The Deeds of the Individual



Scene Title The Deeds of the Individual
Synopsis Sonny Bianco gives a speech at an Evolved Rights rally.
Date June 26, 2009

Central Park

People carry placards with pro-Evolved slogans and gather in distinct groups around the gates to Central Park. There is a cluster of schoolchildren with t-shirts that say 'My Mommy is Evolved and I Love Her'. Some of the other children are wearing a similar t-shirt but with 'daddy' in place of 'mommy.' There are older teenagers wearing shirts with pictures of the 32 or signs with their photographs. There is a group of seniors carrying signs that implore people not to repeat the mistakes of the past. There are college students, parents, businessmen and ordinary people. The crowd is extremely diverse, full of not only the Evolved, but their families as well.

Maybe it's the amount of children present, maybe it's the knowledge that there are likely people with potent powers in attendance. but if the anti-Evolved are here, they are being quiet and simply observing. Security is tight, with private security and local law enforcement keeping a sharp eye on anyone suspicious. The press is out in abundance. There's news crews from each of the major stations and reporters from the newspapers mingling about as well.

There is a podium up at the front and there have already been a handful of speeches, mostly from known activists or human rights leaders. There was a particularly rousing speech from the leader of New York's 'Students for a United Tomorrow' group. A young woman with pink hair called on students around the city to accept their peers and to take on an enlightened attitude as the leaders of tomorrow.

The man who steps up to the podium is someone whose decision to speak has caused a wave of curiosity. Dr. Salvatore Bianco - the Mayor's son - a man who has been very careful historically to call for tolerance for the Evolved, but who has stopped short of asserting his political views. He was invited to this rally, but no one expected him to accept. Dr. Bianco is often pointed out as a model of the good Evolved by politicians, especially the office of the Mayor. He is historically pro-Registration, pro-charities for Evolved causes, but never one to wade too deeply into the fracas.

It seems today, he's finally decided to take the plunge.

The young doctor wears a neat suit, with unruly curls pushed into order. The suit is in contrast to the casual clothing worn by most of the people at the rally. It sets the tone.

The MC, a silver-haired man with dusky skin and a booming voice, introduces him and the doctor steps up to the podium. He shakes the MC's hand and takes a moment to drink from a bottle of water while the crowd applauds.

Sonny clears his throat, and then begins once the polite applause has dropped off. "Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I'm here today not to proclaim that I am pro-Evolved. I'm here to talk about human rights. What I've seen in the news over the past few months should be a wake-up call to all of us. The hate, the fear, the suspicion, the violence, all echo other terrible times in the history of the human race. And we are all human."

He leans on the podium and looks out across the crowd. He purses his lips, rubs at his chin and then, "Before I continue, I want to clarify one thing. My father, Mayor Harry Bianco, is a great man, and a man I respect and support. But what I'm saying today I don't say as his son, I don't say as a Democrat or as a scientist - I say it as an Evolved man. A man who has been fortunate not to be subject of the hate and fear that many others like me have had to suffer simply because of their genes. "

Those words create a smattering of applause from the crowd, though most remain politely silent. Harry Bianco is too moderate for most here today.

When Sonny speaks again, there's new power in his voice. It's reminiscent of the booming tones of his father. "We are on the threshold of either a new bright era in human history, or a step backwards into the days of race riots, concentration camps, and god forbid, slavery. When you stop thinking of people as human beings, you open the lid of a Pandora's Box of excuses for horrendous and inhuman actions." He pauses to take a breath. "I can imagine what's going through the minds of the members of Humanis First and people like them as they carry out attacks and spread hate. They'll tell you that we're dangerous, that we have an agenda, that we're something other than human."

There are several shouts of discontent from the crowd as Humanis First is mentioned. Sonny holds up a hand to beg for people to settle down. "All of those excuses are historical tools for people who hate. There was a time, sadly, not all that long ago, when people of other races or other religions, when women, when gays and lesbians were all considered sub-human or other than human. And that was used as an excuse for horrible actions. It was used as justification to rob people of their most basic rights. There were even scientists who claimed they had a biological basis for these differences. Scientific proof, they said, for superiority or inferiority of one group over an other. Various 'cures' for 'defective' genes were put forward. We look back on them now and see that 'science' for what it was - a tool for discrimination and for hate, and to maintain the social status quo."

Those words seem to surprise many in the crowd. Strange to hear that coming from a man of science. They shuffle their signs and exchange looks with each other. Somewhere off in the back, a baby in a stroller cries and fusses.

Sonny senses the change in the crowd and pushes onward. "I urge people who feel fear and hate in their hearts for the Evolved to take a look at themselves, to examine the source of that fear. Many Evolved have abilities that are harmless, indeed, some have abilities that are a detriment to their lives. Those who have manifested potentially dangerous abilities need to be accepted and taught to control their powers, not feared and hated. Fear and hate will only provoke more of the same. I call upon the Evolved everywhere to greet hate with understanding and compassion, to recognize their fear and to work to put that fear to rest. Prove that you are not dangerous, that you can do good. Realize that what humanity is going through is a great upheaval, and people need time to adjust. That they must be forgiven for reacting first with fear. Rise beyond the expectations of those who hate."

He didn't say rise up, but came close to it. It's something that does not go unnoticed by many in the crowd.

"Now, I use the word Evolved here today, only because it has become the de-facto term. But I dislike it. It promotes the idea that one group is separate from another. It hijacks Darwinism and suggests that we are in some kind of evolutionary arms race. The very word 'Evolved' suggests that those of us with abilities claim some sort of superiority. We do not. Or at least, I hope none of us do." He lets his gaze linger on a few groups in the crowd that are more likely to hold extreme pro-Evolved. "None of us are superior because of how we were born. History has taught us that. And when people think they are superior, it leads to justification for inhuman acts once again. It is in the deeds of the individual that goodness is manifest." He sweeps his eyes across the crowd.

"I say today to those who hate that we are not monsters. We are your neighbors, your friends, your shopkeepers and your bankers. We are your sons and daughters. We are human. Most out there with abilities feel lost and confused, scared by a sudden change in their perception of self and in their bodies. I don't know how I would have felt without the support of my family. I manifested when I was a teenager. If I hadn't found acceptance, understanding and love, I could have lashed out. I am proof that love and understanding is the way to greet Evolved children, so that they can go on to be productive members of society, so we can all work together and move humanity forward."

"We are all evolved when we stop hating." There is a brief pause, and then, "Thank you."

It takes a second for the applause to start. Some of it is quite enthusiastic and greeted with hoots and hollers. From other sections, the applause is quieter, more polite, or perhaps more pensive. Sonny inclines his head and then steps down from the podium. Music starts up as the group prepares to march down the street, past businesses and offices before dispersing and ending the rally.

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