Rules of Engagement

“Perhaps we have missed a crucial element of the equation.”

“I dont think so. I thoroughly checked the research. Frankly it eludes me.”

“So they have this drive — “

“Need, I believe.”

“Fine. This need to crush those they believe beneath them, in some sort of statement of superiority.”


“And yet when they themselves are placed in the same position of subjection, they become defensive and question why it is inflicted on them.”

“They say they ‘do not understand’. It is puzzling, is it not.”

“Do they not see it as part of their own circular process?”

“I dont think so… Perhaps… perhaps it’s some kind of game for them.”


“Or sport, if you will. First one group is considered the highest, with everyone else consigned beneath it — then another takes it place until such time as the first can re-affirm its superiority.”

“Sport? An interesting concept. Do you think such engagements have rules of some sort?”

“Possibly. Such games seem to permeate their civilisation, from trade to leadership to personal adornment, each with its distinct manner of scoring to determine the… what is their term?”

“I believe it’s called ‘winner'”

“Ah, yes. It verges on neverending obsession. I daresay that there must be agreed-upon rules after all this time of playing.”

“A fascinating theory. Perhaps that is the difference.”


“To them, it is a mere game, where the victors assume their role in the knowledge that their position is not permanent, that eventually someone else will bring them down and take that position themselves.”

“Ah! I see! Whereas here, with no possible opportunity to raise themselves above us, they become frightened and insecure.”

“Or perhaps such postures are part of the sport?”

“Now there’s an intriguing thought! Well, perhaps we could amuse them by allowing them to vanquish us for a moment or two. We could… I can never remember the word… Ah! ‘surrender’ to them and allow them to do whatever it is they do to the group that has ‘surrendered’ its place in the game.”

“Without telling them, of course.”

“Oh, of course not. That appears a crucial part of the game. Then, eventually, we respond in kind and vanquish them!… according to their rules, of course. Do you believe they would appreciate such a game?”

“I dont see why not. They do seem to enjoy playing it so.”


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