They assembled in the wardroom for the council of war. There were close to 800 delegates from every province, age and occupation; and it was on-line because this was such an important council for the future of Rubicon.
Alexandra Wynne called the meeting to order; she stood up and walked over to the standard on the wall; "I'd like to start this meeting by quoting the canon of Arcadia Bunker, `The best battle is to render the enemy helpless without fighting.' - Sun Tze, from the `Art of War'. Now as we know our smart armour and missile deflectors are based on the martial arts' principle of using the enemies own strength against themselves. This is the way forward."
She sat down again, "Brent, could you start by giving us your thoughts."
"Thank you, Alex. Our modeling and reconnaissance tells us that Maxel has so abused their once fertile soils that they are becoming infertile; they have destroyed all their forests; they are very short of clean water; they have created such an underclass that only 15% of its population are citizens; and the acid winds their factories generate are starting to affect the growth of our forests and crops. They look at Rubicon which they once considered desert - the Rubicon we have nurtured. These followers of George Maxel are driven by a religious belief in economic growth at any cost. And it makes perfect sense to them to expand into Rubicon. We can see them training for this invasion just across the Coleo. - We have sent the letter; today we need to finalise what we will take to the meeting with Maxel - assuming they agree to meet us, of course."
Alexandra Wynne, "They'll come. Thanks Brent. - Yes Liam."
"I think it's pretty straight forward - we want them to leave us alone. But I know they won't. We could send in crews to teach them something about agriculture."
"We have to keep them in the dark about how our anti-aviary technology works - tell them it's magic."
"They think we are yokels, at one level that's to our advantage it means they don't covert our possessions. But it also means they think they can walk in here without resistance. We need to demonstrate even further our ability to stop them - so they don't try in the first place. - its better that they don't invade rather than us stopping them."
"Good point - Iram"
"Everyone of us has to be ready to fight to the death - Todd Village - has 100 horses with smart armour."
"Horses are useless against a neutron bomb - I know we don't know if they have one but it's still best to not fight. I say we should help fix their problems."
"I agree with Morela, but we have to be prepared for every eventuality. We need to let them know we will fight to the death and we need to let them think we have some other super weapons - we can keep them on the back foot by doing something unexpected - such as - uhm - going naked in blue body paint like the old celts."
"So what's the weather forecast for the ninth"
"32C and windy"
"I was joking! - Louise is next"
"To quote Sun Tze - `Use humility to make them proud' - Let them continue to think we are yokels - but I agree we need to let them realise we can and will stop them if they try to invade - we can stop them by their own uncertainty."
"Admit we have anti-aviary technology to let them wonder how big we are."
"It's quoting day obviously - `the unexpected movement is the most efficient' - they are so regimented we can easy blow their minds"
"I think we need peace and we have to teach them not to be greedy"
© Copyright 1999, Julie Peters