AeroQuest 3… Canto 90

Canto 90 – Little, Medium, and Big Are All the Same (the Blue Thread)

Unlike other impending revolutions, the upheaval of the planet Djinnistan was so far overdue that the inequity and inequality between races was laughable.

The gigantic Afrits were all treated as machinery rather thinking, feeling, sentient beings.  The Faulkner Genetics executives who ruled the star system felt that someone with artificially limited intelligence didn’t have to be treated as equal to anyone.  They continued to follow orders blindly because they were simply not smart enough to question them, although there was no doubt about whether there was suffering going on in the Afrit community.  No one bothered to suggest to them that they might vomit lava on their oppressors and be easily done with them.

The tiny Peris had an opposite sort of problem.  They were child-sized even as adults, and though they were highly intelligent, some of them more intelligent than their corporate masters, they were easily frightened and intimidated by the security beasts (basically genetically enhanced primates in Nazi uniforms who were excessively violent, limited in thinking ability, and fond of the taste of Peri children).

The security beasts themselves enjoyed conflict and violence.  They understood two-word sentences like, “Kill Peris,” “Eat children,” “Throw this,” “Scare Peris”, and “Hit that.”  A few were genius enough by comparison to understand, “Hit that hard!”  But they, themselves, were unjustly tormented by bosses that starved them on purpose to make them fiercer.  And they were not smart enough to realize they could do to their corporate masters the same things they did to Peris and Eaglemen because they were so physically more powerful.

The winged Djinn, also called Eaglemen, were of average intelligence.  They were mostly manipulated by the genetic coding that made them docile unless their masters needed them to be warlike, and then code words could instantly turn them into crack shock troops.

This was the situation Arkin Cloudstalker found himself in as he, Lazerstone, and Black Fly sat down to a meal with the leaders of Djinn Rebellion.

The meeting was held in a huge light-blue desert tent.  In the far corner sat a group of three Afrits, keeping their distance from everyone to avoid choking them with the natural Afrit corona of sulfur and black smoke.  A smoke-hole had been placed in the tent roof directly above where they sat.

The head table held a party of Eaglemen, ten male and five females.  There were exactly two Peris at the table, a male and a female, both of indeterminate age.

The head Eagleman stood and introduced himself.  “I am Alsama’ Alzirqa’.  I am the sultan of the enslaved ones.  I lured you here because agents of the White Duke have been urging me to rebel.”

A second Eagleman stood and spoke also.  “I am Mutasabiq Alsama’. I am the sultan’s adversary.  And I am disappointed that you did not arrive with an army.”

Arkin didn’t have much of an idea what was expected of him, especially in the matter of what to say next.  Both bird-men stood looking at him expectantly.

The male Peri then stood.

“Ahem!  I am Another Danged Boy 152.  And, yes, that really is my name.  I am brother to the famous Another Danged Boy 143, may he rest in peace.  What the sky-guys are trying to get across in their bird-brained way is that we know the White Duke wouldn’t have sent you, specifically, the three of you, unless he thought you could solve our problem.”

“Ahem, also!” said the female Peri.  “I am Pretty-in-Patches.  That is also really my name.  I am the sister of the famous Uggo Uglygirl.  And I am here to come up with a creative solution if you goony birds fail to figure it all out.”

“Um, yes, I see,” said Arkin.  “We are supposed to help you rebel against your corporate masters.  The trouble is, I really don’t know anything about you people or your world.”

ADaB (Another Danged Boy 152) then spent twenty minutes recounting all the information about Djinnistan that I have already explained earlier, so you don’t need to worry about his recitation of it.  Besides, PiP (Pretty in Patches) spent considerable time and effort in contradicting and correcting him, so I will try not to bore or confuse you more than I already have.

“So, if I understand everything rightly, you outnumber the bad guys by a thousand to one, but you simply can’t take the fight to them because you are scared of the security beasts.”

They all looked at Arkin with some surprise registering on their faces, partly because Arkin had understood ADaB perfectly, and partly because PiP didn’t believe she hadn’t worked hard enough to fudge up ADaB’s explanation.

“Okay…  But you still don’t seem to have an army to solve our problem with,” said ADaB.

“We do have an army,” said Lazerstone.

“We do?” asked Arkin.

“Plenty of harmonic crystal out there in the sand, yes.  But also, look at them.” His sweeping gesture took in all the Freaks present.  “They can take this planet by sheer force.  They just have to be willing to try.”

“We can trap Dr. Bludlust in his lab easily, if we just don’t have to worry about the security beasts,” said ADaB.

“Would the Afrits be willing to aid us in battle against the security beasts if Lazerstone and I took them on by ourselves?” Arkin asked.

“You are powerful enough to do that?” asked Alsama’ Alzirqa’.

“Are we powerful enough?” Arkin asked Lazerstone.

“Definitely.”

“Uggo Uglygirl?” Black Fly asked PiP.

“Daddy had just endured a twenty-five-year run of only daughters, and he was desperate for another son.” “Okay, then, let’s get this battle underway,” said Arkin.

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Filed under aliens, humor, novel, novel writing, Paffooney, science fiction

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