Squid was deeply moved with the warmth of the Zortixians, their openness and concern with the struggles of the mutant community on Earth. Could it be that they realized if they were to visit Earth they too would be considered as mutants? Squid was popular not only because of his Montenez heritage but because of his fierce struggle for mutant dignity. He was surprised to see some of his works available in Zortixian bookstores. Mutant discrimination fascinated the Zortixians and they were delighted when he accepted an honorary professorship at the Zortixian Earth Institute. At his first lecture he gave a moving account of sad conditions of mutants on Earth especially the plight of the mutants in the lesser developed countries and how the ruling classes turned screws on mutants and the poverty stricken through armed force. He was certain if there had been an American embassy on Zortixia it would have been besieged by angry students of the Earth Institute!
Squid spoke with students after his lecture saying, “I am overwhelmed by the attention and warmth which you have showered on me. After all I am but the toe of your Montenez. At best I feel as if I am a half brother to him yet you treat me as a full fledged Zortixian dignitary. If only Earth was permeated with kind people as yourself who treat your own Slug People with dignity and respect. The majority of Earthlings would rather not see or acknowledge mutants as they are a cloud on their day where perfection is a goal and mutants don’t fit into their mold of perfection. Let me give you a example of the Roma people in Europe otherwise known by the name of gypsies. A very bad political leader viewed them as imperfections not fitting into his idea of the perfect race so 600,000 were exterminated. I think Earthlings and Zortixians truly know the line between good and evil. There was nothing evil about the Roma people just a pack of lies fabricated to justify their extermination. Yet we know both Jibers were truly evil and served their execution after a fair trial may I add.
Meanwhile on Zorollia the apprehension amongst the leadership of the Zorollian Opposite party was increasing. Eno Ergot’s threats to topple Redbeard quickly found the ears of Redbeard. Imagine a Zorollian relative of the leader of Zorollia threatening to topple him. This gave food for thought of the masses. The fabric of Redbeard’s leadership was rotting away about him. There were general strikes. Even the media had fired up the masses with increasing virulent attacks against Redbeard and his ruling circle. His media censors were losing their authority and even a few choice assassinations of journalists could not stem the tide. Jails were full and his blackbooters fearing reprisals from the population refused to carry out executions of political opponents.
The earlier rule of Redbeard was somewhat bearable and profitable for the elite but as economic conditions deteriorated so did the mental health and alacrity of Redbeard. There were food shortages and inflation was creeping its way into the faltering economy. The population was at the breaking point. Too many family members had mysteriously disappeared. Zorollia was restless. Redbeard and his ruling circle were rotten apples reading to be cut off the tree.