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.“Cormac 7,” the Patriarch addressed him directly, “while I understand your objection, I would hope you will see reason and agree to become part of our order.For that is what I am offering to you.If you take the treatment along with Roshin, I will grant you all the rights and privileges of the Zxerah Brotherhood.If you do not, I will have no choice but to order that you be restrained until such time as you are no longer a threat to our mission.“And your mission is?” Cormac asked bluntly.“Of course, you have a right to know what you are involved in.Roshin can explain in more detail, but know that our end goal is the sharing of this planet with its native inhabitants.I now believe that will be accomplished through a blending of our races so that we no longer stand separately as Alvians and humans, but together as a new evolution of both.I believe that will also mean restoring emotion to the current Alvian generation.Although my predecessors were among the first to participate in the genetic experiments that landed us in this predicament, I believe all evidence points to the fact that the grand experiment to remove emotion is an utter failure.We are diminished as a people by our lack of understanding.Observation of my human Brethren over the years has convinced me of this fact.I am therefore slowly rolling out the cure among my sect and a select group of others.”“Cure? Do you mean the skin patch you referred to? What does it contain?” Cormac seemed to be taking the news better than Harry had expected.Of course, the man was a scientist in addition to being a soldier.He had shown to this point that he had an analytical mind.He was gathering information and weighing his options before making a decision.“Are you aware of the genetic experiments of Mara 12?” The Patriarch paused for just a moment.“Perhaps not.I will forward the information to you.” Harry could see the Patriarch manipulating the controls on his com station while he talked.No doubt, he was sending the data directly to the ship for them to examine in detail later.“There is currently an experiment underway that has led to the restoration of emotion in several successful instances.In at least two of those treated, they have gone on to discover their true Resonance Mates shortly after being treated.I now believe the sharp decline in Resonance Mating is due to the corresponding decline in emotion.Harry can tell you about Davin, the throwback who is Callie O’Hara’s Resonance Mate.I have witnessed their Hum myself and I can tell you it is pure and sweet.I would wish that for all our people rather than the emotionless, loveless, unwittingly lonely lives we now lead.”Cormac was silent as the Patriarch trailed off, his expression pensive.Good.He was thinking over the Patriarch’s words.Harry agreed wholeheartedly with his conclusions, but to be fair, the decision to take the treatment or not had to be Cormac’s alone.“I will look over the data you have sent.How long do I have to decide?” Cormac said at length.“A few days.I don’t mean to rush you, but time is of the essence.If you choose not to take the treatment, you will remain behind on the ship—a prisoner until Hara decides otherwise.”Attention shifted to the big man in the hover chair.“You should know that eventually I intend that all Alvians take the treatment.The Patriarch is correct.Our race has become an abomination.Emotions are hard—I know that as well as any other—but they make us who we are.Without them, we are shadows of what we could be.Echoes of mediocrity.Pale imitations of real people who are capable of doing terrible things in their ignorance.With luck, we’re going to change all that.I would rather have your willing cooperation now, Cormac, but I will give you time to consider.”“Thank you,” Cormac said formally.“I will read the material and make my decision shortly.”“Roshin, I authorize you to speak freely and answer any and all questions Hara or your companions may have of you regarding our Brotherhood,” the Patriarch said, regaining everyone’s attention.“You should also know that Hara was and still is one of our number.In fact, he was the first Patriarch.He handed the role to my ancestor when he left Alvia Prime with instructions for this very day.I am only glad the ancient plan has at last come to fruition during my time.It is my great honor…” the Patriarch bowed his head to Hara, “…to serve our people at your direction, Elder.”“Please, Ronin, call me by name.You and I will both play vital roles in what is to come.I am only glad to see the Brotherhood in such capable hands.” Hara was complimentary and humble, which appealed to Harry [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]