A Fireside Chat
//Broadcast band 7.1234.A23 – Title: Scheherazade’s Thought for the Day//
My friends, we live in dark times. When the sweet scent of our green and pleasant lands is all too often smothered by the stink of cordite and gunpowder, or replaced by the acrid ozone odour of the laser rifle. When the sound of the songbird is drowned out by the whine of the railgun, and the blue clear skies of our beautiful worlds are shrouded by the smoke of terrorist bombs. But we must remain strong. We must trust in our beloved king.
All too often I here condemnation of his edicts and his taxes, words like “oppression” and “tyranny” are thrown about with alarming ease. And this is not from the mouth of the criminal on the gallows, or the revolutionary propaganda on the wall, but from the farmer on his land or the blacksmith at his terminal – normal people you or I would think nothing of passing in the street. Yet I do not hate these people, and cannot simply dismiss the misguided or ignorant as evil, for such is the rhetoric of the rebel.
And ignorance it is, to strike out at the benevolent hand of King Cole, the wise ruler who guides us in these troubled times. People may point to the executions, the camps, the relocations, claiming it to be evidence of the king’s evil, his hatred. But does the father discipline his child because he hates them? Does the doctor amputate an arm because he loathes his patient? Sometime drastic measures are called from against the few to save the many. Is it right to allow a billion to die in exchange for the life of a thousand?
King Cole’s duty is to the Kingdom as a whole, those thousands of planets under his care that span the galaxy, and he must do what is best for it. As saddening as it is, the fact remains that there can never be justice and happiness for every individual, and while our instinct is to resist when it is us that is to be sacrificed for the greater good, it is an instinct that must be overcome. The Crown forces are creating a better tomorrow, so we must endure today.
And do not be deceived – there are forces that must be cut out from our society. It is not the king that derails a mag-train full of innocents to harm a dozen soldiers. It is not the Royal fleet that bombs a civilian hospital to kill an wounded Colonel. And it is not the garrison that burns its own food supplies, forcing it to take what it must from non-combatants. These are the actions of the terrorist, of the rebel, of those who have let their selfishness delude them into believing that any and all are fair targets in their mad war.
And what of conquest? What of taking planets and moons into the Kingdom that claim a desire for freedom? Surely this is the action of a despot. It may seem so, but let me ask you a question. If a man plans to jump off a cliff because he believes he can fly, do you allow him to kill himself through ignorance, or do you warn him? And if he is still going to jump after your warnings and arguments, do you watch him fall to his death, or do you restrain him by force. You must save him, of course, and it is this desire to save the ignorant from their own suicidal foolishness that leads our lord to bring those errant worlds under his guidance.
Some might question the wisdom of King Cole, ask why he is better to lead than any other. This is a question that can be answered simply: his wisdom is tempered in the fire of experience. For almost two millennia he has ruled, and in that time there is no problem he has not encountered, no situation he has not presided over, no crisis he has not faced. He has seen lesser empires rise and fall, watched great leaders and brutal dictators crumble to dust. And he has learned. Who better to take our planets to their grand destiny?
General White talks in eloquent terms about freedom, about equality, but this is not the first the King has heard of such notions. If they were truly the best way, would he not employ them? They have been tried, many times before, by better leaders than General White, and King Cole has watched them fail. Her naiveté is understandable, eyewitnesses put her at barely 50 years, but it does not excuse her crimes, or the barbarity of her followers.
This fight was not of our making. Is it any wonder that Rose Red volunteered to be the template for our protectors, after the first attack of the revolutionaries cruelly cut down her bride. We must follow her example. We must protect our homes and our worlds. We must trust our King.