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For All Nails #56A: I, Mercator (Part 1)

By Carlos Yu


I have not forgotten.

No doubt, you are asking yourself, why have I been chosen for this task? Am I not a member of the opposition, such as is allowed to exist? Have my editorials not been strident enough? Or is this part of some plan to discredit me, to implicate me in one of President, pardon, Secretary Mercator's many Byzantine plots?

Well, you're implicated in any case. Sit down.

You see, in my studies of history, I have noticed a scarcity of authentic recollections of the great leaders of the past. Jackson, Hermión, even Kramer: how poorly they have been served by the historians of their time! and thus, by any historians who dare follow in their paths. By selecting you, however, a journalist of unimpeachable integrity, to transcribe, and even direct, these memoirs... well, it is the Jeffersonian ideal. Checks, and balances.

Yes, I have violated that ideal. Wasn't that simple?

Ah, we come to the meat of it. List me my infamies.

Yes. Yes. Stop there. That is a half-truth, and there is a lie that stands behind it.

Admiral Suarez was a fine man, a credit to his nation... but I will spare you the eulogy. You can no doubt look it up in your newspaper morgue.

"Protective custody" meant "protective custody". No more, no less. But protect Suarez from whom? Many of Silva's cowardly faction wanted Suarez killed outright. Those were not rumors. A Jeffersonian clique... but I will reach that point later. It should also not surprise you to learn that many in the Army wanted Suarez assassinated -- soldiers, turned to men of blood after the hard fighting in China. Some were driven mad by their experiences there. These were the men that Silva brought back to fill our garrisons: the maimed, the embittered, the refuse from the stockade.

'Barracks lawyer'. You see, that term has no sting for me, for it merely reveals ignorance of military matters. There is a separate branch of law for those under military jurisdiction, and in times of war far more many men fall under it.

Yes, that is the cliche that stings. "Military justice is to justice as military music is to music." Very good, sir! How many did I hang? Oh, dozens, I suppose.

As I have said, to protect him from rogue elements within the state. Surely you remember those days. The hanging chads, the missing ballots of the servicemen -- many doubted the legitimacy of the governmental process itself! We were but a single step from anarchy, and Kramer domination.

Why not? Let me give you a confidence. I voted for Suarez myself.


(Proceed to I, Mercator (Part 2).)

(Return to For All Nails.)

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