• Nick Richards

Chapter 3: The Duke - Part Three

“Friends, we are very happy to help you as we can, but we are not prepared to help so many at one time. You are so many, and we are so few. We want to help you all, but we want to do it in an organized manner. We will teach your people to be better doctors and better farmers and better laborers, with new tools to help each of those jobs. Then they can teach others, and others and so on. Please be patient with us today, we did not expect so many of you at once.”

The crowd had a mixed reaction to this speech. Some seemed to grasp what Jendi was saying, others grumbled at what seemed a rebuff, and still others pressed forward from the back to better hear what Jendi had said. Now it was getting very disorganized.

Vialon and Grif joined Jendi.

“Get back to the ship before it gets uncontrollable,” said Vialon. “Grif, order your men to form an escort for the ladies.”

Reluctantly Jendi agreed, for now the crowd was becoming too disorganized, and she ordered Doona back to the ship, and then she and Sevenser followed, while the soldiers stood between them and the crowd. The soldiers climbed onto the ship last and the hatch was closed.

Jendi caught her breath for a moment while she thought what to do next, then climbed to the top level and went to the medical bay. There she saw Enisaw working on the young boy, who had been placed on the operating table while his mother looked on in a mixture of worry and astonishment at her surroundings. Jendi went over to her and placed her arm on the mother’s shoulders.

“Don’t worry, she is a good healer and your boy will be fine.”

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