Commonwealth, II.XXXII: “As Artificial and Arbitrary As A Border”

Commonwealth, II.XXXII: “As Artificial and Arbitrary As A Border” March 13, 2021

Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 2, chapter 6

Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month, or $2 for exclusive author’s notes and behind-the-scenes material. There’s also a table of contents for all published chapters.

Rae felt a snap of righteous anger. She saw the light blink on her panel and started to rise.

“Steady,” Jane warned her. “Keep calm.”

“He’s trying to goad you,” Will agreed in a whisper. “Don’t let him make you defensive.”

She shook them off, but their words of caution tempered her anger. When she spoke, it was with cool formality.

“I don’t see any basis for these distinctions you’re drawing, Piotr. Aren’t we all human beings, alike in dignity, possessing the same rights and the same inherent worth? Do you think the good of the Pacific Republic and the good of humanity are at odds? I don’t.

“As you reminded us just now, I’m new to this city, my loyalties unproven. Yet you greeted me very cordially and extended a hand of friendship to me when I toured the Arcology Project. Is that only because I was already here? If we had met in the outside world, would you have argued for barring the doors against me? My moral status shouldn’t depend on where I’m standing!”

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