Admiral Frost Returns With More Rescued Captives: Repercussions Rewrite Entire Alliance Political Landscape As GAIA Faces Defections To Growing ATLAS
Michael Frost has returned to the Sol System a hero despite being thrown into prison yet again, and plunging the Alliance into crisis.
After having escaped from the Unity Station jailhouse, Frost managed to flee the Sol System with the help of unknown conspirators. According to the rescued captives that he returned to Sol with, Frost had managed to return to the remnants of his former fleet and, coordinating with the the Artemis Initiative
, organized a new rescue operation. They attacked a raider enclave in the New Zunibal system and were able to rescue the hundreds of people being held captive for auction.
After the successful mission ATLAS Senators, the Artemis Initiative allegedly contacted Michael Watkins, leader of ATLAS, about the successful mission. Watkins and aides quietly contacted the families of the liberated Solarians and arranged to have them all meet at the Anthony-Terrace Shuttleport in orbit of Saturn, telling the families that they would receive news about the fate of their lost relatives.
Border patrols did not know the inbound shuttle coming through the system’s bluespace gate was anything more than a cargo shipment, so shuttleport authorities were shocked when, after docking, Michael Frost himself emerged from the shuttle onto the tarmac. Following him from the shuttle airlocks were the hundreds of rescued captives flooding into the terminal.The waiting families expressed shock and exuberance and swarmed past the checkpoint to the arrivals area. Journalists there by invitation from ATLAS were also surprised but reported tearful reunions. Many of these families have not heard from their lost relatives for years.
In the crowd Frost was being praised by the liberated Solarians and their families. At this point the authorities had been notified and law enforcement began to bee-line to the location. Armed security emerged from the terminal and began to force their way through the crowd. Tensions were exacerbated as police used pepperspray and handheld flashes to subdue people as they moved to arrest Frost.
Frost ended up willingly surrendering to police, and he was pulled away by a dozen officers as the crowd around them began to shout at police and in some cases chucking litter at the officers. He has been moved to a maximum security prison beneath the surface of Venus. The hellish landscape that scours the surface means only one shuttle can arrive and depart from the facility every seven days.
But as commentators note, even though Frost is almost literally buried in a hellish vault, his impact on the greater Alliance is nothing short of spectacular.
Opinion polls on Frost have reversed course sharply. After Frost’s initial escape polls stabilized with 38% of Solarians saying they believed Frost is not a traitor. The polls have now spiked with 50% of resident Solarians believing that Frost is not a traitor.
The primary fallout from Frost’s return are the accusations from lawmakers that ATLAS aided and abetted a fugitive of the law for political gain. Prime Minister Chater told the press such in a dramatic news conference on Unity Station.
“Michael Watkins is an accessory to an act of treason. He used a paramilitary force as a political tool. As Prime Minister and the leader of GAIA I cannot, in good conscience, support acts that violate the law of the Alliance. It is with this reason that I am ending GAIA’s relationship with ATLAS and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies on seeking appropriate charges for Watkins.”
This is a sharp turn of course from Miles Theodore-Chater. Since his election following the Unathi Crisis of 2457 has been embittered trying to keep the leading ATLAS-GAIA coalition together. But this action has backfired spectacularly, as many formerly GAIA politicians have declared they would be ignoring Chater’s announcement, or defecting to ATLAS entirely.
Only an hour after Chater’s announcement yesterday, Reynold Mathews, GAIA representative for the United Americas, held a press conference.
“We find it irresponsible to effectively dissolve the government over our disagreement on the Frost Question. GAIA and ATLAS have much in common and it would be a waste to throw out all of our accomplishments. I’ve been in constant contact with my friends on both sides of the aisle and many of us have to disagree with the Prime Minister’s decision. For this reason we are working with registrars to adjust our party membership to ensure the technicalities of parliamentary majorities allow us to continue functioning effectively without requiring a coalition to lead the government.”
Already we are seeing a rout from the GAIA party into ATLAS, whose ranks are being swelled within parliament. Over a dozen members of the Senate and Parliament have already defected, citing the wishes of their constituents and a desire to keep the government functioning.
The survivors within GAIA have reacted quickly to stem the bleeding. Senator Duncan Thorne, the leader of the Martian “Red Front” bloc within GAIA, held a grueling 4 hour meeting in the Pohl Arcology on Mars with leading senators and members of parliament from the far left Utopian Front and Worker’s Party. After the nonstop, closed door meeting, all three parties announced that they would be merging into a reformed GAIA party. Senator Thorne announced a new era for the party in a controversial speech that included some personal attacks on defecting GAIA politicians.
“We don’t think it’s right that a jackass like Mathews gets to talk all tough about what GAIA stands for. I didn’t make peace with GAIA to see it fall into the hands of totalitarians. So I’ve got a message to our former friends leaving to hold hands with ATLAS: We ain’t gunna associate with you, we ain’t gunna tolerate you, and we ain’t gunna see you around for much longer.”
Senator Thorne has seen fame and infamy in the past for orchestrating the reassertion of Mars in Alliance politics and seeing an end to the Treaty of Olympia.
After the defections to ATLAS and the unification of three parties on the side of GAIA, the proportional seats in both houses have changed drastically.
ATLAS now makes up 40% of the seats in the Senate from 32%. They also now make up 49% of seats on Parliament, up from 29%.
The new GAIA front has retained a majority in both houses only thanks to their unification with other parties. GAIA now has 42% of seats in the Senate from 33%. They also have 51% of seats in Parliament, up from 44%.
Due to Alliance law, the Prime Minister will remain in his post unless a vote of no confidence is triggered.
Politicians from the Worker’s Party and Utopian Front who refused to join the coalition have defected and retain their remaining seats in both houses.
Within just a few days, the political reality of the Alliance has been completely rewritten. Already analysts are pointing out that this sort of momentous event has only happened a handful of times in the history of the entire Alliance, and has always preceded monumental societal change.
At large, the public is responding with growing radicalization. In the more urban inner colonies and core worlds there are protests and counter-protestors taking to the streets. Martian arcologies and urban areas all over Earth are seeing hundreds of thousands of demonstrators blasting ATLAS. But at the same time the more rural outer colonies and frontier worlds are turning increasingly to ATLAS.
With both parties now diametrically opposed to one another the functions of government are slowly starting to shut down from the sudden rise in political partisanship, turning even more people against either party.
As the chorus of shouting echoes through the streets of every major city in the Alliance, Michael Frost remains in his cell in Venus, completely isolated from the galaxy at large.