“Excuse me, Mr. Martin. Can I speak with you?” asked Lilly.
“Of course,” he said. “Okay, class dismissed. Read chapters eleven and twelve for tomorrow.”
They watched the kids file out of the room, smiles on their faces, some of them waving to him.
“You really shouldn’t keep telling them to use each other as homework.”
“We already discussed this. It’s the best and fastest way to learn.”
“There are logical consequences that go along with that. You need to take those things into consideration.”
“What do you want Lilly,” he sighed. “I’m busy. There are always meetings to attend. Useless, idiotic meetings, but I’m expected to show up.”
“How long are you going to stay here?”
“Don’t you have to go back to where the dead people are?”
“How did the meeting go?”
“On new biology books? he asked, staring at her. “I’m ordering them, because that’s how you keep funding coming in. The new books are the same as the old ones, but you have buy the new ones, or apparently they won’t give you money next time you want it.”
“No, Jerry, the meeting the invitations were for.”
“Oh, that,” he sighed. “Well, there was a lot of…discussion…a few fights…and a lot of yelling. Many think we should just let all of you die and get it over with.”
“Nice,” she said. “And?”
“And some were against that. The men don’t want to have anything to do with equality and the women won’t budge until they do.”
“Pretty much. At least in a lot of area’s. There are those who love war and those who think wars have been overdone. All but a very few, thought it was a good idea to make everyone the same color and speak the same language, like it was in the beginning.”
“That makes sense.”
He nodded. “We’re meeting again next week.”
“Why are you staying here,” she asked. “Tell me the real reason.”
He stopped shuffling papers around and looked at her. “It’s fun,” he said softly. “If Kit found out, she would be upset with me.”
“We’ve been together for a very long time and…”
“I get it,” said Lilly.
He nodded, then starting laughing. “I must admit that kids today are quite different than they were when the first people were here.”
“You mean they live longer?”
“That and the way they believe they know what’s going on. So funny.”
She smiled. “Our brains are slow to develop.”
“Sooooo slow,” he laughed. “Almost not worth it. By the time you’re really grown up and ready to take care of yourselves, it’s time to retire and die. The window for intelligence is very, very, small for your species.”
“I’m choosing to ignore that,” said Lilly. “Even if it is true. And about using each other for biology homework,” she said. “Do parents know what’s going on?”
“Of course not. No one wants to ruin a good thing.”
“Well, be careful, snitches are everywhere.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” said Jerry. “But remember, I can disappear and wipe memories, so it’s not really a problem.”
“It might be a problem for those you leave behind and all their new babies.”
“How’s James?” he asked, clearing his throat.
“Filled with questions. He thinks you aren’t finished with us.”
Jerry frowned. “He’s right.”
“What does that mean?” she asked.
There was a tap on his door and Ms Lens, the English teacher, poked her head into the room. “Come on Jerry, or you’ll be late for the meeting.”
“I have to go, Lilly.”
“We’ll talk later.”
“Later,” he said, and rushed out the door.