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The trouble with leaders by Robert Dudley

IVORY had a problem, well actually it was the humans that had crash landed on Ivory that had the problem, the planet itself was okay despite having a new crater blemishing its sandy features. The human problem was quite major, the people who had survived the crash quickly found out that the amount of oxygen on the surface of the planet was extremely limited, the people who thought it was best to run from the debris of the ship found out the problem first but they found it difficult to tell the others about it.

 Eventually the survivors figured out that whilst the ship was still on fire and likely to explode the presence of fire meant that there was a good supply of oxygen. The majority of the people were disoriented, confused and injured but there were a few that had quickly recovered and they had formed an unsteady alliance to get the ship under control.

 The HMS Glorious had contained all the population of England and whilst the majority of the people were either dead from the crash with the French ship or the rough landing on the alien planet the survivors still numbered in their thousands and they needed leaders, the recovered people looked over the destruction and vowed that they would be those leaders.

 Unfortunately, as England had been so divided by the time the ship had left the leaders who had been in suspended animation chambers during the journey were still the same people who had fought the civil wars and survived. They were tough, controlling and hated nearly everyone else in the group, this led to the other problem the humans now faced, each one of them had an Opinion.

 These Opinions would never change and as they all had them they knew that whilst they were not going to back down the others should for the good of this new planet. After a few more hundred people had either succumbed to their injuries or tried leaving the crash site one of the leaders gave up with the stalemate and left the group, he gathered a few of his old friends and a number of other people who could walk and ordered them to move all the dead people towards the outer edge of the cone shaped crash site.

 His orders were near enough complete when the other leaders realised that someone was actually doing something and they were not happy that it was not discussed in their meeting. They confronted the man and berated him for not going through the proper channels, this man was clever and had already thought of what to say when this time came.

 “Your discussion was what to do with the ship not with the people, I merely saw to a hygienic problem whilst you dealt with the real problem. The ship is a danger to us all and I saw no reason for disturbing you with a matter so little as the safety of our survival.”

 The man, who was considerably younger than the rest of the leaders looked around and saw that their talk was attracting a large crowd. He smiled and continued in a louder voice, “whilst we wait for your decision to do something with the ship I felt that someone should protect the people from the horrors of the crash so that they can help when you have finished. The people and I are at your disposal when you are ready to tell us what to do Sirs. You have finished you council meeting haven’t you?”

 There was a hush from the crowd and the other leaders finally noticed that they were centre of attention, they looked to each other and silently elected a spokesman. They pushed forward the second youngest leader and hoped that youth was the answer, “we are getting close to a final decision but there is a few more thing we need to straighten out.”

 The crowd was about to turn when the young man stepped up to the other leaders, “of course there is as it will affect the overall outcome, may I suggest that, with your permission, we continue with the clean-up and maybe mark-up the boundary between enough oxygen and not enough just in case you wanted to build a wall or something there in the future.”

 One of the leaders recognised that it was not going to down well if they refused the young man and gave him permission whilst their spokesman tried to think of a good response. The young man turned to the crowd and gave them their orders, the crowd listened and forgot their hatred towards each other, they saw in the young man a purpose and it was one they all shared. It was the desire to survive.

 Before the young man managed to escape the grasp of the other leaders a hand reached out and landed on his shoulder, “what is your name young man?”

 “Charles Martin sir.”

 “Watch you back Mr Martin, the people like you but accidents will happen if you do anything like that again, do I make myself clear?”

 “Yes sir but may I suggest one more thing?” Charles broke free from the old man and did not wait for him to respond, “the public is the only thing that matters, keep them safe and I won’t have to do anything. Endanger them and they will do worse than me, they have their lives it would take a lot for them to give that up.”