“So, explain to us again. We need to understand.”
“Well,” I pause, and take a deep breath, “when we built the thing, Lillia put her super strong root-branch-prison bars things as you see them. We,” I paused again and look around at each face. Standing around me is Dubhe, Mika, and Melsy. They seem to be paying attention, mostly. “We didn’t think, er. It wasn’t a consideration that they would need to be going through the already built walls.” It’s an oversight, for sure. They could blame me for it, and I wouldn’t have much to say about it. I feel pretty embarrassed, to be honest.
“And?” Dubhe prompts again.
“Well, it seems Brendan got in with the Orckin.”
“How…does that work?” Mika. Why would you ask that?
Melsy comes to the rescue. “I think we all, here, know how that works. That part shouldn’t be any sort of surprise.”
“So, it fits?” Mika is watching the orckin closely, is she measuring with her eyes?
“I don’t think that is important right now,” I state. Really, this is not the direction I wanted to go with this.
“Child, they always fit with some practice. Just work your way up. Or down.” Tapping her chin, arms half folded, Melsy seems deep in thought.
“Let’s move on to ‘What do we do from here.’” Seriously, you gals can have this conversation later. Without me.
Dubhe comes in with the least obvious answer. Er, to me. I guess. “We are raising her, and now them, as food. We take her children, and raise them, and eat them.”
“If they’re humes?” Did you not think about that?
“Clearly, yes. Humes are tasty. We love their stringy-”
“Whoa, whoah. Let’s stop there.” I interrupt her, putting up my hand in protest. “I’m not eating another hume, Goddess help me. Okay, so, I didn’t like raising orckin for food to begin with, but I was going to roll with it,” I huff.
“Why? They are delicious.” Melsy, of all the people, you side with the meat eaters now?
Ah, crap, I didn’t want to try to explain this. Especially to Dubhe. She is used to it, rather, her whole race is used to eating their own kind.
“Uh, so, all creatures: plants, bugs, everything, is made of what is called genetic material, or genes. They tell our bodies how to grow.”
“What?” Dubhe has a look of disbelief, or maybe disappointment on her face? I can’t tell. Considering the topic, it must be disbelief.
“Yeah, and that’s what tells your body how to grow, from the moment you’re conceived till you die. Also, it determines your racial traits, and such.” This is probably going to take a while.
“Tristain, husband.” Melsy grabs my shoulders and looks in my eyes. “Stop.”
“But it’s true!”
Mika clarifies. “Yeah. Everyone knows that.”
“We can confirm that, aside from surface born humes, everyone knows about genes, and stuff. That’s standard fare. We aren’t some dumb humes.”
“Of all the things… Wait, no, whatever. Anyway, the reason we can all, er, ‘inter-mate’ as it were, is, apparently, the Goddess made everyone from the exact same genome. The genes expressed determine the race and features. Deep down, we’re all the same.” The Goddess and I had a very long conversation about this. She wouldn’t clarify why she did it, but did say that it was to preserve the ‘known good genetic combinations in the smallest package.’ Why? She was very tight lipped about that.
“Why is Brendan in there again, and not that mangy, chained fellow?” Yeah, Mika, I haven’t said that yet, I didn’t want to alarm anyone.
“So, after he joined a town, the children started disappearing. They found their defiled corpses in the house he was using. I didn’t want to alarm anyone, which is why I didn’t say anything before now. Also, Gaia said we couldn’t kill him directly.” Rather, the Arbitrator said that Gaia said, but that isn’t really important right now. I feel like Gaia is intentionally trying to ruin our lives. Scratch that, pretty sure she really is, for real.
All three women seemed lost in thought. I didn’t know what to do either. I really don’t like eating races that are effectively the same. It isn’t much different than eating or enslaving different colored skin humans from my old world. It just seems wrong. These creatures had a right to live and find happiness too. Granted, some are dumber than others, and it would be a waste to not eat something that was either going to attack us or currently attacking us. Just like it would have been a huge waste to not eat Melsy’s delicious old body. How did that even taste so good anyways? It was like pre-spiced, marinated, fried tofu of absolute deliciousness.
Melsy is the first to speak up. “Stop thinking about that, husband.”
Mika and Dubhe look at her. Dubhe also speaks up. “We agree he is easy to read. We also agree that there is no problem eating the orckin children?” She looks from Mika to Melsy, both of whom nod at her.
“We suppose husband has a soft spot for hume children? We also don’t like the idea of eating hume children. They will not be ripe.” That is a very disturbing view you have. Dubhe sighs. “We suppose, with how difficult it is to raise hume children, the idiot orckin female won’t succeed either. If she does, we suppose they have a terrible truth when they are old enough.”
I’m not sure which truth she is referring to, but yes. It is not something they will likely be happy to find out.
Melsy sighs, and makes a request. “Mika, could you go get the hume female?”
Author’s Note: Thanks for the support! Sorry for the delay. Working 12-16 hour days because stuff broked at work.