|Note: This is part of an experimental creative writing exercise. If you want to read more or start from beginning. You go to the Oubliette page. Please note the earlier stories are crude. 🙂|
In the early hours of the snowy Friday morning, a black limousine with the presidential seal on its side pulled into the porte cochere of the Jester DC Condominiums. As it came to a stop, several men dressed in black took positions around it. As they kept vigilance of the vehicle, another slender man with graying brown hair dressed in a black business suit and draped in a black jacket opened the door and looked inside. The inside of the vehicle was empty as he scanned the inside, he noted that the wet bar was stocked.
The man looked at the driver. “I thought I said to not use the one with the wet bar.”
“I’m sorry sir. This is the limo he ordered for today.”
As they man stood up, he grimaced and thought to himself that Bouffon was bound and determined to screw up today. The man turned around and walked back into the building. Inside, there were some other men dressed in business suits talking among each other. A woman dressed in a heavy formal dress and holding a stole on her lap was watching the television mounted on the wall above the fireplace that housed a crackling fire.
The man approached her. “Good morning Ms. Bouffon”
She turned her head, glared at him, and went back to watching the news segment on the day’s agenda for Ronald Bouffon. “I know. It’s all about him.”
In a thin Russian accent, she responded “and he’s going to be insufferable.”
“That’s not fair. When has he never been insufferable?”
She smiled slightly. “Touche, Mr. Rotatiga.”
There was a vibration coming from Stephan’s jacket pocket. He pulled a phone from the recesses of his jacket and looked at it. There was a text message from Jackson. “He is on his way down.” He pushed the phone back into its home and said, “Cue up the Imperial March.”
At this the woman laughed, “How do you know what to say, Stephan?”
With his attention fixated on the elevator, he responded, “I have a minor in psychology.”
The elevator opened and a group of men stepped out. In the center was an older man who was a bit out of shape with brownish blond hair. The man wore a black business suit that was ill-fitting and disheveled. Over one arm, he draped a full length business coat. He walked towards the fireplace.
“Stephan! I’m glad you’re here to see me off.”
The man reached his hand out, grabbed Stephan, and pulled him into a hug. After touching his cheek to Stephan’s, he released him.
“Good morning Ron. Did you have a chance to review those notes I sent you last night?”
“Stephan… why are you all work? Don’t you play? Hey, how about you come down to Del Cocodrilo next week? I’ll even let you be my wingman.”
Stephan hesitated. “The teleprompter should be up to date but whatever you do, always say ‘we’ when you want to say ‘I.’ Stay away from the booze until after the speech and I’ll meet up with you later at the White…”
Stephan looked at Ron who seemed to be preoccupied with something on the television. He looked at the television and it was security camera footage of the Anarchist and Dark Liberty fighting in a department store.
Ron absently mindedly said, “That there is bullshit.”
“Well, in a few short hours, we can start doing something about it.”
The response seemed to have snapped Ron out of his trance, “That’s right! Today we take control… Galena dear, you look lovely today.”
Ron reached out his hand and she took it as she stood up. Both of them walked towards the door outside surrounded by other men vying for Ron’s attention. The pocket in Stephan’s jacket vibrated again. He pulled it out and read it. In the text message, it read “Should we run this now or wait? Teenage girl viciously burned by unhuman at school.”
A redheaded woman stood on the crowded sidewalk. She was bundled up in a blue winter coat and holding a microphone. People were taking little notice of her but enough to notice and avoid the large camera pointed at her. A cameraman was looking over the various cables that ran to nearby van with a satellite dish.
“Hey Chuck, do you know if we are going to be on a delay?”
“Everything is on delay today. The higher-ups made that call yesterday.”
“Does not surprise me.” she chuckled.
“Well, the chances of someone doing the double bird is going to be pretty high today.”
A distorted voice called from the two-way radio on Chuck’s belt. “Amanda AM crew, two minutes until live.”
Amanda and Chuck took their positions and waited. After a moment, the Chuck gave her a silent countdown and signaled that she was on the air.
Good morning everyone. This is Amanda Miller in the AM. We are in Washington DC today for the inauguration of our 45th president Ronald Bouffon. Already, the crowds are gathering at the US capitol building to witness the event.
It’s going to be a busy day for President-elect Bouffon and his incoming administration. Bouffon and the Spencer family will start the day attending church service followed by tea at the White House. They will then move to the capitol building and John Spencer will be sworn in as vice-president followed by Ronald Bouffon as president at noon.
Let’s see how we got from to this point.
After a few seconds, Chuck said “Clear.” As Amanda walked over to the camera, someone shouted “Fake News!” at them.
Amanda asked, “What’s next?”
“Oh… that could be… fun.”
Ronald Bouffon walked down the aisle towards the podium where his Vice President, wife, and some guy dressed in a black dress was waiting for him. As he walked, he looked for familiar faces in the seats to his sides. He saw Rotatiga sitting there applauding him. Then he walked past a well dressed couple who he recognized as Juan Ortega, the now former President, and Juanita the candidate that he defeated. They were just giving him a golf clap. Ron just smirked at them as he finished walking to the podium.
When he arrived at the podium, he looked out at the crowd. He was pleased with himself as he thought this was surely the largest crowd at an inauguration ever. He looked at the guy in the black dress. Galena was holding a bible and he put his hand on it. The man in the black dress raised his hand. He knew that was the cue to raise his, now comes the easy part repeating what this guy said exactly (Rotatiga really stressed that this part was important).
Once the oath was complete, Ron looked out to the crowd again. They cheered him as he stood there. Finally, he spoke.
Ladies, gentlemen, and other important people seated around here. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We have come here to celebrate the dawn of a new age for this country. You have called for a change from the corrupt guard of this old administration to one of integrity and openness. Believe me, there will be integrity and openness.
We will face challenges that will oppose our new order. Let me tell you right here and now. We will win.
Remember, they said that we had no chance of winning. Yet, here we are. We did it by not playing the established elite’s game. We introduced anarchy and upset the established order. We created chaos and became the agents of chaos.
Our job is not done. We need to finish taking power from the established elite of this country and return it to you. We need to eliminate the job killing reforms that destroyed your jobs. We need to bring back the jobs that were lost to those reforms. You worked hard and what did you have to show from this? Unemployment and dependence on the same government controlled by those established elite.
We need bring back law and order. We must bring an end to the vigilantes who stalk our cities at night and undermine our underappreciated law enforcement officers. We need to protect our families from the ever-present threat of unhumans that seek to overtake this country and to enslave us or worse.
This is war. This is a war we must win. We might not win in four years or even eight. We have a mandate for our movement; a movement to cleanse this country of corruption and terror. It is a movement to bring prosperity back to you and to bring back the ethics and honor of working hard.
We will have safety.
We will have law and order.
We will make America work again.
Thank you and God bless America.
As Ron stood there, the crowd cheered. Behind him, he heard Galena urging him to not do what usually came after a speech. He grinned and raised his hands in the air making what his campaign called the double bird. The crowed roared with approval.
As Stephan sat in the VIP seating as Ronald Bouffon walked to the podium and recited the oath, he was not able to shake the dread of what could possibly happen today. He was able to breathe a sigh of relief when Ronald recited the oath exactly. That was the most important thing because if Ron screwed that up, that would have been a nightmare that even he knew he could not fix.
He knew it was not over. He thought about the matter of the speech next. Ron was capable of reading from the teleprompter but he would just simply improvise some rambling string of talking points and promises that he knew he would not be able to keep. Why did Ron keep him through the campaign, he did not understand. At least he paid him well.
As the speech started, Stephan’s worst nightmare came to be. Throughout the entire speech, Stephan kept thinking “NO! That is not what I wrote!” He knew that Ron was looking at the teleprompter because he used the anarchy line. He mused on how that well-placed subtle popular reference now stuck out like a sore thumb.
Finally, the torture was over and he stood with everyone else applauding this disaster. Watching Ron looking over the crowd, he realized what was going to happen. He even saw Galena urging him to not do it. Before he could shout “NO,” it happened: the double bird. As he accepted reality, someone leaned over to him and asked, “Was that even close to what you wrote?”
In a sarcastic tone he responded, “Not even close.”
Time was of the essence now as he had an interview in about a half hour. He thanked himself for not spending too much time on writing notes. Now, he needed to figure out how to spin this.
Amanda looked at the schedule and frowned. “Rotatiga?”
“I have to interview that jerk again?”
Chuck shrugged. “I don’t make the schedule. Just remember to smile this time.”
Amanda made the most exaggerated fake smile she was able to muster. “How’s this?”
“You need to try harder. Okay we’re going live in 5… 4… 3…”
Amanda faked a real smile and started talking. “Welcome back. We have President Bouffon’s Chief Strategist Stephan Rotatiga with us. Good afternoon Mr. Rotatiga, how is it going today?”
Over her earpiece, she heard Rotatiga’s voice speaking with her. “Very good Ms. Miller, it’s good to speak with you again.”
“Mr. Rotatiga, could you give us the theme behind the President’s speech?”
“The theme is one of unity that ties back to his message of the campaign. The President is reaching out to all Americans to join him in fixing the problems in this country. We as a nation need to root out the established elite that runs the country.”
“Does that include advanced humans? Is the President saying that we need to root them out as well?”
“Now, Ms. Miller, you are twisting the President’s words again. He is talking about the extreme unhumans that have engaged in vigilantism…”
“He used the word war.”
“Again, you are twisting his words. He is declaring war on all of the above: the established elite, vigilantism, and unhuman terrorists.”
“Did President Bouffon shout out to the Anarchist as some have said?”
“No, he didn’t. If the media would stop making up stories, you would know that the President does not support the Anarchist.”
“Back in the campaign, he said and I quote, ‘The Anarchist and his crew are the real heroes.'”
“Please understand Ms. Miller. What the President says is not necessarily what he means. He was talking about the Inconnu and no twisting of his words is going to prove different.”
“Well, thank you for your time Mr. Rotatiga. As always, it was a pleasure to speak with you.”
After a few moments, Chuck stated, “We are off the air.”
Amanda walked over to the van and opened her thermos and drank. “What an ass.”
Stephan entered in the ballroom and looked around. There were people gathered all around the room talking. He walked over to where the Ronald was standing with his wife, Galena. Ron spotted him and walked over to him with his hand extended.
“Stephan! Glad you could make it.”
“Great speech sir.”
Ron grinned, “I nailed it. I think that was the best one ever.”
“Oh, I am sure that it is up there.”
“Hey, have I ever had a chance to thank you for all of your work?”
“Can’t say that I have but your checks say all that I need to know.”
Ron started laughing hard and Stephan could smell the stench of alcohol on his breath.
“If you don’t mind, sir. I’ll be taking my leave.”
“Go ahead Stephan. Have fun and I’ll see you Monday.”
After walking from Ron, Stephan noticed another gentleman standing and talking to other guests. He walked over the short thin dark-haired man and shook his hand. “Zhong, what brings you here tonight? I didn’t see you on the guest list.”
The man responded with a Chinese accent, “The President invited me. I decided to come and give my regards.”
“I see. So, when are you heading back to China?”
“I am staying the states for a few more months working out of the embassy.”
The man gave a stern look at Stephan, “I have been asked to supervise some work.”
“Well, we are willing to help when we can… keep in mind we can’t just wave a wand and magically have things happen.”
“So you say. The sooner this project is finished, the sooner I can get back to my business at home.” He started to walk away and hesitated. “Oh and please do something about that anarchist guy. He has been making my contacts in Bejing nervous.”
As Zhong walked away and started talking with some other guests, Stephan stood there thinking as this development complicates matters.