Prologue Not all Warmongers are Demons
Yildor Roren’s greying hair was slicked back, his grey pinstrip suit was at odds with his bright red power tie, and the multicolor colonial flag pin. He walked up to the podium and leaned towards the microphone.
He began to speak, “People of the colonies. For a long, long time we have invested an extensive defensive budget into the Earth Expeditionary Force. Now our military is important and our defense is even more important but money…money is our most powerful resource. And we have been wasting it on a pointless war with the aliens to the north.
These so-called Northern Kingdoms threaten our people, and have taken countless of our family members hostage as slaves. But no more. Slavery is outlawed, and the slaves have taken over. Great. But that means it is no longer our responsibility.
The Northern Kingdoms was failing before we got involved, and it is time for a meaningful solution to the Northern Kingdoms problem. And that solution is survival of the fittest society. Let them fight against each other, and whomever dominates the rest will be forced to negotiate with the new Colony General. And in that moment I will make sure to implement a doctrine of special operations forces attacks on any Northern Kingdom that decides to become a rogue nation.
Meanwhile the I’tashi Alliance member states of Wintermute and Fort Lendill have been interfering and creating international incidents. They aren’t looking out for the colonial citizens. Wintermute is expanding its undead empire to the south to Karov. While Fort Lendill agents exacerbated matters in the Glacial Wastes until the inevitable invasion which claimed Colony General Malthus’ life so suddenly. A moment of silence for the deceased Colony General.”
He bowed his head, hiding his smile. He blamed Colony General Malthus for many things, and was happy the old vampire was gone. Now it was time for a new era, an era of living Earthers, and era he would lead.
Looking to the side, Yildor saw his PR aide was making a motion towards the microphone. Yildor tested it and realized it was dead. He grew annoyed. But he didn’t break his cool, he stepped up and began trying to talk loudly.
“People of Refuge. Hear me now. There is NO HOPE if the Northern Kingdoms gain their full strength again. We barely won the border wars. It was only because the forces of the I’tashis split in half. Half went with the Iron Republic, evolved into the Unity! Then those two halves destroyed each other in bitter warfare.
No wonder the slaves were able to rebel and take over. This time?
So I support the New Vorik Conviction. And I promise that when I am Colony General, the expansion of the colonies will begin anew. First the Provisional Colonies like Absalom and Hebron will be added as official Earther Colonies of Refuge.
Then we will retake any location stolen from our noble species.
Yildor stepped off the stage and was immediately met by his PR aide.
“Sir, unfortunately your speech was only heard locally. Our microphones were all damaged. Our broadcasting equipment is gone. I am sorry to say we have been quite sabotaged by someone,” said the PR aide.
Yildor said, “You have failed at your job. Therefore you no longer have one.”
“But I left my job for this sir, I did my job properly. This is obviously the fault of the security team,” said the PR aide trying to be reasonable.
Yildor shot the young PR aide in the gut with a poison springshot dart. The aide slumped down, unable to speak as he choked on his own melting flesh. Yildor looked down at the body until only the PR aide’s wet suit remained. Yildor nodded at the now dead worker saying, “You know, you are probably right. I think I will need to have a talk with my head of security.”
Turning on his heels he left the backstage area.
Out in the audience, Lucia M. Largonel had been attending speeches, with some new and tasty kinds of fish stored in a shadow cocoon. Each piece of fish was about 3 ounces, and several pieces she distributed discretely to families in attendance.
Lucia would speak to the families, saying “With war, there are a few things that are guaranteed. They’re chaos, famine and death. It doesn’t matter how fast its over, who wins, or any of the other variables that can happen when the bullets start flying.
Its even worse given the famine that we’re dealing with. Do you think the army is going to go hungry? No?
Its just going to get worse for us folk. The food that we have grown, have stored, have scraped together is going to be stolen by the “authorities” for their precious war machine. There is nothing we can do for this. If we fight, we cause the situation we need to stop; if we do nothing, the provocateurs speaking here today will cause the fighting to begin.
Its even worse for our children, our precious hope for the future. They are least equipped to deal with famine and war. Parent are left with the hard decisions, how do I get food, can I skip this meal to provide for my child, the list goes on and on and on.
The essence is the best thing I can do for my child."
Speaking in a lower tone, Lucia continued.
"I can help with that, I have a secret place that is away from this place, away from war, away from the danger, and away from this famine. We have some food, but its limited . We can’t support everyone, not yet. We have a school, where the children can learn, we have good teachers, the best that we can find. We have a save haven for those that we can support, those precious few.
We can save your children future from hard times, if you will let us."
There was a muttering among the crowd. Some of the Dumbari folk sent their children over to Lucia, and with ten children following, she set off to collect some more from the local orphanage. Paperwork would need to be done to make the transfers official, and the orphanages could help with that as well.
It was in that moment she realized she was being followed by men in grey pinstripe suits that matched the candidate who was speaking. Lucia had the children back off behind her and she turned to face the gangsters. She noticed they each bore the signature pin of the 99s gang.
“Can I help you?” she asked helpfully.
“Yes I think you can. Ma’am, you see you were bad mouthing the boss when Mr. Yildor Roren was speaking. It was quite rude to be interrupting an important man like Mr. Roren,” said the 99s goon.
“I am leaving so…” said Lucia.
“Yeah leaving with kids, ten kids?” asked the goon, “Where you taking those kids? What is this secret place you were talking about? We handle Mr. Roren’s security so we have people who can confirm you said it.”
“That is none of your business,” said Lucia grabbing the three closest children and was about to teleport away. Then she realized the remaining seven kids, placed in her care would either be taken by the 99s or worse.
She palmed the teleport stone to make it disappear for now, and stared down the goons.
The one on the left holding the baseball bat swung a home run on her chin, and that was the last thing Lucia remembered before everything went dark…