An Interview With the Halfling Prince

J.M. Diener

Prologue

Article published in the New York Times, May 27, 1987.

MILITARY COUP SUCCESFUL IN LORISHAN

Associated Press

YIRBANDI — Democracy has fallen. Early in the morning of May 26 a small faction of military leaders headed by General Rashiv Demis Strail seized control of the south-pacific island nation’s government. The take-over culminated a long period of tension between the military leaders and the duly elected officials of the government. The Lorishi ambassador to America, Olin Dowd, expressed his deep concern for the welfare of his nation. “It is a catastrophe that the military leaders would interfere with the democratic processes of government,” he said in a press conference today. He strongly urged the United Nations Organization to put pressure on the military leaders of Lorishan to withdraw from Yirbandi and return the government to the people.

The Lorishi government just came off turbulent elections in which the incumbent president of the island state, Kain O’Brien, was re-elected for a third term with what can only be called a landslide. Immensely popular in his own country, President O’Brien seems to have made some potent enemies within the despotic military which is now trying to crush the democratic spirit that has bloomed in Lorishan almost as long as it has in the United States.

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Article published in the New York Times, May 28, 1987

STRAIL PROCLAIMED KING OF LORISHAN

Associated Press

YIRBANDI — Lorishan has a new ruler. General Rashiv Demis Strail, the architect of the military coup launched on May 26, has declared himself king of Lorishan. In his inaugural address aired on Lorishi television, he spoke out strongly against what he called the corruption of the O’Brien government. He is directly quoted as having said, “The people need a strong leader to bring them out of the bondage of media politics and foolish lies of leaders preoccupied only by the desire to enrich themselves.” Strail then went on to accuse President O’Brien’s democratically elected cabinet of “running Lorishan as a strip-mine.”

Ambassador Olin Dowd, has strongly objected to the statements issued by Strail. “General Strail is living in an age long-passed, benighted, foolish, and unable to see that democracy can heal itself. It does not need the ‘help’ of small-minded control freaks who want to sway the public with their demagoguery to fulfill their need for power.”

It is rumored that General Strail and his cohorts have received substantial support for their coup from the Soviets, something that Dr. Brennan Wallace, Strail’s public spokesman, strongly denies. The issue is long from resolved, as the deposed president of the Republic of Lorishan is expected to address the United Nations assembly in New York city later this week.