P1 joined ‘Secret Real Tribunal chat’
P1: Anyone here yet?
P1: That name is really asking for it, folks. We are agreed on the issues with the official process, but come on.
I1 joined ‘Secret Real Tribunal chat’
I1: Lol, love the name. Who’s here?
P1: Just me, have you done the reading?
I1: Doing it now, but a direct report gave me the rundown, they are just Nazis, right?
P1: It is more complicated than that, there are nuances here. Too complicated for public dissemination anyway.
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P1: Intelligence has a rep here already.
P2: Great, everyone else should be getting on soon.
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J1: This is a waste of time.
I1: Hello to you too.
P1: Any other Justice personnel joining us?
J1: Yes, momentarily, but we remain dubious on the overall merits of this whole subprocess.
J2, I2, M1 and M2 joined ‘Secret Real Tribunal Chat’
M1: Ha, love the name.
M2: Are we all here?
I1: Yes, this should be a quorum.
P1: Intelligence, would you give us all the elevator version?
I2: I can do so, if my superior assents.
I1: Go on.
M2: Let’s get this over with.
J2: Do you find your duties tiresome?
M2: We are all going to die in a few weeks, but let’s spend some of our last precious hours doing back channel stuff for Regime assholes.
M1: He’s fine, go on.
I2: He doesn’t *sound* fine.
M1: We just turned back the enemy’s greatest attack in the middle of our capital, and we are facing an even more devastating one imminently, cut him some slack.
I2: Fourth Fist is a Regime Fist, the newest and presumably last of such formations. It is comprised of Haunter, Indulger, Condemner, Fisher and Preventer. We hold three members of this Fist in custody. This panel, or rather the greater panel of which we are all members, is empowered to determine their fate.
I1: It isn’t as simple as throwing them in jail forever, though. From what I’m reading here things are a bit murky around this particular crew.
I2: They were the source of the tip off that helped out so much in the recent battle.
M1: The destination of their backup attack? That was critical. We trusted these totalitarian fucks for something so important?
I2: Not just them, they have, hmm, ‘transported’, might be the best word, or perhaps resurrected, a number of civilians from before the First Defiance.
I1: They also saved General Greggs, it was ultimately her testimony that swayed us as far as their credibility.
P2: Weighing against that, however…
I2: I was getting there.
P2: Their conduct has been unremittingly vile and problematic, they have committed exactly the excesses that we might expect from any other similar formation. They’ve waged war on our Union, destroyed a judicial installation and committed a brand new capital crime we are tentatively calling ‘mindrape’ on a number of our diplomats and officers.
M2: We lost a number of assets to Indulger’s attacks during the final battle. If they were actually cooperating you’d think he’d have surrendered.
I1: It looks like the other two did, and their testimony is that his judgement was affected by another Ultrahuman’s gift, causing him to take actions not representative of his overall character.
I2: That’s correct, sir, they worked against the Pantheon unit during its onslaught, taking out a number of its key personnel, and ultimately surrendered to our forces.
P1: If it was just that, however, well, we wouldn’t need to meet like this. Our policy on ‘useful idiots’ from the Regime has always been to take what they give and kill them as soon as possible. If you’d care to explain what makes Fourth Fist different? That is, why they aren’t just another Third Fist situation, where we were able to get some benefit against a mutual foe?
I2: Haunter’s testimony pertains to future events, and it is backed up by the majority of those that her gift has resurrected. She is talking about an apocalypse, with respect, about the end of the world. We can’t just thank her for her service and throw her in a box if doing so will kill us all!
I1: I…hadn’t read that far yet, um, I’ll stand behind my junior here, they have my complete trust. If they are taking this threat seriously, then you can bet there is good reason to.
M1: I appreciate that, but if we are talking about an apocalypse, we don’t exactly need to rely on the testimony of people from across the ocean to see it coming. The Brides have marched. The Pantheon falls into ruin. Zeus is practically here. Nobody is under any illusions that our future is guaranteed.
J1: Beyond which, we have always lived under the threat of annihilation. Our glorious Union is founded on, and lives to this day through, the goal of preserving our dignity in the face of naked threat. We will not compromise, we will not change who we are, just because the hour is late.
I1: Haha, politicians, you better scoop this guy up! He wants to write speeches for you. Seriously, how long did it take you to come up with that stuff?
I2: My senior is maybe a bit rude, but what he means is that there is no audience here, that’s why we opened this chat. We are here to work without oversight, free to come up with the best solution, not the one that reflects best on us. You don’t need to posture.
J1: I wasn’t posturing. I was speaking the simple truth.
M1: Can we move this along?
M2: Maybe just list out the pros, the cons, and let us vote? The whole point of this channel is to get things done without the dick measuring and posing for posterity. Let’s take advantage of it.
P2: I’ll take cons. These are the same maniacs who betrayed us overseas, killing Commander Martinez. They mindraped everyone they came into contact with at our embassy, they interfered with an intervention group, destroyed a prison and fought alongside the Grand Host, killing numerous civilians in the attacks on Istanbul and Berlin. If we do anything other than deal with them as strictly as possible we are inviting anyone who wants to to walk all over us, forever.
I1: The incident in the Regime was a lot more complicated than you are making it out to be. Your counterparts ignored the reports on Martinez’s increasingly erratic behavior, and there is a lot of reason to believe that he was at fault.
J2: Awesome, literal Regime apologism in our deliberations. How dare Fidel fight back against the monsters who destroyed the world? He clearly provoked them into destroying him. Let’s all lick Peggy’s boots like good little humans.
I2: If your stance is going to be that all our aggression is justified and those of our enemies is always the opposite then I don’t know what you bring to these deliberations, we could replace you with a query to SPARTACUS about what country’s uniform someone was wearing, get exactly the same value.
J1: Not productive, can we get back to the pros and cons?
M1: Yes, that. Zeus isn’t going to wait for us to wring our hands over this. I don’t want to spend a lot of time.
P2: I’m done with cons from the past. The remainder is just the obvious one, that letting a Fist go free probably means we’ll have to fight them at some point. Disregarding what they’ve done in the past, they will still obey Prevailer, and presumably at some point she’ll tell them to attack us.
I1: It would be out of character, usually She uses First Fist for that kind of thing.
J2: Did you really just do the capitalization thing? Do we have a genuine bootlicker in the channel?
I2: We are occasionally required to meet with covert assets. If we relax our vigilance when we are among friends we might slip up when the need is more dire.
P1: Pro’s? Intelligence seems to be the only ones leaning that way, so maybe you can take care of this?
I2: Gladly. Haunter has rescued a thousand plus people from the distant past, who have invaluable skills and knowledge. She can use her gift on our key personnel, allowing them to persist beyond death, as in the case of General Greggs. Their Fist is also willing and begging to execute an immediate strike on the Regime homeland, its target to be First Fist, which is debatably our greatest enemy.
P2: This strike is tied somehow to the threat of apocalypse?
I2: Yes, exactly, Haunter claims Remover is the lynchpin of mankind’s peril. She believes destroying her and her fist will either end the Process, kill all Ultras or remove all gifts. Her resurrected allies are generally believers in this theory as well, for whatever that is worth.
M2: What do you believe that is worth?
I2: The testimony of dozens, hundreds of witnesses? All of whom experienced the events in question first hand? Quite a lot.
J1: Unless, of course, they are brainwashed.
I2: Excuse me?
J1: It’s the natural suspicion, right? We know these monsters mind rape people, and then they show up with a bunch of people who suspiciously agree with their ridiculous lie? I wonder how that could have possibly happened.
I2: I’m…I…that’s literally a fully general counterargument. The only way for someone to prove they aren’t being mind controlled is to agree with you?
J2: Honestly it is a nicer hypothesis then the idea that you are literally willing collaborators.
P1: That’s quite enough of that.
I1: That’s way out of line!
J2: Capitalize another pronoun, why don’t you?
P2: No one is going to be convinced like this. Let’s enumerate the options, vote and get on to more important business.
M1: We have confirmed confinement of 3 members of a Fist, and we’ve maintained it for greater than twenty four hours. This proves that the other two members are alive and distant.
M2: So executing these 3 is obviously off the table. The remaining options are continued confinement, with execution being revisited when and if the other two appear alongside them, and Intelligence’s scheme of collaborating with them.
M1: The Military’s position remains that no possible gain can equal the risk of putting a Fist back into play. Istanbul was a reminder of the terrible power of these units. We speak for confinement.
I1: We speak for utilizing them. Our Union faces a terrible crisis, and we must use all means to avert it.
J2: Fuck Fascists, we are for confinement.
P2: Is your junior glanding something?
J1: I’m sorry for his behavior, there will be a full investigation, you have my word.
P2: And your standing?
J1: Oh he covered it.
I2: Come on!
P1: We speak last, and loudest, for the people are always the leaders in our Union. We take the counsel of our experts in this matter, and hereby accept the stand of confinement.
J2: You can’t see us, but M2 is playing a tiny violin for your fascist buds. This must be so harsh for you. I guess force doesn’t rule this part of the world, eh?
J2 has left the channel
P2: I’m sorry to boot a standing member, but we are pretty clearly done here.
M1: We’ll make it official through the actual official Tribunal channels over the next few weeks then?
P1: If we all survive that long.
J1, P1, P2 and M1 have left the channel
I1: Not leaving M2?
M2: I just wanted you to know that J2 wasn’t lying about me. Smallest violin.
M2 has left the channel
I2: What the hell is wrong with them?
I1: What did you expect? I noticed you didn’t pitch Haunter’s “you should surrender to Zeus” line to them.
I2: Reason? I expected reason? Something resembling it anyway? The actual consideration of our evidence?
I1: People in despair will lash out if you give them a target. You let them reduce a complicated exercise in figuring out what would maximize their population’s chance of thriving to ‘do you hate Nazis, yes/no’. You are surprised they did it?
I2: I wanted them to do their jobs. I wanted them to actually exercise the responsibilities they have been entrusted with.
I1: Was I ever that young?
I2: This is rank idiocy. We are going to turn around on Haunter, on Jane Trent, and say ‘thanks for saving all these people, now stay in a cell until Zeus shows up to kill you.’
I1: I don’t love it.
I2: What will we say when she asks ‘why?’
I1: She’ll understand. Of all people, this Haunter will understand the dynamics of what just happened.
I2: This is a mistake. We lose nothing by taking her up on her offer. We stand to gain everything. Our cohorts managed to screw up Pascal’s Wager!
I1: Mario, I know you were close to the catastrophe with Martinez, but don’t let your personal feelings control you. The Union can’t work alongside a Fist so soon after Istanbul and Berlin.
I2: You are really going to talk about prestige and reputation? I’m talking about existence. I’m talking about us continuing on for more than another month, another day!
I1: The military-
I2: They are full of it. You’ve read the reports. Zeus isn’t called the Light Speed Lord for nothing. He is lightning alive, a formless monster faster than sight or sound. He killed a Fist. He broke the old Pantheon Leadership Council and he shattered our offensive, and none of those victories took even ten seconds.
I1: I’m aware-
I2: He fears exactly one thing in all the world, and that’s Prevailer. She’s just the same, instant death at teleport speed, unavoidable and absolute. Fear of Her is the only reason he hasn’t attacked long ago. He doesn’t know if She would kill him.
I1: And so he sent his minions, his Brides, I KNOW this.
I2: And Prevailer didn’t show up! Forget that we don’t even know who killed Vampire. Forget that he has ten times as many Brides again as he lost, the only question that matters has been answered. She isn’t going to save us.
I1: We can’t be seen to collaborate with the Regime. You aren’t wrong, but I was hoping what we just went through would make you understand. The politicians can’t go for it, and the judicial crew will literally die first.
I2: You’ll let them snuff out our last chance then? Because that’s what this is. If Haunter isn’t right about this thing ending Ultra gifts, then Zeus will wipe us out. You are saying we should just wait here to die, just because some other people want us to?
I1: They’d be hauling you in for arrest if they heard that. You doubting the wisdom of our appointed leaders? You think decisions should instead be made by those with the power to enforce them? Pantheon thinking, there. Maybe the leader should be the strongest Ultrahuman?
I2: I believe in our system. I do. I’m not longing for some king to show up and cut through the decisions of the stakeholders. I understand the reason for it all.
I2: But this is wrong! This is a stupid decision, and we shouldn’t abide by it.
I1: I agree.
I2: But you just said…
I1: We can’t BE SEEN to collaborate with a Fist.
I2: Oh thank God.
I1: So make sure nobody spots you on the way out.