Princess's Spirit Trilogy:
(c) TaraElla 2017. All rights reserved.
Princess's Spirit Trilogy #2: Unity in Liberty
sequel, Angelle continues to pursue her dream to become Cultural
Royalty of Pacificland, while also trying to make her world a better
place for all, in the name of the Princess’s Spirit. However, the
challenges are more than what she could ever imagine. The early 21st
century is a time of unprecedented opportunity for those coming of
age, but many young people remain left behind, and tension and
dissatisfaction is the order of the day in many areas of life. The
increasing pitch of the culture wars, and the influence of global
movements from the Tea Party to the Occupy Protests, also combine to
make Pacificland a daily ideological warzone. Can Angelle’s vision,
based on freedom, dreams, love and fairness for all, help change
things for the better? And even if it can, will it be drowned out by
competing visions? Life isn't meant to be easy, but are there rewards
for the brave at the end?
more Princess's Spirit Ideas
are more fiction and non-fiction titles by TaraElla relating to the
Princess's Spirit concept.
also maintains a blog and (upcoming) show inspired by the Princess's
Spirit, called The TaraElla Show.
to find out more.
events described within or in relation to Pacificland are fictional.
Any resemblance to real events are coincidental.
effort has been made to describe accurately the international
historical events referenced in the book, the accuracy of such events
described cannot be guaranteed.
Angelle Did It
go home and watch the results, whatever they may be," Angelle
said to her team as the polls closed, after a long day running
between more than a dozen important polling stations.
let's go to the Convention Center," Natalie said.
your results party is there, of course," Natalie said.
actually not in the mood for jokes, sorry," Angelle said.
not joking. Your parents paid for half of it, and we paid the rest,
together. It's going to be one of the greatest nights of your life,
of our lives, after all," Katie said.
turns out that Team Angelle, as well as Angelle's mom and dad, were
so confident that this would be a great result, that they booked the
great hall of the Convention Center to celebrate, even before
election day actually happened. Their confidence was based on late
opinion polling which showed a very positive reaction to Angelle's
strong stance in support of marriage equality at the debate, as well
as disgust over The Values Team walking out on her again. Of course,
Angelle wouldn't know yet, having decided to not look at the polls in
the last few weeks.
sat in front of the big screen, nervous as the results came in. Not
far away, her friends were preparing for a great party, but she
didn't know what they were doing, being so absorbed.
what seemed like an eternity, the seat count for Team Princess Spirit
finally ticked over to one. Angelle was relieved, at least she kept
her own seat. But she didn't want to appear too happy, after all none
of her team have won yet.
ten o'clock in the evening, it was clear that The Values Team had
lost half of their seats, and will not get to decide the next
leadership. There were celebrations across town. The Values Team was
crumbling just four years after its very successful debut. This was
really change that was happening, and happening fast.
course, one of the biggest celebrations was here at the Convention
Center. Team Princess Spirit had won six seats, something beyond
Angelle's wildest dreams. Angelle will now be joined by Natalie,
Mandel, Katie, Jordan and Daniel at the Council.
did it! We did it!" Natalie screamed.
am so proud of you," Angelle's mom said.
was time for Angelle to give one final, short speech.
really have to thank all of you. You're all so great, I wouldn't be
here without you.
has been beyond my wildest dreams. It's one of those moments where I
am glad that I did not give up earlier.
the debate went well for us, I would never have guessed. I actually
expected the opposite, you know. But I just had to stand up for what
I believe is right, and that's what we will continue to do."
was now three in the morning, but Angelle was still so excited she
couldn't sleep. So she took her diary out, and began to write.
is Victory Day for myself as well as for my team. I need to write
this down so I can remember how I feel, during hard times that will
inevitably come in the future.
still a long road ahead. I mean, my goal is still to become Cultural
Royalty one day, and that will be a long road. Though six seats
technically mean that I am more than halfway there. We have to keep
those seats until I am over 25 and also win more, though.
nowadays I am also interested in more than just becoming Cultural
Royalty. I want to help change the Council, this country, and even
the world. There's so much that needs to be changed, but a Princess
never gives up, right?"
Angelle, walking to the pickup point for Members of the Heirs Council
(MHCs) had become just another fortnightly thing in the past two
years. But today, for the first meeting of 2009, something was
different. In her hand was the purple and yellow leader's flag of the
Princess's Spirit Party. She was the leader of a team of six: Deputy
Leader Natalie, Mandel, Katie, Jordan, Daniel, and herself. As they
walked together, Angelle could feel her friends being both excited
and anxious, yet wanting to show neither, as that would be unfitting
for their new status as MHCs.
here comes the late MHC," Jenelle shouted, as Angelle and her
team walked near. Angelle had never been late again for the pickup,
but that nickname had somehow stuck. Jenelle simply had a way with
what, we're a team now!" Natalie shouted back.
our team appears to be larger," Jenelle said, as she held out
the white and dark blue leader's flag of the now re-named Grand
Heritage Party. "G-H-P! G-H-P! G-H-P!" she shouted, and
fifty or so people shouted back the same in unison.
She's their leader now?" Katie said, surprised.
have pulled some strings. She has a rich dad, you know," Mandel
don't think it matters who's their leader anyway, now that they are
only a team of fifty, might I add, stupid people. The smart ones
appear to have all lost their seats or defected," Jordan said.
Angelle's pre-booked minivan pulled into the station, the team got
in. They could have gotten individual state cars instead, but Angelle
decided that it would look better to go together as a team. Besides,
this was also the environmentally friendly thing to do, something the
rising Green Party would surely appreciate, providing a better
prospect for future alliances. Angelle, as the leader, sat in the
twenty minutes or so on the motorway, the minivan turned into the
familiar tunnel, its now familiar entrance a welcome sight for
Angelle. As Angelle had now seen so many times before, the minivan
navigated a series of interconnected underground tunnels, then
suddenly came to a stop, in front of a giant door made of two huge
ID and fingerprint please," announced a robotic voice.
driver waved his ID in front of a card reader, and then proceeded to
imprint his thumb on the attached fingerprint reader.
granted," the robotic voice announced.
metal doors slid open, and revealed the giant lift, a sight that once
seemed like out of movie to Angelle, but the novelty had long been
lost. The car drove into the lift, and Angelle could feel it being
lifted up gradually. And then it stopped. Before she knew it, the car
door was being opened up.
the Princess's Spirit Party," a young man's voice said.
walked together along the long Heirs' Path, laid out with red carpets
just like the first time Angelle was here. "I guess I'm lucky
that they finally abolished the tradition of having us carry the
family sigils. It would have been heavy to carry six at a time,"
the young man said.
they have provided a few helpers in that case?" Natalie asked.
don't think so. In this economy they are looking to cut costs
anywhere. Which is why the sigils are gone in the first place,"
the young man said. "Even the red carpet is of a lower quality
looked down. The carpet did look shabbier than the one that welcomed
her in 2007. Nobody could really blame them, though. Welcome to the
Global Financial Crisis, where financial institutions almost go
bankrupt and countless people lose their jobs weekly. The quality of
the carpet should be the least of concerns at this time.
they walked into the Great Hall, Angelle noticed that the golden
chairs were gone, replaced by plastic ones. She recalled something
about the government selling off some gold melted from traditional
chairs in multiple venues to fund an economic stimulus package at the
end of last year. The young man took Angelle and her friends to a row
of seats in the middle of the hall, on the left side.
are your seats," he said.
don't the new members get to sit in the front row?" Angelle
the new seats, the King has decided that there will now be a new
seating plan," he said.
why are we assigned here, rather than anywhere else?" Jordan
this is the left half, where the King has decided to place what he
described as the opposition or the rebels. Apparently, that's what he
thinks you are," he said.
that's unfair," Daniel said.
Jashor doesn't play fair," Natalie reminded them.
are we in the middle, then," Angelle asked.
heard that the more of a bad influence the King thinks that you are,
the further to the back you are assigned. So the King must reckon
that you lot are sort of OK, and you should be grateful," the
young man said.
would take being placed on the left by Jashor as a badge of honour,"
the young man whispered before walking away.
could now see that Jenelle and her team were walking, triumphantly,
to the very front row of the right side.
Jason walked across the podium, to where there was a microphone
stand. The house fell quiet.
morning ladies and gentlemen," he began.
am Prince Jason of House Wetlands. As you know, today is my last day
at the Chair of the Council. So our main item of business today will
be to elect a new Chairperson," Jason said.
first, I have an announcement for the inauguration of new Cultural
Royalty. As you know, anyone in this Council over the age of 25 and
has collected ten signatures from fellow MHCs can nominate. But
during the nomination round of 2008, there were 55 nominations, and
we can only create five new Cultural Royals per year. As Chairman,
therefore, I have had to use my discretion to select this year's new
Royals, as had been the case for the past 45 years consecutively. May
I present to you, Prince Carlton of House Lang, Prince Vincent of
House Rue, Princess Millie of House Lee, Prince Rickard of House
Bonville, and Princess Tina of House Dinar!"
five walked out from the backstage, and took their seats on stage. At
least these 'thrones' haven't been melted and sold too, Angelle
thought. Jason proceeded to crown them one by one. There was polite
applause after each crowning.
to the matter of the new Chair. The candidates will come on stage and
introduce themselves. There are a total of three candidates. After
they speak, you will be given a ballot paper, on which you should
number your preferences from 1 to 3. Without further delay, I invite
the candidates to come on stage. Let's welcome the first candidate,
Jenelle of House Lacey!"
and gentlemen, my name is Jenelle, and I would be honoured to serve
you as Chairwoman of the Heirs Council. But first, I know you must
give your confidence in me. Here are three reasons why you should
vote for me.
I am the leader of the largest party in the Council. The Chair has
traditionally been the leader of the largest party, and for good
reasons. The largest party in the Council is the party that received
the highest number of votes in the election, the first choice of the
biggest number of people. Having the Council led by the leader of
this party would mean a respect for the democratic mandate. Moreover,
having a Chair with a big bloc of support ensures stability. This
should be very important, especially when the Council itself now has
many minor parties.
I believe I have the ability to ensure the financial stability and
viability of the Council, more than the other candidates. Our party
is well liked by business and the government, and we are on talking
terms with many business leaders and government ministers. This means
that, under the leadership of our party, we are more likely to secure
both government funding and private sector donations. This will be
very important in the tough economy out there.
the most important thing is that my leadership will mean the council
continues to stand for the values my party and myself have always
been strong about. As you may have seen during that debate in
November last year, enemies of tradition are ready to use
name-calling and even tricky means to advance their agenda, against
the wishes of the majority. As in that debate, I will have none of
that. My leadership will mean that the Council will have none of that
either. Elect anyone else, and they may even be a puppet of Angelle
Easterner, carrying out her radical agenda for her."
you allowed to use personal insults during these speeches?"
Jordan said, almost angry.
guess they call this freedom of speech," Mandel said.
don't care, she can't destroy me," Angelle said. Actually she
didn't mind being mentioned by Jenelle at all. Of the two hundred
people here, potential new Chairwoman found her the most worthy
adversary. That must be quite an honour.
let us welcome the second candidate, Lucy of House Autumner,"
took almost forever for Lucy, a tall and skiny brunette with glasses,
to walk onto the stage, as she was seated at the very back section of
the left side.
and gentlemen, my name is Lucy, and I would be honoured to serve you
as Chairwoman. I know that there are three candidates for you to
choose from tonight, and I will make a very simple case of why you
should choose me.
Lacey found her way onto this stage easily, as she was seated just in
front of it. I have however been placed at the very back of this
room. Why? The King regards me as an enemy, that's what I have heard.
Why would I be regarded as an enemy by King Jashor? The reason is
simple. I am the leader of the largest party opposing his agenda to
control the Council as part of his government. While there are many
minor parties elected in this Council, they are all too young and too
small to be of any real force to oppose his agenda. The 50-year-old
Real Democracy Party and our red and orange flag are Jashor's biggest
obstacle to taking over this place. But I'm not his only enemy. In
fact, the King regards most of us as enemies. As you can see, the
left side, where he has placed his enemies, is a whole three rows
bigger than the right side, where he placed his friends, including
Lacey suggested that I may as well be a puppet for some lady named
Angelle. I haven't heard of that name and I don't know what she's all
about, so that's ridiculous. But I know what Miss Lacey is all about.
Make no mistake, a vote for Jenelle Lacey is a vote for King Jashor
to take over this council. He has already sold the golden chairs and
changed the seating plan. What's next up his sleeve? You don't want
to find out too late. Vote for me and I will stop him in his tracks."
another insult," Katie said.
publicity is not that bad, really," Angelle said. Frankly she
didn't really like being used as a political football, but she didn't
want her team to get too down.
for the third and final candidate, Peter of House Waters," Jason
was apparently seated in the second row of the left. So an enemy of
the King still, but less of one.
and gentlemen, my name is Peter, and I would be so very honoured if
you elect me as your new Chairman. But why should you choose me? The
answer is clear and it lies in this very Council itself.
ladies who went before me mentioned that there are many minor parties
in the Council today, as if that is a bad thing. But people are sick
and tired of the old establishment forces, which if I want to be
frank, both of them work for. The two sides may have been at war for
decades, even centuries, but people like myself and other
independents and minor party members are not interested in that. All
we are interested in is the good governance of this Council, to
provide good outcomes for young people out there, doing it tough in
Autunmer may pretend to be less establishment, less out-of-touch
because she is from the left side, and the King has even placed her
at the back. But the truth is that she is just as out of touch. She
says she has never heard of Angelle Easterner. Well, the reason is
because she doesn't care about minor parties or everyday people. All
she cares about is her side of the establishment. Miss Lacey is even
worse, implying that independent candidates like myself may as well
be puppets of other people. I am no puppet, and none of us are
puppets of any other. We all work together for the common good. Miss
Lacey works for our current King, Miss Autumner works for the other
guy who wants to be King, but I work for you."
ballot papers were handed out. The hall descended into loud chatter,
as people began to discuss with their fellow party members how to
our leader, so you should tell us how to vote," Katie said.
should be a group decision, and I would also like to hear from my
advisor and deputy," Angelle said.
think we should vote for Peter, because he is least dismissive of us
naturally. And then we should of course place Jenelle last,"
think I agree with your reasoning. Any objections?" Angelle
Jason appeared on the stage again.
results are in," he said. "First, let us look at the first
preference votes. The results are: Lacey, 42%; Autumner, 36%; Waters,
were cheers from Jenelle's camp.
this can't be it, Angelle thought.
we don't have one candidate with a majority, we had to do a bit of
math here. For every first preference, a candidate was awarded with
two points. For every second preference, a candidate was awarded with
one point. The results are: Lacey, 193 points; Autumner, 174 points;
Waters, 233 points. Thus I announce that Peter of House Waters has
been elected as your new Chairman, with his role commencing at the
next meeting," Jason said.
was applause. But through the noise Angelle could hear Jenelle scream
that "it's not fair" and something like "that's not
how the alternative vote works". Serves her right, Angelle
Angelle herself didn't know exactly what had happened. She knew that
in a conventional 'alternative vote' or 'preferential voting' system,
Peter would be first eliminated and the second preferences from his
votes would be counted. But this apparently wasn't what happened.
had to check the newspapers the first instance she could get hold of
a computer. Luckily, these days they are everywhere, and surely
enough, Natalie had one with her.
Robbed in Hung Council's Chair Election," the headline went.
What's a 'hung council', Angelle thought. She read on.
learnt that the rules stated that in case there was no clear winner
from the ballot, the outgoing Chair was to have discretion in
producing a 'fair outcome'. The commentators believed that Jason did
what he did precisely to prevent Jenelle becoming Chairwoman. Jason
has finally showed his political colours, to the dismay of the
the most important thing was that it was clear that there was a
so-called 'hung council', with neither establishment candidate having
majority support. The term is supposed to have come from the
tradition of describing election results similar to this as 'hung
parliaments' in the British system. The implications, the
commentators said, is that the fierce battle for control of the
Council continues, and will likely play out intensively over the next
Offer of an Alliance
Angelle and her team entered the inner courtyard today, they could
see a crowd congregated in the middle of the yard, with a red and
blue banner that said 'Heirs Council Freedom Fighters Alliance' in
there some kind of election going on?" Megan, a new member of
Team Angelle, asked.
don't think so. The next Heirs Council election isn't until 2012,
because, thankfully, there aren't midterms anymore," Katie said.
it does look like there's something unusual going on," Natalie
said, a bit puzzled.
they walked nearer, Angelle could see that Jenelle and her crew were
actually at the center of the crowd.
it's Team Princess," Jenelle said.
you like to call us Team Loser usually? Finally learnt your manners?"
Natalie said, sensing that something was unusual.
see, maybe we shouldn't fight anymore. After all, what we are here
for today is to build an alliance. You see, the anti-freedom radicals
are gaining ground everywhere now, and we need a strong alliance of
pro-freedom people to defend our liberties," Jenelle said.
was surprised to hear this. Jenelle and her conservatives haven't
ever been so all about freedom before. After all, they don't even
support the freedom to marry for some couples.
you're all about freedom now?" Angelle asked.
course, we've always been for freedom," Jenelle replied.
about the freedom to marry for gay couples?" Angelle asked.
that's not really a freedom, it's a socialist illusion," Jenelle
so socialist about it?" Angelle asked.
see, the word marriage simply has always been defined as the way it
is, people are always free to enter marriage according to its age-old
tradition. In fact, to change the way age-old words are defined is
government intrusion into long held traditions, and is therefore
anti-freedom. The need to redefine this age-old word has come from
socialists, who insist that everything that ever existed must be
equal, even if it means the government intruding into others'
freedom," Jenelle said.
restrictions on freedom are okay as long as they are 'traditional',
as long as they are the way things have always been?" Angelle
on this one we will just have to agree to disagree. But it's okay,
you and your team can still be part of our alliance, as we do have a
small minority of people who think like you. I think we can still
work well together on other questions of freedom. After all, just
like the Tea Party, we are a broad coalition of libertarians and
conservatives, pro-liberty people of every stripe," Jenelle
you just say Tea Party? What do you mean by that?" Megan asked.
young man standing next to Jenelle, who Angelle and team recognised
to be Jenelle's boyfriend Robert, stepped up to respond.
everyone, my name is Robert, and I am a co-founder of this movement
along with your friend Jenelle. The Tea Party is the movement we are
inspired by. The Tea Party movement started in the US, and is itself
inspired by the historic Boston Tea Party. You know, no taxation
without representation. But 'Tea' itself also stands for Taxed Enough
Already. They are all about fighting big government and the way it
intrudes into every aspect of our lives, and so are we. I would like
to think that we are bringing the Tea Party spirit to Pacificland, to
Heirs Council," he said.
why exactly would Pacificland need its own Tea Party," Natalie
said, sounding a bit disgusted.
as in America, political correctness is on the rise, and freedoms are
being eroded," Robert said.
so?" Natalie asked, unconvinced.
you feel it everywhere? And don't you see the rise of radical groups
on campus, like Change the Era? CTE is openly running a campaign to
make this school even more politically correct than it is,"
they are a small fringe group only," Angelle said.
they are growing. They got more seats than your team, and are even
taunting you people, spreading rumours that you regret not forming an
election alliance with them," Robert said.
didn't enter an alliance because they don't share our values. There's
nothing we regret about that," Angelle said.
If you enter our alliance, it will show them your true colours, and
end the speculation once and for all. You need to show that you have
values, that CTE's anti-freedom platform is against your values, and
you can do that by joining our alliance, and fighting against their
attempts to shut down freedom," Robert said.
a minute, though. Who can trust you after what you did to us in that
debate?" Natalie asked.
sorry for that. Jenelle was a bit anxious on stage, that was all. But
that was last year, and I promise it will never happen again,"
are you coming into the alliance?" Jenelle asked.
you want to close the deal just like this. But are YOU sorry for what
happened at the debate?" Mandel said angrily, trying to
AM sorry. I was anxious. I am not used to debates, after all,"
Jenelle said. "But it's important for all of us that you become
part of the alliance."
was a brief silence.
we can't convince you, then maybe your old friend Jenny can,"
Jenelle said, presenting Jenny, who was at the back of the crowd all
know, I had to leave you guys because my parents and our church
wouldn't allow me to be with you. I've been with Jenelle these past
few weeks, and I can tell you that she's actually very nice and very
sincere about our liberties. And if you join our alliance, then we
can be together again. There are also many people like myself in this
alliance, people who were once with Team Princess Spirit, but who had
to leave because of the controversies of 2004. We would all be very
happy if you can join us, so we can be in the same family again,"
Jenny said, presenting the sign-up sheet with a pen attached.
was another brief silence. Then Angelle apparently moved forward,
wanting to pick up the pen.
withdrew her hand.
think about it," she said, and motioned for her team to leave
Question of Freedom
Angelle was now seated in the cafeteria.
you guys even know what the Tea Party is?" Natalie asked.
had no idea until today, to be honest," Megan said.
heard of it somewhere, but I haven't followed the news closely, so I
don't know very much about it," Mandel said.
Angelle, I know you are my friend and you are the leader of this
party, but I have to say this. I can't believe you almost signed us
up to our local version of the Tea Party!" Natalie said, getting
it would have meant that we would be a family with Jenny again,
right?" Daniel asked.
don't care. If that girl joined the Tea Party alliance, she's a
traitor and she's dead to us," Natalie said.
rest of the team stared at Natalie, in disbelief.
you okay?" Katie asked, breaking the brief silence.
course I am," Natalie said. "But I really couldn't believe
all of you are so ignorant about the Tea Party and what it means."
what does it mean?" Megan asked.
Tea Party are a far-right movement that will destroy our future and
make life difficult for all minorities. They are people who want to
take away my sister's rights, and I will not tolerate that,"
so?" Megan asked.
most of them oppose marriage equality, apparently," Mandel said.
not just that. In America, where most states do not have
anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, they will block such
proposals. But here, they may work to repeal such protections,
meaning that people like my sister may have a hard time even finding
a job or finding a suitable place to live," Natalie said.
aren't they for 'freedom'?" Megan asked.
definitely do all this justified by the idea of freedom, like the
freedom of everyone out there to discriminate against my sister.
Anything less is not enough 'freedom' for them, apparently,"
had felt torn the whole day. Yes, she almost wanted to sign onto that
alliance to get Jenny back. But then, Natalie was right. She could
not sell out Ashley, and she almost did just that.
it was really not just for Jenny. Angelle actually loved the idea of
there being an alliance for liberty, and she had been secretly hating
the way CTE had been acting as of late towards her and her team. She
hated the way CTE was trying to paint her platform as a more
'cowardly' version of their own. Yes, both parties share goals in
ridding this world of unnecessary wars, and of bigotry and
discrimination. But the Princess's Spirit Party is fundamentally a
party of liberty, because a real Princess would be respectful about
the sincere wishes of everyone else, and the CTE is fundamentally a
party for the social engineering by state power of some utopia, that
will not respect the wishes of those who don't agree with them. How
could the two not be natural enemies, with this incompatibility in
worldview? By joining an alliance for liberty, she would be showing
her colours, and declaring war on CTE once and for all.
then, some alliance based on the Tea Party probably isn't the place
to be. Natalie was right, the Tea Party, though professing to be
pro-freedom, appears to be made up of mainly conservatives, with many
anti-gay religious conservatives in its ranks, hardly the image of
freedom the Princess's Spirit Party ought to be standing for. From
what Angelle has observed, the Tea Party movement often looks like an
exercise in justifying and promoting conservatism using the language
of liberty, like many others who had come before them in history,
using and abusing the ideal of freedom for progressive and
conservative causes alike. Despite the movement saying that it is for
smaller government, many of its members don't appear to have problems
with exercises in big government conservatism, such as banning
same-sex marriage. Unconvincing justifications for this sort of
inconsistency, like the one Jenelle gave today, are commonly used.
Liberty for some but not liberty for all is not liberty, and joining
an alliance that willingly acts to prevent liberty for minorities is
just not the right thing to do.
anything, today's events reminded Angelle of an uncomfortable truth:
the CTE isn't going to get tired of labelling Angelle and her team as
cowardly CTE wannabes hiding behind the banner of freedom. Now that
she's decided not to join Jenelle's alliance, she too would probably
join in, painting her alliance as the real standard bearer of freedom
and the Princess's Spirit Party as having CTE's agenda but justified
with the language of freedom misused, in an ironic reversal. The fact
that she did something along these lines with the freedom to marry
today means that the war on the 'meaning of liberty' may have already
started. Play it right, and the Princess's Spirit Party may emerge as
victors. But play it wrong, and they will be squeezed like the middle
of a sandwich with nowhere to turn, by CTE on the left and Jenelle's
Alliance on the right. The stakes have never been higher.
not joining our Alliance?" Jenelle asked, as the Princess's
Spirit Party approached the pickup point for MHCs going to Heirs
Council. "You know this offer won't be valid forever."
joining now, and not joining ever," Natalie said. "We don't
believe in the Tea Party, simply."
know, by the time CTE has torn your reputation to shreds, it would be
too late to beg us to allow you in," Jenelle said. "So you
need to make the right choice, and do it soon."
a state car with the Pacificland flag on top of it pulled into the
station. Since these cars are reserved for government officials, they
all knew there must be something unusual happening.
elderly man, well dressed in a suit, stepped out. He read aloud from
a letter he had in his hand.
of the Heirs Council,
to unforeseen circumstances, the King has moved an emergency motion
that the Heirs Council be suspended, and the senate has also approved
this motion. This means that there will be no meeting this evening,
and also no meetings until further notice.
then he disappeared into the car again, and drove away.
can't arbitrarily suspend the Council. In fact, the Council has not
been suspended by the King since the end of World War II. No other
King has dared to do this, this is going too far!" Katie said.
we all know that Jashor doesn't like to play by the rules,"
just wonder what he has up his sleeve this time," Megan said.
couldn't be so sure that King Jashor had just suspended the Council
for no good reason as part of a political play. First of all, Jenelle
and her Party looked genuinely surprised as they heard the
announcement. They normally know all of Jashor's pre-planned moves
beforehand. Besides, the senate wouldn't have allowed this motion to
pass, if it were without good reason.
me your computer for a minute please," Angelle said to Natalie.
forgot to bring hers, you can have this instead," Katie said,
giving Angelle a phone. It was a 'smartphone', the new generation of
portable phones on which you could access the internet. Once again,
Katie is ahead of everyone else when it comes to technology.
knew in her heart that something wasn't right, but this still came as
Causes Heirs Council to be Suspended for the First Time Since 1945
King has used his emergency powers to suspend the Heirs Council
indefinitely. This is the first time Heirs Council has been suspended
press gallery only learnt of the fact that a group of about 200
people had been 'occupying' the underground entrance to the Heirs
Council chambers for the past two weeks and refusing to leave, when
the King explained his reasons for asking the senate to approve his
emergency motion to suspend the Council. This development had
previously been kept secret by the police, for security reasons.
group, calling themselves Occupy Heirs Council, claims to be inspired
by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has also inspired many
other similar international movements, all claiming to be standing up
for the 99% against the ultra-rich 1%.
in Pacificland, where King Jashor's administration is totally wedded
to the interests of the 1%, where they don't care about the lives of
struggling people, especially the youth, it is especially important
that we take action. We have chosen Heirs Council, because inside
these doors every two weeks a bunch of privileged young people,
supposedly leaders of the next generation, sit and discuss the
one-percent's agenda, while the rest of us continue to suffer in this
economy. We even know that some sort of US Tea Party-like movement is
brewing in there, which will likely call for further cuts to
government programs and welfare, making even more people suffer,' the
group's spokesperson told our reporters.
will continue to bring you the latest developments."
showed it to everyone else in her Party.
think we should go and speak to these people. We need to reach out to
them before someone else like the CTE does," Angelle said.
isn't it dangerous?" Mandel asked.
don't think so. Occupy movements overseas have rarely caused much
trouble," Angelle said.
we get into trouble?" Daniel asked.
can't arrest us or give us trouble, because we're MHCs. It would look
bad for Jashor," Angelle said.
how will we go? The state cars are all cancelled," Katie said.
can always get a taxi," Angelle said.
will have to drop you people off here, as I don't have authorization
to enter that tunnel. But it will just be a five minute walk to the
gate," the taxi driver said.
by one, they leapt through the barriers, and entered the tunnel.
Fifty or so meters in, they found themselves in almost complete
darkness, because the lights had been turned off by the authorities,
as is the case whenever the Council is not meeting. Luckily, Katie's
phone provided some light. While the team had been here many times
before, walking on the ground in the dark was an entirely different
experience. Walking through the deserted, dark tunnel actually felt
like an adventure. And doing it with your friends was even more
exciting. They all knew they had to be quiet, as they didn't want to
attract any attention.
suddenly, they could see that there was literally light at the end of
the tunnel. It appeared to be from quite a few bundles of fire, on
the ends of torches. They were getting close to the action.
looked almost surreal at first. Not only were there many people
moving about, going on about their lives, there were also makeshift
beds, foldable tables and chairs, a mini kitchen and a temporary
cafe, a mini library full of books, even a medical station staffed
with trained nurses. These people looked like they were serious about
staying for the long term.
just like Occupy Wall Street," Katie remarked.
that it's underground and in a cave-like environment," said
Natalie, almost in disbelief.
young man stepped up to Angelle and her friends.
my name is Carlo, and I am the media outreach representative for
Occupy Heirs Council. Which media organisation are you people from?"
actually not from any media organisation," Natalie said.
are you here for, then?" Carlo asked.
name is Angelle and I am the leader of the Princess's Spirit Party in
the Heirs Council. These are my fellow team members," Angelle
you're MHCs? Wondering why you can't have your meeting today?"
Carlo asked, raising his voice and speaking in quite a sarcastic
that, Angelle could now see a crowd of people moving towards where
enemy is here," screamed one of them.
we can talk?" another one seemed to say.
we ... leave?" Mandel asked.
stay. This won't be too dangerous," Angelle said.
crowd were now all around them.
people, do you know how much your College tuition and your regular
pointless meetings cost us?" a young man said.
you even know how much privilege you lot are in?" a young woman
not get hostile here, at least not without proper talk first,"
another young man said.
nothing to discuss with these people, because they know nothing of
our lives. They are the 1%," a third young man yelled.
went almost silent. Carlo apparently has their respect here.
by now, you lot should know that you are not very popular here. In
fact, I must say, we believe the silent majority of young and even
not-so-young people of this country are sick and tired of the brats
of Heirs Council, and can't wait to see it abolished. I, in
particular, hate this young lady called Jenelle, who after her loss
at the internal leadership election two years ago behaved as if the
whole world owed her something, as if she was entitled to anything. I
don't know much about you lot, but to me you look like a similar
type," Carlo said.
not with Jenelle's party," Natalie said.
make you any different though. You're all the same," Carlo said.
must be mistaken, for Jenelle hates us. There's even a website
dedicated to the Jenelle-Angelle rivalry. Check it out if you want
to," Katie said.
two sides of the same coin, then. But you're really the same. Just
privileged brats who think the world owes them everything,"
can we be the same if we're on opposite sides?" Mandel asked.
all just part of the system, part of the establishment that allocates
all the privilege to yourselves, and leaves nothing for the rest of
us," Carlo said.
that's not what I stand for!" Angelle said, almost angrily.
you don't consciously know what you stand for, then," Carlo
check this out!" a young man in the crowd said, pointing to his
10" tablet computer, which definitely looked too 2010s to belong
in this caveman-like environment. Everyone turned and gathered around
could barely see what was going on, but she caught a glimpse that
they were looking at the Jenelle vs Angelle blog. Apparently they
have never even seen it before, unlike everyone at Royal College and
everyone at Heirs Council.
any of this matter? We don't care about these things, right?"
think perhaps we can talk to these people. They do seem different,"
another person said.
are they different? I can't see it," someone else said.
actually, well, cool," another voice said.
bearded young man walked towards Angelle.
me speak," he said, and they all went quiet again.
my name is Chee, and I am one of the co-founders of the movement,"
he said. "You see, we tend to think of MHCs as privileged people
who don't care about us. But since you actually took the trouble to
come down here, maybe we should talk. I believe in conversation."
glad that you are willing to talk. That's why we are here. To try and
understand what's going on," Angelle said.
I'm glad that you seem to have an open attitude. What do you want to
know?" Chee asked.
want to know why you are doing this. What do you think is wrong with
our society?" Angelle asked.
short answer is, everything's wrong. The King and his government only
look after the rich kids, those with both the money and the
connections required to get anywhere in this economy. He tells us to
start a business, but when we don't even have enough to live on and
are repaying college debt too, how's that feasible? Especially in
this economy, most new businesses go down in less than two years. For
a rich kid it may just be a dent in their dad's savings, but for poor
kids, if they somehow managed to get a loan to start the business,
when it goes under they will have a liability they can't repay for
decades. I could go on and on, but you people in Heirs Council are
basically set up for life, so you will not understand any of this,
but the fact that you are so assured of a great life while everyone
else struggles, don't you think that's unfair?" Chee said.
Heirs Council seats are not for life," Natalie said.
But even if you lose your seat, then so what? A graduate of Royal
College with history on the Heirs Council is not going to go without
at least a great job, right?" Chee said.
made Angelle think. Chee was right, they were privileged. But then,
they were working for everyone's welfare too.
Heirs Council exists to work for all young people's welfare. Would
you rather it not exist," she said.
it should. But it doesn't. It doesn't ever stand up to the King's
neglect of our lives. In fact, it's always too afraid to stand up to
the King. Make no mistake, Heirs Council is just another arm of the
King's tyranny," he said.
in the Council there are the King's friends on one side, and the
King's enemies on the other side. We have been placed by the King
himself on the side of his enemies," she explained.
so-called enemies. Too busy having pointless arguments with his
friends to challenge what he's doing to us all," he said.
some of them are like this. But we're different. We care about the
world around us too," she said.
all say that, don't you?" he said.
paused to think about how she could show that she was, indeed,
meaning to do something different.
so different in reality, are you?" Chee said.
we can't show you anything here, right? But you can come to our
Policy Conference," Angelle said.
you allow common people to help you make policy? For real?" Chee
something we're starting only this year. We've only been elected as a
team this term, after all," Angelle said.
tell you the truth, I'm still sceptical, but we may have a look at
this. How many of us can go?" Chee asked.
of you are welcome! It's going to be at the Grand Hall of the Royal
College, at, um, 6pm on um, the 1st of November 2011," Angelle
said, trying to make up the details as she went along, thinking of a
time when the Grand Hall would definitely be available for bookings.
"Can you spread the word for me?"
definitely do that," Chee said.
you're hanging out with these people. You know, they're supposed to
be the ones you hate. You should know you enemies, Occupiers," a
voice from behind said. Angelle turned her head, and saw that a team
of Change The Era 'volunteers' in their uniforms had arrived.
are you?" Chee asked.
Change The Era, the only party in Heirs Council that believes in real
change. All others, including this young lady's party, are no
different from each other."
all say that, right?" Carlo asked.
look up Change The Era and our platform online, and you'll see why we
are actually different. Unlike the Princess's Spirit party, whom, by
their very name, is all about royal-like privilege."
not! That's not what the Princess's Spirit is! You know it, and
you're deliberately lying," Angelle said, angrily.
we don't want a fight of MHCs here, so maybe it's best that you both
leave now," Chee said. "All you MHCs, you have to leave
now. Or do I need someone to escort you out?"
Quarter Life Problem
should have joined us. That way, we can change the world together,"
one of the CTE people said, as they headed down the dark tunnel.
since our kind of change isn't the same as your kind, I don't think
it will work this way," Natalie replied.
wrong with our 'kind of change' then?"
propose using coercion to change people. You also don't mind ruining
others' lives if they don't agree with you. You don't even believe in
freedom and democracy. We can't stand for that."
know, all this freedom of conscience thing may sound good, but we're
actually at war here, and it should be all about winning. Surely it's
better than letting Jashor and Jenelle win, right?" the CTE guy
necessarily. You know, it may not be wise to swap one type of tyranny
with another," Angelle said.
they approached the underground highway, they could already see the
CTE van parked at the entrance to the stub tunnel. As the CTE people
marched towards their van, Angelle signalled her team to stay back,
and walk as slowly as possible.
didn't let you speak to them?" a guy on the van said.
would have, if not for those stupid Princess people already being
lesser-conservatives always ruin real progress. That's why they are
even worse than the real conservatives. I guess we have to come back
tomorrow then. This takeover must happen, it will give us real
profile and real leverage for the first time ever."
wasn't surprised about how the CTE guy had described them, but this
was proper confirmation that they didn't ever actually see Team
Princess's Spirit as allies.
that they are gone, it's time to head back in," Angelle told her
Team Angelle headed back into the Occupy area, they could hear track
after track of familiar music being played. Angelle noticed that it
was all music that was popular around the late 1990s. As they got
nearer, Angelle also noticed that people were all getting up and
seems we're in luck. This time there'll be no need to negotiate, we
can just dance our way into the center of the action," she said.
like this track," Angelle could hear someone screaming as a new
track came on. Angelle gave the signal for her team to start dancing.
expected, the crowd was so involved in the music that Team Angelle
easily swam their way into the heart of the Occupy area. It was
actually much bigger than they previously thought it was. And right
now, the center of attention was actually a DJ with a portable DJ-ing
kit, connected to several loudspeakers. This was the source of the
the track stopped, Angelle stepped up to the DJ.
you have a request?" he said.
really, Mr DJ. You see, I am new here, and I want to know why you are
playing all this 90s music," Angelle said.
you don't have a request?"
DJ picked up his mic.
further requests? Then my work here is done for now! Thank you
people!" he shouted.
the way, you just missed out on a big party, girl," the DJ said.
party?" Angelle asked.
don't know? I see, you're really new to Occupy. Every other day at
six in the evening we play some 90s music, to cheer up. Obviously we
missed the last time because I was sick, so if you arrived here in
the last four days you wouldn't know what I'm talking about," he
why 90s music?" she asked.
all began with the 90s appreciation group. You see, the 90s
appreciation group is all about 90s culture," he said.
there's a dedicated 90s appreciation group? Is there a dedicated
appreciation group for other decades as well?" she asked.
course not. The 90s were the best, simply. But it may just be our
view of things," he said.
guess it was because we were kids back then, and life was easier and
better. I mean, this whole 90s appreciation thing started with
several guys going through a quarter life crisis and trying to get
their mood up using 90s music," he said.
a quarter life crisis?" Angelle asked. She had heard of a
mid-life crisis, but not this one.
somewhat like a mid-life crisis, but it happens in your 20s or early
30s. It's all about dissatisfaction in life, thinking that you could
do better but not knowing how to get there, and often a severe fear
of permanent failure. There's also the fear that the decisions you
make now will trap you forever in the future, especially with
everything being so hard to achieve nowadays," he said.
is it a common thing?" she asked.
probably very common here, you know, dissatisfied people come to
Occupy more than anyone else. But apparently a recent study found
that about a third of young adults have similar problems. The bottom
line is that, we are a generation who were raised to dream big, and
yet many of us can't even do as well as our parents did back then,"
the 90s thing is like, escapism, right?" she asked.
guess you could say that, but I wouldn't put it so simply. You see,
once upon a time, we had hope in life, and life was more, well,
magical. We want to revisit the past to bring back some of this
magic, I guess," he said.
sounds like a real problem that needed solving, Angelle thought.
Maybe the Princess's Spirit could help. But she needed to talk with
these troubled young adults first, and maybe introduce them to the
Princess's Spirit ideas.
you people like 90s stuff. Guess what? I love 90s stuff too. Why
don't we have a 90s party some time?" Angelle offered.
we have Occupy now, and we can't go anywhere for now," he said.
would just be an evening," she said.
it'll work, thinking about it. We do need a break from this cave-like
existence," he said.
me your e-mail and we can organise it together," she said.
Princess's Spirit Vision of Freedom
Grand Hall is all decked out in yellow and purple, and Angelle and
her friends are sitting on the stage, waiting for the clock to strike
six, when the doors will open.
many people do you think are coming?" Katie asks.
can't give a confident answer. In fact, in the current political
climate, she can't be sure that more than a few are interested.
Still, it is important to keep team morale up.
about half the hall?"
original fears were unfounded. In fact, the hall almost filled up, to
her surprise. She even recognised a few faces from the Occupy
movement. She couldn't tell whether this would be a good thing or
not, however, as Occupy had now become synonymous with CTE.
evening ladies and gentlemen," Angelle began, slightly
to the Princess's Spirit Party's policy conference. This is a process
in which we invite you to tell us all about your values, concerns and
aspirations, so that we can better tailor our policies to people's
needs. To this end, a questionnaire has been provided on your seats,
and we wish you could take the time to fill it out after my speech.
Afterwards, please drop it off at the big box provided in the
refreshments area. By the way, I'm also aware that many of your
friends who might have wanted to come this evening couldn't, so this
speech will also be available as an online video. No serious
contender in modern politics would miss doing this, I'm sure you're
aware by now.
first, I want to outline my vision, and what I am doing in public
life. Put it simply, my vision has always been one of a society where
people have the opportunity to live the lives they want to, and live
by the values they believe in. The Princess's Spirit is all about
both standing up for what you believe in, and helping others become
able to do so, too.
core of the Princess's Spirit platform lies in the idea of freedom.
No, I'm not talking about the kind of freedom the Grand Heritage
Party talks about all the time. Looking at the concept of freedom
from a Princess's Spirit perspective, since a Real Princess must care
about everyone, our concept of freedom means we care equally about
everyone's freedom. A Real Princess simply cannot accept the idea
that minorities or the economically poor must naturally have less
freedom. A truly free society is not just about the freedom of your
boss to fire you at will or the freedom of your local cafe to refuse
to serve gay people. A truly free society also cares about the
freedom of individuals to not become economic slaves or to be locked
out of society just because of their sexuality. Our platform
therefore specifically states that we support policies to address
these issues. I must admit that, just a few years ago, even I myself
was unaware of the systematic disadvantage so many people faced in
society. I believe that, being the privileged people that we are,
many of my fellow MHCs simply don't understand the reality out there.
But I have been made to understand it, and I have been moved to be
passionate about the need to correct for it. Liberty for only a few
is not real liberty, after all.
the other hand, the idea of freedom also means respect for everyone's
freedom of conscience. So we oppose, for example, campaigns to make
people miserable or even lose their jobs just because they appear to
support a different political point of view. While we may not agree
with everything in life, as a Real Princess always stands up for her
own beliefs, she surely understands that others would also do so. So
as long as their opponents fight fair, a Real Princess would always
treat them in a fair and dignified way.