The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
View Single Post
08.16.2012 , 08:46 PM |
Politics During Wartime
JK - Scourge (with a teensy bit of Esma) no spoilers
Lord Scourge walked into the cavernous room, slipping silently through the shadows in the back. His silence was habitual, but not necessary. The cacophony of voices from the front would have drowned out anything quieter than an explosion. Lines of empty seating ringed the sloping floor in concentric curves, leading down to a large open space where two amorphous blob-shaped groups of senators faced off against each other, trading shouts and insults. Each group had an apparent leader who stood almost nose-to-nose while hurling barbs and accusations at each other.
"Well, if you'd kept your wife satisfied, she wouldn't have turned to me!"
"Too bad you couldn't perform!"
"Well, you're...you're fat!" Senator Cholden spat out, poking Mornal in the gut.
Senator Mornal gasped, his double chin trembling in anger.
"You ungrateful...!" He trailed off as dark laughter grew in strength, filling the hall with its ominous sound. The collection of senators quieted quickly, casting about for where the sound was coming from. All eyes turned to the dark figure in the black hooded cloak standing at the back of the room.
"Pathetic." The scorn in the word whipped at them. "The leaders of the Republic, squabbling like children. How your government has not fallen before now I'll never comprehend." Scourge walked down the sloping aisle, senators quickly moving out of his way, avoiding his red-eyed glare as he made his way to the very center of the room.
He examined Senators Cholden and Mornal for so long the sweat dripping down Mornal's face began to stain his shirt.
"Who are you?" a sharp female voice called from the middle of the Mornal's group.
Scourge smiled slightly, turning to pin the speaker with his eyes. Senator Enara, who represented a mining colony in the Outer Rim, held his gaze for a moment but then slid her eyes away. "Who I am is not your concern," he said, his voice carrying easily through the room, "Why I am here however..." He sneered as he looked at the ringleaders. "You hate each other. Don't you?"
Mornal glared at Cholden, "We used to be friends, but he..."
"Silence." Mornal choked off what he'd been about to say.
"So now you spend weeks bickering over which of your worlds will gain a supply depot, ignoring the war raging on your borders and in your streets," Scourge said with quiet venom, "because you hate each other, but you lack the will to fight."
"I'm not afraid to fight him!" Cholden protested.
"Really. And you?"
"Bah! He's nothing!" Mornal sputtered.
"Then hit him." Scourge's measured voice carried through the room.
"What?" Cholden said, gaping at Scourge even as Mornal threw a sloppy punch that doubled Cholden's wirey frame over with a deep oomph. Mornal's eyes widened as he shook his hand. Cholden rebounded through his wheezes and punched Mornal in the nose. Mornal's battle cry had more shriek in it than roar, but the two of them were at it then in a flurry of weak punches and animic kicks and occasional hair pulling.
"Here now, that's not how we do things," Senator Enara snapped from the group.
Scourge smiled slowly at her, "The supply depot really should be on your planet, shouldn't it, Senator Enara."
"Of course it should!" she sputtered, "those two idiots aren't anywhere near a major shipping lane."
"Then fight for it. The winner gets the depot."
"Now, see here, maybe we should have it instead!"
"What about us!" Other voices began to chime in.
"You leaders of the Republic!" Scourge snarled at them, "Weak cowards, the lot of you! You are in the middle of a war! Learn to fight!"
He walked out of the room, the sound of fists hitting flesh bringing a smile to his face.
He glanced calmly at Esma who was reading a datapad with a frown etched deep into her face.
"Do you know anything about a riot that broke out at the Senate Tower?"
He raised an eyebrow.
"Three senators were killed, it says."
"Hardly a loss," he said, returning to reading his own note from a Senator Enara who had just come into posession of a brand new supply depot.
This one comes from a diplomacy mission that states: The professional rivalry of two factions of Senators has degraded into childish bickering. Have your companion remind the Senators of their real duties.
Inciting a riot seemed an appropriate way to get their heads out of their behinds.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
My Name is Solomon Crae
The Man in the Box