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Another Look at My Past


Chapter 17
Late Heroic Era, Deep in hssswwx territory
“We greet you, O ne Who Speaks When Others Must Be Silent.”
“Come, all of you. You have come because my words were brought to you, do not stumble now.” O ne Who
Speaks When Others Must Be Silent was making every effort to be gracious.
One Who Collects Water stepped forward. At the same time, First O f Those Who Fight moved forward and
made a point of colliding with O ne Who Collects Water.
First O f Those Who Fight regarded One Who Collects Water with only one of his tertiary optical receptors.
This was of course an insult, but One Who Collects Water chose not to react in the presence of One Who
Speaks When Others Must Be Silent.
First O f Those Who Fight had no such inhibition. “O ne Who Collects Water, I have in my tent a stone knife
from my father's father. I can use it to cut off two of your limbs. That way you will have only four limbs and
you can be like your friends from the sky.”
“First O f Those Who Fight, you speak like a blind deformed hatchling who knows nothing.” One Who
Collects Water knew some insults too.
“Silence both of you”, growled One Who Speaks When Others Must Be Silent. “O ne Who Tells O f Things
Past, you come in too. Maybe you can behave better than these two.
“I have summoned you here because I have three visitors from the humans. They came to me carrying a
large white cloth on a long stick. That means they wish to communicate without fighting. I am sure you
know the meaning of that, First O f Those Who Fight.”
First O f Those Who Fight had no reaction to that. It was impossible to hurt his feelings, since he had no
feelings. Their leader continued his speech.
“These humans have different opinions than those you meet in battle. They would like to go to their leaders
and say that we with six limbs will communicate with them without fighting. These visitors believe that a
way can be found to end the fighting.”
“The only good human is a dead human.” Replied First O f Those Who Fight.
One Who Collects Water did not agree. “We would be foolish indeed if we did not try to find a way to share
this world. We should open our sound receptors to what they communicate to us.”
One Who Tells O f Things Past felt the need to say something. “In days of old, in the tales told by our
ancestors, two tribes would become weary with fighting. The elders from each tribe would come together
and sit in a square and speak of the great bbbgggrrrttt. After that it would be known by all that these tribes
fought no longer.”
One Who Speaks When Others Must Be Silent hated not to agree with the traditionalist, but facts were facts.
“O ne Who Tells O f Things Past, the humans would want to sit in a circle, not a square. And they know
nothing of the great bbbgggrrrttt.
“But any being will act in his own best interest. It is my hope that by communicating directly with the
human leaders, we will discover a way that is good for us and for them.”
First O f Those Who Fight had a good objection. “You will go to meet with them, and they will fall upon you
and slay you.”
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