Jenkins looked over a Fabius, who simply shrugged.
He took a deep breath, then stood with confidence. No worse way to make an impression than look weak, he thought.
“Honorable senators, please forgive me, but I was not warned in advance that I would need to talk. I will be down shortly.” He finished with a short bow, then leapt off the balcony onto the floor below.
His bravado elicited several gasps as he landed gracefully on the ground. Several senators, unsure of what else this apparent madman might do, cleared a path for him to the podium, where Agrippa stood with a smile and arm out.
“As you might have heard,” Jenkins began as he leapfrogged the podium, “the British Empire today dominates a solid part of the world. Under her majesty’s leadership, the Empire is quickly growing in strength and ability.
“While your history books might name the so-called ‘Brittania’ a land of druidic savages, we’ve developed far beyond our humble beginnings. Through might and will, we now control almost a quarter of the known world. Even beyond our holdings, we hold great sway. Had we wished it, the United States may today be 2 nations. We might have an Oriental Trading Company to dominate China, and exploit it for all its known resources. We can have what we want.
“Which, of course, brings us back to you. According to what I’ve heard so far, you have technology exploiting this so-called ‘ether’, and the resources to continue that. Only recently, British engineers have also made similar technological exploits.
“And you know that what you have is priceless. So priceless that the Empire will have no choice but to dominate you, either economically or, if that doesn’t work, militarily. Simply know that if you choose to oppose the Empire, you will be crushed. I suggest you do otherwise.”
Jenkins strutted out the doors, enjoying the frightened look of senators he passed.
Fabius caught up to Jenkins in the market, where a vast array of goods exchanged hands.
“Excellent place, you have here. Some of the local fruits are absolutely delightful. And all for free! You wouldn’t imagine the shock of the vendors when I asked on price.” Jenkins reached over for another grape-like fruit, and popped it in his mouth with much satisfaction.
“Yes, wonderful,” Fabius put out between breaths. “Unfortunately, there’s no time to discuss this. You and your men must leave immediately. The senate has-“
“Decided that the Empire is to be feared?” Jenkins laughed proudly. “And so it should be.”
“No. They’ve decided that the world is too dangerous to be left as opposition to Atlantis. They’ve ordered all foreigners on the island temporarily held, and have requested the construction of an entire navy, equipped with etheric cannons.”
(Author’s Note: I guess it’d be too much to ask for comments on story development so far, eh?”)