The Shadows Chapter 44
The Precious Declaration
By Keith Adams
Marle glanced at the Epoch's screen. It was monitoring all channels, just waiting for a signal from Guardia. It was tremendously boring. She was stuck here, while everyone else was helping save the world. 'We need back up; the Shadows know who you are now' Lucca had said. Marle crossed her arms and tapped her foot irritably.
Suddenly the small gray screen came on; at first, for no more than a second, it was static, then the face of that hateful man, Agemo, appeared on the screen.
"Citizens of Guardia, we are approaching a time of crisis. We have caught five mystic agents trying to sabotage our weapons. This is obvoiusly to prevent us from counter attacking. We no longer have a choice; we need to strike now, before death comes for us all, death in silence, humankind dead without retribution. I am here to announce, that in precisely one hour from now, we shall launch a complement of three hundred standard nuclear missles with single warheads at the Mystic League."
"This is a trying time. We have removed the Mystics anti-missle bases with the help of our agents, and shall now launch. This is a pivotal moment in history. We must remain calm. We cannot lose. If dying is the price of victory, we shall pay the price. We cannot be badgered by the Mystics into turning the other cheek while the Mystics commit another attempt at genocide of humankind. We shall not turn the other cheek. We shall punch first."
"I know many of you believe that we should surrender to the Mystics, rather than destroying the world. This is the same mentality that advised surrendering to the Mystics before, in the war against Magus. We won that war. The same kind, who, after we beat the Shadows at Porre. The Shadows did nothing after that, yet weaklings on the High Council still advised surrender. The same kind that after Mystic warships attacked Truce, killed dozens, and slayed a king, advised not doing anything. We shall not remain idle this time; the last time we did, the Kingdom of Guardia was split by men of action who were tired of waiting while they were slaughtered. We shall never stand idle in the face of Mystic atrocities again - ever. We shall not turn the other cheek, for to do so is the sign of weakness, of not being able to stop being hit - but we can and will stop it. We shall never again stand idle."
"I implore you all to remain calm - your domes are protected against the radiation. Do not leave them. We can weather this storm. The radiation ought to dissipate within two years. The Mystics are not protected like us against the radiation. They shall fall like wheat to a scythe. The banner of Guardia shall rise above the burnt landscape, and reclaim the world for humanity. There is no other way."
Thiek smiled. Everything was going perfectly. Guardia had given his speech, another short speech that seemed intermitable. The Mystic had surely recieved the broadcast, and would strike back. Armageddon was set, nothing could stop it now.
Marle put her helmet on and sat in the chair of her Epoch. The missles would take an hour to launch and a hour to reach the base. One hour to stop the End of the World. Lucca and the rest had been captured. The missles would have to be shot down en route.
"I trust you enjoyed the presentation," said Thiek to the prisoners "The High Shadow will be here shortly. He's quie interested in all of you. I'm afraid I have to orchestrate the last stages of another game I am playing, to insure certain people do not survive armageddon. Have a blast."
"Bite me," said Crono through the field surrounding the cell.
Thiek vanished in a flash of light. Into the room came to figures; a red Nu and a trenchcoated figure whose downcast head was concealed by a wide brimmed hat.
"I trust you all are well. I suppose you deserve some exlanation, so I will provide one," the trenchcoated figure said.
Melchior recognized the voice. It made sense. Of course - that was who the High Shadow was; the High Shadow was ............
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