We simply called it The Floor. Within the head of the Spire, situated at the center of the Kaizar’s court, there was a shallow arena, a step down no more than two feet, in and around which debate was held. Those with a point to make, or an idea to deliberate, took The Floor and presented themselves to the others for open debate. There were few rules, if they could be considered that, simple rules like respecting your kinsfolk and holding yourself with honor. Only one person could hold The Floor and were allowed no advisory or assistance; every person that attended a meet had the right to speak and if they wished to they would be heard by The Floor. But most importantly: The Floor could be challenged by anyone, at anytime, for any reason, at which a duel would be held.
I had taken The Floor with an unpopular belief: we should make contact with, and begin trade with, the Humans. Some argued the Humans were below us; I retorted that we were little more than glorified indentured soldiers – at least the Humans had their freedom. Still more argued the Humans were divided and could do little for us, to which I replied: the Humans are resourceful and are no more divided than we, however, they have the knowledge and the skills to separate and live freely. I addressed each concern with every ounce of ballon I could produce, never forgetting my diplomatic studies.
The loudest point of all turned out to be fear. Fear of the backlash from the Qaneqaanii if – no, when – they found out. I looked upon my kinsmen in disgust and questioned their stake as warriors. What kind of warriors were we to sit and hide for fear of a fight if we stepped out of line. If they willed to lower their heads as servants then that was their right but I would not join them in cowardice.
I had pissed on the hornets nest. A round of glaring eyes passed through the gathering and mumblings followed. Some appeared to be waiting for me to leave The Floor but I didn’t budge. A few more moments passed and one of my kin stepped down into The Floor, his heavy gait clanking with the weight of the very armor he was betraying.
I sighed and shook my head. They were shallow and would not listen and had little to fight back with so they were resorting to this. They would not run me off. If this was how it was to be I would not stand down. My words had been heard but now I had something to prove: I was a warrior and I would not be suppressed.
Daily Prompt: Shallow
Word of the Day: ballon