This recounts the history of the ancient alien race called the Sumeri, who live on Ergal 5. Their emperor is desperate and looks to earth history as the answer to all his problems.
Countless millennia ago, there was an elected government on Ergal 5, the home planet of the Sumeri aliens—there was a democracy. Now, the political structure of the Patricians was an imperial military dictatorship; democracy was dead. Disobedience was severely punished, with dissenters taken away to camps for ‘indoctrination’, and never heard of again.
Their dictator was his Imperial Majesty, Emperor Herg-Zuk.
He explained to his people that, due to the dire situation, emergency measures were now enshrined in law; martial law was in effect. Anyone flouting the permanent curfew was simply shot. Many thought that he was mad, launching into fits of anger if anyone disobeyed his orders. He would hold rallies in which fanatical followers would chant his name and swear oaths of allegiance.
In the Imperial Palace in the capital Sumer, Emperor Herg-Zuk was sitting in the Golden Throne room. Its high ceilings were adorned with murals, and long tapestries hung from the walls. His Golden Throne was made of solid gold and studded with precious jewels. He was reading his favourite book, Mein Kampf, by a certain Adolf Hitler. He liked to read Earth books, especially this one, and like many of the Patrician class, he studied Earth history and culture; it was a fashionable pastime among the Sumeri elite.
The humans had a great literary heritage, for a weak, inferior race, and what a jolly, talented fellow this Shakespeare must have been, most entertaining. He had come across Mein Kampf during one of their occasional raiding parties on Earth. He had heard of this Adolf Hitler and had even tried to abduct some of their Nazi scientists, seeing as they were in such short supply on their home planet, but limited resources had restricted their half-hearted attempts—too many local wars to deal with.
His Imperial Majesty was most impressed by the Nazi movement; strong, ruthless and effective. From the ashes of the Earth World War I they had built a strong military and economy against all the odds. He must find someone on the Earth planet who is sympathetic to their cause, yes he must find someone. He remembered his conversation with his loyal Marshal, Zurg-Uk, his trusted Chief of Staff.
‘Our system is failing Marshal. Our DNA is failing, our crops are failing, our financial system is failing, our welfare system is failing, our enemies are eyeing us as weak and frail. This cannot be allowed to continue!’
He banged down his dog-eared copy of Mein Kampf.
Marshal Zurg-Uk breathed in, as he imagined the stupid ideas this book was filling his master’s head with. The emperor stood, his eyes alight with passion as he looked at the imposing figure of his marshal, larger and stronger than most Sumeri.
‘We shall adopt a new system of strength and national unity, for the common good. I will dissolve the Senate. I am fed up with their incessant meddling. Anyone not of our pure race will be deported or exterminated. We shall expand our territory and take what is rightfully ours.’
‘You mean to adopt the Nazi ideology, your Imperial Majesty?’
‘But the Nazis lost the war, O great one,’ Zurg-Uk gently reminded his emperor, remembering his Earth history.
His Imperial Majesty’s face grew a darker shade of green as he looked at his marshal. Zurg-Uk thought his leader’s face was going to explode.
‘That’s because they fought a war on two fronts, they should never have invaded Russia. We will not make the same mistake!’ he exclaimed as he banged his fist on the throne.
He was in full flow now, and nothing would stop him,
‘That would have given them time to develop their atom bomb, V3 rockets, and their jet fighters. They could have won the war! Zurg-Uk, they could have won!’ he repeated clutching his book.
‘Yes, your Imperial Majesty. Well, they could have, if they hadn’t invaded Russia. And if it wasn’t for that professor, what was his name? Ah yes, Alan Turing, who broke the Nazi Enigma machine code. Brilliant fellow,’ he mused. Then he looked up at the emperor, and realised he had made a grave error and should have kept his mouth shut. He saw the blood vessels on his emperor’s head expand and his face turn even greener.
‘Yes, yes if it wasn’t for that meddlesome Turing, the Nazis could have won the war.’ The emperor sat down indignantly on his golden throne, his golden robes flowing down to the floor, a deep frown on his face.
‘You shall address me as Your Imperial Majesty Emperor Herr Herg-Zuk Marshal, is that clear?’
‘Yes, your Imperial Majesty,’ The Marshal bowed low, wishing to ingratiate himself, once again, with his master even if he was quite mad.
‘I will issue new orders,’ he stood letting his golden robes flow about him.
‘With immediate effect, all dissenters, political activists, and troublemakers will be executed. All our slave clones will be put to work in our military facilities. They can work sixteen hours per day. We can always manufacture more if they wear out. This important work is being overseen by Lord Grim-Uk.’
‘Yes, Your Imperial Majesty,’ the Marshal bowed again.
‘All disabled, mentally ill and infirm will be put through our processing facilities. We no longer have the resources to look after them. They must be sacrificed for the greater good.’
The marshal hesitated.
He knew what that “processing” meant; he had a sister who was disabled.
He coughed politely.
‘Herr, my sister…’
‘Ah yes, I remember you telling me. Don’t worry Marshal,’ the emperor smiled, ‘as a loyal member of our elite, one of the Patricians, I will give you special dispensation. To my loyal followers, we shall form a party of national unity, and we shall adopt a new salute. The Narzuk Salute.’
The emperor stuck his hand out, in a salute.
‘Henceforth, you shall be called Narzuks, the Sumeri military elite. You shall wear a black uniform like the great Nazi Gestapo.’
Marshal Zurg-Uk thought he was quite mad but kept quiet. He just had to follow orders and bide his time. He still remembered that difficult conversation twenty years ago. Now he was standing before the emperor once again; much water had gone under the bridge. He liked that human saying.
They were joined in the resplendent Golden Throne room by a black-uniformed Sumeri general, who shifted nervously on his feet, as he saluted. He looked up at the awe-inspiring Great Golden Throne, and the emperor, who was looking down at him with disdain. The general was wearing all his shiny medals, hoping to impress his emperor.
‘Ah General Kurk-Ik, thank you for joining us.’ The general looked at his superior, Zurg-Uk, for reassurance.
The emperor gazed levelly at Zurg-Uk and the general. They both looked impressive in their gold, braided black Narzuk uniforms, decorated with medals, the emperor recalling their deeds against their own people and military expeditions to other planets. Good loyal Narzuks.
Zurg-Uk remembered receiving his ‘Order of the Eagle’ for his campaign of intimidation of clones and Plebeians on home planet Ergal 5 and the wars against neighbouring planets, desperate for their resources. He had tried to mitigate the worst excesses of some of the more fanatical Narzuk troops; he still had some principles after all. He was tired of war, but he wore his medals with pride.
But former allies were now enemies. Desperate times.
They both bowed before their master. Two clone servants stood by his side, heads bowed. Imperial guards dressed in red stood either side as they approached the throne.
‘Your Imperial Majesty,’ they both bowed low.
Herr Herg-Zuk raised his hand for them to stand. He pressed a button on his throne, and a holographic image of Earth appeared.
‘Gentlemen,’ he smiled. They smiled back and waited in silence.