A wonderful, brilliant opportunity has fallen in my path for which I am smitten with gratitude. My new friends, and I am sure they feel likewise, have opened my eyes to this possible thing. They come from a place I had not known. A place far removed from my world. It’s settled, calm, and from what I can tell there are things they’ve figured out that will be of great worth in trade and cultural exchange. From what little I now know of their country, I can’t wait. I have a chance to explain why this beneficial collaboration can work.
With only the faintest hint of an accent, they’ve offered that there could be significant benefits to trade and collaborations but they have a duty to return a report on the risk/benefit aspects of such interactions.
Some of their technologies, they admit, are likely to be withheld in the light of the way lighter versions of the same are used here. “But that’s to be expected, ” the woman Niva’herathi told me. (She suggested that I just call her Niva after all the trouble I had with the pronunciation)
The man Meer’amiaygth suggested I call him Meer for the same reason. He had me close my eyes, he placed something before them, and then he asked me to tell what I saw in my mind’s eye as he showed me what would happen if our land had use of those technical treats. It was compelling! I agreed we should go without, but oh how I wanted some of them! Wonderful!
Meer said there were some important matters that he wondered if I could explain, considering the purpose of our meeting.
Niva asked me, “Some of us would come here, and some of you would visit us. In the interests of safety, we wonder how that might work because when your own people come to your world, for many that is the point of greatest danger. You have things you eat, wear, and inject specifically to stop your own people from coming to you. You pay specialists to destroy those who survive those obstacles while still in the portal through which they must come to arrive safely. Some are taken to the very entrance of your world and cut down there. In your world you let the owner of the portal decide. Even if we enter your world a different way, how can we be sure it’s safe to do so? We find that you cut down those who try to enter your world by the millions. Some for their gender, some to hide that you were using that portal for recreation, some for the inconvenience it will cause to bring that person across. How can we be sure we’ll be safe if your own people can’t even get that assurance?”
Meer then held a paper up and said, “We make agreements and it works very well. In your countries, we find that the leaders promise what they know they will not deliver and sign what they know they will not honor. We find that they even provoke their people and trick them into giving up their own best interests so the leaders can satisfy themselves. How can we know that our agreements will be honorably upheld?”
While I was mulling this, Niva said, “We see that your leaders have lethal force, fences, walls, intelligence services and armies to defend them but they are disarming their own people. Then many tears are shed and millions of lives are lost. If your leaders will not protect their own people, how can we be assured for our own as guests here? Our people are harmless, just as your people who are destroyed are harmless.”
Meer watched as I pondered that. Then he said, “One last matter, please.”
I nodded him on.
“Your countries have borders, often undefended. Your countries have laws, often unenforced. The lawless defy both, recognizing no boundaries. Often your leaders assist them in ruinous access to places unlawful for them to go. How can we be assured that you will keep your rule breakers from hurting our people while they are your guests or at the hands of your militants in our own land where they have been sent unproven? We do not have such problems because we enforce our laws and rules evenly and consistently so that all our people are on equal ground. Your systems are very determined to place your people, all of them, on unequal ground often while proclaiming to do the opposite. So how can we expect that any plain understanding between us will not be subject to degradation by those who want unfair advantage for to ruin our ageements?”
How would you have answered?