Rende’s parents didn’t want her to come. They supported the Southern Continent Separatists. They even were members and active supporters of their work. But as is the way with parents they never want their children to do as they do, but as they say. Well Rende was having none of that. The rally had been planned for weeks and she was going to be there. She was tired of the Northern Traditionalists and their platitudes. For a race as long lived as theirs, Rende really thought her people were stupid.
The rally had been planned because the NTs were sending in a team to close down the school. Well they weren’t closing it, they valued education, but they were going to force the teachers out, replace them, stop the children from learning to think for themselves. Since she was a little girl she’d seen the gangs of children running the streets. The ones whose parents couldn’t get private tutors. Her parents had taken some of them in, but there were so many. As she got a little older there had been progress made, new schools that allowed a self paced design, and encouraged new ideas, old ideas, experimentation, had been built. It wasn’t just cookie cutter. Of course Rende learned that the problems just weren’t the schools, but that’s how it started. Control the young minds and eventually you control the adult population as those students aged. Now the NTs were coming in to put a stop to this forward thinking.
Rende moved through the crowd. She had that way about her. It came naturally, being able to tell where the worst of the problem would be. She was a natural fighter and tactician and she could move through or control a crowd easily. She spoke to a few people she recognized, but she was eager to get to the front of the crowd. She wanted to clearly hear what nonsense the NT representative was spouting today. The crowd was restless and murmuring and the sound was buzzing. The NTs never used microphones to project their voices. They didn’t want their words remembered exactly. As she neared the front the man was speaking again, “This loose non structure is a violation of everything that makes us El-Aurian. The children are not learning here, they are not gaining discipline or mastering a craft. New, stronger structure and clear expectations must be laid out. To become productive members,”
“You mean TARKANS!” Rende shouted out. An animal that was oddly close to an Earth sheep. “You don’t want us to think, you want us to blindly follow you!”
The man shook his head, “We want them to learn, learn our history, learn the great literature, learn to carry on our history.”
“You want us to LISTEN but never DO! You want us to make your precious art to put in your great houses on your perfect continent, but not build lives for ourselves! Here we learn and we make mistakes and we learn some more. We don’t listen, we DO!” Rende was passionate, but not the best speaker, not yet, one day she would be, but she had enough fire to gain the shouted support from the crowd around her.
“Young lady, you are NOT listening. That is what we are, we are listeners…”
“No you are NOT. You are all so old you think you’ve heard it all! So you don’t listen to us, because you think you’ve heard it all before. You want us to sit, be quiet, listen but you have nothing to say, nothing to teach. You’ve never experienced life! And you would have us, the children waste our lives the way you do! We, our people are going to die for ‘listening’!”
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