NationStates Jolt Archive

The Last Men (Open)

The Resurgent Dream
23-04-2009, 08:33
Ejnar Dalum looked vastly older than his fifty-six years. His face and his bald head bore, in their many lines, the marks of all the stress that went with the job of Prime Minister and, for once, he was allowing his weary expression to show. He slumped down into one of three chairs positioned around an office coffee table and made himself a cup, sipping slowly, silently. His brown eyes bore the mark of real horror, a rare expression for a man whose position had, in many ways, desensitized him to the loss of individual lives. “So they found another one?”

Marc Tarnovius, Minister for Equal Rights, nodded slowly. “Her name was Tadako Jimbo. She was only twenty years old. She was at uni, studying drama. She wanted to be an actress when she got out. She’d already…”

Baiko Nagahama, Minister for Justice, held up a hand. He’d heard the details of the young woman’s death before and that of the others before her. “Every murder is a real person with real hopes and dreams and we take it very seriously. I don’t doubt that we’re going to catch the perpetrator. However, our best experts tell us this is a conventional serial killer without a racial, political, or religious motive. The facts of sensational cases always lead to a public reaction disproportionate to the actual loss of life. The fact that we’re sitting here having a political meeting about this only validates those who’ll seek to use this tragic series of events to bring down the government.”

Dalum brought a hand to his head, sighing as he slumped forward in his seat. The recent series of unusually brutal murders, all targeting young, Asian woman, seemed not to have fazed Nagahama at all. The man sat straight in his chair, somber, yet unemotional and professional in tone. Dalum told himself that the man’s job was, in part, to deal with the ugliest things human beings did to one another. If Nagahama allowed it to affect him, he wouldn’t be able to perform effectively. Still, his attitude was disconcerting. “The Social Democrats will want laws on racial incitement and hate crimes. The position of the Government on free speech hasn’t changed. If it weren’t for that damned book!”

Nagahama shrugged slightly. “If he hadn’t read the book, he would have found another way to murder his victims. Pallesen might be a bigot, a violent man, and a poor writer but he’s not responsible for anyone else’s crimes.”

“Even if the murders followed the pattern of the killings performed by Pallesen’s heroes every time?” Tarnovius asked, his flabby body shifting as he leaned forward in the seat. “The Opposition might have a point about the wretched work. Maybe we could reach a compromise on this.”

“No,” Nagahama said firmly. “We’re going to give these victims equal justice under the law, no more and no less, by bringing the killer to justice.” Tarnovius opened his mouth to speak again but Nagahama cut him off, his voice tight with anger. “I will not allow the murders of innocent young people to be exploited for cheap politics.”

Dalum set his coffee mug down. “You’re right, of course, Baiko. I just have the sense there’s more to these killings than the actions of a loan madman. Nonetheless, I’ll trust your discretion until we know more.”