Chapter XXX.

19 Apr

A month after the victory of the Miners Organization and the Clandestine Service a nationwide election chose a Revolutionary Parliament that was empowered to restructure the basic laws and the economy of Landia. Dey and Veta accompanied the Founder to Plumbago, named the new capital by the successful insurgents. An important event of historical significance was about to occur there. The entire country was in a state of unusual, elevated excitement. Landia was about to realize the goals it had long dreamed of.

The Neodymium Hotel became the seat of the new regime and its legislative assembly. A delirious optimism reigned everywhere.

As acting president of the country, Garen Slyn addressed the ninety-five elected delegates in the hotel’s ornate Grand Ballroom.

The older brother of Brek Kont, as acting prime minister, sat a few feet behind him on the orchestra platform along with the rest of his cabinet. The latter consisted of both miners’ leaders and Clandestine Service operatives.

Sedth Kont represented the executives and agents of the C.S. who for several years had recognized the need for drastic reform and democratization in order for Landia to break out of its terrible economic slump and inertia. They had been conspiring in secret to wait for the right time to oppose the autocratic regime that was rotting away like a corpse. No one outside their ranks had any knowledge of their ideas or plans. Complete secrecy had surrounded them. This ensured the success of their swift movements and actions.

The special presidential staff was directly behind these ministers. It included two media assistants to the Founder, Dey Skull and Veta Vermilion. They were the writers of the acting president’s speech to the parliament delivered that day. He intended to reveal what the future of the mountainous country was going to hold for its people.

The Founder stepped to the rostrum and started to speak.

“Fellow Landians, we are here today to build a free nation for each and every citizen. That is the duty that each of us has assumed.

“So, our first order of business is to rectify, as much as is possible, the horrid crimes of our past. I therefore propose these measures to be passed immediately:

“Full amnesty and right of return for all expelled Xarti and their descendants,

“A solemn apology by this body for all past persecutions,

“Equal civil and juridical rights for people of all ethnic backgrounds,

“A serious program of property restoration to all those families that were unjustly expropriated.”

Sighing and rustling rose up to the platform from the lower floor.

Garen Slyn raised both arms for silence, then lowered them to his side and continued his address.

“No, this will not be easy. Nor acceptable to all of us. Our revolution will lose much of its popularity due to these difficult restitutional  measures. But that must become the moral foundation of the work we do. The Xarti must receive a sincere invitation to return and help us rebuild the mines of the Mineral Mountains. We have to convince our people to welcome them back. Their energies and talents will be needed, for the economic base of Landia is going to be transformed and reborn in coming years. It cannot be carried out without the people who were made to suffer so severely in the past by the painful criminal actions that were permitted.

The Founder paused, allowing the delegates to focus their attention upon what he was about to say to them next.

“For decades, our natural resources have had to be exported, for we have lacked facilities and trained personnel to turn them into finished, marketable goods. No longer shall the Mineral Mountains be a region without industry, but only with mines. We must now educate and train a new generation of technicians and workers. We have to build new refineries and factories. A national campaign of construction and education will now begin. It may take us many years to achieve, but Landia shall become the master of her own destiny. The Mineral Mountains will become the source of a new prosperity and happiness for all. We shall dedicate our minds, bodies, and spirits to rectifying what we have done wrongly before. Our lives must take on a new course.”

Applause started, growing louder by the second. The sound became deafening.

Delegates rose from their seats till a standing ovation was attained.

Dey and Veta also got up and clapped for the Founder and what he planned to do. The two glanced at each other and grinned with harmony and understanding.

The new president led the two lovers into his small office in the penthouse of the Neodymium Hotel. When the three of them were seated, he began to address them.

“I owe deep gratitude to both of you, as well as to many others. How is your book on Landia coming? What place will I take in it?”

Dey beamed a bright smile. “Never before have the Xarti had such a friend. Your connection to us is through marriage several generations back, but it has the strength and endurance of solid metal.”

“I may call myself an honorary Xart,” chuckled Slyn. “My parents and grandparents were fierce enemies of the persecution that occurred back then. They had close connections and friendship with your own family, Dey. They knew and valued each other.”

The writer’s face turned red. “I came to Landia thinking you were a part of my direct family tree, a distant blood relative. Our ties sprang from marriages made in the distant past. They rested on what some might term a mixed-marriage. As a result of that mating, there were Xartic Slyns along with the older, original family stem from which I myself share my descent.”

“Tavel Renda thought he could exploit the Xartic angle for his own purpose,” said Veta. “It was to be a tool to be used for gaining power by him.”

“He was mistaken and overplayed his hand,” said the Founder. “My hope is that Landia has now transcended the old system of ethnic division and hatred. That is our mission for many years to come. It is my primary hope.”

“We have all learned the lessons of a horrible past, I believe,” murmured Dey with a sad grin.

The End

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