TEC Colonial Government: A Layman's Introduction
by Chengyu Argonev
Chapter One: Zuigao Zhengfu
Meetings, by Former Marshal Andhra Tadaruwa
Wenti: We are told that TEC colonial government is exceedingly efficient, and in a constant state of emergency; from what I know about Inner State government, doesn't this make the conferences of high-level officers irrelevant? Doesn't it make the conferences, for lack of a better word, very easy to conduct?
In an emergency military government, you ask- wouldn't the meetings be as simple as a man barking out orders?
No. The meetings have never been easy- especially not emergency conferences. Every single commodore, even in peacetime, argues mercilessly for his pet theories and his demands. The Marshal can simply pull rank and cart them out, but that would be political suicide, akin to using your statutory immunity to kill a small child. "MARSHAL TADARUWA SUBVERTS PROCEDURE IN FAVOUR OF UNILATERAL FIAT" would the headlines of every single local newspaper be, for the story is too big to suppress, and Streissand's myocardia would infarcate with the effort. And you can be sure that the name and the sinful (though legal) act will be set in bold type; and the commodores will likely launch a (similarly legal) munity, pressing for a plebiscite and refusing to move their forces.
So, walking into a room of angry and (though they will not admit it) scared men- many of whom have personally killed hundreds of people and most of whom have ordered the deaths of millions- and trying to argue reason and fact and psychohistory and tactics and technology isn't simply 'not easy'. In an emergency, this increases triplefold, with every single commodore thinking of how to save themselves and their families and their fleets and making sure no good crisis goes wasted, trying to use the situation to gain prestige and hopefully rank.
It is a gallows with the hangman of exasperation sticking the noose under your career's neck, a giant switch labelled "UNILATERAL FIAT" presented tantalizingly like a particularly obvious political cartoon.
So no, it is not easy.
First Meeting of the Emergency Council in Isolation
14th Decavember 2302, Gregorian Calendar
Full commodore corps in attendance
Marshal Arkas enters.
Immediately comes an enraged voice from the corner: Commodore Chang. "You are a fool, Arkas, and you will get us all murdered- no, not murdered, killed in self-defence. You order an attack on vastly superior forces without indication of ill intent, and then you send a fleet of scouts into their territory and provoke them into attacking them. Have you no shame, have you no restraint?" He is visibly agitated- and in the palm of his hand, if anyone were to look, is a picture of his children.
He tries to pacify them, raising his hands up to chest level, palms outwards. It takes all of his restraint not to violate the unwritten laws of the meetings and interrupt the sorry little bastard. "The Vasari are naturally enemies of ours. Not opening fire would be folly, and assuming too much of them."
Another voice counters- comparatively level-headed. The accent Synfaelan, a hint of Terran- Commodore Tyanalas. "With all due respect, Sir, do you forget why they attack, Marshal Arkas? They do it for safety, and they have found safety here- up to the point where we intruded into their space and attempted to destroy one of their ships. They have obviously innovated, found technological superiority, capitalized on it; their society has obviously changed to facilitate their safety. They are no longer scared. We might now all die."
Pfft. You'd gladly genocide them if given the chance, you selfish coward. Have you forgotten Synyeas? the Marshal thought, as he began speaking. "We have no way of ensuring their non-hostility."
"Hostility?" he responded, his hands grabbing each other- sweaty. "Perhaps you should have waited until they actually began bombarding us before you smashed human beings against the rocks."
"They murdered every single miner in the extractors!"
"And they didn't occupy them, Marshal! If that isn't an indicator of respect, I do not know what is! It's a masoleum! A respectful tomb, for all we know! How much do we even know about Vasari custom?"
"It is goddamned dead bodies' freakshow!" His Amalgamate began to slip as he got aggravated, "Not is masoleum for poor waighchasii! I ask you, I ask you: did they immediately feel regret? Immediately break down and cry once they had killed? If their custom when not they were respectful of human life was to leave their death-placing touched, then why they not clear the bodies first? Why did they not rape the corpses first? Now what we must do is find out how to kill them all, before they do the same to us!" as he finished shouting, he noticed the entire table staring at him.
He swallowed the accumulated debris of his verbal rampage, straightened his tie and wiped the copious sweat from his brow. "I apologize for my loss of composure, gentlemen. Please voice your concerns."
"With all respect due to your station, Sir," said Commodore Qismat, "Perhaps you are not in the best position to make decisions." He pulled at his collar, obviously somewhat uneasy with the man's outburst. One of his relatives had been killed in the Marshal's fool plan; it took all of his restraint not to assault a superior officer.
Commodore Aranas began to speak in the most diplomatic speech of his native Ariyian- in practice, the highest register of Amalgamate. "Under the great auspices of the unanimous vote antecongressional, dictum est within these hallowed halls: that henceforth all attempts at interaction accorded to the Vasari fide bona erit, with neither prevarication nor calumniation, seeking not provocation..."
That was when Arkas turned and walked out, wishing to hear no more.
Marhsal Arkas' Log
Upon the Novyinadezha
13th Decavember 2302, Gregorian Calendar
I knew it. They're rebelling. Mutinying, challenging my authority beyond acceptable bounds, attempting to overrule me. There is nothing I can do. I have no idea what they're going to do and I do not care in the slightest. They may all be torn asunder by lasers and phase missiles and everything on the elliptical plane of the galaxy for all I care.
The populace has calmed ever since the speech. The engineers are continuing their upgrades. Under my control, this station will prosper. I ought to space them all. But that is impractical. No, I still control the station, if not directly the fleet- cowardly lot. The Vasari will crumble if I have anything to say about it. I am sending orders to the researchers, that bunch of over-qualified trainers and businessmen.
It is time to do something useful with them for once.
Postscript: In reality, Amalgamate would sound like some bizarre mixture of English, Chinese, Russian phonetics, German agglutination and various other languages. Ariyian is just like Amalgamate, but with more Chinese and English, the two classical languages of my interpretation of the universe. I'm capturing the awkwardness of speech that comes with it.