Transmitting to all Star Systems from the Martian Muckraker:
We repeat! The Earthlings have devised a planetary barricade. Our ships have been confiscated. We need to evacuate Earth! Soon, we will not be able to see the stars in the sky. Please, as the Immutable lives, we need help! Thirty minutes to the closing of the final gap. We need help now. Starlight is vanishing. Several Martians have already died! Please send help! We repeat! The Earthlings have devised…
If there is anything the current King and Prime Minister are good at, it is changing narratives.
Case in point: This week the Council of Mars voted unanimously to set up a memorial commemorating those Martians who were denied aid when they frantically radioed for help during the rising of Earth’s Great Barricade. The current Regime at the Empire Capital quickly condemned the move on all News frequencies. “There was no mass attempt to flee Earth. Those on Earth foolishly refused to believe that the Earthlings would do what they did. This monument is all Fake News. The C’rululian Empire cannot be held accountable for any of the loss of life Earth’s Great Barricade caused,” one of the Prime Minister’s spokespeople said.
However, less then three minutes later the narrative changed: General Vikiper stated that the military would have aided in an exodus if it weren’t due to legal restrictions passed by the Coalition for a Free Starsystem. It is unclear what alleged legal restrictions he was attempting to refer to. We looked in the lawbooks several times. We haven’t found any relevant prohibitions. Feel free to transmit them to us if you have better luck.
Still later, another official stated that the monument’s history “isn’t false as such, but leaves out important details. Why do we ask why we didn’t help them, but don’t ask why they [the refugees from Earth] sold out on their C’rululian and Martian identities by going to Earth in the first place?”
Perhaps people don’t ask because the Regime knows—and doesn’t like—the answer. Martians fled to Earth to escape the crushing economic collapse caused by the Regime’s trade wars and the severing of legitimate intergalactic alliances. And is there really a moral equivalence between our Empire’s rejection of their distress signal and a hungry population choosing to move toward food?
And then the inevitable comes. After a few days of clashing narratives the finger gets pointed at us editorial writers for “tar and feathering” the Regime or not having enough “moral nuance” towards “complicated issues.”
Lives. Were. Lost. Many of our brethren are still in hiding on Earth. Objective lies have been promoted by this Regime multiple times. Forgive us, but somehow people don’t ask for moral “nuance” when it is their children’s lives or futures on the line. They ask for moral courage, decisiveness, strength, fortitude, but somehow, when their lives are being lost, “nuance” isn’t asked for. We always seem to find a need for nuance when it is those people who are suffering, not ourselves.
This isn’t to say that having a nuanced view of the galaxy is a bad thing. In this case, however, the truth is black and white. Our Empire had the opportunity to save lives. We chose not to in the absence of any compelling reason other then that those wounded weren’t sufficiently “our people.” The Regime’s motives are clear. To admit the value of Earthlings (by blood or by immigration) would relativize the value of Empire, and that would be the one narrative shift the Regime could not handle.
By C’therax and the Editorial Team of the Martian Muckraker
Click Here for last week’s story. New science fiction short stories of various formats (epistolary, pretend newspaper, traditional narrative etc. etc.) are added every week.
One thought on “On Earthlings and Empires”