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The Black Rod

The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod. In Defense Command lore, this is the reaper-like figure who turns up in The Articles of Empire, to lead Daragh Ryan to his fate. After years of misdeeds, the Irish Lord would finally pay his penance –– and ‘the Rod’ was the only one with enough incontestable power to take him into custody.

It’s telling that even Gerald and Betty, the eternal Admiralty House receptionists, were shocked by the event. Generally speaking, nothing surprised those two, because as Ken Barron explains:

…Gerald and Betty have been running that reception desk since the beginning of time. When the first mammals flopped out of the oceans onto the dry shores of land, they struggled their way up the beach and found themselves looking up at Gerald and Betty, sitting behind their counter and working away.

But the arrival of the Black Rod took them both aback, as you can see in this excerpt. Serious business.

I explain all of this now because, much to my shock, the Government of Canada has just posted a new job vacancy –– for the Usher of the Black Rod. Seriously. Of course, the Canadian version of the Usher is rather friendlier than the Earth Empire’s edition (which was derived more from the UK model… but with extra drama). So, if you ever fancied yourself as a powerful rod-holder, now’s your chance. Apply online, and you might become the real counterpart to the guy who could defeat Daragh Ryan, without so much as a shotgun going off.

Kevin MacLeod, the outgoing Usher of the Black Rod, does look tough enough to have kept Daragh Ryan in check. But will his successor be up to the task of reining in a fictional Irish Lord from the future? That better be one of the interview questions.

And if you’re reading this and do succeed in becoming Canada’s next Black Rod, I totally expect you to invite me for a visit to the senate. I promise, no coups –– almost or otherwise.