Super Flumina Babylonis

I was happily cutting out my ex-wifeís eyes with a pair of sharp scissors when the Editor caught up with me in the archive room. He looked at my antics with mild amusement, having himself gone through three divorces and twice the number of mistresses since I had come to work for him. "Therapy, dear boy?"

I put down the remains of the photograph on the metal counter top wondering why I suddenly felt so guilty. She had been a society beauty in the days when I was the top newshound on the planet. It was, as the clichť put it, destiny that pushed us together, work that pulled us apart. That and her domineering mother. She was still a beauty to look at but the golden smile was now tinged with malice, her long sensitive fingers now curled into a….

Rheingold must have read my expression for he let out a deep belly laugh, easing his considerable bulk around the projector unit. "Dayve. Always marry for money. I have." He waved a thick-fingered hand in the air, the rings glinting richly in the dull light. "Who do you think paid for all of this?" He was right. When Marius Rheingold first arrived at this backwoods of a planet, a quarter of his bodyweight ago, he was a cub reporter, straight out of school and eager for a scoop. He found one — a particularly nasty scam involving the Port maintenance department and some substandard cryotubes, manufactured off-world at one of the nearby asteroid factories. At the time the scandal threatened to topple the planetary government: a small body of three founding families and an interloper imposed from outside of the System by this areaís Sector Governance. The price of sympathetic copy stood at one small newspaper office and the governorís middle daughter. It didnít last long Ė the sympathy or the daughter. In the space of a year Rheingold settled for half of her estate, as per his entitlement, and established his credentials as the new Citizen Kane. (Iím a sucker for the classics, as you will see. A good quote can flesh out any mediocre article).

"Dayve," he said in his deep rumbling baritone. "I have a job for you."

I snorted. "Who is it this time? Laurel? Or the other one?" I knew the procedure. If our ratings slipped too badly and money was tight the wife became another casualty and the bank balance refilled with a new dowry. It didnít take much — a photograph or two with the wrong company. Oh, we still had newspapers and photographs. No longer made of paper or based on silver nitrate but the essence of the originals were there. If you need finery or hi-tech donít settle on a pioneer world where imports are at a premium few global companies can afford and the majority of products have to be made locally. It didnít make my boss any less of a bastard though.

"Neither. The Stats boys have predicted the need for a human interest story. Everyone's fed up reading about the Three Hells. Youíre going northwest to cover the Tsinhi Dam project. Make it something mawkish. How the natives are being forced out of their tribal lands. Lots of babies and crying children. Stir it up a bit."

"Why me?" I asked sullenly, toying with the scissors.

"You need the money," Rheingold retorted. "Now get moving. You have two hours to prepare and I need hard copy in three days."

***

The 'copter ride was a nightmare. The Port Authority, recognising the name of my organisation, and with long memory, insisted on checking each permit in triplicate with the department in charge of Native affairs. Ninety minutes to get airborne; five hours strapped into a canvas harness being jarred and shaken at every change in the thermosphere; the ground changing in real time from urban sprawl to dirt track hamlets to grey undulating hills and dry plains. We flew over a mountain ridge I only knew from atlases into the irony of the Protectorate.

I heard them even before the Ďcoper had landed almost on the edge of their encampment. It was as disturbing as I had been led to believe: a wall of sound which quietened, changed pitch but never stopped. Unending music just out of discernability. As I disembarked I noticed my pilot pointedly failing to remove his headphones.

From a distance you could have mistaken them for human. Up close the differences were disconcerting: their eyes were a labyrinth of whorls, lines, spots, in every colour imaginable. In a gaze so alien it was impossible to read emotion. I wondered what they could see, what we could not. Their ears were roses of flesh, angled like our own to pick up sound from the front. Again I wondered what they could hear, what we were missing. They were all singing, in their separate tasks, as they tended strips of garden, hung up washing on a line, erected tents.

There must have been a thousand of them in this small tributary valley, dressed in unadorned but colourful tunics. Between the rainbow figures I could see the grey-suited bureaucrats of the Protectorate Authority waving plans and discussing details with whom I took to be tribal elders. They were already declining when we arrived with our colony ships and our technology and our incessant need for living space. They had been here forever, they said, in the Garden. We were welcome, but elsewhere. The southern part of the continent was selected, constructed, made human. Mindful of the mistakes of our colonial past we promised them privacy, security, safety. We created a department to deal with contact, bounded their lands in red tape, marked and demarked on official documents as the Native Protectorate. They had no interest in us. We on the other hand, were fascinated by their simple lifestyle. Their primitive ways. Flower People we called them unkindly, as much for their reverence for the land as for their disquieting ears.

Now things were changing, as they always had to. Our industry was growing, requiring more and more water and power to operate. This valley was the only suitable one on the continent, large enough to suit our needs for a hundred or more years. The Protectorate boundary had to be redrawn. The Flower People had to be relocated.

So my Editor required a human interest story? It would make quite a change from the coverage of elections and the constant sniping at the ever increasing levels of petty vandalism in the colony (not helped in the slightlest by the anarchist group, The Three Hells, who were usually first on the scene with their agitprop posters). I would give him a tale of trust and betrayal. Another lesson for history of the native being displaced by the intruder. And it wouldnít be easy reading. Priming my microphone and ensuring my pad was clear I advanced on an elderly-looking native in a sand coloured jacket and trousers. He was standing apart from the others, the only one not noticeably singing.

"Dayve Macallen," I said, trying to show him my permits and my press card. "Rheingold Daily World". He didnít move but continued to stare along the valley at the milling figures. "May I ask you a few questions?" But it was useless. Nothing could provoke him into acknowledging me.

Exasperated I looked around. Every person was concentrating on their own duties with an intentness bordering on mania. Even the children were singing as they ran around playing. No squeals of laughter or jokes. No one returned my gaze. "Ask, interloper." It was the old man. Something had turned his attention in my direction.

"What are they singing?"

"Sarahel sings the song of the largest rock dug out of the Garden during the first cycle. Her husband Tamsiin sings the song of the first winds of spring as they enter the valley from the west. Their daughters Saradiin and Tamahel sing the childrenís song of the founding of the Garden. Their only son Ferrir sings the song of the three moons rising over the hill of peace during the summer solstice." And he continued in this manner for a while, naming all the songs sung by his nearby kith.

"Why are they singing?" I ventured.

"We give reverence to the Garden that it may nurture us for a further cycle."

"The Garden?"

"The valleys and hills that you see around you." He gestured at the low hills surrounding us. "The cradle of our people. It gives us food and shelter. In return we sing our praise to it, that it may continue to do so."

His name was Marhim. He no longer sang because he had "sung all the songs of his life". It seemed to be a kind of simplistic religion: a worshipping of the land. I understood that there were about ten thousand different songs stretching back to the earliest tribal memory, all tightly bound to the history of the place, their Garden. "A lot to memorise," I said, glibly.

He turned his abstract gaze on me. It hurt to look at the patterns, my brain trying to make sense of the ever-changing tones and contours in his eyes. "Once we sang a million songs. Now they are forgotten."

I continued to question him about his people. He had no bitterness about having to relocate because of the dam, which struck me as odd, but they were an odd people, with their incessant singing and uncomplicated daily routine. "It is not a song we know to sing," he said of the matter, ending the conversation.

For a few hours I moved through them, gleaning incomprehensible quotes from them about their religion, their precious Garden. I knew I wasnít getting the story I wanted: it lacked an angle. Everywhere there was a sense of fatalism yet no spark of resistance. Frustrated I returned to the Ďcopter and asked the pilot to take me back to the city.

I had no idea at the time what I was leaving behind.

***

Writing the article was harder than opening a vein. An absence of cold, hairy facts to quote made every sentence into a judgement call. In desperation I called into Research for help. "How many of them are there?" I asked.

"Around two hundred thousand we believe", Fizz said looking at her terminal. "Last aerial survey."

It still didnít make any sense. Without any natural predators the natives should have expanded over the continent and number millions by now. Why so few?

"Oh usual reasons," she replied. "Drought, disease. Thereís evidence in the soil of periodic famines, bileworm infestations. It seems to occur in that region once every hundred years."

Then it came to me, with the suddenness of a bereavement the full horror of what we were doing with the dam project. I called for another 'copter but organising a return trip took an eternity. No one in the governorís office would return my calls. With time slipping away I did the unthinkable: I went into a video booth and called my ex-wife.

***

"Well, look what the cat sicked up," she said arching her perfect eyebrows at the lens. "Has Rheingold's empire finally frozen over?"

"Hello Lara, " I said, digging my nails into my thighs to force an edge into my smile. "You're looking well." She was too, but I'd be damned before I'd let her believe I thought it.

The mouth pursed slightly. "Sincerity was never your strongest suit." Someone called to her just out of camera range. A high-society donkeyboy no doubt, with more balls than brain cells. She always did like to be the brightest one in a relationship. "Clock's ticking, Dayve. You've got about twelve seconds until I call my lawyer and sue you for harrassment."

"I wouldn't be 'phoning you if it wasn't an emergency."

"Tick. Tock."

Bitch. "Lara darling, I need a favour." Promse her anything. "I'll make it worth your while." On a reporter's salary? She'd swallow my paycheck as an amuse bouche and still be hungry for more. What else could I offer?

"Frosty the Snowman's running out of time…" A carmine-clad nail pointedly tapped at a gold watch. Mummy's divorce present — imported directly from Earth in a public show of extravagance. Rheingold had made a centre page spread of it at the time. The new colony jewels, he'd said after the first print run. I think he only did it to make a point of my earlier request for a pay rise: the lesson being that no matter how much I thought I was worth I was still far from the top.

Hell freezing over, snowmen. So very witty of her. You could tell why I was the one writing copy. "Weekend supplement exclusive. Four-page spread. The life of a charity doyen. A paragon of the stablishment."

"Six-page," she said automatically. "Plus cover." Then to hide her eagerness, "That's only if I decide your favour is worth granting."

Rheingold would have my kidneys, but given the state of play it wouldn't be the biggest sacrifice on-planet. "I need a Port Authority license to fly out to the dam site. Protectorate land. It's urgent." And I'd need a witness. "Is Lei around?"

"Give me four hours." I knew she could do it with a single text to the Native Affairs Board, she just wanted me to suffer the agony of waiting. "And I've recorded this conversation to ensure you keep your end of the bargain." Sapphire blue eyes gazed out of the screen at me with the sharpness of ice. "By the way, don't call me again. I'm having this number changed."

As I said: bitch. The worst thing was, I knew I deserved every second of it.

***

Lei arrived bang on the half-hour chime, a camera bag hanging over the shoulder of her trade-mark dark grey suit, looking stunningly attractive and completely untouchable. There were only a dozen or so people on the planet who were accorded the privilige of sleeping with her and none of them were named Dayve Macallan. I wondered, not for the first time, if any of them were called Lara.

"Lara says I've to charge you by the hour for my services." She gave me a withering look for having the temerity to snicker. The organisation she ran, QuASAR, was one of my ex-wife's favourite fund-raising causes. Queers Against Silence and Repression, or something similarly in-your-face. Back on old earth it would have been a lobby group but here it was an art charity. And on a pioneer planet where absolutely everything is geared towards growth and manufacturing it was possibly the most confrontational and controversial thing she could have chosen to do. "Oh, grow up Macallan."

I led her to the 'copter and watched with an evil glee as the harness made cruel wrinkles in her expensive jacket and trousers. "Shall I store your camera in the locker?"

She shook her head, sending her long black hair cascading down over her shoulders. "You're not getting anywhere near it."

"You don't like me much, do you?"

She stared at me as I clamboured into the other seat and began to buckle up. "After what you did to that poor woman I wouldn't trust you to walk a dog."

"I thought you'd be more sympathetic."

"You promised to love, cherish and honour. If you wanted to fool around with the pool mechanic as well you should have written than in to the pre-nuptial." Realising she had to spent the next twelve or so hours with me she softened slightly. "You know your problem? You're a contrary, Macallan. When you're with a woman you want a man. When you're with a man you want a woman."

I shrugged. She had a point. Up in the front our pilot was making the last minute preparations for lift off then gave us an A-OK sign over the back of his seat. With a lurch we were airborne. I watched flat ground of the Port Authority recede into the distance then we were flying over the edge of the town, skirting the edge of the sea northwards towards the low hills on the horizon.

We flew over Rheingold's palatial Xanadu, his Mandalay Towers. It was less impressive from the air — merely a small square contruction with smoking chimneys at each corner set in a green patchwork park at the far end of the settlement. When he built it it had been a mile from the nearest building and resplendent in its isolation with its long straight driveway and carefully manicured pseudo-poplars. It was still impressive though now it shared the neighbourhood with warehouses and sprawling mansions of the nouveau arristes. Beyond it lay the muddy wastes of the outer zone villages: Petrograd, Little Washington and Redmine. No one with any money or connection chose to live there. Like me Lei was a city-dweller, locked into her metal apartment overlooking the bay. Of course she had an entire penthouse floor at her disposal. After the divorce settlement I was lucky to get a nineteenth-floor bedsit.

Did Rheingold know? Had he worked it out while I was still playing découpage with my ex-wife's photograph? Was I playing patsy while he stage-managed an interstellar scoop? He couldn't have known I'd call her. Couldn't have know I'd have asked for Lei. Could he? I looked at Lei as she stared out of the perspex window onto the undulating scenery. "Why did you come?"

"You asked for me."

It seemed improbable. "Are you and L—"

Her neck whipped around with startling speed. "Don't even go there. I wouldn't tell you." Genuinely angry at my audacity. "I'm the best photographer on the planet. Why else would you want me?"

"Your singing?"

I wasn't expecting to be slapped for that. Had to give her credit for another talent. She had the best back-hand in town.

"You're a low-life, Macallan. Stick to what you're good at. Betrayal and writing hackneyed columns."

***

An hour or so into the flight we crossed over the Great Barrier Plain, a vast expanse of swampland and knee-high grass with razor-sharp stalks. Lei pointed out the flashing beacon of a survey team riding the treacherous marsh in a skimmer, no doubt prospecting for metals. We were too high up to see individual humans but the standard formation would have been for a team of four. It was a lonely life camping away from the pleasures of electricity and domestic plumbing though thankfully the native life forms came in no more dangerous a shape than a small plant-eating rodent about the size of a large rabbit. The People referred to them as samdhi and though we'd seen them raise small packs of the animals inside their camps no one was ever sure whether they were for pets or food.

I turned my attention back to the window as the flat marsh gave way to low hills of the Northern Midlands. Just to the east I caught the faint glimmer of the broad Ruhrallen as its meandering path brought it within sight. I'd taken Lara up the river once in one of Rheingold's small cruisers. It was probably one of the few happy memories I had of the marriage though she said afterwards she'd been bored rigid watching me fishing all weekend and expecting her to cook the catch.

Talking was difficult above the sound of the rotors so I settled back, made myself as comfortable as I could and tried to relax as the 'coper alternatively rose and fell with the currents. I saw Lei take out a pad from her jacket and start to read. It looked like a exhibitor's list.

We were opposites, she and I. I had come to the colony to escape the poverty and overcrowding on Earth, filled with the romantic idea of carving my way through the new lands like the pioneers of the American West. Lei on the other hand had been born into a priviledged family: owners of the Imperial Dragon cruise line whose vessels plied the starsystems carrying the rich and the richer in opulence and luxury. Bored of the antiseptic environment she'd turned her back on her inheritance (or at least the responsibility if not the money) and gone in search of somewhere to grubby her fingers. Back on Earth they could have made a soap opera out of us.

She'd first come to prominance as a photographer covering the rise of the Three Hells group — producing a lavish coffee table book of black and white posters and photographed firebombed warehouses. Sold the rights back on Earth and made another small fortune. Luck, probably.

I knew we were nearing our destination when 'copter swung around and suddenly we were following the long Arterial Roadway towards the jagged peaks of the Tsinhi-Mudellah Range. The road was choked with dust and soot from the vast excavators making their ponderous way up from Landfall to the dam site. So far we'd been the only aircraft in the sky yet somewhere ahead there would be a squadron of small podhoppers jostling for position around the construction site, each one carrying a supervisor eager to order their workers to start digging.

Lei leaned forward and passed a note to the pilot. I watched him nod as she pointed to a few key locations along the side of our route obviously directing him to use the 'copter's own surveillance system to take snaps of the rolling vehicles.

***

There was no way we'd be flying through the same tunnel as the diggers were using so I wasn't surprized when we peeled away from the line and started skirting the base of the mountains. Finally the jagged ridges softened from treeless slopes into true hills and we were upon the designated settlement area. Lei had already unbuckled her harness before the pilot had turned off the engine and given us the all-clear sign. With a thump of her shoulder the door swung open and my temporary companion jumped to the ground. "Hurry up Macallan. Meter's running, remember?"

She hadn't noticed.

We picked out way between the tent walls looking for the nearest Protectorate Liaison office. The area was a mass of obliquely angled ropes and sloping fabric walls, the scrub grass having turned to mud in the canvas alleys formed between the dwellings. Lei took a few shots as she carefully stepped over the pegs and guy rope ends looking unimpressed by the temporary camp that had sprung up. "Not very salubrious, is it?"

"You've not been here before." It wasn't a question but there must have been a catch in my voice as she looked askance at me. I ignored her and pressed on, looking for signs of human and native life, heart beating like a drum.

A hand firmly tugged me to a standstill. "Macallan? Out with it."

"If…" I swallowed, trying to keep my voice level. "If this is the new Protectorate camp…"

"You know it is."

"Then why is there no singing?"

Aware for the first time of the utter absence of artificial sound she looked around, lost herself for words.

***

"Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them more."

I knew the quote instantly. "Citizen Kane!" If I had hoped to impress her with the depths of my cultural knowledge I was sorely mistaken.

"Oscar Wilde."

The name meant nothing to me. "Of course it's Citizen Kane. It's my favourite musical. I've seen it eight times."

"Muscial?" She laughed lightly. "You ought to come to one of our evenings and get a proper art education."

"How is QuASAR?" I asked to break the silence between the stark canvas walls of tents.

She swore softly as a jacket pocket snagged against a guy rope toggle. "Who the fuck is Quasar? Half the time I've no idea what you're talking about." I was caught between annoyance and embarrassment so I did the manly thing and grunted loudly. It seemed to satisfy her expectations of me.

We continued on unspeaking through another half mile or so of twisting routes, Lei clicking away as she held her camera at crazy angles to the canvas walls. If I were holding the lens I know I'd have ended up with a portfolio of fuzzy white smears. Somehow I just new each image she captured would be zen precise.

"You know, SoL might get another exhibition out of this lot."

"Saul?" It was my turn to be confused.

"Soldiers of Love. My art group." I must have touched a nerve for her mood changed from one of condescending humour to something harsher. "For a reporter you're not very clued up."

"I'm an investigative journalist. You want to speak to Anna Coulson. She's our Art and Theatre critic."

In between recalibrating lenses Lei asked me what I'd thought her group was called and on a whim I told her the truth, making her chuckle again. "I must remember that one. It has a certain gauche charm."

Traversing the labyrinthine passages between the constructions wasn't claustrophobic but the unchanging grey-whiteness made it difficult to know which way to turn next. If Lei hadn't led us into a small open square I'd probably have called out her navigation skills. Beneath a central tressle table huddled a figure wearing the drab uniform of the Native Affairs Bureau. He hardly looked old enough to fly a podhopper let alone help organise a displacement camp. Blond too, I noticed.

"Your move," Lei whispered softly to me.

"What?"

"Oh for fuck's sake Macallan, go comfort the kid. He's more your type than mine."

***

"I'm Dayve. What's your name?"

He'd been crying. His face was still flushed and puffy. "Alaster." Close up I could see he wore the arm badge of an auxiliary. "It wasn't supposed to be like this." Eyes darted between Lei and myself. "Please." A hand reached up and brushed the tips of my fingers. "Please — make the silence go away."

I could see Lei back off to frame a shot of myself and the boy. "I'm looking for an elder named Marhim. He's an older native." But the youngster just shook his head and curled into an even smaller ball. Carefully I knelt down in the mud and took hold of his arm. "Come with us. It'll be all right."

"You can't possibly promise that," Lei said, sotto voce, over the click of the shutter. "Don't lie to him."

The young bureaucrat, Alaster, had composed himself sufficiently to stand up and accompany us. As we moved deeper into canvas jungle he explained to us how they'd quietly herded the People into the waiting buses and transported them group by group into the makeshift town.

"So where are they now?" Lei asked impatiently.

Without a word Alaster stopped and lifted the flap of the nearest tent. Inside was a small family group of three adults and two children, sitting mutely cross-legged on the hard earth. They stared at us for a moment or two, their expressions unfathomable.

Instinctively Lei's hand went to her mouth. "Why aren't they singing?"

"Because," Alaster said, voice breaking slightly, "they no longer have songs of this place."

Everything had been ritualised into the great song cycle: gardens tended to the songs of rocks and hillocks, meals prepared according to the position of the sun against specific locations. All passed down from parents to children over generations — each lyric forming their actions as precisely as a legal codex. Thousands upon thousands of verses diminishing through the centuries as elders died before passing them on, or parts of the Garden were abandoned due to pestilence. The same core songs repeated almost forever to take the People through from dawn to dusk. And we had moved them countless hundreds of miles from their ancestral lands to a place unknown. A place unsung.

So why not make new ones?

"The songs were given to us in the Beginning Times," the elder man said suddenly, breaking the silence, "when we were divided. Each man against his brother. Sister against sister." He blinked and the patterns in his eyes rearranged. "Then came the Disciple to teach us the way of Peace, to revere the Garden that it may nourish us and give us shelter." For a moment his fingertips brushed a few grains of loose earth beside him and he paused. "We know not this soil. These are not our plains and hills. How can we raise our songs in prayer in an alien land?"

***

I had decided, not without a search of conscience, that I was beginning to enjoy Alaster's warm breath on my neck. Lei's slightly-superior smirk when he'd nodded off against my shoulder had put paid to any ideas of really enjoying the sensation but it had been a long time since anyone anyone had been as physically close. We'd come to the decision, in the absence of any real Authority figure, to wait it out in the small dirt square until one of the regular inspection patrols passed by. "Marhim will know what to do," I said softly as Alaster stirred momentarily. It had started to become a mantra.

"Very touching, Macallan. You beginning to have faith in people." Lei pulled open a slot on the side of her camera and swapped the recording crystal out for a blank one. "Keep it up and you may evolve into a human being. Given enough time."

I mentally pictured her swinging by her long hair from the bottom of a 'copter. Why did women like her fall into the gravity well of the Daily World? Lara, Lei and Laurel Rheingold. The thorns on the rose.

Lara, Lei and Laurel…

The audacity of the thought startled me, but it did make a kind of sense. Who else had the money and the time? And justification for turning against the established order. "Love, Liberty and License," I said, giving a grin that couldn't be misinterpreted. "The Three Ells."

All manner of emotions crossed Lei's face, not least of them shock and disbelief. "I don't know what the fuck you're on about."

"Don't worry. Your secret is safe." I had bigger fish to fry: a whole department of Sector Governance to send into complete and wholly deserved panic. "I just hope your knowledge of the classics is as good as you claim it is."

***

"Will they survive?" the Comptroller of Native Affairs asked me. The stress was showing on his face; beads of perspiration settling into the wrinkles on his forehead, his collar darkened with sweat. He'd clearly not slept recently.

Lei and Alaster were watching my response closely. We — as colonists — had destroyed the way of life of an entire alien species. The three of us — as individuals thrown together by necessity — had salvaged what we could out of the ruins, but at a terrible price…

"The Bureau has only two choices in the matter. One: an immediate halt on the dam's construction and return of the People to their ancestral land."

Watery eyes closed. "Unthinkable," he whispered to himself. "We need power to survive." The poor man had survived through the cryotube scandal when he'd been Port Authority Manager. Now in the twilight of his career he'd found himself facing an unimaginable crisis.

"Two: immediate assimilation of the People into our culture. By force if necessary." If they were unable to fend for themselves we would have to do it for them, until they could be taught again. "I'm sure we have enough choirs in our colony to assist."

"Dear God," the Comptroller muttered, blinking heavily. Behind him the vid footage played a clip of a family of Flower People standing in line at a common kitchen. An eerily unenthusiastic version of "Food, glorious food" rose from the ranks of tables as Alastair came into shot encouraging the diners.

He didn't last long, that Comptroller. But bigger changes were afoot.

Alaster proved to be a short-lived distraction. Much to my amusement on returning to the capitol he decamped with Lara's latest bronzed hunk to a small maisonette in Little Washington. As for Lara herself, well I was the colony hero of the hour, wasn't I? We're remarried now — this time with a prenuptial giving both of us the chance at the pool mechanic. I'm not sure who looked more disgusted during the ceremony — Lei or Lara's mother. It probably won't last long but it seemed the right thing to do at the time.

As for the fate of the People — that would be a Colony matter…

*

I'm Davye Macallan and debating with me on this week's edition of Colony Choice were acting-Comptroller Peta Burns from the Bureau of Native Affairs and Sector Governance Ambassador Adebela Chi.

Our moral conundrum: do we let our Native People return to their own lands in the full knowledge that they are dying out? Or do we assimilate them into our colony — give them a long and prosperous future but at the expense of totally exterminating their own culture?

Remember — it's your colony and your vote.

Vote now.

 

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