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Saturday, 24 September 2011


Brigadier Banquo

Perry Jaxman: Hello and welcome to Muse-Night, with me Perry Jaxman. It’s nearly 2 years now since the so called “Excision” of Christmas 2009, and in that time there’s been much talk of “Reconnection” by both the Pros and the Cons. To examine the various issues around the bloody and convoluted question of Reconnection, tonight in the studio we have the secretary of state for self image - Vanity Blair . . .

Vanity Blair: Hi Perry.

Perry Jaxman:  Head of Operations on the Isle of Stoma – Brigadier Banquo . . .

Brigadier Banquo: Evening

Perry Jaxman: and Commander Brian Box of Central intelligence.

Brian Box: Hmm

Perry Jaxman: But before we tackle these issues lets just take a look back at the events that have led us here with a report from our special correspondent, Kay Taydee, who looks back over the last 2 years:

Roll VT

Kay Taydee: It was in October 2009 that President Arkayeff finally signed the so called “treaty of no return” that agreed to the complete removal of the crumbling evac system, and the building of a new terminal on the Isle Of stoma.

At that time I interviewed a haggard but defiant dissident leader; Lieutenant R.Sole about the hated treaty.

(Archive footage of Lieutenant R Sole)

“It’s not just about the evac system, although I believe that with proper maintenance the system can be saved . . . I think there’s another 30 years of service to be had . . . but more than that it’s about defending our dignity . . . our sovereign identity.  We’ve been let down by President Arkayeff . . . it’s a betrayal – a bloody betrayal  . . .and I pledge that whatever happens we – the republic of the free will never surrender!”

But despite those impassioned words, on 22nd December 2009 the troops and the hardware went in, and forcibly removed the evac system. President Arkayeff  appeared in public, but despite the brave front it was clear that he was weakened. Here seen looking frail and tired he tried to fool the world by walking – slowly – 200 yards along a road.

At the time I managed to get secret and exclusive access to the militarised zone:
Archive footage of Kay Taydee wearing flack jacket and helmet in military helicopter:

“It’s now three days since what is becoming known as The Excision. Below me a long red and angry scar that stretches from Mount Sternum to the southern reaches of The Naval Plateau. I can clearly see the steel glint of staples that hold the fragile east-west fault together. Without them the entire state would literally fall apart. To the east of the ancient city of Umbilicus lies a strange new world . . .

And I was able to gain secret access to that strange new world a couple of days later. An entirely new city had been constructed in the desert. In effect a new evac system had been built – the controversial, expensive, and man-made Isle Of Stoma.

And to this day it remains a focus of controversy, loved by many for bringing new life and energy; a permanent reminder to others of submission and humiliation. The Isle Of Stoma remains, a sensitive subject. And throughout its short history one big question remains: Should it stay or should it go?

This is Kay Taydee, from the ancient city of Umbilicus for Muse-Night.


Perry Jaxman: So there we have it Brigadier Banquo – The Isle Of Stoma – a mark of submission and humiliation.

Brigadier Banquo: No at all, not at all. The Isle Of Stoma is nothing of the sort; it’s a mark of resilience and survival, and we should be proud of it. A fully functional evac service; integrated with every other system, allowing freedom and independence. That is the truth about The Isle Of Stoma
Perry Jaxman: Vanity Blair. . . . something to be proud of?

Vanity Blair: I mean C’mon. This is feeble nonsense isn’t it? We’ve thrown our inheritance down the sewers, that’s the truth. Am I the only one who remembers the sight of our boys standing to attention on the deck as we steamed into harbour? Our own flag run up the mast? We’ve given all that away for this filthy mudbath of a city. . .

Brigadier Banquo: I simply can’t let poppycock like that pass, it’s filthy work but someone has to do it. No choice. That’s simply the nature of the beast. . .

Vanity Blair: The Isle Of Stoma is an affront; an affront to our image, an affront to our nature, and an affront to our society. You talk about independence Brigadier, but you know only too well that without outside supplies your operation would leak like a sieve and stink to high heaven. . .

Perry Jaxman: It’s a bloody mess isn’t it Brigadier. . .

Brigadier Banquo: It is this kind of body fascism and nonsense - this trite obsession with the surface of things,  that holds us back. If we want to move forward we need to move on. Forget about the old evac – it was scuppered, kaput, and the ship was about to give up the ghost.  We’ve got a new, efficient way of dealing with that. Let me get on with keeping you alive, while you go shopping and looking in mirrors. You talk tough Mr Vanity Blair, but in reality you are about as rough as a frilly collar.

Perry Jaxman: You’re very quiet Commander, what should we do here? You were in command at the time of The Excision, and now you’re the head of Central intelligence, so you should know the answer shouldn’t you?

Commander Brian Box: Simply don’t get it do you. . . It doesn’t matter what decision we make. . .

Perry Jaxman: How so?

Commander Brian Box: We can’t know . . . the future. . .

Vanity Blair: It’s well known, Commander, that you have gone all spiritual on us in the last year or so. . . but surely as the head of central intelligence you should know future.

Commander Brian Box: I presume by spiritual you mean my interest in the power of the mind . . . . well at least I’m talking about our best organ. Never mind your boys standing to attention on the deck. . . as for intelligence – there is none. The truth is: no one knows; doctors, internet, even people who’ve been through it all . . . . they don’t know what’s best. . . and since the outcome is unknowable the actual decision taken doesn’t matter.

Perry Jaxman: A somewhat fatalistic point of view wouldn’t you say Brigadier?

Brigadier Banquo: I have fought on enough battle fields, and been stabbed in the back often enough to know that even at the eleventh hour you have to knuckle down and brass up. If you, Commander, wish to resign yourself to the sly threads of fate, and you Mr Vanity Blair are, and more concerned about our image at all cost, then good luck to both of you. In the meantime I’m keeping this ship running. I know my duty.

Commander Brian Box: Brave words Brigadier, and I applaud you for your passion. You remind me of a man I once knew. And do you know where he is now? In the bilges as we speak. Yes that’s right. Lieutenant R. Sole.

Vanity Blair: Traitor!

Commander Brian Box: Best bloody R. Sole we ever had.

Perry Jaxman: Gentlemen please!

Brigadier Banquo: It’s an important point - At least R. Sole had some guts.

Perry Jaxman: Last word to you Vanity Blair. . .

Vanity Blair: Look. The other day I sat in a restaurant with a much loved friend and she asked me why self-image mattered. After all, she said, no one in this room has the slightest clue. That’s not true I said. You do, and so do I and that is an affront. . . . . Look . . . . All I’m saying that we’ve taken the first step on a journey. We are too far stepped in blood now to return. You, Brigadier, should surely know that. You talk about guts? The brigadier won’t screw his courage to the sticking point in case we fail. As for you Commander, time is running out – hear the bell – for it summons us all to heaven or to . . .

Perry Jaxman: Thank you Gentlemen, that’s all we have time for. I’m sure we’ll get lots of correspondence on this.