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Can you tell me where we can start again (cover art) Chapter Art

Chapter 33[]

Can you tell me where can we start over?[]

Estates General
Lyran Alliance
December, 3057

Elizabeth didn't get to go.  Instead, she was on Tharkad...again.  Again with the rapid transfers between contracted ships along routes, again with the disorientation, nausea, and vomiting for a week straight.

Not three weeks, one week.

This time she wasn't coming to pay tribute to an Archon Prince, or even to his sister.  Katherine didn't consider her important, so she hadn't gotten the summons to swear fealty for a second time.

Instead, it was to the floor of the Estates General she came, representing Kowloon directly instead of through an appointee.

"Ladies and gentlemen, This body, this nation faces a question." Elizabeth's appearance today was less the humble businesswoman, but it wasn't the colorful flower either.  "Morgan Kell, is a national treasure.  A true Lyran hero.  The legend of the Kells infuses our national psyche as few others can even approach.  My brother was named for his, after all."

She bit her lip, "ANd that makes this harder.  Morgan Kell is a hero, his brother, was a hero,  his late wife, was a hero...His son, Phelan, is a traitor, who has fired on Lyran sons, Lyran daughters, Lyran mothers, and Lyran fathers.  He is an ideological convert to the Clans, and he has brought followers across. Not to make amends, but because of an internal falling out among The descendants of Kerensky's Deserters."

She turned her eyes to Arc Royal's seat.  "YES, Morgan, I know who the Clans are.  Where they came from.  They are the result of the largest act of mutiny and desertion in human history, the beneficiaries of the looted knowledge and wisdom of the Star League Era, the ultimate in Bandit Kingdoms." she spat.   "Their ancestors turned their backs and abandoned us all...and your son converted to the poison ideology that formed in that act of ultimate dishonor."

"It's not a popular sentiment, to frame the objective truth underlying what now occupies one third of the Lyran Nation." she announced,  "Every academy course, every holovid historical, every school child is taught of the wonderful Aleksandr Kerensky. The man who ended the Amaris Coup, but could not save the Star League. They've made him a legend on par with Arthur and George Washington, a figure elevated to the level of a rightful king, even...but this is the lie of fond remembrances to an era lost to us all."

She adjusted her stance.  "It is the difference, between what is Historical and what is Legendary. We are not living in historical times or legendary times.  The fact is, our nation is invaded. Our worlds occupied in the name of the man who betrayed everyone, by the bastard children of the greatest act of betrayal in human history. Eclipsing even the Fat man's perfidy-Amaris only betrayed one family, Kerensky betrayed all families."

She paused.  " we forgive them?  Do we welcome their wayward into our homes into our arms?  I ask you, did they come as friends and long-lost cousins, seeking forgiveness for the betrayal that was the Exodus? for the trillions slain in unending civil war?  Did they come offering the salvaged knowledge? We have forgotten so very much. We don't even have names for the knowledge we have lost, and they continue to hoard it. Using it to lord over our people and to conquer them as Bandits are wont to do. When the internal stress of their bandit confederation grows too harsh, they come to us seeking shelter. Still unapologetic for the new crimes they committed and glorying in the old crimes of their ancestors."

She placed a document on the dais.  "THIS is the public release of Anastasius Focht's interactions with the Clans, a description of their culture.  They are pirates, and slavers, fanatics clinging to the twisted vision of a founder they have used as a replacement for god."  her voice was cold.  "The degenerate descendants of the Star League Defense Force, A national treasure would have us welcome them."

She raised her eyes, "Kowloon votes 'no'.  No forgiveness for slavers, for traitors, no welcome for those that come as conquerors and pillagers.  The Clans are the enemy in whatever guise they wear. There is no redemption without realization of sin.  There can be no forgiveness for the crimes they commit daily against us, much less the crimes their ancestors committed against us. For they betrayed our trust, the trust of all the former Star League states, the trust of the public and the trust of the people, and now, they come as invaders, not as friends, they did not even attempt to do so-they came hoping to crush us, to enslave our peoples, our citizens, to destroy our cultures and replace them with the vision of a madman."

She swallowed. "Connnsssssssssssss..uhg.aahaahhahhaAHAHHAHHHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYHHH!!!!!!"

She toppled from the podium, screaming and contorting.  The audio pickups picked up between breaths the sound of joints cracking, and thumping.

It went on for five minutes.  For the viewers at home, CBC, DBC, and ComNet mercifully cut it short after thirty seconds with emergency station breaks, but for the gathered Estates General delegates, the sight went on for much longer, they watched as staff and medical responders rushed the stage, and tried to do something to ease what was happening and Elizabeth Ngo became a household name within a few short days.

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