((The belated Monday Triple catch-up: page 1 of 3))
‘Ah,’ said Orric. ‘And therefore, you held divided opinions regarding how best to protect said neutrality, yes?’
‘Exactly,’ said Garovel. ‘Our opponents believed that we should be as non-threatening as possible. They thought that we would be able to operate unmolested as long as we mostly remained below everyone’s radar and didn’t accrue too much military power. Which wasn’t entirely insensible, in my opinion. On the grand stage, possessing enough power inevitably invites recruitment or conflict with others who have it. And on top of that, they also had guarantees from the world leaders at the time that our neutrality would be respected under those conditions.
‘But for one thing, we weren’t sure we believed those guarantees, and for another, there was still the matter of the servants themselves. In actual practice, our opponents were advocating for the early termination of servant lives. The new set of rules that we did not want to abide by were essentially designed to prevent any “inappropriate conduct”--or in other words, friendship. The logic being that if we grow attached to our servants, then we will be less inclined to release them when the time limit expires--which, by the way, was only five years.’
‘Wow,’ said Orric. ‘I knew Archivers had a rigid organizational structure, but I have never heard the details.’
‘Well, I don’t know if they still abide by those rules,’ said Garovel, ‘but yeah. I didn’t want to treat my servant like a slave--or worse than a slave, really. A disposable tool. And just so I could manage some books in peace? A peace which I didn’t even have faith in? It was moronic. But that being said, the fact that Archivers are still around after all this time suggests that they’ve been doing SOMETHING right. I just can’t imagine that it’s because of those rules. Or at least, I don’t WANT to imagine that it’s because of them. Ugh.’