I barely remember the following weeks. I travelled the planet talking to local Einlari trying to find who they each looked to as a leader. It was complicated by the fact they were convinced I was sent to spy on them. As if the Einlari would bother. My elation about the ruling kept me from getting worn down. I found about fifty people who could be considered leaders. I explained the situation to them.
“The Intergalactic Council is coming to announce whether or not we’ll be freed from the Jirth.” I realized they didn’t know what the Intergalactic Council was, but I decided to say it anyway.
A cacophony of objections filled the air. “Quiet! What is a matter?”
“Why didn’t they free us earlier?” An older man, Toff, asked. He was one I thought would make a good administer.
“They manage the whole galaxy. It has thousands of races. In order to get them to even hear my plea I had to build up power. Then, after I delivered my proposal I had to keep on my contacts so it would get moved up the list. Honestly hearing back in less than fifty years is impressive.” I held up my hand to forestall any objections. “I’m guessing they are coming here to free us. But, they want to make a big show of it, so Einlari will be more likely to join the Intergalactic Council. Look like the big heroes.”
Toff snorted. “Politics. I think we should go with her. If she’s telling the truth I don’t want to miss it. And, if she’s lying we are already caught.”
I bowed deeply to him and got them into the transports. I had only a few days to get them back and settled before the announcement. As they sat down in their seats all them, except Toff, sat on the opposite end of the transport from me. I gave Toff a single lifted brow. I wondered what prompted the warm gesture.
He snorted. I was beginning to understand this was a habit of his. “Unlike them, I doubt you’d go through a huge charade to capture us. The Jirth don’t care as long as we work. Better to be on your good side, then hurt your feelings.”
I smiled. “How delightfully practical of you.”
He flashed a dark grin. “Yeah, I’m too old for anything else. Besides, I believe you have been working for our people this whole time. I don’t think Jirth would have taught us to write, or do anything but menial labor without someone making them.”
“Once…” I paused but he motioned for me to continue. “They didn’t want to allow us to start doing the more technical jobs like running the computers, or customer service jobs. Instead they wanted to ship our people off world to mine. I fought so hard. I had to beg the Go On Don leadership of this sector for help. I wasted a lot of good will on it.” My eyes closed. I went to the mines they intended to send the Einlari. The idea of them slaving there brought tears to my eyes. They would get injured, lost, and die of mining sickness in a few short years. The Jirth wouldn’t send anyone, but millions would have died.
Toff padded my knee. “The Council is coming here. Focus on it. Perhaps your fight is over.”
I shook my head as I wiped the tears from my eyes. “If they free us, my work is starting all over. It will be better work is all. I’ll need to find leaders, restart government, get people used to running the planet. And, keep things from changing too fast.”
“It will be work with more joy, I’d hope.” Toff responded tersely.
I realized he didn’t like me crying. I almost laughed. Never had a met an Einlari man who was okay with a woman crying, not even me. “It will be.”
The transport ride continued in relative quiet. We stopped at the small hotel meant to hold them. I filled them in. I organized with the transport to pick them up in two days to be delivered to the stadium the Council had designated. I headed home.