Tom Purdom





The leaders of the opposition called for a vote of confidence before Wen Kang finished the first half of his speech. In the debate that followed, they made a number of references to his father's mental problems and Wen's own reputation for dubious enthusiasms.

"One does not fight wars by canvassing the populace," the Principal Speaker of the major opposition party pontificated. "The first requirement of war is centralized, coordinated planning. Our new First Administrator is beginning his term in office-- which, if we are fortunate, will only last another few hours-- with a proposal that is so eccentric it should be considered a symptom of clinically diagnosable derangement."

"We are engaged in a struggle which could decide the political fate of every city on the Moon," the Senior Analyst of one of the more intellectual branches of the opposition intoned. "We are opposing forces which are controlled by a single powerful brain. Our most recent surveys confirm that the population of our city includes several hundred citizens whose genetic enhancements have equipped them with brains that exceed the estimated mental power of our adversary by factors that range from one hundred and twenty percent to three hundred and thirty percent. Shouldn't we place our forces under the command of one of those minds? Wouldn't that make more sense than the bizarre scheme the First Administrator is proposing?"

For Wen Kang, the war was like every other struggle he had ever engaged in-- a conflict between pure light and undiluted darkness. "On the one side," Wen orated, "we see a republic whose most honored citizens are scientists, artists, and entrepreneurs. On the other, we see a dark complex ruled by a woman who murdered twenty-three people in her rise to supreme power-- a woman who personally cut the throats of five of her rivals at a banquet attended by two hundred guests. If we are to survive this test-- if we are to lead our species into the glowing promise of an unimaginable future-- we must make full use of our greatest strength: the creativity and imagination of a city inhabited by untrammeled human personalities."

Fortunately, Wen's political skills were just as notable as his tendency to indulge in bombast. He and his two assistants had engaged in all the customary preparations before he had stepped before the honored members of the Legislative Assembly and uttered the first words of his speech. The leaders of the eight parties included in his coalition had received satisfactory positions in the cabinet. Certain changes in public policy had been offered and accepted. The proposal passed by a ten vote margin.



Copyright 2001 by Tom Purdom. All rights reserved. This document may be printed out and archived for personal use. All other use is strictly prohibited.

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