I AM NOW AT least the de facto Emperor of Khoten. As the Emperor of Khoten, I find myself with the necessity to hold an open, public hearing. Unfortunately, my latest public hearing is not to directly address the concerns of my subjects. My latest open, pubic hearing is to address the concern of those who run other governments in the South and East of Corin.
The latest petitioners want closed, private hearings.
I tell the petitioners, “You have a choice, you can have an open, public hearing, or no hearing. Take your pick.”
The petitioners choose to have an open, public hearing.
A representative of the most populous of the other nations in the South and East rises and opens the hearing, by complaining of raids on the shipping of his nation.
I ask, “You then charge that the forces of Khoten are raiding your shipping?”
“I make no such charge, directly. However, the raids of the shipping of my nation are done by men riding in the anti-gravity sleds that only your Khoten Empire possesses.”
“Do you have a captured anti-gravity sled, to back up your charges?”
“We have been unable to capture even a single anti-gravity sled or a single pirate.”
“Then your charges are based upon speculation. I don’t respond to charges based upon speculation.”
“My nation is not only losing cargo, the pirates then sail the ship involved to foreign ports, where the ship is sold.”
“There are various maritime commissions, here on Corin. Your complaints should be properly directed to said maritime commissions.”
“The people of my nation are forced to raise the flowers that produce drugs. There are heavily armed bandit gangs that control the rural countryside. We don’t have the police power to control the bandit gangs. If we try to send in the military, the bandit gangs have threatened to kill the farmers, who raise the drug flowers.”
“Then you need a non-police, non-military solution to the problem.”
“Do you have such a non-police, non-military solution to the problem.”
“Of course, I have such a non-police, non-military solution to the problem, I am the Emperor of Khoten and such solutions are what I do, as the Emperor of Khoten. However, I am only recently the Emperor of Khoten and I am still cleaning up problems left by those who misruled Khoten, before I became Emperor. I don’t really have the time to solve problems for nations that I don’t rule.”
“The price for your non-police, non-military solution to the problems of my nation is surrender of the government to your rule?”
“That is correct. It’s the only way that my solution will work.”