Cutscene: Forbidden Information

June 23, 2017:

T'Challa elects to have Wakanda reveal the truth behind the events in the secretive nation some weeks ago, but in doing so, creates as many questions as he answers.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Winter Soldier

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

"They say that the rain will not stop for any man. No matter what his crop is, no matter how many prayers he makes, the rain will always be the rain."

The young king of Wakanda sits in the dark, his face cut from stone as it is always. His eyes are dark, smouldering. There is something deep in him, a ferocity that belies the dove nature they speak of in hushed tones in the darkest corners of the nation to which he is charged. Anger that cannot be placated. Even as he sits there in the dark, his attendants go through the motions, laying the honor sash over his suit jacket with reverence. Beside him, a young Wakandan boy sits, with his own attendant. The boy is wide-eyed and scared, silent as he listens to his king as he continues.

"I disagree."


WAKANDAN AUTHORITIES CONFIRM WINTER SOLDIER INVOLVEMENT IN ATTACK ON NATION

NEW YORK CITY (AP) - Following the stunning announcement of the firebombing in Birnin S'Yan, Wakandan authorities have identified James Buchanan Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier, as the prime actor in the bombing that occurred during the Mizizi conference hosted by Wakanda, marking one of the few times the country has officially invited speakers and scientists en masse to the country.

The news was released late last night in New York by the Wakandan consulate shortly following an official statement made by King T'Challa, confirming the Mizizi na Nyasi scientific collaboration conference was cut short following the attack, and that several Wakandan residents have been unaccounted for in the confusion. These revelations occur after nearly a three week long information blackout concerning the details of the event, which was explained as a necessity to allow the state security services to conduct a thurough investigation.

While the Wakandan consulate in New York has confirmed the investigation is still ongoing, their implication of the Winter Soldier into the crimes committed in the reclusive country casts new light on Barnes, who is currently awaiting trial in New York pending a collection of charges, ranging from murder to espionage and treason. The Wakandan consulate did not respond to further requests as to Wakanda's intentions for comment by time of publication.

The child had not yet seen enough summers to need his toes to count them. Regardless, T'Challa continues to explain the sunrise to him. All the while, the staff of the consulate attend to need. The process was as organized as it was reverent. Ceremony was a thing still cherished, this far from the homeland.

"It is not yet for you to know the years and centuries of things, young one. But soon you will know that our home has a rich agricultural history. For thousands of years, we have prospered. Other countries have blamed this on many things, from the mound to the Nyanza. The mother earth has been kind to us, true. But this is not why we prosper."

"If a man builds a house large enough, the rain will cease to give him cause for concern. If he builds his rain barrels in the right places, and takes measure of the right times to set them out, he can irrigate his fields when the rain does not fall from the sky. If a great wind comes by and tries to take his house from him, if a man knows to build his house strong and sturdy, the wind will merely stir his chimes…"


ARTHUR: "…So then, you have to consider the X factor in all this."

CONWAY: "You mean Wakanda?"

A: "Yes. Wakanda is arguably one of the most technologically advanced and secretive countries on the planet. So when you have a conference that's as groundbreaking to the international science community like the Mizizi come under attack by foreign actors like Hydra agents, it can set the cause for ongoing cooperation back years, possibly even decades. This has crushing implications for international trade, not to mention the potential advances in healthcare and climate."

C: "Because of their legendary isolationist policy, I assume you mean. Doesn't this have an effect on our national security? Some have been calling Wakanda almost, DPRK-like in their pursuit of isolation and their commitment to hoarding their technological advancements."

A: "It certainly didn't play out in Wakanda like it did in Japan. But I think, to compare them to the DPRK, that's a little bit of an oversimplification. Remember that Wakanda has never staged any major military action or overture outside of its own borders."

C: "But they do have many of the same foreign policies as North Korea, don't they? I mean, this is a country that lines its borders with the piked heads of their enemies, and with all of the rumors, we have no idea of what kind of military strength they even have. Yet, here we are harboring someone who allegedly firebombed their country and kidnapped at least five of their top engineers, maybe more. How can that not be anything but a massive national security risk?"

A: "I won't argue that we know what their feelings are about this, or what kind of weapons they have. But this is out of context and off track, really. I believe Wakanda wants to open its borders, and that they are ultimately a peaceful country. It's not a question of if, but when. Unfortunately, because America chose to get involved, we are now put in a delicate balancing act between several countries — most of which are definitely a little less than enthused that we are trying Barnes instead of them, I might add — and are paying the political price."

C: "Right, right. So then, would you use the term 'superterrorism' to describe agents like the Winter Soldier?"

A: "I think we are getting off-subject…"

"Rich men have made their fortunes by insuring the inequities of easily terrorized victims. It is a fallacy to assume that a man cannot control his own circumstance with consistency due to the unpredictability of fate. This fallacy is built on a presumption that a man cannot predict all of the factors contributory to his downfall."

He has assured that this young boy has been cared for, much as the others have. That they have a place and that their mothers are cared for in the absence of their fathers. The young boy is attended to as delicately, or more so, than even he. As T'Challa is fitted with the wood and gold and fur of his station, the boy's tears are hugged away into an adored one's warm embrace. The corner of his lip, showing the dirt of a fitful sleep and of a lax breakfast, is daubed away with a woven cloth smelling strongly of the savannah grass. Still, the boy listens.

"These grandiose and exploitative ideas only make excuses for the short-sighted."


The history of the Winter Soldier is one checkered with as many question marks as it is confirmed kills. Variously described as one of the most notorious and dangerous Russian agents employed during the Cold War era, the Winter Soldier's persistence into the new age forms a dark mirror of our own Captain America. His very existence raises the question of the impossibility of morality, and the inevitability of escalation. If a man can be a superhero, an exemplar of everything good about the hearts of men, can then such a man be turned away from that good? Though Steve Rogers himself vouches for the Winter Soldier's innocence, recent developments can only call into question the solidarity of the nation's highest idealisms.

With the recent allegations by the nation of Wakanda of crimes forming the terminal acts of a long spree of violence, murder and espionage, the Winter Soldier has proven that he knows no borders and has no limits. How then, do principled men best judge a criminal whose alleged crime spans centuries and nations, whose treason is by all apparent measures limitless? When a man from our own country goes rogue, challenges entire nations and threatens the very underpinnings of secure and stable government, what is the litmus test for appropriate justice?

- R-AZ, Jordan Bakersfield, "The Novelty of Extradomestic Terrorism"

The boy was the only one who stood to face him after the fires were put out. He was the only one with the courage to ask him, as a king and as the Black Panther, what he intended to do to bring his father back. This is the boy whose mother died in childbirth, the boy whose father was his everything. The boy who had nothing left but his country. He is the boy, quiet and miserable, to whom his king's actions have brought this misery. This is the boy he brought to America, to watch what his king was willing to do.

"We prosper because we know who we are. What our capabilities remain to be. And more importantly, we prosper because we know who our enemies are…"


"And now, even famed mystery nation Wakanda is entering the stage, dropping bombshell allegations about the infamous American traitor and superhuman terrorist, the Winter Soldier! Short-sighted boutique lawyer Matt Murdock refuses to acknowledge the many unending tragedies inflicted by his completely unrepentant client! The heartless kidnapping, of no less than five of Wakanda's innocent citizens, and the near-complete firebombing sowing devastation across one of even Wakanda's many rumored super-cities! During, no less, a peace conference! An international crime, committed by a treasonous murderer, to sully America's good name! Now, when peace has turned to war fomented by one man, the Wakandan King brings his voice to the rest of us, with the American people's tumultuous cry for justice! Come join me, Wilhelmina Noble, as I get to the truth going head to head with the legend and lies behind history's disgusting monster who thinks he can have his way with the America of today!"

"More up next, on tonight's 'Dead to Rights with Wilhemina Noble' special, THE WINTER SOLDIER: The Evolution of Superterrorism."

T'Challa stands slowly, with all of the regal bearing befitting his station. But the trappings of the crown always felt empty to him, an impossible weight added to an impossible weight. It is only because of the authority of the trappings have on those less swayed by reason that he bears them now. His people's eyes do not look upon him any differently, with or without the crown. He is the same as he was an hour ago. A year ago. A lifetime ago. But he is different. That boy is a reminder of that.

"You have lost much," the young king admits. "And you may yet lose more. It is inevitable that our enemies will test us. As always, they will use our grace and our honor against us. They will use our tears against us. But if you must hate something with a face, hate me for the hands I have played. I will bear those scars for you. Hate me if you must. But never bow to fear. Our enemies seek to make us their victims, but we will instead make them ours. They will be the victim of our prosperity, and their mistakes and inequities will follow their heads all the way to the pikes at our borders. And that will be the story of them. But it will not be the story of you, young panther."

The young king is leaving into the next room, where a hundred cameras flash in anticipation of his appearance. His guards, the women of the Dora Milaje, shift slowly, readying themselves for his appearance before those that he has called to gather. He takes a final moment for his young charge, adjusting the hang of his sleeves. The moment stretches on into forever.

"It will not be the story of you," he repeats. "The chain will not break. You will know your dream….and you will prosper."


BREAKING NEWS: KING T'CHALLA ANNOUNCES TERROR ATTACK ON MIZIZI CONFERENCE

"…It is never an easy task to confront tragedy, but the commitment of who we are as a people depends on our bravery in doing so. During the Mizizi na Nyasi conference, an attack occurred. In this, a confluence of minds and motive invited to our borders in the interests of peace and advancing the understanding of environmental agendas the world over, a man sought to sow through conflagration and terror the seeds of distrust amongst my people. Men, brothers of Wakanda, were taken for their unassailable bodies of contribution to the Wakandan nation during the attack, in attempts to steal what would not be freely given.

"I remain committed to those whom would ally with us and call us friends. It was my father's deepest wish that Wakanda recognize its place amongst the global stage. Only through forging a superior unity with our brothers and sisters can my father's idealisms be fully realized. To that, it is antagonism of the highest order that an actor of organized terror take advantage of mine and my country's bounty to do harm and horrify us.

"I feel the pain of every citizen, and I feel the pain of my nation. I feel it deep in her soil, and the salt of the tears my people have shed for their lands, for their brothers, for their — fathers. I can never be deaf to their shock, and their cries for justice. It is in recognition of this need that I and mine have remained silent on the affair until our intelligence services could provide a useful report.

"While I deeply wish to share with my brothers and sisters the world over the details of this tragedy, it is not appropriate for a King to speak with any reverence the name of the condemned and the accused. I will cede the lectern to the appointed leader of those brave Wakandan men and women who are responsible for the investigations of this affront. Know that it is my intimate commitment as countryman and King to address any inflicted opprobrium to Wakanda in the most wrathful way. Such is the way of our land, and such is the way of history for all noble men. I thank you for your time…"

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