Updated: Nov 6
Year: 1912 First year of Liberation
Location: The ruins of Chicago
General Arthur MacArthur stood behind William Howard Taft as he signed the surrender papers. The aliens had won. The new masters of Earth had no interest in micromanaging the planet when they controlled an empire that spanned galaxies. So, whispers were heard of a new military organization, lead by humans, to police the earth while also being used as an expeditionary force for new conquest. Those whispers recruited MacArthur, even as he cried with the rest of the cabinet while Taft lowered the flag; Half of those men were soon heading to London to help set up the Center for Human Governance anyway. There was not much use in regret. Their souls were sold. They all had work to do.
There was resistance to the new world order, of course. That was to be expected. In the beginning, it was all on the margins. Those in power went about the business of re-organizing the human race. The Empire decreed there would be an Upper Caste, who kept the trains running on time. A Middle Caste, who would conduct the trains. A Lower Caste, who would clean the trains, if they didn’t get too talkative. No one likes a chatty servant. Religion was outlawed, although the Lower Caste prayed in secret. Faith in God kept the poor hopeful for a better life on the next round. The Middle and Upper Caste didn’t mind too much. There would always be a section of the population willing to go along with the new regime if they were comfortable. Faith in God was beneath their station.
The Center for Human Governance then created a Fourth Caste, outside of the food chain. Sometimes brilliance was born in refugee camps and needed a societal mechanism for moving up the ladder to where it would be useful for The Empire. So, the Human Soldiers of Earth was established, seven years after “Liberation Day.” They came with food, and blankets, and promises of duty and honor and purpose. Glorious Purpose. Tall, strong men in matching berets atop obedient horses rode gently into the refugee camps outside of Chicago, letting the broken remains of the Americans get a good look at strength. The old men remembered being strong. The young men were raised on tales of adventure, of brave men taming a wild west in search of fame and glory. There was no glory to be had in the Chicago Camps, not where Taft signed the surrender. So those young men stood in line to enlist, thankful to escape the cannibals in the camps and ready to have a life of meaning, even if it meant working for the Empire. This was a scene that repeated itself across every camp all around the world, until the ranks of the Human Soldiers of Earth were filled. Troop ships left lunar dock to worlds awaiting Liberation, freeing world after world from the burden of self-governance. The Empire never had subjects like the humans. Other species could fight. But none took the sheer joy in the killing that the humans seemed to. While the droids used to Liberate the Earth required no food, the humans made up for that additional costs with centuries of cultural instinct for conquest. A human could take the initiative in a way no machine could. This made them the pride of the Empire.
On the ten-year anniversary of Liberation, a fifth caste was created. Not by the Center in London, but by one of Roosevelts old cabinet members. The Rough Riders, so named in honor of Teddy Roosevelt, began conducting insurgent campaigns across the planet. The remnants of the old world came back from out of the shadows and attacked their new rulers. There were not many Rough Riders out there, but they drew the attention of the civilian population. While most humans had found their pride again in the H.S.E., there would always be those who refused to conform. Their anger would lead them to self-destruction, but with a stop at the Rough Riders along the way. The Center for Human Governance in London saw the potential in this. An underdog story to give hope to a Lower Caste that no longer prayed in secret. A block to keep the knife sharp, so that the H.S.E. never got complacent. Commandant Arthur MacArthur put out a directive into the Human Soldiers of Earth: Never kill the last Rough Rider. After all, a hopeful populace was an obedient populace.