Part 4: DR2220…Our own timeline…When the voter turnout was too low…
In the Grand Pagoda of Chooru, Jeremiah Strykker was waiting expectantly for the results of the election. The Holonet news had been blanketing the airwaves with an impromptu interview with the Kasanthian Terror suspect Leftenant Ryuk.
Strykker wanted to ignore it, he had a deep dislike of Kasanthians in general and Ryuk in particular. The news that Ryuk had built a network of hidden submarine bases was way more concerning to Strykker than any political machinations.
Instead Strykker watched the speech by his real competition for office, the olgog Candidate Daron. Daron seemed to genuinely seek a better world for everyone. Strykker’s main concern were the allegations that he was really an Iron Republic agent in hiding. Jeremiah listened closely as Daron’s speech was rebroadcast by a Holonet affiliate.
"It is time to STAND together. I ask for your votes. Let me remind you of why you should vote for me.
I’m a Olgog of Action and Values. If I see someone needing help, I help. I’m running because I see the Colonies need a change, and I think I’m the best one to lead it through. I will STAND with you all as I have done through this campaign traveling the colonies. Let me remind you what STAND means to me.
STAND - Security, Trade, Access, Nation, and Determination.
Security is the key to everything, raising a family, building a business, trade. And we need a better way that these issues up to those who can help. Too often too much is lost before help arrives. We will fix this and bring security and safety to all those of the colonies, and bring it faster…
Trade. We will expand trade across the colonies. Bring in the Provincial Colonies as full colonies. As trade increases, so will opportunities will.,
Access. Access can be security, education, or location. If someone corrupt is crushing a small town, everyone should have access to report this. Education. If there was a way to save a farmer’s crops, those farmers and those who buy the farms food would all benefit. The farmer would have more crops and with more supply food maybe a bit cheaper overall. A win for both. And Access to Trade and travel. Race should not matter for you to have security and opportunities.
Nation. While each Colony is distinct and has its own tradition, We are stronger together and will bring the colonies closer together to succeed together.
Finally, Determination. We need Determination to see this through. We need to keep pushing for the changes we need. Even if we fail the first time, we will figure out what went wrong and try again. And continue until the Colonies are a place where we can raise our families and thrive.
STAND with me and I’ll STAND with you. Whether an Earther, Olgog, Uth, Bastard, or any of the Children of the Falosini, we should all STAND together. STAND for the Colonies and STAND for Refuge.
Thank you, now lets make this world of ours a better place."
Jeremiah wished they could have stood together. If the circumstances had been different a coalition government might have seen some real progress, but no one had prepared for the death of CG Malthus. And now the only players left in the race were Yildor Roren, Daron, and himself.
It made Strykker feel a little sad. He missed Malthus dearly. The old vamp had been a good man despite his cursed nature.
Jeremiah saw the door to his chamber open and in walked Commander Oolong and Captain Shiro.
“Jeremiah, we wanted to be the first ones to tell you. The numbers are in…and turnout is low enough that the rules prevent any of you from being declared Colony General,” said Oolong, “Less than fifteen percent of the Colonial population voted. There was a higher turnout at the opinion polls in the Provisional Colonies than in the actual voting centers here in the colonies. No one got an appreciable lead.”
Jeremiah sat back and asked, “What does that mean for the colonies?”
Captain Shiro said, “It means the highest ranked EEFer will take the role of Colony General until a new election can be certified. Another year will be wasted on candidates and elections.”
Jeremiah smiled, “That isn’t too bad. I have to admit, I have been hating the election season. Some time off might be nice. Who is the highest ranking EEFer?”
Oolong looked worried, “To be honest, we don’t know. The old paperwork includes reference to the Earth Authority. Nobody in the EEF has a rank verified by the Earth Authority since…well…since long before I was even born.”
“How old is the paperwork?” asked Jeremiah.
Oolong said, “Most of this stuff dates back to when Refuge was just a colony of the Earth Authority. And we cannot change the documentation during an election. Once a new Colony General is elected we can change it to remove references to the Earth Authority.”
Jeremiah stood up and walked over to the window looking out across the Chooru skyline. He stiffened and said, “Gentlemen, okay if there is no current colony general who authorized a Sylvan Invasion force?”
They looked out the window as a Sylvan force arrived in Chooru to cleanse it from Neliff influence. Commander Oolong lifted up a commcrystal and called in to acting Field Marshall Map’el.
Oolong asked, “Map’el what is going on? We have eyes on Sylvan Warships over Chooru.”
Map’el replied over the commcrystal, “Commander Oolong, the situation we are facing is unexpected. There is a full Sylvan force going house to house hunting Neliff.”
Captain Shiro asked, “Under whose authority?”
Map’el replied, “Under acting Colony General Enric Von Glomhammer. Didn’t you receive the all call? The EEF High Command has declared Enric Von Glomhammer the only currently living ranked officer with Earth Authority credentials.”
Commander Oolong looked like he had seen a ghost, “Map’el, keep our Starforce out of Glomhammer’s reach until Strykker can reach you and retake command.”
Turning off the commcrystal and put it into his pocket, Commander Oolong looked with worry across the Chooruvian cityscape.
Captain Shiro said, “How is Glomhammer even around? Wasn’t he taken captive at the beginning of the Border Wars? How is he walking around? How is anyone in the EEF listening to what Glomhammer is saying”
Jeremiah said, “Glomhammer’s corpse was being held by Major General Terror. The only way someone could have resurrected Glomhammer was to have gotten to Terror.
But even if Glomhammer was alive who in the EEF high command would support Glomhammer’s return?”
Commander Oolong said, “I have loyalists at Jemison Post. If we can make it safely to the EEF starport…”
Jeremiah looked at the two older officers and said, “Let’s move out.”