Another Senate Meeting
“Give ears! Give ears!” The Bearer of the Union Mace stood in the Forecourt of the Senate Hall, resplendant in scarlet robes. Standing behind him were three Senate Guards in full dress uniforms, their komodo-dragon-skull headpieces sitting squarely atop their heads. “All rise for his excellency, Speaker of the Senate and Lords, the Honorable Ariel D’Angelo.” Speaker D’Angelo, today wearing the jet-black vest, frock coat, and trousers marking that today he sat as the judge in a confidence vote, climbed the stairs to his pulpit.
“Be in order!” he intoned. “Be in order for this impeachment session.” He stared at the largely vacant government benches. “Pray tell, where is the First Minister? How can he be tried if he is not here? Where is his Cabinet?”
“Mister Speaker? Permission to answer?” Senator Hughes again sat with the opposition.
“Please?” D’Angelo said.
“Last night,” Hughes said, “the First Minister, the National Renaissance Party Executive Committee, and some of the government’s Ministers recessed their meeting in Renaissance Hall. Cedric Drummond-McLaren reportedly directed them to advance to the Stellar Republic diplomatic compound south of town, he claimed so that they could consult with Stellar Republic records that would prove his innocence. There they boarded a Stellar Republic Navy transport, as our treaties allow, and fled Earth. They took political asylum in the Stellar Republic. The claim is that they would not receive fair trials here. The refugees include a considerable number of people who have not yet been accused of anything. I place on the main display Drummond-McLaren’s message to me.”
Hughes gestured, and a curt note appeared on the rear screen. “Mister Speaker,” Hughes concluded, “I was asked by you to keep this matter sub rosa until now, and have faithfully done so.”
“Indeed you have,” D’Angelo answered.