Canto Fifty-Nine – In the Nesting Quarters of Tanith and Davalon
Davalon and Tanith had learned to cuddle and hold each other in the affectionate way that Earthers like Alden and Gracie Morrell always did. They were doing it now in the nest Sizzahl had given them. Dav could no more imagine being apart from Tanith than he could imagine going back to the old Telleron ways of killing and recycling the protein of tadpoles who proved to be unnecessary during the long space voyages.
“Are we going to survive this adventure, Dav?”
“Yes, I think we stand a very good chance now with the adults here to save us. Especially Mrs. Castille. She is a very formidable warrior.”
“How did our people survive without her?”
“That’s a very good question. I think our people have been going down the wrong path for centuries.”
“What do you mean?”
“Have you ever wondered about how our fundamental survival methods actually work?”
“No. We were not programmed in the egg to think about things like that.”
“I think that’s a mistake too, Tanith. We need more thinkers in our species. With the protein recycling system we used to have, you and I might not have survived. If we hadn’t undergone such a dramatic change on Earth, our whole mission might have gone extinct by now.”
“I don’t follow, Dav.”
“Think about it. What kind of Telleron people survived most often in our society before we adopted Earther behavior?”
“Self-promoting evil ones like Commander Sleez… and, well… stupid ones like Corebait and Studpopper and Finkerblatt… the ones who were lucky enough to never be put in a position where their life was threatened.”
“Yeah, except Corebait disintegrated himself back on Earth, and Finkerblatt tried to flush a toilet into space instead of the molecular recycle grid and was pulled out into space by his…”
“Yeah, but Studpopper proves that the lucky stupid ones do sometimes stay alive.”
“Okay. You’re right. But it is also the steady and quietly competent ones like Farbick… and maybe Commander Biznap that not only survive, but get critical things done and help others to survive as well as themselves.”
“So, what are you saying, Dav?”
“I think we know what we have to do, and what kind of Telleron people we need to become.”
“We need to be lucky and stupid?”
Davalon smiled as he saw how brightly Tanith was smiling at him.
“We need to be people who think and solve problems. We need to be competent like Farbick. We need to take the lead like Biznap.”
“You think that thinking is our job or something?”
“Exactly. Promise me you will help me learn how to think better and more clearly. You are smart, Tanith. If you and I help each other, we will both get smarter.”
“And maybe we can raise up tadpoles of our own.”
Davalon smiled at her. She was lovely cradled in his arm and close up against his chest.
“Yes. We can make a new world where Tellerons are better than they have ever been.”
“We can evolve into a better people?”
“Yes. And with a little of the lucky that used to be only for stupid Tellerons, maybe we can be a people who live to old age and rebuild a planet.”
“You are giving me good things to dream about,” Tanith said, closing her eyes and falling softly into the realm of good dreams.