For All Nails #254: A Farewell To Kings
by Mike Keating
George Eskin-Brookline had bought the beer. It was good beer, too: Mackenzie's Manitoba Ale. George had been in Black Rock when news of the Executive Revision Act came. Actually, he had been at the Brotherhood's compound in Eaton.
But he had said he wanted to confer with Brian Donaldson and Harold Pickett in a more private setting, so the three of them had gone into the city to spend some time in Brian's Black Rock apartment.
"Nice place you have, Brian," opened George. He was facing the vita set, which was showing a cricket match between Brooklyn and Birmingham. George's attention wasn't really on the vita, though.
"Thanks, George. I really only keep it so I can be close to the day job."
Harold had been to Brian's day job, a nice little bookshop he owned as a front but usually left his manager to run. Brian continued, "I think it's a lucky coincidence that you were in town when we heard the news. I was wondering what your reaction was."
"Well," said George, "I think it's a step in the right direction. But if we want to win this affair, we have to get the enemy out of office. King or President, the ones making the real decisions are still the same Tories as ever."
"Exactly what I was hoping you'd say. I'm glad to know we think alike." Brian wasn't just saying this to get on his superior's good side; Harold could tell by looking at his face that he actually did think the same way as George.
Harold opened a beer. "Haven't we won, though? I mean, the Rebellion was all about getting rid of the British and making ourselves independent. Now that they've gotten rid of the Viceroy, all the ties with Britain are gone."
Before they had left the compound, it seemed as though a number of members agreed with his thoughts. Five residents had left the compound with all their things in a jubilant mood, and he had seen six more packing up their possessions.
"That's true, Harold, and your work has gone a long way toward making it happen," George told him. "Without the backing of the USM's War Department, and then the Birthright Foundation and the money you came into, we'd never have been able to pull off those rallies last year. Without the rallies, the UK wouldn't have done anything rash like naming their own Viceroy. I like to think they felt there was a larger pro-British segment than there really was. I kind of wonder whether the riots inspired Skinner to defy Gold, too. FN2 But we've still got to get rid of the Tories in office. Just because they've made a cosmetic change -- to a Burgoyne, at that -- doesn't mean things are really different. I joined the Brotherhood back in '57 to win a revolution, not to get a figurehead descended from the man who beat us. Now if the Masonist version had passed, that'd be better. I figure we'd have something more like a real republic then."
Brian nodded. "Conditions won't change in Virginia just because we have a President instead of a Viceroy. That won't put more money in their pockets. I'm sure Simon and his people aren't going to see nearly the number of desertions we have. Things will still work in our favor, and the desertions are only a momentary setback. The revolution will come, the Tories will be toppled and we will bring freedom to the people."
Harold took a long pull on his beer, and thought about that. Didn't the CNA have a republic now? He thought about the critics of Mercator who had disappeared in a nation founded by some of the Rebellion losers that the army clubs so admired. He thought about the Jeffersonism in Boricua and wondered how much real freedom those people had. He thought about the CNA elections in '73 and '74 which he'd observed with an outsider's perspective, and how there had been no foregone conclusion either time. Not like when Dominguez had been elected in Mexico. Then he thought about how Mercator, the head of Mexico's War Department when Harold had been there, was now an internationally wanted mass murderer.
For the first time in his life, Harold Pickett began to wonder if the people in the CNA hadn't been free all along, and whether they had actually been freer than those in the USM over the years. He finished the beer and started another.
George was talking. "This President business, it really annoys me because it's pulled a rug from under our feet. We could have had a glorious revolution all across the country, and now it's going to be dominated by the impoverished Southerners from coal territory. I don't want to see one region drive a nationwide affair. But we won't be deterred. The damned Johnnies have to go. They're still under London's thumb whether they know it or not." Harold shivered, but the other two didn't notice. He hoped this was just a little momentary trepidation. He didn't want to discover he had been aiding a bunch of madmen.
Forward to FAN #255: Grits, Interrupted.
Forward to 15 April 1976: A Statement of Principles.
Forward to Harold Pickett: Thunderstruck.
Return to For All Nails.