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The Bridge: a New Beginning

by euhal allen

Chapter 4: Pushing Outward

part 4

Me’Avi, blushing just a little, stood at the lectern and thanked the University and the Board of et Sharmas for the honor — appointed as the youngest Assistant to an et Sharma, Tinnel et Sharma of Jurzell, in Galactic History — she had just received. “To all of you I wish to say that I shall not fail the trust you have given to me. I shall, in no small part because of the confidence you have shown in me, succeed in this office of em Sharma.

“I only wish that my parents were alive to see this, or that my grandmother, Katia Shapirov, could be here to share in my joy at this honor.” And with those words, Me’Avi returned to her seat on the stage.

Kralint et Sharma, Presiding Officer of the board of et Sharmas then returned to the lectern and explained, in a kind, understanding manner; “We too, Me’Avi em Sharma, reflect sadly in the loss of your parents and know that they would beam with pride at your accomplishments.

“As for the absence of the Grand Minister, that is our fault. We did not notify her office of your appointment until after she had set off on another of her inspection tours. Her office did say that she would have headed back to be here, but the medical supplies her ship was carrying were desperately needed to combat a plague on Sharnell.

“She did, however send a recording for us to play during this night’s events. We will play it now.”

Soon all were watching the Grand Minister’s video congratulating not only her granddaughter, but all the rest of the new em Sharmas at the ceremonies.

Later, at her apartment, Me’Avi received a more personal video congratulating her on her appointment and telling her how proud she had made her grandmother.

“It is all very official,” thought Me’Avi, “and way too sterile. A hug and dinner with her would have been better. But others need her time, as always, more than I.”

* * *

Back from her most recent trip and still living on Alexei’s Pride, Katia was soon before the Galactic Council with a bill to protect what she called Galactic Treasures. It would allow any race to nominate and favor some great achievement or artifact that added to the artistic and/or intellectual progress of galactic civilization. In addition, any race could, on its own, name three such treasures to be put onto the list without Council approval.

Since every race had such treasures that they considered beyond price and deserving of protection the bill passed with a close to unanimous vote, and races in every sector of the galaxy began sending in their lists of three automatic entries onto the protected list and their even greater list of those that should be included as Galactic Treasures.

Considering the great influence that Cyr had had on the protecting and saving the first citizens of Dreamer’s World, and the fact that he had a personality unique among all the AI’s in the galaxy it was no wonder that Cyr, much to the anger and disappointment of researchers in the AI field of study, was the first of the automatic Treasures put forth by the citizens of that world to be made untouchable.

Then, to seal that protection, Cyr was made, at the suggestion of the Grand Minister, a citizen of Dreamer’s World, with all the rights that elevation brought, including an automatic citizenship in the great Galactic civilization.

AI researchers throughout the galaxy, seeing the loss of the greatest source of AI progress, as well as many doctoral documents that could be written, immediately sued the Council for a reversal of Cyr’s new status, charging that Cyr was the property of the Galactic Council and unless that council declared it a Galactic Treasure, such a declaration was not valid. They also argued that an AI unit was a manufactured unit and therefore could not be a citizen of any world, and should therefore be available for study as soon as the Grand Minister retired and no longer had need of that particular computer.

The Grand Minister, in making sure that the Council would not be able to do any business until the issue was settled, argued firstly that since Cyr had first been activated on Earth, it could be said that he was ‘born’ there and as birth of an intelligent being was, under Earth law, automatic citizenship on that planet, Cyr had already been a citizen for decades. Also, since all those who had emigrated from Earth to Dreamer’s World were now citizens of Galactic civilization, Cyr’s Earth citizenship entitled him galactic citizenship upon his arrival on Dreamer’s World.

Secondly, since the Galactic Council had passed legislation in its earliest years that awarded each race the right to define qualifications for citizenship in each of its societies, the right to declare the recognition of Cyr as a citizen of Dreamer’s World was inalienable and final with that world’s people. Since the legal authority of that world had deemed Cyr a citizen, no one could challenge that decision in any legal manner.

The Galactic Council, wanting to get on with other things needing to be done in governing the galaxy and seeing that the Grand Minister would not allow regular business to be done until the thing was settled, issued orders to the affect that recognized any world’s right to define qualifications for citizenship in the society of that world. Therefore, if Dreamer’s World declared Cyr a citizen, he was one. Also, if that world decided that a citizen had done great things and should be recognized as one of a worlds three greatest Galactic Treasures, then that would be recognized as valid and recorded so.

Cyr was then recognized as having Galactic citizenship and would also be given special protection from any harm as a Galactic Treasure of the highest order.

That having been done, the Galactic Council went back to the mundane but necessary, business of governing the Galaxy.

* * *

To be continued...

Copyright © 2011 by euhal allen

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