Chapter X

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Cenerea, 3rd planet from the star Letria. Regalius, The Homeland, Central Region,

The Capitol City, Representative Santum's Office,

Forty-Five Cenerean Years Ago

"Representative Santum will see you now, Captain Browne," the lovely receptionist said leaning over the top of her desk.

"Thanks," the Confederation officer replied, admiring the woman's exposed cleavage. She stood and then, tucking her cap under her arm, strode into the politician's small office. "Those are really nice," the petite soldier said as she passed the lovely woman, pointing a finger at the receptionist's well-endowed chest. "I imagine those are really fun."

The woman blushed.

Connor Santum stood from behind his utilitarian wood and metal desk as the captain entered the room. He lifted a remote control device, silencing an information monitor on the matte gray wall of his office. "It's good to see you again, Captain...ummm?"

"Browne, Captain Elaine Browne."

"I apologize, Captain. I have had a lot on my plate recently. There have been two production worker strikes requesting additional food and an actual ground skirmish between some Central Region troops in one of the more poverty stricken apartment complexes," Connor said pointing at the news tickers rolling silently across the screen.

"Ah, I see," the woman said.

"I understand you are a busy person Madame Captain, so, I will cut to the chase, I find your, um, solution to these types of issues to be very ingenious and I really enjoyed our time over at the Arcturan mansion the other week." Connor laughed. "I know it was difficult for both of us to focus on any really deep conversation with a pair of redheaded Arcturan sisters between our legs, but I believe I caught the gist of what you were trying to say. In fact, this is why I invited you here today."

Elaine sat forward with her elbows on the knees of her white, dress uniform and her fingers pressed together. "May I be frank with you Representative Santum?"

"Please. I've seen you naked," he said with a grin. "Something I would gladly love to do again, but a bit closer."

The officer smiled back then let it fade away. "Connor, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the Confederation is a failed experiment and other than you, no one in government has wanted to listen to me in regards to this fact. They can't bring themselves to acknowledge the truth of what needs to be done to provide a viable living situation for the whole of Regalius. The birth pangs of the problem are only now beginning to be felt," she said, pointing at the combat taking place on the large screen. "It's going to take a drastic move, one that needs to be taken very soon, mind you, to begin dealing with these issues or what you see in your home Region is going to be everywhere. At the current population growth rate, within ten years, the number of Regalian citizens will have become so great that even if we took every scrap of food possible from the Lavidians, at least one third of the Confederation citizenry would find themselves starving in the streets. The world as we now know it would spin out of control and someone will then begin launching missiles," the captain said.

"And your solution is to seize control of the Homeland and do what about this, exactly? I only remember bits and pieces at this point; I was becoming, erm, preoccupied."

Elaine grinned. "Well, the first thing that would need to happen is to build a Confederation-wide acceptance of a large centrally-controlled government."

"How is this supposed to happen? We can barely get some Regional citizens to look at each other, much less get them to talk," Connor stated.

"We give them a common enemy."

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