We have obtained a copy of the never-before-seen sixth chapter of Orson Scott Card’s novel, Empire:
Empire, Chapter 6
The First Among Equals drummed his manicured fingers upon the tabletop
impatiently. He coughed violently, his sparrow-chested frame convulsing in
â€œEnough!â€? he shouted at the murmuring men seated around the lavender,
kidney-shaped conference room table. He picked at a blistered hole in the
otherwise immaculate vinyl surface in front of him as the men settled down,
abashed at this outburst.
â€œEnough of the niceties,â€? the FAE repeated. â€œPhase One of Operation
T.R.E.A.S.O.N. is complete. Reports!â€?
A somewhat heavyset man with thinning hair and a furtive expression cleared
â€œYes, Agent Phillips. So nice of you to join us.â€?
â€œThere was a snag at Ground Zero,â€? Steve Phillips said. â€œOur patsy cornered
me after the hit.â€?
â€œReuben Malich found you?â€? the FAE asked incredulously as the nervous
muttering of the other men threatened to become a dull roar.
â€œQuiet!â€? the FAE shouted, rapping his effeminate knuckles upon the table
with a kind of noncey flair. â€œComrades, I need not remind you all that Major
Reuben Malichâ€™s tiger-like fluidity of movement and alertness of eye could
wreak havoc upon our plans. Malich is everything we fear and detest â€“ a Red
State soldier who is as loyal to the ideals of duty, honor and country as he
is merciless to those who would subvert them. He must be stopped before he
courageously topples our devious scheme to usurp the rightful rulers of the
American republic … the people themselves!â€?
â€œHear, hear!â€? shouted the other men in robotic unison.
â€œPhillips, you shall guide Malich into a trap,â€? the FAE said. â€œBeing a Red
State fool, it is certain that he will gullibly trust you as an ally. When
you arrange your meetings, do not waste any time scouting for a possible
double-cross. It is simply inconceivable that a corn-fed rube such as Malich
could outsmart an elite progressive such as yourself.â€?
â€œYes, Comrade First Among Equals,â€? said Phillips.
â€œGood. Very good. You have your orders â€¦ now go!â€?
Phillips rose from his ergonomic chair, strapped on his fannypack and exited
the conference room.
The FAE turned to his remaining comrades.
â€œPhillips canâ€™t be trusted. Did you know that he was once the general
manager of the Mets? He really overpaid for Mo Vaughn. Still, he ought to be
able to handle Malich. Now then, onto the rest of your reports. Propaganda!â€?
Comrade Dan Rather stood up.
â€œComrade First Among Equals and comrades,â€? he began. â€œWe have infiltrated
all the major media outlets with agents of progress. We either control the
presses or have useful idiots in place at 99 percent of all television,
radio, print and Internet media organizations throughout the country.
The men in the room gave a collective sigh, as if they knew what was coming.
â€œOne network continues to evade our every effort to suborn it. One network
continues to see through our devious liberal agenda. One network â€¦â€?
The FAE interrupted Rather. â€œMurdoch and FOX News will be dealt with in due
course. The days left to Sean Hannity, Bill Oâ€™Reilly, Brit Hume and the
rest, to pierce the veil of our decades-long duplicity are â€¦ shall we say,
â€œComrade Rather, other than the FOX problem, which shall be handled
presently, you seem to have our propaganda efforts well in hand. Letâ€™s move
along. Treachery! Your report?â€?
The three comrades responsible for the Treachery Division of Operation
T.R.E.A.S.O.N. stood up. John McCain signaled to Jim Jeffords and Lincoln
Chafee that he, McCain, would do the talking.
â€œComrade First Among Equals. Comrades,â€? McCain started. â€œFor years, we have
done the scut work of undermining the conservative majority in this country.
We have pushed for campaign finance reform. We have spoke out in favor of
abortion. We have opposed the designation of John Bolton as UN ambassador.
â€œWe have even flipped as Republicans to the Democratic caucus when the need
arose,â€? he continued, with a nod to Jeffords.
â€œToday, all our thankless work as double agents finally bore fruit. With the
successful execution of Phase One of our plan, the assassination of the
conservative president and his closest advisers, we near the day when we may
come out of hiding and show our true colors to the public.
â€œBut first, there is more work to be done. In the coming days, we will
complete a second wave of assassinations and arrests, eliminating the
remaining icons of conservatism in this country. Even as we speak, our
operatives prepare to strike at Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Antonin Scalia,
John Hinderaker, Gary Ruppert, Tom DeLay, Iron Fist, Curt Schilling, Pastor
J. Grant Swank, Jonah Goldberg, Frank J., Ollie North, Lord Spatula I, King
& Tyrant, Clarence Thomas â€¦â€?
â€œHold!â€? purred the First Among Equals. â€œI think we should re-think our plans
for Clarence Thomas.â€?
â€œBut comrade!â€? sputtered McCain.
â€œSilence!â€? whined the First Among Equals, his voice growing petulant and
fey. â€œFor the past four decades we have convinced black Americans that we
liberals are their allies. It has been a remarkable achievement. For even as
we paid lip service to improving the black manâ€™s lot, behind his back we
pursued our true agenda â€“ to make a virtual slave of him in a culture of
â€œAnd it worked. Blacks voted for Democrats by a 9-to-1 ratio. They supported
our social policies, never knowing that those same polices were intended to
keep them down.
â€œYet in recent years, our trickery has been losing its power to hide our
real intent. The invisible hand of free market capitalism â€“ curse it to
Hell! â€“ has begun to lift the black man out of the cycle of poverty we so
carefully kept him in. And as he becomes more prosperous, so does the black
turn his back on us.
â€œThankfully, we have been able to intervene.
â€œIndeed, we ought to thank the God we loathe for the secret fleet of planes
we used to seed Hurricane Katrina when it was just a Category 3 storm
entering the Gulf of Mexico. For had we not been able to flood New Orleans
and create a new round of race-based recriminations in this country, we may
well have lost the compliant Negro support we depend so heavily upon â€¦
before Operation T.R.E.A.S.O.N. ever got off the ground.
â€œWhich brings me to Thomas. It is inevitable that he will someday be seen by
black people as the greatest African-American who ever lived â€¦â€?
The FOE was interrupted by howls of protest from around the room.
â€œLet me finish! Of course, WE will not be the ones to raise him on that
pedestal! And WE will have the power to smash such heresy with all the power
of the state! But let us not be fools, comrades. As mighty as we will be, we
cannot stop the relentless march of history.â€?
He paused for effect.
â€œNo. It is inevitable that in time, Clarence Thomas will come to be regarded
as the Great Liberator of black America. His tireless courage, his quiet
dignity, his relentless mission to free his fellows from the shackles of the
Nanny State â€¦â€?
Again, the FOE was interrupted by shouts from around the room.
â€œBe silent! Fools! Do you not remember our feeble attempt at a high-tech
lynching of Thomas, lo those many years ago? Do you not recall how it set
our movement back a decade?
â€œNo, you silly gooses! We cannot halt a historic inevitability. But we can
hinder it. Better for Clarence Thomas to live out his days as a doddering
thorn in our side â€¦â€?
Again, he paused, this time for want of breath â€“ his body again consumed by
a short coughing fit.
â€œâ€¦ then as the martyr who will lose us the Negro forever!â€?
The room was silent. None could muster the courage to question the FOEâ€™s
pronouncement. None dared dissent from his judgment. Long seconds passed.
The First Among Equals finally lifted himself from the reverie into which he
â€œIs there no one present who can give me an intelligent report? One
befitting our elite status as the architects of change?â€?
A small non-descript man looked nervously at the others. He made a slight
move forward, as if to volunteer his voice.
â€œYes?â€? said the FOE. â€œPersonnel, you wish to speak?â€?
â€œComrade First Among Equals,â€? said the head of Personnel. â€œI have welcome
news and more which is â€¦ not so welcome.â€?
The comrades around him groaned under their breath. The FOE glared sharply
at the Personnel chief.
â€œGive us the bad news first, I suppose.â€?
â€œItâ€™s about your brother, Comrade First Among Equals. Heâ€™s â€¦ heâ€™s dead,
A look of shock washed over the FOEâ€™s face. It quickly subsided.
â€œIt was the jihadis, comrade,â€? continued the head of Personnel. â€œThey â€¦ they
beheaded him just hours before Phase One of the operation took place.â€?
The FOE sighed.
â€œWe sent my brother to Pakistan, to be held by our al-Qaeda comrades as a
hostage in good faith. No doubt he did something to offend them. Or perhaps
his mere existence as a member of the imperialist patriarchal West was
enough for them to require his head, to help ease the suffering we have
caused them. I am saddened â€¦ but can I blame them? No! No, in fact, my heart
rejoices that our Islamic brothers have, through their righteousness,
wrested some small measure of justice from we, their nefarious oppressors!
It is indeed a wonderful day, this day!
â€œNow what was the bad news?â€?
The Personnel chief shuffled the papers in front of him.
â€œItâ€™s more good news, actually,â€? he said. â€œAs you know, comrades, our
commando units have been preparing for months to carry out low- to mid-level
operations in the wake of Phase One of the operation.
â€œBut as many of you also know, thereâ€™s been a â€¦ slight hitch. Thereâ€™s really
no way to put it nicely. Basically, just about all of our commandos â€“
recruited from throughout elite liberal society â€“ well, theyâ€™re all just
too, um, sissy to fire a gun with any accuracy. When called upon to fire,
they sort of hold their rifles out all limp-wristed and faggoty. Like total
pansies. And they canâ€™t drive tanks or fly helicopters or do much of
anything, really. I mean, they can color-coordinate like the Dickens, but
â€œAnd this is the good news, comrade?â€? asked the First Among Equals.
â€œIâ€™m sorry, comrade, Iâ€™m getting to that. To cut a long story short, the
problem was so troubling to me that I went to the Hedonism division for
help. The upshot is that the Super Soldier steroid-methamphetamine cocktail
the Hedonism boys came up with has been a huge hit with our commandos. Not
only are they able to handle their weapons with ease now, but a lot of them
prefer to just run right up to the enemy through a hail of gunfire and sort
of self-detonate in an explosion of pumped-up muscle tissue and adrenaline!
â€œSo weâ€™ve got that going for us.â€?
The First Among Equals smiled broadly. For the first since the meeting
convened, his comrades felt at ease.
â€œComrades, today is a historic day,â€? the FOA began. â€œToday is the day we
seize the reins of power, the day we straddle the Whore of America, and
purge her of her patriotic fools â€¦ and soon, we will hand her over as a
meager sacrifice to the righteous vengeance of Islam.
â€œBut before we do so, let us enjoy for a brief time the spoils of our
conquest. Let us go forth and sup of the Whoreâ€™s fecund loins! Let us lure
to our lairs her healthy, well-adjusted Red State sons and daughters â€¦ who,
in awe of our new godlike power, will finally mate willingly with us â€¦ with
US!!! Imagine, comrades! Imagine what perverse pleasure lies in store for
we, the chosen few, when the milk-fed perfection of Red State youth abases
itself before us, the contemptible, misshapen progressives! O! Happy day!
When the God-fearing patriots of this nation must watch helplessly as we
loathsome liberals violate them in every way!â€?