I gathered my coat, waved at the mass standing at the terminal and entered the luxurious limo. A young man in his forties, looked like he was barely thirty. He had a long dark coat and a flexible plastic ribbon in front of his eyes. I turned my head toward the window. It looks like it’s about to rain.
– Sir, yes sir. We are monitoring the stock market. Yes, we took the initial steps for buying a hefty portion of the valuable documents and we have alerted our law firm to be ready if something leaks out to the media. – he spoke into the earpiece while limo shifted its sound to an electric hum and started lifting off of the ground at a steady speed.
– It’s going to rain. – I said absent in my thoughts, but the man paid no attention to me, – Do you think it’s going to rain? – I asked but he was too focused on his work.
– Smile at the people. – he ordered me fetching a portable drive he connected with a computer by his side.
I turned again towards the window and waved smiling at the crowd that waited for us to fly away. After a few seconds of an idiotic grin, limo rotated by 45 degrees and went in cruiser mode.
– I feel bad for doing this. I’ve studied for half of my life. I got five degrees in psychology, sociology, advanced politology and two from business management. How did this happen to me? – I learned in the seat and holding my chin, dubiously watching the traffic lights and other vehicles zooming the air.
– Ah, – long exhale and bending over knees came from the opposite seat where the young assistant was about to drop some knowledge, – We are preparing to start a war for resources and dominion over one country. We are selling weapons to the rebellious factions on the ground, we are financing various movements that fight our political opposition, we are also controlling the media and own factory syndicates and you ask me if it’s going to rain and how did this happen? – I saw the pissed off face of the young man in a corner of my eye, but still remained determined to get my answers, – Those degrees you’ve mentioned, look good on a person, that’s why we wanted you. Mister Krein talked with you about this. You owe us this. There is no turning back. You know that. Why don’t you stop asking stupid questions and start doing what you were told to do? – he said that last like he was ready to throw a punch when I swung my head around.
– But when it’s going to end?! – I smacked the seat I sat on and he slightly jerked back to give me a wonderstruck gaze.
– But Mr. President, we’ve just begun.
The meeting was supposed to be in her villa. It’s not every day you meet royalty, so I ordered an elegant suit. Someone from the delegacy brought it neatly packed and I put it on. Standing in front of the mirror, I liked the way I looked, but deep down, I was able to see my soul rotting. Dreams of setting my country straight were more obvious that it will not happen during my reign. My empty stare at the mirror despised the person they saw in it. A so-called President was a puppet of the corporative whores that run the country like a virus. You don’t know you are sick until you are dead. If the symptoms ever showed, I was the medieval doctor to calm the patient and blame it all on somebody else, rather providing our country with a cure.
– She is waiting, Sir. – A man from my team leaned over the doorstep while holding the knob, then he nodded and went away when I turned my face drained of life.
I stepped out masked as a jolly leader of the free world known as Mithria and waved at the drones flashing their cameras while reporters stood as holograms beneath the platform. Someone thought it would be nice if we played an ambient sound of the crowd cheering – so the overwhelming noise played in the background. I wonder, do people know how artificial this was?
The photoshoot went smooth and as planned, then the questions came. Crowned Princess replied in calm as royalty supposed to, and I played a deep minded buffoon, spouting encouraging messages to the nation on the other side of the screen. We shook hands, smiling of course, and went backstage. The whole press room fell to darkness when all of the cameras and lights shut down. Empty. Completely empty. There was nobody in the room. It saddened me.
– Please, sit. – blonde Princess showed me the comfy chair and I accepted her offer, – Bring us brandy. – she smiled at the robo-butler and machine hissed toward the table behind me.
I was smiling at her just because she wasn’t taking off that mask we all had when in public. She crossed her legs and I could see she paid a lot of attention to her silky skin that was tanned and tempting. Two open buttons of her white shirt hid the mystery of what color was her bra, but if one would stare, it would see she wasn’t wearing any. Her golden saloon shoes were changing color because that was the latest model with holograms installed in them.
– Is Krein pushing you too hard? – she asked and instantly burst in laughter, – You’ll get used to it. He does it to all of them. It seems that bastard is immune to death. Many have tried to get rid of him but failed. Don’t get any ideas that something like that is easy. He even has a mobile plasma shield that protects him from rockets. I’ve seen rebels try and fail at their attempt of killing us all when we were at the International Peace Summit. He took the rebel survivors and made them work ’til death. He is not a fun guy. – she spoke joyful and happily like we were longtime acquaintances, which only made me frown in the oddness of her words.
– You work for him too? – my question amused her in a unique way because she couldn’t touch her lips together from that idiotic smiling.
– Royalty doesn’t work. – she said emptying the glass dry and requesting another that soon got empty, then the third came and she was already drunk.
I was aware that our royal Princess was an alcoholic, but I didn’t know how it all begun. It must be the Krein that provoked her to start drinking away her sorrow. I witnessed several more glasses being lifted, more of her smiles and winks at me, unbuttoning the rest of her shirt and lustful pulling off her tight skirt. It’s not every day you meet royalty, but I decided that this will be my last.
The door moved and that slick assistant walked in holding papers in his hands. He elegantly approached the broad wooden table and dropped them in front of me. I heard his steps walk around my chair and stopped at the window that portrayed the theme of a rain forest. He pressed the button on the console and turned it off where an image of a busy world I was running flashed in his eyes.
– What is this? – I asked looking at the red mark that said “Top Secret”.
– Black ops clearance. We are moving in haste to beat the competition. Our boots are already on the ground, now you sign that… And we are free to go with the Stage One. – he said smiling and observing the flying drones in the air.
– Black Ops, where? – I asked turning my chair around when he froze for a second to think, then he rubbed his eyes and cleared his throat.
– You know that Klavatians are in dispute of land with their neighboring state of Dadoria. Dadorian Generals are massing their troops at the border, while Klavatians are fighting in a bloody revolution to overthrow the corrupt government we were paying for years. You know that, right? – he gesticulated with his hands, but when I was to say something he continued, – Now. We are washing our hands from those claims and we are taking sides with the Dadoria. Why? Well, they have more power and resources we can use. Starting a war with them can only further close their minds of doing business with us, so we are tapping them on the back to get our hands on their foreign policy. If we were to help Dadoria, they would need to repay us with something. We are in business. – he walked posh around the table and spoke like giving a speech, which made me feel wrong in my stomach.
– But Klavatia is our long term ally? We fought the same enemy… Together! – I smacked the table and came staring at the slick bastard that only had a laugh for my reasoning.
– Klavatia used its purpose. We were funding their opposition too. Why do you think there is a revolution there? Fanatics are so easy to control. – he laughed like he heard a joke, then he gasped – We were betting on them both. Whoever wins, it will keep our interest at the paramount when structuring new rule. Either way, we win. This is just teaching them a lesson and bringing better rates in production. We build it, we destroy it, we build it again… That’s how the world works. – smiling jerk leaned on the table and crossed his arms waiting for me to sign the damn papers.
– You’ve sentenced them to die. – I groaned, ready to jump over the table and wrap my hands around his weasel neck.
– No, Mr. President. We are just giving them a new beginning. – he added smoothly walking towards the door.
– I am not signing the damn thing. Millions will die! – I stood up wanting to stop him from exiting, but he bowed his head with shame, then he slightly rose his eyes at me.
– Million of their lives are paying for the future of our country. We are centuries passed from sacrificing our own for the greater good. Now we sacrifice our enemies. – he spoke over his shoulder, but I shouted again.
– But Klavatians are our friends. – I almost begged him not to make me do this and saw it was pointless.
– We have no friends Mr. President. – the door closed, I got back on my seat and grabbed my head, trying not to cry while praying for guidance, while busy traffic of drones and flying cars orderly flew in the clear sky behind me.
I snuck out while the presidential residence was in standby mode. I even had to set up the master computer not to raise the alert when I got out the door. Luckily I had armed guards at my side so I saluted them in haste and told them not to speak of this to no one.
The unmarked car waited for me on the sidewalk where sewage mist rose to conceal me from the nosy drones. If someone would’ve seen a President getting in a suspicious car like this, media would tear me apart, but knowing that Mr. Krein owned the state, he would silence them in record time. Alas, I’ve decided to fight back and restore order in the state, break the bonds that held me down, made me a puppet of greedy tycoons that were only focused on power. Tonight, I’ll strip them of that power.
– Let’s go. – my companion tapped the driver and car started humming into the air.
Like I did something illegal, I was tangling around waiting for someone from the Krein’s ranks to stop us and bring me back, but there was nobody following us. After reaching the desired height, the car went in a silence mode, turned all the lights off and transponder that was monitored by the Domestic Transportation Center.
Few hours have passed en route and not a word was said. Finally, the car began descending to the warehouse illuminated by the weak street lights. Our glasses showed the outline of rogue armed guards, independent militia I intended of hiring. The hissing of the power rods that fueled the car stopped when I dropped my foot on the ground. We moved inside and saw an empty space with light shining over the center where chairs were lined up in a circle. I was nervously panting as the sound of my steps bounced against the walls.
– Mr. President. I am honored to meet you. – a bearded man said extending his cybernetic arm to greet me.
A veteran – I thought to shake his arm. Thought to act like a puppet, I gave him the vilest grin before I took the seat. Other people approached the light, showing their faces where one of them was a businesswoman I knew previously. She was wearing a modern working suit with a stylish ribbon where she kept her hard drive. They all sat down and looked at me anticipating to hear my plan of getting my power back, so I rubbed my hands over my knees and took a breath.
– First of all, I would like to welcome you all. It is a serious amount of courage you have taken only to meet me here. I know this isn’t my usual office, and this isn’t a usual gathering. – I was speaking, when the veteran interrupted me.
– Sir, get to the point. We all know this is not an official meeting. We know about Krein and the political whores that serve under him. We also know you’ve got the balls to defy him. Tell us the plan. What do you intend to do? – the man said unfazed by what was happening.
– Oh, yes. Fish stinks from the top, so if we remove him from the position he is currently in, his empire would shake and crumble. Power hungry people will start grabbing away whatever falls from there and he would not be able to get back to his former might. Assassination attempts have failed before, so we must strike him from within. He owns many people that don’t support him so I will encourage them to take a stand and start raising noise. This will then make me investigate the charges against him, which he will try to hide. His people are everywhere, so we must be cautious not to give him prove he can run to the media with. – I spoke when veteran rose his cybernetic arm asking for a moment to speak.
– What do you need us for? – he asked, his eyebrow tilted.
– As I said, he has many people working for him. Your job is to find them and stop them from harming the workers and people with a voice. Dirty cops, corrupt government officials and agents that operate in shadows are what he will use first. You must draw them to light and show them to the world. While you chase down his thugs, Elnora here will bring in the heat from the other side as his rival. Her charity funds and organizations will start helping those that need help, while her business partners can focus on corporate espionage. It is pointless to say that I nominate her as my successor. He has no reason to lash out on her, but he will attack me with everything he has.
– It sounds like you are sacrificing yourself. – Elnora commented in a voice able to melt hearts when I smirked at her and confirmed with my head.
– I am, and that’s the price I am willing to pay for the greater good. – I added and silence took over the room where dozen people shared the same dream of bringing down a tyrant.
If you by some miracle liked this story, you might want to read these.