I was bored so I made this thing, it is the back story to my current game. I've never done one of these but if it gets received well I'll continue the story as my game continues.
“Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, et Opportunité!” came the cry from the assembled multitudes. This was the 2nd week they had occupied the square, part of the larger protest happening all across the world. The media had dismissed them as reactionaries, the last death echoes of the old order, and swore they lacked the political power to do more than cry. They would all go home after a few days. They had not. The crowds had tripled in size in most places, grown exponentially in others. Now they were being joined by the disaffected, the unemployed, and the desperate. The very ones the new order had sworn to protect and provide for, and bring towards equality with the developed world. The ones they had failed most. Some talking heads still dismissed the protests as selfish old men crying over their lost power, but Jean Moulin saw it for what it was; not the death cries of the old order, but rather, the death of the new. “Mr. Secretary-General, your plane is ready,” his chief of staff said, his voice betraying the strain of the past few days, “But security has decided to transport you via VTOL for safety. I agree, it would be better politically to avoid agitating the crowds. “
“As you say, Lauren,” the Secretary-General sighed. The state of the art VTOL took off from behind his office and Moulin elected not to gaze upon the throng of raging humanity beneath him. The capital of the United Nations of Earth was located in New York City, in the North American Interest Zone, but the residence and office of the Secretary-General moved depending on the nation of origin of the sitting Secretary-General. Moulin was the third to hold that high office, once considered the most powerful position in the history of humanity, now he knew what Gorbachev must have felt as his nation ceased to exist. Just as the USSR disappeared suddenly, so too did it seem the UNE was headed head first towards the dust bin of history. The VTOL landed and he boarded the hypersonic jet that would have him in New York in less than an hour. He boarded with all the usual pomp and ceremony, and dismissed his staff. He wanted to be alone. When and where, he wondered, had it all gone wrong? The taxes had been unpopular but needed to combat climate change and the crippling poverty still gripping half the planet. The regulations on personal lives had been more unpopular still, but the population crisis had to be controlled. Perhaps it was not the policies themselves, but the fact that they had failed. No matter how much money was taken from the old first world and given to the downtrodden, they remained downtrodden and the corruption that gripped those parts of the world prevented any real improvements. Worse, the economic outlooks in the industrial world were bad and growing worse. They simply could not pay to fight climate change and poverty all across the globe. And as the population continued to grow, the opportunities grew less for everyone. The 1st world felt that they had been vandalized, and the 3rd world felt lied too. He sighed, perhaps where the house of cards built by the optimistic founders had begun to fall had been with the Ulysses Initiative. The project that had promised humanity the stars, and worlds filled with enough opportunities for all. The great dream. Six great colony ships, outfitted with the Eriksson Wormhole Generator, had left Earth’s orbit bound for the jump coordinates just past Saturn. Hope and optimism had filled the heart of the planet. And then the ships had died. Perhaps that terrible moment had killed more than just 1.5 million souls, it had most definitely killed his predecessor’s administration, and perhaps it had killed the UNE.
“Sir, we are arriving,” said the voice over the intercom that shook him from his musings. As he boarded another VTOL, this one bound for the UN building, his chief of staff spoke. “The Security Council will be assembled for your brief in twenty minutes, after that, the joint chiefs and intelligence attaches have been allotted thirty minutes. Press briefing with no questions at 3pm and then the address to the General Assembly,” he paused. “I know it looks bleak sir, but we can turn this around starting with a good day today.” Moulin laughed bitterly, “I wish I had your optimism Lauren. The Security Council is scared shitless but they are stuck with me. We sink together, the General Assembly however… They will stand and applaud for me tonight. And tomorrow they will call for a vote of no confidence and that will be the end of my administration."
“But sir, what is their alternative? They can’t give the Security Council executive power, not unless they want these protests to become riots. And if they call for snap elections now the secessionists will take the majority.”
“Lauren, they know. The UNE is doomed, our legitimacy is shot. The best we can hope for is a smooth and orderly death.”
His chief of staff grew quiet. Then he added as if the conversation had not happened, “Also Dr. Muwanga has requested a meeting. With your permission I will squeeze her in first?”
Moulin nodded absently. His attention was on the crowds outside the UN building. They were far larger than the ones in Paris. Far larger. “Merde,” he whispered to himself, we may not survive the night.
He settled into his office, and gave permission for Dr. Muwanga to enter. The graceful and unorthodoxly beautiful Ugandan entered. She was a genius, she was the genius of her time. Head of the UNE Science Directorate headquartered at was formally the CERN complex, she controlled perhaps the one government agency that worked. She had rescued it from the depths it sunk after the Ulysses disaster, and was now working on many revolutionary new technologies. The most important being a new FTL engine, that if it had any chance of being ready tonight, it could save his government. Unfortunately the most optimistic projections said another decade.
“Doctor,” he said, “I am at your service. Although I fear I can do very little for you. The best recommendation I have is for you is to ingratiate yourself to one or more of the power brokers in the General Assembly. Most likely most of them will be Heads of State soon.”
“You will have to give me much more than that Mr. Secretary-General, “ she said matter-of-factly and handed him a tablet. “Here, in summary, is our report on several seismic indicators and projections. As you can see clearly…” she then proceeded to rattle off a litany of science words and phrases that made his head hurt.
“Grace, I am aware that you are a genius. Just as I am also aware that I am not. Now I have to oversee the end of my government so please tell me what it you are saying and what it is you want so that I can tell you that I posses no power to help you.”
She pursed her lips, “In fifty years the planet will explode. The only doubt is the exact time, it could be as few as thirty years or as many as seventy but no longer. We need to invest all available resources into finishing the FTL drive within five years and then locate a new planet or planets so that we can begin a mass evacuation.” She lifted an eye brow, “is that clear enough for you?”
He sat back, dumbfounded. He knew better then to ask her if she was sure. Grace Muwanga only said something if it was the unassailable truth. He turned his chair and looked out the window.
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© Post "Prologue" for game Stellaris.
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