"Its so nice to have you back KC. How have you been?"
"I'm still doing fine. No complaints here."
"You told us about a recent encounter with some New Birmingham forces - do you think they're on the move?"
"I would be surprised if they weren't. Five years have passed. It doesn't always seem like that, when the normal rhythms of life are gone or you're more concentrated on survival than calendars. But its time someone started making a move."
"I wouldn't have figured you would encourage them-"
"Not them specifically! I wouldn't say I encourage this at all, really. People have suffered enough without us starting wars all over the place. But, chances are even preserved foods have spoiled, replication limited crops are running out, easily exploitable supplies are taxed - its become time to start taking new territory. The US government needs to do something right now to prove it still exists, and to keep all the trigger-happy soldiers in Vegas from turning on each other. Tesla has its squatters, NEST units internal division, Lone Star a potential target of the god squad. All that is before the cross border travel, raider skirmishes, and what ever the aliens have have been doing for the past five years. We didn't take them out when they were weakest after landing - now they've set up factories. Nothing personal Sing Sing - I certainly hope things work out well between our people, but well, as we say - its been quiet, too quiet."
"You're not usually this doom and gloom. Have you seen something that has shaken your faith?"
"My faith in Humanity is as strong as ever. That is the problem Mr. Hobbes. I know we're going to pull out of this. But who is holding the rope and who will be swinging from the end of it is very much anyone's game at this point."
"Do you see a way to stave off this apocalypse. Well, second one anyway."
"In a prison, you get gangs based on race, ethnicity, supremacist ideology, or prior allegiance. Somehow, there is simply no "I don't want to be stabbed in the exorcise yard" gang, despite that being a common concern and shared by a very large group. Most people don't want armored vehicles rolling though their fields. You can try to take solace in the idea that once a overall government is established, electricity and normalcy will return - a bad dictator is better than a good anarchy as the saying goes. Well, at least as some say. My response would be one thirty second long press of that censor button, but you wouldn't let me back here is I was that profane."
"I thank you for your restraint."
"To our credit, this isn't a 1950s nuclear war, we're not just running down the gears waiting for the fallout cloud to reach the last bastion on reduce the Earth to silence. There is still time for peacemakers to work it out, for daring do adventurers to foil plans that imperial the zone, and the forward thinking to forge an alliance between human and citizen. But that chance is fading."