::this takes place during the impromptu Council meeting after the duel with Soto and Mori::
Although he's not terribly eloquent (Howard's charisma + leadership pool is only 3, his manipulation + leadership pool is 4), Howard's basic argument is this:
What I said at the last council meeting is true. It's time to act. Look, we're losing people to both the Technocracy and to the Rogue Council left and right, and we can either sit around and let potential allies slip away from us, or we can actually do something, take a decisive action, and show everyone that the Council really is a viable alternative. If we don't do something, well, either the Technocrats or the Rogue council *will*.
The Red Spears have shown themselves not to be our friends. They've sacrificed people, innocent and guilty alike, to feed their node, they've enslaved the psychic remnants of those sacrificed, and they've sought to kill the Verbana over and over. If we can convince the Red Spears to stop what they've been doing without violence, great! If they can be convinced to share Central Park with everyone else without anyone getting hurt, well, that's the best possible scenario. I don't think it's likely, but I hope that it can be done. But the Verbana are going to take action before our envoy is scheduled to leave, and if we don't do something to help them, they're all going to die, and then likely be sacrificed to feed the node, and their psychic remains enslaved. Are we really going to let this... this... this barbarism go unchallenged? Is that the kind of people we are? Are we really going to sacrifice the Verbana for "peace for our time?"
I think the council is at a crossroads. I think it's time to choose. What sort of people are we, after all? Do we take the quick and easy road and appease groups like the Red Spears and the Technocrats over and over and over out of fear to lose what we have, or do we take the harder path, and stand up for what we believe in? The choice is yours.
He then turns to Howard. “You think our road with the Technocracy is quick and easy? I’ll forgive that because you haven’t seen very much firsthand. If you want to stand up to the Technocracy and fight them, the Rogue Council will welcome you. I don’t doubt that Atlantis will go the way of Doisstep, and this chapter will come to its end in the same way that one did. As for what comes after, I suppose we can hope. The function of the Council is the survival of the Traditions, which can only be accomplished by working together. If it can be accomplished at all.”
“The Red Spears are in fact doing what you suggest – they are standing up for what they believe in and resisting the Technocracy. Maybe they’re right in what they’re doing. Part of me wishes them luck – a lot of Unity Security soldiers and materials have gone missing, and I imagine they’re responsible. I just don’t think it will get us anywhere at all. It hasn’t in the past. But as I said” and he looks back to Michael, who is looking at the ground and breathing a bit hard, “we’ll all do what we have to.”
Michael says, almost to himself, “tomorrow night, just after midnight, we’re going to settle this.”
Isaac sighs and closes his eyes.
Destiny rolls her eyes. “You can’t wait a few more days?” She looks to Raphael, “And you can’t just move up the delegation?” Nothing. “This is fucked up, guys. Seriously. We don’t have much of a council here, do we? I mean, the nerd has a point.”
Sam says “Our ranks do seem to be steadily thinning. I for one” he looks to Michael “will go with you and see the truth of this for myself.”
Decklund rubs his hands together as if to warm them and grimaces for a moment. “Ok, enough of this. I’m forcing the question. I move we send our ‘delegation’ when Michael and Esther go, tomorrow night.”
“Yes.” Decklund, followed quickly by “No” Raphael and “Yes” Sam. “I dislike all of these choices. None of this will end well, I think. I abstain.” Isaac. “Shit, let’s do it. Whatever.” Destiny. Michael, surprised. “Ok. Ok then. Good.”