“So, let’s clear all this up, in simple Panglish so we all understand.”
The circle of beings all nodded as Aesop wrote things down on the whiteboard.
“First, we are listing what we are receiving from the Allbirther…” Aesop scribbled down some numbers, then glanced across the room. It was rather odd, having every being here focused on him, big and small, yet also equal.
“In accordance with the treaty we will sign, the Allbirther will provide all our races, our entire populations, with all that we need to survive. This means ample space for homes and shelters, plenty of food and water, protection from the elements and outside threats, medical technology and supplies, entertainment and the arts, travel capabilities and interconnectivity. Everything we need to keep our populaces happy and well looked after.”
There was a rather resounding round of agreement across the room. Aesop felt somewhat bad, knowing that he was about to lessen the mood a little.
“I will now cover what we will provide to the Allbirther, in exchange for what she is offering to us.”
As predicted, the mood lowered, but not as much as expected. By now, all the leaders present understood that this arrangement would be for the betterment of everyone.
“The first thing we are giving to the Allbirther is entertainment. We will set up an arena, identical in function to the Dessaron Battle Arena of old. We will provide our own warriors and be building much of this arena. For simplicity’s sake, we will reuse the old Ksithan Portalian-Palaestran systems, combined with some of the Temthan and Cassid entertainment technologies, to ensure that no one gets genuinely hurt. Are we clear on that?”
More nods. A few growls and grunts, but everyone was in agreement.
“The second thing we are giving to the Allbirther is 10% of our races’ working population. This is ten percent of the fit and healthy, beings of working age only. No children, no teenagers, no elderly. And no one within five years of retirement, or of our races’ equivalent, since we all have varying life spans. This workforce will work for the Allbirther, running the various systems required to help the Allbirther keep her end of this deal. Any deaths caused by the Allbirther will be compensated by her or her fellow deities. Is this clear?”
Everyone nodded again. This pleased Aesop.
“The third thing we will assist the Allbirther with is population control. We are to keep our populations below 500 million individuals-”
“Excuse me…” Aesop looked up. The rather scary Rethavok had raised their hand. “The Rethan population currently stands at approximately 550 million individuals. I refuse to intentionally lower our population in any way what so ever because it is above a rather arbitrary number.”
A couple of the other leaders muttered between each other, some of them surprised by the Rethan’s claim.
Aesop inspected the Rethavok, then shrugged. “If we make it 750 million, then that covers everyone. Is that a suitable compromise, General Rethais?”
“It is, Prime Minister. Thank you.”
“Very well…” Aesop returned to the rest of his statement. “We are to keep our populations below 750 million. This is to make things even between all races and avoid overpopulation, which means we’ll also avoid any potential conflicts between each other. Also means we are not stretching our resources thin. Are we all happy with this?”
The group all nodded, although not quite as comfortably as before.
“So, are we all clear on this? We are all happy with these terms?”
The leaders all glanced at each other, muttering between themselves.
“What happens if we want to exit this contract?” a little Skyavok finally asked. “What happens if the contract is breached?”
Aesop paused, then flicked through a pile of paper next to him. “Hm… That is a… really good question… The only thing…” Aesop continued to flick through pages. “There… is nothing in here about leaving. I assume the Allbirther does not want us to leave. But we… should agree on both a breach of contract and an exit from the contract.”
“But… what would happen?” the Skyavok asked again. “If the contract is breached, do we get to keep… everything? Because I can’t… imagine just having all our food and water taken away…”
The Cassid frowned. “You have a point. Perhaps a Continuation of Contract should be written instead? We keep all benefits, even in the case of a breach, but must make repayments on some other manner?”
“Perhaps it would be better to leave it blank?” Agapia, the Temthan Empress, suggested. “We leave that part open-ended, and put it into a committee should a breach or exit happen?”
The other beings all agreed.
“We simply do not have enough information.”
“Too many unknowns.”
“Cannot let our own suffer, even if it goes wrong.”
“Very well…” Aesop relented. “We all agree that, in terms of a breach or an exit of the contract, from either party, we must form a committee and discuss what must be done, with equal discussion from all sides, as well as a neutral party. Does that sound good?”
Aesop sighed, feeling rather weary. “Alright. If we are all in agreement, then we should speak to the Allbirther and get this all confirmed. Our people have been waiting long enough…”