Chapter 4

in Peacekeepers

The investigation was grinding to a standstill. Despite the police's efforts, the lack of cooperation proved to be a slow cancer that was threatening the success of the investigation. The Dividian Police of the Faithful were certain that all the perpetrators lived somewhere inside the Rosebourg-Terran Ghetto, but no one would dare mention names - they feared for their own safety. The Police couldn't guarantee them security, everyone was well aware that the weaponry used by the biker gangs in the attack on the school was much more powerful than anything the Police ever had. Detectives combed the Rosebourg-Terran Ghetto as best as they could, but several weeks after the investigation had been opened, they came back with very little new evidence or new leads.

The Police Chief stared outside of his window; looking upon the city whose security he was responsible for. His arms were crossed behind his back, his plain coloured clothes barely moving as his eyes remained fixed on the city skyline. It wasn't a large building, and the Police Headquarters was amongst the biggest of the buildings in the city - 4 stories tall. He sighed, the future of his job rested upon the successful closure of this particular investigation. He had placed personal stake within it, having been present at the crime scene, having observed some of the evidence and having coordinated the first steps of the investigation. He had since given the task to one of his subordinate - after all, crimes were still being committed every single day and he had other duties to attend to - life had to go on.

Since the attack on the school, the crime rate had shot up all over the city. Hate crimes in particular had raised to an alarming rate in a very short time - and the police weren't quite sure how to deal with it. Dividian biker gangs now existed, and they fought regular skirmishes against Rosebourg and Terran biker gangs. The population was becoming apprehensive, and in the center of this crime zone was a police force whose effectives had been lowered by a lack of funding, and a loss of men. The police force of the city had been crippled by the unexpected coordinated attack by the biker gangs and they had yet to recover from it. Early estimates gave it a year or two before new arrivals from the Planetary Police Academy would arrive.

The city was loosing control of its own racially diverse population - The Chief closed his eyes for a moment hearing the police sirens coming towards the Police Headquarters. He opened his eyes, seeing the police hover-cars chasing a hover-truck that was heading straight for the Headquarters. His eyes opened wider as they quickly made the connection... 

"Oh no! Oh no!" He jumped away from the window as the truck collided with the building, sending a massive explosive force that took out the whole façade of the police headquarters within a few seconds.

The sirens wailed once more, as another terrorist attack committed against the Dividian side of the City took out most of the police force. Less than a few weeks after the attack on the school, another harsh blow was dealt against the Dividians. And the ambulances came once again, the sirens ringing across the city as patients were transferred from one hospital to another, as fire-trucks were deployed to help contain spreading flames... as news reporters began to call the City: "The City of the Holy Curse." 
The City Councilar was a building that was equal in size to that of the Police Headquarters, and stood right across from it. The politicians had seen, had heard, and had been witnesses to a part of the attack on the Police Headquarters. They couldn't remain silent as they watched their City being attacked and destroyed by terrorist groups. They weren't sure what they were going to do to solve the problem - after all their police force had just been annihilated, most of the effectives had been obliterated when the truck collided with the Police Headquarters. The government of the City seemed powerless in stopping these terrorist attacks, and the civilians took their fear to the city, taking justice into their own hands.

The police was more occupied with trying to keep order than investigating the crimes that had been committed against them. The situation was degenerating rapidly and no one was blind to it. The planetary government urged for a reaction on the part of the city, and promised money and aid, while the national government pressured the planetary government in turn to do something to restore order. The Dividian government was well aware that all along the Rosebourg-Dividian border similar planets with similar population compositions existed - if one planet fell: the others would follow. An incredible amount of pressure was being exerted upon the Nley of the city.

The Nley had been barely able to get any sleep since the attack on the Police Headquarters - he had lost many good friends and allies within the Police department and he wasn't even sure how he'd avenge their deaths. He looked over the documents that had been handed to him by his secretary. He didn't have any time to mourn the death of his fellow faithful citizens. He was a Nley and he had a city government to run. The Nley walked down the corridor, pretending to look sure of himself as he proceeded to go up the stairs - Emergency Conference with the Religious Leaders. He nodded to some of the city employees, stopping in front of the door, which led inside the conference room. He pulled the door open, entering into the world of politics.

"Good day Nley," The religious leaders all stated, as he entered.

"Good day," He replied coolly, as he accepted a dossier from the secretary of the conference.

"We'll wait for any latecomers before we start the meeting." 

The religious leaders returned to their idle chatting on matters of religion, as Nley Jaquan looked at the familiar faces of his allies. He had chosen these particular Religious Leaders because they had been his allies during the elections; their support had been invaluable in winning the elections. It was very important that his political party win in this town - they had always won in this community and it wasn't under his candidature that the party would loose the elections in this bastion. But the Nley couldn't ignore the fact that times were changing rapidly, and that the terrorist attacks were just the beginning of something grander. He looked at some of his allies, nodding until he saw one of the older Empeks - his greatest ally of all. He walked over to the Empek and bowed in front of him.

"Nley Jaquan," The man nodded.

"Empek Kasan." 

"It is a pleasure to see you, Mr. The Nley" 

"And how are you, Empek Kasan?" Nley Jaquan asked as he extended a hand to his most trusted ally.

"Better than your city it would seem," Empek Kasan's aged and wise face offered a small smile, "How are you faring my old friend?" 

"Not very good, as you can imagine. We've lost a lot of friends in these attacks." 

"It is a sad day when evil shadows the work of our Great Maker." 

"A propos, there isn't anything on this in the prophecies?" 

"I'm afraid there isn't, I have hunted for prophecies - to see if there was anything, but there is no mention of this kind of cruelty on this planet... it is mysterious indeed." 

"Indeed," Nley Jaquan sighed, "I was hoping that there'd be a religious answer to this question." 

"Sometimes religion asks us to stand on our own, my friend," Empek Kasan's hands disappeared inside his robes, making him look even more like the religious leader he was for this planet.

"He hasn't given me a very easy task."

"The Great Maker gave you the task of leading this city, he has plans for our great City, and we must work with Him." 

"And what if we make a mistake?" 

"The Great Maker guides us in such a way that mistake is impossible," Empek Kasan bowed slightly, "Do not worry, if you keep faith in Him, he will send you the signs you need to make the right decisions." 

"I certainly hope so," He gave a half-hearted smile.

"Patience - trust Him in his work." 

"Nley Jaquan!" One of the council-members stated in a loud voice, "The latecomers have all arrived." 

"Very good, Councilman, let's begin then, shall we?" He replied, looking over at Empek Kasan, "Please have a seat at my right side."
"It would be my honour to sit at the right side of such a capable Nley."

"You flatter me so," The Nley motioned his hand, inviting the Empek to sit, "If you could please all have a seat, we can get this meeting going." 

Nley Jaquan waited for all the Empeks to take a seat, as they were flanked by the council members in charge of the most important departments of the city - they represented the various interests that formed the political party of Nley Jaquan. Jaquan poured himself a cup of some dark liquid, which he immediately quenched down, his body shaking as the drink went down. He looked at all the Empeks, sighing before beginning.

"As you know- our city is in trouble, and I would like to allow Councilman Sinars to speak first to put into focus on just how extensive the problem is," He nodded to one of the young council members, "Councilman." 

"We are faced with a crisis, ladies and gentlemen, this City Council of Faith has observed since the attack on the school an increase in crime of over one hundred percent. Since the terrorist attack on police headquarters, we've had a drop in effectives of over forty five percent. There is more crime, and less police officers to take care of ridding us of that crime. We only foresee receiving new police officers to ensure the peace and the faith in two years? - the elections are coming up rapidly." 

"Do we risk loosing the elections?" One of the Empeks asked, "I don't think any of us have left the political party since the crisis began." 

"The problem may not come from the Empeks this time around, the problem might come from the electorate. Although they say they are... pleased with the way the City has dealt with the crisis, they are demanding results and are getting impatient." 

"If the situation keeps proceeding the way it has over the past few days, we risk loosing the communal elections to the Radicals. The population believes that what they're proposing may work to restore calm." 

"We cannot think about the elections right now," Empek Kasan spoke up, interrupting some of the younger voices, "The elections will be won based on how we respond to the current problem in the city." 

"Empek?" The Nley looked at Kasan, knowing he had something cooking.

"What did the investigation show before the police headquarters was destroyed?" 

"All the links point somewhere inside the Pteradactyl District," Councilman Sinars replied.

"The Rosebourg-Terran Ghetto?" 
"Yes, but our investigation has proven impossible, the local population hasn't been forthcoming." 

"Of course not!" Someone interjected, "We all know they're the ones responsible!" 

"Now now, we can't just assume that," The Nley looked at the interjector.

"We can, we know it was the Rosebourgs who raped those children and blew up that school! They're not like us, Mr. The Nley, they're cruel bloodsuckers!" 

"I will simply not prescribe to that kind of rhetoric from this party, we're not radicals."

"But -" Empek Kasan looked at the Nley, "This is not a normal situation - " 

"But we cannot prescribe to these blanketed racist comments." 

"Nley Jaquan - we do know that the problem is originating from somewhere inside the Rosebourg-Terran Ghetto - and our own electorate is becoming impatient in what it sees as non resolve from their leaders." 

"What do you propose?" 

"I don't know, Nley Jaquan -" 

"I do," a person interjected - it was the quiet Empek on the other side of the table - Nley Jaquan had never heard him speak inside the meeting.

"Please, Empek, we are listening," Nley Jaquan looked.

"The population is ready to accept a radical solution to the problem. They fear for their children's safety, they fear for their own safety. We must give them the sense of security back, and we must immediately increase our effectives." 

"Yes, we know this?" 

"Well," The Empek looked outside, "Our own security forces have been decimated -  they are simply outclassed by the security threat - and as our Great Prophecies advise - sometimes the undesirable must be done to ensure the safety of our Faith." 

"Empek, get to the point," Nley Jaquan looked him over, "You're making a lot of sense..."

The Empek interrupted, "I propose the military option." 

"What?!?" The Nley looked shockingly at the Empek.

"Yes, I propose a radical solution - the military option. They have the effectives, and they've just finished anti-terrorist training." 

Empek Kasan looked over at his young apprentice, "The child may be right, Nley Jaquan - the military would certainly give a sense of security to the people." 

"We would no longer be in control of the measures taken!" 

"We don't seem to have much control now," One of the council members sighed.

"I propose a vote," The young Empek placed his arms on the table, crossing his fingers, as he looked at the Nley. 

"I second," another Empek stated.

"We're moving to vote then," The Nley looked, "All in favour." 

He made a short count, "All against?" 

Empek Kasan looked at Nley Jaquan, "It is only a temporary measure." 

"I'll go ahead and declare a state of martial law and demand military intervention," The Nley nodded, "What's next on our agenda?" 
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