Short Stories

Crane’s Light – Chapter 1: Politics

Lyra gently closed the door behind her and slowly made her way downstairs, joining the small crowd that made their way into the Earth Capital. A meeting had been called to discuss and decide on a council and governor for their faction and Lyra was wary of the timing of this meeting as everyone had only just seemingly arrived in the past couple days, however she was a citizen and would at least watch the proceedings.

She came to a stop in the village center and gazed at the others as they arrived; some she knew from short meetings and introductions, some she didn’t know at all. She had spoken to Hideaki the most, which was still not much, and seeing him, gave him a small wave, which he returned with a warm smile.

The meeting began and Lyra listened quietly as the group spoke. A couple stepped forward and admitted their reservations about electing leaders given how little the citizens knew of each other, echoing Lyra’s sentiments. It was admitted that while the timing was fast, the election was still necessary and temporary. Lyra tilted her head as she heard that elections would occur once a week. That is a short bout of power indeed, she thought to herself. The meeting continued on, a council forming and governor being chosen with some abstaining from voting. She gazed at the newly elected council and leader. What if these people decide that they won’t step down? she thought with a frown. She inwardly scolded herself for thinking in what ifs and focused her attention back to the meeting.

When the meeting eventually came to an end Hideaki approached her. “What do you think?” He asked with a small bow of his head to her.

“First of all, congratulations, councilor.” She stated, bowing her head in return. “Secondly, I find my views of politics rather jaded. I’ve heard one too many bad stories.” Hideaki gazed at her with interest. “Do tell.”

Lyra gave a small shrug. “My parents told me plenty of stories about my grandparents as I grew up, especially my grandmother.” She thought back to the story her mother had told her of the Green Children and their leader, Griffin, before continuing. “My grandmother lived near a clan and was on friendly terms with their leader. The lands were facing dark times and this leader became king of the territory to protect everyone from the threat.”

Hideaki studied her for a moment. “Would it not be good for someone to lead in times of tribulation?”

Lyra nodded. “It would be, but it was suspected that he had done this more to have power than to help, and he also did not ask for input or held an election. He caused a war, caused friends to become enemies, caused hate to overtake good will, and caused trust to be lost.” She stopped, feeling a small rage burn within her chest as she thought to Kane and Duncan and their unending game of chess. She cleared her throat, the burning within her chest easing as she breathed deep, willing the ever-present calming aura to surround her with more intensity.

Hideaki nodded, seemingly unfazed by her sudden shifts in emotion, “I see and I agree that some sort of input or election should have occurred. You say your view is jaded. Do you find the process untrustworthy as well?”

Lyra shook her head. “Not the process so much as the people. Not everyone knows who they truly are until they are given power. Some excel, especially the ones who didn’t want to have it in the first place. Sometimes, it’s those who are most enthusiastic for power who shouldn’t have it.”

Hideaki smiled at her. “You have quite a logical mind, Lyra,” he mused.

Lyra returned the smile, “I’ve had to have one in my studies and travels. Dreams get you nowhere. Realism and acceptance of the facts will at least keep you grounded.”

“And what facts have you accepted today?” He asked.

Lyra continued to smile as she stared him in the eyes. “That there is definitively one worthy addition to the council.”

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