Museum calls for cool heads during times of tension.
The Minister without Portfolio of the Museum of Dust today released a statement calling for the head of the Your Illustrious Khan to be snap-frozen and stored in the Museum. The Minister, Sub-lieutenant Leslie Fenton Scam-Scam, also said that, acting under sub-clause 314 of article 2857 of the Museum's charter, he has taken temporary control of the Ministry of Defence. His statements were made as he left a meeting with the ambassador from the Republic of Tinselman (RoT). Sub-lieutenant Scam-scam added that these were just preliminary meetings. "We are just listening to their grievances and trying to work out possible means of avoiding an escalation of hostilities. We deny outright any of their outrageous claims but in keeping with the Museum's pacifist philosophy we are prepared to negotiate." he said.
The ambassador from RoT arrived in the middle of the night, wearing a sack and gibbering frightfully. He and his noisome cortege were housed overnight in the Intersol betwixt the Hall of the Dead and Inky's private quarters. The meeting took place early this morning and lasted for two hours until, much to everyone's relief, the ambassador and his troupe stormed out. They were last seen outside the Museum trying to hitch a ride back to RoT.
Noticeably relaxed and unusually talkative Sub-lieutenant Scam-Scam spoke freely to the press. Pointing to the departing ambassador he said. "You won't believe what those guys said".
Regaining his composure he went on. "We are shocked by the statements from the Republic of Tinselman. All who know Inky agree that he may be eccentric and contrary but he has a good spirit, a heart of gold, kevlar body armour, and a collection of hidden weaponry. But for all that, he is harmless when approached with caution. The only similarity between Inky and Octobrain is the number of appendages. By the same measure the Illustrious Khan and a chicken are identical because they share the same number of legs, or perhaps he is a fish given the concurrence of eyes and brains. In light of the Khan's ridiculous threats it appears the fish may have a slight advantage in the brains department. In acknowledgement of the disturbing events in the Khan's past (being enslaved by an evil alien super-being must be traumatic) we will overlook the irrationality of his claims and the insolence of his language."
He added that it was somehow convenient for RoT to make aggrieved noises when the smoking finger of suspicion points directly at them in the case of Cog's recent unwellness. "We are a peace loving institution and abhor violence yet in troubled times such as these our policies in relation to our neighbours must be flexible. Accusations such as those stemming from RoT fan the flames of instability in the region. To be prepared for all contingencies we in Defence have developed the strategy of 'Preaction'. This allows us to react quickly, fairly and appropriately before things get out of hand."
The acting-Minister admitted that RoT was correct in its claims that, before his mysterious disappearance, the Minister of Defence (Inky) had ordered an in-depth strategic analysis of the borders of the Republic, its industrial base, and military preparedness. When questioned he did not try to avoid answering but responded with gusto. "And just as well he did! As a result we know their army is woefully unprepared, their industries are outmoded and inefficient, their people are sad, sallow and stunted, and their National Dust Collection is pitiful. Our advisors say we could have a brigade of the 1st Armoured Dog-riders on the Great Khan's doorstep within 48 hours of the commencement of hostilities. Our troops are ready. Many of them are battle-hardened veterans of the long, bloody wars against the Weed King in Intersol. Even our freshest troops saw action in the Sponge-cat incident." he said. He went on to say that this was in no way to be perceived as a threat but merely the reality of the situation.
By this stage the lightly armed but self-assured Sub-lieutenant was obviously enjoying himself and in no mood to brook recalcitrance. "In the Minister's absence I have drawn up plans for possible military action should the Republic of Tinselman become any more belligerent. The plan is called 'Appropriate response'. The central tenet, 'An appropriate response is a massively appropriate response', is based on the strategy of Mutually Appropriate Destruction." he said adding "Need we also remind the Khan that despite our set-backs with the development of the sponge-gun our weapons program has proceeded apace. Our recently developed lighter-than-air submarine provides us with the element of surprise and the ability to launch our air-to-ground torpedoes deep inside enemy territory. Despite our previous statements against the use of mimes we still have vast stockpiles of these hideous things awaiting destruction. Should any military representatives of the Republic of Tinselman enter our sovereign territory we will unleash our mimes upon them."
He wound up the impromptu interview with a final statement. "Unlike, our opponents we at the Museum of Dust do not instantly and blindly respond to perceived injustices with threats and bluster. We prefer conciliation over confrontation. In the spirit of neighbourliness we put out our hand to our brothers in the Republic of Tinselman. We can settle this peacefully. Our requirements are as follows:
The Illustrious Khan must merely provide an abject apology for his silly threats. (I was only bluffing about the head-cutting-off thing.)
The Republic of Tinselman will accept all the sponge-cats exiled from the Museum and be responsible for preventing their return.
Their army, such as it is, will disband at once and be reconfigured as an arts and crafts collective.
A series of statutes of Cog (made of only the finest dust) are to be erected in all their major cities.
Tinselman must cede all its territories bordering the Museum. These will become a buffer zone between the peace loving folk of the Museum of Dust and the benighted, belligerent savages of Tinselman. The population of these regions will be governed by an Anarcho-syndicalist sub-branch of the Museum's library. Peace-keeping will be handled by troops from Utopia, Erewhon, Lilliput and other concerned realms, nations and worlds."
Tomorrow in his role as acting-Minister of Defence Sub-lieutenant Leslie Fenton Scam-scam will discuss various matters with a delegate from Erewhon.
Press release from the Ministry of Defence of the Museum of Dust. Issued by the MoP..