Creator Protest - RPLOG
It is hot and sunny in the Fair District today and beings of all sizes and descriptions are going about their business and enjoying the exhibits on display.
Among those visiting the fair today is a rather unusual group. A small knot of Creators wearing clothes that seem to be a (poor) imitation of local styles has basically set up camp in front of the main lecture hall and are waving signs and chanting slogans and shouting at beings as they pass by. Admittedly, it is an utter mystery to most of the beings in attendance.
A little ways away, a miniature rhino dressed in a Creator style jumpsuit is seated alone at a little cafe with a drink in hand, watching the unruly Creators.
And then, there is Flora, dressed in a simple, white robe, emblazoned with the emblem of LongTech Industries, pacing about, her tails flicking behind her as she peers at the protesting creators, before she moves closer to the group.
Her golem besides her, and her two usual guards trailing behind her, she seems confident, in decent spirits, and rather confused about the picketing creators.
Drawn to the increased bustle of people like an insect to a flame, Fetnah fairly dances along through the folk, free with her smile. She stops at exhibits along the way, occasionally peering at them each as if fascinated for a few minutes before moving along to the next. Her nose twitches and is drawn to the occasional pastry shop, but she does not stop there.
Upon noticing the creators, she nearly stumbles over her own feet, coming to a stop. She watches the tableau with attention as the tigress approaches the small knot with her golem and guards.
The Creators are difficult to understand, with the way that they and their strange little translating machine spirits keep shouting over each other. But amidst the irrelevant babble and according to their First Tongue covered picket signs, it becomes apparent that they are, in fact, protesting scholarly progress on Promise.
"Keep PROMISE pure!" a translator device gabbles, with the tell-tale sound that indicates it has paraphrased something. It's owner, a tall, willowy creator, waves his sign around in the air as he shouts. At least, it seems to be male. He has short hair and a masculine appearance, but he is wearing a rather poor simulacrum of a lady's ball gown. Apparently there is still some confusion over gender-appropriate clothing out there among the stars. "SCHOLARS will ruin your world!" he chants, and frowns at Flora's approach, "Nature provides everything we need!"
Even over the responding, affirmative shouts of the other Creators, the loud sigh of the watching rhino sounds.
A very large grizzly bear passes by the peculiar group without giving them a moment's notice, his head dipped in a notebook and a capillary pen in his free paw, with a little clipboard and an inkwell. Then, as though on a delayed timer, he stops, actually walks BACKWARDS, and stares at them, taking in their rhetoric as best he can. Then, in a methodical manner, he slides his pen, nib up, into one of the pouches of his belt, removes his pince-nez and places them on his clipboard, places his paw over his face, and gives a great, big sigh of annoyance.
A raise of the brow, a flick of the tail, and a soft rumble, as Flora coughs, loudly, to get the Creators' attention. "Ahem," she offers, looking over the crowd, and flicking her tail behind her. "Who, exactly, is in charge here?" she asks after a little while, flicking her ears, and looking decidedly displeased.
"Flora would like to speak with them, yes."
Shaking herself out of her shocked stupor, Fetnah begins to maneuver her way closer to the strange cluster and their antics. She glances from the signs, to the creators, to the others that seem to be gathering around as well, then angles in to put herself close enough to clearly hear what is going on.
Noticing a bear about to back over her, she nimbly darts around him, casting a brief look of reproach before stopping next to him as he makes a gesture of frustrated annoyance. Her gaze then drifts around to pick out the other strange stanging off to the side, a rhino in creator clothing.
The loud Creator in the ball gown looks askance at Flora. "We don't have a leader," he says disdainfully, "We stand together as equals against the heartless advance of SCHOLARLY PURSUITS and CREATOR MAGIC!" The other creators all echo the sentiment in agreement. It suddenly becomes apparent that all of these Creators seem to be quite young.
As a curious crowd starts to gather at a respectful distance, the little rhino leaves his drink at his table and tries to weave through the press toward Flora, looking more than a little embarassed.
Corin spots the smaller, spotty being and gives a mumbled apology to her before he glances over at Flora and gives her a wave, mumbling, "None of these..." He mumbles a string of expletives under his breath that would make a longshoreman blush, "...have ever been hungry, have they."
"Right, yes. Flora sees. And Mister Parson is aware of this... Protest, despite Promise being considered largely souvereign until its status with the creators is decided?" the she-cat offers, as her tails flick behind her, and her eyes focus on the creator.
"Even so. It seems an odd position to take, considering mister creator and his... Friends came here on a Creator Vessel, clearly the work of what Flora believes the Creators call Science, yes?"
"And, as Mister Corin points out. There are countless beings whom could benefit from more advancements. The beings barely hanging on in the Shanties, any being struck with the Red Plague or any other disease, essentially condemned to death?"
"Unless, of course, Mister Creator would prefer to spend their life without any of the inventions the Creators have?"
Fetnah leans up to quitely ask the bear beside her. "Is't about us makin' these things? If'n they had the chance ta make this stuff, why can't we? Rather'n try ta stop us, why don't they go an' help us to not ake the same mistakes they did?" She crosses her arms and shivers at some private thought.
The young man in the ballgown give Flora a sour look. "You only say that because you've already been infected by the selfishness inherent in ADVANCING CREATOR MAGIC!" he says, "You just don't understand the cost! It is better for the BEINGS of PROMISE to remain pure and free of the evils that come with ADVANCED MAGIC." He points jeeringly at Flora. "It is BEINGS like you who will destroy this WORLD," he says with the unshakeable conviction of a young man out of his parents' sight.
Corin doesn't even bother to lower his voice to answer the cheetah, "Because they don't have to LIVE here. They get to go home to their comfy wherever-creators-live and not deal with the undead in Mossy Stone, the starving in the slums, our diseases, or the hostile wildlife. And none of them have ever been outside of Firmament, so they think the whole world is like this." in contrast to his usual, jovial, friendly nature, every word out of Corin's mouth seems to be utterly dripping with disdain.
"Flora can't even -use- magic," the she-cat offers, her tails flicking behind her, her ears twitching. "But, considering mister Creator didn't answer, Flora assumes Mister Parson is not aware?" she gestures one of her two guards over, before sending it off with a detailed set of instructions on exactly what to ask the church to send on her behalf.
"Now, if Mister Creator is convinced about his stance on this, Flora is sure he and his friends would not mind seeing the things Flora mentioned to affirm those thoughts? Flora would even be willing to send a pair of guards along, although Flora cannot guarantee anyone's safety outside the gates of Firmament. Promise is a wild place, yes."
Fetnah nods understanding the perils. "I'm from a crossroads outside the city, an' like ye said, my da and family needs to poison the vermin before they get to our food stores, or we go hungry. Y'have ta watch out goin' to the outhouse at night. Y'sayin' they never have ta do that?" Her gaze travels to the oddly dressed beings. "I dunno much about real creators, but they seem a strange lot. Ev'n if y'get them out there, I dun think it'll change much. They seem ta think like them pampered nobles in the stories, sounds like..."
Some of the Creator youths have the decency to look embarrassed, but it seems that their not-ring-leader is impervious to both concience and logic. "Say what you will!" he says, nose in the air, "But you just don't understand how good you have it! It is just a good thing that we are around to protect you from yourselves!" He raises his picket sign again and starts trying to lead his little band of followers in another chant that just does not seem to translate.
Before things can escalate further, the little rhino finally manages to push his way through the crowd. "I'm sorry about the disturbance, High Lady," the little fellow says in a voice like a thousand, buzzing bees, "I didn't think they could be nearly so noisy!"
"No, Miss Flora has a point. Let's bring them to the shanty town. There, this proselytizing pile of condescending platitudes can explain to one of the people who have nothing that we can't develop any more methods to help them because he knows best." Corin says, placing his pince-nez back on his nose. He corks the inkwell that's built into the little clipboard he uses, closes his notebook with a loud SNAP, and tucks it away into his kit.
Flora flicks her tails behind her, before turning to Fetnah. "The creators probably don't have to do that, no," she offers, as she looks to the rest of the group. "Your 'leader' does not seem to care about the plight of the poorer beings of Promise, yes? He seems to prefer focusing on his goal, rather than accepting an offer to see what Promise's actual problems are."
"Flora is curious, yes. Where do the other Creators here stand on that?" she asks, looking straight past the Creator she was talking with moments before.
Frowning, the cheetah quietly continues to observe the situation, her tail lashing and her ears flat as she crosses her arms. She tenses when the tigress confronts the rest of the group, but also begins looking around as if searching for something, her gaze going from eatery to eatery, a small frown tugging at her muzzle. Fetnah's gaze then returns to the group and she remains quiet, but her head occasional shakes slowly side to side in disagreement.
"You know, Gav," another creator says, possibly a female, though she is wearing a formal, masculine uniform, "We could go see this. . . Shanty Town? Might be more useful than the. . . " she trails off and waggles her sign weakly as the leader, Gav, apparently, turns his frown on her.
All of this seems to greatly distress the little rhino in his strange garb. "No! No! No!" he buzzes frantically, "Pardon the intrusion, Highlady, but I really can't let you take these kids out of the city! Their parents would have my hide!"
THAT, more than Flora's jibes and the pleas of his fellow. . . whatever these strange people are, seems to catch the leader's attention.
Corin seems pleased enough with whatever it is that's happening, and sits back to let whatever's happening take its course, "I think Miss Flora has this well in hand." He says to the cheetah with his first little smile since this whole debacle started.
"There is no need to leave the city immediately. The eastern wall provides a decent vantage-point of the shanties, although it won't have the same impact, no. If the group wants to head outside after that, there are the farms to the west, as well, which are relatively safe, yes."
"If they wish to venture further out, Flora is sure they can send word home for permission, yes?"
Fetnah continues to frown, then takes a few tentative steps forward. "Um, M'lady. Would it be wise ta do so? The ones in the shanty town might be tempted ta cut their throats for some of their pretty clothes, even if'n they are creators, maybe be hopin' for an artifiact ev'n." With a few more steps she draws up nearer the creators, giving them a shy smile, before glancing back at Flora. "Maybe... Arm them so they c'n defend themselves?" She looks at one of the various young creators. "Y'can handle a knife ta defend yerself from a hungry chid, right? Those what are diseased can barely put up a fight. Or maybe use a bow to fight off a hungry beast think'n you are a spot of food? How d'ye defend yerselves on a normal day?"
"I don't see that I need anyone's permission to prove my point!" the ballgown clad Creator says, looking down his nose at the small rhino, "Least of all to an RY-N-Zero unit produced by the UNREGULATED TRADE system!" He turns to look over his shoulder at his fellow Creators, a group of ten all told. "Let's just see what this BEING wants to show us, then," he says, "You'll see, it is all a product of rampant CREATOR MAGIC." It is apparent that he is saying something else, but his translator device, hovering just over his shoulder, is doing its best to paraphrase.
Fetnah's words are met by horrified silence. "Protect ourselves from what?" the girl in the uniform asks with a frown, "DIETY, why would someone- what kind of place are you taking us? This wasn't in the brochure at all, Gav!"
The rhino takes a risk and reaches out to tug of Flora's sleeve. "Beg pardon, Highlady," he drones, "But when I say they will have my hide, I ain't exactly exaggerating. . . "
Corin shrugs and adjusts his waistcoat, glancing over at the uniformed creator, "You remember that hostile wildlife I mentioned? That. As to why they'd rob you? Because they have no money, and little food, and a bit of creator tech will feed them for a month." he scratches his chin, giving it a moment's thought, "Perhaps more, depending on who'd be buying."
"Flora will be taking these creators to the wall. They will be safe, but they can see Shanty Town below, yes," she offers with a smile to the rhino, though she makes sure to tug her sleeve free as quickly as she can.
"The wall is perfectly safe. And yes, people in the shanties can be... Aggressive. Not all of them. Many are just down on their luck," she offers, before gesturing for the creators to come along. "And the walk to the farms is safe, yes. Worst thing that might cross the road is some vermin, yes."
Focusing on the creator woman in the mock uniform, Fetnah does her best to put on a friendly smile through her obvious nervousness. "Those are where the ones that be unable to work, too poor to pay fer housin' and such go. The Shanties. They be stuck there with little in the way of washin' and the like. Unless there be a way to build taller buildings, the are stuck buildin' closer to each other. Do ye have a way to stop having children when ya can't feed 'em? Or to be building taller than a few floors without the stones gettin' too heavy for the buildin'? It would make life better for many, so's they don't have ta pack a fam'ly of twelve into a shack."
She gestures to the tigress, nodding. "She be right. The walls there are safe 'nuff. We can watch ya. Why don't y'tell us what kind of room you live in? How many relatives be sharin' your house? I can show y'how to shoot a bow after'n see how y'like it. Or maybe we can all go have a sit an' a drink ta talk. Ya friend there can tell miss Flora 'bout what things we shouldn't be doin'. If'n we don't know the details of what we shouldn't know, we can't avoid it, right?"
The uniformed woman listens carefully, not to Fetnah, but to the little machine spirit hovering above her shoulder that chatters while cheetah speaks. It seems to have a bit of trouble with her accent. She shakes her head. "Listen," she says, turning to the other Creators, "Maybe this was a bad idea. This place isn't much like the brochure made it out to be. Maybe we ought to just go rejoin the tour group." She tugs at her collar, "These outfits are murder in this heat. And I haven't seen a single BEING wearing one." The other young Creators mutter their agreement, but the ringleader, Gav, seems set.
"Fine," he growls, though it is apparent that he, too, is very uncomfortable in his hoop skirts and fancy ball gown, "You can all slink back to your false castles! And good riddance." He whirls to face Flora. "Well?" he asks, "Lead the way, BUSINESS RELATED GAME PIECE." Now that can't be right. . .
The little rhino scratches his stubbly chin and sighs. "Fine," he buzzes, "I'll take the rest of these home, but it'd mean a lot to me if you kept this one safe and sound."
Corin smiles at the other creators, and the little Rhino-of-unknown-origins, "Have a nice day!" he says with a happy wave, before turning to Fetnah again and whispering "Why are they getting their information from a piece of fabric? Are they weaving fabrics into tapestries to tell people about us?"
Flora nods and smiles, simply shrugging as she moves along. "Flora has no intention of causing a ruckus with the creators. A simple trip to the wall, and maybe a trip to the farm. Flora is staying with the entire time, so if something happens, it happens to Flora too, yes," she concludes, smiling lightly. "Are mister Corin and miss cheetah coming along, or?"
Fetnah seems a little disappointed that the others are leaving, but nods to Flora in confirmation that she is more curious as to what the result of this will be. She takes a moment to grin and quietly say "I like your outfit. It makes you look dignified," to the creator woman before stepping away to follow the tigress as an impromtu member of her strange and improptu little entourage. Her tail flicks a little and her feet vitually dance along in a skip at the prospect of seeing this bit of practical education through.
Dignified as the young woman in uniform might seem as she is led away by the odd little rhino, the remaining Creator is anything but. He seems to be having a great deal of trouble with his massive hoop skirts. At least he didn't attempt a wig in the summer heat. The gathering crowd of locals starts to disperse, seeing that the entertainment is over. "Is it much farther?" the Creator, Gav, asks.
Corin adjusts the strap on his kit and shrugs, jogging a bit to catch up with Flora, "Sorry for escalating that a bit miss Flora." he mumbles quietly, "Just really hard for people who 'know best' for me." he scratches the back of his head and adjusts his pince-nez, for they have been slightly dislodged by his moving at a more-than-lumbering pace.
"It is alright, yes," Flora offers to Corin with a smile on her lips, a flick of the ears. "Yes. We are not even out of the fair district yet, no," the she-cat offers, as she points at the gates leading back to the marketplace. "We will have to pass through a guard-post, but Flora doesn't expect a lot of trouble in getting up on the wall. Flora doesn't usually have a lot of trouble with that, no," she offers with a smile, a flick of the tail.
"Anything mister Creator Gav would like to know about Promise, Sweetwater, or Firmament?"
Fetnah follows along at the sedate pace necessary to keep in earshot with the other two and the slow to move creator in the hoop skirt. She does take a brief moment to admire the court dress, but then frowns briefly and works her way closer to the High Lady and the bear, only a couple tail lengths at most away at this point.
"No," Gav says grouchily, "I know all I need to know. You're the ones who don't understand! Can't even see where this path you are on will lead you! You think that all of this SCHOLARLY ADVANCEMENT will help you, but it will just send you into a downward spiral of greed and misery." The poor boy is looking more than a little miserable himself in that outfit, puffing and sweating along, trying to keep up with Flora. What are the odds that he is wearing dancing slippers under those skirts?
Corin rolls his eyes, but elects to keep his yap shut for the moment. gripping the area of his shirt and waistcoat at the center of his chest, as though praying for patience. As ever, each footstep clops against the ground somewhat noisily and he glances over his shoulder, nodding to the Cheetah trailing a bit behind.
"Would mister Gav honestly prefer a life constrained to one planet? A life where many struggle to get food, or where disease is a death-sentence? Tell Flora, then. How old does the average Creator become? Because a lot of beings don't live past thirty-five. And even those who have their every need met can look forward to maybe fifty years or so."
"That means Flora has about fifteen to twenty more years left. Fifteen to twenty years of trying to make sure Flora's children have a future to look forward to. A future that Flora will not be able to see. Now, tell Flora again that finding cures for diseases, or ways to improve harvests aren't worth it. Tell Flora that it isn't worth it to give Flora's children an extra year or two. And not just Flora's children, but everyone's children. That it is a bad thing to see diseases pushed back. Is that what mister Gav truly believes?" the she-cat offers, as she guides the creators and the beings along.
Fetnah suddenly trips over her own paws at the big cat's words, stumbling for a few steps before catching herself. She frowns and continues on, her mood a little darker now, her steps less light on the stones of the street as her tail lashes. "Or died birthin' a child... Makes a girl consider other options."
The Highlady's argument falls flat in the angry young Creator's ears. "Don't be stupid," he snaps, "I'm not talking about making medicine or making houses. I'm talking about the System! You want to show me a bunch of sad, hungry BEINGS living outside the city wall and tell me that's why you want CREATOR MAGIC?" The young man stops walking and points back at the Fair District. "You EXPLICATIVE EXPLICATIVE EXPLICATIVE DEROGATORY NAME just built a whole new EXPLICATIVE chunk of city and you still have a whole town of homeless outside your walls. That's what you want to show me? And you want to tell me that you did it to help them? No!" He fumbles with the ridiculous hoop skirt he is wearing and struggles to lift it over his head to escape. "You're all as EXPLICATIVE stupid as the LARGE BUSINESS tools back at home!" he rants, still trying to escape his ill advised clothing, "I don't need to see anything else! You're just as soulless as all the other money-grabbers in the galaxy." He probably does not mean the same thing as a local when he says "Soulless."
"And then what?" Corin snaps, "We feed people who haven't got skills we can use, and to do that, we what, steal from the farmers? Who pays for the repairs? We steal the blacksmith's nails, the lumberjack's wood, the quarry's slate for roofs?" he glares down at the newly designated Gav with the sternest librarian glare he can muster, "Who pays them, so they can eat? With the same amount of food, the same amount of wood, the same amount of stone?" he stops for a moment, then adds, "Also, since we know you broke off from a tour group, I'd remind you that we are in NO WAY obligated to have any truck with you, so you may wish to change your tune while we do you a favor and attempting to persuade you, rather than simply throwing you back to them to explain to, I assume, your parents why you felt obligated to offend absolutely everybody by mocking not only our intelligence, but our culture with a vague and inappropriate appropriation of our clothing."
"Then how would you get these beings on their feet? Would you give them money? Food? And what happens once you stop providing those? The new district was built with the help of many beings from the shanties, who got paid for their work. Several of them have opened small storefronts or stalls there, while others have found apprenticeships in the city. It isn't perfect, but it works better than anything else beings've tried," the she-cat counters, still as calm as ever, her tails swaying behind her lightly.
"Yes. Flora believes that better machines, better medicine, and a better understanding of nature will improve their lives, too. If anything, it will expand beings options for solutions to these problems."
She says nothing of Corin's words, but her similar message and the short glance she gives him do seem to suggest she's on the same page.
Fetnah hesitates, clearly shocked to her core, then hurries over to try to help the creator pull free of his clothing without destroying it or strangling himself in the process. She casts a glance at the other two, but then turns, remaining mute until her task is finished. A few times she opens her muzzle to speak, but then closes it just as quickly, keeping her words to herself in this situation, her tail lashing at her own contained emotions.
The Creator boy finally manages to struggle his way out of his skirts, leaving him only in puffy, white undergarments. "What do you care?" he shouts angrily, letting all that cloth fall on Fetnah before turning and stomping away, "You got a few shopkeepers out of the SHANTIES. Congratulations. You're all just a bunch of greedy BEINGS, even if you tell yourselves otherwise. None of this SCHOLAR stuff is just to help people. It's a nice byproduct as long as you get what you want in the process."
A curious crowd parts to let the half dressed young man stalk by as he beelines his way toward Saint's Square. Or at least, in that general direction.
"Do you suppose he has any idea where he's going?" Corin asks, glancing after the retreating creator, eyes half-lidded, apparently unaware of any distress he might've caused Fetnah, "Because I'm not going after him."
Flora shrugs and shakes her head. "If he doesn't want to listen, that is his problem, yes?" the she-cat offers with a small shrug, a flick of the ears and the tails. "His loss, yes."
Fetnah stands stunned for a brief moment, then bats her way out of the covering cloth. She hurridly bundles it up and shoves it in another female onlooker's arms before glancing at the bear and High Lady. "Pleasedtameetyalordandladyhopewecanshareanale!" She manages to ramble out in a single breath before giving a brief curtsy and then dashes off in the direction of the creator to make sure nothing bad happens before he can rejoin the group.
Corin looks on a bit stunned for a moment, before smiling and waving at her, "Good luck miss!" He calls after her, "You'll need it, I suspect..." He says quietly, "Think I might have overdone it there... Exactly the kind of person I can't stand. Worse, I don't think HE knew what he wanted. Did you notice, miss Flora. He went from championing stagnation because scholarly advancements are bad, to championing how large businesses are bad. Or maybe he just cared about the latter, and not the former." he taps his chin idly with a fingertip, "Or maybe he just wanted to be right."
"Flora has... No clue. Some creators are weird, yes. Most of them are fine, if just a bit... Strange. Flora kind of misses Miss Creator Doctor Sinclair. She was interesting to talk to, yes."
Again, she shrugs, before leaning on her golem again. "Flora thinks that is enough debating for today, though."