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“The problems we faced were hardly insignificant,” he said, leaning back and stroking his chin. “After all, they were in effect a godless people.”

She tapped her fingers on her desk and frowned. “Godless? According to the papers filed by your assistant, they in fact worshipped a pantheon of some…” She paused for effect, pretending to consult her paperwork. “Fifteen to twenty deities. That you knew of.”

He harrumphed and shifted in his seat. “Well, yes, that is to say, they had a religion, yes and they had… names that they prayed to and sacrificed to and whatnot but they were not, that is, they had not found the true faith.”

She nodded with apparent sympathy. “Well, that’s not surprising, really. You were the first outsiders that they had ever seen. As an isolated society, we could not have expected them to have learned our faith.”

He settled again, more comfortable and confident now. “Indeed, indeed. And that was of course part of our remit, to divulge the way and the truth to them. To civilise them and bring them into the fold.”

She nodded again. “So, ah, what the court is hoping you can explain here, is exactly how bringing them into the fold turned into the mass genocide of a previously undiscovered people.”

He blinked. She smiled and approached the dock.

“What we are suggesting is that you found resistance from these people. They believed in their gods just as strongly as you believe in yours. The difference was, you had access to sophisticated weaponry. We suggest that you found it easier to eliminate them than to convert them. Is that not true?”

He shrank under her gaze.

“Which was not part of your remit, was it, Minister?”

He tried to stare her down but failed. Eventually, he broke.

“It is true,” he whispered. “It is true.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: This week the Three Word Wednesday prompt words were Divulge, Godless and Insignificant. Which I found quite difficult, actually.

On another note, WordPress helpfully informs me that it’s my writing anniversary today – four years (!) since I first decided to start this blog with this short post – The Dreamer.)

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