United States of America
Lamech walked into the Oval Office. President Chen and a half dozen advisers rose as he entered. The President extended his hand. "Please be welcome."
"Thank you," said Lamech as he shook Chen's hand. "I am pleased we could manage to meet."
"Please, have a seat," said the President. "It's not everyday one gets to meat a living legend. What is the proper protocol of address anyway?"
"Lord will serve, or Excellency, or simply Lamech. It does much matter." He sat down and eyed the men and women in the room, his gaze stopping on a man in his mid thirties. "Doctor Connors, I presume."
"Yes," said the man uncomfortably.
"Your work proceeds you," said Lamech. "The leading theory of Grand Alliance history is always of interest to us, just for the influence it has on our relations. Such as they are."
"That is really the heart of the matter," said William Chen. "We don't really have a relationship, other than your hijacking our government during the Twenty-First Century. You had lost your civil war before our governments every formally met."
Lamech smiled. "I see it is still a sore spot with you. My people acted to prevent a global crisis that you weren't acting swiftly enough on. They acted at pretty much the last possible minute. They didn't interfere with any other part of your government or policy making. And you were the primary beneficiaries of that little intervention."
"Perhaps," said William Chen, "but you also seized control of our government, virtually enslaving the elected leaders of the nation."
"Yes," said Lamech. "It was necessary. I have done many terrible things when I perceive them to be necessary. And I am not alone in this. Your country has a long history of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. Sometimes you even had their well being in mind. All of that is the past. I am here to discuss the present and the future. The current government of the Free Federation uses its economic and military might to confine your expansion, both economically and territorially. Not just you, but all the nations of Terra. Absorbtion or subjegation are their long term goals."
"And you will be better neighbors, I take it?"
"In a word, yes. These absurd and restrictive limitations on your expansion will be gone, as will the gun boat diplomacy style of trade negotiations. We don't conquer or oppress our neighbors."
"You did eat three interstellar nation-states."
"Yes. The Slaver Autocracy, The Kingdom of Avalon which hosted Slaver Lords, and New Jerusalem which attempted to commit genocide against us during the Resurgency. The latter two hated us like poison and were permitted to survive until those incidents. However much you dislike us, you can live with us as neighbors." Connors inclined his head slightly in acknowledgement.
"Alright," said President Chen. "What is it you want from us?"
"Nothing," said Lamech. "They will crush you like a bug if you oppose them. It would be irresponsible of you to openly ally with us, even if you wanted to. Just stay neutral. Don't interfere. Don't decide to pick off our worlds in the chaos. Recognize us as the legitimate government when we win."
"The latter could be a problem. We don't love dictatorships, military or otherwise. There is also the issue of your treatment of minorities."
"As Churchill said, Democracy is the worst system of government except for all the rest. Of course, he didn't have the benefit of having immortal necromancer and vampire lords. We inject a certain amount of stability and foresight into the system, which makes our form of government more stable in a crisis. Of course, little details like the mind probe do help weed out the bad apples in our ranks."
He paused for a moment. "I can assure you our elected officials have a great deal to say in our actions. Unsurprisingly the "Kick the bastards out" policy is as popular among the Grand Alliance politicians as the "Keep American strong" line is among your people. There has always been a means for the voters to strip us from power. White propaganda would state the conflict as democracy versus aristocratic oligarchy, but I can assure you that was not the case. It is quite possible for a tyrant to take power by democratic methods. What was that old line about Africa? 'One man, one vote, once'? In any case, it does not matter. We are restoring justice and democracy to our homelands and following the popular will. Our leaders have the full support of the legitimate, elected government. If that doesn't allay your concerns in that area, I don't know what will.
"As for the treatment of minorities, by which you mean Christians, that will not change. The sociopolitical environment has favored conversion to Christianity over the last few centuries and that will end. They currently make up almost ten percent of the Free Federation populace, but that should drop as the 'Rice Christians' deconvert. We have had small Muslim, Jewish, and Christian minorities as full citizens in our polities since our foundings, to say nothing of the occasional fringe cult. That will not change."
"There is the matter of New Jerusalem," said William Chen.
"Mister President, please understand that what you see when you think of the Grand Alliance is a distorted image of our darkest figures from our darkest hours. We, the Nazar, did almost exterminate them. We shattered their fleets, their planetary defences, and their cities from orbit. We killed them in vast numbers. We did not do this because we hated their religion, although we did because it was one of the nastier mutants ever to be spawned from the general body of Christianity. If they hadn't tried to commit genocide against us while we were busy helping defend the entire spiral arm from Slaver Lord domination and most of our ground troops doing the same, we might have reacted differently. Until then, we let them live in peace. We certainly weren't friends, but we had ample opportunity to burn their worlds if we wanted to."
"Our people and government can live with that," said Chen.
"Our history is consistent with those policies," said Lamech. "It stretches back thousands of years. It gives a far better assurance of our intentions than mere words. I'm more than twenty thousand years old, Nalhen has ten millenia on him. We've picked up a few habits and long ago learned to put up with various kinds of religious belief."
"You've given us a lot to consider," said Chen as he rose up. "I can't say that we will be in touch as I don't think we have a way of contacting you."
"I'm sure some kind of message drop can be arranged," said Lamech. "I'm glad you are so understanding of our security concerns."
"I have to say I am rather skeptical of your plans to defeat the Free Federation under these circumstances."
"Obviously, telling you the details would be a breach of security," said Lamech. "But if you are willing to consider a peace of advice, lean back and enjoy the show." The vampire showed his fangs as he smiled.
"How did it go?" asked Reeze as Lamech came by. The vampire had retrieved his shadowcloak and was free of the inhibitor bracelet.
Well, Lamech sent telepathically. They aren't inclined to help the White, which is what we need.
You sure? Reeze replied.
Yes. Got a good read on the whole room, although not a deep one. They believe those toys will actually work on high mage or vampire. Our whole biology has been altered to be a furnace that produces The One Power. Pretty hard to cut off our access to it when it floods through our bodies.
They don't have to deal with Slaver Lords of the First Circle and they have inhibitions about driving needles into people's spines, Reeze replied.
Lamech shrugged. Whatever. They won't be aiding the White and that's all we need from them at the moment.
The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.Librium Arcana
Last edited by Imperial Overlord on 2007-03-06 03:46pm, edited 2 times in total.