The dogs were curled around her feet. Jade looked at them and touched their faces.
“They really are your dogs,” said Smith.
“I hear their heartbeat, it’s the same as mine.”
“What will you call them?”
“Love and Freedom.”
“I don’t want to go to earth,” said Jade. “I want to stay here and make Wen a good place to be. I don’t think we should keep killing, once the Arcs have been eradicated. We need to find out what the crew knows about them. Seven, scan them and see if they’re lying. We also need to figure out a way to get the ship to come back to pick up Lee and drop off goods and whatever. I want to start an alliance with earth that allows Wen representatives to visit and earthlings can come here, as long as their people have clearance. Lee can be our contact on earth, maybe Mr. Paul as well.”
“Jade,” said Smith. “What’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing,” she said. “The dogs are teaching me about peace and connection. About real freedom in my heart and they know what love is. They have no secrets. They are open, understanding and unconditional. I trust them because they can be trusted. They don’t know how to lie. I don’t want things to be the same. I want things to be different, better, kinder.”
“The dogs said that’s how they want to be treated, with kindness. I want to be that way for them. I understand them and they can teach me. They try to teach everyone but most people don’t listen because it’s too noisy in their heads.” She took out four of her knives and placed them on the table. “I won’t be needing these any longer. I’m keeping the last three because they’re friends.”
Seven turned and said, “People are gathering in front of the building.”
Jade, the dogs, Smith and Seven went out in front. People stood in silence. Lil moved forward. What’s happening?”
“What do you mean?” asked Smith.
“We feel it. A clearing, not just from the drugs, but in the air around us.”
“That’s peace,” said Jade. “And, these are dogs. This is Love and this is Freedom.”
Everyone stared at the dogs. Some backed up. “They won’t hurt you. They are here to teach us. If you can hear them, listen to what they have to say. Trust them. At first, I said they were mine,” she said, grinning, touching the dogs. “But they belong to all of us. I don’t have to hold them to me. I was being selfish. Selfish means not sharing, thinking there’s not enough, so you have to keep things for yourself. I would like to see that change. I can’t do it without your cooperation. We have been lied to, drugged and used. The Holy Arcs manipulated us and turned us against each other. We have to listen to the dogs and find a way to trust and share, to be…equal…no one better than anyone else. No one more deserving than another because everyone is deserving of the best life we can all have.” She went on to explain her idea about having a small relationship with earth. She asked for volunteers who wanted to represent Wen. She outlined her ideas, plans and hopes. “The dogs have made me different. They made me feel closeness and…I don’t know the right word…comfort, comfortableness, that comes from trust and friendship. No, not friendship, not those things, it’s being together without question. Without wanting anything from the other person but being together. Do you understand?”
A few people nodded, others shook their heads.
“I don’t think it will take long for you to know what I’m trying to say. It’s hard to describe a feeling. The dogs will walk among you. Pet them. Run your hands down their backs. Listen to what they have to say.” Jade touched the dogs and they walked into the crowd, tails wagging, tongue’s out. They brushed against those who needed touching, and snuffled at those who were too afraid to move. They accepted pets and words and basically, worked the audience. When they were finished they sat down next to Jade. “We have time. More dogs will come. Welcome them into your hearts and homes. Let’s make Wen the best place to live in the universe.”
There was a smattering of applause and then hands went up. Questions were asked and answered. People milled around, until one woman came forward and said, in a very loud voice, “What about children? I heard the stories, seen the babies on the Big Screen. Can we have our own?”
Seven stepped to Jade’s side. “The drugs are completely out of your systems and there’s a good chance that those of you who have not been sterilized will be able to have children.”
There was dead silence. “I’m afraid that when you were under the control of the Arcs they surgically made sure that some of you could not reproduce. Wait, listen,” he said, hushing the crowd. “It’s possible that some of the things that were done to you can be reversed. Lee and I can examine you and a doctor can be brought from earth to surgically undo what was done. We don’t know how many will be affected, we don’t known how many procedures will be permanent. There’s no need need to be concerned. Eventually, with the children you do produce, society will grow and flourish.”
“And more animals, trees, plants and other things will be brought to us as well. Lee has agreed, given her word, that she will bring what we need to have a beautiful home. This is our first day on a path to a new beginning. For those who do not wish to participate, please speak with one of us and we can arrange for you to go to earth, leave the community or discuss your concerns. The Arcs are dead. They can’t hurt you any longer.
“Are you taking their place?” growled a man.
“Not likely. I’m just here for the moment. But I understand your concerns. No one will replace the Arcs. This is a free society and all voices will be heard, for now at least. What happens in the future, will depend upon you.”
And that’s how the Holy Arcs and their Followers were defeated. Two dogs changed the lives of an entire city and in a short time, dogs were everywhere. Lee became the intermediary between both planets and true to her word, she sent everything she thought they would need, or like. She also visited now and then to see how things were going. Jade and smith lived in his old hotel room because he still loved the worn, wooden, floors and glass in the windows. Babies were being born and trees were growing. Mr. Paul met and fell in love with K and now lives on Wen. He flies out on an earth run now and then but they are expecting their first child soon, so he may just stay home for good.
Daylight is a bit longer than earth’s and the flowers are enjoyed by all. For a long time people stood around watching birds fly back and forth but eventually, then they got used to seeing them and were able to go about their business.
Wen’s problems weren’t just magically solved overnight, but they had a good start and sometimes that’s all anyone needs. One good start and an end to those who have power over others.