The trip back to Gorkun City lasted for more than two equ. hours, because Aton made three calculated Gradient Drive transports, and he needed time to prepare for each. Raika had locked herself inside her cabin. Najé contacted his people to find out the news. He was told that Hurran Military Commanders started to surrender, and the pits were ready for transporting Norghe troops and assistance to Kugh and Ancen Systems.
     For the final transport, Aton used the Trans-States Drive mode to land in Gorkun City, inside an underground hangar. Najé asked Aton to tell Raika they were landed. She came out dressed in her civilian clothes, and she was very shy and silent. People came to meet them with cheers and applauses, and Raika managed to smile a little and to wave a hand.
     It was late into the night. Najé asked Raika if she wanted to have dinner, but she declined his invitation and went to her apartment. Before going to bed, Raika spent some time sending messages to her relatives in the Ancen System.
     When she woke up the next day Raika felt a little better, psychically. She checked her commgate and discovered a message from Najé. He was telling her that he had to meet with Jeolan, therefore he would be away for the next two equ. days. Raika asked herself if she wanted to go after him, but decided to stay away from politics for a while. She contacted Vahlie instead, and she felt very happy when she answered to the commgate call.
     “Hello, Vahlie, I am so glad to see you,” said Raika smiling sadly.
     “Oh, My Dear, you have no idea of how glad am I to see YOU!” replied Vahlie, and she appeared to be enthusiastic.
     Raika asked timidly, “Could you spend little time with me, Vahlie? I need to be with someone after all those past events—”
     Vahlie interrupted her perplexed, “Could I! I am simply dying to hear all your stories, My Dear! It must have been horrible—”
     “Ah, you cannot imagine—” interrupted Raika.
     Vahlie interrupted her with terrified looks, “Was it, really?”
     “Oh! I have nightmares thinking—” started Raika to confess.
     Vahlie interrupted her again, “Wai-wai-wait! I want to hear everything in minute details directly from you, My Darling. Let’s meet together in the cafeteria in half equ hour.”
     Raika realized that what she needed most was little relaxing Ladies company. She was confident that Najé had understood her need, therefore he left on purpose, to let her have some time of her own.
     She thought that he was incredible, and she couldn’t figure out how was it possible that Najé knew her feelings even before she did. Raika promised to herself that she was going to find out . . . one day.

     She met with Vahlie and they went together to meet with a friend of Vahlie, then to meet with Gelen, and then with . . . They formed a group of nine beautiful, “young” Ladies, and they went to a nice cafeteria, somewhere in the City. There, the Ladies spent the entire day discussing each moment of Raika’s adventures.
     Almost all the Ladies present started crying when she described Gunis Relas, and they all confessed that they die of curiosity to find out if little Gunis was going to handle that million of barbarians!
     Later in the evening, all Ladies exchanged commgate codes for future contacts. They kissed each other, then they parted.
     Raika had dinner alone, then she spent a few equ. hours reading an interesting book.
     Najé called her on commgate the next morning. He said, “Hello Raika, how are you, My Dear?”
     She replied relaxed, and watching him with grateful looks, “I feel much better, Najé. Thank you!”
     He seemed to be pleased with her answer, then he asked timidly, “Would you like to come over here, Raika? I have to decide on a few things, and I would like to get some advice from you.”
     She said, “I am very glad to help you, Najé, but . . . How do I get there?”
     “Take the elevator up to floor eighty-three, and you shall find Aton there. I am confident you can handle him.”
     “Yes, of course. Thank you, Najé!” said Raika smiling sweetly. She felt emotionally enthusiastic thinking she was going to travel alone with the mighty little Aton spaceship.

     Raika followed Najé’s instructions, and she discovered Aton in a nice, clean hangar. She said, “Aton, open the gate, please.” Aton executed her command, and Raika climbed aboard, then she went up to the Navigation Control. She said, “Aton, take me to Sooholl City, and land on the inside Convention Council Plaza.”
     Aton asked, “How fast do you want to reach your destination, Raika?”
     She replied, “Try to arrive there in about one equ. hour, Aton, and make the dome transparent because I want to see the landscape.”
     “Would you prefer that I fly at a lower altitude for a better view, Raika?” asked Aton.
     “Yes, please.”
     Raika enjoyed watching the landscape very much. It was just like when she was very young, playing with small toy houses in her imaginary, beautiful, innocent World . . .

     There was a sea of people gathered inside the inner Plaza of the Convention Council building, therefore Aton had to hang into the air for some time, in order to land safely without hurting anybody. When Raika climbed out of Aton, security people came from everywhere and they made a clear path for her up to the main entrance. Najé was also there to meet her, and they started walking together.
     “Did you change your suite?” inquired Raika.
     “Why should I?” wondered Najé casually.
     “I suspect you are a hero now,” motivated Raika smiling ironically.
     He replied in a sad tone, “Yeah. You have no idea what these people want to do to me.”
     “President for life? Emperor? Ha, ha!” inquired Raika amused.
     “Heavens! They are all crazy,” replied Najé with disappointment.
     She asked amused, “What are you going to do?”
     He replied smiling tenderly, “What I would like to do is to stay away from politics for a good while, and to spend little nice time with you.”
     Raika remembered her previous day and she felt guilty, because she had one wonderful day of relaxation while Najé . . . She came close and hung onto his arm.
     “What?” asked Najé surprised.
     She replied casually, “Nothing. I just want to hang on to your arm. Do you mind, Najé?”
     He confessed, “No, Raika, I like it very much.”
     Before entering Najé’s suite, Raika thought they were going to spend some time alone, to discuss a few important things. However, she discovered Jeolan in there working and feeling at home, as if he were living inside Najé’s suite.
     Jeolan started enthusiastically, “Miss Madjen, all the people of the Allied Worlds want to thank you for your bravery. The General Association of the Allied Worlds Ladies has voted that you are their President for life—”
     Najé interrupted him in a bothered tone, “Oh, come on, Jeolan! You see, Raika? This is the problem: we are ‘celebrities’ now! Noo, this entire circus is going to end really soon!”
     “How is the War going, Jeolan?” asked Raika smiling amused.
     “There is no more War, Miss Madjen, thanks to you and Najé. The Hurrans have abandoned their positions and they are surrendering even to children. The hardest shock for the Hurrans was the record with the investiture of their Supreme Leader. It was a magnificent show, Miss Madjen, with the two of you all alone in front of those horrible Hurran Officials—”
     Raika interrupted him perplexed, “How did you get that record?”
     Najé explained, “I gave it to them, Raika. I had to present it on Togris, in order to ease any Government transition tensions. We broadcast it all over the Allied Worlds, and throughout the Hurran System, advising everybody to mind their normal life until the Supreme Leader should arrive.”
     “How did the Hurrans react to the news?” inquired Raika curiously.
     Najé replied, “I have no idea, but I suspect it came as a relief after the broadcast with all their powerful Leaders humiliated and invalidated.”
     She asked, “What is the situation here, Najé?”
     He explained, “I ended the Crisis Status yesterday, then I forwarded my resignation, but the Delegates refused to accept it. They intend to coerce me into becoming President Delegate for life. They tell me there is a huge pressure from their people, and there could be rebellions if I do not grant, somehow, to each citizen of the Allied Worlds that I am their only Leader . . . The bad part is that many want me to destroy the Hurran Home Planet—”
     Jeolan started passionately, “Najé, I do not dare to even think about what would have happened to us without—”
     Najé interrupted him in a bored voice, “Thank you, Jeolan. We need little privacy, if you please.”
     “Sure, Najé,” said Jeolan, then he left the suite promptly.

     Najé invited Raika into the Study Room, where they took their old favorite seats.
     Raika smiled sweetly at him, then said, “It feels as if an ugly dream is gone forever, Najé.”
     “That ugly dream has brought us together, My Dear,” observed Najé in a caring voice.
     They watched in silence the life in Sooholl City. Even from that distance, it was obvious there was celebration everywhere.
     “What do you intend to do now?” inquired Raika softly.
     “We both have to decide, Raika—” started Najé.
     She interrupted him surprised, “Both of us?”
     He explained disappointedly, “Yeah. You have no idea how proud of you the Allied Worlds Ladies are. They want you to become the next President Delegate of the Allied Worlds Confederation.”
     “Ha, ha! Really?”
     “Well, do you want it?” asked Najé, and he appeared to be somewhat scared anticipating her answer.
     She smiled amused at him, then said, “Oh, no, Najé. I wouldn’t stand a minute, as a President, against an opponent like you.”
     He smiled gently back at her, then he asked cautiously, “How about . . . women’s superiority?”
     “I do not think there is any, on either side. However I am, most likely, influenced by your teachings,” answered Raika ironically.
     “Oh, no, you are not.”
     They both kept silent for a while, then Raika asked timidly, “Why did you do it, Najé?”
     He looked at her perplexed, then replied, “Raika, I did so many things during the past days that I have no idea to which you are referring . . . Is that about Gunis?”
     “Yes. Why did you do it?” asked Raika again.
     He said, “You were there, Raika . . . What were your feelings? I noticed you were deeply impressed.”
     She admitted, “I was very much impressed by that poor woman and by her life of hardship . . . For us, Najé, it has been thirty or forty equ. days of nightmare, while for her and most Hurrans it has lasted for generations after generations . . . Anyway, why did you do it?”
     Najé replied confused, “Raika, I have no idea what was that particularly impressive to you. Please, detail your question, My Dear.”
     She explained shyly, “The fact that you forgave the Hurrans their crimes, and you made that poor woman their Leader. It was so nice of you, and you made me feel very proud, but I want to know why you did it and . . . and if it was because of me.”
     He smiled gently at her, then he explained in a kind voice, “No, My Dear girl, it was not because of you. In fact, Raika, I realize that we saw what happened from two different perspectives.”
     “Oh! How did you see it, Najé?” asked Raika surprised
     “Look, Raika, suppose you were in my place, and you had to decide the fate of fifteen billion people living in hardship, who made a terrible crime. What would you have done?”
     “I thought about that, Najé, while you were talking to Gunis, and I knew it was incredibly difficult to you. My heart was broken for that little poor woman, but I didn’t want to influence your decision in any way. Now, I know for certain that whatever I had decided to be their fate, it would have been far worse . . . How do you manage, Najé, to do exactly what is right; to find the best possible solution?”
     “Raika, you let yourself distracted by the way things look on their surface—”
     She interrupted him, “Oh, don’t tell me, Najé, you were not affected by Gunis’s life of misery.”
     “Of course that Gunis broke my heart too, Raika—” started Najé.
     She interrupted him again, “Oh, by the way; I want to thank you for taking care of her so nice. You are a true Gentleman, Najé, and I am very proud of you!”
     “Raika, I remember we had, previously, a discussion about how I see women. Gunis broke my heart because she was a mother, and a woman living in poverty. You see, My Dear, by being mothers, women have a life about two times more difficult than men do, and I respect them very much for that. However, there was something else I was impressed by, and it helped me reach my decision—”
     “Sorry to interrupt you again, Najé. You talked so little with Gunis, that I was almost terrified when you ended that dialog. Why so little?”
     He smiled a bit ironically at her, then said, “I told you, Raika, that people are transparent to me. Those a few questions I asked were more than sufficient to know Gunis. However, what I needed to know was how the Hurran people were. My decision had been based on what the Hurrans did, not on what Gunis answered to me . . . Well, except for her last answer—”
     “What was her last answer?”
     “Oh, come on, Raika, you were there!” protested Najé.
     “Ah, I remember; her last answer was, she had been chosen because of politics.”
     “Yes, My Dear. Her last answer was, politics.”
     Raika asked confused, “So, what did you think of that answer . . . that she was honest?”
     Najé smiled, then explained, “The fact that she was honest has brought her the leadership of the Hurrans . . . Can you see deeper into her answer, Raika?”
     “Politics . . . What?” asked Raika troubled.
     He pushed her, “Come on, Raika, make an effort.”
     Raika struggled mentally for a few moments, then she said with abandonment, “No, I am sorry, Najé, I cannot match your level of intelligence. Please, explain it to me.”
     “My decision on the fate of the Hurrans was based on her final answer, ‘politics’, but it was not because of what she said: it was because of what the others did to her. You see, Raika, the Hurrans have won the right to a civilized punishment by selecting that poor creature.
     It was obvious their intention was to break your heart and mine—and Gunis did just that—but to me, what was important was their INTENTION to be forgiven. They wanted another chance! That was the most important aspect, not Gunis, Raika. Those Hurran people believed they could be forgiven, and they wanted it.
     Of course, I cannot refuse the pledge of a race for another chance to repair the evil they have caused. In fact, my decision has been made when Gunis came in front of us, as Hurrans’ selection. The dialog with her was almost not important: it only showed to me that she had the minimum needed of honesty, sufficient for her to become the next Leader of the Hurrans. However, it was Hurrans’ selection of their Delegate that saved them, because with a bad one, I could have decided to condemn their entire race to go again through prehistory.”
     “I was certain I missed something,” said Raika while watching him timidly.
     “As I said, you let yourself impressed by the surface of things, Raika, and you judge with your heart, not with your mind,” explained Najé caringly.
     She motivated, “The way you see . . . everything is completely different from the way I do it.”
     “Regardless, it is very important that we judge right, My Dear, especially when we deal with large social structures. You see, if the fault belongs to one individual, I can merciless because there is nothing good in giving a second chance. That individual cannot repair an evil done, even if he understands his fault. However, at the Hurran race level, what they did wrong can be repaired, if they truly want it, even if it takes millennia for that.”
     “Are there other people like you, Najé?” asked Raika softly.
     “Oh, My Dear, I am confident there are very many—”
     She interrupted him looking slightly suspicious, “I never met anyone like you.”
     “Well, you see, Raika, this one is another major philosophical topic: the unique character of the individuals—”
     She interrupted him again, though in an exasperated tone of voice, “Oh, Najé, I cannot hear this now! Please, do not misunderstand me: I want to hear everything you tell me, but not now. Let’s have lunch.”
     They went for lunch. Najé told Raika he intended to address the Council that afternoon, then he asked if she wanted something for her.
     “What do you mean ‘for you’?” asked Raika perplexed.
     He explained, “You are now in the position to ask and to obtain whatever you want from the Allied Worlds.”
     “What do you want for yourself?” asked Raika smiling ironically.
     He replied, “For me, I want only you, Raika, but I doubt that the Council has the power to coerce you into—”
     “No, they don’t. What else?”
     “I intend to ask the Cawa Federation Government to sell me the Bant Island.”
     “Sounds reasonable. What else?”
     “That is all.”
     She asked perplexed, “That is all? You could get a lot more for what you did.”
     Najé replied, “Why should I? Naah, it is more than enough, Raika. Besides . . . we have a lot of work to do . . . together . . .”
     She inquired hesitantly, “Are you referring to . . .”
     He replied, “You promised, Raika, and I fulfilled my part.”
     She agreed timidly, “Well, if you insist.”
     Najé replied happily, “Good! You can start tomorrow.”
     Raika remained stunned for a few moments, then she asked with irritation, “Start what tomorrow? What are you talking about, Najé?”
     He explained timidly, “You said that, after we finish with the Hurrans, you will help me to give my money to charities . . . so that we can marry some time . . . in a near future.”
     “Oh, Najé!”

     They went together to the Council Meeting Hall where there they had to face another wave of ovations. Najé went to the Presidential Chair and sat on one of its arm-support in a leisurely posture, then he asked the Officials if the Meeting was broadcasted live. After hearing their confirmation, Najé started in a casual voice, “Dear Citizens of the Allied Worlds Confederation and honorable Delegates. I have been told that many of you would like to see me in this Chair of power permanently, from now on. I thank you very much for your trust, but I cannot accept it. I am a scientist, and I have my work to take care of.
     I want to remind you all that we managed to solve the past crisis due to the fact I had only an Observer status within the Allied Worlds Council. I was just a remote outsider, and that situation should continue into the future, because it creates a favorable alternative.
     There are, however, a few changes I intend to bring to the Allied Worlds, forced by the past events. As you are all aware, the Hurrans shall become a part of the Allied Worlds Confederation, and I urge all of you to help those people oppressed for generations to discover their dignity of citizens having equal rights. Think, dear friends, it is possible the next crisis that strikes the Allied Worlds will be solved with Hurrans’ help—and please be aware that crises always come uninvited.
     Another change to the Allied Worlds Confederation structure will be the inclusion of five new Planets ready for colonization, and very, very far away from here. The new Planets shall function under the Government of the Free Democratic Republic Xallas, and we need volunteers to develop them to the Allied Worlds standards. I am certain that many Hurran citizens will embrace this opportunity to restart their lives in the new lands. In the future, we shall add even more Planets to the Allied Worlds.
     Now, I want to thank you all for your sacrifices, for your endurance, and for your fight, and I officially resign the position of President Delegate.”
     There were strong protests from the Delegates, and from all the people gathered there. Najé ignored them all. He took Raika’s hand, and they left the room. Later that day they returned to Gorkun City.



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