Note: This is a SCP-1483 tale, so reading it before reading this is recommended.
Soto was beginning to have second thoughts about the concept of Democracy. He barely stifled a sigh as his cohorts’ bickering entered its second hour, and his headache was getting worse by the minute. Gorza Dun Vent was currently on the attack:
“Hubrus, would you make up your mind already?”
“Er… I dunno.”
“Come on already, you stinking sack of wet fur! I’m hungry!”
“Umm… I vote for the Holey Pantry.”
“Saqinian food again? We ordered that last night, and you’re the only one who actually likes that sodding crud! Where did you even get that flier?”
“Don’t you oppress him, you four-armed bastard! He’s a gentle soul.” This came from Uniel Dun Vent, the "Watcher-Upon-All".
“Oh, I’m sorry! I forgot you needed six arms to properly oppress people!”
Freedom from the tyrannical rule of Utmai Cjen VI and the IIPES, building a place where everyone would have a voice, that was what they were supposed to be about. The longer Soto had to spend with the group currently called The General Independence Troops, the more attractive the idea of no one having a voice at all became.
“Would you two be quiet? Hubrus, is Grey Mountain Country Buffet acceptable?”
The huge man of Black Court shifted uncomfortably. “Err, okay, Soto.”
“Now that the all-important business of takeout is reserved, can we finally move on to the urgent business of today?”
“It is acceptable.”
"No. I have a issue I want to discuss. It is of burning urgency."
This time, Soto couldn't stop himself from audibly sighing. This whole "Glorious Revolution" business was turning out to be quite a bit more difficult than he first imagined. The root of the problem was, as ever, that he needed other people for it. And what a choice of companions did he end up with:
First was Hubrus, the dimwit Black Court member. Stupid as the big furball was, he was still easily the most tolerable of the four. He was basically harmless, except for a strange fascination with some outsider creature he called "cats". Currently, he was wearing an enormous shirt with two of the mangy things plastered on it in bright colors. Soto had no idea how he got his hands on the garish thing.
Second were the twins, Gorza and Uniel Dun Vent. They were minor nobility, and had an ego to match. While they were hard enough to deal with individually, together they were completely unbearable, mostly due to being in a constant state of one upmanship. Last week, Gorza started wearing this ridiculous Mender outfit he got from his art school, completed with two gag arms. He thought it made him look menacing. Naturally, Uniel came up with an even more ludicrous Watcher outfit the very next day.
And then there was Glun.
“I want a name change.”
"Again? Come on, Glun, that’s the sixth name change you requested in four meetings! What’s wrong with it this time?”
The fifth and final member of their company sat huddled on the opposite end of the table. Glun was an Eastlander, the only one Soto ever met. If all of them were as infuriating as the chubby little pyromaniac, he hoped never to see another.
“It makes us sound like a bunch of pencil pushing bureaucrats.”
“But you chose that name!”
“Well it sucks now. I have a much better name: the Soldiers of the Oppressed Demographics. Makes us sound legit.”
"Legit? Legit to whom? The Inquisition?"
"I'm not going to discuss anything until we change the name."
"Fine! Now can we please get on with today's agenda? Please?"
There were no objections this time, to Soto's relief. "Alright then. First order of business: does anyone has any plans to overthrow the oppressive hierarchy subjecting the common man?"
"We could burn down an orphanage."
"That would show them, you know. Make them understand we mean business."
"I think you misunderstand the meaning of my 'what', Glun. It wasn't an "Oh please, elaborate" sort of 'what'. It was a "what the hell is your problem, you bloody lunatic" sort of 'what'!"
"You never go with any of my ideas!"
"That's because all of your ideas involve burning something! Next please!"
Gorza raised his hand- one of the real ones. "I got an idea. I'll infiltrate the Shining Order using my disguise, gain the trust of its leadership, and organize a coup! The Empress would never expect an attack from her loyal Menders, she'll be entirely unprepared for it. It cannot possibly fail."
The only thing stopping Soto from slamming his palm into his forehead was that it would only make his headache worse. "See, Gorza, this would indeed be a foolproof plan, if not for one little problem."
"And what would that problem be?"
"That outfit of yours? The one you're so proud of? The crux of your entire plan?"
"Yes, what about it?"
"It sucks. It wouldn't fool a blind stripped bird, let alone the leadership of the Shining Order. I suspect the only reason the Inquisition lets you get away with wearing it is that they feel so sorry for you. Your exoskeleton is made of painted cardboard, for Stone's sake!"
Gorza muttered something under his breath, but settled down in his seat without further objection. Uniel gave him a smug look, then raised her hand.
"And if your idea is the same as Gorza's, only replacing the words "Shining Order" with "The Royal Bureaucracy", Uniel, you can just forget it."
Uniel's hand descended.
To Soto's surprise, Hubrus raised his hand next. "Err. We could try to make a deal with the outsiders, maybe? I've been hanging around their embassy lately, and they don't look all that happy with the way the IIPES treats them. I think they want to see the stuff the IIPES has hidden in the Vaults, and they won't let them. So, we could go to them, and promise to let them see everything they want if they help us get rid of the Empress."
The room was silent for a moment as the rest of the crew considered this.
"That's the most idiotic plan I've ever heard, even from you."
"I'm sorry, darling, but I have to agree with Gorza on this one."
"And there's no fire involved too."
"You know the outsiders are utter barbarians, Hubrus. They can barely be trusted to tie their own shoes, not to mention bringing down the Empress. What were you doing hanging out near their embassy anyway?"
"I… I wanted to see the cats, Soto. That's okay, right?"
"It's fine, Hubrus. I'm sure cats are very nice. Any other ideas?"
"We put a rain check on it, try again next time?"
"No! I've had enough! No one leaves until we come up with at least one plan, got it!?"
The crew sat on the roof of Uniel's studio apartment and watched the orange glow light the streets of Rootrel.
"I can't believe you guys convinced me to go through with this."
Not much could be seen from their vantage point, but the sound of screaming was unmistakable.
"Hey, you said we had to come up with a plan, and it was getting late."
Soto could hear the sirens of the fire brigade nearing the burning building. "Maybe they could stop the fire before anyone got seriously hurt," said Hubrus, who seemed even more uncomfortable than Soto with the entire ordeal.
There was a sudden crashing sound, and the screaming suddenly stopped. It seemed the building had collapsed. "Oh."
"When I burn something down, it stays burnt." Glun leaned over the rails, watching the scene with a worrying degree of enthusiasm.
"You guys do realize this accomplished nothing, right? We are in no way closer to bringing down the Empress, unless those orphans were all secretly Inquisitorial spies."
"They might have been, you don't know that they weren't," said Gorza, a hint of indignation in his voice.
"They were always a shifty bunch," agreed Uniel. "And besides, even if they weren't, there's always next week, eh?"
Soto couldn't argue with that. "Yeah, there's always next week."