Wider Than the Sargasso Sea

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What did your father do in the war? 

“Breen go home!” 

Gina Nolan found herself screaming that hateful phrase, along with perhaps two hundred of her fellow citizens, as a shuttle touched down at the port in Archer City, the capital on Proxima Centauri. It was 2396. The attack on Earth had occurred over two decades before, but it scarcely mattered. 

The crowd moved back as one as the hatch opened and a Federation official stepped out. The man was Enolian and he called for quiet. “Every day,” he said, “we strive for peace and understanding. A big part of that can be new neighbors. Once you get to know people, you can see them as individuals. They stop being faceless monsters.” 

He paused and a Gorn man near Gina yelled, “But you don’t have to live with them!” 

“Yeah!” Gina shouted, along with a lot of the crowd. 

“Breen go home! Breen go home!” the crowd began to chant, more or less in unison. 

The Enolian again got the crowd to quiet down so that he could be heard. But this time it took longer for the group to settle down. “As you are all undoubtedly aware, a half a dozen families are moving into Archer City. This is but one of them. They will shop at your stores, and visit your parks. Their children will attend your schools. And they will work side by side with you.” 

A helmeted head peered out for a second, perhaps to see if the coast was clear. It quickly ducked back into the shuttle. 

“Not in my back yard!” yelled a Xindi Insectoid. 

The crowd began to angrily yell again, but it wasn’t chanting at all. It was incoherent as the crowd began to transform into an angry mob. A rock whizzed by Gina’s head, and she saw the Enolian go down. The Breen family again sent a representative to nose out to take a look, and the rain of rocks turned from a trickle to a downpour, rocks clanging as they hit metal. It was impossible to tell if the rocks were just hitting the shuttle, or if some of them had made contact with a Breen refrigeration suit or two. 

She ran out of there as quickly as she could. “Kit!” she yelled into a communicator. “The rally turned ugly! I’m coming home!” 

“Don’t take any chances!” he yelled back from his work, at a butcher shop on Ninth Street, as the line went eerily quiet. He looked around at his coworkers. “My wife needs me. I have to go.” 

“Go on, man,” said one of them, a Nausicaan, and Kit – a Klingon – departed. 

=/\= 

At home, Gina was shaking. “Dammit, dammit, dammit!” she seethed. “They were right there in that shuttle and, and, God! They think they can just waltz in, and live here among us, after what they, they did!” 

Kit looked at her. “We could move, maybe.” 

“And let them win?” she was furious. “I won’t let them think they’ve won. This is my home. Not theirs. The next thing they’ll want will be to live on Earth! All but the parts they destroyed in ’75. Everything but Beijing and, and places like that.” 

Gabrielle, Gina’s daughter, looked up from the homework on her PADD. “Beijing’s where Dad died.” 

“Right, baby,” Gina said, “and I will not have his memory sullied with Breen coming in. They’ve got the entire goddamned galaxy! Why do they have to come here?” she was tearful. 

“I, I don’t know,” Kit said, casting about for something to say that would be comforting. “There will be more rallies, I am sure. I can go to the next one, if you like.” 

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