Plummer Cobb is a writer and communications consultant based in Arlington, Texas.

The Traveler Reaches Demogra

The Traveler reached Demogra much earlier than his contacts had expected, so no one was waiting for him when he docked.

No one who knew him, that is. A security force met him a moment after he disembarked. 

The people of Demogra had one peculiar characteristic: They all looked identical. Every one of them was of the same height, shape, and color. Their voices sounded the same. Even the sexes appeared identical. To recognize the differences took years for outsiders. So when they approached the Traveler, he was unable to tell them apart visually.

"We know your kind," said the one who spoke to him first. "You are unpredictable and careless."

"How do you know that? We have never met."

"We know your kind," he repeated.

He was arrested for unlawful entry to Demogra and placed on trial immediately, as was the custom. He was told that because he resembled others who had come there to do harm to their society, that he would not be granted leniency.

He questioned the logic of this decision.

"Do you not take offense when outsiders assume you are all the same?"

"We know our own. And we know your kind."

"But you do not know me. Is it not written in your laws to respect and value the individual?"

"We value the individual above all. We respect differences above all. That is true among our people. You, however, are not of our people."

Conjuring Characters

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