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Fiction Fridays: The Consolation of Victory

The Consolation of Victory

By Mark A. Rayner

It didn’t matter what our politics were. Each member of Faculty was expected to attend the ceremony. After I cleared security, the University’s Protocol Officer grabbed me by the elbow, and asked me to join the presentation party on the stage. He registered my shock, and said, “well, we have to include our only Nobel winner in the honor party, or it would look strange. Don’t worry, the Krigveder’s people approved it, Professor Flannigan.”

Great. I was going to have to hide my disgust with the whole affair. I took my seat, thankfully in the back row.

When everyone was seated the President of Hellmuth University, a windbag at the least auspicious of times, took the opportunity to really wow us with his wooden presence. Then without fanfare a troop of soldiers took up positions in Convocation Hall, looking quite sinister in their polished black Impact Armor and toting long autopistols. The Protocol Officer announced: “Please stand for The Great Leader, Jans Midren, Krigveder of the Afrikaner Empire.”

People shuffled to their feet and Midren walked into the room. For a man in his late seventies, he looked surprisingly vital and alert. He strode purposefully to the podium, and pointedly ignored our president. Midren launched into his speech without preamble or style.

He talked about the genetic superiority of the Afrikaner people as if it was a scientific fact and not barefaced propaganda. It was revolting, the worst kind of racist ranting, yet the audience listened raptly. Midren may have been evil, but he had real charisma.

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