4.4 Times of testing

There is a lot that has occurred lately that has caused me to reflect on who and what I want to be.  The birth of my son has been perhaps the most important thing that’s ever happened to me.  I will do anything for Luke, anything to protect him and anything to secure his future.  His birth has brought home to me just how important it is that we do all we can for this town.  I am more convinced than ever that the proposed constitution we have been drafting for governing our town and helping us reintegrate into the world at large is vital.

Unfortunately, there is unrest in the town.  Some people are angry that we are trying to govern them.  There has been no governance here since the accident.  People are afraid, we have just been released from mob rule and they do not want to be constrained.  Others don’t think our proposals go far enough; they want us to issue even more edicts than we have done.  We have a lot of support, but there is a very vocal minority against the proposals, and they might sway the outcome of the forthcoming vote.

Perhaps I myself haven’t helped matters.  By having my uncle Gaius at my campaign events, I have made myself a target.  Gaius and his contemporaries who brought down the Altos massively split public opinion here.  Some people laud them as heroes, defenders and liberators.  Others can’t forgive them for the atrocities they committed, and as Gaius was the main figurehead of the movement to bring down the Altos, he is the main figurehead for both the adulation and the anger.  By me publicly choosing to stand by him, I appear to have become more popular with some of the town and despised by others, who don’t want their future leaders associating with people who were involved in the Alto mob in any capacity.

Hirogen has been trying to print some positive stories about the constitution at the paper, but she can’t avoid printing articles and letters that question what we are doing; the unrest here is too loud to silence.

I am worried; how will we be able to convince people that our constitution is the best way forward?  What if it isn’t?  What if we’re wrong?  We need to be a united people if we are to avoid descending into anarchy – we have so much that is almost within our reach, but if our town becomes fractured and unstable, so much could be lost.

Gaius’s release from prison has been great for my family, though.  My mother is so delighted that he is out and she loves any opportunity to see him.  Ramon, my mother’s cousin, is also pleased to see him; they were childhood best friends and now they are distinguished old men.  Ramon and his sister Shana help run the library, gym and gallery and they are a real asset to this town.

Even my aunt Ezri is pleased to see Gaius released.  She was angry when she first heard about what he’d been doing and the way my mum had compromised the family and their police careers, but the years have caused her to soften.  Since Echo died, I think she’s realised how important all her siblings are to her, and she’s forgiven both Gaius and mum for their deception.

The seed Anne Marie planted has sprouted and so far it looks healthy.  She attends to it every day.  She and Krillitane have been given several more seeds to plant as the research lab are so pleased with the way things are currently working out.  It won’t be long before we truly see the results.  The potential is amazing: we could see trees, flowers, fruit, vegetables, all these things we have dreamed of for generations.

The research lab’s work is developing at a great pace; Krillitane and Anne Marie are always talking about the new projects they are working on.  One of the most exciting is that there is a section of the river that is now clean enough they are seeing signs of life.

They have fenced off the area so they can perform tests and see what life is beginning to flow again.  They have found some plant life and small insects, and they are beginning to see signs that fish are living, and swarming and breeding.  Krillitane has been working on the team investigating the life there.  She says the fish aren’t quite the same as the ones they’d seen in textbooks, but that’s to be expected given the toxicity of the water and soil for so long.  Nevertheless, the mutations appear to be minor and the water and soil samples are coming up clean.  The hope is that fish and insects from the neighbouring towns will migrate here now the water is clean and flowing; that we will have wildlife here once more.

Kes is excited by the potential of fresh fish, fruit and vegetables.  She is reading the books of recipes the survivors created from memory and there are so many things she is keen to try cooking.  She is doing incredibly well in her chef’s training and has dreams of opening a restaurant with some of her fellow cooks.  They have been talking to Ilari and her colleagues about how to set up a business and liasing with the research laboratory and local builders about materials for the building and equipment to prepare meals.  We have had nothing to cook on but grills since the accident and they want the lab to help them develop ovens and other cookery equipment they’ve read about that can be used in the restaurant at first and in homes once the technology has been established.

I am so proud of my wife and my sisters.  They are doing so well at achieving their goals, but I feel so anxious about meeting mine.  I play my guitar a lot and think about Dad.  I wish he was here; he’d know what to say, what I could do.  Everyone loved him; I just wish I had that gift.  I know I need to stand up for what I believe in, but it’s very hard to do so when it alienates some of the people whose support I need right now.

I knew there would be challenges I would face as I entered politics, but it never occurred to me that people might look on me with spite, with fear, with hate.  I know for some it’s because they are hurting from what the Alto mob did.  I know for others it’s because they are afraid of the future, of the changes that may come.  I don’t know how to tell them that I care, and I understand – and I certainly don’t know how to do that and yet tell them I will not compromise on my principles.

Riverview can’t stay as it is, in our isolated bubble; we will be returning to the wider world sooner than people realise, and we need to be ready.


11 Responses to “4.4 Times of testing”

  1. Ah, mutation. I knew there had to be a good explanation for jellyfish.

  2. What a lovely picture of Ezri!

    LOL @ the mutant jellyfish that wants to match Krillitane’s shirt!

    Very sensitively and thoughtfully expressed hopes and fears on Jango’s part. I see the unrest has chipped away at the edges of his youthful optimism. Stay strong, Jango! You’ll get there!

    • He’d better get there! IT is a nice pic of Ezri, isn’t it? She’s still alive and kicking. Firefly is 95 in game, so Ezri must be pushing 100.

  3. awwwww,a nooboo. Luke Skywalker right?

    Hirogen is looking good.

    • Yup, Luke Skywalker indeed. Oh, Hirogen. Well, you’ll see what’s happening for her in 4.5. She’s a fine lady though, certainly.

  4. I really enjoy the way Jango questions himself, wondering if he’s taking the right position, but he seems to know where he’s going and the best way to get there. And I love the position Hirogen takes! Hey, she has to report it!

    The color and light you use to highlight the water, the jellyfish, the plant, just wonderful!

  5. moondaisy101 Says:

    Oh, Rad! I know you are a smart cookie, but the way you voiced Jango’s situation is just amazing! Gosh, it’s almost as if you are ther with them. You picture the political climate, the resarch and advancements perfectly! I am so impressed. This has got to be my favourite chapter of all… it’s deep, beautiully written and right to the point.
    *blush* I don’t want you to think I’m overdoing the complimenting, but this is really how I feel about it!

    I think the Lazarus family is brilliant at finding compromises. Firefly allowing Gaius to complete his heroic challenge in her own house is probably the most outstanding example.

    I’m sure Jango has that same ability… to empathise, to understand and to make the right decisions. As I said before, I love the depth of his thoughts, yet get concerned about his lack of confidence at times. Then I remind myself how young he is… and to be the heir of such an eminent family can’t be easy either. 🙂

  6. SB/Moondaisy – Thanks so much, such lovely compliments!

    Jango does know where he’s going… but he’s learning about politics and how politics means serving a people, a diverse people at that. It’s not going to be an easy path for him to walk, possibly the hardest one since Gaius and Firefly of all the family’s careers – he needs to learn when to compromise and when to stand firm, when to listen and when to speak out… he’s not there yet but hopefully he will be in time…

  7. […] new updates for you: in 4.4 Times of Testing, Jango Lazarus is finding politics a tough world, whilst in the latest Dayes update, The Best Laid […]

  8. raquelaroden Says:

    What an awful dilemma for Jango. I know he’ll do what is right, though….he’s a Lazarus, after all. 🙂

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