The Governor of Earth
by Catfish Russ
May 5, 2041
Official Record of the Governor of Earth
Tragedy! Tragedy! The Empress’ ship was destroyed. The vermin here set off a nuclear fission device hidden under the riverbank. What can I say? The docking port is shut down, the world is shut down, and troop ships are on the way.
This’ll be the end of me. This’ll be it. These larvae have finally brought an end to themselves as well. I assure you that a gamma ray blast will soon be cooking the surface of this rock and we will finally just take the elements we want and leave.
Me? I will probably be executed, but not after they rip my carapace off and walk me around the capital city as an example. I am going to try and pay a guard to shoot my head off first if I get the sense that I will be bodily punished. My poor family, the clones, the variances, the cousins and oblique cousins. All of them will suffer my fate.
The resistance has exploded across the world. In every city, loyalists to the Empress are being dragged into the streets and shot. Guards are using all their technologies to survive endless ambushes. Smoke fills the air in dark clouds over urban areas. Cars are abandoned and on fire. Flak rounds have decimated homes and infrastructures. Two nuclear plants in Canada are in meltdown.
Governor of Earth,
The Honorable Fourth Son of the Winds of the First Outer World Mathematicians Line.
May 10, 2041
Well Bobble, and Shantika and I settled into a safe house. You’d wonder, why when the resistance is doing so well, why they would locate us to a safe house owned by an Independent.
“You guys have to consider that they may send the Pleiadean fleet here. They may separate us and take us somewhere,” John Agar said.
“Well, we could just be slaves,” I answered.
“You could just be alive,” he responded.
The room grew quiet. Bobble spoke, “Thanks for taking us in.”
“No problem. I made the commitment. It’s just that...”
“Go ahead,” I told him.
“I just think unrequited violence may be the wrong answer. I hear that Pleiadean heavy cruisers have showed up at the Eridani jump nodes, and they may be staging for an attack. I think a lot of people feel that a slave’s existence would be better than death.
“I can’t say that I am one of them, but my life under the bugs hasn’t sucked as badly as I imagined it would. I can also tell you that lots of us are sick of the murders. Loyalists are still human beings. When your compatriots grab them out of their homes and shoot them, then you just create a problem down the road. What if you win? Or we win and they leave? Then what about those people you shot?”
Bobble spoke: “This is definitely a roll of the dice. I studied American history. I remember that some of the staff of General Washington looked out in the New York harbor in the late 1770’s and saw three hundred or more British ships of the line sailing in to unload Royal Marines while the ships formed up to shell the city. That might be what we are seeing at Eridani. Then again, they may compromise with us and we may get everything. We may get free medicine and free food and all our programming and access. Doing nothing is a bigger risk.”
“I can’t live like this,” Shantika spoke up, “and I don’t want my baby to grow up living under the bugs. It’s not right for us. And since you’re talking about American history, let me tell you what Ethan Allen podcasted about that very story on The Green Mountain Boys network. It’s a very good program and he’s a smart guy. He reminds us where we come from, not as Americans, but as human beings. ”
“Do you suppose that we are the first beings they have encountered that resist?” John stood up and stared out the 28th-story window of his Toronto apartment. It was grey and overcast and the violence we were hearing about seemed a distant, nonexistent thing.
Smoke was coming from the south, and we assumed a harbor in America. “They may have let us live this long just because they know that extracting gold will be easier with our cooperation. Maybe they used to be fascists and they are slowly learning to conquer without destroying. They may have decided that we can all live easy lives if we just let them mine. As I said, retirement looks good to me right now. At least the trains run on time and medicine is free. I can do without my show feeds and Amalgamated News and holographic porn for a while.”
“People are getting weak,” Bobble said. “Hell, if the opposition starts wanting retirement, then we are already slaves.”
Just then Tana came in, took off her coat and threw it onto the pile of everyone else’s coats.
“Where you been?” Shantika asked.
“At the Free Republic news café. It’s hidden behind Hsiou Pharmacy. The Pleiadeans are beginning to show up in orbit. Lots of heavy cruisers, some transport ships as well.”
“That’s bad,” Shantika offered. They may be preparing to take prisoners... or slaves. We’ll see how that retirement goes, John,” she cackled.
“Thadius, we should start heading into the shelters. There’s one about a kilometer from here, under the Seabrook Building. Go into the Choice Market men’s bathroom, push through the stall with a big red dot on it. The shelter is underground and about three thousand square feet. That will hold us all for three months. Whatever they’re going to do, they’re going to do in about two days. That’s what intelligence says.”
“I ordered pizza. It should be here soon,” John reminded us.
The room quieted and Lana and Bobble stared at John for a moment.
“Suppose Ceratopsians deliver the pizza?” Shantika asked.
“Guys, I’m coming into the shelter with you. Don’t turn on me because I have a few questions, for Chrissake.”
That’s what happened. We are on the way to the shelter right now.
May 10, 2041
Official Diary of the Governor of Earth
The Deputy Defense Council representative is on the way here now. Heavy Cruisers are appearing in orbit, and I am to wait here for her arrival. I assume that I will have my carapace peeled from me in front of the Council.
Fortunately I have eaten enough Mazul to get a Beleroptid high. Two Ceratopisans are coming in shortly to... well... off me. They will be very rich, and I have arranged the holographic recorders to show it was an accident. Of course they will be prosecuted and probably grafted into a tree, but they are too stupid to figure that out.
Fortunately for me.
I spent my entire life serving the Empire and for one incident that I had no control over, I will be extinguished.
I can only hope they cook the surface of this planet with gamma rays and put worms into all the survivors.
Well, my door chime has rung. My two murderers are right outside.
Final entry in the History of Her Ostentation and Flagrancy, the Empress of the Golden Carapace First Family of the Empire of the Pleiades.
I have done my best.
May 12, 2041.
Lana woke us all up, running through the shelter galley. Coffee was brewing but I was lined up for a cup before the carafe was full.
“What’s up Lana?” Shantika asked.
“The heavy cruisers showed up.”
“And?” I prodded.
“They’re leaving. All of them.”
We left the shelter, worked our way into the streets which were filled with people milling around. A street vendor was cooking bratwurst, and a calm line of people were waiting. No one had any money, because there was no more money. I guess when the vendor wanted something he would just go ask for it and get it. Like the end of World War II, when people pulled together and took care of each other.
Tana stood really close to me and I put my arm around her and waited in line. We got the last two bratwurst and the mid-eastern vendor said in a thick accent, “No more. OK. That’s it.”
We walked down the street as the sky darkened and soon we would have to find our way back to the shelter in the dark. It was like a street party. People were talking loudly and a few folks were sitting in an apartment balcony playing guitars. “Old man look at yourself...”
“Neil Young,” I said.
“Who’s that?” Tana asked me.
“My God, how can you not know who Neil Young was? That’s like not knowing who Mozart is.” But then that’s the way history is. It’s something written by the victors and forgotten by their progeny.
The air was cool and we decided to walk around a bit before heading back in. I didn’t know where everyone else was, or whether we would see them again or not.
Tana and I stepped over a short fence separating the sidewalk and a tiny front yard. No one appeared to be at home. I pulled my blanket out of my backpack, unrolled it, and placed it on the lawn. But we decided we couldn’t sleep on the lawn. I went to the front door and knocked.
No one answered; I tried the door and it opened. It was a small apartment, very neat, very clean, with wooden floors and carpets, as if nothing had ever changed in this place. We looked around and opened the refrigerator and closed it immediately; everything in it was moldy.
In the shelves we found cereal and instant milk powder. Water came from the tap, and we ate in silence, ravenously finishing the box, and after that we finished a box of crackers. Fortunately the toilet worked.
Tana locked the front door and closed the curtains. We went into the tiny bedroom and snuggled on the tiny neatly appointed bed and made love. We slept for what must have been another few hours and awoke to the sounds of a crowd.
Across the street, someone had fired up an old gas generator and turned on the TV. People were gathered all around it.
Their cruisers all jumped away. Then their satellites disappeared.
In an alleyway, a crowd was beating a man mercilessly. “No,” he cried.
“Yes, you traitor,” they yelled back. A collaborator was getting it.
Tana and I went into the house, found a duffel bag and took whatever provisions we could find. Some clothes that fit her, nothing that fit me, but I took a bath and washed my clothes in the sink. The next morning when they were dry, I went out to find some new shoes, but the stores had been broken into and ravaged the night before.
One guy was carrying a holographic projector on his shoulder. What for, I wondered. There wasn’t going to be any electricity for a long time. We took all the dry goods we could find. I found an old .38 revolver and a box of shells and stuffed them into the duffel bag.
With that we headed out eastward. I speak French, and if we landed somewhere in Quebec they might accept us.
There was a woman hanging from a lamppost. I covered Tana’s eyes as we walked past. A man sat quietly eating Mazul and yelled out, “Got any cigarettes?” I didn’t acknowledge him.
The Bugs were gone. They had left.
Six years after the British sent 50,000 soldiers to the colonies, they packed their bags and left. That’s the roll we’re hoping for.
Ten years after France occupied Algeria and acted brutally to the Arabs, they were driven off.
Fifteen years after the French occupied Indochina, they left.
Ten years after the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, they left.
Five years after Serbia occupied Kosovo, they left.
Ninety years after the Romans occupied the British Isles, they left.
Resistance might hurt, but I can tell you only a few occupations have paid off in human history. And my guess is that the bugs might have better technology than we do, but they can no more control us or make us happy in slavery than they can make themselves pretty by putting diamonds on their thoraxes. Resistance is in our DNA.
My friends were right. Occupations can be made too costly. The world had been raped not by them but by us. Everyone had been changed. There were no central governments left except for the loyalist infrastructure, and they were on the run. We got what we wanted. Sort of.
Now the real fight for freedom will begin.
Copyright © 2009 by Catfish Russ