September 23rd 2015
I don’t know how you slipped my agents, but we will find you again.
Can’t just let me enjoy my retirement can you, Carmody? What’s the harm in letting an old man go fishing in private?
And some friendly advice, tell the two who were assigned to the rear watch that they should be suspicious when someone waters their garden that much. It’s an old trick.
Retirement, my ass, Luzea.
I don’t know if it was blackmail or collusion, but however you got the Senate to turn a blind eye doesn’t matter. I know men like you. You may have lost your fancy title, but there’s no way someone like you just walks away from power like that.
You’ve lied, stolen and killed. You’ll do it again.
First off, I know that you’re trying to bait me into revealing some hint as to where I am, but I’ll save you the trouble. I won’t. You will also soon learn from your technicians that your tracer routines have mysteriously failed right about now.
The last thing I wish to tell you before I go is that I meant what I said that day on the stands. Everything I have done has been for the good of the Empire. You see me as the enemy, but I promise you, I am anything but.
I know people like you too, Carmody. You never see the big picture. If you had, you would never have allowed things to go down this path. Our relationship has been adversarial to put it mildly, but I respect the work you do. I truly do. It’s important and very much needed. You and your agents keep the people safe, but did you ever stop to consider that the work I did was equally needed? I kept the Empire safe. You are so focused on treating the scrapes and bruises of everyday living, that you don’t see that the whole body is sick, living on borrowed time. I was trying to cure the Empire of a disease festering at its very heart.
When most people think of the Empire they think of the dozens of worlds, the billions of people, the trillions of Credits all working together to make something great. The Navy protecting its borders, the Advocacy patrolling the darkness, the Senate making laws for the greater good. It all seems so real, but the reality is that the Empire is just an illusion held together by our collective wills. If a few strands unraveled here and there, the whole thing would simply float away. Yet for all that, despite all its problems and wrong turns, the Empire is something worth saving. I believe you think that too. Not everyone does though.
Terra is bloating with self-importance. They do not want to change the Empire. They want a crass facsimile erected in its place. Every day they grow richer and more insolent. They gather more and more allies to their cause. Isn’t stopping them something worth fighting for? Worth lying, stealing, and, yes, even killing for?
Think about that next time you have the impulse to interfere with those who will carry on my work.
A pretty speech, but I’m pretty sure Humanity decided a few centuries ago that we didn’t want a single individual to be deciding its fate. What you did was not for the Empire. It was for your twisted view of what the Empire should be. The real Empire is whatever the hell the people say it is. Not just some part of it, not just the part you like, but the whole damn thing. Those people you betrayed were every bit a part of it as anyone else.
So next time I see people carrying on your work you can be damn sure I’m going to stop them.
What? No clever reply?
They named the new OES director today. Think I might invite her out for tea. You want me to tell her anything for you?