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Strategos (A Great Captain Roberts Tale!!)

Chapter 11 - Legacies and usurpations

"This is a considerable…

…risk, Mister President." Janette Leonkonski was MP for the 7th district, Cerberus. "It's expansionist."

President Avellar was feeling his age today. I want to retire. Retirement wasn't really in the cards though.

Among the miracles the Snow Ravens brought, was a medical staff with virtually all of the anti-agapanthus medicines still in their library from the Star League era, and in the interest of stability, first Khan Lynn McKenna, and then her successor, put the President of the Parliament on the list of 'must haves' that got that medicine.

Whether he wanted it, it turns out, or not.

This is the price of being determined a 'vital asset'-possibly outliving your intended successors and even your alliance sponsors, because you can make the population mind, and do so without calling in the brute squads.

"Madame Minister, yes, it's expansion-expanding to relieve suffering, expanding to honor commitments our ancestors made. Expansion to bring and maintain prosperity, expansion to grant, and then keep, the peace." Mitchell explained. I really want to relax some day to see that better world I've been working toward since '56.

It was a painful feeling, because Mitchell understood something his father, and his ancestors didn't. The work never stops.

There never stops being a new crisis, never stops being some problem that MUST be solved, never stops needing to accept the need for weapons and soldiers to keep someone else's weapons and soldiers from targeting peaceable, or even in some cases, intentionally helpless, civilians.

And weapons to balance the weapons, because the Unincorporated zones, the former provinces that fell away into obscurity and darkness…"Let me show you why." he said, "Why we're doing this, why it's important that we do it and not someone else."

He pressed a button, "Miss Lerner, Have the files on the Unincorporated zone brought to my office, particularly the ones from OUR operations."

"Yes mister president." Miss Lerner was the grand-daughter of his first presidential assistant, and had taken to the job when her Father retired in august. Three generations, They get to retire in peace, because I keep doing the job.

"This has to do with that flying atrocity over Quatre Bell, doesn't it?"

"Partly, I'd offer to let you meet that…'flying atrocity' and hear its story, but she's already crewing for deployment-what was going to be a shakedown is going, instead, to be a relief mission, so, first, I'll show you what we're relieving..and explain why it must be us."

The Omniss representative snorted. "Your explanation had best be solid, Mister President, and you know quite well how hard THAT is going to be."

"Then I'll begin, with asking a question, something to mull over as I walk you through a parade of horrors." Mitchell told her. "The question is, what are your morals, ethics and standards, do you trust the judgment of those who embrace violence to make moral choices?" he sighed, "I once heard a statement, I believe it may have been from a debate on right versus wrong…the statement was that violence is never an answer…it is a question."

Miss Lerner entered his office with a rolling cart covered in documents and datachits, and a projector.

"A Question?"

"Yes. A question-Violent action is always a question, the answer is usually 'no', but there are times…" he sighed, "There are times when the answer must be yes or we are choosing a worse horror."

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