Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Governor’s Decree

by Joseph H. Ficor -

Peacekeeper Major Stotter, head of Governor Bokkasa’s personal security detachment, stood at parade rest before the great black desk of the Governor.

“Thank you for coming as such a late hour, Major. I know that you had just finished your duty shift about an hour ago—around two am?”

“Yessir, I did,” replied Stotter. “You said that you wanted to discuss your pet, Enforcer Fiko.”

“Yes.” Governor Bokkasa leaned back in his chair. “I’m bored with him. The excitement of my charity is waning. I want you to take him and have him do some real work.”

“Forgive my bluntness sir, but wouldn’t it look bad for you to throw him away so easily after only one month? I’ve heard of officials planning to visit Eclectia to find even lower scum than Fiko. They want to outdo you.”

“Let them.” Bokassa waved his hand dismissively. “I’ll always be remembered as the first to have lifted a coffee ground to the level of cream.”

Stotter’s face remained expressionless. The Governor’s attempts at creative witticisms always fell short of their mark. “What do you have in mind, sir?”

The Governor immediately brought himself back to the main topic. “I want you to take Enforcer Fiko and some other expendable on a collection run to Docking Bay Five. Dear Artimus hasn’t paid his station tax in four months.”

Stotter’s expression cracked. A smirked formed across his lips. “Artimus Rawlings is a difficult man to find. He usually manages to avoid our Enforcers. We can only collect when he is overpowered and his cargo confiscated. And he said that the next time we came…”

Bokassa finished the sentence: “…to collect, he’d kill our Enforcers. I know. I know. My sources have confirmed that he is now at a Docking Bay Five. He won’t leave until tomorrow afternoon. Besides, this run will be an excellent opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.”

“What do you mean, sir?”

“Easy. Rawlings has outlived his usefulness. He never realized that the ore that he has been smuggling out of here was my way of making a little extra profit without concerning the aristocrats on Avenir. They have enough wealth. I thought that it was time for them to share a bit more of it with us. Now Artimus needs to be eliminated.”

“And Fiko is the second bird?”

“Exactly. He has outlived his usefulness. It is time for him to go out in a blaze of glory. I’ve proven my charity. He can serve as some kind of example of hope for the dustbugs on Eclectia.”

“I’ll see to it, sir.”

“Thank you, Major. Please send Enforcer Second Class Hicks as the second expendable. He’s annoying me.”

“Yes sir. Good night, sir.”

“Yes, yes. Good night, Major.”

Stotter thought to himself after he left the Governor’s quarters. “A very unusual execution decree. And a triple besides. Very original.”

Stotter went to his quarters for a good night’s sleep.