The following excerpt explains a little bit about the way EarthGov is set up and what Beck and company are up against. As always, comments are welcome and encouraged.
The news of the Nowhere Men’s base destruction was received at the penthouse office in Geneva within minutes of the explosion. The penthouse was a large ornate conference room with a large conference table in the middle of the room. The walls were decorated with tapestries and large paintings in the Renaissance style and the domed ceiling was a replica of the paintings in the Sistine Chapel. There were six chairs occupied around the table and numerous chairs placed around the wall. This was the most exclusive conference room in the world. Seated in the six chairs were the heads of the six families that made up EarthGov. Each family had a specific area of responsibility in the management of EarthGov and all those who live within it’s domain.
The Malone family, headed by Jacob Miller, was in charge of all aspects of labor, employment, and the setting of wages. The patriarch of the Perlman family was Marshall Davis and they headed up the education system for EarthGov citizens. It was the Perlman family who decided in what profession each citizen would be employed. Despite what citizens were told, these decisions were all based on needs established at these regular family meetings. The testing all citizens went through had nothing to do with choosing citizen’s professions, it was all based on needs and projections. The Weiss family, currently headed by Karl Hansen, was responsible for maintaining the health of earth’s citizens. Hospitals, doctors, medicines and vaccines, as well as dietary and food choices were all determined by the Weiss clan.
All six of the families had one vote each and all participated in the leading and decision making for EathGov, but these three families had the least amount of power within the organization. The remaining three families constituted the majority of the power as they controlled the military, the press, the police force, and the money.
The finances for EarthGov were governed by the Furneaux family. No project could go forward, no buildings constructed, or employees promoted or hired without the approval of the Furneaux family. Emily Furneaux was the current head of the family. She was the youngest member of the group of six, only 47 years old. She was very attractive with long auburn hair, coming down just below her shoulders with a slight curl, but she always wore it up for these meetings. Her big brown eyes were usually looking down at her notes on the conference table and her bright red lips rarely opened to speak. She was highly intelligent and didn’t need her notes to know where every credit was, but she preferred to make her arguments elsewhere, in more private settings.
Dimitri Medvik was the leader of the Orlov family. The Orlovs were responsible for maintaining order using the heavily armed police force. Demonstrations, dissidents, or political activism was something not allowed on earth. They also decided what the citizens were to be told and what they should think about it as the Orlovs also controlled the media. There were no independent news outlets, all news came from government organizations and were EarthGov approved. The Orlovs also handled the internal security issues from terrorist groups and groups that would seek to damage the integrity, reputation, and ability of EarthGov to do its job. Taking care of the Nowhere Men problem fell to the Orlov family. Medvik was nearing 70, but you couldn’t tell it by looking at him. He was still in good shape, showing very little excess weight on his six foot frame. He had olive skin, almost Mediterranean, and his short, black hair, which was heavily peppered with gray, was the only aspect of his appearance which gave away his age.
The last of the six families was the McCallum clan, headed by the sixty year old Sean O’Day. O’Day was short, only 5’5″, but he was a fighter. He had short, blond hair and bright blue eyes that could stare down anyone in the room. He rarely had a smile and always gave the perception that he wanted to be somewhere else. The McCallums controlled the military, both earthbound -the Army, and in space – the ANS. O’Day had a numerically smaller force as compared to Medvik, but his group had more firepower and generally had a higher favorability among the citizenry since the military rarely had direct contact with the private citizens.
It was O’Day who opened this meeting of the families. “It looks as though our Nowhere Man problem has been taken care of. By the ANS, by the way.” O’Day looked slowly to his left at Medvik who was sitting on the opposite side of the table and at the other end, “Isn’t terrorism your responsibility Dmitri?” O’Day asked with one eyebrow raised and his voice full of contempt.
“The base was located on an asteroid in space. An area much more accessible by the military’s ANS forces. It would be difficult for my counterintelligence forces to eliminate the base without space craft, no?”, Medvik responded, sounding almost bored. But inside he was seething. O’Day was trying to remove the Orlov family from the group. He had been arguing for months that consolidation of his police forces and O’Day’s military would be more efficient. He would never make these suggestions openly, but his questions and comments lately were aimed straight for Medvik. He was undoubtedly trying to undermine the Orlov clan and have them removed from the group.
This would be a bold move. The families controlling EarthGov have remained unchanged since the creation of EarthGov in 2078, nine years after the end of the Second American Civil War. That’s 200 years of continuous rule by the same six families. Eliminating one of the families, any one, would alter the balance of power at these meetings, by removing one of the most powerful families, that could lead to a fundamental change in the structure and function of the EarthGov council.
“Of course Dimitri. A good point. I only point it out as it seems my Army and ANS forces have been forced to handle a great many of your internal security situations of late. I only enquire if you might require some assistance. Perhaps the council can look at moving some of your counterintelligence operations to my group? To alleviate some of your burden?”
“Thank you Sean. I can handle it.”, replied Dimitri again with the same bored tone masking his internal rage. O’Day had finally done it. He made the suggestion openly to take away the counterintelligence functions.
This was going better than O’Day could’ve hoped. Numerous recent failures by Medvik, some genuine and some engineered by O’Day, would soon give him, at the very least, the counterintelligence functions from the Orlov family and potentially all of the Orlov power. The Malone, Perlman, and Weiss families were easily controlled and would bend to his will. They were not a concern. That would only leave Furneaux between him and complete control of EarthGov. But Emily Furneaux was a special case. Gaining control would take time, but O’Day was a patient man when he needed to be. The end goal would be worth the wait.