The light coming from the Queen’s aura diminished. The wall of the cavern lost its definition: And, although the shadows flickered less, the expectation of sound from the crackling flames was not satisfied. The cavern was silent and the Queen stared into the distance, not moving a muscle. I was certain she wasn’t breathing. But perhaps this was normal.
Time seemed to stop and, the more I squinted at the Queen, the more certain I became that what was before me was nothing more than a statue carved from the most exquisite palest peach marble.
I got it into my head that it was time to take some action. I started to stand, though not entirely sure what I was going to do. Then the cavern was bathed in light.
“What is wrong with your kind is the fact you have no patience. Since your kind decided your science was the only science, you’ve wanted all and everything, faster and faster and faster.
“No time for rational thought or debate; destroy first, no questions later, eh?”
I was getting a bit riled. “We’re not all like that.”
“I believe you, Derek. I know. It’s just the people that have the power.”
“I wonder who put them there?”
“That was rhetorical, Derek. No need to reply.”
I was certain she was being snide. This woman-thing was really getting to me. But it had just dawned upon me the only real weapon I had were the words I could muster.
I recalled all the things Jacob had done and achieved the evening I’d left, it’d all been accomplished by appropriate words, put together in the appropriate order.
The way he’d moved us from his office to the park. The way he’d got me through the Queen’s magic camouflage of the hill, and the few words I’d remembered to make the link for him to tell me how to find the hill in the first place.
I looked at the Queen. For some reason she was smiling.
“Very well, Derek. Convince me to stop the Akh’Mori.”
Bugger! Jacob had not prepared me for a battle of this type. I felt sick to my stomach. If I got this wrong, at the very minimum, there wouldn’t be any more Markent Marketing.
Then there was the idea that after the Akh’Mori had transgressed the Conversion, when everything had settled down, – peace?
Governments had done this exact same thing. Previously I’d been one of their tools to achieve the goal, though it hadn’t been successful – I didn’t think the Akh’Mori would be unsuccessful. Peace in my life time: But the sacrifice? At least poverty would be wiped out once and for all: But the sacrifice?
Questions and more questions went around my head. This was awful. In effect, I had the power of Nature at my very fingertips; the ability to destroy everything Earth-side of the Conversion. All I had to do was screw up this conversation. Should I choose to screw it up or do my damnedest to win the debate?
I made my decision. Although in my gift I knew it was humanity’s choice whether or not to terminate itself, not mine. And, if they did, I was sure the Sidheóga could recover Gaia for themselves.
I started my argument for the recall of the Akh’Mori.
“Why don’t you send someone to break the LHC at CERN? And stop the scientists destroying your land.”
“Derek, at the first hurdle you fall. I thought you had listened. We are Sidheóga not human. We agree to rules and abide by them.”
“The Akh’Mori are on their way,” I stated.
“There are no rules anymore. The accord was annulled by your actions. And we still prefer to remain mostly invisible.”
“But our scientists don’t know what their machine is doing.”
“Ignorance absolves everyone. Is this the case?”
“In this case it certainly absolves the scientists at CERN.”
“Who agreed the accord in the first place?”
“It wasn’t scientists,” I countered.
“No. You are correct. Was there a record made of the accord? Were there not guardians recruited? Were there not people who knew of this?”
“Yes, there were.”
“Who hid the knowledge for it was not us?” the Queen asked.
I knew there was only one answer – it was the scientists. If the Sidheóga were acknowledged, if the accord was acknowledged, then science as it had been created during the Enlightenment, could not possibly exist in the form it had taken.
I had to take another tack in this debate. “Give me the power to stop the LHC.”
“We have never given mankind the power. It is inconceivable; you are too puny of mind to use it wisely. Only half breeds like the cunning folk in your realm have some of the power.”
“Transferring the power to a human is against the rules?” I asked.
“If that was so, mingling between the Sidheóga and humankind would be banned. It is by received wisdom that humanity is prohibited.”
I couldn’t believe it; a chance, a small window of opportunity had opened. “You can give me the power?”
“Yes, it is possible.”
“And doing so wouldn’t break any rules?” I pressed.
“No, Derek, it would not. Barring the rule of common sense. Don’t forget we’ve watched what you do and what you’re capable of. There’s no facet of human nature that can be trusted.”
“I said: We’re not all the same.”
The Queen looked at me. I couldn’t turn away from her eyes, and as she stared I felt something reach inside me, a strange tickling deep in my chest, then a withdrawal.
The Queen shook her head. I didn’t like it. Despair weighed on my shoulders. Had I executed humanity due to a demeanour I could not control?