Author's note: I wrote this a couple years ago and, although my writing style has since matured, I decided that... Show full author's note »
The CouncilTwo days later, Caitlin, Mark, Sarah, Dean, and Andy were climbing out of a hovercar onto the steps of an impressive looking building. They were once more back in the city and the children already found themselves missing Andy’s country home.
“Here we are.” Andy said with a nervous smile, “Let’s hope this goes well,” and he and the children climbed the small flight of stairs, and entered the building. Once inside, they were directed by a robot to a large conference-like looking room. Ten stern looking people were sitting at a table. One of them, a woman, gestured for the newcomers to sit down.
“Welcome Mr. Ranner and…” she drifted off raising her eyebrows and looking at the four children.
“This is Caitlin, Mark, Sarah, and Dean. They are my, er, children,” he stumbled over the name for the new arrivals in his family, “and they will help prove my point.”
“Very well. We are all waiting on the edge of our seats for this ‘point’ of yours.”
Andy raised his eyebrows at the 10 council members surveying him and the children with bored looks. Yes, on the edge of their seats he thought to himself, before he stood and started. Andy explained to the council much of what he had told the children. On certain points he went quite in depth though, and the children, sitting in their seats, knew that he felt strongly about the subject. Thirty-five minutes later, Andy sat down with a small weary sigh. The council looked at him for a few moments before the woman, Mark assumed her to be the head-member, spoke.
“So you believe that these children,” she nodded her head towards the two boys and two girls sitting anxiously in their seats, “can beat any digi-pallet, or robot at tests we set up.” Her face and tone reflected skepticism matching the nine other council members.
“Yes, I do. I believe that Mark can beat any digi-pallet or center you want at a mind game, that Dean can create a better masterpiece than any digi-pallet or center, with special art programs, that Sarah can beat any robot in a race, and that Caitlin can prove that having compassion is better than judging a situation though cold, hard facts.”
“You believe that these children of yours can beat the MIND, the most powerful digi-center in the world” Now she voiced pure disbelief.
“Yes, I do” Andy said once again. He surveyed her with a serious expression on his face. He had much faith in his newly adopted. The council must have thought so as well, because they turned to stare at Caitlin, Mark, Dean, and Sarah sitting quietly in their seats. They themselves, were also skeptical at the prospect of beating the MIND, but they weren’t about to show it. At a word from the council leader, the ten members turned to each other and joined in a quiet but intense debate. Sarah, Dean, and Mark also talked quietly, but Caitlin and Andy each sat with their own thoughts. Finally, the council members turned once more towards Andy, Caitlin, Dean, Mark, and Sarah.
“We have conferred among ourselves. We have decided on a few tests. If these children can beat the MIND and a robot helper in all four tests, then we will listen to your requests once more, and start to act on them. Luckily there is an outlet of the MIND here, so we can start with the tests tomorrow morning. Until then you are dismissed.” With that, the 10 members stood and exited the room.
Andy turned to the children, “Lord, what fools these mortals be” and he smiled at the utter looks of confusion on the four young faces staring at him.