President Chong stepped toward the elevator door and turned quickly before his aides and guards could enter.
“You’ll take the next car.”
The guards obeyeed his command but Lawrence his chief aide protested.
“Mr. President, you must….”
“I must go alone.Â It is a powerful symbol.Â What we’ve done so far to help has only bought us their ear I must underline it to make the lesson last.”
At that the door closed and he began the descent from Platform 86 down to Earth.
As he watched the wisps of atmosphere form around him and felt the natural gravity move in, Chong thought about what led them to this point. The United Moon Colonies, the UMC, had rebelled from Terran control about a decade before he was born.Â They had laboured not only for existence but respect ever since.
When the colonial powers abandoned their “police action” on Luna, they also abandoned everything but the merest pretenses of assistance and even trade.Â If the Moon Colonies wanted to go it alone they could. And they did.
Only when the recent threat from the recidivists reared its ugly head was the UMC taken back, not only as a friend, but as an ally. Without UMC technology, manufacturing, and plain old firepower, the alliance would have fallen from within three years ago.
As it was, the UMC had turned the tide of the war and now stood in a position of power over the old countries of the UN. Hence his need to emphasise that point by a solitary ride down to Versailles, France, where the final peace settlement was being dictated.
The doors opened and a UN delegation stood waiting.Â They appeared rather startled.
“President Chong, where is the rest of your party?” inquired the European Diplomat sent to fetch him.Â A small slight, that it was merely a diplomat.Â Small, but a slight nonetheless.
“Coming along in the next car.Â They had business to attend and I did not wish to keep you waiting,” said Chong.
“Very well,” said the Diplomat, more shocked than displeased but still trying to appear blaise. “I will escort you to the great room. The remainder of my party will await..uh… the remainder of yours.Â Right this way.”
The grandeur and symbolism of Versailles was no lost on Chong as they walked through its ancient halls. He was certain it was chosen to impress, not only on the vanquished recidivists, but also himself, that the old world was unassailable. He had something in mind that would outweigh the symbolism of the structure and in fact quite possibly benefit from it. The arrival alone was only the beginning of his plan. He meant for the UMC to never again want.Â For a woman to never again have to starve herself to feed her children.Â For the UMC to take its rightful place int he community of nations, not only as a member, but as a leader.
The UMC did things differently, better, than the world below. It was time to make both worlds a better place.