End Times: New Conference

There was much activity as the men entered the conference room. Information drones which were sleeping in perches near the ceiling came to life. Their red beady eyes scanned the room and they took positions and hovered facing the stage. This was not the first time Brien attended a press conference. Those conferences were for minor announcements by minor officials. Today, it is a major announcement in Denver, of all places, and it would be showing on non-essential video panels throughout America.

Brien never thought he would ever get to sit in on one of these conferences. When Commander Shyinled asked him to attend, he could not say no; Blackguard paying for it made it even better. Brien was still not certain why he was here. All the Commander told him was to find inspiration in what he saw. Brien knew that there had to be more. Over the last 18 months working with the Commander, Brien learned that he always had an agenda.

The few others seated next to him in the VIP seating stood at attention. Without hesitation, Brien stood as well. The men gathered around the podium that bore the Seal of the American Senate. Brien recognized a few of them. Naturally, Commander Shyinled was in the group judging what he knew of the topic. There was Senator Stone, from Dallas Enclave, who headed the Constitutional Review Committee. Other than the president, Senator Stone was debatably the most powerful man in Denver. Brien never realized how younger he was until now.

The only other person that Brien recognized was a portly unkempt bear of a man. If it was not for the very expensive suit he wore, Brien could mistake him for a dreg that snuck into the enclave. He thought to himself that man could use the services of a stylist. The man was Senator Rikard Scarock, the chair of the National Defense Committee.

Senator Scarock took a position behind the podium and spoke, “Good afternoon.”

Brien took this as a subtle cue to have a seat as everyone did. He listened as one of the information drones responded.

“Senator Scarock, we will begin transmitting in a few seconds.”

“Thanks,” the Senator nodded at the drone and took a drink from a flask. Just as suddenly the flask appeared, it disappeared into the recesses of the Senator’s jacket.

“We are going live… You may begin Senator in 3… 2… 1…”

The Senator began speaking,

“Good Afternoon.

Last night at 23:00 Denver Standard Time, Blackguard Incorporated and American military assets conducted a nationwide military operation. The purpose of these raids was to eliminate unauthorized dreg settlements within enclave security zones.

These raids were the result of months of investigation by the American military, Blackguard Incorporated, and the National Security Administration headed by the National Defense Committee. In total, dregs compromised the security zones of at least eleven enclaves. Thanks to the efforts of those involved, Blackguard Incorporated had neutralized those threats.

This leaves a bigger question that we need to ask. How did this happen? We don’t know and that is a major problem threatening the peaceful citizens of the enclaves. Rhineshire Holdings or Rhineshire Central Security Administration has not provided any answers.

In the course of the investigation, my committee uncovered information that Rhineshire Central Security Administration knew of these intrusions and did not act upon them. Furthermore, I had been informed that the head of Rhineshire Security was detained on suspicion of terrorism.

Ladies and gentlemen of the enclaves of America, we cannot allow this to happen again. I will be personally heading an investigation into Rhineshire Holdings. My committee will be looking into Rhineshire Holding’s role in these security failures and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

Thank you.”

Almost immediately, one of the information drones asked a question, “Excuse me, Senator, do you believe that there is any link between these security threats and Lady Rhineshire’s charity, Rhineshire Reclamations?”

“I don’t have an answer for that at this time… I can assure you that Rhineshire Reclamations and Lady Rhineshire’s other project, Red Mesa, will be subjects of my investigation.”

As if on cue, another drone posed another question, “Senator, can you tell us how much of a threat the dregs posed to the enclaves?”

“The dregs did not pose a military threat against the enclaves. They were armed with unsafe 20th/21st firearms and charge arms. There were some rocket-propelled ordinances. Let me iterate, the importance of these threats was not a military one. The importance is that we had dregs in our security zones and they were allowed to move freely. Our peaceful citizens of the enclaves were threatened not by any of these so-called militias but by the crimes dregs always bring with them.”

The information drones fired several additional questions at the Senator. The level of coordination between them amazed Brien; especially considering they were rival outlets. Towards the end of the conference, one question got Brien’s intrigue.

“On last question Senator, have your committee found any evidence of a connection between the Rhineshire family, specifically Lady Luanne Rhineshire, and the Asian Union?”

Ever since the Lady become CEO of Rhineshire Holdings, the media accused her of many things such as being too friendly with dregs. This was one that he had not heard before now.

“That is a rumor I heard recently. Yes, I will be investigating any ties between the Rhineshires, the rogue state of California, and the Chinese. Plus, any ties that the Rhineshires have with criminal elements around Las Vegas Enclave. I am not going to allow any air duct to be unexamined… Thank you for your time. That is all I have for now.”

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