have colonized worlds beyond your own, you have contacted species, such as mine, which are not so technologically advanced as you, and so you've decided to assist us. To make us equal to yourselves. Why? We do not want it, just as we do not want the superstitions you've brought among us. How can a man walk on water, or raise the dead? Or go months without eating, or defeat evil, and cause it to sink into the ground? Perhaps you should address the spirits who dwell in the rocks for answers. You cannot even agree within your species what you believe is correct, so how can you possibly convince others that it is so? These religions, as you call them, preach peace and love, while slaughtering thousands and condemning unbelievers to some sort of torture for eternity. Nor can you even appoint a stable government for a group of people the size of this village. Tell me then, how are these freedoms and equalities such wonderful things?"
Is this one bothering you, magus?
"No enforcer, leave him, he will do no harm here. He may even learn something for his precious studies, if he will listen." Dour as always, the enforcer withdrew to a corner. As usual, his interference reminded the observer that he was there on the sufferance of our people, and it was not a good idea to antagonize us. It also saved him from becoming one with the dirt that day.
Instead, he spent the day observing my preparations, talking to himself, and his recording device, occasionally questioning me about what I was doing. He wished desperately to watch the master work in progress, as he had not yet been permitted to observe such an event, but such a work cannot be interrupted by the questions of anyone, absolute concentration is needed. The day was relatively quiet, as my friends knew that I was preparing myself, and so would not be accepting work.
Before he left, the enforcer, one of my nest-brothers, asked when my great toil would commence.
I begin as the twin suns broach the great volcano tomorrow. I hesitated at the next, though I know not why. Perhaps it is because I fear that once I extend the invitation, I have committed myself completely. I would be honored, my brother, if you would witness tomorrow, should your duties allow. Hoping, against reason, that he would come on that most important of days.
I am egg warming tomorrow, just as I am today. However, I know that this one would leave his offspring to a predator for a chance to see you work with your full powers. I considered.
Can you keep him silent?
I will explain to him what would be required to make his attendance possible. He assured me, with a brief glint in his eye. He will know the consequences of infractions on the morrow, and his punishment is up to you, should he break your concentration, as would be that of any of our people.
Very well. He may come, if you will make the arrangements. Be warned, should he speak, he will quench the sword. I knew that he would obey, and my brother would enjoy explaining the consequences. Sutherhill would not.
I will come then to witness, Maestro Ducal, Magus of the B'tan-re.
Until the dawn then.
Well, there it is. This story will be set in the same universe as "La guerra del sol," my other story, and I'm going to update as soon as possible. If you've read through the whole thing, I guess I'll explain a few things. This is set in a universe in which both magic and high levels of technology exist, and this is, as the name implies, humanity's first contact. I'm telling the story from the point of view of an alien as a challenge to myself.
Please, let me know what you think, and tell me if I've made any glaring spelling or grammatical errors, please. Also, I'm trying to remove English idioms, let me know if I slipped up badly.
In other words, REVIEW!