THE ELECTION Tom Mazanec Note: This story will be a sequel to my "The Gathering Storm", which in turn is a sequel to my "Temporal Aid Mission" Prologue 1974 Over half a decade had passed since the Kaaba had been reduced to ashes, followed quickly by the populations of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Muslim world had convulsed, but the despots managed to hang on to their power...and none made the mistake of declaring war against the Mammaloids again. Still thousands of Mujahideen took it upon themselves to wage jihad against what they saw as the demons from time and space. But unlike before, none succeeded in killing a single one, though thousands were martyred. In the United States, President Goldwater tried to uphold America's pride in a world that was seeing a millennium of change in a generation. And in the giant cylinder of the Second Chance, on the barren plains of Mars and in the vast Asteroid Belt, millions of Mammaloids prepared to make the choice of their next six years. Katra-465-Odocoileus stood in the auditorium after his speech, hazed by the cloud of utility fog that protected him from terrorist attacks. A bear with a laser rifle attached by a cord to a backpack stood by his side. A small group of humans came up to him. One said "I don't believe even your politicians are as truthful and honest as you say ours have to be. The way you can tell a politician is lying is when his lips move, or, in your case, when his voder collar is on." "The Mammaloids have a different view of truthfulness than most humans do. It began in the Koŝmaro and the Koŝmarego, when the Fundamentalist Christians called Mammaloids "Fathers of Lies". And the Lalibro, on several pages, stresses honesty, so the Beneist fraction of our population is particularly strict in this. I am warning you that your lackadasical attitude toward deception by your politicians is a threat to your democracy. We on the Second Chance value what democracy we have, especially our Freedom of Speech. Politicians who lie undermine that system. It is especially timely now as we are having another election. I learned that the hard way last year. I gave a speech in which I used a statistic that was outdated, and that was a few percent more favorable to my position than the current number. I was banned by the Mercy Party from giving speeches aboard the Second Chance, which is why I am speaking here on Earth." "But your President only has a Cabinet, not a Supreme Court or Congress. How can you call yourself a Democracy without that?' "We can change that President, once every six years, as indeed Jastur showed six years ago. His party and policy has resulted in not a single terrorist Mammaloid death since he took over." "And hundreds of human deaths." "His Vice President, Lastuk, is a Gulo, a Wolverine, and may win the election this time. And in my humble opinion, he is even more of a hothead than Jastur is. Sigundson's policy was for all Mammaloids who walk on Earth to be undefended, unprotected. That is why so many of us died. When a Mammaloid salutes a superior, he bares his throat. In principle, he is offering his throat to be torn out, just as, in principle, a saluting human is lifting the visor on his suit of armor's helmet. Jastur's policy is the iron fist, and just over half of us voted for him. But next time my party must win...and we avoid either extreme. Our policy would be nonlethal technolgy to handle terrorism." "Why did you change so drastically in 1968?" "When we came here, we were idealists...most of us, anyway. We thought that you would see the superiority of our culture and embrace it. But some of you took violent exception to us." "Why are you giving speeches if you are so young? Your antlers are still in velvet." said another human. "I am 138 years old...which is rather young in a society with nanojuve and memory editing. But the Second Chance is a new society, and the young have a chance to get ahead. By the way, my antlers fall off and regrow each year." "Do you really think the Mercy Party will win the Election?" "A lot of us are distressed by what is happening. Jastur thinks the only thing "primitive" humans understand is force, but Sinta holds that the only thing lethal force does is lead to more terrorism. That is what I feel, too." "Sinta's running mate is his brother, right?" "Sinta's running mate is his identical twin. Dasypus does a compromise between their ur- species identical quadruplets and birthing large brained offspring. That will be good six years from now when he takes over, since they are closer in outlook than most Presidents and Vice Presidents." "Why do you prohibit sitting Presidents from running?' "A President should be concerned with governing, not campaigning." "So a month after the election, Sinta will be your President?" "Or Lastuk, God forbid." Sheefin-811-Macropus and Groopid-1122-Orycteropus hopped and walked up to the crowd at the parish picnic at St. Francis of Assisi. The deacon greeted them as they arrived. "And you wish to learn about the Church?" "Actually, Groopid wants to learn about the Church. I am here because I am the assigned bodyguard. I am equipped with an electrolaser, a nonlethal paralyzing device." "Which will be useless if we are attacked by more than two or three enemies. If you survive, you will be in trouble for not properly arming yourself." pointed out Groopid. "I am a Star Beneist. I will not risk taking sapient life. Permanent torture after death is not worth it." "If you kill someone in self-defense, it is not a sin, if there is no other way to stop an unjust enemy." said the deacon. "The Lalibro forbids killing sapient life. No motive is given as excusing that." "Perhaps you can enlighten us, Deacon John. The Lalibro was written in 2039, only a few generations from your time. It forbids murder. Would killing someone in self-defense be murder in your time?" asked the aardvark. "No-" "Self-defense is just the motive. There is always a motive for murder. That does not excuse it in God's eyes!" Sheefin replied as he rose up to his full height. "Please, I do not want a fight with you -" began Deacon John. "I am sorry. I have never been a Star Beneist, and am no longer a Sky Beneist. Even when I was one, I was not one to try to argue over religion. I just wish to learn of others, now that I have none and wish to know which is true." said Groopid. "The Sky Beneists went along with war in the Martian Civil War, to "protect" the humans of Earth. After that war, nine tenths of Mars' population was dead. Not one Star Beneist fought, or even supported fighting. They were all convicted of treason for not aiding in the war effort. All 6731 were lined up and lased, but they did not help to kill." pointed out Sheefik. "Lased? Like the mujahedeen your bodyguards kill?" "Yes. For not supporting a war." "What is the difference between Star Beneists and Sky Beneists? Is it like clergy and laity?" asked Deacon John. "The Beneist clergy are called 'avertantoj', ones who warn, specifically of permanent punishment for sin. Sky Beneists falsely claim this is temporary, as the sinner is finite. But God's justice is infinite, as is the penalty." answered the kangaroo. "You were a Sky Beneist once? Why did you leave?" asked the deacon. "Ironically, because Sky Beneists allow self defense and are not absolute pacifists. There was a Felis, a cat Mammaloid, in my congregation. She was pregnant. A gang attacked her and she was almost killed in the fight. She lost her child. The avertanto declared her an unfit mother, as page 22 of the Lalibro says a mother who 'allows' her child to be aborted is an unfit mother and her marriage annuled. The avertanto, a Didelphis, ruled that she allowed the death of her child because, obviously, she failed to prevent it. It was controversial but the Felis had to abide by her avertanto's ruling, not that of some other congregation. I was not the only one to leave. But all avertantoj are stern. Once, when I was six, I was reciting a page of the Lalibro from memory and forgot the words, so I adlibbed something. Now, the 365th and last page of the Lalibro condemns altering the Word, just as the end of your Bible does...I know that verse of the Bible! The avertanto picked me up by my ear, tearing the cartilage, and slammed me against the wall, bruising my whole side. He said I would scream in pain for a year after death for that." "Your religion seems rather severe. Why does it get a name like 'Beneism"? Doesn't that mean 'goodness'?" "Compared to the other religions of the 21st Century that Mammaloids gravitated to, it is benign. Malism was attributed to Mark Twain and sees God as a sadist. Dualism sees God and Satan playing war games with the world, saving only those who kill the most." "Why didn't they take up human religions?" "Hindism and Buddhism had some adherants, but they tended to see humans as superior to Mammaloids too, just not as badly as Abrahamic religions did at first. They also believed in reincarnation with amnesia, which did not seem like much of an afterlife to our first generations. As for the Abrahamic religions, remember, in the 21st Century we were a tiny powerless minority, in a state of slavery. We did not arrive in a 20 mile spaceship that can blow a Hole in the Moon. By the time the human religions accepted us, we were already Beneists and others." "Is that why there are virtually no Christians in theSecond Chance? There are no Christian Mammaloids?" "Actually, maybe as much as 10% of the Mammaloid population is Christian, and 20% of the human population. But there are only 50 billion humans in the solar system in 3006 AD, so there are only 10 billion Christian humans. There are a quintillion Mammaloids, so 100 quadrillion Christian ones. So in the 31st Century, 99.99999% of all Christians are Mammaloid." "How did you do that?" "Just by having lots of children. We grew about 7% per year for nearly a millennium until we leveled off. Do the math. That is why Mercury and Venus are gone uptime in the original timeline." "But if 10% of the Mammaloids are Christian, why are there so few on the Second Chance? "Because the Fourth Vatican Council, called to deal with the problem of time travel brought about by experiments supporting the Korikov-Chartik theory, ruled that altering history is a sin. That's why there are so few Christians, and almost no Catholics, aboard the Second Chance." "Well, I don't know how you were treated where you came from, but here you are welcome. I will be glad to teach you of the Church." The religious reporter looked at Theelisp-925-Manis and folded his hands. "So, what would the Mercy Party see for its long-term interaction with Earth, if it wins next week's election?" "Basically, the same thing that the Justice Party plans, or virtually all of the people aboard the Second Chance. We came here to uplift your semi-civilized society into a fully civilized one, without going through all the great wars that we went through in the original timeline, that ended up lunarizing the Earth. We missed the first two of those wars, but they were the smallest of the series. We also wish to form a Solar civilization made up not just of hundreds of mammalian species, but thousands of species of all kinds, avian, reptilian, invertebrate...all the wide varieties of life." "Yes, the Pope, the National Council of Churches of Christ, the Southern Baptist Convention and others have spoken out against your project of trying to make people out of everything from earthworms to octopuses. And aren't you a reptile yourself?" "I am as much a mammal as you are. Look up 'pangolin' in an encyclopedia. And one-third of the population of the Second Chance is Beneist, including myself...notice the sapphire on my voder collar. The Lalibro extolls the bringing of intelligence to all life, and the opening of many viewpoints of different species. The other futurians share this goal, even if they do not hold the Lalibro to be divine." "Yes, your Lalibro is quite easy-going in many ways. It allows sexual immorality of the unmarried as well as playing God." "It allows sex either alone or in a bisexual unispecies permanent marriage. It disallows lying, something most humans, and many Mammaloids, seem to have trouble with. It requires one hour of meditation, uninterrupted, every day on that day's page of the Lalibro. A wandering thought requires the hour to begin again. Even those who attend the daily sermon of the avertanto must attend every word. Failure means a day in torment after death...the Star Beneists believe it means an eternity of torment, or an increase in that torment. Many Star Beneists suicide, unable to measure up, or kill their young before they can sin. A few of us Sky Beneists do so too. The Lalibro is not easy." "You need only accept Christ as your Lord and Savior to be Saved. Even the Catholics believe Confession forgives sins." "Sins are not forgiven until every iota of punishment is exacted." "Well, back to the election and your policy if your candidate wins. Isn't it a fact the Second Chance considered assisting the Soviet Union as their prime contact with the Earth in 1962? What will be the relations with them you take power?" "We intend to continue to provide advanced medical technology to them, as to all nations. The possibility of an alliance with the Soviet Union was a result of the killing of T'charik, and was prevented by President Kennedy's turning over those responsible for his death. We prefered America in 1962 over Russia because America is more in line with our culture, although both will change as they are improved, of course. We would have prefered most of all to deal with a true World Government, but that had not even been attained on Earth in 3006, much less 1962." "Do you intend to emasculate our freedoms, to reduce them to what they are in your Second Chance, one branch of government, personal arms restrictions, lack of privacy and so on?" "We have a different form of Democracy on the Second Chance. Remember, it is a giant spaceship, and must have a Captain, whom we call President. Arms must be restricted...damage to the ship's infrastructure could imperil the lives of everyone. Mars had, uptime, a government much more similar to yours, because it was a terraformed planet and could afford the luxury. We will have such a Republic on Mars when we terraform it here, and humans will be welcome to come there from Earth. And even on worldships like the Second Chance we preserve freedom of speech, and the right to vote for a new President." "Will you try to prosletize Beneism to our people?" "Of course. The Lalibro extolls telling others of the truth. But it forbids conversion by force. You have nothing to fear from us." "President Goldwater will not let your culture submerge ours. America's is the form of government intended for Man until the Millennium." "Beneists do not believe in a single future, or an end to time. And we will not try to change your society more than the Protocols require. The Protocols only prohibit Genocide and War...they allowed, uptime, some quite unpleasant societies, just as long as those societies did not try to enforce themselves on others or kill people because of their species." "The Protocols do not protect Religious Freedom, do they?" "No. Religion is considered a matter of choice, and can be a crime, even a capital one. There have been billions of Beneist martyrs uptime. There have been billions of Christian martyrs, too...nearly all of them Mammaloid. And billions for other religions. But that is permitted by the Protocols." "So you could kill humans for being Christian?" "The Protocols would allow it. The Second Chance has no intention of doing so, and the Lalibro forbids it. But not the Protocols. In principle, your freedom of religion is a priviledge, not a right." "And we have no say in this? No say in your dismantling Mercury and Venus here, as you did where you came from, no say in your creating thousands of illegitimate species from the animals of Earth, no say in your growing your population into the quadrillions and making Mankind just one species among thousands, a tiny minority?" "No. The native Americans had no choice when the Europeans came, interfered in their tribal politics, uprooted their culture, and took their land. But they were better off afterwards. The problem with the settling of America was that it was done inhumanely...we will settle your Solar System humanely. The Justice Party and the Mercy party disagree about how to treat those who actively target us, but we agree that the Solar System, and then the Milky Way, will be settled by many thousands of Terragen species. And this is what will happen." Conclusion Sinta won the runoff election by 58%. A month later he took office. In the two years following, nonlethal weapons meant that no human terrorists had been killed. But seven Mammaloids were killed in the scores of terrorist attacks that occurred. In 1976, Sinta announced that nanomedicine equipted medical clinics were available to 100% of the world's population, and the first humans from the Second Chance attended the Bicentennial celebrations in Washington DC and New York City, while several Earth natives visited the Second Chance.