The line ups on the access ramps had been long, and yet thousands had stood at first in the sands, then later on the stone walkway and finally had used the steps to go down, down into the deep of the planet and still they came on. Following each other, they finally got to the lowest levels and as the huge wide corridor slowly doubled back on itself, towards the WORDS muse pyramid, they slowed with the sheer numbers of observers who had come. It was hot of course, as it always was and some fanned themselves with the flyers that had been distributed about this Claim trying to cool themselves even a bit, but to no avail. At least they were all out of the hot white sun, an A1 which meant it was almost at the top of the white class of star, with hot hot stellar winds that landed on Enki.
Being third in orbit around the sun was just poor luck many thought, as that made the sun even brighter and hotter; Enki lay at the interior edge of the Goldilocks zone. Which meant that the sun always shone and the heat was always there. Here in the darkened tunnel that ran from the exterior access ramp to the WORDS pyramid, it was usually at least somewhat cooler but now with thousands of Enkians all surging forwards to get to the Claims forum, it was just plain hot.
Eventually the long lines got to the basement level of the pyramid and slowly climbed the stairs back up to the main ground floor level. As a unit they all followed one another and took up seats in the huge Claims forum that was most of the grade level of the pyramid. There was seating for thousands and every single seat was filled and there was standing room too but it was filled—jammed really. Everyone who was close enough to the area in general, never mind the pyramid itself was here. As well, there were major news services present too, broadcasting the Jurors and their decision on the Claims action filed by the WORDS muse.
All eyes were turned on the three groups seated at the triangular table on the dais in the middle of the forum. One side of course held the Jurors—the five members of the ruling judicial power on Enki. One side held the WORDS muse leaders, four men and a woman who held those positions were present. And the third and final side of the table held the five leaders of the PERFORMANCE muse, the ones who had brought the action of Claim.
All because a message had been received from the RIM Confederacy inviting them to join.
The PERFORMANCE muse had claimed it was them who had been asked, as the message had come via a video recording which showed some kind of an Ambassador who read the parchment but it was the video performance that was the deciding factor. Or so they said in their argument just a few weeks ago.
WORDS muse claimed that as the message also had come as a beautiful letter on parchment paper with embossed seals and all, that it was a word message that had invited them. It had been read sure, but as the message was in words—it was meant for them, they had argued.
And today, the Jurors would pronounce their decision.
The Head Juror, Iavoesi Qax, his crest of feathers along the top of his head bright green with the yellow borders, was old but still carried himself like a mature Enkian. He rippled his crest from flat back up to standing tall and again and again and that got the quiet he’d been looking for it seemed.
“Enkians, the Jurors have been considering this Claim by the PERFORMANCE and WORDS and we have come to a decision, one that was difficult but one that we are sure takes into the full and true bearing of this RIM Confederacy message,” he said as he looked at both sides in front of him.
On the WORDS side, the red and white feathered crests were full and preened up; it was obvious the WORDS muse felt that they had won the Claim to the message. On the PERFORMANCE side of the table, the crests were not as high; instead the purple and orange crests were a bit droopy and their beaks were gritted together and not a single one was smiling.
The Head Juror looked down at his Agenda and then rising, he stood fully—and then leaned over to the WORDS side of the table and threw back his head to caw loudly three times “WORDS-WORDS-WORDS.”
Nods were seen all around the forum as a storm of agreement caws were heard. Everyone thought that this was the proper decision. Everyone now knew that the WORDS muse was meant to be the recipient of the RIM Confederacy message. So it would be that muse who would handle the talks and discussions and as they had been the recipients, this RIM Confederacy would be able to join the WORDS muse.
The head of the WORDS muse then stood to relate to all present that they would be contacting this RIM Confederacy to discuss how they could join their muse and informing the Jurors soonest. The Claim forum was over and all present took their leave, back down to the tunnels and then out to the sands.
In RESOURCES, the probe was made ready and it blasted off with the WORDS message the only thing inside as it climbed up and out of the atmosphere as it found it’s bearings and aimed itself at Juno.
It took a year to reach it’s top speed of one-half the speed of light . . . and fifty-five years later, it reached Juno to respond to the RIM message . . .
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