crowd2.jpgThere were always a lot of crowds in Starfish Seaport, the place was full of humans, fae, and clockwork automata scurrying about and jostling each other. The anglers, the glowing woman with fish tails, could not walk on land, but swam around in the nearby canals and around the docks. With all the bustle around it was easy to get lost. Gabriele Signorino loved crowds like these. He could run into a variety of interesting people, and it didn’t take long for the scowling men his parents insisted escort him whenever he leaves the manor to lose track of Gabriele in the masses. The ten year old enjoyed exploring the city and playing with anything that looked interesting, however the men would often stop him from having fun. They would pull him out of the canal when he wanted to swim, or drag him away from one of those screens on one of the buildings you are not supposed to enter before he could play with it. However, once Gabriele broke away from his guards, he could explore as much as he wanted.

The port smelled different than the mansion, it had a smelly fish scent, one that made Gabriele want to scrunch up his nose, accompanied by the smell of dirt and salt. The manor mostly smelled like cleaning soap, except near the kitchen or the gardens. Gabriele was not sure to explore first, everything looked exciting. Large ships came in and out of the harbor sounding their loud horns, cranes raised and loud piles of crates with a mechanical clatter (the noise sounded like the times when Alesso’s arm did not work properly, except louder), a group of seagulls called out from around a pile of fish knocked over by one of the angler fishers. In addition, their were merchants calling out wares, and groups of people gathering to talk about various topics. Gabriele considered eavesdropping, he always found it interesting to hear what different groups of people chose to talk about. Gabriele careened around the port taking care not to run into the guards that he abandoned earlier, looking anything that looked exciting and taking pictures with the eyePhone installed in his left eye.

As he looked around, Gabriele noticed a large group gathered on one side of one of the piers. The crowd contained members of all species: humans, automata, and fae all stood in a circular crowd looking towards the center and anglers sat on the edge of the pier so they could hear the discussion. Gabriele scurried closer and tried to peek between two automata near the back of the group. With the help of his eyePhone’s zoom feature, Gabriele saw a lovely, well-dressed woman speaking in the center of the crowd before an older man moved in the way to block his vision.

Although, he could not see the speaker, he was close enough that he could still hear her, “The purpose of democracy is that those being governed have a voice in how the country is run. The government should represent those being governed. How can the government represent us, if one fourth of the population is not allowed to vote or enter The Council Building? We need to take a stand! Madrenice is a great city, but it needs to be better and we won’t be satisfied until everyone is allowed to vote and sit in the council chambers and witness what decisions the council makes on their behalf. We will stage protests and sign petitions, and if that is not enough, we will enter the Council Building ourselves, and the government doesn’t want us there, they will have to force us out!”

At this point, a rough arm grabbed Gabriele and pulled him away, so he could not hear the rest of the conversation.

“I told you before! Stop running off! Do you know what your parents would do if you injured yourself while we were not watching!?” scolded the scowling guard as he shoved Gabriele through the crowd.

“You always stop me from having fun!” Gabriele whined as he was herded down the pier.

“Listen, kid. It is our job to keep you out of trouble. A job you seem bent on making more difficult! ”, the man responded, “Come on, you’ve caused enough mischief, time to head back to the mansion.”

“But, I can keep out of trouble! Let me go!” Gabriele complained.

“Keep out of trouble!? Every time we look away for a second you are playing around in dangerous areas like the canal or near a crane or places where you shouldn't be such as a privately owned warehouse, and lets not forget the agitators that I just pulled you away from!”

“Agitators?”

“They say ‘equality’, but they just want what isn’t theirs just because someone else has it. As though, everyone is equally deserving of the same rewards! ”

“But, shouldn’t everyone be allowed the same things?”

“‘Every gear has its place in the grand machinery of life. Each group is given responsibilities and privileges fitting their role. Humanity governs the nation, the automata tend to their needs, the anglers create goods, fish, and tend to the lower city, and the fae work the factories.” the guard says.

Gabriele recognised the words, all the priests and several of his parent’s acquaintances repeated the same lines when talking about why different species worked in different industries and received different amounts of money. Yet, the words always troubled Gabriele.

“Why? Everyone says that, but that doesn’t sound fair.”, Gabriele said.

“That’s the way of the world. The Great Craftsman built it that way.”

“Why would he create it like that? What if I don’t think what he built is fair?”

“Why am I explaining this to a child? You’ll understand when you’ll older, and then you’ll learn to accept the world and order the Great Craftsman created.” the man looked back towards the crowd gathered even though he and Gabriel traveled far enough away it could no longer be seen, and added under his breath, “They’ll learn to accept it as well. After they tire of their protests and demonstrations. They’ll accept that we all have different roles in this society.”