Little Cherine Book 10 - BPost001
We appeal to all other Roberts, Cherines and their families. Do not oppose us, live your lives according to the wishes of my father, if you so desire, and we will not attack you. Interfere and fight us and we will destroy you.
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It is an enigma how our mind can know one truth and react as if to an entirely different truth. Becoming Cherinians has not altered our susceptibility to the emotional center, which distorts the logical center, irrespective of how clear a picture it tries to paint for us. That is why I have dedicated the opening of this diary to Ahní, I wish it to stand as a reminder of the truth about the five of them - especially when we are hurt or angered. The public statement made by Michael should have touched us by his clever way of excluding our reality from our troubles, providing a second haven for us. Instead, his words upset everyone because they were seen as representing a contemptuous attack on our Robbie.
Samuel obviously had a different perspective that helped calm us down. “It will anger his followers, he has not declared himself fully cut off from you.”
“You are right Samuel, it could cause him problems.”
“I would not worry about it, they will understand that it is a process. They would not expect Michael to hate his family - at least, not yet. They will make allowances and see this as a positive step, allowing them to lead him where they want him in stages.”
Robbie grinned, hoping to cheer up Cherine. “I’m not certain I want to be around Cherine when he takes the next positive steps.”
Christós sat before Cherine and took her hands in his. “You are afraid that his words may gain to hold some truth for him?” Cherine nodded, her face miserable. “That is to be expected. It is also normal for a son to harbour some resentments against his father. How else would children rebel so that they can mature? He will not turn his back on his father Cherine, when you sense changes in him, think of them as allowing him the time he needs to grow out of his childishness.”
Robbie had told all those who went for a last visit that we would leave at two in the morning. He insisted we all get dressed, invited most of our closer friends to join us and we jumped to Kefalari for a meal and coffee. We went to a small French restaurant, had a lovely meal with wine and then walked over to the square for an Irish coffee. At one o’clock, 11th of June, PC27, we walked off for a bit of privacy and jumped back to Freddie. All of us stared at the screens until they suddenly blanked. We are going to bed to sleep our first sleep of exile in Haven-R.
For a change, dad decided to have scrambled eggs on toast. As he ate I spoke my thoughts. “One of the reasons Michael added the promise about our reality was so as to force us to leave it as we’d planned, but at the same time he was telling us not to worry about us leaving our people, they will remain safe.”
He nodded. “Do you think the Ipohin will realise?”
“Even if some do, they will not dare to mention it, Michael has too many arguments available to him that make sense, for them to risk it.”
Manoli asked, “I don’t see it, why does it force us to leave?”
I said, “If we stay it gives the impression we do so at his indulgence. Imagine we attack them in some reality, they fight back and we withdraw to the reality where he graciously gifted us immunity.”
Manoli was not convinced, as were a few others. “Coming here will not?”
“Coming here reminds everyone that our Author is on our side.”
“If he is, why doesn’t he write for us and rid us of the threat?” Sylvestro asked.
“How can he do that Sylvestro? Hasn’t he already told us he cannot force us to act against our nature? Even if he could, what of when he dies, it might take us years or even centuries to find him, can you imagine how they will react? I think their actions would then be far more extreme, forcing us to also take extreme counter measures. No thank you.”
Luigi was not smiling when he asked, “You expect this to be a gentleman’s battle?”
Robbie shook his head. “No, Michael and I discussed it. He has to gradually take it to extremes so that when it is over, nobody thinks they can win through savagery.”
Perikli looked grim, “It will be difficult to remember not to be angered. I still think we should not have allowed this situation to develop. With Michael at our side they would never have dared to rebel.”
“That would have been far worse! Do you know what a pressure cooker is? When they did rebel someday, they would have gone to extremes, killing millions. At least this way we can hope to minimise the damage to Normals.” Robbie looked sad. “I agree Perikli, it will be difficult to remember. For everyone else - not to be angered; and for his family, not to despair and fear the loss of our son.”
For us this may seem to be a less than trivial aspect that rubs salt into our wounds, and yet, it is crucial it happens. I foresee the years ahead will be filled with arguments and speculation, swaying the opinion of those who have chosen to stand by us many times, our own friends often hurting us more than the Ipohin can. If it does not happen, a moral rot will set in, destroying us, so I am grateful that they question themselves and us.
One of those little things that bring tears to our eyes and yet are a wonderful source of joy is the presence within Freddie of Haven-R Sparklers. We took the hint and Zeus agreed to the name Leonidas - especially once Manolis told him the story of Leonidas and the handful of Spartans who held back an army that would have destroyed Athens and put out the light that developed our civilisation. For the Spartans to understand, since numbers mean nothing to them, ten thousand of us gathered in one group and three hundred in the other, so as to enable them to see how overwhelming the odds are. The joke was on us though, for we were so impressed that each of us used our computers to read about them. Leonidas started off by assuming the face and bearing of Solomon but he has changed himself, sometimes looking more like King Illafayéd (with teeth).
On our previous visit I did not write much about this reality. The Earth we went to for air and water has no sapient life, but is beautiful and filled with all kinds of animals that do not exist on most other Earths. A few of the smaller species of the dinosaur age have also survived, leading to speculation about the reasons. We are convinced there must be other human species in this reality and we are wondering whether the effects of your experiment have affected them also. What of the Unation of this reality? If we return in time, will they also be affected?
I dislike having to admit I got the giggles and then started to cry. I wish I could get rid of my habit of asking questions that lead to new conclusions, while having little to do with the original question. When I asked about the Unation, I suddenly saw a loophole, a way for the Ipohin to attack us. If they come here in the time before you exploded (imploded) your image in the void, they can enter thereafter at will. If they are present at the time you performed your assumption, wherever they hide, they will have the freedom of this reality as in any other. Even if they don’t think of that, which I doubt, they will realise we are equally vulnerable here as in any other reality if we jump time and return to the past. It means that if we are not willing to accept the slight risk of open warfare, we will be leaving many species open to manipulation by the Ipohin, turning them into our enemies in our present. We face a lose-lose situation.
We’d already decided on that course of action. Not all is doom and gloom. We’ve also discovered a way of entering the realities the Ipohin will have to be fought in, without them being able to attack us. We never imagined how important our Akiard kids would be to our safety. The idea was thought of by Salphi, mate of Simdi. They cannot be attacked (or even sensed if they do not wish it) when they, Samuel and I merge.
Naturally we thought of Goldi’s Planet as a nice place to visit while making our plans and grew curious about its existence in this reality, so we went to check on it. You did not assume and though it exists, it is an unpleasant world that barely supports any kind of life. I think seeing this planet has impressed upon the Muyzith just how wonderful a friend you are. The scientists asked to be allowed to stay on the planet to conduct various experiments. They are trying to work out whether your assuming changed life-forms that exist here into what exist on the Goldi Lavender World, or whether your assuming started from scratch. In the meantime, I guess we’ll have to find our own friendly world.
I tend to spend a lot of time on my own, I feel we’ve analysed Michael and the situation to death and only listen if I sense a spark of interest in Robbie. When Manolis went to help on the coffee farm, I realised others felt the same way, but they were too keyed up, anxious, to find keep-busy projects. Robbie will have to find something to bring them to life or else decide to start contacting species potentially friendly to us so as to keep up our morale.
Robbie jumped to my apartment. When he started to fiddle with my things, moving them around and talking about inconsequential matters that I already was aware of, I turned away from the article I was studying and sitting back I watched him.
He asked, “Did you notice that Arthur said the effect would last for tens of thousands of years?”
“Haven-R? Yes, why?”
“Do you think it means he expects us to stay here that long?”
“No.” I paused to think it through, be certain of my thoughts. “We did mention the problem would re-occur many times. I think he wanted to provide us with a refuge for the next times also. What is on your mind?”
“If we are to spend that much time here, shouldn’t we have a home here? A Cherinian Earth. Why go searching for another suitable planet when we have one?”
He did not expect an off the cuff answer so I sank into deep thought, hardly aware of him as he waited. “I don’t think we should. May I list some of my reasons?” He nodded, not betraying his response to my answer. “The main reason we are here is because you saw certain truths and made rules. To begin our fight against those who wish to use Cherine’s gifts for their own benefit by breaking a rule of yours for our own benefit would not be a propitious start to our campaign. If you need a second reason, I think that by making a home for ourselves in this reality we could become narrow minded.” He frowned as he stared into my eyes, trying to guess what I meant. “We’ll end up thinking of this place as our home and lose interest in fighting for realities that do not want us.” I smiled. “Surely Freddie is all the temptation we need?”
He sighed. “I had a feeling you’d think so.”
I went to sit on his lap, hoping to cheer both of us. As he welcomed me with his arms around my waist, a hand strayed to my thigh, exploring my childish shape with wonder, as if feeling me for the first time. I grinned and settled against him. “We’ll never need a Cherinian Earth of our own dad, not for as long as we have you. You are our home.”
Some of the precautions we’d taken included setting slivers left with friends to search for us first in Haven-R in the same relative time it comes from so that we know how many days, weeks or months have passed. If we are not in the same time, it goes to Vincent in the RT reality, for Vincent can find us whenever we are, especially if he suspects we’ve travelled in time. Five weeks after our arrival, the first sliver called for us.
Robbie grimaced. “It seems they are being careful, all they’ve done is manipulate the market to gain control of certain major companies.”
Alki gave a wide smile and rubbed his hands. “This sounds like my kind of battle.”
Cassie jumped onto his lap. “Can we join you, we’ll have some fun.”
“The imps?” He laughed at her enthusiastic confirmation.
Cheekily she put her hands on his shoulders. “We’ll even make you an honorary imp for this trip.”
“Roberto, you would not be that cruel, to stand in the way of my becoming an imp would you?”
“It would suit you, since you are entering your second childhood.”
“My second? I’ve been a child three times, ask Marian.” She blushed, which made us laugh. (They’ve done it together and Marian confided that they will be doing so again many times, for she loves having her Alki as a boy of nine or ten while she is also the same age.)
Briefly an explanation. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, or else we just get too lazy to look for different answers. As we did on Prime Earth, we did in a number of other realities. The ADFI was formed on the same legal and structural basis and new technology was made available so as to leapfrog the polluting technologies they’d have to pass through. We supported the Stock Exchanges and corporations affected.
Thanks to our absence, the Ipohin had the brilliant idea of manoeuvring the market so that companies ADFI supports would drop in value and ended up with a major stake in those corporations. They were creaming it without risk or having to run a business.
Alki and the imps were escorted by an unseen Robbie when they jumped to the first of the realities. They made an announcement that the ADFI would not be supporting or making any payments to Cherinian shareholders of the corporations it is supporting. From there they jumped to the rest of the realities affected, making their announcements and leaving consternated markets behind them as they departed. At the final reality they made their announcement and then Michael appeared.
“Pappou, mothers, how wonderful to see you.” He picked up Jade and Cassie for a hug and turned to the interviewer. “Aren’t they perfect?” At a bit of a loss, they all hugged him, their hearts warmed by the feeling of his arms around them and his smile.
“Well David (the host of the program), that was quite an amazing announcement by the ADFI, do you think they mean it? Do they really intend for all Cherinians who invest in the economy of their world to suffer the loss of all their funds? Is it perhaps a too simple solution that could cause irreparable damage to the confidence of the market?”
“Perhaps Mr. Georgiades could answer that?”
“With pleasure David. It is a simple solution to a simple problem. The Prime Robert arranged for new technology that would prevent the planet being destroyed to be made available, benefiting all, apart from the millions of shareholders of the companies affected. With his usual concern for all, he arranged for a part of the ADFI profits to be distributed to the companies, enabling them to retool without their shareholders remaining short of an income. Our research has shown that a small group of Cherinians thought to benefit by spreading rumours that the ADFI will taper off their support of such corporations and purchased the shares at very low prices. Perhaps Michalis would be kind enough to explain what his involvement with the group is?”
Michael did not seem at all worried. “I am chairman of the fund that purchased the shares, in this and other realities. As to the rumours, I believe they were started by non-Cherinians? Because we have full confidence in the Prime Robert, my father and his partners, we saw this as an opportunity to create a profitable fund. I do believe that the action taken now by ADFI is discriminatory and illegal and we will be challenging them in the courts of all the relevant realities.”
“You are claiming that non-Cherinians in seven realities spontaneously and without having the capability of contacting each other started the same rumour?”
“Pappou, that must be what happened. Not that it is relevant, what happened in other realities cannot be quoted in any court of law as circumstantial evidence since the existence of other realities is not officially acknowledged yet by the courts in any reality, and no witnesses can be called by such courts. Should you offer to assist the courts by bringing such witnesses, they will be viewed as prejudiced since they will have been brought by the ADFI.” He frowned. “Pappou, are you certain that ADFI officers did not start the rumours?”
“I most definitely am and I have proof and names of those who are responsible.”
“I see. I have no wish to cast any aspersions on your honesty, but I must point out that no court would accept such proof, if it exists. I do believe ADFI could end up facing charges for unauthorised surveillance and invasion of privacy. As far as I am aware, only law enforcement agencies may be empowered to apply to the courts for such authority.”
David did not like what he was hearing, but he knew enough to know that Michael was likely to win the case if it goes to court, so he took a chance. “Mr. Teller, are you prepared to confirm to all our viewers that a small group of Cherinians, including yourself, are not the beneficiaries of your fund?”
“Of course they are! Due to the rule established by my father, that no Cherinian may use their extrasensory gifts to benefit themselves, coupled to the reluctance of most non-Cherinians to employ Cherinians, there are a large number of Cherinians in each reality who are suffering financially. My friends and I formed the fund in the hopes of redressing the unfair situation. Almost all the funds used for purchasing the shares come from the savings those Cherinians were surviving on or debts they incurred. The announcement by ADFI is a catastrophe for our members and I will fight for them.”
Robbie saw how we had been set up and he found it funny and his pride in his son softened him. Michael and his group had lent Cherinians the money to invest, charging them legal interest rates plus various charges but, in law, Michael was right, the thousands of investors were the investors. Alki and the imps did not have the authority to make any commitments on behalf of ADFI and they were in an impossible position. Robbie formed his normal shape, appearing in the studio. Michael quickly came to his feet.
“Father! How wonderful to see you.” Ignoring the tingling he hugged him. Robbie whispered in his mind, *You must have got your brains from your mother.*
“Always wonderful to see you Michael, you should visit your mothers some time, they miss you. May I take part in the discussion?”
“Please do father.”
“David, nice to meet you. I won’t shake your hand as you might find the tingling unpleasant. May I join you?” Michael sat back with a confident smile, waiting for Robbie to have his say.
“David, ADFI would like to thank you for hosting this interview at such short notice.” He gave him a smile. “Out of seven realities your alternates have assisted us in bringing the matter to the attention of the public in another three. I must also thank my son for coming here to point out certain problems ADFI and I were unaware of.
It is perhaps time non-Cherinians and Cherinians solve the problem. I can understand that in the beginning non-Cherinians were afraid of us, but surely we have proven ourselves by now? I ask that Cherinians be included in the equal opportunities programs existing in many countries so that they can also live with the dignity to which all humans have the right. Some, out of frustration, have proposed that Cherinians form their own companies, employing Cherinians mostly. I have stood against that idea, for which non-Cherinian company could compete against them? If Cherinians wish to form their own company they should do so only if they do not use their Cherinian gifts to give them an unfair advantage and they must employ as many non-Cherinians as they can, so that most of the Cherinians are employed by their competitors. I’ll leave it to those who are wiser than I am to find ways for that to happen in a fair and practical manner.
The present situation of Cherinians owning a substantial share of the corporations ADFI are subsidising is unacceptable and goes beyond the purpose of our subsidising them. We are prepared to make an offer if Michael and his fund match us. We’ll buy back all the shares at the price paid for them if the fund agrees to waive interest and all charges.”
“We have incurred substantial costs, they must be covered. Offer us market prices plus our costs.”
What Michael was asking is normal commercial practice and Robbie realised they would make a fortune as the prices would rocket sky high if he made a deal. “We’ll pay a premium of two and a half percent.”
“At least ten or else we lose too much to agree.”
“Don’t haggle Michael, it is unbecoming, you’re making a killing on the shares. Two and a half.”
Michael insisted, “The shareholders will, the fund must also cover its expenses. We’ll shoulder some of the costs if you agree to five percent.” They agreed on a premium of three percent over their purchase price, plus seventy five percent of any proven costs.
The same deal stood for all the realities and ADFI suffered a severe cash drain, leaving us short for funding projects we support. ADFI did not lose, for even after the costs and premium, the drop in prices of the shares meant we bought them back at a cheaper price than we could have otherwise. A meeting was called by the Board of Directors of ADFI and Hettie and Eddie attended. She started her speech by stating that it was about time we bought out all the shareholders of the corporations we subsidise, suggesting the present situation has only set us on the road we should have taken some time ago. The problem is how to continue supporting the projects we initiated without the cash we need. The Anadir suggested four new products they have determined are required by our people and the estimates show they will generate enough profit to cover our shortfall, while making a number of the subsidised-retooled companies profitable.
Until meeting Michael, the imps had enjoyed themselves. They came in for a lot of teasing, all of us pretending disappointment in them for allowing Michael to get the better of them. I don’t recall when pappou was last teased this mercilessly. Lucky for us, he loves Michael and is also proud of him, so he does not feel bad about losing to him.
The scheme Michael came up with, the changes in laws in most realities that resulted in improving conditions for Cherinians, made him popular with a lot of Cherinians. From the estimates sent to us by the various Roberts, he now enjoys the support of nearly a quarter of all Terran Cherinians. Out of those, four percent support his rebellion against his father.
Even though Michael bested us (Robbie insists it is our fault, we should have investigated deeper) all of Freddie has perked up. Maybe it does not matter if we lose now and then if everyone benefits. It is also an odd situation, that we are in an undeclared war and our enemy is loved and admired by all of us! That by itself should make it more difficult for us to win our skirmishes. I’m worried about something else. I feel it is my responsibility, as it is for everyone, that I use my brains next time. How will it affect my relationship with Michael when this is over if I manage to outsmart him? I love him too much for me to be willing to risk it. I must be part of the team and stop doing my own thing as and when I want to. (R: You are that confident you will outsmart him?) (S: Not all the time.)
Robbie was quick to realise which two I was writing of, for he sent Freddie to the same area and time we first met the Ii. He did first warn all those that would be emotionally affected. Their relief was profound when we did not find any sign of them. Our joy was such that I can say we jumped back in time to the worlds of the Meéjeira filled with glee. Freddie did not arrive in the void, only making certain we did not arrive in close orbit so that they do not feel threatened. With shock we stared at the screens as Freddie zoomed in. All their cities have suffered extensive damage and they are fighting for their lives as warships attack them from space.
Tsiesschkir and Spexette jumped to us, Iziko not far behind them. “We must stop them. Please open Freddie for our ship to leave.”
Robbie asked, “Give me time to check.”
“Those are our ships, you don’t need to check.”
“I can see that. I meant that I want to check as the void. How are the Meéjeira holding their own, your warships should have obliterated them.”
Reluctantly they gave in, all the Unation people embarrassed to face Haven. She did not turn to look at them, her eyes riveted to the screens. Every time her people repulsed an attack or managed to inflict damage on a Unation ship, however minor, we felt a fierce exultation from her. The younger kids were just as horrified by her reactions as they were by the carnage taking place on the screens.
Haven sensed our younger loves and turned to stare at them, her eyes glowing fiercely. Her shoulders slumped and the glow died. “This time my people are fighting back.”
Spartans and healers had already left and bodies began to appear in Freddie. We rushed to calm them, reassure them they are safe. Thank goodness we don’t have a language delay.
“We should be out there stopping them!” Spexette said to us.
“All you have to do is ask Freddie to open up for you, Robbie only asked that you wait, he did not refuse you.” Within seconds they were back in their ship and Freddie opened the top for them. Athia had not turned away from the screens and she shouted, “Look! They’ve stopped fighting.”
Iziko did not look happy. “They are probably both worried about us, wondering why we are here. Haven, Robyn, Shelif and Aven, I am humbled, a Sprakil vessel is amongst the attackers.”
“I am intercepting messages between the Unation ships, they are preparing to depart. Wait, they’ve seen our Unation ship. They do not recognise it as one of theirs! They think they are an advanced species that is about to attack them.” Freddie chuckled. “Our ship has sent an urgent message for them to stop attacking and identified themselves as a Unation warship.”
“Do they believe them?”
“No.” Freddie then did something new. The scenes on the screens shifted and we saw the interior of a Unation ship. It took us a few seconds to realise he was broadcasting what Robbie saw.
“We come in peace, stop your attacks on the Meéjeiran world, there has been a tragic misunderstanding.” A startled officer drew a weapon and fired. He was shocked when he saw it had no effect on Robbie.
Robbie repeated his message, searching for a familiar face. We did not recognise anyone. A Tirsoon officer spoke to him. “Admiral Swinyima of the Peace Flower. We have stopped attacking. Identify yourself and your species.”
“Robert Teller of the Cherinians. The silver ship that just emerged from our ship is a Unation ship from your future, do not attack it.”
“Time travel is an impossibility.”
Robbie kept a straight face as he replied, “In a sense. I ask that you give us time to negotiate a cease-fire while we speak to both sides. We promise to give both parties a full explanation. Admiral Wasoúda requests your permission to join us on your bridge.”
“That is a Krikartea name!”
Athia turned to Haven. “Shall we visit your leaders and ask them to stop attacking? Change your appearance so that they recognise you as a Meéjeiran.” Hand in hand they jumped.
Both groups agreed to use Freddie as neutral ground for us to broker an end to the war. At first neither side believed that those who went to them, of their own species, were what they claimed, thinking they were traitors who’d joined a third party. They did recognise that our Unation ship is far advanced and mostly agreed to the talks out of fear.
A brief sketch of events that led to the war. As with the reality of Haven, the Unation sent bombs to destroy the Meéjeirans. In this reality the Meéjeirans were not as trusting and demanded that talks be held in space. When the invading ships ignored them and continued on their course, still broadcasting their messages of peace, the Meéjeirans became suspicious, warned them and then attacked, destroying most of the ships, only a few that got through bombing their cities. The Unation send a fleet to attack again and in retaliation the Meéjeirans sent ships to attack the Unation worlds. As we were speaking, war was being conducted on that side also. That cand be handled later since we can jump realities and arrive there earlier than we had over here.
As if we had not had enough surprises, Robbie stunned us, Samuel more than all of us. He asked him and Haven to represent us during the negotiations. Once Samuel was convinced that Robbie meant it and the two of them left to join the others, I jumped to Robbie’s lap and kissed him. “That was a brave thing you did.”
Robbie preferred to spend a few minutes kissing me and nibbling at my earlobes and only then did he answer in all earnestness, “Not brave love, I just used commonsense. Samuel has a no-nonsense way about him and even to aliens his strong sense of fairness should ensure he is taken more seriously than I would have been.” He grinned at me, deliberately provoking me. “It is about time he starts to earn his keep.”
“That was nasty! Since when does anyone have to earn their keep in Freddie.”
“Not my sentiments love - his.” That made sense to me so I snuggled against him and closing my eyes I wished I were a cat so that I could purr.
Haven should have been Robbie’s choice that night. In her absence, it might have been me - if we’d gone to bed. As long as Haven and Empathia were stuck in the meeting we waited at the taverna. When they arrived, we saw Haven looked exhausted so we jumped home and taking her in his arms Robbie softly caressed her until she relaxed and fell asleep.
Beneath their anger, there was a certain sense of guilt on the part of the local Unation leaders while the Meéjeirans had suffered the losses of loved ones, making them intransigent in their demands. We were in danger of them arriving at a settlement that would skew their future relationship. Samuel and Haven saw the imbalance and committed Robbie and us in a private meeting with the Meéjeirans, softening their stance once Robbie proved we can bring back their dead.
The negotiations were protracted unnecessarily, feet being dragged so as to score minor points. As is typical of human nature, the day they signed, the euphoria both sides felt made them impatient of any delays in our jumping to stop the battles among the Unation planets. Nothing less than leaving instantly, ‘yesterday’ if possible, was good enough. Because of the emoting that accompanied their demands, we indulged them and carrying with us top officials from both sides, Freddie jumped.
Despite some brilliant science fiction writers coming up with plausible sounding theories, apart from the human mind, any which has a soul, such as the Kinytians, there is no other way, that we know of, for messages to cross light years instantly. Creating a galactic Unation results in very complicated procedural rules being adopted. We not only had to jump from species to species, a number of them occupied more than one solar system so we had to jump to each system individually. Every time we jumped, it was a zigzag jump, from the one reality to another so as to jump spatially and timewise in an effort to return in time to save the suffering of unnecessary deaths. At each jump we had to convince both sides to stop. It all took time (real time) and yet, little time was lost, for we ended up, by the last solar system, being at all of them simultaneously. For us it has become a way of life. For our guests, despite our explanations, they still emoted awe and disbelief when we returned to the Meéjeiran home planet with their warships attached to Freddie within hours of our departure.
Apart from bringing back the dead, we also concentrated on linking as many as we safely could so that life would improve for all. Our Unation ship promised to notify their governments to send Cherinians from their reality to continue what we’ve started.
Haven would have driven all of us nuts if we did not love her so much. She went through the hero-worship phase again, almost treating Robbie like a god. The only way he could bring her to her senses was by remaining steadfast in his emoting of love for her and loving her at night with equal passion, whether she came to him as a child or an adult.
There has been no indication that any alien species is willing to ally with the Ipohin, but it only makes sense that there will be many that do. In that sense, it is ironic that every time we help another reality, we are increasing the chances of securing new allies for them. Should that happen, it will not be as great a catastrophe as it would be if we stopped. This was discussed and Robbie feels we should continue to act, in many ways, as we did before. He asked Freddie to jump to our home reality.
More or less six years have passed for us and it was not that long a period but, we feel these six years have changed us more than most of the previous trips. Robbie returned within four months of our departure, arriving early September. The instant we arrived Freddie was filled by Terran and alien Cherinians, all eager to ease their worry. They had heard about our fiasco with regard to the ADFI story and had worried we might have been attacked in some other reality. Of course they clamoured for a telling.
Robbie spoke with a voice heavy with his grief at the loss of our dream. “For all these years, those of my loves who do the telling took pride in refusing to bow to expediency and told the truth, refusing to censor themselves. I cannot allow them to do so at this time so there will be no tellings as from now until I feel free to relax my ruling. I will give you a brief and censored synopsis but I must first announce another change.
We are family, all Cherinians are. As family, we have been relaxed about attempts to catch our stray thoughts. Anybody caught attempting to do so from now on will be permanently banished from Freddie.” Suddenly his stern look collapsed and tears filled his eyes. Alki pulled at him, holding him tightly and Eddie jumped onto the podium.
“Today is a day of mourning, for our dream is dying.” He looked at Robbie and then back at the worried faces. “You all know me? You have watched tellings of what Robert called the Doris War. At that time Robert was new to the gifts of Cherine and he feared for his family and yet, all their tellings told only the truth, despite being Protector of his family, he held to his dream, as did his loves.
Today, to save others, he has been forced to kill his dream. How often do we speak of it as being Robert’s dream! Is it not ours also?
While the power belonged to Cherine only, a core of trusted people were linked. Many then found they could link and some, out of love, some for monetary gain or for the pleasure of showing off, linked carelessly, betraying all of us. Those who did so know who they are and I say to you again, you betrayed all of us but, worst of all, you betrayed your Cherine. As of this day, all Cherinians will fear their fellow Cherinians, wondering whether they are now Ipohins. The tears do not belong to Robert only, all our hearts should be grieving for the beautiful dream we squandered.”
I could hear her thoughts. Empathia was thinking the same thoughts I was, so I nudged her mentally to speak up. She sent to me that I must, that they all need to hear the words from me. I jumped to Eddie and hugged him. With my arm around him I faced the crowds. “Isn’t Eddie beautiful? Of all Terrans, he is the oldest and yet he still dreams of the impossible, just like a child. It would have been magical if all Cherinians could be like him.
You will hear harsh words that tear at all we’ve believed. You will hear soft words meant to heal hearts. None of them are important. Only the words in your hearts matter. A dream has died? Not while we live! Our dream never was static so it has not died, perhaps it is only evolving so that one day it becomes a dream all can and need to dream.
Arthur spoke to me at great lengths about his world. He explained how terrorists killed women and children until governments reacted by stealing the rights of their people in the name of security. Though the terrorists did not gain what they wanted, they did win, for by giving up their dream of equality for all and respect for the rights of the individual, they sacrificed all that gave meaning to their lives and helped them grow as a people. That will not be allowed to happen to Cherinians!
We’ve lost certain of the comforts of being Cherinians? Fine, so we find ways to handle it without giving up our dreams. Use your gifts; use your imagination; use your love! Do not wait to be asked, open yourselves so that those who are close to you can see you share our dreams. In other words, become more of a Cherinian than you’ve ever been.
The history books of every species is full of tales about those who had dreams. Men and women who believed they had a duty to uphold all that makes us humans, worthy of every sacrifice. Join them and stand for what you believe in.
Are some of you tempted by what the Ipohin offer? Remember your dream, not only for yourself, but for all your brothers and sisters. If you feel you cannot stand by, and maybe fight, for your Cherine because of your doubts, because of the pictures they paint of us within your minds, claiming they represent the law and we are the criminals, then pull back and stay neutral, resist them silently by refusing to give in to your temptations. Has Robert angered you? If so, then pause to think, for he is the Protector and will do what he sees leads us to the right future, at whatever cost to himself or his family. If your faith in him falters, keep your faith in Cherine, Cherine The Light who will guide us to attaining our potential.
Those of you who remain steadfast, true to Cherine, you will be derided, laughed at for making sacrifices to hold on to a dream they’ll say is not practical. It is easy for cynicism to make loving sound immature for it appears sophisticated to so many. Since when were decency, love, compassion and empathy impractical? What is? Greed, selfishness, slavery? Which man or woman with the heart of a lion has needed power over others? Are those not the needs of the weak, the fearful, the insecure? Surely power over your own heart, mercy or sacrifice for those not gifted as you are, love for the child in rags that cries with hunger, that has to be the only power worth living or dying for!