The Time of Trials

As time passed, both pro-Naki and pro-human voices grew much louder, and words soon began to turn to action. Against a backdrop of widespread anti-Naki protests, a large number of notable musicians, lead by Johnny Chess, organised a colossal music festival to raise awareness of the benefits that the Naki could bring to humanity. Never had a greater collection of stars been gathered in one place, and people watched around the world as through a masterful set of songs, Chess wove a heart rending tale of a kind people constantly cast out by suspicion as they travelled across the stars, hoping one day to find friendship. The finale brought tears to the eyes of the tens of thousands in the audience, tears that turned to screams as the anti-Naki insurgency bombed the stage. Hundreds of spectators were injured, and Keith Richards, who had come out of retirement to perform at the concert, was killed by a falling stage light. Naki medical teams arrived quickly on the scene to treat those in the audience who were injured, and it is thought that loss of life would have been much greater without their intervention.

The attack caused a massive backlash of feeling against pro-human groups, and alongside the terrorist attacks against Naki medical facilities, many governments across Africa and Eurasia took this as a cue to outlaw some of the more extreme organisations. To the shock of many, an international arrest warrant was issued for the former documentary star Shauna Li, who was caught on security cameras during an attack on a Naki facility in India. While America and Russia remained stalwartly pro-human in their rhetoric, the policy of the European Federation softened substantially as progressive voices within their legislature pushed for the Naki to be given a chance. Trade between the EF and the Naki began to increase, and a permanent embassy in Brussels was finally set up.

While Naki relations were starting to warm in Europe, in Africa and India they were progressing by leaps and bounds. In a historic deal, protested by pro-human movements around the world, the Indian government gave a large tract of land near Lahore to the Naki for the construction of the first Naki city on earth. Mossandria, as the Naki named it, was constructed at an extremely rapid rate using pre-fabricated buildings landed from orbit. Pride of place in the city was given to a gleaming embassy district, where delegates from all nations in the world were welcomed, though America notably refused to send one. As well as this, the city included manufacturing centres designed to be run by humans, as well as high quality housing which was provided for free to the millions of homeless in India if they were willing to work. This humanitarian gesture was lauded around the world, but not as much as that which followed.

Malcolm Allison, the Naki’s favoured overseer on earth, announced that the Naki considered the continued prevalence of malaria and water borne illnesses across Africa to be unacceptable, and launched a colossal medical and clean water campaign. Central African nations rushed to form formal alliances with the Naki in the wake of this, and quality of life in these countries began to rise at an unprecedented rate.

Meanwhile, perhaps spurred on by uncertainty in the world facing them, or perhaps by the tale of the heroic magi of the resistance, superstition and mysticism experienced a sharp upswing across the world, despite condemnation of such regressive things by pro-Naki voices. A successor organisation to the Temple of Pan, allegedly organised by prominent resistance figures, called the Children of Freya sprung up. This was outlawed in several countries after some of its members were implicated in terrorist attacks and, in one case, the ritualistic sacrifice of a suspected Naki. Meanwhile, religious groups whispered of a living saint walking the earth, healing the sick and ailing, appearing in the aftermath of resistance strikes to heal both the attackers and their victims. Cults of the Even-Handed Saint sprang up across the world. Finally, there were rumours of stone men, sometimes fighting alongside the Naki, sometimes alongside the insurgents, bringing destruction in their wake.

By the end of 2022, terrorist attacks on Naki facilities were a nearly weekly event, despite the best efforts of pro-Naki groups to defuse tensions. The resistance, who many whispered were funded largely by the US government, would not back down from their position of the Naki being invaders, and produced dossiers of evidence attempting to demonstrate that the Naki were replacing key figures with clones in their medical facilities. However, these were denounced as fakes by many governments, with officials assuring their people that they had been on tours of all facilities opened. Alongside this, touching footage of Naki medicine in action was released over the internet; many on the fence were brought over by footage of Naki surgeons re-attaching the arm of an eight year-old boy caught in a car accident.

Tensions were running high in the world. And then people started to get sick…

eternity/part_2.txt · Last modified: 2010/03/09 13:46 by gareth
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