Taven: It is said that each new pasture leads us to another level of enlightenment. ::folding his webbed hands within his sleeves of his robe:: Our understanding of the universe will be gifted to us if we remain faithful to their edicts.
Prarim smiled at the Acolyte’s words, but felt deep uncertainty in his heart. At least Taven had the decency to remain appropriate for the time being. Perhaps that was a good sign - or perhaps it was simply Taven’s way of avoiding the ire of his Luminary. Either way, Prarim thanked the Spirit and hoped Taven would maintain composure throughout the proceedings with the Federation.
Daniels: May I ask if there is a time you wait before you follow your Angles or do you follow them as they move?
Aleksandrov: Truly, we are only trying to understand how your relationship with your ‘angels’ works….
Before Prarim or his Acolyte could respond to the Federation representatives’ multitudinous questions, one of the avaricious miners interrupted with an impertinent question that set the Luminary’s hackles rising in shock.
McLaren: Sorry to interrupt, but is it possible to relocate these animals away from the mining sites?
Taven: ::looking shocked, his eye fur stiffening:: Relocate?!
Prarim and Taven exchanged a look of distress. Were these folk, who had only just arrived in the Delta Quadrant, who had only just met their people and learned of their Angels, already planning to forcibly resettle them in the name of extracting resources?
The Hawlat had been cautiously optimistic about the arrival of the Federation, considering its edicts on religious tolerance - but now Prarim began to suspect that they were little different from the many other empirical species spreading their influence across the galaxy - claiming benevolence while quietly pushing lesser civilizations out of the way.
Daniels: That solution would be ideal for you, however, we need to understand more of the Hawlat perspective. The Angels hold great value to them just as your work does to you and so we must work together to find a solution that favours both parties.
oO Nice words, but the substance rings hollow in the light of greater context. Oo
J.Carter: Everyone…before a course of action can be determined, I would consider it to be prudent to wait for the Independence to report back on what they have found. Meanwhile :: to the Hawlat:: we would like to know more about your people, these Angels, your origins. :: to McLaren:: Bear with us for a bit longer. Once we have enough information we can make the best decisions for everyone.
Prarim folded his robed arms across his chest, crossing them in displeasure. He could feel his pulse pounding. His ears twitched nervously. He felt as if the eyes of the Angels and the Great Spirit were on him, watching this conversation with great interest.
Orrey: Which is what we are ultimately after here. Everyone being satisfied when we leave this room with the outcome is what we all want.
Prarim: ::Snorting:: I’m beginning to wonder if that is in fact possible, Doctor Orrey. It seems we are fundamentally at odds here. Your impertinent miner friends seem only to think of what they can take from the wonders that the Great Spirit has provided. ::To Taven:: You see, Acolyte Taven, why we must take our devotions so seriously? ::Back to the group:: Lest we be swept aside and our traditions trampled upon. The Angels have chosen this place. Relocating them could have serious consequences for their connection to the Great Spirit and for our people.
McLaren: That makes sense, that could solve our problems though.
Aleksandrov: Our problems perhaps, but not the deeper issues.
J.Carter: That’s what we want to do. Solve problems and improve relations amongst everyone.
Prarim thanked the Spirit for providing him with the words. The interlopers seemed to be listening now - at least for the time being.
Orrey: ::to the Pilgrims.:: Do you keep records of the pastures from the past? Do they ever repeat their patterns in any way?
Luminary Prarim’s ears twitched again, as if scanning for signs of danger. He reached up and stroked the tuft of coarse fur which grew from his chin, pensively.
Prarim: I am… not aware of any such behaviour, no. The Angels follow the Great Spirits guidance, providing us with a path to follow. But we are forever looking ahead - to the path before us. We do not find it.. beneficial to think too much of the past, shrouded in darkness as it is.
Orrey: If there is a way we can direct mining operations toward places you have already visited that would be helpful to prevent future issues like this one wouldn’t it?
Prarim stopped stroking his beard and looked to Taven. He knew the Acolyte was a sensitive one and hoped that discussion of the Hawlat’s history would not be too hard on the young one.
Prarim: This is a difficult matter. As you know, we follow the Angels where they will us to go. Centuries ago, our people looked to the stars for salvation and found an answer. Since then, we have constructed vessels to carry us to greener pastures of the spirit and the Angels have never led us astray… But that has not prevented other, unenlightened, species from taking advantage of our peacefulness. We’ve lost many ships, many pilgrims… and our records are scattered and broken.
Prarim shook his head from side to side and waved his hand in disillusionment. Actions spoke louder than words - and Prarim had grown tired of all these empty platitudes and diplomatic terms. oO What does a mutually-beneficial solution really mean when our needs are fundamentally at odds? Oo
Prarim: You ask much of us but provide little reassurance. I understand your people are already investigating options outside of this diplomatic chamber, studying the Angels with your scientific instruments and intimidating them with your warships… Far too many times we have faced situations like this only to find our words falling on deaf ears, our concerns pushed aside, and our people mistreated and persecuted. We’ve learned to be careful about what we share with outsiders.
The Hawlat Luminary stood and made a grand gesture, holding his hands up in the air and closing his eyes, shutting out all distractions as he felt the Great Spirits guiding him. He began humming, a deep rolling sound that emanated from his barrelled chest.
Prarim opened his eyes and smiled, his humming fading away and his hands lowering to rest once again on the table. An idea had come to him - no doubt a message carried by the Angels from the Great Spirit itself.
Prarim: Perhaps there is a way. ::Looking at the others again:: We do not know you and, to speak plainly, we do not trust you. As far as the Hawlat are concerned, the Angels are in their rightful place and any further provocation may stand as testament to the empircism of the Federation – however, our people may yet find common pasture. If you truly wish to forge a Bond of Faith with us, that we might take you at your word, I urge you to engage with our practices and prove your worthiness before the Angels’ judgment. ::With a knowing look to Taven:: I invoke The Ritual of Trust.
With that, the Luminary folded his arms again - this time in pride. This would surely be a test of the Federation’s values. Would they respect the ways of the Hawlat or would they prove themselves close-minded? Would accept these terms or prove themselves cowards? Who among them would take on the challenge and demonstrate their worthiness before the Great Spirit?
MSPNPC Prarim (he/him)
Simmed by Kivik