Posted July 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm

"Ah," Numair said, unable to keep the corners of his mouth from turning up slightly. Hawk paused.

"...I guess what bothers me is," he began, "How d'ya know you ain't gonna create a propaganda machine doin' this? I mean, the stuff I grew up hearin' on the TV, on the radio, about the Cynn, about me..."

There were shadows of it behind his words--the image of the Cynn, a slim suited featureless figure with bloodied hands, and the image of himself, a literal man-eating monster. Numair cast an eye up to the stormclouds overhead.

"...Things I believed, an' my own family believed." Hawk hesitated, then added more softly, "It destroys people's lives, y'know? I'm only jus' startin' to untangle that shit."

Lightning arced between clouds, followed by a tense peal of thunder. Something clicked in Numair's mind at that moment, and he whispered to himself, "Ah, y dhaa."

The dry grass came up to his hips. He reached down and drew the tips of a few blades between his fingers, feeling them gently. Lightning continued to arc overhead, never touching the ground.

"I have thought about this quite a lot, yes," he said. "Frankly, I don't know that won't happen, someday. But, most of my research so far has been on exactly this. 'How do I do more good than harm?' 'What can I learn from other countries and their propaganda?'"

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