The Inaugural Ball – Part 3

For part 1, click here.

The following is actually the third section chronologically of my final project in my Science Fiction course last spring, and was the first one I wrote overall. The second chronological section I’m not entirely happy with, but it may end up here after some changes. For now, enjoy.

I hadn’t been president for more than six hours and the country was already headed down the shitter.

Frawley had signed the Lordanian Accord in the last thirty minutes of his final term, as a last little twist to the dagger to his old friends at Palmolive. The nation was now in the process of being handed over to the Lordanians. Their propaganda datafeed they had been broadcasting in free airspace was now transmitting over all signals. Broadcast, military, ham, you name it. Their latest programs touted their latest goal of achieving what they called “The Overall.” Overall happiness, overall understanding, overall horse manure. What they really ended up wanting was the core heat of our planet to power their empire while never paying BP-Exxon a dime. We Americans were just gullible enough to welcome them on our turf.

The Lordanians were to take possession of the nation at midnight. I was to be the “governor” of the New United Commonwealths of Lordania and Spieglun would be the big enchilada. Their diplomats had been on the line with their home planet all day in the halls of the West Wing. I never even got to find out where the bathroom was. And I really needed to take a piss.

“Mr. President?” my chief of staff asked me as he slithered into the Oval Office with his crooked broken glasses and necktie meant for a man three feet taller than him. I still didn’t know his name. Colgate-Palmolive kept him around to keep eyes on me. In their eyes, we weren’t out of the woods yet. “Are you available for a moment?”

“Of course I’m available.” I replied. “My office is only in effect until midnight. I’ve cleared out the last three hours of my long and prosperous ten hour term.”

“Well, Mr. President, the Honorable Emperor of Lordania Mr. Spieglun is here to speak with you, sir.”

With my back turned to my laundry soap salesman turned gatekeeper to the leader of the free world I rolled my eyes so hard I could hear them tumble in my skull. “Ah, yes,” I sighed. “Send ‘em in.”

And in strolled the soon-to-be Lord of our nation exactly as he looked on all the propaganda shows. He was a short, skinny little man – about a foot and a half shorter than Little Scrawny – with eyes the size of eight balls on a pool table. They looked especially like eight balls with the light from the chandelier reflecting smack dab in the middle of them. The year was 2156, but his wardrobe looked like it came from the ancient 1980’s. He looked like a picture I remember seeing in grade school of Corey Feldman, the 49th president of the United States.

“Ah! Good evening, Mr. President! It’s truly a delight to meet you after your breathtaking coronation ceremonies today.” He spoke with a much deeper voice than I expected out of the little guy.

I turned around, shook his cold, slippery hand, and quickly dusted off and installed my campaign smile for the first time since November.

“It’s an honor, Emperor, to be in your presence. I thank you for attending my inauguration.” I stressed the proper term, since they still really didn’t get the whole “democratically elected by the majority of shareholders” concept of government.

We continued to exchange small talk for a few minutes. How the weather was on his home planet. Explaining what Levis were made out of. Important things. We ended up sitting across from each other on two stiff, antique sofas in the center of the Oval Office. He had to jump onto it with a bit of a running start.

“Well, President Duncan, it appears that everything is going according to the guidelines of the Accord.”

“Yes, Emperor, we shall become a commonwealth of the mighty Domain of Lordania within the evening. I look forward to serving with you.” I could already feel my acid reflux acting up. Rage usually does this to my pitiful digestive system. I pulled a little pill out of my pocket and swallowed it dry. I had plenty of them, thanks to Colgate-Palmolive.

“Indeed, Mr. President, indeed. That is actually what I intended to speak with you about this evening.”

I looked up at Spieglun’s face and saw it like never before. The eight ball eyes had turned a seven ball shade of deep red. All the more disturbing was the toothless smile on his face. He had teeth just a second ago.

“There has been a change of plans, I’m afraid.” He said with the smile devoid of dental work. “The Domain now wishes to invoke the Completion Clause as stated in the initial Accord.”

The Completion Clause was a bit of the Lordanian Accord that was shoehorned in at the last minute before my senile old predecessor signed on the dotted line. It allowed the Lordanians to take complete control of the United States; completely dissolving the already neutered government. Put simply, I’d be out of the job completely.

“Dear Emperor, I hope we’ve done nothing to offend you and the people of your Domain.” I said in my best backtracking voice. Haven’t used that since the debates.

“Not at all, President Duncan. Like I said, everything is going according to plan. It’s just that we feel that the success of The Overall will be much more efficient with a more, how you say, ‘streamlined’ government. We will provide housing for you once you vacate this domicile so we can continue our work.”

I knew that was a load of bull. In my only security briefing after becoming Commander in Chief, I was told that the Lordanians were constructing “communities” for those that didn’t buy what Spieglun was selling. I was going to be kicked out of the White House before my bed sheets were even off the moving truck. I’d be sent to the “community” and most likely never heard from again. Unless…

There wasn’t much more to be said between myself and Spieglun, since he had already jumped off the sofa and waltzed out of the Oval Office with his much taller guard in tow. I called my chief of staff back in.

“Yes, Mr. President?” He asked.

“Yeah, um, I’d like you to get Major White in here, please.”

Scrawny’s face turned a deathly white. “M-major White, sir? Is there something wrong?”

“Your damn right there is. Now bring him in here.”

It wasn’t long before Air Force Major Paul White was sitting in front of me as I sat at the Resolute desk. I had been given almost all of the information I ever could have known about him at my briefing. I asked him to place his parcel on the desk. He thrust the ancient Zero Halliburton case onto the worn desktop and pushed it in my direction. I unlocked the clasps and opened the case. Before me laid my solution. The small screen slowly warmed up and I began to enter my codes. After a few seconds, the screen blurted out a jumble of symbols and numbers, then only displayed the word READY.

A small yellow button lit up next to the display. All of the missile bases across the country were now on the ready. They were already pointed at all of the orbiting Lordanian ships and stations surrounding earth. Some were also pointed at other locations not even known to me, but I was assured during my briefing that they were “legitimate targets.”

So here I was, sitting in front of the case, in a room with no corners, about to unleash the entirety of my nuclear arsenal. For a moment I balked at the thought, with all of the lives and all, but I got myself here for a reason, and I wasn’t about to miss out on my payday.

With that thought out of my mind, I pressed the little yellow button. At least 400 PL-938 rockets were now heading to their intended targets with navigation computers designed by McDonnell-Honeywell, a division of Colgate-Palmolive.