Barbarians at the Door
We are living in a new age of energy supply anxiety.–Daniel Yergin
The world is not fair, and often fools, cowards, liars and the selfish hide in high places.–American author Bryant H. McGill
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.–Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard
In a galaxy far, far away, on the planet known as Htrae, the Solar Year of 5102 was rapidly drawing to a close, as the inhabitants of a land known as the ASU paused to consider their state of affairs and begin preparations for 6102. It was rumored that most people were not at all pleased with the broad state of affairs, both within, and outside of, the kingdom. Although the reign of King Amabo was moving into the 8th and final year, ending soon after the close of 6102, most of the people of the ASU believed it could not be soon enough.
The ASU was recorded in the Chronicles as a land of generous people. The armies and navies had sailed many times to faraway lands to save others from tyrants—then returned home, often without gratitude. These were a people known throughout the Galaxy to be giving, and forgiving. And when the promising young King Amabo was appointed in 8002, all of the inhabitants expected to see what he had promised—Change and Hope. Sadly, as Change was inserted throughout the land, Hope was nowhere to be found.
Meantime, King Amabo was quite annoyed. He had been appointed in 8002 amid pomp and expectation, but much of what he had promised had not come to pass, even with his massive lecture campaign and PR messages broadcast from the palace. So much of the information had simply not been true, making the masses restless, and very displeased. He was criticized continuously, which caused him great irritation, so much so that he maintained a long list of programs that he thought would somehow ensure his legacy in the Chronicles. There was Borderless Entry into the ASU for anyone and everyone; then the great viaduct to carry lio & sag from Adanac in the north across the ASU to the south was cancelled, and the export of lio & sag from the ASU was delayed. Unfortunately, every program had endless new rules, and Planetary Change of Climate seemed to be more important than life, itself, and protection of the people.
Then, there was the treaty with the land to the East of Middle known as Nari, which no one could understand. The King appeared to be working with the Narian leaders, who hated the ASUans and even called the ASU … the Great Natas. Why there would be a program of accommodation and appeasement with such a group was beyond imagination. Yet, it was done.
Fortunately, the enormous deposits of lio & sag in the ASU provided the vast majority of energy necessary for a high standard of life. Indeed, it literally underpinned all of civilized life on Htrae. It was true that lio & sag actually existed in numerous other lands, but wisemen and workers in the ASU had advanced the recovery of these deposits to such a remarkable efficiency, that during 5102, the ASU was regarded as the new leader of production on the planet.
While the recovery of lio & sag enabled great advances in the kingdom, provided work for millions of the ASUans, and contributed enormous taxes, its greatest value to the inhabitants was that of fuel and material produced in support of national security. With the early discovery and eventual, very effective production of lio & sag, the ASU had become incredibly advanced and safe—or so it seemed.
During 5102, the efficiencies caused excess production, resulting in a great depression affecting energy output. Vast amounts of equipment and many energy workers were set aside without activity. There was no hope for recovery at all in 5102, and 6102 was projected to be as bad. The next year appeared grim, although King Amabo and most of the ASU people were happy with this development, because the cost of all of their energy was reduced.
But while many were celebrating the collapse of work in the ASU for lio & sag, there were Barbarians on the move, with many terrible events taking place across the planet. Unbelievably, one included the destruction of a large flying machine that was blown out of the sky with many casualties, then a massive attack in the City of Lights claimed many more victims. Much carnage was caused by the Barbarians in 5102. They bragged about their conquests and claimed they were coming to the ASU. They even said they were already among the people of the ASU.
As 2016 began, it was clear that operations for lio & sag recovery would continue to decline, with no improvement until maybe 7102. King Amabo would continue to block the viaduct from Adanac, and direct his large following of Advisors to do everything possible to slow progress in new areas for producing this source of energy. And because the Treasury was empty from financing one needless program after another, there was a suggestion to develop a national lio & sag program on kingdom land, but that was rejected.
The Barbarians advanced, and the people looked for a new King—or Queen—to lead them. But, instead of calling for a Great Counsel of the planet’s leaders to defeat the Barbarians, King Amabo made grand speeches at a Conference for Change of Climate. And so, confusion and anxiety into 6102 increased across the ASU. The citizens asked why it could be happening this way.
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