Tale – Acceptance Speech of the new High General of the Retha

“My fellow Rethans…”

Elkay hesitated as he stood at the podium, looking over a sea of Rethans. They had all gathered on a cold and windy day to celebrate their new leader. Beings of all shapes and sizes, from all over Rethan territories.

Many of them were wearing their best armour, carrying banners and waving flags of grey, white and red. Elkay though was only wearing basic silver armour. This was his first impression. He did not want to look presumptuous, or overly done up, or too powerful. He had campaigned as an equal to all Rethans, part of him wanted to look the part. The only new item on him was a large, silver staff, custom-made to celebrate this gargantuan event.

“Yesterday, the winds of change blew across Rethan territories. I asked you all to stand up and make your voices heard. You did not let me down. You did not let us down. At demi-seven this morning, the final votes were tallied up, and a winner was announced.

“I stand here, truly surprised, truly humbled by you all….”

The crowd paused, eerily silent, waiting for Elkay’s next words. They all knew that General Photeianos had cleared out his offices and left earlier that morning. They all knew who the winner was. But they all stood there with baited breath.

“At demi-seven this morning, I was declared the victor of our pent-yearly Election for the Position of High General, with sixty seven percent of all votes.”

Again, Elkay hesitated. A wave of cheers rolled over the crowd, before settling down again. He smiled, then glanced down at his script. Any other Rethan would need a teleprompter. He was using speaking prompts and bullet points. Almost making it up as he went along.

“Sixty seven percent. Over two thirds of the Rethan population decided they wanted change. Something new. A change in leadership.

“And to all of you who did not get the leader you wanted, I do not feel any anger towards you. I cannot. I feel sympathy. I understand. I understand that I may not be the leader you want, someone has to lose after all. I understand your fears, that I may break traditions, that I might not live up to your expectations. There are many things I might do that some of you may not agree with. Change will come, changes that you may fear. The changes I hope to bring will be positive though. In my work, I will strive to bring everyone together, no matter what you believe in. My duty is, and always has been, to every single Rethan, no matter who you are or what you believe in. We are all equals.”

The crowd started cheering again, waves of energy being thrown in Elkay’s direction. Lots of paper being thrown around as well. Up above, from the windows and buildings around them, ribbons and confetti drifted down. Elkay couldn’t help but smile.

“I understand that there is an… unusual future ahead of us. Vast uncertainties. Vast issues, both known and unknown. There is fear, but there is always hope. There will always be hope as long as we stand together.”

More cheers. More than Elkay had anticipated. Even though he’d won in a landslide, he had underestimated how the Rethan populace really felt.

“To you all, I say this: I humbly accept the responsibility you have given me. I accept the power of being the High General of the Retha. I humbly thank you all for this chance, for us to work together for a brighter future.

“I thank you all, my fellow Rethans. I thank you all!”

The crowd cheered loudly. Elkay continued to smile. He glanced down at the rest of his notes and bullet points. He didn’t need them. Everyone understood Elkay’s message. The Rethans wanted him. They trusted him. They believed in him.

Elkay reached for his staff, and thrust it into the air. As he did so, the crowd erupted into a single, unified roar, repeating his rallying cry.

“For the Retha!”