There were five people on the ballot for the special presidential election that was held after the government of the Human Federation had finally been rebuilt by President Christina Crow. There was Michael Compton of the Conservative Party, Corinna Höfler of the Liberal-Democratic Party, Beathan Kendrick of the National Party, and Kettil Nyström of the Green Party.
Compton, Crow and Höfler were the three major contenders in the race, simply because their respective parties controlled the largest voting blocs in the Human Federation. Crow was certain that was one of the major reasons that the Allied Colonies had defected.
During the last presidential election, the Liberal-Democratic Party along with the incumbent President Mark Adams, took the top spots in the presidential and congressional races. Before that the Liberal-Democrats had fared well in almost every election for nearly 16 years which cemented the Liberal-Democrats firmly in the hearts and minds of most of the Human Federation’s public. Though that could be marked up to the way the population of the Human Federation was distributed.
If Crow was going to be fair to them, they had done a good job, at least for the Core Worlds and the Inner Colonies, and some of the Middle Colonies. They’d advanced their social programs while keeping a more-or-less balanced budget that managed to reduce the national debt, although only marginally. The civil war had landed firmly in their laps, and with the outbreak of the civil war and the need to recruit and train thousands of new enlisted personnel and officers and build new warships the federal budget had ballooned exponentially.
The Liberal-Democrats were politically liberal, but they were fiscally moderate and believed in a mixed economy, leaving any socialist tendencies to the Labour Party. They allied with the Conservatives on the issue of the military, though not to the extremes that the Conservatives did. The Liberal-Democrats knew that the galaxy was a dangerous place and if humanity was going to expand outward the species would need a military to match it. Having discovered the presence of honest-to-God aliens, one of which truly did want to conquer the galaxy as part of some manifest destiny on their part, only vindicated the Liberal-Democrats and their Conservative allies with regards to building a military.
The Conservative Party, the next largest party, always did better in the far more numerous Middle Colonies and some Outer Colonies. There were more Middle Colonies on a star system by star system basis, earning them more Senators, but the Liberal-Democratic Core and Inner Worlds had a higher population so their Representatives outnumbered the Middle Colonies’ Conservatives.
It worked that way because the way Congress was structured. The number of representatives in the House of Representatives was dictated by planetary population. The number of senators was set at eight per planet. For solar systems that boasted multiple settled planets or moons they each got their eight senators as well as their representatives. It started to get a little murky when it came to star systems that had multiple colonies which resulted in having a senator for each colony. For star systems like Sol or Alpha Centauri, which had numerous colonies, it granted those star systems a large number of senators.
The Conservatives appealed to the Human Federation citizens who felt that the Labour and the Liberal-Democrats were going too far with their social policies, programs, and a push for political correctness that wreaked havoc all over society. Their voting bloc was mostly the wealthy, but also the common folk who didn’t want to see the broad and sweeping changes that Labour and the Liberal-Democrats sometimes espoused. They were staunchly fiscally conservative and believed in a free market economy, though not to the extent of a true laisse faire system. They saw that sort of freewheeling economics as inherently dangerous to the health of a star nation and its people. They needed only look at the Corporate Republic of Sirius to drive their point home. The government needed some control over the market, though not as much as the Liberal-Democrats espoused and certainly not as much as Labour did!
Though one party, the Conservative Party was broken down into three distinct factions. One was a voting bloc that voted purely on economic conservatism. Another was the now defunct Evangelical Party that got folded into the Conservatives about 20 Terran years ago and they voted primarily along social lines, believing that humans were too decadent and needed to return to more traditional (see Biblical or Koranic) values.
The discovery of alien races had just about put paid to the Evangelicals, at least along purely religious lines. It was a long standing belief that humanity was created in the image and likeness of God; but since there were confirmed aliens who didn’t look like humans, or some that looked like humans but were a little different, what did that say about God? Was humanity unique in being made in His image and likeness and every alien species was an ungodly xenos abomination that needed to be purged to make His galaxy pure? Or, as some in the less extreme religious portions of society said, that God need not be constrained by human understanding of what He looks like. What if God truly didn’t fit into the nice, neat, little box that humans tried to force Him into? Who’s to say that the image of God couldn’t change and that other species were also His creations too? They still held onto the voters who primarily voted along ethical or moral lines.
Finally, there was the last wing of the Conservatives who represented the rich and powerful. They were the elites of society and felt that the so-called “unwashed masses” should learn to properly bow and scrape before their “betters.” If the Human Federation had had a true aristocracy, based upon inherited titles and lands, these people would be at the forefront of protecting the rights and privileges of said aristocrats; though some of their less snobbish peers of the realm might’ve fallen into a Crown Loyalist Party had it actually existed.
The Labour Party was the third largest and had the strange distinction of being almost evenly spread throughout the entirety of the Human Federation. The party appealed to the working classes, which represented a huge voting bloc in just about any star system. Their moderate socialist stance was further to the left than that of the Liberal-Democrats. The more conservative and moderate members of Labour wanted a system more akin to the old Scandinavian countries of the 20th and 21st centuries, complete with a government that provided for the public at the expense of a higher tax rate. Their more liberal members wanted control of the economy handed over to “the People” in something more akin to an idealistic view of the old People’s Republic of China or the Soviet Union (old and new), though how they intended to do that without becoming dictatorial, Crow had no idea. Luckily the communist wing of the Labour Party was a very small minority of the party.
The National Party was an offshoot of the Conservative Party that represented mostly rural voters. They appealed to farmers and ranchers across most of the Outer Colonies and Fringe Worlds and were the largest voting bloc on the sparsely populated worlds at the fringes of settled space. They gave a voice to agricultural workers who didn’t live in major urban areas on said worlds. They wanted increased protections for agricultural workers and were moderately against manufacturing and service-based industries.
The Green Party was about what you’d expect from a party that called itself as such. They were primarily concerned with preserving the natural environments of the planets, moons and asteroids that humanity had settled. In a lot of ways they were further left than Labour was and promoted nonviolence, social justice, grassroots democracy (though they never explained how they would do so on a galactic scale with the inherent time lags in even subspace communications), protection of LGBT rights more so than Labour and the Liberal-Democrats, and were staunchly anti-war and anti-military. Unsurprisingly they’d spoken out against the ACF-HF War altogether, stating that the war only polluted the star systems in which battles were fought. They hated the military-industrial complex on an instinctual level and espoused total pacifism and ultimately wanted to dismantle the military entirely. It was no surprise at all that the Greens were the smallest political party in Congress.
Michael Compton, Crow’s Conservative opponent, was a businessman from Mars that claimed that because he knew how to run a business, he would be a good president. He belonged to that wing of the party that felt that the commoners should just get in line behind their betters, with a proper amount of bowing and scraping of course.
All throughout the campaign, Michael Compton managed to outspend and outcampaign Crow in nearly every single way. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, he smeared her every chance he got. He claimed that if he were the president, they would have won the war against the ACF and even went so far as to say that if he were president the government would have been rebuilt faster and perhaps the government would not have been wiped out at all. Never mind the fact that the previous administration had been a Liberal-Democratic one, not a Labour one. But Compton seemed to think in terms of purely black-and-white, that if one weren’t Conservative then they were just wrong, regardless of party affiliation.
He just kept spouting off everything he could think of to make Christina Crow look bad in the eyes of the public. It didn’t even have to be the truth that he said, hell… most of what he had said about her was fabricated lies including how she was a closet lesbian.
In truth, Christina Crow had been married to a Space Force officer at the beginning of the war, and Crow was his name. This was very much public knowledge and that was the only thing that killed those lies. Her husband had died in a skirmish with the ACF during the early days of the war when the heavy cruiser he’d been on had been destroyed outright with all hands. No one had gotten off the ship at all when both fusion plants failed due to enemy fire and their safeties had failed to engage. Since that day, she worked hard as a senator to make her position mean something as an honor to her fallen husband. She didn’t even change her name, she kept it as a memorial to him.
All of that didn’t matter, Michael Compton piled on the lies about her. Being the honorable woman that she was she refused to stoop to his level and lie about him even though her own campaign advisors practically pleaded with her to run scathing commercials about her opponent. She remembered how one was put together and after watching it she nearly had the person who made the commercial fired from her campaign. Oh, how she wanted to fire the guy, but her advisors talked her down from it. They argued that they could rehabilitate the man and he turned into a decent enough individual. He’d just had the mistaken idea that returning lies and vitriol was just how things were done. After all, wasn’t that how a lot of political campaigns were run? Crow would have none of that. She insisted upon running a clean campaign and not stooping to Compton’s level.
Crow’s honor, however, didn’t stop the Labour National Committee, the organ which controlled and managed the affairs, properties, and funds of the Labour Party from running adverts against Michael Compton. She did all she could to distance herself from the production of those adverts so as to not have them taint her overall clean campaign. She made sure that the committee’s adverts came with the stipulation that they were solely funded and produced by the committee. The adverts that her reelection staff generated were vetted by her and her closest advisors and came with the declaration that she approved the message.
As the campaign drew on with lie after lie said by her opponent, Michael Compton, even Crow thought that maybe he was right. Maybe all of what had happened over the last six months were her fault. She began questioning herself back when she was a junior Senator. What if she just spoke louder? What if she kept going at it and hammering away at how the Human Federation government was treating the outer colonies? Maybe, just maybe, if she had just been a little bit louder and perhaps even aligned herself with John Renault in those Senate meetings, the ACF wouldn’t have broken away. She knew that that had been a forlorn hope after all, seeing as how many in Labour hadn’t listened to the future secessionists. She was just one woman after all. In reality, what could she have done that might’ve prevented the split? Nothing more than she had was the answer, and it hadn’t been enough.
And then there were the threats from his voting base. Someone had tried to mail something to one of her many offices which caused her Secret Service detail to put her entire campaign into security lockdown. When they caught the person who had mailed the package, he claimed that he acted on his own, but that he was very much a voting member of the Conservative Party. Compton denied having anything to do with the man, even going as far as denouncing the man on national HD. Compton claimed that people like that criminal had no place in the Conservative Party and that the perpetrator should be prosecuted and jailed. For once, Crow could agree with Compton and that made her more than a little nauseous.
Any news story on the HD that was even remotely negative of Michael Compton was instantly squashed as “fake news.” Crow had to laugh though, his “fake news” comments became more and more like a meme as time went on which favored Crow in some circles of the media. There was even a picture of Michael Compton with the words “fake candidate” plastered over his face.
When it came to the few remaining Outer Colonies and Fringe Worlds, Michael Compton didn’t care about them. To him they were poor people, too poor to have anything to do with. Better to leave them to the National Party. He knew that if he could win the Core Worlds, Inner Colonies, and a few of the Middle Colonies it didn’t matter for that was where the major population centers were. The Outer Colonies and Fringe Worlds just didn’t have enough people in them to matter to people like Michael, which was exactly the sentiment that caused the ACF to break away in the first place! And look how that had ended up!
If you had to ask Michael, if the remaining Outer Colonies and Fringe Worlds were to run to the newly formed Allied Colonies of Humanity, he didn’t care one iota. There was even a soundbite where he was quoted saying that he didn’t give a damn about those star systems, but of course he vehemently denied it as “fake news.” This, even though the media had a date-time stamp on the vid as well as GPS location attached to it from Mars. When a reporter stated as such Compton left the room stating, “This press conference is over.”
Despite everything Christina Crow thought about her opponent, she still had to marvel at how Michael so carefully ran his campaign; it was duplicity at its worst. But that duplicity was what Michael Compton was known for in the business world. He knew exactly how to play both sides against the middle. After all, he didn’t care; to him it was just business.
There was talk about how he managed much of his dealings though multiple layers of carefully crafted shell companies, but the authorities could never track them all down or figure out who was behind them all. There was talk of how he was tied to multiple crime syndicates on Sirius but that was just talk. There was absolutely no evidence at all that he was remotely connected to those crime families. Though Compton did have multiple business partnerships with legitimate corporations within the Corporate Republic. His legal team had told him that if he was elected president, he’d have to give up all claims to his corporation or put it all into trust status.
Crow, because of the vow she made to how now late husband, campaigned cleanly and most importantly campaigned on a platform of vowing not to let the corruption that had led to the ACF breaking away from the Human Federation to ever take hold in the government as long as she was president.
She did remember how Compton had given her an opening to dig into him and she’d exploited it shamelessly. It wasn’t even a dirty trick. Compton claimed that he supported the war and that his family and business associates all supported the men and women in the Human Federation Armed Forces. Compton made a big deal about how much money he had invested into building out the shipyards that built the warships that the Space Force needed to fight the war. All that money he claimed. What had she given? What had she done to support the war given her voting record in Congress?
In a news broadcast that went viral almost as soon as it was over President Crow had asked Compton what his personal stake in the civil war had been. He spoke of the massive amount of money he contributed to the war fund. Crow had just smiled politely before she said that her husband had died in the war. She knew the cost of the war and how she had worn mourning black for months and that she knew plenty of friends both in and out of government who were mourning the loss of friends and loved ones.
She finished off by asking if Compton had ever served or if any of his family had served. No Compton had served in the military in the last three generations and Michael’s son and daughter were both too young to have served. When pressed if he would be proud to see his son or daughter put on the uniform his mealy-mouthed response of his support for them (but not pride) showed how he felt about the men and women who wore said uniform. If that didn’t resonate with his voting base Christina didn’t know what would. If she had to hazard a guess, that might’ve just given her the edge to, if not win the election outright, at least steal votes from Compton.
He might be running as a Conservative, but he wasn’t what anyone would call a true Conservative. It was just that he really didn’t fit in any other party. He could’ve ran as an Independent and made a go of it. He certainly had the money to bankroll his own campaign and the media connections to make himself known. But even today Independents didn’t really have a shot at the presidency. Most true Independents voted with one of the major parties, helping them to form coalitions, but their support was transitory. One year they could support one party, the next year another. Since they weren’t directly tied to the major parties they could more often than not vote their own way rather than staying in lockstep with a party’s platform.
All throughout her campaign she went to the colonies and most importantly the Outer Colonies and Fringe Worlds that were very much mistreated by those who were in power in the past. She’d seen firsthand how the corporations had raped those colonies and their people and left them so poor that to call them poor would have been an understatement. The government had taken resources and taxed those colonials so that the Core Worlds and Inner Colonies could benefit from their fruits. In a lot of ways, it was exactly how the British Empire had managed their overseas possessions; letting Great Britain grow fat and prosperous while their possessions paid for it.
She remembered sitting with many people of those colonies and listened to their plight. She was often moved to tears as she listened to people practically beg for help, yet the Human Federation government had turned a blind eye to them in the past. Often when a new colony was set up, huge corporations came in like vultures with promises to build the colonies up, only to turn around and saddle those colonies and their people with crushing debts and interest rates that would make even the most ruthless of loan sharks look like saints by comparison.
Crow remembered being in a townhall meeting on some backwater world that didn’t even have a planet name, it was simply given the designation of P3X-298. That planet had to be the worst she had ever seen. People were living in crowded conditions in what amounted to the old tenement style buildings of pre-World War Two New York City’s Lower East Side. It was either that or people lived in little cubicles that gave them a coffin-like place to sleep in and little else. The streets were broken with potholes and there was hardly any money to repair them or even keep the lights on in the streets. Meanwhile the factories that the people worked in were brightly lit and well-maintained. But was the capital that the factories produced along with whatever else they made flowing back to the workers and the local economy? Obviously not.
It broke her heart to see people living in such absolute destitution. She wasn’t naive enough to think that things like this didn’t happen, even on Terra. She knew of plenty of places on Terra where the poor and unwanted of society went unheard and unseen in a dystopian hell. The people of P3X-298 were very much staunchly Labour, but she wanted to have some scathing words with the local Labour representatives and senators. How was it that the party that was supposed to help people like those living on P3X-298 let things get that bad?
But what really broke Christina’s heart was when she listened to a little girl named Emily who had to be only eight Terran years old. Emily told her of how her parents worked tirelessly, often to the point of being physically ill, yet they still could not afford to even put the most meager of meals on their dinner table. As Crow listened to Emily, she couldn’t help but to cry with her.
That night, Crow’s campaign, by her order, donated a substantial sum of credits to the colony’s food banks. The windfall donation had stunned the food banks’ managers and they heartily thanked her for it. In a lot of ways, the money was of more use to them than food would be. With money they could buy the foodstuffs that the needy required, not just what some politician thought they needed. It might’ve only been a drop in the bucket for a planet with a population of several million, but the gesture wasn’t lost on the managers nor the people of the colony. It also wasn’t lost on the Labour National Committee who in turn donated even more money to impoverished colonies to help feed their people. And Labour wasn’t alone in it either. Her gesture had resonated so much with the Human Federation public that all of the other major parties had donated as well. After all, why let the Labour Party get so much good press coverage for free? Was it pragmatic? Sure. But that didn’t take away from the fact that the other parties could let Labour get all the brownie points.
But it wasn’t just the Outer Colonies and Fringe Worlds that she campaigned in, she also campaigned in the Core Worlds, Inner Colonies and Middle Colonies. She visited Mars, Alpha Centauri, Tau Ceti, and several other Core Worlds with a message that she and her administration would not forget them. She promised that if they needed help, they too would get the help that they needed. For despite how easy life was in those colonies, they too had their issues; they just weren’t as soul crushing as that what was seen in the outer colonies.
Crow continued to campaign in the furthest reaches of the Human Federation, even up to the week of the election for there were many more colonies where people were living in soul crushing poverty. Christina knew that she needed to do something, anything, to help those people who were living in the worst of conditions. And so, she vowed that if she were reelected to the office of the president, her administration would work tirelessly to help those colonies that had been economically hurt so badly by those of the past government.
The news of Crow’s presidential campaign reached as far as desk of President John Renault of the then newly named Allied Colonies of Humanity. Crow remembered receiving a message by courier boat with him saying that he wished there were more politicians like her in the Human Federation. She considered that to be the best of complements, it meant that she was doing things right.
Despite all of Christina Crow’s campaigning, she was still very nervous. Every single newsie claimed that it was going to be a very tight race. Some political pundits said that Christina didn’t have a prayer of winning the election for of course, she was seen as the one who lost the war. She’d been the one in office when the Human Federation had acceded to the ACF’s terms. But despite what the pundits were talking about, Christina was pulling ahead in the polls. She didn’t know how for she was buying into all the negativity that the Conservative pundits were saying about her. She really did think she was going to lose the election.
It had taken nearly a week for all the votes to come in from all the various colonies throughout the Human Federation. Even up to the evening of last day of the election votes were still being tallied and counted as courier boats were still coming in from distant colonies. They exited the jump gates and transmitted the results via subspace radio. Then they turned around and went back, oftentimes to get more results. That, however, didn’t stop the newsies from putting forward their own predictions for how the election would turn out.
Crow would have none of that, she didn’t want to look at her numbers until the very last vote was counted. That, however, didn’t at all deaden the party that her supporters were throwing in her honor. As they paid attention to the poll numbers the party seemed to get louder. Crow ignored it. She couldn’t fault them though, they deserved it as much as she did, if not more. It was those at that party that were the real winners of her campaign. Crow was grateful to every single person in that room for she knew that if it wasn’t for all of their hard work in getting her message out, she wouldn’t have gotten anywhere close to where she was that night.
It was when the final vote was counted at nearly 0200 hours that Crow’s campaign manager, Regina Tasis, dragged Crow in front of the HD screen. Crow kept telling her that she didn’t want to know the results until she had insisted that the news reported that the last vote was counted and that the results were beamed in from the outer system. Crow sat stunned as not only did she win the presidential election but her party also picked up several congressional and senatorial seats as well as a governorship or three, at least in the Sol System.
Across the rest of the Human Federation her own Labour Party were picking up seats in Congress and more than a few governorships. The Liberal-Democrats were taking a beating in the polls, with most of their seats being lost to the Conservatives and Labour. The National Party retained most of their seats in Congress and held their governorships. The Greens looked like they were fading into obscurity, losing most of their seats to the other parties altogether. The make up of the new Congress was going to be interesting to say the least. The Conservatives, who looked like they were going to become the loyal opposition as the second largest party in Congress, would likely howl at any economic package she tried to push. But at least Christina could hope that her Labour Party could ally with the Liberal-Democrats and the Independents to get something done.
It was then that Christina Crow’s communicator beeped indicating that she was receiving a phone call. She reached to her side and on the screen was Michael Compton’s name. She stepped away from the stage where she could get some quiet and took the call.
“Michael Compton,” Crow said as she pressed the communicator to her ear. “To what do I owe the pleasure?” She’d already gotten calls from the other candidates who conceded the election to her but Compton was the last to hold out. It had been her and him with the most votes after all.
As civilly as he could he said, “My hat is off to you Mrs. Crow. By now it’s clear that you’ll take the presidency. I wish you well in the next six years. If there’s anything that I or my corporation can do for you or the country please don’t hesitate to call on me.”
“That’s very gracious of you Mr. Compton.” When she had said that her campaign workers all looked at her with glowing senses of relief and admiration. It looked as if they wanted to cheer and she waved them down. Now wasn’t the time to be doing that. After she got off this call, yes, but not before. She owed Mr. Compton that much. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Until another time then, Madam President,” he said just before he ended the call.
She closed her communicator, slid it into a pocket, then turned to face her workers. “Mr. Compton has conceded the race.” A deafening roar of approval and joy ripped through the room, nearly deafening her for a moment. People came up to her to shake her hand. Somebody, she didn’t know who, pressed a glass of something into her hand. She sipped it and expected to find Champagne or Scotch whisky in there. Instead it was a very fine cognac. She had no idea where anybody would’ve gotten it but there it was in that glass. She sipped once more, enjoying the smooth, rich taste of it.
Minutes later she went on stage and nodded her head at her campaign manager as she approached the podium, all eyes were on her as the party’s noise calmed down. “My supporters,” Christina Crow began as she looked out across the crowd of people at her party. By now the media was there in full force, aiming microphone and HD recorders at her.
“I would like to extend to you a very joyous thanks for everything that you’ve done for me and my campaign. I can’t thank you enough for if it weren’t for all of you, my campaign would not have ever gotten off the ground. Each and every one of you put your heart and soul into this campaign, for which I am forever in your debt.” She paused as she looked out across the room, they were hanging onto every word she said. “I’m pleased to announce to all of you here that I have just received calls from Michael Compton and my other opponents congratulating me on a well fought campaign.” She raised her voice. “I’ve been re-elected as the President of the Human Federation!”
The room instantly erupted into screaming all the while Crow couldn’t help but smile, she had won the election and she did it on her own merits. She laughed as the song titled Celebration by Kool & The Gang rang forth in the hall. The song was centuries old and had been remixed, remastered, had innumerable cover albums of it made, but the original was still used. She couldn’t help but to think that the only reason why she won the election was because she spoke to the little people, the people had been so very much wronged by those of the past Human Federation government. She knew that she had to work with the new Congress to turn the government around and to make the government work for the people; not for those who either had money, power, or both. Christina didn’t come from power or money so getting into the Senate years ago seemed like a minor miracle.
She raised her hand and the room fell silent. “Now that I’ve won the election, my promise to the Human Federation public is that I will hit the ground running. I know that many of you didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t going to be just another politician, today I’m going to prove it. From this day forth, I’m going fight every day for those of you who have been wronged by the past government and by many of the big corporations that have left many of our colonies completely and utterly broken. I made promises during my campaign and I intend to act upon them.” She paused as she looked down at her podium, there was a picture of the little girl that she met on her campaign. Emily was her name. She took up the picture as the newsies took pictures of her.
“This little girl is someone near and dear to me, I met her during a townhall meeting on P3X-298.” Crow paused as she turned the picture over to look at her. “I met her and she told me her story. Everyone there told me their stories. She told me that her parents worked tirelessly yet they still couldn’t afford to even put the most meager of meals on their dinner table. Her story broke me that evening, I still remember how I cried for her and her family. These people are not just nameless people on some planet with only some planetary designation,” Crow raised her voice. “These people are our brothers and sisters! They’re our fellow humans and deserve all the dignity and respect of anyone!”
The whole room erupted as people chanted her name. “These people need our help! For too long these people have been forgotten!” She continued even as the people continued to chant her name. “For too long these people have lived in ways we thought we had abandoned long ago!” She brought the microphone close to her lips as she practically screamed into it. “It ends today! Freedom, equality, prosperity for all! Those aren’t just words. They’re a solemn oath we share with each other. It’s the will of the Human Federation public that elected me to this office and it’s the will of that same public that we must honor.
“My promise to those colonies that are hurting so much is that as soon as I set foot in my presidential office, I will work tirelessly with Congress to right the wrongs that have been committed against them. We’ll turn those planets and even places like them here on Terra around. It’s my hope that our fellow Human Federation citizens won’t have to live like that any longer. We shall work to end the economic oppression that has caused so many of the ills.” She nodded her head. “Because as I said before, these people are our brothers and sisters!”
The next morning the newly elected President Christina Crow walked into her presidential office; she had a promise to keep but she had to figure out how she would be able to keep it. She sat down at her computer and began to study the expansive system that was the Human Federation budget. She had a knack for numbers but even with that, she still found the budget daunting to understand. She knew that it was going to be a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul but she knew that there were people counting on her and she wanted some kind of proposal to go to Congress with in order to fulfill her promises in her acceptance speech. Turning all of the colonies around, especially now that the Allied Colonies of Humanity had broken away and taken their resources with them, was going to be a daunting challenge. It’s why she didn’t make any over-the-top promises that she couldn’t deliver on.
She knew there was going to be a lot of political horse trading that would go on in order to do even the minimum of what she wanted to do. A lot of the colonies were worse off because corporations exploited them. She would try to have laws passed to curtail that and more stringently enforce the laws already on the books. The one thing she knew she couldn’t do was simply throw money at the problem. It’d work in the short-term, but it would’ve been like trying to put a bandage on a wound that needed a tourniquet. And besides, where would she have gotten the money anyways?
With the colonies having seceded from the Human Federation her government would have to work out equitable trade treaties with the Allied Colonies of Humanity. No longer could the Human Federation just say, “Give,” and expect it to be given. It wasn’t ever going to be like that again and should never have been in the first place. There were too many examples in Terra’s history where a richer, more powerful nation-state had exploited lesser developed states to make themselves richer; usually at the expense of the people living in those lesser developed states. She was aghast that the same held true today; that the Human Federation would use that same methodology to enrich the Core Worlds and Inner Colonies.
But that was all going to be worked out over the coming weeks and months after her formal inauguration as president. Courier boats had already come in from the Allied Colonies of Humanity, the Corporate Republic of Sirius, the Genetic State of Midas, as well as the United Kingdom of Zalta congratulating her on her victory. Along with the congratulations were promises that those same star nations would continue to work with the Human Federation in order to build stronger relations and work toward peace and greater understanding. There was a third, personal message included from Zalta. The Queen of Zalta had personally extended an invitation to her and the leaders of the other powers in Human Space to visit the Zaltaen home star system. There were a few humans there already, but this would be the first time that heads of state would visit the Zalta System.
Continue to Chapter 4…