Anger fed on him, burning through his whole being, controlling almost everything he did.
It was anger that destroyed his chance at recovering his lost job. He couldn’t face all the stupidity of the office grind and still remain calm. There had been a time when keeping up with the games of office politics had seemed fun. Those days were long gone, lost to the sea of anger that led him to neglect all his carefully cultivated relationships and pools of favors.
There were times when he had been tempted to leave, but had always stayed out of some sort of misplaced loyalty. Loyalty that has been repaid (or so his anger tells him) by abandoning him in his time of need. The way they swept him out of their lives felt entirely like betrayal. And fed his anger more.
His anger led to his failure. Failure as a businessman. Failure as a husband. Failure as a father. Failure as a provider. Each one of those failures became as a lodestone, dragging him down in the river of anger. He was drowning in it.
The headwaters of that river were a lake of placid indifference. Something must of broken the dike, released the water, and washed him away. Nevermore to be calm in the face of the world. Nevermore to hold his dog. Nevermore to hold his daughter.
For the anger fed on him, burning through his whole being, controlling almost everything he did.
A prince cannot remain in exile for ever. That is why this meeting was so important.
Exile was itself unjust, but in order to end it and return home, it would be necessary to agree to the fiction that there was a justifiable cause for it. Pride made that a tough requirement, but returning to the homeland was more important that pride.
The day was ominous. Gloomy clouds, just enough rain to notice dominated the sky.
But when the prince arrived at the agreed upon cafe for their first meeting, he found nothing but a smoking ruin. Someone had burned it to the ground overnight.
The factions met to discuss their differences and attempt to arrive at some compromise. Te ensure that all sides had a voice, the table was round and the invitation went to everyone.
The rules were simple. First, the discussion would be civil. Second, any solution that allowed work to proceed would be entertained.
Work is a little like magic. It won’t work well if too carefully examined. But if left to flourish, the results can be strange. But the machines produced know little or nothing of how they came to be…
At the start, machines really are little more than clockwork. It would be quite a stretch to imagine a clockwork device capable of thought or independant action.
Pay no attention to the bats that live in the caves. They were here first, and have generally ceded all control to us, as long as we leave them alone. Leave them alone, and they will leave you alone. The don’t dabble in the mechanical, in any case.
So here we are. Work must proceed, to stop it is unthinkable. At the same time, the results of that work must not be unthinkable. We might well reach an impasse if both sides of this cannot reconcile.