“You’ve been coming here everyday?”
C’therax gave a start and looked back to see Sp’Rark approaching the crater’s edge.
“You scared me,” he said. He turned back to look again at the vast Crater whose edge he was sitting at. The red soil here twinkled under the Martian sun. In the distance one could see crops getting ready to sprout.
“Maybe if your antennae weren’t in the clouds you would have seen me,” Sp’Rark snapped. “C’therax, the decision to hire security should have been brought up at the Board meeting.”
“I”m sorry…its just when we got the last angry letter, I panicked,” C’therax said, “The Regime has turned so many against the press.”
“The press staff is worried, C’therax. They sense you are losing your cool,” Sp’Rark said.
C’therax nodded. “It won’t make a unilateral call again. And I will be more careful before I start a fight with an interviewee…”
“Well…that jerk deserved it,” Sp’Rark said, “But, yes, that would be the professional choice.”
There was silence.
Sp’Rark asked, “What is it C’therax?” and sat down next to him and observed the crater’s beauty. Not too far away, a pack of crater wolves could be seen digging a new set of burrows.
C’therax answered, “I don’t know if we are going to be able to convince the people of the C’rululian Empire that our Prime Minister is responsible for the hack of High Gloria and for hiding the Oquruian spies who carried it out. ”
“It wouldn’t be the first time a story didn’t do as well as we hoped, ” Sp’Rark said.
“It’s more than that Sp’Rark…there is a sure fire way for a Prime Minister to stay in power. Works every time. Start a war. People will rally around the flag when they are scared. If the senate doesn’t get the courage to impeach, then the regime will find some underhand way to stay in power. And the regime will continue to be puppets for the Oquruians. As long as this Regime is in power, we are a conquered nation.”
Sp’Rark paused and considered. “Do you really think the regime is far gone enough to cause the slaughter of war to stay in power?”
“It’s happened several times in history. Prime Minister Xorgress said he could blast someone in the middle of Deep Crater City and still be elected. People though he was joking. He. Is. Not. Joking. We cannot presume that he will accept defeat…even if the only way to win involves loss of life.”
“This is far-fetched speculation. C’therax…we’re a newspaper. We print the truth. It’s not our problem what people do with it.”
“But if the truth is impeachable…how can we not be involved? How can we be “fair and balanced” when press freedoms themselves are on the line? How can newspapers be ‘fair and balanced’ about their own existence?”
“I don’t know C’therax…but our first job is to get you back to the offices so you can show the press core they still have a leader. And C’therax…don’t underestimate the Martian people…they may just surprise you yet…at the last moment…in the final hour…the Martians tend to find their courage. The truth, which is the Immutable’s own light, in the end will conquer.”
To Be Continued…
Made as a Camp NaNoWriMo word sprint.
From the Earthling Press: Climate Change is Killing the Cedars of Lebanon
This is a work of fiction.