A couple of months after championing the cry to settle on this world, Caitlin began to wonder if she made a mistake. The typical plans quickly failed with trying to settle every settler on the planet, and that created an irate and argumentative people. Every time Caitlin attempted to advance the common goals of some group with their own agenda would block her progress. As a result, the lofty goals that should’ve unified the fledgling world seemed just as unattainable as the day they lost Laria. Looking around the chamber, Caitlin shook her head in awe of the number of people who somehow managed to force themselves into the room, each trying to argue their point. She recognized so many faces and knew them all to be hard workers, but something changed in them. As she slumped in her chair, her mind sought an answer, but she kept circling back to the fact everything changed, which sparked a fear that spread like wildfire throughout Aurora.
Digging deeply, Caitlin hoped that tonight would be more productive. As the clamor grew she leaned over to Quinn, covering her microphone and asked, “Is it too late to change our minds?”
Flashing a satisfied grin at her, Quinn covered his microphone before answering, “Yes, we made a decision, and now we have to see it through.”
With a groan, Caitlin began tapping her microphone, and the raucous crowd slowly began to still. When silence settled upon the hall, she addressed the latest batch of concerns, “We’re wasting our time trying to debate reforms of the Federation. While I agree in principle that things need to change, it’s not relevant at the moment. We need to shelve the idea of colonizing other worlds and reforming the Federation. We need to focus on things that will allow us to build up our new home then we can focus on our return to the stars.”
“But before we get there we have to decide how the worlds will work together!” Someone shouted drawing rapid consent.
“But that cannot be our first priority, not with a world to create.” Caitlin replied smoothly before she added, “For the moment we need to focus on things like developing our new home. Once we have established our world, then we have to alter the platforms to work independently of Laria. And remember the Federation is gone, there is no shield protecting us. As my esteemed colleague,” Caitlin paused to gesture at Quinn before she continued. “Has pointed out, we’ll need ships to help protect this fledgling coalition.” Caitlin paused for a moment to gather all her scattered confidence, “These are the issues we need to discuss, not plans of a future that is years from fruition.”
Nodding Quinn stood up and greeted the crowd with a smile, “You all know that I opposed this plan, but after working with Caitlin, I have come to realize that this is our only option.”
“So what should we do first?” Asked another nameless voice from the crowd.
Leaning towards her microphone, Caitlin replied, “First we need to establish clear leadership so we can move forward united.”
After a bit of murmuring a cry broke out from the crowd growing stronger and stronger by the moment, until Caitlin and Quin could make out the repeated words, “A triumvirate!”
Shocked by the sudden turnaround, it took her a moment, but Caitlin seized upon the consent, “Very well let us work at establishing our triumvirate.”
The crowd quickly fractured, and neither Quinn nor Caitlin could hear the fractured discussions. Caitlin grabbed Quinn’s shoulder and moaned, “We were so close.”
“Do you trust me?”
“Normally,” Caitlin said drawing out the reply.
“I’ll take it,” he said as he started to tap on the microphone, “We will fill the first two seats of the triumvirate right now if you are willing.”
The crowd quickly began applauding the decision, but Caitlin reached for Quinn’s shoulder, “What are you doing?”
“The seat for the first triumvir will be filled by Caitlin,” he said as he pointed at her, and a roar of agreement stifled Caitlin’s objections. She looked at him, but he gave her a sorrowful expression as he mouthed, I’m sorry. But he silenced the crowd and went on, “And I will take the seat of the second triumvir.” And to Caitlin’s surprise, another chorus of cheers rang out from the crowd.
As order settled back into the room, Quinn finished, “We will elect our third triumvir, but for the moment Caitlin and I are in agreement to land the colonization ship in shallow waters. It will be the ever-vigilant symbol that we will return to the stars in ten years. As Caitlin said we need to have a single-minded focus if we are to surpass Laria, and we will. But right now we have to ensure that everyone has a full belly and a place to sleep.”
A chorus of cheers erupted from the crowd as Caitlin leaned over asking, “How’d you know that would work?”
“I didn’t, but people work better with structure.”
“We established a government and the high-level tasks that need to be done for our survival.”
“You assumed power for both of us,” Caitlin said with a disapproving glare.
“Nonsense, we made the most sense. Not to mention we are in agreement on the high-level issues. This way we can start getting people moving in the right direction,” Quinn said seriously.
“And our third triumvir?” Caitlin asked with a firm scowl.
“We’ll elect the position soon,” Quinn said.
Shaking her head, Caitlin complained, “You realize that you basically just repeated what I told them.”
“Yes,” he said with a sly smile spreading across his angular face. “But I did it as a triumvir.”
“You made yourself a triumvir,” Caitlin complained.
“I know,” Quinn said conspiratorially. Turning back to the people he declared, “Come let’s start planning out all of the details.”