tagSci-Fi & FantasyLife as a New Hire Ch. 45

Life as a New Hire Ch. 45

byFinalStand©

*Editing magic performed by KJ24 and Shyqash, plus contributions by the regular gang of brigands and neer-do-wells*

*It is selfish to believe that your family will always love you. At some point you will be asked to earn it*

*Two small notes: first, there is an intentional 'jump' in the time flow in the middle of this chapter and second, there is a complete listing of the Amazon Houses at the end of the chapter.*

[ODD HAPPENINGS]

{9:28 am, Wednesday, Sept. 3rd ~ 5 Days to go}

I trundled my latest 'Assistant-in-Charge of keeping the hopes of future Isharans alive' (I didn't want to call Aunt Imogen, or any other woman, my 'Baby-Mamma'), along with Mom and Deidre, for a meet-and-greet with Buffy. I had spelled out in no uncertain terms that Buffy was the power behind the Ishara Throne and thus making 'her' believe they were playing on the up-and-up was their best hope for easing relations between the O'Shea and the Amazon Host.

After they left me (with the assurance we'd be getting back together for lunch -- with Hana), I made three calls. I needed to make a formal request to Katrina (any Illuminati member(s) entering any Amazon facility was her purview) and another to Elsa (as a sign of respect) that Aunt Imogen and two unarmed bodyguards, max, needed to see our medicos about a delicate issue.

The third call was to Buffy to enlighten her as to both the arrival of another one of my aunts (so we needed to get along peacefully with her) and that Aunt Imogen was carrying yet another potential heir to House Ishara. I suggested it would be a symbolic gesture if a member of House Ishara could hang around for the visit, as it might impress upon Imogen our House had a vested interest in keeping her alive.

"Another one?" Buffy sizzled. "And this one is your aunt?"

"It is a date then," I stumped her.

"You are going to take your pregnant aunt out on a date?" Buffy's sizzle meter was rapidly climbing to Krakatoa proportions.

"Nope. I'm setting up a date for us. You, me and a quiet location at 12:01 am Tuesday morning, my First. Later in the morning, I'll be heading out to wherever they have stored Felix so we can work on some cooperative strategy."

"And if I say 'no'?" She was terribly grumpy.

"Ugh ... I guess I'll go bar-crawling with Odette and Timothy -- Gay and Lesbian bars only. That way I know I'll behave."

"And if they say 'no'?" she was slightly less hostile.

"I'll know you threatened their lives, and then you and I will finally find out who is better on the mats. Trust me, it will NOT be an experience you will enjoy."

"I don't know. I think I'd like that."

"No. You start threatening the other people I love and you will not be happy; I guarantee that, Buffy."

She realized I was both serious and angry. She had stepped out of bounds -- the 'bounds' I had set up two hours earlier during our elevator ride.

"Is the meeting still on for the night?" she evaded my disappointment.

"Yes. Will you be there?"

"Of course," she grumped.

"Buffy, don't bother showing up if you can't separate 'us' as friends, 'us' as Wakko Ishara and my First, and you as my '****' -- my apprentice.

"Making me miserable in the first relationship doesn't help the latter two one bit. I try not to be an irresponsible asshole as House Head. More than anyone else, you know what I will sacrifice to be Ishara and one with my Isharans. I'll also step out and be plain ole 'Cáel Nyilas' when events permit."

"But I am sick and tired of people not taking my desire to be foolish and care-free seriously. Being a dogmatic ass-hat isn't in me, but if you can't work with that, from here on out we are Wakko Ishara and Buffy Ishara and nothing more. I will still trust you as an Isharan, but not as a friend. Your choice."

"Don't be such an asshole!" she snapped.

"Screw you!" I fired back. "I made a fucking effort to plan out some personal time with you, disguised as a joke; you knew it and you still decided to be a ball-buster. Like I need another fucking ball-buster right now, with all the other shit on my plate. You know better!" I was screaming. The people in JIKIT were working overtime at not staring at me.

"I'm under a ton of stress here too," she snarled. "I have to deal with the Council, keep our House growing and fulfill my obligations with Executive Services."

"Do you want to quit? No longer by my 'apprentice'? Go back to working for Katrina full time?"

"Really?" she whispered.

"Of course the fuck not!" I shouted. "I didn't pick you for the job because of your sterling personality, or your bedroom excellence. I picked you because I had, and still have, utter faith in your ability to do whatever is necessary to overcome the landfill-sized colossal ill-fortune the Ancestors have dumped in our lap."

"I'm just asking you to stop being a whiny, over-sensitive pussy and remember: it was the psychotic bitch who I chose for the top spot," I rumbled.

"I'm going to kick your ass," she seethed.

"Nice to know. We on for Monday night?"

Pause.

"Yes," and she hung up. Two seconds later my phone rang again. "Buffy?" I answered. "And don't be late!" she menaced, then hung up again.

"So," Addison turned my way, "are you praying for World Peace to break out, or Nuclear War?"

"Hardy-har-har," I griped.

"Now that your personal drama is temporarily derailed, we have something for you to look at," Mehmet motioned for my attention. "Ever heard of Kōfuku no Kagaku?" I shook my head. "It translates over as 'Happy Science' and it is a cult-like organization in Japan."

"Cool beans. Why do I have a sinking impression it is not a front for the Ninja?"

"That is what we want you to find out," Addison took over. "Of critical importance is the news conference their leader, Ryuho Okawa, gave earlier this afternoon/morning (~ 3:17 pm Tokyo time = 2:17 am East Coast time ~), especially a very relevant part of his interesting public announcement.

"He claims to be the Earthly manifestation of the Supreme Being. That is old news. Today he claimed that Temujin of the Khanate was the reincarnation of the original Genghis Khan and, with him -- Ryuho -- as the unifier of theological forces and therefore serving as spiritual advisor to Temujin, they would usher in a new period of Peace throughout Asia."

"I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop," I exhaled.

"He also claims that Japan is in the midst of an epic struggle, both spiritually and in the physical sense. The 'ancient guardians' of Japanese purity -- the 6 Ninja Families -- are at war with the depth of all Evil -- the Chinese Seven Pillars of Heaven by name -- who are determined to drag all of Asia away from the Light and into the Darkness of pain, degradation and slavery.

"In fact I quote: 'Alone among the nations of the Earth, only the Japanese cultural identity can stand firm against this global menace. Only the Japanese can keep the torch of true Enlightenment aloft. Only the Japanese can guide the development of the Khanate into the Supreme Empire it is meant to be'."

"I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this guy is pseudo-religious, a Japanese ultra-nationalist as well as anti 'all things Sino'," came out of my mouth.

"Correct."

"None of the Secret Societies would do something so public. Temujin's background is a mystery, but no one in the Khanate is calling him a reincarnated spirit ... and they know the truth," I continued.

"This guy is pretty nutty," Mehmet confirmed. "He also claims to channel Buddha, Mohammed, Christ and Confucius. His followers worship him as the Earthly manifestation of the 'Supreme Being' named El Cantare ... which is yet another name for any number of ancient supreme deities. And he claims to consult with the 'spirit guardians' of national leaders and aids in their mystic defense, with the aid of the Five Sacred Sisters' Spirits."

Clearly this man was insane. Unfortunately, insane didn't make someone wrong ...

"Ah Hell," I muttered.

Mehmet and Addison perked up; after all, figuring out the bizarre was my position on the team.

"He probably is insane, and I can't blame him," I sighed. "He isn't El Cantare; he is in touch with the Weave."

"I have a feeling this is 'not good'," Addison murmured. "How bad is it?"

"The Five Sacred Spirit Sisters are most likely the five augurs who died in order to save Temujin, which, in turn, allies the 9 Clans with the E&S and Amazons to 'save' Japan -- though it is not 'saved' yet."

"Technically, the Weave IS the Supreme Being. It's largely indifferent, yet capable of doing both good and ill in response to outside (aka mortal) stimuli. If you can observe the Weave, you might be able to see the most likely path destiny is taking as well as the key players screwing with that destiny.

"That would include the Gong Tau sorcerers and the ninjas use of their own brand of magic; and God only knows what other mystic tricks the others have been attempting."

"How do we get them to stop?" Captain Delilah Faircloth muttered.

"Not that easy Delilah. Everyone in this room has intersected because of a magic experiment that happened before any of us were born (Mom)."

"The fight at Summer Camp was flipped on its head because I saw the ghost the 7 Pillars sent to scout the area. My freeing of one of those trapped and tortured souls led to the calamity at the Barbeque Pit. I didn't use magic. I countered it. Still, my actions were interfering with the Weave.

"All four people the augurs -- those Five Sisters -- told me about had been dead at some point in time, some for thousands of years. Ajax didn't kill anyone using magic. Neither has Saku, yet both of them are products of disruptions in the Weave. 'Me' being alive and breathing is yet another disruption, since I shouldn't exist because of another mystic curse from five thousand years ago.

"Being alive and killing people means I've killed people who shouldn't be dead. Do we need to go into all the millions that have died in the Khanate war? Which was a combination of a resurrected Temujin and the 7 Pillars hunger for World Domination ... if we do nothing, the rippled of those other disruption will still carry on.

"Except for me, no one on this taskforce has used an iota of magic, yet we are all dedicated to combatting mystical forces," I related to the group. I wondered where Rikki (Martin) and Beatrice (Ya Konan) had gotten off to. Lady Yum-Yum being absent only made my 'Scooby' senses tingle more.

"You use magic?" Agent-86 tilted his head in curiosity.

"I talk to a Goddess on a semi-regular business. I see ghosts. I've been the conveyer of messages from dead people and I've killed an un-killable man. Do we need to go back over my kidnapping by the 7 Pillars? The memories of my undead Grandfather floating around in my head?"

"I'm not calling thunderbolts out of the sky and shooting fireballs out my ass, but what I am doing is magical, nonetheless."

"So, what do we recommend to our allies and benefactors (i.e., our sovereign governments)?" Mehmet inquired.

"Hmmm ... we tell our governments this crackpot is a Prophet of Doom who could be turned into an asset," I rubbed my brow with all four fingers and a thumb. Rikki, Beatrice and Lady Worthington-Burke quietly entered the room. They were all highly pleased in a 'I just won the lottery' kind of way. I was curious, but had to carry on with my train of thought.

"Quietly start seeking out other mystic societies -- preferably low-key, quiet types who avoid the limelight -- and start looking into other forms of magical insight and, quite frankly, protection. If the Weave has let this happen, we can expect worse. Lastly, I'll ask my 'Brother' to meet with this guy and get a feel for his personality."

"That will only increase the believability of his ramblings," Addison protested.

"The boat called 'Denial' has already sailed. The World is in crisis. People are going to look for non-conventional answers. It is better to get ahead of this and bring Ryuho Okawa on board as a 'consultant'. Don't give him the whole picture by any means. The guy is definitely a loose cannon. Even worse, he is also a loose cannon the Weave has touched."

"Besides, the Seven Pillars are going to figure this out pretty quick -- their Weave sensitivity, ya know -- and either kidnap him to be their own spiritual seismic sensor, or kill him for being both a loose cannon and yet another person screwing with their 'best laid plans'. Keeping him alive has the added benefit of making the Seven Pillars expend resources trying to get at him. Japan needs every bit diversion they can get.

"Let's not forget to tell our Secret Society allies of our plans, lest they kill him too. His babblings aren't going to make the 9 Clans or the E&S happy with him. They both have an established habit of making perceived enemies dead. Let's keep him alive and utilize this opportunity."

"I like this plan," Addison nodded. Mehmet was clearly on board as well. Agent-86 clearly was playing the best on-line mystic MMORPG ever! (And with the added bonus that his team's action had real-world consequences.) The three 'ladies' new to the room received an abbreviated version of our discussion and my 'suggestions'. They weren't really suggestions. Barring a few insanely criminal endeavors, JIKIT treated me like a true asset.

"Something else big?" Addison looked to her British counterpart (Yum-Yum).

"The Japanese Diet has voted for a public referendum on a Constitutional Amendment to repeal/revise Article 96 of the Japanese Constitution."

"Oh fuck," was echoed, either verbally or subliminally, by everyone in the room except for me, Delilah and Agent-86.

'Cáel' knew Jack and Shit about the Japanese Constitution. Hell, I barely knew about the US one and I was a native. However, Alal did know it, and knew both what Article 96 was and what its amendment really meant. Good-old 96 was the rolling dark cloud across the political Great Plains that heralded a swarm of tornados. Clouds were clouds and their arrival could mean anything.

Article 96 dictated how the Japanese Constitution could be amended. The current process was a 2/3rd vote in both the House of Councilors (the 'Upper House' -- roughly equivalent to our Senate) and the House of Representatives (the 'Lower' House) followed by a public referendum. The proposed amendment to Article 96 would transform the process to a mere majority vote in both Houses.

Imagine the shit-storm which would be unleashed if the US Congress tried to pull that shit. The biggest political issue was that the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held 294 of the 475 seats in the lower house [a clear majority] and 115 of the 242 in the Upper House [7 seats short of a majority]. If the amendment passed next month (October 14th to be precise), the LDP could pretty much do as they pleased.

And what was the first thing they were going to do? They were going to put to rest another part of the Constitution -- namely the far more globally important Article 9. And what was that?

{REAL WORLD STUFF ... WARNING!}

Article 9:

(1)Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

(2)To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

If Article 9 was repealed, the Japanese nation could exercise diplomacy by military means, aka declaring an offensive war against a foreign power. Currently Japan had a modest budget military budget of $48 Billion a year (Earth's 10th largest). It was modest when you considered it was a mere 1% of the Japanese GDP. Great Britain, France and South Korea's smaller economies all functioned nicely with double that percentage for their military budget.

Regionally, EVERY other nation was increasing their military expenditures ... except Japan's protector, the US and (perhaps) North Korea, who's spending on anything was a closely guarded state secret. Right now, China and the Khanate's military expenditures were running roughly even at $180 billion each, but this was an arm's race the PRC would eventually win -- they had too great an advantage in the size of their workforce and a far larger industrial base.

The truth was, if the PRC couldn't win this race fast, she was facing a long, grinding war reminiscent of the Communists' Long Rise to Power that wrecked their country a century ago. The monetary dynamic was shifting badly against them because the Khanate wasn't alone.

India, Taiwan and Vietnam were also ramping up their war spending to a combined tune of $34 billion and now allied with the Khanate, equating to an additional $90 billion the PRC had to overcome. South Korea was already adding $8 billion to their military and Russia was taxing the fuck out of Manchuria to both pay for their 'Peaceful Intervention' and to increase the 'Readiness' of their other forces.

All of this military spending was bad for both the regional and global economies (unless you were Israel who was turning out hardware 24/7/365 for the Khanate and Indian war machines). So at this point, Japan doing 'nothing' was possibly more disastrous than doing 'something' else.

They were already spending $50 fucking billion on glorified policemen while the future of East Asia was being decided without them. Doubling the military budget would place a huge burden on the largely pacifistic population. It would also put Japan in the position of deciding the Fate of Nations.

With the repeal of Article 9, Japan could utilize 'proactive means' to keep the naval supply routes to China open -- not even the Indian's had the naval presence to confront the Japanese. Such a policy was a nice, friendly gesture to the Asian Colossus ... who wasn't likely to show a shred of appreciation for their efforts.

No, China had spent the last 60 years stoking the hatred of the Land of the Rising Sun among their people. (Many Japanese forgot current Chinese hatred was based on the Japanese butchering their way across China for nearly a decade between 1937 to 1945).

[The Cornerstone] There was a truism which had guided American, Chinese, Japanese and Russian political thought for 150 years: 'There could only be one supreme power in East Asia and the Eastern Pacific'. Japan had followed the logical expression of that paradigm by invading Taiwan (1895), Korea (1910), beating up on Imperial Russia (1904), taking Manchuria (1931) and going to war with China (1937) while that country was trapped in a bloody civil war.

To stop the Empire of Japan's rise, the US had attempted to cripple the Japanese economy before the Empire could harvest their just-acquired Asian natural resources. In response, Japan had thrown its soldiers and sailors into a futile effort against the British Empire, the United States and China and lost.

With Imperial Japan crushed and the Soviet Union preoccupied in Europe, China had risen. The irresistible force of China's rapidly increasing population, natural resources exploitation and extensive land mass took hold. Japan couldn't compete in a 'fair' fight. Since 1945, the Japanese government had lived with the fear of aggression from Russia and/or China aimed their way.

The US felt the same way -- or they had. The fear produced by the broad acceptance of 'Only-One-Shall-Rule-Asia' had led to the Korean War, the half-century cease-fire along the Demilitarized Zone in Korea and the Vietnamese Civil War. The Communists in China and Russia had feuded until the Soviet Union collapsed under its own economic inadequacies.

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