Tweet of the Day: A Little Old Jazz
Combat boots trampled fresh snow into mud. This refugee camp at the edge of the New Canton colony was like a dozens others he visited during the last ten years , a hive of pre-fabs stacked three and four high. This one shivered under a steel grey sky, another baked under a relentless desert sun, and a third laid deep within the dirty slums of a human city. Regardless of the weather or location, children played with sticks or frayed dolls, no one looked him in the eye and everyone stuck to the shadows. Whatever caste they belong to or position the once held, now they all shared the same fate, that of a broken people.
He spotted a large rock in the middle of a square. He climbed atop the massive piece of granite and looked down at his fellow batarians. With a push of a button he activated speakers built into his armor.
“I am Jatak, once of House K’adar,” a few adults approached the base of the stone, “You have heard of me and of the Assembly. You have probably heard of our pledge, ‘A free world for a free people’,” the crowd grew larger, all eyes on Jatak. “But what does that mean? Right now? Does it mean restoration? A return to our glorious path? A rebuilding of what was lost?” He paused. The people in the crowd looked at each other in bewilderment. “Right now it means absolutely nothing.”
He pressed on before the crowd exploded in anger, “No, there is no turning back. We are here, wallowing in the mud, because of the lies and empty propaganda of those who chose their own power above the needs of their people. The old prophecies warned of what was to come, of the evil that lay in the darkness. But when they discovered the truth, that we were not alone in the universe, they turned the prophecies into instruments of fear. Fear of the alien, fear of the slave…fear of each other. Instead of warning the galaxy of what was to come, we festered in our supposed superiority. Instead of making allies, we made enemies. Instead of leading the races of this cycle into the defense of life itself, we turned our backs on them. Worst of all, when the time came, our glorious leaders betrayed us to the Enemy. We saw siblings, lovers, children and friends turned into abominations to serve the demons from dark space.”
Murmurs rippled through crowd. Some nodded vigorously.
“And now while the other races celebrate the end of the war, we languish here, forgotten and afraid. So what are we to do, you ask, what can we do? We can rise to the occasion. A few among us have already taken the first steps. We have reached out and found allies among the other races. But that is not enough. It will not be krogan armies, turian fleets or volus credits that will change our lot. Only by our own sacrifices can we redeem ourselves, not in the eyes of others, but in our own eyes. We shall seek a rebirth of our people, unbound and unafraid. I know that I place upon your shoulders a heavy burden, one that few will willing or able to carry. There is no sin in that. It is merely the truth. I can only hope that a few will step forward and lead the way. That you will find in your hearts the strength to be heroes, the strength to do what needs to be done. As for my part, I can only promise that I will share any burden in order to restore our home world. I may never see Khar’shan,” he looked down at a young child who sat at the edge of the boulder,”but I know that when the day comes, when the call rings out across the galaxy for our people to return to the embrace of our home world, then we shall know what it means to live in a free world as a free people.”
Jatak stepped down from the rock and walked away. One by one, two dozen batarians emerged from the crowd and followed him.
They took their first steps in the path to liberation.
For those who would follow,
For us all….