“What do you mean?” It feels like time has stopped, but I’m pretty sure it’s just my heart and lungs. Breathe. Think. How do I get out of this?
“You aren’t excluded from this inquiry. You played a role, in fact, a very large role, did you not?” I can’t dispute that. What the Arbitrator says is true.
I am rather confused though. I thought we brought about the end of a tyranny? Isn’t that a net positive in my favor? You can’t punish those that bring about good, if you do, no one will want to do good! What if all the people who fought in a World War, plus those in supporting roles were punished for doing something to assist in the resolution of the war… No one would want to end the war and stop the bad guys, because the consequences of doing so would be astronomical.
“Uh, but I brought about a positive change, right? Who would want to help fix the world and bring an end to injustice if they’re just going to be reprimanded for it?” I try to voice my thoughts, but I feel somewhat uneasy with my own answer.
The Arbitrator tilts her head a bit. “What do you mean? You invaded a self governed state, and forced your cultural values onto them. There is no positive in that.”
I… Can’t… Even…
I can imagine my brain exploding right now, but I redirect myself from those thoughts. It may be dangerous to have such concepts in my brain. These runes might actually make that happen, after all.
“They raped women and girls, forced them to bear children, and tortured innocent people to death as punishment for others… How is it not good to end that?” I’m pretty sure the veins in my forehead are bulging right now. I can feel my anger rising as I remember how they treated people.
“That was none of your business. You had no right to interfere. They did not impede your values, and enforce theirs on you. You self righteously assaulted their way of living.” She keeps her calm demeanor in her rebuttal, not even flinching at what either of us are saying.
I can’t believe this. What sane person would think this way? What sane person could think this way?
“Now, we have established that you had no standing to perform the actions you did. Do you have anything to say in your defense?”
I feel like things are spinning wildly out of control here. I was defending those people from… No, that’s not right. They were defended from being exploited further, that is correct, but what I really did was all for Mika… Yes, I went there to get her back from being exploited. If not for her, I wouldn’t have done a thing.
“I do have standing. Mika was taken in by them, without her understanding the consequences of her actions. I only did what I did to recover her, and save her from her actions. I have a responsibility as a friend to protect her and assist her when she is in danger.” I’m not doing very good at this lawyer thing. I need to work on this if I talk with this arbitrator again in the future.
“What an interesting thing to say. Should we call Mika in here to validate that your friendship is so deep? You’re statement is very self serving.” I have no defense to that. She is absolutely right. It makes me angry and sad though. I really am a friend to Mika, or, at least, I try to be. Somehow, though, it seems like she doesn’t see me in the same way. I try my best to appreciate her, but she just gets mad at me all the time.
“Furthermore, aside from Gaia, and the Goddess, who has any idea of the consequences of their actions? You assume that we are all knowing. All of us are very ignorant. We stumble through our lives mostly blind, occasionally being lead by the light of Gaia-”
“There, right there! That’s right! None of us know!” I have her now, I’ll defeat her with her own logic. “So holding me accountable for not understanding the consequences of my actions, when no one knows what they are isn’t appropriate! Right? That’s why I helped Mika. I am a friend. That’s why I helped her.” I continue to explain my reasoning, “Look, she didn’t understand, so instead of holding her accountable, and allowing her to be abused every single day, as a consequence of an ill informed action, I saved her. My actions had value, and standing. None of us know, and so punishing people for their actions when they don’t know doesn’t help anyone. So punishing me for overthrowing tyranny, calling it a consequence for not understanding what I was doing before I was doing it, isn’t beneficial. You should instead help me by saving me from what I did.” Whew. That was a lot. I didn’t think she would let me finish, but she just sat quietly and listened without any obvious opinion on her face.
“Snnnk.” She makes a slight snorting noise, before breaking out in a roaring laughter. I’m not sure what is funny, or if I should be insulted.
I feel maybe it’s okay to be insulted.
The laughter goes on for a while. I start to get nervous and uncomfortable.
“Ahahaha, okay, okay, let me get this straight, you think Gaia or I or the Goddess, even, actually cares about how people treat each other, in general? That’s not my purpose. I’m here to help facilitate the exchange of people from one culture to another. The culture they come from doesn’t matter, itself. Gaia doesn’t care if you murder newborn babies. Such a village may be a short lived one, but if that’s your culture, great. Live it. What Gaia wants is to avoid large groups of people invading from one place to another, causing chaos in the system. Have your town of baby eaters. She doesn’t care. Buy your babies from other towns willing to sell them. But don’t go invading towns to steal their babies. There is excessive land, you could farm babies if you needed. Let other towns live and run how they want. It is none of your business.”
I can’t say anything except that I am downright horrified.
Thanks for the support! I am in your care! Closing date is Oct. 31. After the update on October 30 (this update), the next update (if you’re unlucky) will be the 13th. If you want one before then, you need to be accompanied by a bunch of luck and beg my editor to get some chapters edited ahead of time (so I can release them by schedule).