ALTERNICAN TIMES NEWS ALERT: Holy fucking shit, we totally forgot to do the election, son of a bitch. We just lost track of the time, oh my god
Most of Politicsstuck has been really spread out, so I wrote this to make everything a bit more accessible.
The planet Earth is home to two sapient species, humans and trolls. However, though they have always existed side by side, there is only one nation where there are significant populations of both species living and working together: the United States of Alternica.
“I am many things, Mr. Governor, but I am not your receptionist.”
Karkat Vantas almost jumped three feet out of his skin. He whipped around, eyes wide and teeth bared, to see Rose Lalonde leaning on the wall of his office. One foot was placed on the wall behind her, and her arm reached over to close the door next to her. The expression on her face was impatient, almost indignant. It was not an expression Rose wore often, and it made the pit of Karkat’s stomach feel like it weighed fifty pounds.
Alternican Times Political Reporter
The fate of Sollux Captor has been entrusted to five politicians.
In a Royal Edict issued under the title of Acting Empress, Feferi Peixes has named five trolls to an Imperial Court. Peixes requested that President Mindfang confirm her appointments with an Executive Order, in order to ensure that “the sovereign power issuing mandates in this court is the citizenry of the United States, through their elected President.” President Mindfang approved the appointments - which includes her most vocal opponent - with an Executive Order on Thursday morning.
In a surprising move, Peixes named Governor Karkat Vantas to the Court. “As a candidate for Vice President, I cannot truly separate myself from my ideals and political beliefs as a Democrat. If the national ticket for the Democratic Party is in control of this case, it is only fair that the opposing national ticket also have a presence,” explained Peixes. She added that “Karkat Vantas graduated second in his class at Yale Law School, and has worked for justice for trolls and humans for decades. He has earned his place on this Court.”
Chairing the Court as Grand Highblood will be House Democratic Leader Gamzee Makara, who Peixes called “the foremost indigoblood of our time.” Makara, though best known for having a breakdown during tense budget negotiations last year and scaring the House into passing his budget, but Peixes appointed him for “his unwavering commitment to fairness, his incredible skill at listening, and his sense of mirthfulness that is essential to being a Grand Highblood.”
The only other highblood on the court is Secretary of Homeland Security Eridan Ampora. “As the coordinator of the internal security of this country, Secretary Ampora is uniquely suited to consider the many implications and intricacies of this case as they relate to Troll law and supernatural abilities.”
For similar reasons, Peixes appointed former Attorney General Neophyte Redglare, citing her “absolutely unparalleled skill in advocation and knowledge of both Alternian and customary Troll law.” Redglare was appointed especially to consider any applications of the body of Alternian law in the case, as well as to consider any precedents the Captor case will create.
The last appointment was Nepeta Leijon, the junior Senator from Wyoming. Leijon is among the quieter members of the Senate, very rarely in the national spotlight. She is considered one of the moderates in the Senate, though she has changed her vote in the past to more conservative positions in line with her colleague from Wyoming, Equius Zahhak. She is notable, however, for having the most pro-choice record in the Senate. Peixes called her “a trusted friend and colleague” and appointed her for her “ability to see the possibilities and implications of every situation, no matter how impossible it may be, and to ensure a moderate debate even when tensions run high and hearts run heated.”
The Court has two Democratic members and three Republicans, though the final judgment will be entirely up to Peixes, a Democrat. Peixes stated that she specifically selected partisan members to ensure a bipartisan perspective, but in her Royal Edict, ordered the Court to consider the law first, above all. “You are not acting for yourselves,” said the Edict, “you are acting for your country, for your people, and for Aradia Megido.”
Alternican Times Political Reporter
As if to make light of what is the most unusual and chaotic political situation in decades, Senator Feferi Peixes began her announcement that she would convene an Imperial Court with “So, who’s ready to party like it’s 1899?”
The senior Senator from Washington announced Friday that she was “taking a break from campaigning” with Terezi Pyrope’s blessing and would call an “informal session” of the ancient Imperial Troll Court. Stressing that the body and her own authority as a tyrianblood were “completely and totally dissolved” by the global referendum in 1899, she instead drew her mandate from President Mindfang herself. “The President has suspended Sollux Captor’s court case in favor of arbitration by myself and other trolls in regards to our ancient laws that are applicable in this unique situation where the Alternican corpus of legislation is not. This is what I have agreed to.”
Peixes is well-versed in customary Troll law, which she admits has been “a hobby” of hers. Most Troll law was never written down, except in a series of diaries that passed from Empress to Empress for generations. Peixes has stated the diaries are in her possession, and the exchange from Empress Meenah to Feferi was the first nonviolent one in recorded history.
According to Peixes, an Imperial Court can have anywhere from 4 to 13 members, all appointed by the Empress. An Imperial Court is not a standing body - its membership does not carry over from one session to the next, and is completely dissolved and re-appointed with every new session. Traditionally, no trolls in castes under teal were appointed, though Peixes says she is “eager to do away with that particular convention.”
“I will make formal appointments in the coming days,” said Peixes. “By law, I must first appoint an indigoblood to serve as Chair of the Court. As Acting Empress, I do not actually sit with the Court, I merely listen to their final appraisal and make the final judgment. I will be appointing several members from across the hemospectrum.”
A reporter from the Times asked Peixes after the announcement how she felt about being called into such a capacity. “I have to admit,” said Peixes, “I’m a little excited.”
Alternican Times Political Reporter
After the events of Tuesday night, the only thing the nation can seem to agree on is that there is more work to be done. The Alternican Times comment page was alight with posts from across the country and even around the world. The highest-rated comment came from Wendy A. in Michigan, who said “why can’t things move this fast during budget season?”
Aralex N. of Arizona had a different take on the President’s expedience. “When us normal citizens go to court, the justice system takes years. My moirail was murdered by a highblood and I waited seven years between his arrest and conviction. Even Aradia’s loved ones have waited a decade. But when it’s a politician in trouble, he was under arrest for not even half an hour before the President swooped in to save him. Where is the justice in this country?”
Added Aralex, “I hate to make this political, but after this debacle, I know who I’m voting for in October.”
All major Presidential candidates have so far remained silent, but one person who hasn’t is a former Attorney General herself, Neophyte Redglare. Attorney General under Bill Clinton, Redglare is now more famous for her rivalry with the current President. “As much as it pains me to say,” said Redglare in an interview with the Times, “President Mindfang did the right thing in this situation.”
“The Megido assassination is a passionate cause for all of us. Had Captor remained under arrest, there would have been clamors for his head on the White House fence from riots in the street as well as within the government itself. Justice would have given way to mob rule, and the true mind behind the murder would have been forgotten.”
A high-profile voice that the people are clamoring to hear is that of Feferi Peixes. Her nickname “the Empress” was given because she is known as the wisest and most powerful person in the legislature, but it is her legacy as the descendant of Empress Meenah that has now been thrust into the spotlight. The Senator’s office is not commenting on President Mindfang’s call to convene the Imperial Troll Court, but sources in the Pyrope campaign have hinted that Peixes is considering it.
“President Mindfang may have set a course for a complex legal entanglement that could last for years to come,” said Michigan State University political analyst Ethrim Nassai. “The fact is that the authority of the Empress, the Council, and the Court were all revoked by a vote of the worldwide Troll population over a century ago. Arguments could definitely be made that a ruling by a so-called Imperial Court aren’t valid, and that Mindfang didn’t have the authority to send Captor outside the legal system for a ruling in a criminal case, or even convene the Court in opposition to an international vote at all.”
“Making spiderwebs like this has always been a talent of hers,” said Nassai. “Though, this does seem out of character for her. One has to wonder what her angle is in all of this.”
Shortly after 8pm tonight, Eastern Time, upon hearing the news of Sollux Captor’s arrest for the death of Aradia Megido, I issued a temporary and conditional reprieve of his impending court case, conviction, and punishment.
I assure you that I have a logical chain of reasoning for this. First and foremost, if Sollux Captor were convicted and sentenced now, that would require a closing of the case. If Mr. Captor’s story is to be believed, there was another agent involved who pulled the strings and who is, ultimately, responsible for her death. While Mr. Captor was involved, it was not by his will, and his conviction would not solve anything.
The fact of the matter - and my second reason - is that Alternican law simply does not have the ability to properly prosecute crimes where one party is a powerful psychic who has been overtaken by another, similarly supernaturally gifted individual. The law as it is written does not make any distinction between an individual who has murdered someone, and an individual whose mind was controlled by another and forced to murder someone. Any conviction of Sollux Captor for murder would be a miscarriage of justice in answer to another. Two wrongs cannot make a right.
My reprieve of Mr. Captor’s conviction and sentencing is on the condition that he submit himself to the only authority capable of issuing a proper ruling on the case: the ancient Imperial Troll Court. While the court was technically abolished in 1899 along with the Imperial Throne, the court’s bylaws still exist, and there still exists an Empress who could preside: Senator Feferi Peixes, Tyrian descendant of Empress Meenah Peixes, the last Troll Empress.
After the court makes its ruling, I will accordingly lift the reprieve and order Captor to submit to punishment if his is deemed guilty, or issue a full pardon if he is deemed innocent. If the court cannot convene to meet, I must by conscience issue a full pardon. In any event, the Justice Department will still continue to search for the individual truly behind Megido’s death, with Mr. Captor’s cooperation.
A reprieve is a temporary postponement of the punishment for a crime. It is related to, but is not a full pardon, which is forgiveness for a crime and the cancellation of the penalty. Sollux Captor has not been fully absolved of his guilt in the death of Aradia Megido. The Alternican Times sincerely regrets this error.
The President of the United States has the power to issue pardons and reprieves for Federal crimes under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.
Pardons and reprieves are usually issued after an individual has been fully convicted and sentenced, but the President has the power to issue them at any point, as President Ford did when he pardoned Richard Nixon without Nixon having been even charged with a crime.
White House sources indicate President Mindfang will issue a statement outlining her motivations for the reprieve shortly.