Chapter 5 - Decisions
The complexity of a decision can perhaps be measured by the degree of thought and experience required to formulate, implement, and effect whatever purpose the decision might have. Decisions are part of the complex nature of choice and free will.
It was always the desire of those in power to limit the decision-making abilities of those they wield power over. That is the fundamental basis of their fear and the inherent ineffective nature of their ability to press upon others their decisions for their benefit and well-being. That tyranny, that despotism, that dictatorship of thought and power was at the core of most, if not all, societies and civilizations.
Assyria and Babylon were no different from their surrounding contemporaries. The struggles of the nations were expressions of the conflict within each man and woman for their desire to express their free will of choice. Hence, the power over people eventually was an expression of control over wealth and ideas and the need of individuals to direct or manipulate directions and outcomes for their selfish gain.
The defecting Assyrian men and women absolutely could not be tolerated by the Assyrian hierarchy due to the very nature of their infectious, virus-like mental nature. To them, a production of something other than the directing oversight must be destroyed for nonconformity to the natural laws of power and control, or so their thought process went. It was the will of the gods for the individuals involved to be in the positions of power, and anything other than the current situation was intolerable.
Si-tatious was at a crossroads of decision-making. He needed to bring a plurality of different military, social, and individual needs into a cohesive plan of action. This required manpower, equipment, and the desire of the people surrounding him. He was very familiar with coordinating men and materials, having worked with Talmido for so many years in the organization and coordination of the various army units under their command, so it came as second nature to him. Taking charge and making decisions were not uncommon practices for Si-tatious. He was a man of action who was always looking for solutions. He was a tactician, but not necessarily a strategist. He was an implementer of strategies, making sure the people were fed, clothed, safe, and protected; however, his mind was not that of Talmido’s. He was the right arm of Talmido’s strategies.
Those facts created a relationship of close friendship beyond the day-to-day, casual associations of people. It was one perhaps between brothers—a relationship where the thoughts and intents of each person are readily understood and accepted without skepticism or mistrust. Si-tatious had fought beside Talmido on so many occasions, and they had saved each other from certain death so many times, that now there was no question of their loyalty or dedication to each other. The relationship was not a sexual one; it was purely one of the mind—one of intent and purpose.
So it was with this mindset that Si-tatious embarked on a process of thought and decision-making that would eventually impact the outcome of the journey at hand and overall success of their quest. One day, while Si-tatious was sitting upon the Chair of Decision within the tent of meeting, a man approached him. His clothing was tattered and torn; he was filthy and looked half-starved. He shuffled forward on his knees with his hands clasped as if in prayer, looking at the ground.
Si-tatious looked around at the camp elders with a questioning look and then turned his gaze back to the man before him.
“Stand up, please. I am not a lord or king. I am but a humble soldier in this group of free men and women,” Si-tatious said as he gestured with his hand in an upward motion.
The man stood up, shaking due to his hunger and fear.
“My lord, please, I beg you on behalf of my people for sanctuary. We have been pressed hard by all the people around and have been unable to defend ourselves or take care of our needs. We desire to be free men, as you are, but we are few in number and beaten down by all our neighbors to the point where we cannot support ourselves and continue living. Please, I beg, help us, for we are pitiful to look upon, but at one time, we were a powerful and proud nation of people with the favor of the gods on our side,” he spoke as his legs shook with either fear or exhaustion.
“Take this man and his people and look after them. Once you are in a more capable position, let us come back together to further this discussion,” Si-tatious instructed while the guards of the tent of meeting helped the man out toward the tent of healing.
It was a rabble of sick and malnourished individuals, perhaps no more than five hundred. It was with a kindness born out of compassion and empathy that the Assyrian defectors took them in and gave them sanctuary. They were once slaves who were kicked about, bought, and sold as if they were animals, so it was with a tender fellow-feeling that those once slaves and butchers of men for the Assyrian hegemony extended something of serious value—a caring hand.
Soon, word got out regarding that place of sanctuary, and people from all around traveled to join the free Assyrian men and women. Si-tatious understood what was happening and took it as a good sign of things to come, and instead of turning the people away, he had them embraced, helped, and assimilated into their group and cause.
To be free did not mean to be free from the law. Law did not intend for men and women to be free from responsibility or accountability. It meant to be free from the tyrannical, despotic dictatorship of a ruling class trying to subvert the natural choices of each beneath it. With this in mind, Si-tatious, a learned man who could read and write in the cuneiform ways of the Chaldean and the Akkadian languages, decided to use the law codes of Hammurabi to put together a code of conduct for the people of the caravan. The process took deep thought and some time to put together, and once finished, he had scribes put it down on papyrus and linen for distribution to all for their understanding of what to expect of each other and themselves.
The development of a law code was accomplished as the caravan gradually wound its way southeast toward the Karkheh River basin, the agreed-upon rendezvous point of the convoy and the army units.