Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lights of Hyperion Ch. 2

    "You are listening to the Hyperion News Network. I am Cheridan Quinn, and this is your news. Today marks the tenth anniversary of the Hyperian Accords and the Declaration of Independence from Orion. Tonight's top news story: Congressional officials passed the Wartime Logistics Act. Representatives from Hyperion cooperated with those from Oceanus, Iapetus, Cronus, and Tethys in order to acquire the required majority. The law, which is designed to encourage thrift on the homefront and aid in the movement of resources to our forces on the border systems. Officials say that the disruption of everyday life should be minimal. Nonetheless, they ask that citizens continue to minimize ration use, conserve water and energy, and to donate anything you can spare to the war effort. Here is Congress Chair Henry Blaine's press release." 
Chairman Henry Blaine's voice was a mellow bass. He spoke with the accent of a Helios Uphabber, each vowel and consonant meticulously articulated. His words were neither rushed nor sluggish, and when he was talking, it was very difficult not to listen. He cleared his throat and addressed his audience.

    "Ladies and gentlemen of the press, citizens of Hyperion and of the Reach. This is Chairman Henry Blaine of the Hyperian Congress. Today, working in concert with representatives of every major system and subsystem in the Reach, the Hyperian Congress has finally passed the Wartime Logistics Act. We have made every effort to ensure that the burden, and likewise the protection, of this act are shared fairly by every populated world. For most of you, the differences in your day-to-day life will be minimal. However, there may be some changes that concern you, so I would like to address those changes now.
    "First, the Wartime Logistics Act will require us all to tighten our belts. Caffiene, meat, and sucrose products are desperately neeed by our boys on the front lines, and the border planets are currently incapable of producing the amounts required to sustain the war effort. As a result, those products will require an additional ration chit to purchase for the time being. Furtherore, all public sector employmees will recieve a 3% cut in ration income. However, these adjustment should be temporary, for reasons I will soon explain.
   "The mandatory conscription provision was removed from the final version of the Act. However, in order to prepare for the most terrible eventuality, all ,citizens must submit their genemark to their respective Planetary Defense Recruitment Office for evaluation. Those without an exemption will be notified, and must be ready for recruitment should the need arise. Currently, any citizen who is not in a public service job on the "urgent and irreplaceable" list is strongly urged to consider enlisting for military service.
    All citizens currently drawing an income will see a 3% increase in payroll taxes. In the same way that rations are needed at the front lines, the payroll tax increase is a necessary expense in order for the Hyperian Congress to fund the construction of the First Hyperian Fleet, and to continue to fund the private military forces and ship captains that have helped us to hold off against the Kingdom of Orion so far. The only exemption from these increases is for those employed full-time in a war industry as defined by the Hyperian Defense Committee.
    “In order to minimize the impact of our war efforts, the Hyperian Congress has opened negotiations with the Republic of Sirian Systems. As our nearest non-hostile neighbor, and as a
perennial enemy of the Kingdom of Orion, the Republic is a natural ally. The Wartime Logistics Act contains provisions for the opening of new space boreholes through which trade with Sirius and her client systems can be opened. Sirian traders have expressed an interest in providing much-needed supplies, such as caff, sugar, and meat, in exchange form mining rights in several uninhabited worlds in our periphery. Your cluster's Congressional liaison will confer with the individual system authorities to determine the finer details.
“I must stress to you all that this is NOT an invitation to colonize. The Hyperian Congress is in no way ceding control, sovereignty, or property to Sirius, or any private individuals or entities therein. I will not have it said that we declared our independence from a tyrant only to surrender it to another, gentler master. I swear to you, on my honor as chairman and as a man that Hyperion is free, and shall remain so for as long as I draw breath.
"Men and women of Hyperion and of the Reach, you have given much over this past decade, and it is with deepest sorrow that I ask you to give yet more. But remember, it is not for me that you sacrifice, or for your government, or even your world. With every chit you donate, with every hour you volunteer for the community, you are bringing one step closer the great dream: the dream of a free Reach! Since the days of the League, men and women and gods have sought to be our master; to take the bread from our plates and the chits from our pockets and the sweat from our backs. Today we celebrate the day that we looked back at the Galaxy with fire in our hearts and steel in our backs and said, 'NO MORE!' My fellow Hyperians, that dream is within our grasp. Orion's will falters. Sirius lends their strength to ours. Freedom, true freedom, is within our reach.
"May Hyperion's reign last ten thousand years!"
"That was Congressional Chairman Henry Blaine, regarding the Wartime Logistics Act. Despite a clear majority, support for the law was not universal in Congress. Many of the peripheral systems voiced objections to several provisions of the bill. Opposition leader Grayson Smith claimed that the bill placed an unfair burden on the Periphery Worlds and fails to provide sufficient compensation for the sacrifices they have been asked to make. Many Periphery Worlds have also objected to the idea of a mandatory military conscription system, claiming that, in Smith's words, "Serving an oppresive domestic regime is hardly any different from serving a foreign master." Blain dismissed Smith's claims, but Smith and his allies in Congress say that they will continue to fight for "fair treatment" of the Periphery worlds. This is not the first time the Periphery Worlds have voiced an objection to the ongoing wartime requests made by Congress.
On the war front, Hyperion Star Yards claims that the H.R.S. Magellan is nearing completion. The supercarrier is the first astral vessel to be built especially for the Hyperian Navy, and is scheduled to be launched in four months. Naval officials say that the ship, which sports a state of the art borehole drive and storage capacity for an armored brigade, an aerospace wing, and infantry support, will "drastically turn the tide of the conflict on the border worlds."
In local news, a double murder in Helios City's Hab Block D today. Notable Helios attorney and landholder Dominic Rhodes was found dead in his domicile, as was Rations Administrator Ellis Bunsen. Police withheld details of the investigation, but confirm that they are investigating. Rhodes's wife, Ruth, is missing, and police have named her as a person of interest. Mrs. Rhodes is described as being thirty-five years old, one hundred sixty centimeters tall and weighing roughly fifty kilograms. She has shoulder-length dark brown hair and green eyes, and her skin is very fair. It is unknown what Mrs. Rhodes may have been wearing, but she works as a technician on the H.R.S. Magellan, so she may be dressed in starport worker's coveralls. Police say they are pursuing several leads. Mr. Rhodes held the charters for all hab-dwellers in Block D, but the Hab Administration Department wishes to remind Block D dwellers that, by Helios city housing ordinance 1019b section 7, their charters may not be changed for one year after the transfer of charter ownership. Any complaints regarding hab management or charter infringement may be raised at the Hab Administrator's office between the hours of nine and five.
A reminder to all Hyperion citizens: municipal elections will begin in two months, and all municipal positions are up for vote to all franchised citizens. Those wishing to attain temporary franchise before the election must complete their application and complete 100 hours of wartime service or donate two thousand credits to the Wartime Provisions Department in Helios. Immigrant aliens and offworld citizens may complete 150 hours of service or donate 3000 credits to the Wartime Provisions Department annex of their choice to recieve temporary absentee franchise. As always, permanent franchise is only available in exchange for federal service or a donation of ten thousand credits or fifty thousand ration chits.

With Hyperion News Network, this is Cheridan Quinn. Good night, and long live Hyperion!"

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