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MarkK

Emissary: And Many More (Birthday Vignette)

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It was the third time he had to give his report that the Emissary realized something was apparently very wrong.

 

“.. and then I wrapped the lamppost around the fellow so that he could be restrained until you arrived.â€Â

 

For a third time he nodded back towards the unconscious, misshapen behemoth. The Emissary’s prone foe was propped up against the front of a bank that had undergone a way more literal smash and grab than usual. It was some new thug calling himself “Smash-orâ€Â. The Emissary felt his sincere in-fight asking about “smash, or what?†and follow up suggestion to go with ‘Smasher’ to avoid confusion was just being nice. It certainly didn’t deserve the stream of profanity he was given in reply. It was a clash that ended quickly all the same, repeatedly explaining all this to the police was actually taking longer.

 

Like the first two times, they nodded blankly, and he sighed.

 

“Is there something specific I have not provided? If so, you need but tell me, and I will do my best to accommodate. Please.â€Â

 

One officer coughed. Another scratched the back of their head. A third looked away.

 

“Well… ah…â€Â

 

“Yes?â€Â

 

“… uhm… what’s with the hat?â€Â

 

Secured by a thin elastic under his chin, the Emissary was wearing a brightly multicoloured party hat. He blinked.

 

“The.. oh! The hat. Well, it /is/ my birthday.â€Â

 

The Emissary’s tone had that sort of matter of fact tone that assumed he had now perfectly explained everything. The still confused stares begged to disagree. So he frowned slightly and continued.

 

“My birthday? A day in which being otherwise extremely busy for most of it, I thought it would be fun to make some gesture towards celebration and glee all the same?â€Â

 

“Oh, well, uh.. Happy Birthday?â€Â

 

The Emissary managed to smile cheerfully through a faint exasperation he was now feeling.

 

“Thank you very much officers.â€Â

 

He took aloft at that, his usual silvery blue streak through the skies having a bit of a red, pink and orange touch to it. The baffled reactions continued throughout the day, through patrols, paperwork, training sessions and meetings. The lowest point for the Emissary was definitely the small child. Who after being pulled away from an oncoming car and asking the same question everyone else did, offered a scrunched up face and accompanying comment of “that’s weird Mister Emissary. You’re being weird.â€Â

 

The Emissary was grumbling just a little by the end of the day. His hat was actually in hand as he made his way into his office, and he began to understand that expression that much more. He pulled out one of his favourite books from the shelf and plunked down on the floor to sit back against it, losing himself in Never-Neverland.

 

“I actually think it looks quite festive.â€Â

 

He looked over with surprise, and then a fast, bright smile to see the shimmering, projected image of Councillor Sarlyn, his father.

 

“I know! There were several others in the store, but that one seemed the most celebratory of them all.â€Â

 

Cheered, he put the hat back on as Sarlyn moved to “sit†down beside him.

 

“So.. another year older, and another year of The Emissary Project besides. Quite the accomplishment my son, there were those in the council who felt it could not possibly last this long. You should be very proud.â€Â

 

The Emissary did beam at such praise, but then titled his head.

 

“I am actually hoping to submit a request to get the name of this initiative changed. With my research into popular culture, it apparently makes me sound like some kind of British progressive rock band.â€Â

 

Sarlyn laughed at that, shaking his head. The Emissary just smiled.

 

“I believe, if we are speaking of the customs of this world, there are several others we should attend to on this day.â€Â

 

Sarlyn gestured, and a small tray appeared before the Emissary with a flash, on it a brightly wrapped package, and a chocolate cupcake with a single lit candle in it. The Emissary held it up with a grin mirrored by that of his father.

 

“So this entitles me to a birthday wish, does it?â€Â

 

Sarlyn nodded, and the Emissary furrowed his brow in thought, before carefully blowing out the flame.

 

“What did you wish for?â€Â

 

“By my understanding, if I say, it does not come true.â€Â

 

“Ahh.. an intriguing mystery then.â€Â

 

They sat and pondered this solemnly for a moment before the Emissary buckled.

 

“A pony for a young girl in the Make a Wish program. She very much wants one. Having told you, I am already scheduling appointments in my mind to encourage the fundraising to get it to her anyway.â€Â

 

Sarlyn chuckled.

 

“A self fulfilling wish eh? And not even one for yourself? Perhaps for our people to accept as one the goals and philosophies behind The Emissary.. Experiment, and your very birth?â€Â

 

The Emissary shook his head.

 

“I may as well have wished for world peace then. And as it true for either, I would want them to be something earned, something claimed and held to tightly so that it is naturally a part of those who have so accepted. Something they have grown into, something they have chosen. Every birthday I celebrate in this wider world is an affirmation of that one day hope. That each year I am here, I am doing my part to inspire the better part of people that only needs a helpful nudge to come to the surface. My creation.. my birth, was an act of hope. That the best of us could be used to make all societies as one. That the Utopians could stay on this earth and that humanity could become their equal partner. That there is a goodness to this planet, a quality, and that I can help everyone come to share in it. I am.. honoured by that.. I celebrate, revel in that, and I hold it as my personal challenge to meet. Doing it all in some cheap, dazzling magic flash would be like saying that collective hope was not good enough on its own. And I would never want to say such a thing. What worth could there be in any of us if I did? Why would we deserve our goals if I said or believed such a thing about the best part of us, and its power?â€Â

 

Sarlyn nodded with a proud approval.

 

“Open your gift my son.â€Â

 

Carefully unwrapping the bright paper (he was going to save it), the Emissary found to his delight, a complete recorded run of Fox Kids’ Peter Pan and the Pirates, and a gaudily coloured noisemaker. He looked to his father happily, and noted Sarlyn was already hefting a similar noisemaker to his lips.

 

“Happy Birthday Emissary.â€Â

 

They sounded out a commemoration of his creation together.

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