An Inheritance of Stars

Right to Vote

Nonhuman rights

Planetary Governor Omar Nagino tore down the poster, and shredded it between his hands. “I can’t believe it! There’s more of this crap every day. They want more food rations; so I give them incentive programs to earn more. Not only do they complain about that, then they whine about alien rights. What a joke, there’s two alien ships in orbit right now; they’re contributing quite nicely to our economy.” Nagino paused for a moment and looked about. Spotting his son Larz, he raised his voice slightly. “Well what do you think boy? Soon you’re going to have to speak before the Orbital Council, and they’ll vote on if you should join us, or not.” His tone gave the grim image that a successful seat on the council might be somehow linked to keeping a place within the family.

Larz cleared his throat nervously. “There’s extra food tickets available through the work programs. Nobody gets anything free just for slacking like you always said.”

“Don’t pander to me boy. What about the aliens, do they deserve human rights? Don’t forget, tell me how we can profit off this” The gleam in the Governor’s eye contained more than a hint of greed.

Larz took a moment to think; this was an uncommon thing for him to do, however he was well aware the consequences of speaking without thought of profit or reward. “Well Sir, might we not delay the matter by holding a vote; a station…no an Orbital Wide vote” he did finger quotes around the word. "We set up some speakers or something, charge credits for admission and the privilege of voting as well. " He grinned slightly, but not so much that he would look the fool if he was completely wrong.

The Governor considered the idea for a moment, then smiled. “Boy, I’d never say it if it weren’t true, you’ve had, for the first time in your life, a good idea.” He tussled his son’s hair in a fatherly yet condescending fashion. “We’ll run the whole thing for profit, and the best part is that we’ll get everybody who votes to give us all kinds of registration information. Our own security forces will benefit greatly, and I’m sure we can find other uses as well.” He looked at his data slate and paused a moment for consideration, then turned to the aide walking at a respectful distance behind them. “Have my propaganda manager write a proclamation. On September 1st, send it to Planet and all the Orbital Cities; In order to decide the issue of Non-Human Rights, a referendum will be held in three months. On December 1st, all citizens of Inequity are called to give their voice, on this issue of great cultural importance.”

Waving the aide away, he turned and continued walking along the Burra City atrium. “By the way, what ever happened to that ship I bought you?”

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Talib

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