Secessionists Unwelcome

An Olympus Union science fiction story by Gary Bloom

Many Siriancity miners patronized the Speckled Trout after shift. While not Luna's fanciest pub, it was a rarity on Earth's moon: inexpensive. For the five late-shift men nursing a pint in the wee hours, fresh air and a stool to sit on was enough.

Limited space had led to indoor lacrosse as the most frequent attraction on the moon. Each of Luna's cities had a squad. The Siriancity Auroras had lost a close one to the New Dresden Lynx earlier this evening. Tonight's talk ranged from lazy midfielders to an overly passive coach.

Talk eventually moved past sports. In short order, one man started complaining about the Olympus Union. He cited corruption and unfair treatment.

"Those Jovian's had the right idea," he grumbled. "Freedom from the Union yoke, and a chance to get what we deserve! We could take over this entire moon if we got together. Never have a hard day's work again!"

"Hey, lazy ass, why don't you shut your hole?"

"Shut my hole?" Ruben Menke was outraged. "Why should I? If we were more like the Jovians, we'd be living it up! No more long days, no more aching muscles and dirt-stained skin. No more pulling ore for the taskmasters."

Content his warning was clear, the other man hauled off and slugged Menke. Catching the malcontent unaware, the grizzled veteran knocked Ruben right off his stool.

"We don't need any traitors 'round here!"

"That's enough Delmar," the bartender admonished. "We need the authorities causing me issues even less than we need traitors."

Delmar looked down at the man he'd upended, legs splayed, arms akimbo. Ignoring the barkeep, he continued the assault. Putting a boot to the man's legs, others joined in. The others were half-hearted, randomly swiping toes at the prone man. One drunkard stumbled into Delmar, interrupting the stomping.

Using the unintentional distraction to his advantage, Ruben scrambled out of the way. Dragging himself up the bar, rising on unsteady legs, he locked eyes on his opponent. Slipping a bottle from the bar top, he hid it behind his back; Delmar never saw it.

"The Olympus Union is nothing but a collection of tyrants and fat cats," Menke called out.

Infuriated, ever the patriot, Delmar shoved the others out of his way, storming forward. Ruben, meanwhile, continued leaning on the bar with his right arm, the bottle clutched in his left.

"You bastard! My son is a pilot for the-"

Delmar's cry was cut short. Ruben was heartier than the others realized; his wounded pose was a ruse. Whipping the bottle from behind his back, he broke it across the patriot's head. Blood dripped as Delmar stumbled backwards.

"Your son is obviously a fool," Ruben laughed, dropping the weapon. "Supporting those tyrants is disgusting. He's enforcing his own father's slavery."

Ruben lifted a stool, stalking closer to Delmar. The others jumped out of his way. Still staggered from the head blow, the patriot couldn't avoid the obvious. Ruben swung the stool from side. It was enough to discourage anyone feeling heroic. Stepping into his swing, he broke the chair over his opponent's back.

"I'm no traitor. You people, you blind sheep, you're the traitors. The Jovians, those are the smart ones. Why, I'm thinking I might just start my own revolution right now! Who's with me?"

The crack of the gunshot was deafening. Menke had a moment to look down at the hole in his chest before falling. Quietly, Rongo Kuang returned the rifle to its place under the bar.

"There'll be no talk of revolution inside the Trout," he growled softly. "We're law abiding citizens here. The Olympus Union has done right by us, and by you, too. Anyone wants to go to Jupiter, I'm happy to send you on your way."

Ignoring the dead body on the floor, he walked to the back, to round up cleaning supplies. Unexpectedly sobered, the men in the pub stared at the fallen dissident. Kuang returned with a mop, broom and bucket.

"Police ought to be here soon. Let's have things tidied up when they get here." He looked down at the other prone figure, still breathing. "Someone move Delmar into the corner, please."

Characters

Who populates the Olympus Union science fiction universe? The Olympians, the Jovians, and the folks in between. Farmers and soliders, pilots and politicans, a great many individuals spread across the solar system. Many take up sides and fight for ideals, while others are just hoping to get through each day.

Worlds & Stations

What are the worlds of the Olympus Union science fiction universe? What is the dominian of the Olympus Union, and who exactly are the Jovians? Where has humanity expanded to, where do we walk in the open air, and how do we survive in deep space?

Free Olympus Union Short Stories

Explore the Olympus Union science fiction universe with free short stories. Flash fiction and slightly longer tales, featuring known and new characters, to help illustrate the further reaches of Olympus Union.

Olympus Union: Jovian Wars

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Humanity's battle over water, key to expanding beyond Earth, causes war to rage across the Olympus Union. Who will control Jupiter and its water rich moons? Dominant personalities foster tensions, which reverberate across the solar system.

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