Despite the serious nature of Johnny's visit to WHAM studios, he couldn't help but chuckle a little at Yasmin's introduction. He was the sexiest firefighter in Rhy'Din - at least, in his own mind. He hadn't come here today to talk about fire prevention though. Not this time. No, this time he had something even more serious in mind.
"Thanks for the intro, Yas, and thanks for letting me come by today and borrow the microphone for a little while. Fire prevention and safety are important topics, but that's not what I'm here to talk about today. I'm here to talk about the continuing conflict between humans and non-humans that has been troubling our fair city over the last few months."
Johnny unfolded a piece of paper on which he had prepared a few words - with Liv's help, of course. He cleared his throat once before reading what was written there, just a little bit nervous. He'd spoken in public before, but never about something as important as this.
"On August 28, 1963, a great leader by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr., gave a famous speech in Washington, D.C., on the planet known as Earth. In that speech, he spoke of a day when people would 'not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character'. We, here in Rhy'Din, can learn something from those words.
"Rhy'Din is a unique place. It is the one place in all the multiverse where humans and non-humans - men, women, elves, dwarves, goblins, lycans, vampires, meta-humans, dragons, and scores of others - live and work together in relative peace. We are all considered equals, whether we are mundanes or mages, mutants or humans, living or undead, mortal or immortal.
"We should take a lesson from those of Earth and strive to judge our fellow citizens not by any other characteristic but that of their character. But what does that mean? The dictionary defines it as the 'mental and moral quality of an individual'. That is, we should judge each other based on our actions and deeds, not on our appearance or our racial background.
"Some of you might know that I am what is considered a meta-human. I was born human, but due to accidental exposure to high levels of cosmic radiation, I became more than human. I developed unique abilities that allow me to create and control fire. Some back home on Earth consider me a freak, but here on Rhy'Din, I am just another citizen. I decided early on to use my abilities to help people, and that's why I chose to become a firefighter here in Rhy'Din - because with great power comes great responsibility.
"Some have not used their abilities in a wise or benevolent manner, and that is partly the cause of the hatred and conflict we are facing today, but they are the minority.
"The views expressed by the pro-human protestors are not the views of every human who calls Rhy'Din home. People are only afraid of what they don't understand. Further dividing and segregating ourselves is not the solution to the problem. In order to understand each other better, we must get to know each other better. We must learn about each other, so that there's no need to be afraid of what you don't understand.
"Violence only begets more violence. Violence and aggression will only earn you the same in return. Neither side is better than the other, and neither side is innocent when it comes to these encounters. Look to the children for guidance. They do not see the world as we do. Look at others through their eyes. We must learn to accept and value our differences and appreciate our similarities. We are more alike than we are different.
"We are all citizens of Rhy'Din, and as such, I am calling on everyone - human and otherwise - to put aside your prejudices, your fears, and your hatred and come together as one people. Get to know your neighbors, especially those who are different from you. We all want the same thing - or at least, most of us do - to live our lives and raise our families in peace. We owe it to our children and our children's children to make this world we live in a safe place. We must do this for them, for ourselves, and for the future of Rhy'Din.
"I would also like to mention that if anyone ever needs a safe place, no matter whether they are human or not, I urge you to seek out your local Watch Precinct, Emergency Shelter, or Fire Station. These are all safe places where you can find protection and shelter. They are located in every district, and they are there for you."
Johnny drew a deep breath and refolded the paper in his hands before looking expectantly and just a little nervously to Yasmin. "And that's all I wanted to say."