Chapter 39

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Municipate Adjooto took the stage, raising his hands to quiet the crowd that had gathered in Aareeya square. At first, the crowd’s chanting only intensified. Some of the Rodia Prima party were fully supportive of their rogue brethren of the Righteous Flame and shouted - Cajala chupa en choon nana soota!

Yet others were distraught, fearing that their movement would be torn apart by firebrands, and counter chanted – Rooti, en justa en aaita! They trusted Municipate Adjooto, and looked to his words to provide guidance on their party’s future.

“It is with a heavy heart, that I come before you today,” Municipate Adjooto began reverently. “Never before has one of our own, even one acknowledged for his polarizing views, committed such unthinkable actions. The Righteous Flame were always the most zealous of our number. Perhaps the popular press is right. These poor souls were seduced by hero worship, guided to evil by a demented sociopath.” Municipate Adjooto delivered these words with uncustomary solemnity, a surprising tone from their typically bellicose leader.

Adjooto continued, this time picking up steam. “Yet let us remember that Krul was honored as a 'te Rosin,' and such a title is never granted lightly. That a Speaker of Wisdom would decide that he must, in good conscience, hold hostages and execute justice, should give us pause.”

“What is the state of affairs on Rodia? Do we look around and see justice, or do the perpetrators of the greatest crimes in our society walk among us freely, ordering us to do their bidding as serfs? For if the answer is the latter, then perhaps Krul is not as insane as the rusted parties would have us believe.”

“You must judge for yourselves. Are they crazed maniacs? Or have they realized the true state of Rodian affairs, and resolved to do something about it? If the latter, we may disagree with their methods, but we cannot disagree with their message.”

Adjooto’s trademark fury was starting to bubble up from his burly persona.

“A few of the Righteous Flame decided to stay behind. To tell us why our brothers and sisters of Rodia Prima chose this radical path. Come forward Leego.”

The supporters of the Righteous Flame in the crowd cheered, and even the detractors found themselves listening with interest. A group of young radicals took the stage, and judging by their black eye makeup and tattoos, they were musicians. Municipate Adjooto shook hands with Leego, pausing just long enough to maximize the photo op, and then exiting stage right.

“Most of you know us as Leego ee dos Yooroni,” Leego began. “We started out, just a group of Rooti, not knowing much but knowing that this place is a cesspool. We put our passion and anger into our songs. It helped us deal with it. And some of you too.” While Leego spoke, stage grips wheeled instruments onto the stage.

“We met Krul a few years back at a Righteous Flame rally meeting. He inspired us. And he inspired us to write this song. I hope it speaks to you, like it did to us.”

The synth-drummer and basilone struck a steady, driving beat, complimented by the guitarista’s sharp, twangy, irreverent tones. Leego gazed above the crowd, entrancing himself with the thrum of the song’s intro, his body bopping slightly to the beat. After a few quick measures, Leego began to sing, as if he had been restraining these words his whole life just to have them burst out in a surge of music.

Cajala chupa tells you what he’ll do

Just not for you, nah, nah

And when them ruling fam’lies sit to feast

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