The Rogue Scholar

By Jbschirtzinger | clarion | 6 Jan 2024

Chapter 15 Part 5

A slave was coerced or brainwashed. The first movement was almost always coercion--the second was almost always brainwashing. Uzne's tattoo was coercion. His wife and god were brainwashing. At this moment, Uzine might be the only chimera aware of the truth of what was happening to others like him. As he considered this fact, he felt his anger rise. The people who did this needed to pay for their crimes, and the first way they would pay for their crimes is by not having chimeras to do their dirty work. What Hiro was proposing served two motives at once for Uzine. It allowed him to right what he now realized was a wrong, and by so doing this, also allowed him a measure of revenge. 

"Hiro, your words have convinced me. My resolve is firm. I intend to do everything in my power to ensure all other chimeras are free. If by so doing, it convinces my fellow chimeras to follow my example and be hopeful, even better."

Hiro shot Uzine a pensive look. "Be careful you do not become that which you seek to upend, Uzine Braten. There will come a time when you will have to decide whether to perpetuate the cycle, or put an end to it. However, that is another choice for another day. What is important now is that your tattoo is red, and does not have much time before it becomes completely so. This must be remedied."

A moment of silence passed while Uzine waited for Hiro to wave his hand and make his tattoo non-existent. When Hiro failed to do this, he became semi-irate.

"Hiro you have come and produced miracles. Surely you have the power in you to modify a silly tattoo if you can perform all these other miracles. Please help me in my task that you have made me aware of. Do not assign me something and stand mutely by!"

Hiro appeared slightly bemused. "Uzine, I cannot do what you ask, but not because I do not have the power. The best way for you to think of it is to consider it against company policy. I must respect certain boundaries of your free will, and your tattoo is, ironically, part of your free will. What I can do is point the way for you to achieve that which you seek."

Uzine silently fumed. "I don't understand why you behave as this, Hiro, but after you have shown me that which you have shown me, I respect your judgment and so shall not question you further on the matter, though I do find it aggravating. What do I need to do to remedy this tattoo problem?"

Hiro smiled a knowing smile. "I thought you would never ask, Uzine. For that, you will need to visit Merlin."

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