DR2220+ Finale Mission 2 Report: The Politics of Refuge


Part 1: DR2220X

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 nearly laughed as he watched the pirate broadcast for the fourth time.

Ryuk ranted, “Vote for Yilder Rohen! He will bring war! I know, I talked with him just like I did with all my old friends! Death FIRE DESTRUCTION! So much fun times.

Not like with Strykker, the stiff.”

And like every previous broadcast, a news anchor or other talking head would break down who Ryuk was and why his support for Yildor Roren was uncharacteristic. Other pundits went on about how Ryuk had kidnapped Candidate Roren at the height of the campaign.

In any case, Jeremiah Strykker knew that Ryuk might have just single-handedly cost Yildor Roren the election in some parts of the Colonies.

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 congratulate you. The numbers are in…and you have won the election by a landslide,” said Oolong, pouring him a glass.

“To Jeremiah! He saved the Colony General, and now we get to make him Colony General!” said Shiro, “Hip Hip Hooray!”

They all downed a drink in Jeremiah’s honor, and then Shiro and Oolong got serious.

“Colony General Strykker, I wish we could spend some time celebrating your win. But unfortunately we have some pressing issues.

Dodonna Salonai and the Iron Dukes have brought Kalino into full rebellion the moment the results were declared. The 99s, the Scarabs and the Duskan Archers have begun attacks against the government offices in Dumbar, Kelvara, and Dusk. The Northern Kingdoms of Kasanth has allied with Boriel I’tash againt the I’tashi Alliance and they are steps away from open civil war.

And Major General Terror is missing and presumed kidnapped…”


Part 2: DR2220Y

On the outskirts of Dumbar was GreyRock Manor, where Yildor Roren 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. But Yildor had avoided it. He hated the Kasanthians, and still thought it was a mistake when the old VLAD agency brought the Kasanthian agents on to increase their influence in the Northern Kingdoms.

Instead Yildor Roren watched the speech from the candidate he worried most about, Jeremiah Strykker. Yildor wished he had hired Strykker’s speech writer, and made a mental note to have his own speech writer fed to Nightmares.

“This has been a difficult year for the Colonies and our neighbors. But we have had such times before and will again. We have faced the challenges of this time and we will face whatever comes next.

Each of us has stumbled at times. That is the nature of struggle. A person is not always equal to the tasks before them. But a people all working together. Each striving for the betterment of all can meet any challenge.

That is the lesson we should take from this year. The lesson and charge left to us by Colony General Malthus. He gave his life for the cause of not only the Colonies but all of Refuge. For the idea that each of us has something to give and that in giving it we can make a better world if not for us than for those who come after us. That in striving for a better tomorrow we can become our best selves.

I hold to that belief. I believe that we should not surrender ourselves to pettiness and fear. That we are above finger pointing and fearing our neighbor because they don’t look like us or sounds like us. And I believe that together we can make a better world. A better reality than what we have known. Now I ask that you join with me in trying to make that world. For our children, our neighbors and ourselves.”

It was a beautiful speech, Yildor had to admit. It made Yildor even more happy that the technomancers he hired had diverted the signal. The only people seeing Strykkers’ speech would be those in a two block radius of the broadcasting station. Of course Yildor had asked for a copy to be made for his personal collection.

In fact it would be a total media blackout, with only those with their own private satellite dishes receiving the real broadcasts. Yildor had spent much of his fortune to achieve this night. And success could be the only result.

His Colonies First party had offices in almost every Colony (except Mt. Vir and S’vana), and had a huge amount of support. They were currently blanketing every town with news that opposition Candidate Daron was a former Iron Republic Operative.

The door to his chamber opened and in walked Reilly P. McMurphy and his daughter, Mina Roren. Mina was carrying a bottle of champagne and Reilly carried a box of cigars.

Yildor smiled, and his daughter gave him a kiss on the forehead. “Daddy, I have wonderful news. Mr. McMurphy has the offices of the Colony General ready for you. It looks like you won by a landslide!”

“Congrats, Colony General Roren. May I be the second to offer my well wishes on this fine day,” said Reilly P. McMurphy, “But along with the well wishes I have some challenging news as well. Our attempt to imprison the Infamous Group 2 has gone very badly.

Upon confirmation of your election, they were ready for us and Field Marshall Jeremiah Strykker has escaped to the Draco Constellation.”

Yildor picked up the bottle and poured another glass and said, “Good riddance to the goody two shoes.”

“Sir, Field Marshall Strykker took with him a large portion of the EEF Special Forces, our top VLAD agents, and much of the EEF starforce,” said Reilly P. McMurphy, watching Yildor grow more and more upset, “And all the nukes…”

Yildor snarled, “Strykker, thinks he can stop me from subjugating the Olgog upstarts by stealing my fleet. He has another thing coming. Prepare the EEF, we are taking the fight to the Draco Constellation!”


Part 3: DR2220Z

In the heart of the provisional colony of Deryyanheim, in the offices of the Provisional Government, Candidate Daron 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. Daron didn’t trust the Kasanthians, but he was happy to see they were obviously trying to torpedo Yildor Roren’s career.

Sitting next to Daron was one of his largest supporters, Scribe, the provisional governor. Scribe had put significant funding, material and manpower, behind the Daron Candidacy.

Around Deryyanheim portions of Daron’s speech were being played and replayed at block parties but in the offices of Scribe, they were watching the speech of an unexpected supporter. Auf Lalder of the Auf Lal’al and United Tribes of Refuge council came forth the morning of the election and made an impassioned speech.

“I am Auf Lalder of Auf Lal’al, Councilgog of the provisional Colony United Tribes of Refuge.

To the Olgogs of the Colonies, We Olgogs have suffered much through the years from the Attacks and the Goblin Genocide while parts of the Colonies ignored our plight and generations of Olgogs were wiped out.

Jeremiah Strykker is a good Earther, and was not one of those who let those atrocities just happen. He did help Olgogs without making it known or seeking glory. I’ve considered him an Ally and someone to count on.

Then there is Daron. Daron has come to the assistance of Olgogs in the Olgog Lands in the past. He is an Olgog of Action and he has our perspective. The Struggle, and the will to get back up. Actions, not just words. His perspective and experiences would bring welcome insight to the colony leadership.

I feel you cannot go wrong voting for either Jeremiah Strykker or Daron as both would continue to improve the lifes of Olgogs, I ask you to vote for the Daron. It is time for the Colonies to have a different perspective. One of an Olgog."

Daron sat back, rather impressed. Scribe, however, looked worried.

“If we don’t win tonight Daron, and Yildor does, he could look at Lalder’s words and my economic support as an excuse to punish the provisional colonies,” said Scribe.

The door opened and in walked Hekeriki. She still wore the suit she had worn on the campaign trail. The Good Face Media Logos had been removed, placed into storage along with all the holovid cameras and sound equipment. Good Face Media had single handedly turned Daron’s campaign from a pipedream into a reality. People across the Colonies knew Daron’s name, and the STAND party now had offices in almost every colony (except Dunesphere).

Hekeriki was smiling from ear to ear. Despite having strange dreams the last few weeks, Hekeriki had finished up a successful political campaign. For a young Olgog growing up in the southlands, there weren’t many options. In her youth, it was being a merc, being a raider, or being a slave to the Church of One.

Over her lifetime she witnessed the overthrow of the Church of One, the freeing of the Olgog peoples, the rise of the United Tribes. She watched the first Olgog Colony General candidate rise to international renown. And she was proud to be a part of it.

She smiled, grinning ear to ear as she burst in saying, “Daron, I have great news, you won the election in a land slide. STAND is coming in as winning every exit poll and the final count as well. You have the unique honor of being the first Olgog Colony General.”

Daron cheered, and Scribe shook his hand.

Then there was a flash of red light in the corner of the room, and the Four Horsemen, Temporal Agents of the Iron Republic stood before them. Hekeriki’s mouth dropped open.

Death of the Four Horsemen stepped forward and said, “Candidate Daron, congradulations on your rise to the rank of Colony General. As promised the Olgog peoples will be granted immediate rights as full equals to humans across Iron Republic territory.

Unfortunately Colony General-elect, the Colony of Dunesphere and Kalino are already stepping out into rebellion. Dunepshere and its Church of One demand your death by their hands. But do not worry. Our Iron Republic forces will be moving to locations across the colonies to secure the peace and make sure you safely and securely can take on your responsibilities as Colony General.”

Candidate Daron was unsure what made him more ill at ease, the knowledge that Dunesphere and Kalino were in full rebellion, OR the knowledge that his Candidacy had allowed the Iron Republic a foothold across the Colonies.

Still Daron was to be the first Olgog Colony General and he would not waste such an opportunity.

Meanwhile, on a Banking guild space station converted into a luxury mall, Childeen Blackheart found himself sitting across from an Iron Republic suit with the boring title of director of incarceration efficiency. In between glasses of a dry yet subtly sweet red, he noted, “I have heard a one time long shot candidate named Daron may take over as leader of the EEF. I have numerous businesses in the Draco and it wouldn’t be unusual for him to meet with me on various wildly profitable ventures. If he won I would expect you would need someone who knows the value of discretion to act as a go between for your office and his.”

The Director replied, “Yes, Mr. Blackheart, Colony General Daron fits into our galactic economic plans for the Polar Expanse. In fact, you could say he is the lever of which we will turn the entire region into a successful source of profit. The Iron Republic will be seeing a profitable year indeed.”


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.”


Epilogue: Aboard the EEF Flagship

Field Marshall Map’el had never been so happy to see Jeremiah Strykker. Saluting, Map’el said, “Field Marshall Strykker, I am so happy to hand back over control of the EEF starforce to your capable hands.”

“Thank you Map’el, what is the status update?” said Strykker as he looked out across the planet Refuge, so beautiful in the viewscreen of the capital ship’s bridge.

“Using an unknown hacking protocol referred to by our technicians as Sugarhill, the Glomhammer loyalists took control of the command computers at every EEF base on Refuge the moment the election results were declared. They have control of our orbital stations, the damoclese stations and other unmanned defenses.

The EEF soldiers on the ground have not sided with Glomhammer yet, but they also have not prevented Glomhammer from giving an invading Sylvan force access to our airspace and colonies. Even now these Sylvan are in every major city. If we wanted to fight back we would be facing both Sylvan forces and EEFers who don’t know who to follow.”

Strykker replied, “Sylvan as in undead Sylvan?”

“No sir,” replied Map’el, “Living Sylvan but they are armed with Magi Cannons and artificed armor.”

“I thought the living Sylvan were not able to use tools or weapons like that?” asked Jeremiah thinking back on the meeping savages he had witnesses on the Sylvans’ home dimension.
Map’el said, “Sir, someone who calls themselves High King Starfalcon is leading them. He seems to have some sort of control over them. He is also supporting Glomhammer’s rule. And he is not the only one…Candidate Yildor Roren has stepped forward to support Glomhammer being the acting Colony General until a new election can be safely run without Neliff interference.”

Shiro sighed, “So the racists are blaming the Neliff for the low turn out? What a convenient excuse.”

“One that some people will believe,” said Commander Oolong putting a holonet news show up on the main screen,

And there he was, the despicable Enric Von Glomhammer, wearing the uniform of a Colony General. And as Von Glomhammer spoke, Jeremiah could feel his own anger growing.

“How could the colonies run a fair election while under the mind control of an alien influence? It is a real question. And one that our friends serving High King Starfalcon will help us cure. His sylvan troopers will complete their cleansing of the Neliff shortly. Then we can begin preparing a new fair election.

I will not put my hat in the ring. I am only taking the role of Colony General until a new valid election can be run and its results verified. I encourage Candidates Daron, Strykker and Roren to keep their hats in the ring. I encourage other potential candidates to run as well.

I have no interest in holding the role of Colony General, I am only acting as steward to protect the Colonies we all love.”

Jeremiah Strykker waited until the news report ended. The entire bridge crew of the Flagship had fallen silent.

Jeremiah Strykker looked out at his EEFers and said, “I know tonight is a worrying moment for you all. Tonight we all expected to see a new Colony General in charge, not a Tyrant from this planet’s past. Right now it looks like Von Glomhammer has secured control through confusion, obscure legaleze and one of the most impressive hacking attempts the Colonies has ever faced.

But these do not decide our fate alone. We decide our fate.

We decide do we follow the corrupt orders of an evil usurper. We decide if we will allow the Tyrants of our past to claim our future. These are the things we must decide.

The next few days, and months and years may see chaos and violence like nothing we have seen before. But if we trust in each other, and maintain our loyalty to our mutual cause, then no one can steal our home.”

The comms officer motioned to Jeremiah, “Field Marshall, we have a call on the comms for you, sir.
It is acting Colony General Von Glomhammer.”