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I suspect Rain knew that we knew. Word was getting around fast in our village. It was hard to talk about anything without at least parts of it leaking out to everyone else. Rain included.

We all knew she had many projects going at once. She would often present us with the results of one of those projects from time to time. But there were hints from many sources that she was working on something much bigger. Something that would transform the way we lived, in ways that would improve our lives far more than any changes in recent memory.

Rain would only show different facets of what she was working on to different people, depending on what they were interested in. Trying to gather that information to form a complete picture was near impossible. We knew we only had a partial picture. And we weren't even sure how all her pieces fit together.

I don't think Rain knew just how much information we had gathered. Only that we had some of it. Neither side knew everything the other knew. So we viewed one another with some level of suspicion, even though we were supposed to be on the same side.

We knew Rain tended to be a private person. Not that she liked to work alone, but that she didn't like to follow orders. As a result, much of what she did was without village approval. Often using resources she wasn't supposed to be using.

We knew she meant well, though many on the council were afraid of poor judgment on her part. Especially considering the scale of the projects she was interested in. The bigger the project, the more potential for disaster.

Some were satisfied enough with the trickle of small projects and inventions she would present to us from time to time, secure in the knowledge that the scope would be small enough to not disrupt their lives significantly. Others were more impatient, each with their own reasons for not wanting to wait. Perhaps some were just pushed along by thoughts of their own mortality.

Of course, Rain wasn't the only genius we had in our village. We kept track of a large number of them. Each had their own supporters and detractors, both secret and public. Personally I saw a lot of promise in Rain, counted myself as one of her supporters. But that didn't mean I had no fears of disaster, should there be any miscalculation. Though I wanted to rush to her defense in council meetings, I wasn't about to give her a blank check. Part of me wanted to wait and see some more, even as other parts wanted to push to get her project fully resourced.

Rain had more personal supporters too, who would encourage her work directly, while I mostly just worked from second hand information. Because her project had no official approval, there could be no open acknowledgement of what she was working on, and no official resources allocated to her, besides what we'd given her for her much smaller projects. That's where I thought we were really holding her back. I often wondered just how much further we'd be if we'd given her full support seven months ago. But what was done was done.

Some of her supporters were able to redirect resources in her direction in more subtle ways. Or at least in ways that they thought were subtle. I suppose that sort of stuff only contributed to Rain's suspicions about our surveillance. I didn't want to believe it, but some among us were worried our interference might push her in the wrong direction. They sadly managed to convince me to act more cautiously. I had more personal faith in her. At least I wanted to believe in her integrity. But I also became afraid official endorsement might go to her head. Then who would keep her in check? Hopefully her close friends, assuming they were up to the job.

We knew observers always changed the observed. We hoped we were at least having a positive influence on what she was doing. But it was hard to tell, especially considering how much she kept secret. The more suspicious among us thought she may be giving us false leads. Intentionally planting false information for us to discover, leading us into incorrect conclusions. We knew she was smart enough to fight back if she wanted to. If she knew about our surveillance, which I assume she did, she could easily throw us off with false data.

I didn't want it to turn into a big cat and mouse game. What if, unintentionally, we had already set in motion a series of events that would lead to something we would regret? At best, her project might never be completed or see the light of day. At worst, I didn't know.

I didn't want our village to lose her, not yet. Not someone with so much promise, who I hoped hadn't yet been tainted by the political maneuverings behind the scenes. Maneuvering I was a part of and felt guilty about, but I felt our intentions were good. We all wanted to do what was best for our village, since that would make things better for all of us, but we all had different ideas of how to get there.

I would probably have to talk to Rain directly eventually, but despite all the time we spent in the same part of the village, we still hadn't been properly introduced. It was awkward considering I was one of her backers on the council. On the other hand, I was afraid to have my illusions dispelled by reality, should I catch a glimpse of something that would make me lose hope.

If my loyalty were to the village first, gathering information for it, even bad news, should've been my priority. If my loyalty were to my own peace of mind or desire to live with my own illusions, well, I was increasingly afraid that reality would shatter my happiness.

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