A satire of dysfunctional government and economic inequality.
Chapter II: Day/Page 14 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . Early the next morning the covey of scientists, philosophers, ministers, and military of Gâia convene to discuss the timing of the actions to be taken. The President of LAAC, an aging Snowy Owl with feathers thinning on top and eyes that look perpetually startled, shuffles the papers in front of him, sips his water, adjusts his glasses, and begins.
“Gentlemen, given the seriousness of the—oh, and… and of course Ladies,” he adds hastily, with a nod to two colorful Kites on his right, trying not to make it seem like an afterthought, which obviously it was.
It’s not that the President of LAAC had any less respect for his female colleagues, that wasn’t the case, but, as is not uncommon with physicists and engineers everywhere, he often felt awkward around those of the female sex. And in his case the awkwardness was compounded by age and the fact that he rarely had much opportunity to interact with women, since cosmology on Gâia was primarily a male’s calling.
It seems the notion of staring interminably into empty limitless space, in cramped and comfortless quarters, hoping for the remote possibility of seeing something twitch, was a task overwhelmingly undertaken by men. Most women found the work boring, unpleasant, or both. Even his wife of 80 years, who had enthusiastically joined him most evenings in the frigid observatory during the initial blush of their marriage, soon lost interest in, as she explained to her friends, “Freezing my ass off in the dark all night, while constantly staring at nothing,” and sought instead the company of a good book and the warmth of a soft bed.
The President of LAAC continues his address in the slow, professorial tone honed from a century of lecturing to classrooms and academic conferences. “Given the seriousness of the situation and the profound duty we have as representatives of our fields of study, and considering the monumental decisions at hand, we must weigh all the alternatives, every option, in order to ensure that we have done our due diligence with respect to these weighty matters so as not to prejudice one opinion over another, resulting in an increased inaccuracy potential that might fail to yield the outcome which we all desire. Therefore, I am sure you will …”
He continues along a similar vein for another ten minutes until a stout Hawk with a sharp beak and bristly feathers bangs his fisted talons on the table. “Listen, Doc, with all due respect, we don’t have time for this pud-pulling birdshit. We’ve got a job to do and we need—“
“What the Admiral means to say…” interjects the Minister of Inter-Planetary Affairs, a middle-aged Eagle with an expensive suit, flawlessly preened feathers, manicured talons, and an indelible smile fixed firmly to his face—regardless of whether he is addressing a crowd, shaking hands, kissing babies, or stabbing his friends in the back.
“What the Admiral means to say is that . . . . TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
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