It had taken a valiant, team effort (amply fueled by a secret billion dollar war chest) by the party faithful to put the first woman, Hillaria Klinton, in the White House after two incredibly corrupt terms by her popular, perpetually-smiling husband (who looked, however, little like his boyish counterpart on Earth I!).
They had succeeded wonderfully, despite a ten minutes to midnight rally of the conservatives and “religious right” that thoroughly frightened the liberal elites enough to make them forget their differences and rivalries for a moment in order to save the day for the party agenda.
The back-slapping, overly personal, even cloying Arkansas governor, whose accent and boorishness made Eastern Brahmin skin visibly crawl at times, had served his purpose well enough.
Now it was his able wife’s turn to be the woman of the hour.
Whoever didn’t like it—-namely the “religious right” and the other conservatives-—would be rounded up and given “sensitivity training.”
The vast right-wing conspiracy ("VRWC" in her memos to staff), which she had exposed, was not to be tolerated during her administration, she made clear in her inauguration speech.
Wars in the Middle East and elsewhere flamed up the moment the election returns were certain enough to declare her victory, but the conflicts were termed “regional” by the White House spokeswoman, Clare Saint Whitebread and U.S. intervention was termed “not-marketable” to the American public.
It did not matter to the Klinton administration that Israel’s women and children were being slaughtered by Arab extremists fighting for Palestinian statehood-—Israel was incessantly urged by Klinton’s Secretary of State to grant more concessions or face the cutting off of the last military and financial aid.
Yes, she had previously promised her support of Israel to New York City Jews—-but once their votes were tallied the promise was forgotten.
“We will have to use our ultimate weapons if you desert us!” Klinton was informed by secret dispatch from Israel’s enraged cabinet, but she refused to respond to the threat. China, instead, was the chief focus of the Klintons’ third term. Whatever China wanted, she got-—whether money, or trade concessions, or intelligence agency secrets and the latest missile technology. In return, the Klintons received immense contributions to the Democratic Party and their own private fortunes.
Could an administration be so cynical that it could sell out its own country for foreign money and power and think nothing of it? But that was not the way it was viewed. America, as far as the Klintons were concerned, was their oyster, pearls and all!
Every high ideal and objective of the liberal agenda was being promoted-—American society was being reconstructed from top to bottom, sea to shining sea. America, in the traditional sense, had ceased to exist. In the Klinton White House, there was even talk of giving back vast portions to the Southwest to Mexico to show how sorry America were for its “crimes against the Hispanic people.”
Blacks too were offered several slices of the American pie. States with a majority, or near majority, of Black citizens, were offered nationhood apart from the Union—and the white minorities were offered the option to flee without compensation.
Whole sectors of American industry and the economy were also scheduled to be shut down, or transferred to various countries in South America or Asia or Africa—-since they were categorized as “anti-environmental” and “imperialist and capitalist.” The Gay Rights movement triumphed under President Hillaria Klinton’s rule by seeing a Gay Rights amendment to the Constitution passed and ratified that categorized all opposition to gay rights as “hate crime”, punishable by stiff fines and even imprisonment.
But it was the environment—the cause of “mother earth” that most mattered. With the Kyoto Treaty in effect, the economy was reorganized, with pollution controls clamped down on emissions that effectively eliminated half of the GNP in the first year of the implementation.
It was in the first throes of this catastrophe in the making that the Klintons brilliantly upstaged it with a series of parties on the White House rose garden grounds. All the dignitaries and V.I.P.s and officials representative of Gay Rights, Environmentalism, the media networks, and the Democratic Party’s various strongholds in the mainline churches and foundations and NGO’s (not to mention the UN’s Secretary General), were feted and entertained for several weeks. It was partying that rivaled the ancient accounts of the big bashes Nebuchadrezzar and Nabonidus and his regent-son Belshazzar had thrown in fabled old Babelen.
The New York Philharmonic was trotted out, and New York’s best dance troups, and several Broadway musicals as well that suited the chosen themes of toleration for every value, love of the earth, and the hatred for traditional American ways and achievements. Effigies of Washington and Nixon and Senator McCarthy were made that portrayed them as inhuman monsters of colonial slavery and capitalistic greed and cruelty and just plain anti-communist stupidity, and these were erected on stands for egg-throwing contests. The U.S. flag was burned a number of times as Chinese guests were honored by being handed the official torch to light the fires.
By dark the main festivities ended. Private planes quickly flew the UN dignitaries and leaders back to New York.
With the chief guests gone, the party did not stop with their absence. It is somewhat understandable that the ardor of reconstructing America got the best of some, who were also influenced overly by the free-flowing wine and spirits available to the thousands of guests on hand. Whether they knew what they were doing or not, many statues and paintings were defaced in the Capitol, most having to do with the Founding Fathers.
Religious inscriptions were also attacked wherever they were found. The Capitol police stood by as rioteers threw paint and acid at paintings that had once been considered national treasures but were now denounced as “racist” and “bigoted” by Hillaria’s own spokeswoman at White House press conferences. The Capitol needed to be cleansed, the public was informed, and so it was! It required a very high cherry-picker to reach the ceiling of the Supreme Court in order to sand blast the scene portraying Moses and the Ten Commandments, so lacking one the mob lit the building on fire and that accomplished the job with less effort and expense.
With the rioting and destruction of government property spreading outward rapidly, news reached the Klintons in the West Wing, where they had retired late one evening after a performance of Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman—-a full dress affair that was brilliantly staged—that told them things might be getting slightly out of hand.
The secret report handed the last American president by a trusted aide received a quick scan, and then she dropped it on the couch beside her husband, who was looking to her for a chance to read it.
“Oh, shut up!” his mate cut in. She went to the balcony and peered out through the thick curtains toward the Supreme Court. Flames and smoke were clearly visible. She could see the flashes of fire engines massed by the dozens in its vicinity. “Let me think, would you? I’m being called upon to make a decision as president!”
“Don’t mind me-—just retired from being the most popular two-timer president since Roosevelt!” Bill laughed. He sprang up, smoothing his tie. Taking his drink, he hurried toward the door and the secret service men standing in attendance.
“Where are you going so fast?” Hillaria demanded, turning toward him. “Aren’t you going to wait to see what I decided? That’s pretty rude, treating your president like that, if you ask me! I could have you hauled out of here by the C.I.A. with a snap of my fingers!”
Bill paused and smiled his most charmingly. “Oh, I already know every word of it! Been there, done that, a million times! You’ll issue a statement tomorrow, saying something like, “This is American democracy acting in its purest form. Let no one call it anarchy and destruction. It is just the opposite. The True, Loving, Caring America is taking shape before our eyes! We are witnessing the birth of an America that reaches to the things that trule matter to us all—equality with other nations, the preservation of the world envirnonment, the dignity of other species that habitate with us on mother earth-—blah, blah, blah—-you know, all the usual crapola all our liberal suckers love to hear! Well, I gotta go! The guys want me in on a card game down in the old War Room! See ya!”
Hillaria sat down on the sofa and shook her head. She had wanted an audience of peers for her moment of decision. But Bill had gone, leaving her with only the C.I.A. jocks and a couple aides she didn’t consider worthy to witness the event. It was her chance to issue, not a statement, but a presidential decree.
Wearing her slippers, the ones that had Democrat donkey heads, she left the private room and went to the Oval Office. There she signed a document that was waiting ready for her signature. This signature sealed the doom of the “religious right” and the whole conservative movement in the country. It authorized the rounding up and incarceration of millions of evangelical Christians and right-wing organizations that featured on the lists she had drawn up. The burning of the Supreme Court was of little significance in comparison, and she hardly cared what success the District of Columbia fire department had trying to save it. It was this document that, for her, crowned her administration’s efforts to remake America as she envisioned it to be.
Once signed, she left it in charge of an aide, who sealed it in a vault for safe-keeping until the next day, when the document would be published and disseminated via the major networks and government agencies most involved in the implementation.
Returning to her private quarters, she relaxed with a book a friend had recommended, detailing the intellectual life of dolphins and whales as studied by a team of eminent marine biologists from Harvard and Yale, some of whom were women known to have cultivated rather steamy, detailed love affairs with male dolphins and kept diaries they shared with friends.
The fascinating book kept her reading into the wee hours. She was still on the sofa, finishing the last chapter (for she was a book-in-one-sitting type of reader), when Bill staggered in, his tie pulled loose and his pants stained with a spilled, whiskey-laced gatorade. He collapsed on the sofa as Hillaria made room with disgust on her face.
He was snoring, his face down on the eagle-emblazoned cushion, almost immediately. Hillaria staring at him, put her book down. She reached for the light, intending to leave him there, as she didn’t relish the idea of having to share her bed with a sodden drunk that night.
Just as she reached, something very queer happened. It wasn’t so much a flash of light as a flash of something preceding light.
The light stayed on without a flicker, but the massive, invisible energy that swept suddenly through the windows of the White House, through the Rose Garden with its last guests being led off by attendants to their limousines, through the streets surrounding Capitol buildings, through the main thoroughfares of the city beyond-—that massive blush of energy was so intense and withering that while stone and cement remained intact-—most everything else organic and alive, particularly human flesh, dissolved instantly leaving only bone and a little cartilage.
Cars ran driverless and crashed, several planes circling the airport fell, subways were immune to the rays, but everyone coming up from them were vaporized. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million people, vanished, leaving only their clothes and personal effects behind.
It was so odd and random, however.
It was a late hour, true, with less people working on the staffs of the chief agencies and businesses and embassies, but there were still a large number caught in the rays of the unknown assailant.
The C.I.A. and F.B.I. were always running, regardless of the time of day. Wherever stonework or cement was particularly thick enough to form a sufficient shield—workers in bank vaults and deep, secret archives, and such—people survived intact and initially unaware of the catastrophe taking place above and around them. But then others, far more numerous, received only partial shielding, and these found portions of their anatomies gone—legs, arms, half a face, whole feet—and so these maimed victims struggled to flee their offices and homes.
Where Bill Klinton had lain, thanks to two uncurtained windows on the west wing, what looked like a badly rumpled suit now reposed, worn by a bloody skeleton. His wife the president fared no better. She collapsed where she had been reaching for the light switch on the lamp and her clothed skeleton fell onto the book and sofa. The book itself wasn’t damaged in the least. It would be found and carefully removed, to be buried with her bones and her husband’s in a special cenotaph commissioned by the UN Secretariat General, to be erected in New York City.
Chocolate City had melted down! A neutron bomb device, detonated by unknown agents, was the WMD culprit. What was there to do but to disband the Capitol and ship everything needed in the way of documents to the new capital, New York? Emergency procedures and plans were carried out immediately, when word of the disaster reached the United Nations.
The plans were taken out of a vault, where they had lain for years, as if this event had been fully thought out and fully anticipated. But the public was not informed of the details, however, or who had so carefully reviewed everything in the report that was needed to move and set up a new American capital and government under the auspices of the United Nations.
Only a few selected artifacts were removed from the city. Lincoln’s statue was one of them. The great statue was thought necessary to impart credibility to the new government in New York, and so every trouble was taken to move it quickly. The martial law imposed on the whole country was also part of the master plan. A blackout of news safeguarded the public from panic while the changes were made. As for the victims, they were left where they perished, the city cordoned off and declared a national shrine, inviolate and sacred to the memory of the Klintons. The surviving victims were taken to hospitals outside the city, but there weren’t so many of these to deal with.
Strangely, the loss of Washington, D.C. was not greatly mourned when the news could no longer be kept. The Klinton agenda had already done so much to reconstruct society that in the resulting confusion and anarchy the loss of the traditional capital was just one more thing people had to accept as the new order of things. What real difference did it make with the United Nations in charge? Not much to many people’s thinking. They had much more to be concerned with than who was going to rule over them from New York.
Food was scarce and beyond the reach of most incomes. Energy was the same high-cost commodity. Jobs had vanished by the tens of millions. Vital industries and markets were thrown to all kinds of have-not countries overseas and in South and Central America. New, emerging Black-ruled nations in the East and Midwest, Hispanic Ruled “Mexican America,” the financial districts of major cities shut down due to the collapse of the economy in major sectors—these were the true concerns of people close to home, not international affairs, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Presidency. What was left of America were only pieces and tatters—that could scarcely communicate to each other due to the new government’s iron-fisted control of the armed forces and the media. Oh, there were some uprisings fully expected to occur in such places as the “primitive” outbacks of Montana and Texas, but they were quickly quelled by UN-US forces flown in to “pacify” and “stabilize” the “recidivist trouble spots.”
For the most part, then, the changeover transpired without great difficulty, thanks to five shadowy denizens of the Orangery of a British estate who quietly pulled strings many years in advance. It is always a thing to be admired when any government plan goes off with this high a degree of efficiency, and, naturally, they, or their successors, would have been highly pleased to hear of it.
What they did not calculate was that the Klintons were immortal, they could not be swept aside quite that easily. The star that had guided them to the apex of power would not abandon them so diffidently as their contemporaries had done. Indeed, their future restoration was an assured thing, under the auspices of their great star. What star? Wasn't the star of destiny just a metaphor? Not at all! The Klintons would rise again--united in a role that would duplicate their previous one thousands of years buried in the hoary past and deep under the rubble of the once great 20th-21st Century American civilization. Together, they would ride again! Only their venue (their saddle on which they would sit to rule the world) would not be America, North or South. They were worthy of a revived Atlantis, and Atlantis II it would be!