Monday, September 28, 2020

Microstory 1461: Special Election

Eskandar Aljabari was the polar opposite of former Sekundas Poppet Drumpf. He was kind, progressive, and most of all, a philogynist. Years ago, a very, very small group of men got together and formed an organization. Though organization was probably a strong word to use. Club might have even been too strong for it. Friends. They were friends. More to the point, they were like-minded friends. They all loved women, and not only in the way it sounded like. They believed women ought to be treated equally, just like they were on Earth. The Thicket was great as a rebellious force that was trying to change things by making a lot of noise. People needed to hear dissenting opinions, or they would just go on believing that their opinions—if only the ones indoctrinated into them by the government—were the correct ones. A rebel faction wasn’t the only way to make change, however, and this group of friends believed that their way was what was best for them. They were men, after all, so they didn’t need to fight against oppression if they managed to infiltrate the system, and tear it down from the inside. The first attempt at this was Neifion Summerfield, but he frightened people with his radical ideas about the treatment of women, so they recalled him. His downfall was what led to Drumpf’s regime, and this group didn’t want to see that sort of thing happen again. If Eskandar wanted to win the special election following Drumpf’s removal, then he needed to learn from Summerfield’s mistakes. He needed to be smarter, slower, and far less conspicuous. They had to play the long game, and though it would start with Aljabari, it wouldn’t end with him. The plan was to replace him with someone else in the next election after this one, so people could gradually appreciate the idea of trusting women without even realizing it.

There was a problem, though. One of Poppet Drumpf’s conditions for agreeing to step down as Sekundas was that his successor be a mage remnant. It didn’t matter what weak power the next leader of Durus would have, but he couldn’t just be a regular human. Though Aljabari was smart about concealing his true intentions regarding feminine policy, there were those who saw through his façade. They couldn’t prove who he really was, so they figured they should take him out of contention some other way. Then they never needed to try to oppose him at all. Aljabari was no mage remnant, so it seemed there was nothing they could do to qualify him for office. But there was. Most men had been denying the existence of female mage remnants since the very end of the Interstitial Chaos, and this obvious lie was the Republic’s official position. Some even denied that there were ever female full mages during the Mage Protectorate. The bottom line was that, if your daughter was born with powers, and you didn’t want her to be locked up for her entire life, you had to keep it a secret. You had to teach her to keep it a secret, and you couldn’t trust a soul. Fortunately, though Aljabari and his friends didn’t even reveal to their own wives that they were secretly in favor of women’s rights, his wife did confide in him about her time power. And so she gave them their loophole. She was an empath, so she had the ability to sense other people’s emotions. She could also send emotions to others. Now, this might seem like it didn’t matter, because Aljabari himself obviously had to be the one with powers, but all they had to do was use the Republic’s stance on wives against them. His wife had to be with him literally at all times, because the wife of anyone in a political position was more dangerous than the wife of a regular guy. She wasn’t allowed to campaign for him separately, because she would probably screw it up, or undermine him on purpose. So she was in the room when Eskandar was asked to demonstrate his empathic abilities. When prompted, she sent him a given target’s emotion, let him claim he was the one who sensed it himself, and he was able to pass the test. People were suspicious, since he wasn’t openly remnant before, but there was no law against that, and there seemed to be no way around his demonstration, so that had to let him through. He won handily, and began the long con towards equality.

No comments :

Post a Comment